Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mugged: Garbanzo Nunez Estate and Los Vecinos [Thrive Farmers Coffee]

Subject: Thrive Farmers Coffee 
Coffees Mugged and Rating [see key]:
- Garbanzo Nunez Estate, Tarrazu, Costa Rica 5+
- Los Vecinos, Genaro and Trinidad Double Estate, Intibuca, Honduras 4+

As many people know, Fair Trade coffee is sometimes not as fair as consumers would like. The concept conjures up farmers getting a great price for their coffee but many times, Fair Trade programs don't end up paying much to the individual farmer.

Hence, Direct Trade has become the gold standard for socially progressive coffee sourcing. Farmers maintain direct relationships with the end retailer so that their cut becomes much healthier. One operation pulling direct trade relationships within a co-op like system is Thrive Farmers Coffee, a business entity that sells different farmers both green (unroasted) and roasted beans, sending back healthy profits to its growers. Thrive recently sent me out two coffees to try out, their Garbanzo Nunez Estate, Tarrazu, Costa Rica and their Los Vecinos, Genaro and Trinidad Double Estate, Intibuca, Honduras. Both coffees I tried out via pourover, french press and siphon.

First up was the Costa Rican. Through a pourover infusion, the coffee produced a vibrant brew rich in dulce de leche, prune, Yoo Hoo, carrots, shredded wheat and a little oregano. The french press doled out a slightly smoother cup, with notes of vanilla caramel, sugar wafers, a little marinara, cream and shredded wheat in a medium body. The siphon finished off with also a great cup, full of caramel, yoo hoo, shredded wheat, cream and a little prune. All together, a really richly-flavored coffee full of sweet, creamy nuances and syrupy sweetness.

The Los Vecinos also proved appetizing. The pourover rang of root beer, lemon pepper, raspberry, blue corn chips and a little wheat grass amidst a slightly thick body. The french press had more flavors of cocoa along with notes of corn chips, lemon, pepper, wheat grass and malt. The siphon proved the smoothest of the three infusions, with notes of milk chocolate, graham cracker, raspberry, malt and corn. In the end, a malty, slightly bright coffee with a minor wheat flavor.

If ye seek great coffee that puts a lot of money into coffee farmers' pockets, check out the coffees of Thrive.

note: coffee was provided free of charge and the above review is objective feedback.  

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