Both owner Robby Grubbs and green buyer Jamie Isetts made trips to the Mexican province of Oaxaca this spring. This region is chock full of beautiful coffees--the major challenge is getting them out of Mexico with the same quality. Mexico only has a few specialty coffee dry mills (where the coffee is sorted and hulled), and lots from remote, individual farmers are too small to process at most mills.
Too bad: we love Mexican coffee and we'll always try to get the best to our shops. This year, we're working with a long time partner of ours, Thomas Pingen (pictured cupping with Jamie). Thomas has worked as a farm assistant at Finca Chelin, another Oaxacan luminary. He also consults worldwide to producers large and small on fermentation, best practices, and exposure to the specialty market. This native German has long been part of the Merit family, even interning in our cafes and roastery in 2017.
Thomas has helped us source some incredible coffees from the Sierra Juarez region from small-scale female producers. We can't wait to share! Look for these lots in mid-fall.