Welcome to the May Bean Bros subscription box! This month we re-visit a favourite roaster, from tasting their coffee we were certain this would make for a great box for you! Based in Sweden with a real passion for coffee we bring you Gringo Nordic!
Hopefully you have seen our Social updates this last month from the Danish Coffee Festival, where we got to meet a lot of coffee professionals and also had our own space to promote Bean Bros coffee as well as the new Varia grinder, which we are proud to distribute – please check our webstore for more details.
Please tell us a little about the team and your passion for the industry…
Gringo Nordic was founded in 2018 and we are now 6 gringos in the company. My personal passion for coffee started much earlier as I was roasting coffee at home already when I was at University in the early 90s. This lead me finally to establish the Roastery Johan & Nyström in 2004, a company I sold and left in 2015.
I truly love roasting coffee. With Gringo it has been a journey to get back to the first love of coffee, and I am thankful that I am in many ways back where I started. Every day that I get to work in this fast moving industry is a true blessing.
What are your main goals in selecting and roasting coffee?
I want the coffees we buy to be illustrative of where they come from, how they are grown and how they are processed. I personally like distinct coffees, from very delicate to very fruity.
I like to think that each coffee has its own integrity, and it is my job as a roaster to respect that by roasting to where their personality comes through in the most positive way.
Really amazing to hear about your investment in a farm in Colombia. Please tell us more.
While visiting a friend in Colombia who owned a number of farms, we visited Finca La Tierra in Cauca. It is 10 hectares and had fallen into disrepair. It just felt right, so I bought it!
It was all very commercial varieties. It had a lot of trees – more than 30,000 – but the farm itself was pretty worn down. It had been neglected the last few years. We had to cut down a lot of the trees and plant new varieties.
I acquired some great varieties from trips to Kenya, Ethiopia, Panama and other parts of Colombia.
I have worked in the coffee industry for more than 25 years and have been to farms all over the world. It was time to get my hands dirty! It’s so much more complex than you could ever imagine. Even just paying the pickers in cash involves a lot of logistics.
There are so many other things to consider. If I didn’t have someone who was there all the time and who I trust 100%, then it would never work.
My business partner is from that community. The reason it all works is because he is so respected. But if I worked there, it would be a total disaster. They would never, never respect me. It took three to four trips before I felt that they even listened to me. So it’s important that if roasters are buying farms, they work with those who understand and have respect within the community.
We at Gringo hope that you will enjoy these coffees as much as we do, we have carefully chosen them, they come from fine producers that work hard to produce as fine a coffee they can and we have tried to roast them in the best way possible.
Cheers from Gringo Nordic, through me, Johan Ekfeldt.
THE COFFEES: What we’ve got this month:
Colombia - PinkBourbon
Fina El Progreso
Owner: Gilberto Bolaños.
Farm: El Progreso.
Altitude: 1,650 metre
Gilberto has been a coffee producer for 20 years. His family run farm started by growing short-cycle products,but they inherited the cultivation of coffee and they started with one hectare of the Caturra and Colombia varieties. The fall in prices and the climate change drove them to plant a variety with better flavor and quality profile, seeking to improve income and stability so 6 years ago they planted 4 hectares of Pink Bourbon and 1 hectare of Geisha.
Colombia la tierra Geisha Natural
Producer: Finca La Tierra, Johan Ekfeldt & Heber Sarria
Region: Morales, Cau
Altitude: 1550 metre
Drying method: Raised drying beds under UV protection
Finca La Tierra is Gringos’ own coffee farm in Colombia, which they run together Heber Sarria. They bought the 10-hectare farm in 2015 and have since then developed it by, among other things, planting shade trees, training staff, building drying beds for the coffee, bringing in cow manure and other more natural ways of fertilizing, as well as planting ten different coffee varieties – pink Bourbon, Caturra, Tabi etc. The goal is to make the coffee progressively better and the farm completely sustainable.
El Salvador Siberia Pacamara
Producer: Rafael Enrique Silva Hoff –
La Siberia Farm
Region: Santa Ana, Apaneca
Dryting method - Raised drying beds under UV protection
Harvest: March 2022
Lot size: 210kg
Siberia is a farm of 28 hectares, at an altitude of 1,450 masl, located in the volcanic Apaneca-Lamatepec Mountain Range, Chalchuapa, Santa Ana. Its altitude makes the crop mature slowly so the recollection is between January and March. It is only shade coffee of which they have two varieties: Bourbon and Pacamara.
Pacamara has a good body, very consistently sweet, chocolate, white wine acidity, pleasant, not overwhelming, good balance, nice sweetness, full mouthful, fruity, mellow, smooth.