Welcome to the Grumpy Mule Coffee Blog
Tue 24 June, 2014
England’s World Cup performance may make you balk at my mention of Brazil, so I’ll steer clear of any references to that well-loved sport and stick to talking about the thoroughly enjoyable trip that Paul and I made to origin last month. As I said in my blog entry last week, we were incredibly interested to see the impact that the speciality coffee market is having on coffee growers in the region.
Our first stop was Fazenda Primavera and Fazenda Matilde, two farms belonging to the Atlantica export group, with whom we've started working over the past 18 months. As is fairly common in Brazil, we took a small private plane to an area around an hours flight north of Bello Horizonte - what is unusual is that Primevera has its own (if basic) runway! Here we saw a clearly well cared for pair of farms, around 20 minutes by road apart. Of particular interest were several areas shaded by Mahogany,...
Mon 16 June, 2014
No, not a World Cup report (although I'm very happy to sit and chat about that), but rather a quick look back at our trip to this wonderful country in May.
Paul O’Toole and I set out with a number of different objectives for our first trip to Brazil in a few
years. Making and building on relationships at origin is the lifeblood of our coffee company, something we've done for many years. Trips to Panama, Peru and Bolivia on the UK side and a decade of work in Nicaragua on the Irish side have been of particular significance to us in recent times.
So to Brazil; a country that has not only been the source of much news in recent months but has also been even more on our radar than usual. Brazil (the world's largest producer) pretty much sets the tone for world production...
Fri 10 February, 2012
It was a pleasure to meet Chris and Karola at the Tamper coffee evening last night, coffee and cafe entusiasts who've developed the London Thru Cafes website and app.
Please see Karola's fantastic blogpost on the evening London Thru Cafes blogpost on the Tamper Coffee tasting evening
Or you can just visit their excellent website and sign up for the London Thru Cafes App!
Fri 10 February, 2012
Last night the Grumpy Mule Team joined Tamper Coffee - Sheffield's finest coffee shop - for a customer tasting evening. Tamper use Boutique for their in house espresso, plus a guest which at present is the Colombia Gaitania from the Tolima region. The event proved a great success which is credit to Jonathan for creating such an immediate buzz around Tamper after less than 6 months of opening. His knowledge and experience of New Zealand's coffee scene and his focus on quality and community are integral in this, and also the reason why coffee enthusiasts from outside Sheffield are making the journey to find it.
The room was absolutely packed, showing the enthusiasm for people to find out more about where their coffee comes from and to experience new aromas and flavours. We love being involved in evenings like this and are already looking forward to the next event.
If you haven't visited already, it's a must see place.
Flight 1: introduction to flavour development and coffees origins
Sethuran Estate PN Robusta, Sethuraman Estate Natural Liberica, Guatemala San Julian #18, Bolivian Buena Vista Cascara
Flight 2: Discovering more about the importance of processing and varietal
Ethiopia Tchembe N2, Brasil Daterra "Antique", Brasil Daterra PN "Blue Earth", Guatemala Injerto Pacamara, Panama Esmeralda Special Geisha
Fri 27 May, 2011
I’ve been helping out recently with the Street Piano project for the Homfirth Arts Festival, which has been both fun and very intriguing! The Fair Traders Co-operative has been instrumental in finding old pianos from the local area that can be jazzed up ready for the Festival itself, taking place in June. There’ll be lots going on during those few weeks to keep locals and visitors interested. Here’s how the event has been described, but we’ll keep you up to date as the time approaches:
The streets of Holmfirth will be alive with the sound of piano music during June this year. For over two weeks, as part of Holmfirth Arts Festival, pianos will be placed around the centre of Holmfirth for festival-goers to stroll up and play. Holmfirth Arts Festival and The Fair Traders Co-operative are working together to develop this event and to make it exciting, engaging and unique, with opportunities for all to take part and to enjoy the sound of impromptu piano performances across the town.
Throughout Holmfirth Arts Festival, which runs from June 11th to 26th, five upright pianos will be positioned around the streets of Holmfirth for anyone and everyone to make use of. The project provides an open invitation for the passing public to tinkle those ivories and air their talents! Even those with no piano-playing prowess are welcome to have a go – the idea is to make music and have fun for fair trade and for the Festival. It is hoped that...