Spring 2024 Green Coffee Picks

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These picks were put together by Sourcing Curator and Placement Specialist, Charlie Habegger.

Early May, when many roasters can feel—or fear—a slump in green supply as they wait for familiar offers to come back again, is a great time to help you get creative. Because my work at Royal is so spread out, I get to be a small but meaningful part of a wide variety of sourcing programs, and often have something unexpected to recommend. Below are recommendations of coffees both spot and very nearby for roasters craving some newness now. There are coffees to revive blends, replace single origins, to plan some summer releases or immediate special occasions. The beauty of many of these is that some of our customers practically live for them, and others have never heard of them

Please discuss the options with your trader, or email us at info@royalcoffee.com. Want to book forward? Check out the ‘Incoming’ tab and email us at booking@royalcoffee.com

We carry a selection of perennial Huehuetenango department coffees each spring, and among them this year is a new addition: 33446 Guatemala Huehuetenango Q’Anil SHB, a clean, snappy and quietly floral coffee grown by smallholders in Jacaltenango and centrally processed all the way down in Antigua by the well-known team at Los Volcanes Coffee. This coffee is bookable now, single origin quality, and anticipated spot in mid-June, for anyone seeking something that sits nicely between the superlative Bella Carmonas and the more humble regionals and large estates. 

We picked up Kenya AA FAQ, an exemplary December auction lot and which has been spot for a month. It fits in the happy place that is a mid-level, affordable, extremely early Kenya. Buy some now, sprinkle it everywhere, and you’ll still have space for the splurge lots when the time comes. 

The “Plumas” as we call them, are part of an annual sourcing project from throughout Oaxaca’s Zona Pluma. This is the stretch of the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains that swings very near the Oaxacan coast, and the coffee here is on par with the best Pacific-side Guatemalas and El Salvadors, but also completely unique. We curate a number of lots from individual municipalities in the Zona Pluma. Volumes vary from 25-110 bags per lot and with rare exception these coffees tend to be more sweet, delicate, and floral than any other Mexico coffees we buy. 

I can’t not mention my two overall favorite coffees in our entire position at the moment, both of which the Crown smartly took for themselves: Finca Tasta’s recent natural and washed arrivals. The brother and sister team behind this small farm need no introduction since we carry their coffees every year. I just want to add another pebble to the path: if you are looking for something special, these two coffees are in their prime, scarce, and one of a kind even in Peru’s enormous, diversifying coffee industry. They’re lychee-like in flavor, delicate, syrupy, fragrant and harmonious, and worth every penny for a special release. Buy a box and roast it for your staff to say thanks for all the hard work lately. Buy 20 for a limited subscription. Sometimes, there are coffees that taste like a reward truly proportionate to how difficult supply chains can be. 

Dukunde Kawa is a large umbrella coop in Rwanda’s northern province producing citric, juicy washed coffees that are also widely certified. We buy a great selection each harvest and the freshness tends to hang on well into the following spring. Arrivals always sell quickly but we luckily have bits of the following lots still available, for anyone seeking some brightness in their coffee lineup. 

Uganda’s Mt. Elgon, on the country’s eastern border with Kenya, is one of the most gifted arabica terroirs on earth. We buy a big range of coffees from this region to suit almost any palate and coffee program. These coffees are harvested months before Ethiopia, so they’re a great fresh crop organic bridge for those, and even depleted centrals, depending on your roasting style. Some of our Bugisu lots are cupping way above grade and are recommended here. We have sold through the earliest shipments but there is more on the way. Sipi Falls ourse a centralized wet mill that has done wonders for the coffee of Mt. Elgon’s highest elevation organic smallholders, many of whom are above 1800 meters. Sipi processes coffee very efficiently, which allows them to offer some of East Africa’s best-priced washed organic coffees for the quality. The microlots, from the mountain’s highest and most devoted growers, are truly special and can compete with the best experimental processing anywhere. Lastly, the same exporter produces bulk naturals in Uganda’s west, not to be overlooked as an early natural Ethiopia substitute if that type is running out for you.