January 2021 - What's floating our boat, Secret Label sweet cherry and chocolate. Inflation ahoy

Date Posted:5 January 2021 


We know what we are, but we know not what we may be.”  — William Shakespeare.


January 2021

Welcome to our subscriber newsletter.

Secret Label
January's Secret Label is another great effort from our design team - a crafty blend with rich complexity and a glorious, soaring finish that lifts off like a rocket - it's a blast.

Bold, rounded, broad, full, juicy, sweet with a red cherry and dark chocolate note that builds up to an explosive finish, deftly exhibiting strength without harsh edges.

This puppy cuts through milk like a judge's gavel halting an objection !

What's floating our boat ?
New arrival of East Timor FAIRTRADE Organic is stunning - hands down the best coffee out of that region. We had so much difficulty in sourcing from Timor so the result is an outstanding success.

My fave from the few weeks has been our new arrival Ethiopian Sidamo from the famous Guji region - taking it to another level and such an improvement on previous lots - did anyone say "cherry ripe".

Annual December shipping meltdown
Just like clockwork every year, we dread the arrival of December as it never fails to throw incredible shipping problems at us and all retailers using Australia's overloaded parcel networks.

This year it was Sendle's NSW Armageddon that caught everyone by surprise and we have switched off Sendle for safety (yours and ours) until the serious nature of these failures can be reasonably explained or understood. We suspect something is not quite right between Sendle and one of their large partners.

AusPost surprised everyone with decent performance, way better than expected, except for maybe the odd route failure which is always going to be a frustrating feature of their "automated" service any time of the year.

Will 2021 be the year of rapid inflation ?
Importing goods is now more expensive and difficult thanks to the disruption of the pandemic and the impact of escalating trade disputes with China.

Sea freight has been a nightmare for the last 6 months for every company importing goods and during the November and December periods Australia's key ports in Sydney and Melbourne became a cauldron of frustration and disappointment.

Read our blog on how many things are going to get more expensive in 2021.


January 2021 Secret Label

January's Secret Label is a high flavored blend with a wonderful finish that builds to a sweet note of red cherry and dark chocolate.

We have crafted a blend of 4x premium specialty grade lots to produce a coffee that generates seriously deep flavors and sublime sweetness in the cup.

Bold, rounded, broad, full, juicy, sweet with a red cherry and dark chocolate note that rises up to an explosive finish, deftly exhibiting strength without harsh edges.

This puppy cuts through milk like a judge's gavel halting an objection !

Stone fruit, citrus acidity, honey, toffee, truffles with a long red cherry and dark chocolate finish.

AROMA - red fruits, cocoa

FLAVOUR - stone fruit, honey, toffee, truffle, red cherry and dark chocolate.

ACIDITY - Citrus, balanced.

BODY - Rich, full, syrupy.

BALANCE - Delightful lift as it moves across the palate.

AFTERTASTE - Long with red cherry and dark chocolate.

OVERALL - A refined richness that builds in the cup to a sweet finish.

For a limited time only - ending when the allotment has run out which may occur before the end of the month.

Sorry, no 500g packs available.

Grab it here - January 2021 Secret Label



Watching the cost needle rise

Beyond the Australian parcel network dramas, international sea freight has been a severe pinch point for all Australian companies relying on imported goods during the second half of 2020 and there's a reason why some shelves have been empty at many retail stores.

The pandemic interrupted finely tuned supply chains and in some cases abruptly broke the delicate balance of supply and demand that had been optimized over many years.

Sea freight has always been challenging, particularly the dysfunctional Australian cargo facilities in Botany and Port Melbourne - boats continue to sit out at sea off the coasts of our primary capitals waiting up to 20+ days for a docking slot.

Apparently, over the last 9 months Australia has accumulated an unprecedented monster stockpile of empty containers, partly due to trade disputes with China and with no physical space to park these empty containers it's contributing to poor efficiency and unexpected excessive port charges that are automatically passed onto the freight customers.

Besides taking a lot longer for containers to be processed it's more costly as the port authorities happily exercise their free license to invent new surcharges and conditions when faced with challenges.

Bottom line folks - everything is going to increase in price, even just a bit as the expense of importing has risen without any prospect of subsiding in the short term. Good luck trying to book a vessel as the spot market has effectively closed and disappeared.

Combined with shortages on so many items (cars, plant, appliances and equipment, etc.) these are worrying inflationary concerns as tight supply leads directly to price rises.

Over the last 4 months we have tried to purchase new equipment for our warehouse and had to wait a long time for stock to arrive into Australia as well as paying high premiums. Same situation with air conditioners, large appliances, earth moving equipment and just about everything that's imported.

Coffee prices have been nudging higher over the last quarter as the desperation of labour shortages at farms put a big bite on crop processing volumes, continued port congestion around the globe, chronic lack of shipping capacity and supply differentials all force the pressure upwards with high volatility forecast to continue well into 2021.