October 2018 - A sleeping giant awakes, using Box Bottom Bags

Date Posted:2 October 2018 


“If you obey all the rules, you’ll miss all the fun.” — Katharine Hepburn


October 2018

Don't you just love spring........crisp mornings following by glorious sunshine. One day last week it was 2 degrees at 6am and by midday a balmy 20 degrees.

Some of our customers have been confused with how to open the mycuppa 500g box bottom bags. See our note below for more details.

Sendle has been somewhat of a double-edged sword with customers either loving or hating. Obviously, freight companies are never going to be perfect or suit everyone.

We see both rapid delivery surpassing AusPost Express and at times painfully slow arrivals - unfortunately, it's not possible to predict which end of the spectrum you can expect and in many cases it comes down to whether someone was present to accept the parcel on the 1st attempt. Please ensure to send your feedback directly to Sendle - unfortunately, we can't change or influence Sendle's performance.

October's Secret Label is a cracker and we think it's going to hit the perfect spot for lovers of rich, sweet and balanced coffees. Intense, jammy, complex and delicious - there are just too many superlatives to describe this sensational coffee - see below for more info.

We have a small amount of a wonderful Nicaraguan - just lovely. It's our feature coffee this month with desirable cup notes of almond nougat, candied orange rind and dark chocolate. Nougat in a coffee is "the best".


October Secret Label

We waited not so patiently for months and months.......when this lot arrived it's everything we'd hoped and a lot more.

October's secret label is standout gem - exceeding our expectation in rich flavours and sweetness.

A single origin lot from a micro Co-Op - a fine example from a country renown for producing exceptional coffees - with a quality that just oozes from every sip.

Fresh off the boat and fresh roasted - all that's missing is freshly ground and freshly brewed in your cup.

Scoring a solid 86+ points.

Use it black or with milk, it doesn't really matter when coffee is this good.

Let's unpack what you might get in the cup..........there's so much going on:-

  • Jammy and sweet - makes for a deliciously fruity shorty (espresso).
  • Very long finish - the money shot - what we all live for with coffee.
  • Well balanced - bringing it all home.
  • Juicy, nectar like sweetness, bright, hazelnut finish - apricot, black currant, chocolate, grape, peach, pear, pineapple, plum, raspberry jam, stone fruit, tangerine
  • Simply stunning as a cappuccino, latte or flat white

At just $26/kg it's a steal and our competitors must be crying - why pay $50 for a kilo.

Buy as much as you want - we will keep on roasting it every day.

Only available in 1kg bags, sorry, no 500g packs and no ground packs.

Grab it here - October Secret Label

Nicaragua - a giant awakens

Our feature coffee this month is a wonderful example from an origin that tends to miss out on much of the headlines in the world of coffee - from a small lot in Nicaragua, the Dipilto - Nueva Segovia.

Whilst I've gone ga-ga over this month's Secret Label coffee, my darling wife Dianne is smitten with this Nicaraguan beauty.

Apparently, it's the almond nougat - not often found in coffees and she can't get enough of it - pestering me to roast more.

Nicaragua is one of the largest countries in Central America but it's historically one of the poorest in the Western Hemisphere.

Recently, the country has been gripped with protests and violence with 6% unemployment and a staggering 25% under-employment. These conditions are creating challenges at ports and processing the flow of goods.

Nicaragua's reputation in the coffee world is that of a "middle" and "conservative" position - the coffees just taste like classic coffee with nutty, chocolate and a hint of tobacco.

Not much has changed in the Nicaraguan coffee industry over the last decade - farms are generally remote and a long way from physical infrastructure. More importantly, there has been limited technical support for agronomy compared to the likes of Colombia, Costa Rica and Honduras - all origins rising to the challenge of innovation in farming and processing techniques and investing huge resources into improving their general qualities.

However, there are pockets of exceptional coffees and the Cafetos de Segovia micro mill is a labour of love from the Albir family, now second generation sisters Ana and Martha Albir inheriting their passion for coffee from their father, who bought a coffee farm in 1991.

Their father worked the farm with dedication until political strife forced his family to leave the country and cease the day-to-day operations of the farm.

In 2007, Ana and Martha decided to take over the farm and continue their father's tradition. In 2015, they invested in a mill and commenced their milling operation as Cafetos de Segovia in 2016. The mill provides processing of raw coffee cherry and exporting services not only for their own family farm but also for 11 nearby farms owned by friends and family.

Nicaragua is known for producing larger quantities of standard coffees, and micro lots are much less common, despite the presence of good quality varieties like Bourbon and Caturra.

Lower elevations throughout the country and the prevalence of coffee-leaf rust (Roya) make it difficult for producers to achieve micro lot status. The Albir sisters and their associates are interested in producing specialty coffee, going the extra mile to separate lots based on variety and a host of experimental processes such as honeys and naturals - unusual for Nicaraguan coffees.

Fully washed lot grown at 1300–1500 masl

Cup - Raspberry, lemon, almond nougat, candied orange rind, dark chocolate.

We have only 270kg of this lovely coffee - get in early.

Please note - No 500g packs and no ground packs.

Grab it here - Nicaragua Dipilto


500g Box Bottom Bags - they are different

Back in January of this year we developed new custom 500g bags using the box-bottom quad design that has become a de-facto industry standard for modern coffee packaging.

The previous radioactive green 500g bags were based on the traditional stand-up pouch used for a variety of alternative food ingredients besides coffee.

Box bottom bags were intended to have a smaller, space efficient footprint that suits physical retail shelves, which is not so relevant or important for our business, however.......the bags do appear more attractive and should provide a better fit for the cubed environment of parcel cartons.

Box-bottom bags are complex to manufacture, involving a construction process using four separate pieces - they are also more expensive. Our custom bags are deliberately larger in size compared to standard 500g box-bottom bags - we did this to improve the process of filling and sealing.

Our 500g custom box-bottom bags use a different system from a traditional zip-lock - it's called a "rippa-zippa" and recently it's become obvious that some of our customers are not aware of how to open the 500g bags or they struggle to use this new bag and can't affix the bag closed after cutting off the top seal.

We've had people get a bit grumpy at us for using these "stupid" bags - with the most common complaints being "it's destroyed my scissors" or "it's not sealing properly because there is nothing on the other side" or "my bag is defective".

In the above examples, the customer has mistakenly cut open the top of the bag instead of pulling the rippa-zippa. Once the top of the bag (the heat seal) has been cut, then it's not possible to close the bag and affix the opening.

It's not the customer's fault - historically almost all zip-type bags needed a part removed whether you tear it with your hands or use scissors.

The rippa-zippa is different - designed to avoid needing implements like scissors or knives to cut open the bag - you can just pull the zipper.

The bag was supposed to have a small instruction like "open here" next to the t-piece on the zippa, but somehow that small but important bit of helpful artwork somehow missed production, the zippa is not obvious unless you look closely.

We thought it was important to highlight the feature of this style bag as it's essentially the direction used by the entire industry - hopefully all our customers will work it out over time and see the benefits.