October 2021 - Why some coffees might disappear, sweet fruity Secret Label, Shipping updates

Date Posted:6 October 2021 


Freedom is not worth having unless it also includes the freedom to make mistakes." - Mahatma Ghandi


October 2021

Welcome to our subscriber newsletter.

It’s no surprise everyone has experienced another difficult month with parcel shipping congestion reaching epic points of frustration on top of AusPost suspending collections from retailers twice in the space of 4 weeks.

AusPost remains a complete disaster quite frankly and our best available advice is to avoid AusPost unless you are reliant upon PO Box or Parcel Lockers. Even their express service has been failing badly.

The only bright spot has been lightning fast deliveries into South Australia – courtesy of Sendle.

We have been truly impressed with Sendle’s performance over many months of high freight volumes – they have certainly outperformed AusPost convincingly and it just goes to show why more than 66% of our customers choose Sendle over AusPost.

Current levels of parcel network congestion will not be cleared before Xmas as we are now into the peak freight season with up to double the volumes expected in the next 8 weeks from major online marketing events and pre-Xmas sales.

Please continue to allow plenty of extra time for items to arrive – although some parcels slip through faster, this is more a case of good luck than a sign shipping has improved or returned to normal (whatever that may look like moving forward).

Hopefully with lock downs easing and more retail outlets opening up this will relieve the constant pressure on parcel networks.

Why some coffees might disappear.

For almost 14 years we have been sourcing Ethiopian Harrar and during that time there have been extended periods of many years where no Harrar was available. It’s a rare coffee and also one of the oldest varietals being an early discovery heirloom.

Sometimes the reasons for no supply are due to unfavourable growing conditions affecting this delicate species and other times it’s because the quality has been low and the prices too high.

Despite an enchanting allure of the mythical Harrar, there’s no point offering a coffee experience that’s expensive and mediocre as it’s only going to end up disappointing or failing to meet our basic standards of quality and value.

This season looks like a zero or a doughnut as we are now accustomed to saying.

We have a small amount of Harrar remaining and once that’s sold we wait until next crop and won’t know whether Harrar will be available until the harvest and grading has completed.

In place of Harrar we have an exciting alternative that is also naturally processed with delicious blueberry notes – blueberry is a prized attribute in coffees and when it’s found the coffees command a premium. It’s just arrived and we looking forward to releasing this beautiful coffee.

Monsoon Malabar is also another difficult coffee to source as there is only a small amount that gets imported into Australia, we tend to take a big chunk of the total. We are low on stock levels and new season won’t be here until late February – hopefully we don’t run out as it’s certainly a popular and distinctive coffee.

FAIRTRADE and Organic certified coffees are in short supply – which corresponds with the difficulties exporters and importers are experiencing with sea freight – container shortages, port congestion, ship capacity and coffee generally stranded at origin, etc.

We seem to be limping along but it’s not the ideal position we wanted to be in at this time with dwindling holdings of certified lots, but we live in hope the sea freight problems will improve.


October 2021 Secret Label

It’s so easy to imagine each new month’s Secret Label is going to beat all that went before it and we have given up trying to predict success.

One thing is certain – our customer love Secret Label and this inspires us to push further.

In creating October’s Secret Label, we did not start out with any particular theme or outcome in mind – this time there was no design or “must-have” features and we just let things fall into place rather naturally.

Truth is when we have taken a more relaxed approach the results have been amazing and it’s kind of forcing us to keep re-checking whether it’s real, or not – nothing should never be this easy!.

When pairing these coffees together we were not prepared for the intense fruit sweetness.

I’ve spoken before about how fruit makes the coffee industry go ga-ga, but it’s chocolate and lashings of it that make customers go gaga.

So when too much chocolate becomes boring and mundane, we turn to fruit for a refreshing change.

Both the coffees in this blend are not classed as “fruity” lots, yet somehow with some secret magic fusion they generate the most amazingly sweet and balanced fruit compote.

What came out of the roaster is something I’m still trying to reverse engineer. How the heck did it happen. We seem to be multiplying fruit without losses…….when most coffees are roasted the fruit tends to diminish, yet we somehow seem to have enhanced it.

Red cherry, apricot, stewed apple, fresh butter, caramel and toffee.

This Secret Label cuts through milk like a Ninja and as a black it’s delicious fruit complexity will have you coming back for more.

**** All sold out ******