Barrington Coffee Imports Second Harvest of Haitian Highlands Coffee Micro Lots.
Once again, coffee from the torn nation of Haiti has made its way to gourmet coffee drinkers in the U.S. thanks to an alliance between Massachusetts based Barrington Coffee Roasting Company and a group of Haitian coffee growers organized by the Haitian Highlands Coffee Company.
Barrington Coffee got involved with this project in 2004 when they were contacted by agricultural entrepreneur Ben Dobson, inquiring about the viability of Haiti as a specialty coffee origin. Dobson had made several trips to southwestern Haiti and began looking at coffee production as a means to prevent the deforestation that has devastated much of the Haitian countryside. I was overwhelmed by the need to provide an economically viable, long-term alternative to cutting down trees in this fragile ecosystem, explained Dobson.
After establishing relationships with several highland coffee farmers, Dobson picked, pulped, and sun dried samples from several farms and brought them back to the United States. The samples were then stripped out of pergamino by hand back at Barrington Coffee, sample roasted, and cupped. The results of this cupping exhibited careful preparation, good balance, and nuanced character.
When Dobson began working with coffee growers in the region, producers had very little in the way of processing infrastructure and even less of an idea of how to produce a quality coffee. With a staff of two, Ben began to work with farmers to explain the essential elements of quality specialty coffee production: harvesting only the ripe coffee cherries and removing the pulp right after picking.
The first harvest of coffee was in 2007 and was comprised of two micro-lots, totaling eleven bags. The 2008 harvest includes four micro lots, totaling forty-four bags. We are now working with 140 coffee farmers in the area around Pic Macaya, and have strategically located pulpers at each of the micro lot processing centers says Dobson.
These are aromatic and compelling coffees with deep chocolate flavors, explained Barth Anderson, co-owner of Barrington Coffee. They are similar to other Caribbean coffees in terms of the flavor profile, but they are bolder in character.
In Haiti, farmers are already seeing the benefits of the extra effort put into producing a quality coffee, earning as much as 50% more per pound.
Barrington Coffee is now offering the Limited Edition Haitian Highlands coffee at www.baringtoncoffee.com. This is a sublime and charismatic coffee that has never before been recognized in the specialty coffee market, says Anderson. When coffee of this quality is being produced, it’s worth talking about.
CONTACT INFORMATION: Christina Stanton, Barrington Coffee Roasting Company, Inc., 165 Quarry Hill Road, Lee, MA 01238, 800-528-0998, x. 205, 413-243-1102 fax.