San Jose Ocana Trio | Featured Coffee 2016

San Jose Ocana Trio Returns!

About two years ago we approached Guillermo Sanchez and asked if he’d consider processing his coffee using different methods. He agreed and the subsequent success of the San Jose Ocana Trio was tremendous. So much so, we brought it back again this year. For years, San Jose Ocana has been a year-round staple for us. This coffee is an excellent example of what a Direct Trade relationship can truly be. Since 2010 Cuvee’s consistent commitment to purchase this coffee has enabled Guillermo–the 5th generation to run San José Ocaña–to continually invest and reinvest in his farm.

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Especially during devastating seasons of disease, the security of a guaranteed buyer has enabled the giftedness of Guillermo to flourish. And it shows in this world-class coffee. Year after year Guillermo continues to produce coffee that exceeds our expectations. Not only are we thankful for his commitment to increased quality, but we’re honored to be a part of a partnership that benefits so many.


> 290 From The Ground Up (Brenham)
> 2Tarts Bakery (New Braunfels)
> Brew n Bake (Lake Jackson)
> Cafe Chell (Round Rock)
> Commonwealth Coffee (San Antonio)
> Cuvee Coffee Bar (Austin)
> Emerald Tavern and Games (Austin)
> Graceland Grocery (Austin)
> J Prime Steakhouse (San Antonio)
> Modern General (Santa Fe)
> Manana - South Congress Hotel (Austin)
> Stouthaus Coffee Pub (Austin)
> Strada Caffe (Tyler)
> Walton's Fancy & Staple (Austin)

The History behind San José Ocaña.

We love telling the story of Guillermo, because it so perfectly showcases the structure and purpose behind Cuvee Coffee's purchasing model, and how/why it leads to lasting quality as well as lasting sustainability and innovation.

Filling nearly two shipping containers every year, Cuvee proudly serves Guillermo's coffee year round. Continually, we are in communication with Guillermo, visiting on an annual basis and building our relationship. The arrangement we have with Guillermo is one where we purchase coffee using a contract system that locks in a price over a few years that doesn't discriminate on quantity and rewards continuous quality. This system removes Guillermo from the volatility of the commodities market where prices change on an hourly basis and enables him to plan and invest in his farm with security.

As an example of this stability, Guillermo's farm was hit with Coffee Rust two years ago. Coffee Rust is a fungus that reduces coffee yield and plant quality and devastates entire farms. While others in his area and position were threatened by the outbreak, Guillermo knew he was going to be paid the same amount for his coffee as previous seasons due to our years of working together. He knew we were committed to him, and that we would be back next year. This particular year, Cuvee stayed true to its promise, and in what should have meant financial turmoil for Guillermo, this particular season he was able to purchase and install a state-of-the-art wet mill for his production. An upgrade which yielded a larger and higher-quality output in the following years.

Guillermo states in a recent email to us, "It sure has been very important, and probably we would not have been able to enter in the intensive improve my plantation management program that we are presently running."

We reached out to Guillermo and proposed a new idea.

Due to the high humidity in Latin America, coffee is typically processed utilizing the “washed” method. It is by this particular method that our current San Jose Ocana coffee is processed. However, there are two other commonly used ways to process coffee: "natural" and "pulp natural" (or “honey”) processing. Each processing method brings out different attributes in a coffee, and it was with this understanding that we asked ourselves, “How would San Jose Ocana taste when subjected to "natural" and "pulp natural" processing?” We relayed this idea to Guillermo who, at first, felt uncertain with the prospect. What would happen if the coffee did not meet our standards? To ease his worries and express our faith in him, we purchased the coffee at his normal contract price before he attempted the project.

Guillermo crushed it!

Guillermo's inaugural attempt at something never before seen in the Guatemalan coffee industry was a massive home run! And this highlights the security Guillermo had via our agreement. The security of a committed partner enabled him to experiment in ways he'd never imagined. Guillermo was able to reinvest in his business at an unorthodox time as well as confidently ventured into the unknown where there were no assurances of success. In short, this spectacular coffee was made possible because of the committed relationship and trust between Cuvee and Guillermo.

What we at Cuvee proudly submit to you for this month’s featured is Guillermo Sanchez's San Jose Ocaña Trio: Washed, Natural, and Pulp Natural. This coffee is a testament to Guillermo's unique giftedness as a farmer, as well as a chronological review of the relationship between he and Cuvee. Enjoy!

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