Editor’s Note: You can view all of Chris’ pallet picks on one page here.
If I were running a coffee roasting business and saw Royal’s full pallet promotion, I’d be thrilled. I’d probably then visit Royal’s website only to be completely overwhelmed with the choices. Fortunately for everyone, I’m not running a roasting business, but I do source a little bit of green and cup with regularity. So, with all that in mind, given full run of the Royal inventory, here’s what I’d be looking at to pick up a pallet online.:
We’ve got some really incredible tasting coffees on the menu if you’re looking to hold over until fresh crop starts landing. Two washed Yirgacheffes, 28055 Dumerso and 27092 Aricha Adorsi were Crown Jewels this year and are not to be ignored. If you feel like a natural, 28025 Worka Chelbesa is one of the best and brightest.
The other powerhouse East African specialty producing country, also still waiting for fresh crop to arrive, with plenty of great beans ready to ship from Oakland now. I’d definitely pick up a bag of either the Nyeri Othaya Gura AA (a Crown Jewel) or the 27433 New Kiriti Gondo AA, and if I was feeling adventurous, maybe one of the 29197 Mara Estate Natural.
While the Tanzania Peaberry might be ubiquitous, my sourcing project in Ngorongoro has been a steadfast source of head-and-shoulders above beans for many years now. I’m proud to work with the Vohora family for some of the nicest Tanzanian beans around. There’s still a good amount of 28642 Gaia Estate while we wait for fresh crop to arrive.
One of my favorite coffees in the world, Rwanda’s are fresh off the shipping lanes and tasting great. Check out my sourcing projects this year from Furaha Umwizeye’s Kivu Belt (29248 Murundo is a great selection) and Coocamu (check 29211 Group 2 for my favorite of the three lots), a new cooperative for Royal with FT certification and the distinction of being grown on an island! How cool?!
Jeanine Niyonzima-Aroian’s incredible coffees from this country are no secret, nor is my love for what she’s doing there or the flavors exceptionally realized by the work she supports. While there are a number of great beans to choose from, if I were you, I would start with the 30045 Ngozi Turihamwe (a Crown Jewel), Jeanine’s signature source of women-led coffee in the country.
A brand-new sourcing project for me, this year’s coffee from Mendosayoc (29804) comes to us through joint effort by an NGO support group, Edith Meza’s logistic expertise, and the hard work — finally recognized – by heretofore unknown farmers in an often-overlooked region. The coffee bears farmgate pricing traceability; farmers were paid the equivalent of $2.79/lb of exportable green coffee.
Don’t sleep on this silent killer, my new project with Kamal Ramamoorthy and Ghats Specialty is producing some of the most exciting small farm produced traceable coffees in the country. This regional AA blend (28061) from about 7 farms in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu is changing how I think about Indian-grown coffee.
Seriously, this traditionally wet hulled, double-certified Ketiara (29908) coffee from their women’s project is so good, we made it a Crown Jewel, and there’s just not any good reason that it is still on our offer sheet. I don’t usually tell folks that I don’t know about this, but it’s been my go-to espresso for the past month at The Crown. Shhh, don’t let the secret out.