We do annual trips to coffee regions of the world to Learn the culture of the trade and how the business Affects farming communities. For us, it's part of the Journey to creating a really amazing cup
L’Etoile du Nord is a roaster and distributor of small-batch artisan coffees. You can buy our beans here at the cafe or at River Market Co-op in Stillwater.
A few times a year we hold workshops to share our travels and to teach about home brewing. Email us to be in the loop for our next event.
Yellow Bourbon // Brazil
Pereira Estate is perched in the high mountains of the South Minas Water Spa Circuit, near the towns of Lambari, Carmo de Minas and São Lourenço. The 300 acres of Pereira Estate bring together all the fundamental requirements for the production of great coffees: altitude, climate and personal dedication. The 250 acres cultivated with the Bourbon, Acaiá, Mundo Novo, Catuaí and Catucaí varieties are planted in fertile mountain soil at altitudes ranging between 3,500 and 4,000 feet. The high altitude favors a slow ripening of cherries and permits selective picking which are decisive factors to produce coffees of exceptional quality.
Ab Kingu // Kenya
Embu region is located on the Eastern slopes of ice peaked Mount Kenya. This region gets a nice meter plus of rain and has, surprise since it is on the slope of an old volanco, very nice red volcanic soil, which contributes to the cup in a nice fashion.
The Thambana Farmers Cooperative Society has just under 3,000 members and 300 HA of land collectively. Wow, that's .1 HA per average famer, or a little over one bag of top exporting coffee per farmer. Perfumed floral aromatics with berry, grape and caramel flavors, citric acidity and a mild aftertaste.
Swiss Water Decaf // Guatemala
Most decaffeinated coffee uses chemical solvents such as methylene chloride or ethyl acetate to strip caffeine molecules from the green coffee bean. However, the proprietary Swiss Water® Process uses water from the pristine environment of the coast mountains of British Columbia, Canada to gently remove the caffeine until the coffee beans are 99.9% caffeine-free. This maintains the bean’s distinctive origin and flavor characteristics. It’s a bit more complicated than your average high school science class, so in short let’s just say you’re getting all the things you love about coffee without the caffeine.
San Ignacio // Peru
Peru is a country which has great potential but for particular reasons it is extremely hard to find 87+ coffee landed in consuming countries. The potential is there: the country is the 8th largest producer of coffee in the world, has plenty of farms at and above 1600 and 1800 meters, and has predominantly Typica and Bourbon varieties; all of these conditions should give us, in theory, 88 - 90+ coffee. But this is not the case, high-end coffee out of Peru is very scarce due to the challenges they face. Most farmers own a couple of hectares only and are in remote areas. Many times their farms are 4 hours by foot from the nearest town and the town could be 8 hours by truck from the nearest port. This means coffee can sit at the farm unnecessarily for extended periods of time after it is dried. During the drying season climate conditions tend to be very humid with precipitation. Without proper storage, such as GrainPro, coffee will gain moisture and destabilize cup-quality.
Kunjin // Papua New Guinea
Commercial coffee production started in Papua New Guinea in the 1920s with seeds brought from Jamaica’s Blue Mountain, a Typica known as Jamaica Blue Mountain. At that time most of the coffee production came from 18 large plantations. Plantations still exist in PNG but it only accounts for 15% of the total production; most of the production now comes from small-holders who tend to their coffee gardens, as they call them locally. The small-holders are subsistence farmers (meaning they live of their land) and they also grow coffee--there are no coffee farmers per-se. Each garden might have anywhere from a couple to a couple hundred trees of coffee and parchment deliveries can range from 25 - 65 kg. Kunjin comes from small-holders between 1400 - 1800 masl from the Waghi Valley in Western Highlands in close proximity to the town of Mt Hagen.