We visited London for the London Coffee Fest this year (if you're into coffee you should visit this annual event at least once) and also to visit our importers to hear about a new coffee project that we are involved with (in a very small way)!
The coffee project
"A closed country that has spent half a century under oppressive military rule, Myanmar has finally come in from the cold. After liberating itself and democratically voting in the LND party, and with it “The lady” Aung San Suu Kyi, the region has opened its “doors” to the rest of the world, embracing free speech and global friendships with partners eager to help Burmese society prosper.
Like many developing nations, agriculture in Myanmar still plays a significant role in the economy, representing 38% of GDP and 25% of exports. Coffee – while not a substantial cash crop – is being cultivated across the country and represents a fantastic opportunity for young, entrepreneurial farmers. Ever mindful of the agroforestry and environment, coffee cultivation is seen as means of sustaining the local environment, along with the cultivation of elephant food yam (of all things!)
DR Wakefield (our importers) jumped at the chance to collaborate with Nat Coffee and their first visit to the Chin State region in the country. There, we’ve sought to help set up a new farmer-led co-operative in partnership with Chin Hill Ecosystem".
Watch this little video by Nathalie Manac'h to hear about the project. Nathalie is the driving force behind the whole thing and she has involved other partners including our imprter DRWakefield. Chin Litae
If you would like to follow the progress of this project check out our Facebook page
We cupped some coffees from Myanmar on this recent visit to our importers and although early days, some coffees showed great promise. We also learned of a very young and enthusiastic group of coffee farmers keen to learn and wanting to grow and export some wonderful coffees.
We have ordered a couple of sacks which should be here soon! Very exciting times! Maybe a trip for Monsoon to Myanmar one of these days!
We had a really great mention on BBC Radio 2 recently.
Nigel Barden cooked some pork chops using our Espresso Blend and they said some lovely things about it!
If you would like to listen tune in at about 1 hour and 10 minutes and listen for just over 11 minutes. Link below.
Sorry the link was only live for a month on BBC website
The Monsoon boys are off to the coffee farms of Sumatra.
When we started our little coffee company we thought it would give us the opportunity to travel.
Little did we know!!!
Each year we seem busier than before and no time for travel to coffee farms.
We decided, this year, to bite the bullet when our importer asked us if we like to tag along!
I will hold the fort with the help of some great friends and wonderful staff.
Only problem is, we can't do the markets.
I'll be at the roastery and also our web shop will be going for those emergency supplies.
Apologies for any inconvenience but I'm sure you all appreciate how important it is for us to see first hand where our fab coffees come from and to meet some of the coffee farmers.
I'm so excited for them, anyone would think I was going! I think it will be an amazing trip.
They will visit several farms including the fabulous Wahana Estate (one of our current coffees).
They will also visit a wild Luwak area where the famous 'Cat Poo' coffee comes from! If it is truly wild we might get some for special gilfts for Christmas.
WE WILL BE AT STRATFORD MARKET NOVEMBER 11TH ONLY!
WE WILL BE AT WARWICK MARKET NOVEMBER 12TH and 26TH
If you feel like a laugh have a look at this little video.
Following on from our Great Taste Top 50 we actually went to a celebration dinner in London. Little did we know we were nominated for a Great Taste Golden Fork Award. Totally bonkers evening and great fun!
Click here to see our little video!
Have a great November and stay warm!
Anne and the gang!
Many of you already know that we were awarded 3 Gold Stars at this years Great Taste Awards for our Espresso Blend. We are absolutely over the moon! This year we went a step further as we were listed in their TOP 50 FOODS in the UK.
On top of this Willie Monsoon got 2 Gold Stars for his Winter Blend. An awesome result as he hasn't been roasting for long! We will be offering the Winter Blend on line in the Autumn!
Monsoon Estates Coffee Company celebrates as its Espresso Blend is listed in the Great Taste 2016 TOP 50 FOODS list.
Out of 10,000 entries into this year’s Great Taste awards, Monsoon Espresso Blend produced by Monsoon Estates has risen to the top to be named one of Britain’s Top 50 Foods. This result means that Monsoon Espresso Blend joins the ranks of some of the most outstanding foods available and is worth searching for and savouring.
We were absolutely over the moon to get 3 Gold Stars and then to find we’re in the Great Taste Top 50 foods in the UK and to read about it in The Times, we were blown away! To be in the Top 50 means our product has been BLIND-tasted, tasted and tasted again - by some of the most demanding and knowledgeable judges in the country who will only choose the most exquisite food to be in the Top 50. The judges described our coffee as PROPER coffee and said it was good enough to transport them to the espresso bars of Italy! Wow!
Judged by over 500 of the most demanding palates, belonging to food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs and producers as well as a whole host of food writers and journalists, Great Taste is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers. As well as a badge of honour, the unmistakeable black and gold Great Taste accolade is a signpost to a wonderful tasting product, which has been discovered through hours and hours of blind-tasting by hundreds of judges.
Recognised as a stamp of excellence among consumers and retailers alike, Great Taste values taste above all else, with no regard for branding or packaging. Whether it is jam, gin, beef or butter being judged, all products are removed from their wrapper, jar or bottle before being tasted. The judges then savour, confer and re-taste to decide which products are worthy of a 1-, 2- or 3-star award.
There were 10,000 Great Taste entries this year and of those products, 141 have been awarded a 3-star, 878 received a 2-star and 2,520 were awarded a 1-star accolade. The panel of judges included; TV chef and author, Valentine Warner, MasterChef judge and restaurant critic, Charles Campion, fifth generation baker, Tom Herbert from Hobbs House Bakery, and Great British Bake Off winner, Frances Quinn; food buyers from Harrods, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols and Waitrose and chefs including, James Golding, chef director of THE PIG Hotels, and Kevin Gratton, chef director of HIX Restaurants. These esteemed palates have together tasted and re-judged the 3-star winners to finally agree on the 2016 Top 50 Foods, the Golden Fork Trophy winners and the 2016 Supreme Champion.
Great Taste 2016 will reach its exciting finale on Monday 5 September, when the world of fine food gathers at the Royal Garden Hotel in London to find out the Golden Fork winners for each region at an Awards Dinner, with the final applause reserved for the Great Taste Supreme Champion 2016.
Just a quick reminder to let you know we are closed now until 15th April.
Any orders received will be dispatched on our return.
We look forward to checking out the Aussie coffee scene and maybe get some ideas for our return.
Anne and the boys
The fabulous Daterra 'Collection' coffees are available again! Beautiful Brazilian Rainforest Alliance coffee.
Daterra Sweet Collection - Sweet, clean and elegant with chocolaty aftertaste. A Great Taste winner 2015
Daterra Full Bloom - A dry processed coffee with heavier body and fruit and chocolate flavours.
Daterra Bourbon Collection - Nuts and chocolate. A Great Taste winner 2015
This piece, entitled 'Monsoon Malabar Blues' was sent to me by one of my lovely customers. It really does soothe the soul, as it was meant to, after I had a rant on Twitter about a rude phone caller!