We drink a lot of coffee in Austin, Texas. Until recently, 90% of that drinking took place at a wide range of coffee shops scattered all over town. But now that we've gotten access to Picacho Coffee out of Las Cruces, New Mexico we've found ourselves camped out on the front porch for our morning cup a lot more frequently
Picacho is a solar-powered roaster that specializes in small, hand-crafted batches of coffee that most suppliers have no access to. They work in micro-lots in some instances where a tiny farm in the Americas or some far flung tropical island grows a few dozen bags of some hopelessly rare bean strain.
I have no idea how they've developed these relationships but I would imagine a lot of time has been spent on the ground in El Salvador or Nicaragua.
Like any conscientious coffee business Picacho participates in the Fair-Trade Support system wherein the farmers get a fair shake when it comes time for the beans to get loaded on the planes and the greenbacks to enter the farmers wallets.
Doing business the right way.
Also some very fine writing on their website to describe the most recent bag of beans I scored.
Certified Organic Ecuador Guatenay Micro-Lot:
"Our limited quantity of 100% Typica, organic Guatenay is from a carefully selected and carefully produced wet-processed microlot. All the coffee in the lot was produced in the Espindola region by growers who had distinctive coffees that were too small to export. Some produce less than a single bag per season. Like the other coffees in the area, the plants are old Typica and you can see this in the elongated bean form of the green coffee. This exciting coffee compares well to some of the highest-grown Kona coffees, also pure Typica types.
Typica is a classic, old-world, cultivar of Arabica. It has a longer seed form than the other main cultivar, Bourbon. The plants are tall and have a conical shape with branches that grow at a slight slant. The arabica coffee that the Scottish Mission brought from Yemen direct to Kikuyu, Kenya was Typica. Most of the trees in Kona, Hawaii are Typica from Guatemala. Typica has a host of sub-types, from Blue Mountain to Bergendal, Java Typica to Guatemala Typica. Typica was also the first coffee in the New World; Java-grown plants, a gift from the Dutch to Louis XIV, were cultivated in Parisian gardens, and then thousands of seedlings were sent to the French colony in Martinique in 1720."
It's some of the best coffee I've ever drunk. Visit their website y'all. http://www.picachocoffee.com/
and dozens of Austin Texas coffee articles http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/index.cfm/Coffee