Release #25: Montecarlos Gesha 2019

    In the mid-1980’s Carlos Batres was living in London representing El Salvador at the International Coffee Organization. During this time the coffee market was regulated by quotas in which a target price was set, and export quotas allocated to each producer. When the indicator price set by the International Coffee Organization (ICO)

    fell below the target price, quotas were decreased (to check supply and demand); if it rose above it, quotas were increased (ditto). Although the system had its problems, it was successful in raising and stabilizing the price of coffee. The quota system temporarily broke down, due to the 1985 drought in Brazil, and Carlos went back to live in El Salvador representing Goldman Sachs and General Foods Maxwell House. During this time Carlos inherited a farm in Apaneca, El Salvador.

    While the Montecarlos story starts with Carlos Batres inheriting a farm, it was his vision of what the farm could be and his passion for coffee that have made Montecarlos what it is now. Carlos inherited the mill, which dates back to the 1870’s, and has been in the family for five generations. However, to create the Montecarlos of today took decades. Year by year Carlos purchased land with the goal of owning the entire volcano upon which Montecarlos sits. Carlos and his partner Julie Batres now own the entire volcano which sits in a chain of volcanic cones, two of which have been active in the recent past.

    Passenger has been fortunate to have the opportunity to work closely with Carlos and Julie as one of our Foundational Partners since 2017. The primary varieties that are produced on the estate are Caturra, Bourbon, Catuaí, Pacamara, and Gesha. Of the five main varieties, gesha is the most recent addition. This stellar selection from the 2019 harvest represented the second significant gesha harvest at Montecarlos.

    Freezer Fridays

    The Freezer Friday archival release series provides a unique new opportunity to explore Passenger’s treasure trove of notable harvests from the past. As those familiar with our approach to green coffee preservation will already know, we have actively stored our green coffee in an off-site deep freeze facility since our start as a company, keeping the coffees that we purchase in pristine condition following arrival.

    While the majority of Reserve Lot coffees that we buy sell out within months of their first appearance on our menu, we have, since our start in 2014, saved small volumes of many of our most extraordinary coffees for future enjoyment. 

    Inspecting the harvest at Gesha Village Estates

    Selecting gems from the past at Passenger’s off-site freezer archive

    This year we will begin to make a few of these “greatest hits” available for purchase in extremely limited quantities. Each release will be announced through Social Media and limited to 1 per order.

    The archival lots that we will be releasing in this way are not only shining examples of plant genetics, terroir, and skilled processing, they also offer a unique nostalgic opportunity: to revisit our previous experiences with these coffees and acknowledge once again some of the true high-water marks of producers whose coffees we have been privileged to taste over the years.

    • 4.29.22 Release #23: Kanzu 2019

    • 3.10.22 Release #22: Worka Chelbessa 2020

    • 2.18.22 Release #21: German Córdoba 2018

    • 1.14.22 Release #20: Caballero Java 2019

    • 12.31.21 Release #19: Hacienda La Esmeralda 2019 - Dry Process

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