Places and Faces

Passed It On

A little over a month ago, on a Friday evening, nursing a bottle of wine, and feeling rather in love with the world, I made this blog post. The result was thirty people sending and receiving bags of coffee from all over the world; thirty people who put their faith in complete strangers to uphold their side of the bargain. It has broadly been very successful, with the only caveats being an inevitable couple of lost/delayed packages expected of these kind of international shipments.

The group of people involved include coffeegeeks, roasters, baristas, trainers, retailers and even a grower. Coffees sent (that I am aware of) have come from Supreme Roastworks, Square Mile, 49th Parallel, Catalina Coffee, Safehouse Coffee & Tea, Brown Coffee Co, Wolfredo, Ritual, Intelligentsia, Five Senses, Hasbean, Espresso Lab Mircoroasters, iKhofi, Coffee Prince, Market Lane Coffee, James Gourmet Coffee, Coffee Alchemy, and Monk Bodhi Dharma.


Some reactions…

From Chris Capell, a coffeegeek turned coffee pro from Montreal on Square Mile’s Yirg – [sent by Paul Stack]:

…there was one clear taste note listed on the bag that completely shined through in every sip: sweet lime. It was so pronounced that as it spread across my tongue I was often afraid it would turn sharp and unpleasant, but at that exact moment it would soften and the sweet, chocolate base notes of a properly extracted coffee would then come through, balancing out the taste. The best word I could come up with to describe this taste experience is that the coffee *shimmered*.

Collin Moody (Catalina Coffee) on 49th Parallel’s Burundi Kibingo [sent by Chris Capell]:

It has intense floral sweetness with soft rounded stone fruit that overwhelms the palate in a wonderful way. I’ve been enjoying this coffee quite a bit and am surprised by how well the coffee has held up. This is my first experience of a coffee from 49th and i am happy to have found another stellar North American roaster i can order from every once in a while!

Jesse Raub, a barista with Intelligentsia in Chicago on Brown Coffee Co’s Karuya Estate [sent by Daniel Larsen]:

After running it on the V60, Chemex, and Cafe Solo at home and off shift at work, I was nicely surprised by the consistent flavor notes — red licorice, savory body, and anise seed in the finish. It was a bit darker of a roast than I’m used to, especially for a Kenya, so it was really great to get to try a coffee outside my normal spectrum. More than anything it’s expanded my viewpoint of coffee in this country, and put me in touch with more coffee people in Texas than I had been previously.

Paul Canavan from Ireland, on Coffee Prince’s Knockrow Naturals [sent by Cameron Prince]:

Om nyom nyom nyom

Joe Crawley, from Ireland, on Monk Bodhi Dharma’s Kenya Tinganga [sent by Emily Chang]:

The coffee arrived on Tuesday and I’ve been busily making my way through it. It’s a beautiful Kenyan altogether and the roasters certainly seem to know what they’re doing.

Chris Grant, from Orelia, near Perth, Square Mile’s Colonia San Juan Espresso [sent by Joe Crawley]:

It had a unique… lovely smokey taste to it with a bold yet powerful smell and a very subtle taste leaving a lovely aftertaste for me to hang there till i made myself another cup.
The colour it gave whilst being poured through the portafilter was a lovely golden caramel colour.

Mark Wilson, from London, on Five Senses Coffees [sent by Andrew Petrie]:

I received from Australia two bags of roasted coffee, one which was Rwandan Abakundakawa and the other was Ethiopian Sidamo, I am fairly new in the world of speciality coffee and have been trying to expand my palate so this was a real treat. The Sidamo very quickly became a firm favourite with me and was like drinking a bar of very dark bitter chocolate complete with the dry mouth feel – think Lindt 70% cocoa.

Matt Perger (via Twitter), from Melbourne, on Hasbean’s Colombian Narino Consaca [sent by Paul Canavan]:

My @otherblackstuff pass-it-on coffee by @hasbean is suuuuper sweet melony goodness!!

So thanks to everyone who took part. I’m going to close the comments on the original post now, as it’s been a few weeks since the last comment. To those still awaiting your coffee, it seems that South Africa has been slow due to the World Cup, followed it seems by Australia. I have had comments from participants who don’t know if their bag arrived at its desintation, and have offered to send out a second bag if necessary.

A couple of other blog mentions:

Kalle Freese


If anyone has anything to add to the above, please feel free to drop comments below.

I’ll leave you with the map (definitely worth viewing large).


7 thoughts on “Passed It On

  1. Marc says:

    Hey all,

    I came back from my two weeks in France to find a nice rattling package at my door (not really, more like, at the post office) from Josh. Thanks!

    @Emily, hope you were not part of the delayed batch and that you’re enjoying one of my favorites.

    @David, thanks for organizing all this 😮

    Cheers, Marc

  2. mat says:

    what a fantastic idea. I only wish I could have been involved (though I’m not sure I could afford the postage!)

    til next time..

  3. Mark Wilson says:

    The idea behind this was a wonderful one, the map is a wonderful thing to look at to see where everything went.

    I hope all the postal issues sorted themselves out in the end.

  4. Pingback: 2010: A Personal Coffee Year in Review // The Other Black Stuff

  5. Pingback: “ A chain of goodwill, expressed through bags of coffee ” on Daniel of Arabica – brew, drink, repeat

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