Brew School

Limited Reserve Rwanda

Background: We have featured coffee from COOPAC as a reserve in the past, and we are happy to be working with our friends and partners at Café Imports to bring this coffee back to Groundwork. COOPAC was one of the first cooperatives in Rwanda to obtain Fair Trade and Organic Certification.

This year’s coffee comes from the Kigeyo Washing Station and offers a very complex cup, typical of great coffees from Rwanda. It has a sparkling acidity akin to hibiscus, mellowing out to a brown sugar-like sweetness and a Darjeeling tea-like clarity and structure, rounded out by notes of cranberry, tamarind, and dry spice.

In the Cup: Sparkling and sweet, with notes of hibiscus, cranberry, tangerine, and Darjeeling  tea.

Co-Op: Kigeyo Washing Station FT
Region: Lake Kivu, Nyamyumba
Varietal: Bourbon
Processing: Fully washed, sun dried on raised beds
Altitude: 1800-2000 meters

Shop our Limited Reserve Rwanda - Coopac Fair Trade Co-Op.


Learn all about Groundwork's new Mexico

Background: La Lagunilla is a collection of growers from the Ixhuatlan de Juarez region in Oaxaca, composed of 84 landholders/farmers. This co-op has weathered many storms and is very focused on quality, a fact reflected by one of the co-op’s farmers taking home 3rd place in Mexico’s first-ever CoE (Cup of Excellence) in 2012.

These last several years have been hard for certified organic coffees in Mexico. Rough weather and conditions that foster the spread of coffee leaf rust have plagued farmers of late. Maintaining organic certification during these times is becoming an increasingly difficult decision.

This last lot of coffee from La Lagunilla was one of the best that we had tasted coming out of Mexico this year. We have worked with La Lagunilla on and off in the past, and we are very happy to bring this coffee back in a continuing effort to help out and show our support. The cup is simple and classic with a balanced acidity and flavors of milk chocolate, toasted almonds, cane sugar, and a subtle hint of green apple — everything one could want from a truly good coffee from Mexico.

In the Cup: Structured with notes of milk chocolate, toasted almond, and cane sugar

Co-Op: La Lagunilla Cooperative
Region: Oaxaca
Varietal: Typica, Mundo Novo, Caturra, Bourbon
Processing: Fully Washed
Harvest: January - March
Altitude: 1000-1500m
Certification: USDA Organic

Shop our certified organic Mexico - La Lagunilla single origin coffee.


Colombia - AMUCC

Colombia AMUCC certified organic free trade coffee

In Colombia, the absence of men in communities due to the upheaval over the last 25 years created a vacuum. Women found themselves as the de facto heads of their households — with all of the accompanying responsibilities, but none of the rights. Enter AMUCC, a Fair Trade certified association of women in Cauca empowering female coffee producers as they step up to fill that vacuum and bring about positive social change.

Simply put, we fell in love with their coffee and the people behind it. We realized that AMUCC is just the sort of community that Groundwork is looking to partner with. At the group’s request, we are creating an interest-free revolving credit line to help the certified organic farmers meet short-term cash flow needs. Moreover, to encourage the production of truly great coffee and the growth of the number of certified farms, we are introducing a Quality Award of $1 per pound to a farmer who produces a truly exceptional micro-lot. The first recipient of the Quality Award is Maria Cristina Potosi — mother, grandmother, 35-year veteran coffee farmer, and self-described “enterprising woman.”

In the Cup: Tangerine, red currant, milk chocolate, green apple, and clover honey

Shop our Colombia - AMUCC Single Origin Coffee.

Costa Rica - Las Lajas - Honey Process

Groundwork Coffee Co.'s new Costa Rica Honey Process coffee trio.

In Costa Rica, organic coffee is almost nonexistent, and that is why this coffee is so significant; being honey processed and of limited quantity is what makes it so special.

Third-generation coffee farmers Dona Francisca and Don Oscar Chacon decided to be different. Their passion for coffee and strongly held belief in the preservation of the environment made inevitable their decision to get their micro-mill and farm, both named Las Lajas, certified as organic. Las Lajas is known for being among the first to produce high-quality honey and natural processed coffees in Central America.

Last year, we carried a yellow honey processed coffee from Las Lajas micro mill. We knew that we wanted to offer this very special coffee again, but we were having difficulty deciding which of these remarkable processes to carry. It was a tough decision, so we gave up — and this boxed set is the result.

This year, we’re offering all three honey processes from Las Lajas and letting our customers see for themselves what the honey process is all about.

Each of these coffees is distinctive, and the flavors range from floral and crisp to deep and fruit forward. We hope you enjoy finding the words to describe them as much as we did.

Yellow Honey: 100% mucilage left on, coffee turned hourly on the bed

Red Honey: 100% mucilage left on, coffee several times a day on the bed (less frequently than Yellow Honey)

Black Honey: 100% mucilage left on, coffee turned only once per day

Farm: Las Lajas
Micro Mill: Las Lajas
Region: Sabanilla de Alajuela

Altitude: 1450m

Variety: Caturra, Catuai
Processing: Yellow Honey, Red Honey, Black Honey

Shop our Limited Reserve Costa Rica - Las Lajas - Honey Process Single Origin Coffee.


Gunpowder Organic Green Tea

Background: Look closely at this tea and you will see small, round pellets resembling grains of black powder. Also called “pearl tea” or “bead tea,” Gunpowder tea has a light sheen that indicates freshness. This unique tea is achieved by withering the leaves, then steaming and tightly rolling them, before drying them over high heat to impart a distinctive smoky flavor.

Production of this tea dates back to the Tang Dynasty, but it wasn’t introduced to Taiwan until the 19th century. From there, it spread to the rest of the world — including Morocco, where it is still imported today to produce Moroccan Mint tea.

Several different Green tea varietals are used to produce Gunpowder, including Ti Kwan Yin and Jasmine Green. But the original and most common is called Pingshui Gunpowder and is characterized by larger pearls, a more vibrant color, and a particularly aromatic infusion.

Tasting Notes: This organic Chinese Green tea is sweet and silky with subtle notes of roasted chestnut and wildflower honey, an overall smoky flavor, and a minty aftertaste.

Perfect Brew: Brew at 170-185°F for 2-3 minutes to achieve the perfect balance of earthy and sweet. You can reduce the steeping time to bring out its grassy notes, or increase it for a more floral and peppery brew.

Shop our Gunpowder Green certified organic tea. | Try something different!