Introducing CRIMSON Espresso BlendDecember 19, 2023 (Published: June 4, 2022)
Our new CRIMSON Espresso Blend combines two rare and exceptional coffees to produce a nuanced cup with tasting notes of lime, cocoa nibs and vanilla pudding.
The blend marries cherry dried Natural Gesha coffee grown by Hector Portocarerro in Oxapampa, Peru, with fully washed Kinini AA craft coffee grown by members of the Kinini AA cooperative in the Rulindo District of Rwanda.
We created the limited-edition blend to share with coffee professionals at SCA Expo 2022 in Boston.
“The goal was to cut through four to eight ounces of milk, preserving a heavy coffee presence without roasting the coffee to a darker, more carbonic profile,” said Sustainability Director Brandon Bir.
“We achieved this goal by blending one super spicy and acidic coffee with another coffee that has more available sugars and developed notes.
“This balance yielded substantial soluble materials, creating an espresso that is citrus and spice forward with a chocolate and vanilla finish,” he added. “The resulting cup is approachable, but also nuanced, satisfying both coffee experts and those who are new to specialty coffee.”
Sourced through our Focus on Good™
Our coffee team sourced both coffees in CRIMSON Espresso Blend as part of our Focus on Good.
We create products and relationships around the world, inspiring coffee lovers to help make a meaningful impact with every cup.
Natural Gesha: A 2021 Good Food Awards Finalist
Crimson Cup’s Natural Gesha craft coffee was a finalist in the 2021 Good Food Awards, winning a place among the country’s top craft coffees.
Brandon discovered the coffee during one of his frequent trips to develop relationships with Peruvian coffee farmers.
He met grower Hector Portocarrero through the NARSA (NEGOCIACIONES AGROINDUSTRIAL AREVALO S. A.) co-op. Portocarrero grows his Gesha coffee at 1,750 meters above sea level in the Oxapampa region of Peru.
“We are thankful that Hector shares his exceptional Gesha with us,” Brandon said. “Our friends at NARSA dried this special coffee on their roof-top drying facility, which assisted in even-drying and clarity in flavor and sweetness.”
Crimson Cup has been working with NARSA since 2014 as a part of our unique Friend2Farmer initiatives, which make economic, environmental and social impacts in coffee farming communities.
NARSA Founder Don Julio Abel Arevalo Tello and his team focus on helping small coffee and cacao farmers in Peru’s Central Highlands and Amazon regions gain market access throughout Peru and beyond.
“Don Julio’s team pushes cup quality and crop health to develop a more sustainable industry,” Brandon said. “This aligns perfectly with Crimson Cup’s commitment to quality and sustainability.”
The Kinini Cooperatives Support Economic Sustainability
The road to the Kinini Cooperatives began over a decade ago when partners Jacquie Turner and Malcolm Clear embarked on a mission to help the children of the Rwandan genocide. Their first project was a school in Eastern Rwanda.
As they got to know that community, they realized the children needed much more than just education. So, they lobbied the local government and international donors to support construction of a local pharmacy, micro-finance credit institution, and other services.
Later, they turned their hands to creating economic sustainability through coffee, which saw a meteoric rise after Paul Kagame became the sixth president of Rwanda in 2000. Their work led to the formation of the Kinini Cooperatives.
“’Kinini’ means, literally, ‘this big thing right here,’” Brandon said. “It’s a collaboration of cooperatives that pool their efforts to improve their coffee lots. About 85 percent of the members are women.”
Headquartered in Kinini town, the Kinini cooperatives and their washing station collect from the neighboring villages of Tumba and Mageragere.
The cooperatives produce a fully washed Bourbon coffee grown at 1,800 to 2,200 meters above sea level. Their first crop scored 87 points.
“I was fortunate enough to meet Jacquie Turner at the SCA Expo in Boston and sourced the coffee based on this new relationship,” Brandon said.
“We found the lot from Tumba Village to be something worth sharing in our Kinini AA Bourbon craft coffee,” he added. “We’re proud to pair it with our superb Natural Gesha to create CRIMSON Espresso Blend.”
Order CRIMSON Espresso Blend
CRIMSON Espresso Blend craft coffee is available on the Crimson Cup website, at our CRIMSON flagship store, and at Crimson Cup Coffee Houses in Columbus, Tallmadge and West Chester, Ohio. Order for pickup through the Crimson Cup App.
To pull a shot of CRIMSON espresso, we recommend using 19 grams of espresso-ground coffee to 36 grams of filtered water.