women in green shirt smiles at the camera

We’ve all got our favorites. And yes, even at Cafe Camp HQ (where we love each little bean equally), staffers have their preferences. Here’s what an informal survey of staff turned up this December when we asked, “What coffee are you loving right now?”

2019 Best Coffee – Staff Picks- Blends

Mocha Java – Viennese Roast

Long-time coffee house barista Karen Montano responded first. “Mocha Java!!!” (note multiple exclamation points). An all-around great coffee, Mocha Java balances acidity and body. It’s a blend of coffees from the Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union of Ethiopia and Permata Gayo of Sumatra, Indonesia. Known for its earthiness and body, the Sumatran coffee helps balance the bright acidities of the Sidama coffee. There is no question why Karen loves this coffee.

Easygoing Espresso

“I’m loving the Easygoing Espresso as a drip coffee,” says Cori Lyman-Barner, location manager at Cafe Campesino roastery. “It’s just a solid cup of coffee. I actually like all our espressos as drip, but the Easygoing is my favorite.” A blend designed for coffee shop espressos, Easygoing is similar to Mocha Java in that it blends brightly acidic coffees with the heavy, earthy body of Sumatra. This blend, though, incorporates some of SCFCU’s naturally processed (unwashed) coffee, which imparts berry-like notes to the cup. With berry aromas and a sweet, deep flavor, Easygoing Espresso is both delicious and interesting. For beer or wine-drinkers who like to identify flavor notes in their cup, this coffee is a great morning match. They can apply those same sensory skills to coffee.

Good Morning Americus

A hometown favorite, Good Morning Americus is a medium-roast blend of Colombia, Nicaragua and Sumatra coffees. It’s our financial manager’s favorite coffee. “It has a smooth, balanced taste,” Marcia Dupree says, adding with a laugh, “It is also one that my husband and I can agree on.” It is a favorite at our Americus coffee house, too. Plus the coffee packaging incorporates artwork from Americus-based artist, Jeff Williams, whose work has been on display at the Louvre in Paris. (yep. we’re THAT fancy.) Learn more about Good Morning Americus here.

Finance Manager Marcia Dupree drinks Good Morning Americus, a home-town favorite, and a coffee she and her husband agree on.

Holiday Blend

Marketing Director Nema Etheridge’s favorite coffee right now is the Holiday Blend. A pre-roast blend of Guatemala, Peru and Colombia, the holiday blend showcases the bright acidities of Fondo Paez’s coffee, while also offering roasty, nutty flavors and a medium body from Peru’s Pangoa cooperative. Well balanced and easy-to-drink, the Holiday Blend is a cozy go-to for this holiday season.

Marketing Director Nema Etheridge loves the Holiday Blend right now. Because the green beans are blended before roasting, the bean sizes are more even, which offers a consistent extraction in the cup, she says.

Atlanta Audubon Society

Lee Harris, Chief Operating Officer and trained chef, is loving the Atlanta Audubon Society blend coffee. Using the same origins as the Holiday Blend, the Atlanta Audubon Society coffee is a lighter roast profile. The fruit-like acidities from Guatamala and Colombia shine in this blend, and the Pangoa coffee from Peru anchors the coffee with rich body. A blend created in collaboration with Atlanta Audubon more than 5 years ago, this coffee generates an annual donation for the Atlanta Audubon. Ten percent of every online sale of this coffee goes back to the organization, which educates the public about the importance of forest-like habitats for preserving bird species.

Preferred by COO Lee Harris, the Atlanta Audubon Society Blend showcases bright acidity from Colombia and Guatemala. Plus, 10% of every retail sale goes back to the Atlanta Audubon Audubon Society.

2019 Best Coffee – Staff Picks -Single Origin

Colombia Medium Roast by Fondo Paez

Coffee House Manager Ifah Hathcock loves Colombia Medium Roast coffee, produced by small-scale farmers of the Fondo Paez co-op. This coffee shows up in blends such as the Holiday Blend and Atlanta Audubon Society, but it stands alone just fine.

Fondo Paez of the Cauca region of Colombia just keeps getting better and better.

About three years ago, the cooperative started training farmers how to roast and cup (professionally taste) their own coffees so that they could better understand preferences of the specialty coffee consumer.

Their work has paid off. We roast this coffee at a medium roast level, which allows its bright, juicy, mango-like flavors to shine. When you first start to brew this coffee, a sweet, caramel-like aroma is one of its mouth-watering hallmarks.

Coffeehouse Manager Ifah Hathcock & Chief Executive Officer Tripp Pomeroy both love this coffee, and it’s easy to see why.

Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Fondo Paez’s general manager, Yuri Pilliume, came to visit Americus last year and those memories are still fresh in our minds. The first female manager of the Fondo Paez cooperative, Yuri came to Americus to celebrate 20 years of Cafe Campesino, and she brought us all hand-made gifts, weaved by members of the Fondo Paez cooperative. It was pretty special.

woman talks to man while woman listens in the background.
Yuri Pilliume of Colombia’s Fondo Paez cooperative presents hand-woven belts to Cafe Campesino CEO Tripp Pomeroy & staff. Esperanza Dionisio Castillo of Peru’s CAC Pangoa cooperative listens.

Yuri was joined by Esperanza Dionisio Castillo of Peru’s CAC Pangoa cooperative and Carlos Reynoso of Guatemala’s Manos Campesinas, a secondary level exporter of the APECAFORM cooperative we’ve sourced from for more than 18 years. Learn more about their visit here.

2020 Best Coffees- What Will Staff Pick next year?

And so there you have it. Our favorites as of December 2019.

But coffee is an agricultural product, and each season’s harvest is a little different. Producers in Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras are in the middle of harvest season right now. And the consistency and post-harvest processing methods of cooperatives like Guatemala’s APECAFORM or CHAJUL have gotten better and better over the years. Honduras’s COMSA cooperative also consistently produces beautiful, high-scoring coffees.

So, there is no telling where staff’s selection will be this time next year. (Or how close our staff’s preferences align with YOUR preferences). But we do know that the there are a lot of great coffees in store for all of us in 2020. So, cheers to 2019!

Get those mugs warm for some even better ones in 2020. (Speaking of mugs… check this puppy out.)

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