Wycombe For Fairtrade members visit to RoastLab micro-roastery on Friday 6th January 2023.

Tony Thornby, Sheena, and Mike King visited Wayne and Sarah, owners of the RoastLab micro-roastery near Gerrards Cross: RoastLabs are specialists in sole origin coffee using high quality beans, ethically sourced and artisan roasted.

The main purpose of the visit was to taste various sample roasts of green coffee beans previously supplied by CoopeVictoria, a Fairtrade coffee producer located near to the High Wycombe’s Fairtrade partner Town of Grecia, situated in the Central Valley of Costa Rica. The sample green beans had been ordered from the Export Sales Manager at CoopeVictoria just before Christmas. The sample light-medium roasts displayed excellent subtle flavours of caramel and honey, while the darker and more bitter expresso roast had an aroma and taste of dark chocolate.

The RoastLab owners kindly bagged the test run roasted beans for Wycombe Fairtrade steering group members and supporters to sample.

Mike King was able to provide RoastLab with a batch of sample beans from the CoopeVictoria  harvest of November 2022 for some further testing. It was agreed by all parties to move on the next stage of providing a single origin Grecia – High Wycombe Fairtrade Towns Partnership Celebration Coffee by late March or early April 2023. RoastLab and Wycombe For Fairtrade agreed on 250g white foil-lined bags with a RoastLab front label indicating the type of coffee, roasting date, aroma and flavour details, and country of origin. Wycombe For Fairtrade in cooperation with Grecia and CoopeVictoria are working on a rear bag label showing images of Grecia and High Wycombe historic buildings and a short description for the reason for producing this coffee.

While awaiting the test roasting results of the 2022 green coffee bean harvest samples, Mike King agreed to progress with the ordering of 2 quintels, 2 x 46 kilos of “Monte Camejo” green beans and investigate the most economic way of transporting and delivering these beans to the UK, either directly from CoopeVictoria in Costa Rica with shipment via air or sea, or indirectly through any mainland Europe importer or wholesaler with recent stocks  We would order the necessary amount of green coffee to fill around 200 bags of roasted whole bean or ground coffee. While we want to keep transport and delivery costs to a minimum, Wycombe For Fairtrade will act on the advice of the Export Sales Manager at CoopeVictoria given the late March – early April 2023 deadline for the expected launch of this coffee locally in High Wycombe.

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