Quaffee Newsletter Volume 3 Issue 2 – Coffee and Categorization

Welcome to the second Quaffee Newsletter for 2014.

We state on our website that; we offer coffee lover’s access to the best we can source, roasted in a way we enjoy the most. Often these words are humbling to us. We are now a third of the way through the year and we are happy to say that we have experienced both year on year and month on month growth.

This is all thanks to you the coffee lovers that give us the opportunity to source and roast the finest coffees we can access.

Open Day

Our next open day will be on the first Saturday in May, the 3rd. While we are aware this is an unofficial long weekend, this may give those out of towners a chance to pop in.

Coffee News


The Commercial futures market (called C Market) dictates the speculative sector’s pricing. Most coffee is pegged to that price. Almost three years ago this market was at a 36 year high. With coffees being priced at $3.60 (USD) a pound. This time last year this price was down to almost $1.20.

Weather and disease fears have allowed the coffee price to recover to over $2.00 a pound. During this period we have sourced about 50% of our coffee as direct as possible. The coffees we source are quoted as non-speculative and are normally C Market Plus a value, like $1.50. The other coffees we source through the bulk importers in South Africa, that dictate the prices to us. We tend to only take the highest grade coffees from the bulk importers, and these are the first coffees to increase dramatically in price.

Almost all the coffees the bulk importers provide are Cooperative coffees from a region or country. The traceability of these coffees is to the nearest sorting or production house. The coffees under this category typically represent the produce of thousands of farmers.

While we ensure these coffees are a good quality (we would not offer them otherwise), because they are cooperative and imported in bulk, they are cheaper than the coffees we source direct. We call these coop or coop+ coffees.

The coffees that fall into this category that are popular are Limu, Sidama, Mandheling, Antigua and, even though we did source it ourselves via a partner, Yirgacheffe.

These are the coffees that have been most affected by the price increases.

While we have been handed an increase of 30% (based on rand dollar and C Market pricing), we feel that this increase is not sustainable and within a month or two we are banking on these prices either decreasing slightly or stabilizing.

We have however had to increase our pricing, but not by 30%. Instead we looked at real rand values and have used those instead, so the increases will be less than 10% for roasted coffee.

New pricing will become effective from the week of the elections.

New Coffees

In our previous newsletter we mentioned the microlot coffee Leonel Trujillo. This coffee has sold well and was very well received, we have about 30kgs left and then it is gone.

brother’s Lovos
We have also released the coffee from the brothers Lovos, which we have had other coffee lovers tell us they love it, while others being indifferent about it. We are a little disappointed with it, since we are used to the high quality that Virmax supply and we feel it is not quite up to their normal standard.

We have also released a replacement to Tesoro from the same province called Azul. This coffee is very good value, and we have had some great feedback already on it.

Our coffee from Burundi is suppose to be with us in the next few weeks so we are hoping to release it soon.

Please check either coffee.quaffee.co.za to see the list of coffees. The modification date reflects the last date it was changed.

Categorization of coffee offered

Last month we mentioned our new categorization of coffees:

  1. Easy Drinking – a coffee you can drink all day.
  2. Medium and Balanced – a coffee that has a little more body and can tolerate a little milk.
  3. Dark and Bodied – a fuller bodied coffee that plays well with milk and sugar for those that like that, or is good in a more aggressive brewer.
  4. Limited Edition – We have separated the very good to excellent coffee that we receive in limited numbers into this category since they are special.

We have added to that the flavour complexity. This tells you how complex the coffee is aromatically (smell) or via taste. The more complex the higher the stars. We will never offer anything less than 3 stars (out of 5) in complexity. A rough guide though has been that the smaller the sample base of the coffee the more complex it is. So the coop and coop+ coffees very seldom score more than 3, while microlot coffees will score at least 4, and if they are really good 5.

Anyway this is our way of trying to help you choose the coffee for you. Some may find that a extraordinarily complex coffee they do not enjoy, while others do. As a general rule though, those drinking the coffee without additives like milk and sugar should try 4 and 5 star coffees, for the best results.

Jura News

There is a new F8 out, and the Ena 1 is now available with the manual frother for free again. See quaffee.co.za/jura while stocks last.


Thanks once again for reading the newsletter and your fantastic support, we look forward to hearing and seeing you at the open day.

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