- March 2017
If there were a Greek goddess of seasonality, it would be Persephone.
In 2001, the Iturralde family made the decision to start a coffee farm, partially in response to the dismal reputation of Bolivian coffee. They were determined to produce world class coffee and in turn show other Bolivian producers that a focus on quality was a path to a sustainable livelihood. Dozens of coffee experts visited the future site of the farm and told the Iturralde family that coffee could not survive at such a high altitudes. Fortunately, the Iturraldes chose to ignore the experts.
The virgin daughter of the harvest goddess Demeter, Persephone was abducted by Hades and taken to the underworld, where she became his concubine. Above in the world of the living, Demeter raged in her mourning, bringing death upon the natural world. Mother and daughter were reunited through the intervention of Zeus, but the reunion was temporary. Hades agreed to release Persephone from bondage for only six months a year. Her annual migration to the upper world marks the arrival of Spring and the return of life to the natural world. Her return to the world of the dead after the harvest six months later completes the cycle of life and death and marks the seasons of our agricultural calendar. Our seasonal blend bearing Persephone’s name is a tribute to her annual ascent, the advent of Spring and the start of a new cycle of life.
This year’s Persephone blend features two of our favorite seasonal coffees from the Southern Hemisphere -- our Karyenda Burundi and Agua Preta Brazil. And it pairs them with two luminous coffees from the Northern Hemisphere whose other-worldly longevity challenge our concept of seasonality -- our Kurimi Organic and Tikur Anbessa single-origin offerings from Ethiopia.
Persephone’s honeysuckle aromatics evoke the first blossom of spring flowers, and its peach nectar and passion fruit flavors foretell a bountiful and luscious harvest.