Coffee and Tea stocks a rare cup of joe
Guatemalan farmers sold directly to Coffee and Tea in a rare shipment.
If you're really into coffee, a trip to Coffee and Tea in Linden Hills right now could yield some impressive bragging rights with your fellow aficionados. Some of the Guatemalan coffees at the store are so rare, only two or three bags have ever been imported into the United States.
"When those are gone, we don't expect to get any more," says owner Jim Cone. "It won't last long."
It's also supposed to be good.
Even rare coffee can be roasted by the cup. The shop's antique roaster dates back to the early 1900s.
The coffee made it to the semifinals of Guatemala's cup of excellence competition.
The beans come from five small farms that belong to a co-op. Typically, their coffee would be jumbled together with other farms for export.
"They are so small, they don't usually export their own product," Cone said. "Usually it's not practical to bring in a few bags from a farm."
Most coffee is ordered through importers and brokers, but Coffee and Tea also has contacts that buy direct all over the world. In this case, Cone had a contact in Guatemala that bought the coffee directly from the farmers.
Another rare coffee at the shop comes from St. Helena, the remote island in the Atlantic Ocean where Napoleon died.
Coffee and Tea is the only U.S. roaster of St. Helena coffee.
Coffee and Tea is the only U.S. roaster to receive shipments of St. Helena coffee in the last three to four years. The St. Helena Tourism Bureau is even referring people to Coffee and Tea to roast coffee on behalf of the island.
The rare Guatemalan coffees cost about 20 percent more than a typical roast. All are about $25 to $29 a pound. All are named for the farms where they were grown: Los Cimientos, Las Rosas, Teanzul, El Congito, and Joya Grande.
For just a taste of the coffee, the shop can roast and brew it by the cup. That goes for all 120 coffees in stock.
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