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We are building a professional coffee mill in Colombia, to provide stable income to the surrounding coffee farming neighbourhoods.
We are building a professional coffee mill in Calarcá, Colombia, to provide stable income to the surrounding farming neighbourhoods through specialty coffee.
We are building a professional coffee mill in Calarcá, Colombia, to provide stable income to the surrounding farming neighbourhoods through specialty coffee.
357 backers pledged NZ$ 209,354 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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El Fénix - Community Coffee Wet Mill

NZ$ 209,354

357

GOAL

We are building an advanced community wet mill and processing hub in Calarcá, Colombia, in order to connect more farmers in the region to the speciality coffee market. This project will provide our neighbours with much greater control over their coffee quality, much needed control of their income, while also providing some of you with access to be very involved in this progress!

ISSUE

Worldwide, one of the clearest self-identified issues facing producers of coffee is the low and unpredictable price they can sell raw coffee for. The normal market price changes daily, and falls below the cost of production at times with dire results. 

Coffee mills are where farmers process their harvested coffee cherries. They remove the pulp, ferment, wash, and dry them over some weeks to become "parchment" coffee. After dry milling and sorting we have green beans that are bought by importers and roasted up for you to enjoy. If this process is handled carefully and done with the correct equipment, the coffee can be rated so highly it enters the specialty coffee market, where prices can be fixed, predictable, and sustainable.

Not everyone has access to this market though. To control all the variables in processing and own all the equipment is expensive. Because of this, many farmers in Colombia cannot process their coffee at a high standard and live not being sure if they’ll profit from their crop. On top of this, a lot of great coffee is never seeing its potential.

SOLUTION

The community mill at El Fénix is our solution to this problem: to raise quality, and open the door to the specialty market. It will provide predictable cash flow throughout the season, and the ability for farmers to be part of the negotiation when it is time for sale. We are aiming to be part of a thriving farming community, and this is one way that has been shown to work in many other producing countries. 

Better pay for hard working people, and more delicious coffee for the world to enjoy. We think it’s a great idea and we’re excited to have so many experts on board who agree.

There’s a wide range of coffee rewards for backing this project. Please read through the full details (or keep scrolling) before pledging! We hope you’ll enjoy these, and we can't wait to partner with you on this endeavor!

- Miguel, Matt, & the whole team

WANNA GEEK OUT ON THE DETAILS WITH US?

We’d love to share! We thought it might be a little overwhelming to list all of the details here but they're certainly worth reading and even come with nifty hand-drawn diagrams. 

Questions? Please read the detail through this link, and then ask away!

MORE ABOUT THE MILL  → 

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Here is an interview with Matt for Sprudge that elaborates in many different ways, including discussion of the riots. Enjoy, and see you back here. 

 

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Matt Perger  l  St Ali, Sensory Lab, Barista Hustle (Australia)

World Barista Championship 3rd 2011, World Brewers Cup Champion 2012, World Barista Championship 2nd 2013, World Coffee and Good Spirits Champion 2014.

 

 

 

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR REWARDS 

Lotsa cool details go into each of these rewards. Check out exactly what to expect when you pledge.

REWARD DETAILS →

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Amy Ball  l  World Coffee Events full-time baller (USA)

 

 

We have set our Kickstarter goal at NZD 100,000, a very modest amount for our grand goals, BUT enough to build a nice wet mill and get us started. 

IF WE REACH 150K 

The micro dry mill & cupping lab can be built in the first year. Here’s where we will decide which are our best coffees, bring buyers to taste samples, meet farmers, and monitor ways to increase the quality over time. This is necessary kit, and would be great to have upfront. 

IF WE REACH 200K  

We can build facilities to host both visiting buyers from overseas, farmers from the region, and you lot too! At this funding level we can build spaces for negotiating second payments with all parties in the room (or video call) for the kind of transparency of information that actually changes a farmer's position from the historically disempowered to the deserved one of ownership.

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MORE FROM OUR SUPPORTERS →

*Through this link you'll find many more words from our worldwide QC team (AKA The International Palate), opinions and elaboration from well-known industry professionals, and statements from people who have known us forever. Homies, if you can't find your endorsement through this link, don't worry, it is just being processed. Thank you all for your kind words! 

 

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Risks and challenges

Risk 1: The community doesn't get involved.

Solution: They already are involved. We already buy for fixed prices and sell their coffee to the specialty market where possible. We've asked, and this project is desired and happening.

Risk 2: The demand isn't there.

Solution: It already is. We have demand, as we've been working as specialty coffee traders for years.

Risk 3: The quality isn't high enough to satisfy the market.

Solution: This is why we have a large team of advisors to provide continual feedback; professional cuppers, agronomists, coffee competition judges and previous champions, roastery owners, importers, the Coffee Quality Institute. Some of them have endorsed this project above. This is our job. We help transition producers to specialty coffee and sell to roasters all around the world as a full-time gig.

Risk 4: Leaf rust or and epidemic wipes out the region's harvest at a key moment.

Solution: Ok this is a tough one. In the main video up there we mentioned one step we are taking to mitigate this risk; planting a wide range of varieties with differing genetics and strengths/susceptibilities. We will continue to encourage crop diversity with all our neighbours also.

Climate change has meant diseases previously confined to lower altitudes are now found up higher and higher, now encroaching on where more classic and susceptible varieties are grown historically. We are planting more resilient varieties at the lower warmer altitudes and promoting farm-wide biodiversity to prevent outbreaks.

If a shock natural event eliminates the crop next season (May-June 2017), we'll need to fulfill some of the rewards using coffee grown just outside of the affected area. You won't miss out, things will still be timely rewards-wise, but the coffee will understandably be a bit different, and life in the region will be tough for a while.

Risk 5: What if the government changes the law and only Colombian citizens can be owning land and doing projects like this?

Solution: Miguel will become the one person on deeds, and as a partner in Raw Material this will be just fine. Chur.

Risk 6: What if this blows the absolute flip up, to the point of you not being able to supply the rewards?

Solution: Very astute observation and forward thinking young padawan.
> With the tree naming, no problem, have at it.
> With the green coffee, it is very very unlikely...
> It is the brown coffee where things get interesting. Please see THE REWARDS IN DETAIL section to see our thoughts this. In general, our ability to supply is proportionally related to the amount pledged, so apart from some possible delays if this explodes, things will be better if backed further. We already grow, buy, export, import, and sell coffee as our profession so dealing with literal tons and sudden problem solving on this front is not new to us.
> Competition Prep with John is limited, but I'm sure he'll extend if he sells out. Aye John ;)
> With the trip, places are limited.
> With the 1000 tree varietal lots, they are limited already to the exact land we have. We've worked it all out based on the different plant spacings and altitudes etc.
> With regards to people visiting, that could be tricky, and so we've not given our exact address. This way we can continue to systematically field requests to visit as we have done over the past year.

Risk 7: I can't think of any other reasonable risks.

Solution: Fair enough. Let's get to building a community!

Thank you very much for getting involved and supporting this project,
Have fun, have impact,

Miguel, Matt, & and the whole team.
Anímate! Kia Kaha!

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 20 or more About $14

    A tree in your name + founder

    We’ll pop a sign around a wee coffee tree neck with your name and message on it, and email you a photo of this for you to print out & display somewhere prominent + you are now a founder. Read THE REWARDS IN DETAIL section for much more information.

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    Pledge NZ$ 35 or more About $25

    1kg raw coffee for roasters

    For home roasting enthusiasts, or commercial roasters wanting a really big sample, here is 1kg of raw green coffee (Castillo, Colombia, & Caturra, prepped EP 0,20) from our upcoming May-June 2017 harvest. Read THE REWARDS IN DETAIL section for much more information *only available some countries.

    ...also, *clap*, you get everything from Reward #1! *wink*

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    55 backers
    NZ$
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    Pledge NZ$ 65 or more About $46

    COLOMBIA - our coffee via Azahar Coffee!

    The best coffee we can produce in the May/June 2017 harvest, roasted and delivered to you as fresh as possible by the game at Azahar Coffee Roasters. See THE REWARDS IN DETAIL section for much more.

    You are receiving 3x 333g bags of roasted coffee, so call your coffee friends!

    ...also, *oxígeno!*, you get everything from Reward #1: "A tree in your name + founder"!

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    Ships to Only Colombia
    4 backers
    NZ$
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 75 or more About $53

    NZ - our coffee via Flight Coffee!

    Kia ora NZ whanau!
    The best coffee we can produce in the May/June 2017 harvest, roasted and delivered to you as fresh as possible by the Flight Coffee crew. See THE REWARDS IN DETAIL section for much more.

    You are receiving 5x 200g bags of roasted coffee, so get your coffee friends in on this!

    ...also, *waiata begins*, you get everything from Reward #1: "A tree in your name + founder"! CHUR!

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    Ships to Only New Zealand
    40 backers
    NZ$
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    Pledge NZ$ 75 or more About $53

    AUS - our coffee via Grace and Taylor!

    The best coffee we can produce in the May/June 2017 harvest, roasted and delivered to you as fresh as possible by our homeys at Grace and Taylor. See THE REWARDS IN DETAIL section for much more.

    You are receiving 4x 250g bags of roasted coffee, so call your coffee friends!

    ...also, *didgeridoo swells*, you get everything from Reward #1: "A tree in your name + founder"!

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    Ships to Only Australia
    14 backers
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    Pledge NZ$ 75 or more About $53

    KOREA - our coffee via 곰 Coffee Roasters

    안녕하세요 한국에 계신 커피인 친구들!

    2017년 5~6월에 우리가 생산해 내는 최고의 커피를 즐김으로써 이 프로젝트를 지원해주세요! 우리가 보낸 커피는 '커피 볶는 곰'에서 로스팅되어 최대한 신선한 상태로 여러분께 배달될 것입니다. 로스팅 프로파일 등 더 자세한 사항을 알고 싶으시다면 '자주 하는 질문(FAQ)' 문서를 꼭 읽어 주세요.

    원활한 배송비 책정을 위해서 1kg 단위로 배송이 됩니다. 250g 단위로 4봉투를 보내드릴 수도 있으니 주변분들과 커피를 나누어보세요 :)

    + reward number 1 also: A tree in your name

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    Ships to Only South Korea
    2 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 75 or more About $53

    GERMANY - coffee via Good Karma Coffee!

    The best coffee we can produce in the May/June 2017 harvest, roasted and delivered to you as fresh as possible by Torsten at Good Karma Coffee. See THE REWARDS IN DETAIL section for much more.

    You are receiving 4x 250g bags of roasted coffee, so call your coffee friends!

    ...also, *trumpet blast*, you get everything from Reward #1: "A tree in your name + founder"!

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    Ships to Only Germany
    3 backers
    NZ$
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 75 or more About $53

    INDONESIA - coffee via Common Grounds!

    The best coffee we can produce in the May/June 2017 harvest, roasted and delivered to you as fresh as possible by the crisp Common Grounds ballers. See THE REWARDS IN DETAIL section for much more.

    You are receiving 4x 250g bags of roasted coffee, so call your coffee friends!

    ...also, *sploosh*, you get everything from Reward #1: "A tree in your name + founder"!

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    Ships to Only Indonesia
    0 backers
    NZ$
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 75 or more About $53

    EUROPE - our coffee via Caravan

    The best coffee we can produce in the May/June 2017 harvest, roasted and delivered to you as fresh as possible by our family at Caravan Coffee Roasters in London. See THE REWARDS IN DETAIL section for much more.

    You are receiving 3x 333g bags of roasted coffee, so call your coffee friends!

    ...also, *cannon*, you get everything from Reward #1: "A tree in your name + founder"!

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    28 backers
    NZ$
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 75 or more About $53

    WORLDWIDE - coffee via Wrecking Ball!

    WORLDWIDE - our coffee via Wrecking Ball (USA)!

    The best coffee we can produce in the May/June 2017 harvest, roasted and delivered to you by legends Trish and Nick at Wrecking Ball Coffee. See THE REWARDS IN DETAIL section for much more.

    You are receiving 3x 333g bags of roasted coffee, so get your coffee friends in on this!

    ...also, yes, you too get everything from Reward #1: "A tree in your name + founder"!

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    44 backers
    NZ$
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 95 or more About $67

    Competition preparation w/ John Gordon

    John Gordon will have a 1 hour Skype (or in-person if you are in Auckland or Wellington NZ) with you about any coffee competition structure:
    Training, setup, routine development, and concepts to help you prepare for an upcoming competition. See THE REWARDS IN DETAIL for more. Chur!

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 1,500 or more About $1,062

    500 tree lot - CASTILLO - LA SENSITIVA

    Altitude: 1700 MASL

    You get naming rights, processing input, 5x 24kg of vac packed green coffee from the MAY 2017 HARVEST, and first offer to buy each following season, for a 500 tree Castillo varietal lot already in production. Read THE REWARDS IN DETAIL section for much more information.

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    Pledge NZ$ 3,200 or more About $2,266

    Trip to Colombia for Two

    Come visit Colombia for a seven-day trip. We have curated an exciting trip for two around the Quindío area, including one night at our farm, El Fénix, to visit the community wet mill. Read THE REWARDS IN DETAIL section for much more information.

    Also, you receive everything from Reward #1. So get this reward, visit your tree, and see your name in person!

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    NZ$
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    Pledge NZ$ 3,600 or more About $2,549

    1000 tree lot - TABI - EL FÉNIX

    Altitude: 1550 MASL to 1650 MASL

    You get naming rights, processing input, 10x 24kg of vac packed green coffee from the first harvest, and first offer to buy each season, for a new 1000 tree rare varietal lot. Read THE REWARDS IN DETAIL section for much more information.

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    Reward no longer available 4 backers
    NZ$
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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 3,600 or more About $2,549

    1000 tree lot - TABI - LA SENSITIVA

    Altitude: 1600 - 1700 MASL

    You get naming rights, processing input, 10x 24kg of vac packed green coffee from the first harvest, and first offer to buy each season, for a new 1000 tree rare varietal lot. Read THE REWARDS IN DETAIL section for much more information.

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    Pledge NZ$ 4,550 or more About $3,222

    Holiday in Colombia for Two

    Come visit Colombia for a seven-day trip. We have curated an exciting trip for two around the Quindío area, including one night at our farm, El Fénix, to visit the community wet mill. Read THE REWARDS IN DETAIL section for much more information.

    Also, you receive everything from Reward #1. So get this reward, visit your tree, and see your name in person!

    Non-early bird price

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    Pledge NZ$ 4,800 or more About $3,399

    1000 tree lot - PINK BOURBON - EL FÉNIX

    Altitude: 1700 MASL to 1730 MASL

    You get naming rights, processing input, 10x 24kg of vac packed green coffee from the first harvest, and first offer to buy each season, for a new 1000 tree rare varietal lot. Read THE REWARDS IN DETAIL section for much more information.

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    Reward no longer available 6 backers
    NZ$
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  18. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 4,800 or more About $3,399

    1000 tree lot-PINK BOURBON-LA SENSITIVA

    Altitude: 1700 MASL

    You get naming rights, processing input, 10x 24kg of vac packed green coffee from the first harvest, and first offer to buy each season, for a new 1000 tree rare varietal lot. Read THE REWARDS IN DETAIL section for much more information.

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    Pledge NZ$ 6,000 or more About $4,249

    1000 tree - GESHA/WUSH - EL FÉNIX

    Altitude: 1700 MASL to 1750 MASL

    You get naming rights, processing input, 10x 24kg of vac packed green coffee from the first harvest, and first offer to buy each season, for a new 1000 tree rare varietal lot. We suggest Gesha or Wush, but are open to discussion if you want something particular. Read THE REWARDS IN DETAIL section for much more information.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
    NZ$
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  20. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 6,000 or more About $4,249

    1000 tree - GESHA/WUSH LA SENSITIVA

    Altitude: 1700 MASL to 1800 MASL

    You get naming rights, processing input, 10x 24kg of vac packed green coffee from the first harvest, and first offer to buy each season, for a new 1000 tree rare varietal lot. We suggest Gesha or Wush, but are open to discussion if you want something particular. Read THE REWARDS IN DETAIL section for much more information.

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    Limited 2 backers
    NZ$
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  21. Reward no longer available

    Pledge NZ$ 6,000 or more About $4,249

    1000 tree lot - WUSH WUSH - EL FÉNIX

    Altitude: 1800 MASL

    You get naming rights, processing input, 10x 24kg of vac packed green coffee from the first harvest, and first offer to buy each season, for a new 1000 tree rare varietal lot. Read THE REWARDS IN DETAIL section for much more information.

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    Reward no longer available 4 backers
    NZ$
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  22. Reward no longer available

    Pledge NZ$ 6,000 or more About $4,249

    1,000 tree lot-WUSH WUSH-LA SENSITIVA

    Altitude: 1800 MASL to 1840 MASL

    You get naming rights, processing input, 10x 24kg of vac packed green coffee from the first harvest, and first offer to buy each season, for a new 1000 tree rare varietal lot. Read THE REWARDS IN DETAIL section for much more information.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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  23. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 10,000 or more About $7,082

    I want you to have this 10K

    "Hey. I know your goals and work ethic well, and I have 10K in real dollars, real NZ dollars, that I would like you to have for this project. We've talked, I understand the big picture. Let's do this."
    + VIP updates and a whole range of rewards.

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Funding period

- (28 days)