As the Feb 3rd pre-order slot window draws to a close, almost all the shipments are already out, so I’ve opened slots for the Feb 17th window which you are welcome to jump on. And there’s a new Ambassador for local pick up in Sydney!
On January 28th, the US Postal Service rolled out yet another postage increase. Playing with the postage calculator a bit, it appears that priority mail inside the US has gone up roughly $1-3 per item, depending on how far you are from the Golden Gate. For international mail, however, it’s another story entirely. For the lightest item I send, the BBotE vial sampler pack, international express postage went up by between $5-8. On a positive note, USPS priority mail now includes delivery confirmation as part of the service. So, you win some you lose some.
All that said, despite the some nasty droughts AND floods hitting the major coffee growing regions, the actual price of BBotE will stay the same. However, the availability of certain varieties may become iffy because of the weather. Both the Guatemalan Mundo Nuvo and Nueva Vinas, along with the Rwanda Abakundakawa, all went out of circulation last year because of the small crops and, to be honest, we drank most of it. I have high hopes they’ll be back with this year’s harvest. So far, the Panama and Peru Salkanty are holding strong but every time I go to get more I worry. The Panama was the first of the coffees to run out on me back in 2011 and it took eight months for it to return, and having to tell people “No, you can’t have any” is something that still haunts my soul.
I strongly suspect the fine folks at Death Wish Coffee are sampling their own wares heavily in order to meet demand. In addition to silly bastards like me that order coffee from them 20lbs at a time, the rest of the world has noticed them too. Good job guys!
For Christmas, the wife of the BBotE Ambassador of Chicago asked if I could make something special for Bill. You see, much as he adores BBotE, he felt bad about it detracting from the coffee he consumed from his favorite local roaster, Ipsento (they dwell on Facebook much more though if you want to know more). She wanted to know if I could make a special run of Bill’s favorite, Ipsento’s Panamanian, thus combining both his favorite things. Feeling festive and all, I said sure.
Ipsento’s Panamanian is light roast that upon open opening the bag filled my nose with the smell of blueberries. (FACT: If you want me to eat something, the surest way to to make that happen is to put blueberry sludge on it). While grinding and putting it the coffee into process, the room was filled with blueberries. And, I’m happy to report, as a BBotE it was still blueberries and spice. I have high hopes to make this available to all of you by and by. Announcements will be made when that happens.
EDIT: Test Subject Not A Whale Biologist reminds me that the Ipsento Panamanian coffee, as both BBotE and a hot brew, pairs well with cherry pie, Twin Peaks music, and zombies.
Lastly, but not least, I am pleased to announce that Australia has an BBotE Ambassador again, but this time for Greater Sydney. Robert is a several time victim of BBotE that tends to skip about the harbour fairly often on caffeinated wings, but dwells most of the time in Hornsby. Because Oz Post seems to be staffed with people with noodle arms incapable of lifting weights in excess of 20kg, he is stocked with 750ml bottles which go for US$60 each. You may drop Robert a line by email at BBoTE [at] fumbari [dot].com. Canberra service, hopefully, will be reestablished by and by.
Resupply for Austin went out last week. Resupply for London & Santa Barbara are slated be in their hands by next week. Seattle & Chicago still have decent supplies so I’m told.
I have received a variety of requests asking for new local Ambassadors to be established, or re-established, particularly in the New York/Philadelphia area. At some level, this is a function of my able to produce for them versus everyone who comes to me directly. I don’t want to leave them high and dry in a time of need and more that I want to introduce delay to those direct orders. When new ones go online, rest assured I will tell you here.