Vagabond - China Ou Yang
When I met Paul, we really hit it off. We both come from a pub & bars background and enjoyed the move into coffee. It's a story I'm finding echoed more and more in the coffee world. Paul and Dov, who I've met the most in the small team of committed coffee professionals, collectively bring years of experience, expertise and thirst for knowledge to the cupping table - to ensure that their commitment to quality is never compromised.
I'm often asked about brew guides and they have a great set of videos (link here) with step by step instructions for V60s, Aeropress and French press - what I love about these videos is at the end of each one there is a table to show you how to adjust your brew next time round, depending how you found it.
To see with a video to introduce Vagabond - click here.
Vagabond Coffee Roasters, based in north London, roast in 5kg batches on their trusty Giesen. Part science and part craft, they are never afraid to experiment so that they can truly express a coffees’ unique character every freshly roasted batch at a time.
Vagabond take their role in the coffee value chain seriously by seeking to build long-term sustainable relationships with coffee growers wherever possible.
China is not an origin I can currently help with souring from, so I've not been involved in the sourcing of this coffee in any way. I do however know the importers are the sort of people who can be trusted and when I tasted this coffee, regardless that it's from an unusual origin, I really wanted to share it.
Ou Yang farm is named after the owner himself, Mr Ou, and is located in the Jiangcheng Hani and Yi Autonomous County of Southern Yunnan, right by China’s border with Vietnam and Laos.
Ou Yang farm is spread across 78 hectares – of a size to provide meaningful employment to the diverse ethnic groups within the local area. Twenty people work full time, and there is seasonal work available throughout the year to help sustain extended families and networks.
Mr Ou is passionate about coffee and the communities engaged in its cultivation and processing. He sees coffee farming and the prices he can access by producing high-quality beans as a way for him to help lift the members of the local hill tribes he works with out of poverty.
Mr Ou has successfully developed his own processing techniques, experimenting with fermentation, drying stages and timings.
Cherries are hand-picked and then bagged for 2-3 days accelerating the chemical reactions that help breakdown the mucilage, before being spread out to dry in the sun. At 40 % moisture the coffees are then bagged again for another 4-5 days. After the second fermentation, the coffee is spread out onto raised drying beds in a parabolic dryer for another 28 days.
Roaster - Vagabond Coffee Roaster
Location - North London
Coffee Origin - China
Grower - Ou Yang
Location - Zhongping, Jiangcheng, Southern Yunnan
Process - Natural
Variety - Catimor P3/P4
Taste notes - Raspberry & pineapple, Cherry truffle, Cacao nibs.