Micro lots are the golden child of the specialty industry. For buyers and consumers, they signify exceptional-quality coffees with distinctive flavour and aroma profiles that can be traced back to origin. And for producers, they offer significant financial benefits – but they also come with risks.
I spoke to specialty coffee importers The Coffee Quest and several of their producing partners to learn how to ensure the highest possible quality while also reducing risks. Read on to discover what I found out.
Micro Lots: Better Coffee, Better Incomes
Octavio Peralta, General Director of Peralta Coffees in Nicaragua, tells me that micro lots can result in increased and more stable incomes. This is because producers like him and his family not only get paid more per pound of coffee but are also able to plan ahead. Before they set aside a section of their farm for micro lots, they can negotiate a contract with the buyer, which may mention specific production and processing methods, cup scores, and more.
Because of this, as Marilec Sevilla, a Q Grader and Quality Control Analyst at Peralta Coffees, says, producing micro lots can lead to greater employment as well as numerous other benefits for the community.
Yet there will only be this positive impact if the risks are anticipated and adequately managed.