IT took three months but the precious cargo's arrival has marked a milestone for one sustainable coffee company after it started shipping beans to Scotland from Colombia by sailboat.

Glen Lyon Coffee Roasters collaborating with New Dawn Traders for its new Colombia Las Brisas, crossing the Atlantic carried only by windpower aboard the schooner De Gallant, and arriving at the firm’s Aberfeldy roastery offering “a taste of a possible future less reliant on carbon-intensive cargo shipping”.

New Dawn Traders, a broker and importer based in Falmouth in Cornwall, partners with various vessels to ship olive oil, wine, honey, and coffee around the world.

Las Brisas comes from the department of Tolima high in the Andes, the third-largest coffee-producing region in Colombia.

Glen Lyon Coffee Roasters said: "The coffee set sail from Colombia in early February, traversing the Caribbean and Atlantic before arriving into Penzance harbour at the end of April.

"It was transported aboard De Gallant, a characterful schooner built in the Netherlands and first launched in 1916."

HeraldScotland: The journey to Penzance took three months.The journey to Penzance took three months.

It continued: "De Gallant has lived many lives over the past century, working originally as a herring lugger before becoming a cargo ship and then being completely restored and transformed into its current form in the late 80s. Today it transports cargo across the Atlantic while also offering sail training and scientific missions.

"It’s been a long voyage, but we’re delighted to have partnered with New Dawn Traders to bring this delicious coffee to our community. We only have a limited amount available, so don’t miss your chance to sample some great—and sustainably shipped—coffee."


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The firm said while sailboats might never replace cargo ships as the primary means of transporting coffee, forward-looking experiments like the one Glen Lyon Coffee and New Dawn Traders are embarking on aim to demonstrate potential options.

Las Brisas means “the breezes”, and points to the winds of the Rio Blanco river. Produced by a cooperative of 15 farmers who are paid significantly above the market rate for the coffee, which is grown using methods that foster biodiversity and reduce the need for fertilisation.

“Cutting our carbon footprint is a big focus of the team here at Glen Lyon, from packaging to solar panels to our recent B Corp certification,” Fiona Grant, founder of Glen Lyon Coffee, said. “We were thrilled to discover New Dawn Traders and their sailboat-shipped Colombia Las Brisas, and we can’t wait for our customers and community to try this exceptional and forward-looking coffee.”