Field Report: Introducing Peruvian Regional Select

A first arrival of the 2016 Peruvian harvest landed this week after great anticipation. Café Imports green buyer Piero Cristiani has been working relentlessly with Peru in recent years, visiting several times per harvest--strengthening relationships, focusing communication, and unlocking the great potential of these Andean coffees. We took a moment during early harvest in Cajamarca to sit Piero down and get his thoughts on how the state of specialty-coffee is in Peru, and what we can be excited about this year. Watch the video below for an early harvest insight, and read onward for a post-harvest reflection...Spoiler Alert: this harvest marks a first Regional Select grade for our Peruvian offerings (which landed this week, beanology here). More regional select, microlots, APU/CENFROCAFE coffees in the coming arrivals, so much to look forward to! In the meantime please enjoy this Peru 2016 field report from Piero.

As an origin, Peru has all the conditions necessary to produce world-class coffee: concentrated volumes of coffee growing at and above 1700 masl, a prominence of Typica, Bourbon, and Caturra, and a movement among the producing population, away from subsidence-farming, and into seeing quality coffee production as a viable business.

Peru has the potential to produce the same volume and quality as Colombia, but a few key challenges must continue to be addressed for this to come to fruition.

Firstly, coffee culture in Peru isn't as strong as it is in Colombia. Peru lacks a government agency such as Colombia's FNC. Without an organization like this, there is no support for producers in terms of technical assistance, loans, seeds, etc. Having been buying high quality Peruvian coffee since 2008, we have seen the movement towards higher quality development. It has been slow, but it has been consistent and will only continue to progress towards higher yields of higher quality coffee.


Another factor that challenges Peru's producers is geographical. The average distance from a coffee farm to a point of parchment delivery is very far. So far, in fact, that producers will wait until they have a full truckload of coffee to delivery before making the trek. This inevitably risks degradation of the coffee itself as it awaits transit while stored under poor conditions.

Lastly, there is very little drying infrastructure in Peru. Most all coffee gets dried on plastics tarps on the ground. When coffee sits close to the ground or soil, it gets contaminated, risking mold, uneven drying, and the occasional direct rain.

Although these challenges call for very clear and direct solutions, this hasn't stopped Peru from producing some very impressive coffee this year. So exciting, in fact, that we have decided to expand our Regional Select program from Colombia and apply it in Peru. Producer lots are cupped and classified according to their quality. The 85+ coffees are placed into our Regional Select lots and the 87+ coffees are then further separated as Producer Microlots, highlighting Peru's full potential. We are looking forward to seeing Peru become a power-house in coffee in the following years.

--Piero Cristiani

Photos by Andy Reiland - For more, visit our Peru Photo Gallery

Stump the Roaster 5: Minneapolis!

Café Imports, Roast Magazine, Cropster, and The San Franciscan Roaster invite YOU to an in-depth conversation about roasting at the new Café Imports Warehouse.

Free beer and food will be provided by Café Imports, Roast Magazine, Cropster, and the San Franciscan Roaster.


THIS MONDAY, August 22nd 6-8pm


Emceed by Roaster Joe (Joe Marrocco) of Café Imports

With a powerful round table of guests:

Devin Connolly of Cropster
Stephen Ezell of The San Franciscan Roaster
Dan Jensen of Cafe Imports


Our new warehouse address is:

2280 Walnut St, Suite 200 Roseville, MN 55113 (Map)


RSVP at our Facebook Event here, or simply show up!

The 2016 Costa Rica Lineup

Our efforts in Costa Rica have become quite specialized in recent years, but how could they not? This is a place of opportunity, not only for wonderful coffee, but also opportunity for relationships with the people that make this all worthwhile. The consistent production of high-quality coffees coming out of Costa Rica lends itself to the existence of amazing micromills. Specific to this origin, these micromills combine the systematic benefits of a mill while maintaining the unique characteristics and integrity of single-farm microlots.  Farmers grow and harvest their coffee, then deliver it in-cherry to be processed by the micromill. Thus, we come to have coffees that are innately different in the bean, yet consistent and professional in the process. This system allows farmers to completely focus on their production and micromills to specialize in processing, giving us as consumers the opportunity to work with an ever-developing legacy that is the Costa Rican microlot.

Luis Arocha and Oscar Chacon of Las Lajas Micromill

Cafe Imports' green buyer, Luis "Lucho" Arocha, is headquartered at our Costa Rican office for the entire harvest season, which allows us to work directly and effectively with almost 90 producers and some of the best micromills in the world. Through these relationships we have been able to collaboratively focus on raising the standards of Costa Rican microlots. 

This year's harvest was a record for our sensory lab with 30% more samples cupped than last. We are cupping as much as we can in hopes of uncovering new gems and ensuring we purchase the best Costa Rica has to offer. Now that all of our new harvest offerings have arrived, we know that no matter the roast or brew, these gems will be savored down to the very last sip.

Dublin!!! CIE x Sprudge WOC/WBC party: Bourbon & Bourbon @ Bourbon

IMG_8103.JPGCafe Imports Europe has teamed up with to throw an ultimate friday night World of Coffee celebration in Dublin! The ENTIRE world of coffee is invited, and that includes YOU!!!!

Party is from 6pm-9pm at the Bourbon room inside the Odeon Bar, located at

57 Old Harcourt Street Railway Station, Harcourt St, Dublin 2.

There will be free appetizers and drinks, with music deejayed by the notorious DJ Sprudge.

Be there and receive gauranteed high fives and handshakes from the gentle, yet firm hands of the Cafe Imports Europe team, your favorite CI USA all-stars, and of course, the beloved Sprudgesters. 

See you soon Dublin!

ANNOUNCING: The Legendary Cupping Tour - Carolinas!


ANNOUNCING: The Legendary Cupping Tour - Carolinas
This June 28th - July 1st Café Imports is heading down to the Carolinas to taste some of our favorite fresh-crop coffees with you.


Tuesday, June 28th @ 2:00 PM: Charleston, SC


708 King St, Unit C, Charleston, SC 29403

Thursday, June 30th @ 2:00 PM: Charlotte, NC

18635 Starcreek Dr, Cornelius, NC 28031

Friday, July 1st @ 12:00 PM: Raleigh-Durham, NC

300 E. Main Street, Suite C, Carrboro, NC 27510

(inside YesterYears Brewery)

El Salvador: Understanding the Progress


Cafe Imports has been buying coffees from Chalatenango in El Salvador since 2007 when Chalate (as we call it locally) was discovered by Cup of Excellence.  These coffees have consistently been taking the top places in Cup of Excellence and other competitions even since. Currently, we are purchasing coffee directly from producers at parchment level and organizing the dry milling of the lots.  This allows us to have access to the top lots in the area; we cupped about 60% of the high altitude production to select our lots this year.

 We have found quality in this area to exceed what is produced in other parts of El Salvador this is due to several factors:

1. Prominent Pacamara Variety

2. Cooler Climate Conditions

3. Drying on Raised Beds

4. Terroir


Pacamara is probably one of the top cupping varieties globally.  It was developed in El Salvador by Mr. Angel Cabrera and his team.  It is a cross of Pacas (a dwarf Bourbon) and Maragogype.  With Pacamara we've seen 88+ cups at 1200+ meters!  This is a very low altitude for an 88 point coffee, which speaks directly to the inherent quality of this variety.  We are also purchasing Pacas lots, which are essentially a dwarf version of the Bourbon variety with higher yields.  In very small volumes we are also seeing some Bourbon and Catuai.




The cooler climate simulates higher altitude and allows for a softer drying curve, which is essential for cup stability on arrival to consuming countries.  Also, many of the producers dry on raised beds which also dries the coffee at a softer pace.





Finally, the terroir is very similar to the rest of El Salvador, but is in much better shape as land in Chalate hasn't been worked as much as other parts of the country like Santa Ana.





Most of these lots are small microlots so this year we have decided to export them in 35kg Yute + GrainPro to give access to smaller roasters:




Words by:  Piero Cristiani, Café Imports Sourcing and Development

Now Hiring: Office Administrator - Cafe Imports Australia

We at Cafe Imports Australia are seeking to hire a new core member of our team!

This role will be helping to maintain accounts and business matters for the Australian office. This position will be working on accounting matters including invoice generation and accounts payable/receivable, reporting, administrative office responsibilities, customer service, and assisting with marketing for the Cafe Imports Australia office.

The ideal candidate is someone that is extremely comfortable with numbers, currencies, and open to learning basic coffee "C" market concepts.

This person will also be working closely with the US office to ensure reporting standards are maintained in Australia.

In addition, the right person is someone that is comfortable speaking to customers, and embodies Cafe Imports strong emphasis on a meaningful customer experience and education.

By nature of being a small business in Specialty Coffee, everyone wears several hats to continually innovate and keep progress moving in an ever-changing and exciting industry. The ideal candidate for this job is constantly looking at how to improve systems and procedures in the office.

Previous experience in accounting, account management, or some other position which included working closely with numbers and dealing directly with customers.
An interest in coffee and fine food, or an open-ness to learning more about specialty coffee
Willingness to travel to Abbotsford, VIC daily, M-F

Skills and Experience:

1. Accounting and Contracts
a. Demonstrate basic understanding of coffee "C" market and hedging
b. Be able to work easily between multiple currencies & units
c. Familiarity with accounting software
d. Understanding of expenses & reporting
e. Possess and demonstrate knowledge of transactional contract terms and terminology

Customer Service
a. Previous work experience in a consumer facing position
b. Ability to show empathy and deal effectively with challenging customer situations

a. Ability to navigate working with multiple freight carriers,
b. Generating bills of lading, creating pickups, monitor billing

4. Personality
a. Extremely organized, proactive, and very "type A" personality
b. Ability to work alone at times
c. Tidy and efficient in both physical space and communication
d. Strong interest in either specialty coffee, fine food, or some other culinary area

Email: with CV and cover letter. No calls please.

New Cafe Imports Warehouse


Since the purchase of our first Brazilian coffee container in 1993, we have striven to unilaterally improve on our values of quality, service, education, and progress while sourcing and developing world renown specialty coffee. Sharing that passion is our likeminded coffee producing partners, exporters, and roasters worldwide. A coffee supply chain empowered by quality has created a future for specialty coffee we could have never imagined back in 1993. We are humbled and proud to enter a new chapter in our role in that supply chain, presenting the new home for our Cafe Imports HQ offerings in Minnesota--now with some breathing room.



2280 Walnut St

Suite 200

Roseville, MN  55113


Owning and operating our own warehouse has always been very important to us because it ensures the best possible level of service for our customers. Equally so, the efficiency of this step in a coffee's journey is only made possible through the hands of our extremely capable and hardworking warehouse staff:


From monitoring proper storage, wrapping and strapping our orders perfectly, to shipping same day--we pride ourselves on equipping our customers with these benefits, and we are determined to carry forward the best care possible into an industry that has given us so much--Thank you all, cheers to the future. 



New Warehouse Location

We have officially transfered all operations to our new warehouse location:

2280 Walnut St

Suite 200

Roseville, MN  55113


All pick-up orders please head to the small parking lot at the south side of the building.  Office is through the south-facing door.

Any questions or concerns, feel free to call our office (1-800-278-5065) or email



SCAA 2016: Cafe Imports Schedule




Featured Coffees:

9036 Colombia ACES

8837 Peru Microlot

8627 Colombia Pink Bourbon

7992 Malawi

8186 Burundi


Origin Guests 1pm-2pm:

Shabbir Ezzi, Yemen

Alejandro Renjifo, Colombia


Guest Baristas:

12pm - 1pm

James Tooill, Lo Colombe Coffee Roasters


Andrew Gage,  Velo Coffee Roasters

Sarah Shirk, Square One Coffee


 Evening Activities:

Hotlanta: Cool Party

6:30pm - 11:00pm

Live Opposites Extract podcast recording @ 6:30 pm followed by free tacos, drinks, and music DJ'd by RADAMES

RSVP at our Facebook Event Page.




Featured Coffees:

8736 Honduras

8460 Brazil

8020 Sulawesi

8437 Sumatra

8893 Colombia Regional Select


Origin Guests 1pm-2pm:

Toarco Producers, Sulawesi

Jacques Carneiro, Carmo Coffees, Brazil

Roberto Rene Gonzalez, Co-op RAOS, Honduras


Guest Baristas:

12pm - 1pm

Grace Bishop and Natalie Roth, Tinker Coffee Roasters

Sheperd Wadley, Huckleberry Roasters


Devon Chapman, La Colombe Coffee Roasters

Chad Kimm, Ghost Town Coffee Roasters


Evening Activities:

2016 U.S. Aeropress Championship

Chattahoochee Coffee Company

7:00pm - 11:00pm




Featured Coffees:

7819 Rwanda

8634 Yemen

7512 Congo

8217 Papua New Guinea

 Origin Guests 1pm-2pm:

Arthur McGowan Jamaican Coffee Farmers Association


Guest Baristas:

12pm - 1pm

Jonathan Withers, Toby's Estate Coffee, NYC


Maciej Kasperowicz, Gregory's Coffee