Carmo Best Cup 2017: If We Build It…

”If we build it, they will cup” was our mantra over the many months of planning that went into the first-ever Carmo Best Cup this past September. Read a full report on the competition and the astonishing coffees it brought to the cupping tables, and the perspective shifts the competition revealed to us about microlots in Brazil.

Chalate 2017 – The Project

“Project” is a perfect homonym, because it not only captures the work and careful planning that goes into a task at hand, but it also expresses forward motion, forecasting, prediction—the future. Read more about the present work and future prospects of our Pequeños microlot program in Chalatenango, El Salvador.

When Bad Things Happen to Good Coffee, or Murphy’s Law and Colombia Lately

You might think that after 10 years of working in Colombia—finding the absolute best coffees, meeting top producers, encouraging them to keep after it by paying strong prices, visiting again and again to understand and help them face various challenges—that we might have gotten pretty good at this importing-coffee thing.

Not so fast.

Origin Report: Peru

We’ve been getting to know—and falling more and more in love with—Peru for years, and the rest of the world is starting to discover the quality and character in these wonderful coffees.

Midwest to Middle East: Cafe Imports in the GCC

Cafe Imports spent a week bringing coffee education, cupping, and community to the Gulf Cooperation Council, visiting Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates to celebrate our new partnership with Kafa Coffee, based out of Khobar, Saudi Arabia.

Minneroasta 2017: You’re invited!

You’re invited to the grand opening of the Mill City Roasters Campus for the First Annual “Minneroasta!”

Minneroasta is a two-day event taking place Oct 20–21, immediately following the first two-day Introduction to Commercial Roasting Class (Oct 18–19), presented by Mill City Roasters and Cafe Imports.

Origin Report: Brazil

Frank Sinatra probably said it best: They’ve got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil—roughly 55 to 60 million 60-kilo bags of it, as a matter of fact. However, Frank never happened to address what has been a very controversial topic in specialty coffee since, oh, the dawn of the industry: Just how much of that lot of coffee is actually “awful.”

That old notion, that Brazilian coffee is by definition “standard” quality, has been repeated so often it’s amazing that the track doesn’t skip, though it’s certainly pretty worn out. That means it’s probably time to flip the record over and change our tune—something that Cafe Imports has sought to do from the very beginning.

Brazil’s Brand-New Bag

When it comes to geeking out over coffee stuff, there’s the totally cool (drone videos over coffee farms), really cool (processing experiments at micromills), and very nerdy but still pretty cool (heat transfer comparisons between a Loring and a Probat).

Every once in a while, though, we find ourselves completely geeked out over something that’s decidedly not cool—or at least not particularly sexy.

You know… like, bags.

Origin Report: Asia Pacific (PNG, Sulawesi, and Sumatra)

If we were in the BBQ business instead of the coffee business, we would never try to sell Kentucky ribs to someone looking for Texas brisket. Just because both come from Southern states known for an obsession for smoked meat doesn’t mean they’re automatically interchangeable—a fact we generally know to be true in coffee, especially when comparing, say, Colombians and Brazils, or Kenyans with Ethiopians.

GCC Coffee Tour

Cafe Imports is headed to the Gulf Cooperative Council! We will be teaming up with our partners at Nukhbat Al Marabih and Kafa Coffee to present educational coffee events and cuppings in three cities across the GCC.

Mill City Roasters Education Partnership

It is inspiring to serve the global coffee community while also surrounded by such thriving local coffee scenes at each of our offices. For example, just one Paul Bunyan–size hop-skip-and-jump down the road from our North American headquarters in Minneapolis, you will find an oasis of roasting experts at Mill City Roasters.

How We Buy Coffee

Buying the best coffees means buying coffees better: At Cafe Imports, we believe in offering both our roaster customers and our producing partners the squarest deal for every quality of coffee, from the workhorse 80–83 point lots all the way up to the 90+ microlots. Our sourcing philosophy is designed to be a holistic way to meet all of these needs, and we have found an approach that helps us develop stronger relationships at origin, discover better coffees all the time, and offer the right prices to our partners all along the supply chain. Read more about what we call our “stratified” approach to sourcing coffees, and learn how you can fit these offerings and this principle into your green-coffee buying with us, too.

Stump the Roaster PDX – October 12 @ 6pm

Stump the Roaster comes back to beautiful Stumptown for another enlightening evening of shop talk, caffeinated confessions, and candid Q&A. Join us at Buckman Coffee Factory for the fine food, drinks from Rogue Ales, and community.

Cafe Imports Europe Is Hiring: Office Administrator

We are seeking a highly motivated and organized individual to join our Berlin team as an Office Administrator. This position requires attention to detail and an ability work as a team member. Basic accounting experience and fluency in both English and German are necessary. Coffee work experience is a plus, but not required.

COMEPCAFE: Piendamó, Cauca – Colombia

Fair Trade– and organic-certified coffees tend to be harder to come by in Colombia, but the association members of Cooperativa Mutiétnica Y Pluricultural De Pequeños Caficultores Del Cauca (COMEPCAFE) are dedicated to working together and in concert with their environment to bring some of the best certified coffees in Cauca to market.

Now Available: The Cafe Imports World Specialty-Coffee Maps

After several years of development, we are pleased to release the first edition of our World Specialty-Coffee Maps. The individual country maps reflect Cafe Imports’ buying history and sourcing efforts, along with the insight of our partners in specialty-coffee-producing regions worldwide.