The Rest of the Best Cup

Saying “everyone’s a winner” might be a cliché in most instances, but when it comes to the fantastic but not auction-winning coffees we discover at Best Cup events, the saying is actually true—especially for our customers.

We’re Hiring: Coffee Associate, Costa Rica

Cafe Imports’ office in Costa Rica is seeking a full-time Coffee Associate, available to start immediately. This position is designed to act as backup and support to Cafe Imports’ green-coffee buyer who is based out of the office for part of the year, and should expect to work both as part of that small team as well as independently when the green-coffee buyer is traveling. Details inside.

Origin Report: Ethiopia 2018

Times are changing in Ethiopia, and coffee is changing, too: This year marks a lot of transitions both for the farmers and exporters of the world’s oldest coffee-growing country, as well as for Cafe Imports’ presence on the ground there.

One theme seems to stand out for us as we dive into the 2018 harvest in Yirgacheffe, Guji, and Sidama, and that is a look at the past is sometimes the best way to push forward into the future.

Progress Report: Development 2017

When we think about Development here at Cafe Imports, we mean more than simply better coffee, but also better systems—that includes the contributions we make on the ground and in the field, the collaborations we undertake at the farm and mill level, and the work we do to improve our daily lives and operations in our offices and warehouses.

With the end of the year right around the corner, we are proud to share our annual progress report on Café Imports commitment to Development, which not only offers some insight into what we have been working on over the last 12 months, but also what we look forward to in 2018.

Traceable Sumatra: Bergandal Mill

Sumatran coffees are already different from coffees anywhere else in the world, and Sakdan Abdul Wahab (pictured in the hat) represents something even more different: Truly traceable coffees from a microregion within the Gayo Highlands.

You’re Invited: Resource 2018

It’s a new year, a new crop, and a whole new selection of opportunities to shrink the distance between your roaster’s hopper and coffee’s source. We at Cafe Imports would like nothing more than to have you join us on our travels into the field (literally) as we seek, study, cup, and source the world’s finest specialty coffees. Throughout the year, we gladly invite our roaster partners along on visits to the producers, mills, and exporters with whom we work year in and year out, to develop personal connections and long-standing relationships, and, of course, to bring home the most delicious coffees we can find.

Origin Report Roundup 2017

The Earth made another trip around the sun, and we at Cafe Imports made another trip around the world—visiting partners, sourcing lots, making introductions, managing logistics, and rounding out another year of bringing you the finest specialty coffees. As we get ready to stow our passports for a little holiday break, and before we jet off into the next adventure, we’d like to take a moment to wrap up our year at origin as well as offer a glimpse of what’s to come. 

Progress Report: Community 2017

“Progress” is the most important word in our vocabulary, as we constantly aim to push forward with our efforts to be engaged in all the areas and with all the people with whom we do our work. Here, we are pleased to share our annual Progress Report: Community 2017, and we hope to capture the momentum at the end of this year and leap head-first into what’s left to be done.

We’re Hiring: Content Specialist

Cafe Imports is looking for a mixed-media pro to join our dynamic in-house Marketing department as a content specialist, with an emphasis on origin travel, traceability reportage, and photo/video journalism.

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.