The Oxcart Coffee – Cafe Imports Latin America office officially opened in San José, Costa Rica earlier this year, before the busiest part of the harvest season in that producing country. It was intended as a full-service export-import office where our green-coffee sourcing team in Costa Rica (green-coffee buyer Luis Arocha and green-buyer’s associate Francine Ramirez, along with Adriana Abarca in logistics and Eduardo Ramirez in sensory analysis) could receive, catalog, roast, cup offer samples, and contract and pay for coffees from the local producers with whom we’ve been working the past many years—but it very quickly became much more than that.
Augies Coffee House
Within weeks Oxcart was a hub for producers as they stopped by with coffee to taste, questions to ask, and conversation to share. Soon after that, it transformed into a joyful meeting place as our customers started making plans to stop by to cup and pre-book lots almost as soon as they arrived, often cupping along with the farmers who grew and processed the lots. It was also an incredible forum for producers from other countries to come and share ideas—an opportunity to make the coffee world a little smaller for us all. Many times the visits extended to the field—literally, as Francine and Luis introduced roaster after roaster to producer after producer, right on their farms and at their micro mills.
Resource: Coffee 101
Duluth Coffee Roasters + St. Paul Roastery
Francine is tremendous at her job as green-buyer’s associate not only because she is passionate and knowledgeable about coffee but also because she’s meticulously organized: Looking back on her notes from the year so far, she realized that from January to May, more than 30 different roasting companies were represented in visits, along with a very special visit from our friends and partners in Carmo de Minas, Brazil: CarmoCoffees. She’s also a great photographer, and so is Luis: If you ever visit Oxcart, you’ll probably be lucky enough to have them capture a photo of you smiling, cupping, maybe even posing with a coffee tree and a producer who’s become a new friend. Here are just a few of the images they captured over first five months of visits.
Cafe Imports Europe
While this year’s season is wrapping up its final days, the next installment of Open Door: Costa Rica will be here before we know it at the Oxcart Coffee office, so now’s a great time to start daydreaming about your trip to San José to meet the team, cup some amazing coffees, and see another aspect of the coffee supply stream up close and personal.