Harvest Report: Colombia 2020, from Farmers to Friends

We say it every year, and every year we mean every word: Colombia is our second home, and it’s often an incubator for the ideas that become cornerstones of our business, our buying philosophy, and the scaffolding for our strongest relationships. This connection to the country is made possible through repeated visits—our green-coffee buyers visit more than once a quarter—as well as constant contact via e-mail, Skype, and WhatsApp in between. More often than not, we could give you an up-to-the moment idea of the weather in Bogotá as we could tell you whether the sun’s shining in Minneapolis, Berlin, or Melbourne where our sales offices are.

Fazenda Dutra: A Vision of Variety and Flavour from Brazil

We think of Brazil as a powerhouse of production, not necessarily capable of specialized, artisanal coffee output. These days, however, that impression is changing—and nowhere is that more evident than with the wonderful coffees coming out of Fazenda Dutra in the municipality of São João do Manhuaçu, Minas Gerais.

Harvest Report: Costa Rica 2020 and the Choices Producers Make

When we look at a beautiful harvest, or when we taste a brilliant cup, we tend to want to romanticize it: We imagine rolling hills and bright blue skies, the smell of fresh coffee blossoms, the sway of the shade trees. What we don’t think of are the countless steps that the producer went through to create that dreamy flavor experience, and the dozens of decisions that have to be made before, during, and at the end of the season in order to sustain or even improve the final product.

A Coffee-Producing Legend Goes Truly Seed-To-Cup with a New Café

We always say that Arnulfo Leguizamo is the ultimate cafetero role model: He’s not only a producer of some of the finest specialty coffees we’ve tasted from Huila, Colombia, but he’s also a community leader, innovator, and problem-solver, always looking for a way to improve or expand the ways he shares his coffee with others.

A Year-End Reflection on Our Harvest Reports: What Do You Want to Read in 2020?

We’re not only coffee nerds, but we’re also a company comprised of passionate world travelers and people who love people: Your friends at Cafe Imports tend to be curious, eager to learn, and dedicated to sharing what we know and what we do with other coffee people around the world—from farmers to roasters to everyday people who just happen to love a great shot of espresso. Our Harvest Reports are one way that we try to give our customers (and your customers) a behind-the-scenes look at the year’s coffee sources, and as this year closes we’d like to reflect on the reports and learn how we can make them better.

Harvest Report: Peru 2019

While Brazil has its famous efficiency and large volumes, and Colombia has its highly effective coffee-sector infrastructure, Perú is smaller, scrappier, and still just a little bit under the radar—but not for long.

A Closer Look at the Farm Select Program

Earlier this month (October 2019) we announced the establishment of a collaborative project between Cafe Imports and our export partners Banexport in Colombia, called Farm Select, an initiative designed to directly address the coffee-price crisis by creating a new sourcing pathway that not only gives producers more support, stability, and sustainable income, but also allows roasters to make direct impact through their purchases by developing real relationships and long-term contracts that show investment into the future of coffee and coffee farming. 

Harvest Report: Tanzania 2019

Every green-coffee buyer and every coffee traveler has their own reasons for the places that feel particularly special to them. For some it’s the thrill of a new location, for others it’s the comfort of returning somewhere comfortable and familiar. For others, it’s all about flavor. Occasionally, when you’re really lucky, it’s a combination of all three: That’s what Cafe Imports’ green-coffee buyer for Africa, Claudia Bellinzoni, gets to experience whenever she goes to Tanzania, a place where she once lived to work in coffee, and where she is constantly exploring new possibilities along with re-connecting with old friends, colleagues, and cup profiles.

“Making Coffee Work for Women” – Grounds for Empowerment Workshop: Guatemala City 2019

Grounds for Empowerment is a women-focused coffee think-tank out of Emory University, which links a cohort of caficultoras together with coffee-industry mentors and students studying relevant fields such as economics, accounting, human health, and mathematics. Its mission is to open access for the producers to tools and expert guidance in order to, well, empower them to build their own marketing profiles, analyze their existing financial health and sustainability, uncover their potential and discuss areas where they can increase their market advantage, and set tangible goals for the future. Here’s a round-up of the 3.5-day event.

Harvest Report: Burundi 2019

There’s no question that we’re passionate about coffee: It’s what we live and breathe every day, and it fills every conversation and every dream we have around our offices day in and day out. It’s easy to forget, however, that one of the other things we’re passionate about are the behind-the-scenes details—like documentation and shipping—that help us arrange purchase, shipment, and subsequent sale of some of the best and brightest coffees around the globe. There are some coffee-growing places that remind us more than others that we are a logistics company just about as much as we’re a high-quality-coffee company, and Burundi is one of them.

Storing Your Green Coffee: Best Practices

If you’re wondering what the ideal conditions are for storing your green, we’ve got a long answer and a short answer for you. The short answer, according to Cafe Imports’ sensory analysis director Ian Fretheim, is, “Cool and dry. That’s really it.”

Of course, there’s never just a short answer. Read on to find out about some specific conditions and containers that might help you preserve the quality and longevity of your favorite lots.

What’s “Anaerobic Fermentation” and Why Is It So Popular All of a Sudden?

Nothing stays the same in coffee for very long, and producers are always seeking new and improved ways to differentiate themselves, moderate their coffee’s flavor profiles, and offer exciting and interesting flavors to roasters and consumers all over the world. Sometimes a little experimentation and ingenuity can go a long way without having to re-invent the wheel, which is why we’re interested in the increasing popularity of anaerobic-environment fermentation.

Cafe Imports Europe and Don Sabino Micromill Collaborate on Exclusive, Traceable, and Transparent “Berlin Batch” for Berlin Coffee Festival

Roasters who are looking for a special opportunity leading up to Berlin Coffee Festival in October, we’ve got something special for you: We’ve partnered with the Don Sabino Micromill in Carrizal de Alajuela, Costa Rica, on a project we’re calling the Berlin Batch, a limited run of special-process coffees with full traceability and price transparency, as an experiment and a collaboration to explore the real nature of relationships in the coffee supply stream. Read on to find out more.

Harvest + Trip Report: Ecuador 2019

Ecuador is not typically the first place that comes to mind for fans of specialty coffee, but it’s not because the country lacks great cups: Some of our favorite South American coffees come from the misty mountains of Pichincha in the north and the biodiverse province of Loja in the south. Ecuador’s border neighbors of Colombia and Peru tend to outshine it in terms of annual yield and recognition, but every year the country’s reputation for quality, clarity, and personality inspires more and more specialty-coffee hunters to look to the farmers here for new profiles, captivating stories, and strong potential for growth.

Cafe Imports Participates in the Specialty Coffee Transaction Guide

Specialty-coffee people around the world are motivated to make change to our corner of the industry, perhaps now more than ever: More and more we’re engaging in open conversations about the coffee price crisis, evaluating the existing coffee business models, considering our appeal to the consumer marketplace, and looking for potential positive solutions to the historically low C-market price for coffee, and low coffee prices overall.

Oxcart Coffee, Season 1: ¡Gracias Por Visitarnos!

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.

Women Coffee Producers Trip 2019

For the past two years, we have hosted a Resource trip to visit some of the associations who participate in our Women Coffee Producers program, a coffee-sourcing project through which we buy coffee from co-ops comprised entirely of women, or subgroups of women who are members of coed associations.
The coffees we buy from WCP participating women are given a gender-equity premium on top of their quality premium, as a way of attempting to bridge the pay and recognition gap that exists in most coffee-growing countries. Just a few weeks ago, our WCP trip went to Cauca, Colombia to visit AMACA and ASMUCAFE, and the experience was unforgettable for everyone. Click below to read a blog about the trip, featuring reflections from Cafe Imports staff as well as a few of the strong women roasters who came along.