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.

We’re Hiring: Supply Chain Specialist

We’re hiring a supply chain specialist in our Minneapolis office! If you love coffee, logistics, and creative problem-solving, you’ might be just the person we’re looking for.

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.

Harvest Brief: Jamaica 2019 – A Story of Resilience and Recovery Fueled by Coffee

After several years of hardship and a very long recovery, Jamaica’s coffee industry is showing signs of rebirth and rejuvenation, along with prices that make these famous beans more accessible to our roaster-partners. We are looking forward to new arrivals on the way from the Jamaican Coffee Farmers Association, a small private company that processes the coffees of about 250 smallholder producers, most of who have been working to bypass the established estate system to have more control over their own coffee and, hopefully, allow them to keep a higher percentage of the notoriously high prices paid for Jamaican barrels internationally.

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.

Learning to Cup in Hawaii: The Kona Cultural Coffee Festival and the HCA Coffee Competition

Cafe Imports’ sensory analysis director, Ian Fretheim, is so curious about cupping that he’ll happily travel to the most remote place in the world to study it. (It helps that the world’s most remote landmass also happens to be Hawaii.) He’s had some thoughts about both Hawaiian coffee in general as well as our industry-wide cupping practices after coming back from the Kona Coffee Festival and after serving as head judge in the 2019 Hawaiian Coffee Association Cupping Competition. Climb into the mind of Ian Fretheim here.

Mexico Harvest Report 2019

There are lots of coffee-growing regions with potential, but when we think of untapped opportunities to invest in producers and make a real impact on quality and recovery, we can’t help but think of Mexico as a perfect example of what “potential” means from a coffee source. There are good varieties, a strong cooperative culture, and more streamlined logistics—so what has kept Mexico from truly shining as a growing region?

A Closer Look at Tega & Tula Specialty Coffee Farm in Keffa, Ethiopia

Single-farm traceable certified-organic coffees are hard to come by from Ethiopia, but Cafe Imports’ strong relationship with Tega & Tula Specialty Coffee Farm in Keffa, Ethiopia, is a special exception to that rule. Read more about T&T and its primary owner, Ahadu Woubshet.

Now Streaming: An Educational Coffee Processing Video Series

Coffee people are naturally curious, and we are no different at Cafe Imports: We love learning new things about this amazing plant, seed, and beverage, and we’re passionate about sharing any information we have on our Education page and through other free, accessible resources-like the brand-new Coffee Processing video series, which debuted last week on the Cafe Imports YouTube channel!

El Salvador Harvest Report 2019

It’s been another season to celebrate forward momentum and growth in El Salvador, senior green-coffee buyer Piero Cristiani reports after the end of the recent harvest. After several years of struggle following an outbreak of coffee-leaf rust, this small but strong producing country is boasting a bigger yield and stellar cups of Pacas and Pacamara, the latter variety “a national treasure of El Salvador,” Piero says.

Chalatenango Best Cup 2019

In March of 2019, we held the first-ever Best Cup cupping competition and live auction event in the small but mighty coffee-growing region of Chalatenango, El Salvador. This video tells the story of the Best Cup competition and our history working in Chalate, and hopefully inspires you to reserve your seat at the next auction event.

Farm-fresh, Clean Cascara Available Now (Limited Quantities)

Cafe Imports is pleased to offer a limited quantity of completely traceable fresh-crop cascara from Costa Rica. This cascara is meticulously selected, pasteurized, and has been subject to extensive organic-tea testing to ensure its safety. “This is so far easily the cleanest cascara that we have had tested,” says sensory analysis director Ian Fretheim, adding that in addition to being safe, it’s also (bonus points!) pretty delicious.

¡Felicidades a Los Naranjos! New Competition Coffees

There must be something in the air in and around the town of San Agustín in Colombia’s Huila department, because this microregion and the coffee producers in it have put out consistently some of the best lots we’ve tasted from the country, year after year. This season, to honor the hard work of the 52 members of La Asociación de Los Naranjos, we held a micro-competition to highlight their quality and commitment.