Posts by Bruce mullins

A Coffee Pilgrimage to Britain – Part 1

I recently had the opportunity to spend two weeks doing something I have dreamed of for many years; spending two weeks exploring the coffee culture in one of the Western world’s oldest coffee cities – London. Read more »


Musings on John Vaughan and the “Going Out of Style” of Fresh, Local, and Lovingly Roasted Coffee

I never had the opportunity to meet John C. Vaughan from St. Louis. And that saddens me, because he looks like the sort of man a person would WANT to meet… especially if they were a person like me that is (and as John obviously was) absolutely crazy about roasting coffee. Read more »


Visit to Tanzania for the EAFCA Conference – Part 2

I journeyed to Tanzania and the annual EAFCA (Eastern African Fine Coffees Association) conference as an honored guest of the Association, being asked to give two presentations during the convention. It was a privilege to be invited to be a speaker at the event, a role that I enjoy fulfilling anytime and anywhere in the world where I can talk coffee with a room full of people that love it as much as I do! Read more »


Visit to Tanzania for the EAFCA Conference - Part 1

After a recent trip to Africa Molly Laverty, our Producer Relations Manager, blogged “Tanzania is really far from Portland”. Having just returned from the latest EAFCA (Eastern African Fine Coffees Association) annual meeting held in Arusha, Tanzania, I can similarly attest to the remoteness of Tanzania and the difficulty in getting there and coming back! Read more »


Roaster Restoration – Part 3

Faversham & Felixstowe, Oh My!

When I was hired by Coffee Bean International in 1982, my first job was as a brand manager for ‘Jericho America’, our line of imported coffee and tea equipment – both commercial (we directly imported and distributed commercial coffee grinders) and household (similarly, we directly imported and distributed container-loads of French presses, airpots, filter-papers, brew cones, and so forth). As a small Pacific Northwest specialty roaster in those very early years, we were chronically rich in great ideas but short of money, so I wound up learning to do most of the complicated work of running an import business on the fly, and on a shoestring – I think I could have written ‘Managing Letters of Credit, CIF Price Quotes, Freight Consolidators, and Customs Brokers for Dummies’!


CQI and Harvest Visit to Colombia

I just returned from a week in Colombia, attending a board meeting of the Coffee Quality Institute (“CQI”) of which I’m privileged to be deeply involved with as a Trustee and long time supporter. Hosted this year by the Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia (known to most in the coffee business simply as the “FNC”, or “Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia) our CQI group split its time in Colombia between board work and field work - with meetings held in Bogotá and Cartagena, and boots on the ground in the coffee regions surrounding the towns of Armenia, Manizales, and Pereira. Read more »


Rwanda Cup of Excellence® Competition - Part 3

After a 30 hour trip returning from Kigali to Portland, and a couple of days to get rested up and cleaned up, I’m back in my office at CBI and reflecting upon the Cup of Excellence competition last week in Africa. Read more »


Rwanda Cup of Excellence® Competition - Part 2

We are mid-way through the Cup of Excellence competition here in Rwanda, and I wanted to take an opportunity to share some details of the event. Read more »


Rwanda Cup of Excellence® Competition - Part 1

One of the most anticipated coffee events of 2010 is about to happen – the Cup of Excellence® competition being held in Rwanda at the end of August! I’m honored and thrilled to have been selected as one of the handful of international cupping judges for this competition, proudly representing Coffee Bean International. Read more »


Roaster Restoration – Part 2

Bishops’ Hats and Scally Caps

For over twenty years, I’ve longed to get my hands on a Whitmee coffee roaster. Due to their extreme scarcity and cost - whenever one did come onto the market in the UK, it carried a price beyond my means - the dream eluded me. I contented myself instead by diligently researching and collecting heavy-duty ‘Monitor’ roasters built here in the U.S. and amazing open-drum and open-flame ‘Uno’ roasters manufactured in England.

Why Whitmee? Read more »