Posts by Sarah beaubien
The Coffee Bean International 2011 Sustainability Report is now live. This year, we made huge strides toward shifting our waste ratio, with the ultimate goal of hauling zero waste to the landfill. We also dramatically reduced our travel miles, which will impact our overall carbon footprint. Additionally, we grew our direct trade portfolio and off-commodity-market purchases, which isolate farmers from the coffee price volatility that is driven now primarily from investors/speculators. Through these direct relationships we can address coffee’s biggest sustainability issues. Read more »
Coffee has historically been a crop grown to satisfy the demand of the developed world at the cost of a lower quality of life for producing communities. Now, the coffee industry has the tools, the energy, and the momentum to create a paradigm shift and redefine coffee as we know it. But, before we can change the coffee world, we have to measure our current baseline and concrete steps already taken, so we can design our intentions around real information. We need a measurement tool. And, now we have one: START.
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It is a force to be reckoned with when a group of dedicated representatives from all aspects of coffee—growers, certifiers, importers, social programs, roasters, and retailers—rendezvous to discuss how to move the dial on our industry’s sustainability meter. The winter ’11 Sustainability Council Retreat over the past weekend was a productive and fulfilling meeting of the minds. Read more »
Miguel and Guillermo Menéndez, producers of our El Salvador Las Delicias, stopped by this morning—what an unexpected treat! In addition to giving us a photo tour of their lovely farms, they told us colorful stories about the coffee growing tradition in their family and their country. We were intrigued by the amazing attention to detail in the production process. It’s no wonder that the Las Delicias is so juicy!
As the weather gets warmer, sales of hot brewed coffee and tea often drop. Retailers can counter the drop in hot beverages by building a solid iced coffee program and capitalizing on a key growth opportunity. As a specialty coffee roaster, Coffee Bean International® recommends that, whenever possible, our customers promote an iced coffee program that utilizes the same high-quality, artisan-roasted coffee that they promote in their hot coffee program. Read more »
When you think of Peru you may think of the Andes Mountains, Macchu Picchu, smiling, ruddy-cheeked people in multi-colored garb but maybe not of extraordinary coffee. I didn’t. Then, I tasted coffee from the San Ignacio region, and now I can imagine nothing else when I think of Peru. The cup is bursting with ripe fruit notes and has a rich, creamy body and bittersweet cocoa notes. After singing these praises you can imagine how excited I was to meet the farmers who grew this noteworthy coffee. Read more »
This is one of my favorite times of year because the fresh African coffees are rolling in. We are particularly excited about the Ethiopia Yirgacheffe because of its extraordinary fruitiness and intense aroma. The aroma of berries and citrus prepare the palate for notes of lemon peel, bergamot, raspberry, and strawberry. These bright, juicy fruit flavors are finished by chocolate and caramel sweetness and a hint of lavender. And, there is a rich, creamy element to this complex coffee that is almost oatmeal-like. As the birthplace of coffee, we expect a lot out of Ethiopia and this coffee does not disappoint. The unique, wild taste typical of Ethiopians is evident in this season’s Yirgacheffe. Read more »
It’s the very end of the picking season here in Nicaragua and most of the plants have been stripped of their fruit. However, this morning when Paul Thornton, Chris Wade and I drove through the mist at Finca El Quetzel, we came upon a group of pickers who were working a slope of red and yellow catuai in small pocket of the farm. We rounded a bend in the road and thought we heard singing. When we looked up, we spotted about 100 workers dotting the hillside. Read more »
The new crop of Rwanda Nyamwenda from the COOPAC coffee cooperative is outstanding. Cultivated on the steep slopes of northern Rwanda’s volcanic mountains above Lake Kivu, the rich soil, high altitude, and abundant rainfall yield a stellar coffee that is characterized by heavy tangerine flavor and an intense blackberry fruitiness and floral aroma. The bright acidity complements a well-balanced body that is laced with notes of rich molasses. Nyamwenda is a washing station that can be accessed by a boat ride across Lake Kivu. Read more »
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