Coffee

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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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Coffee Aisle Lessons from the Underwear Legend

Living in England, a friend advised me “you have to buy new underwear at Marks & Spencer. Everybody buys their underwear at Marks & Spencer.” Where I came from it was uncommon to buy underwear at the same place you shopped for your fruits and vegetables, but with a recommendation like that, where do you think I bought my next underwear?

Marks & Spencer gained fame for its underwear by standing out for its pure and simple quality. Read more »

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Weather Gets Warmer, Coffee Gets Colder

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 »

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Harvest Time in Nicaragua

Saludos from Jinotega, Nicaragua! I am back  in Nicaragua to witness the beginning of the 2011-2012 coffee harvest as well as check in on the progress with our Direct Trade producers Roberto Bendaña and the Las Mercedes group of the Aldea Global Co-op. Read more »

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"I'll Have a Tall Blonde, Please!"

You say Starbucks®. I think…top-tier brand. Defiantly stubborn in their tradition of quality. I think…innovative product marketing. America’s specialty coffee lexicon. I think…unbelievable product and customer experience consistency (excluding airports, hotels, and cafeterias, of course). Starbucks equals decommoditization of coffee, circa 1990. Read more »

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2011 Sustainability Report

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 »

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El Salvador Day 1

It seems strange to jump back to day one since I have been on the road for a week now, but El Salvador is a whole new world compared to Nicaragua. We arrived yesterday and stayed in the capital city of San Salvador before heading up north to the Apaneca region in Northern El Salvador today. We hit the road early and drove 2 hours north, 7 of us packed like sardines in a truck. Read more »

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Nicaragua Day 4

Our final day in Nicaragua started off brutally early.  It was not all that early, but everyone’s digestive systems were pretty brutally tattered after 4 days of rice and beans 3 meals a day.  Well, I shouldn’t say everyone, because Paul and Jay were rearing to go—Paul’s handy trick of taking shots of rum to kill anything funky in his system had them covered! Read more »

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