Coffee Origins

Direct Trade Coffee in Peru – Days 1 and 2

Day one in Peru was mostly spent getting to our final destination.  After yet another 5:30 am wake up call, Paul and I hit the road back to the airport and boarded our flight to Piura.  In the airport, our choices for coffee were Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts.  I’ll leave it a surprise where we went.  This was followed by the swift realization that in my sleepy haze I had left my ATM card in the machine after taking my money and receipt (and also lost my awesome traveler points).  No luck in recovering, it had already been eaten up.  Now the fun game begins of try Read more »

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In Search of Direct Trade Coffee from Colombia - Day 3

We spent Day 3 in Colombia not visiting farms, but we headed back to Bogota to visit the FNC headquarters and cup the microlots from the farmers we visited over the course of the past two days.  Before that, however, we got a quick rest in and a trip to an artisan market.  Read more »

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In Search of Direct Trade Coffee from Colombia – Day 2

It’s official, I both smelled and tasted the best things I have ever smelled or tasted before in my life today.  The smell: flowering coffee trees.  The taste: cacao fruit picked straight off the tree.  Actually, today was a full day of deliciousness, so I am inclined to start with a list of things that I have eaten. Read more »

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In Search of Direct Trade Coffee from Colombia - Day 1

After a quick sleep in Bogota, I rushed to the airport again to catch a 35-minute flight to Neiva.  Alex Russan from Castle Company and Madelyn Madrid from the Colombian Coffee Federacion (FNC) were my early morning travel partners, eager to show me the farms in the Huila region of Colombia.  By 6:45 am our propeller plane had landed and we were whisked off to breakfast and then to the FNC office.  Read more »

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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 »

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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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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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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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