The Coffee Bean International blog—featuring insights, news, and stories, covering everything coffee from tree to cup.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Day two of an origin trip is always an exercise in reality of time perception. Last night Jay was caught saying “and later that same day” when referring to events that had occurred only a few hours before. Waking up this morning in Roberto’s farmhouse to the sounds of birds chirping and workers getting ready for a day of picking felt both familiar and foreign. It feels as though we have been in Nicaragua for weeks, but in reality we had landed in this country less than 48 hours ago. Read more »
Ahh the joys of being back at coffee origins! It feels so natural to be back in Latin America, hearing and speaking Spanish, understanding street signs and soaking in the culture. This is my first trip to Nicaragua, and it has gotten off to a great start. I arrived in Managua late last night, accompanied by Patrick, our President and CEO, Jay, our Sr. VP of National Accounts, and the buyers for a national direct trade program. Read more »
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’!