Coffee’s On!

The Coffee Bean International blog—featuring insights, news, and stories, covering everything coffee from tree to cup.

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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Coffee Merchandising: The Dream Set

When coaches have the opportunity to create a “Dream Team” for an All Star game or the Olympics, they need only focus on top performance, with no limits around pay, location or logistics to govern what may be…

No one seems to argue against the so-called “premiumization” of the coffee industry over the past decade. 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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El Salvador Las Delicias Producers Visit

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!

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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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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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