When people ask: “How was your origin trip?” I struggle to find the right words to capture everything and do the country justice.
However, if I had to summarise Uganda in just one word, it would be “industriousness”. Kampala, the country’s capital and largest city, buzzes with insane motorcycle taxis that operate on adrenaline and blind luck. Main roads are lined on both sides by a myriad of small businesses selling everything from luscious fruits to massive bedsteads and intricate wooden coffins. In some areas it’s a contrast between sophisticated restaurants and people living in corrugated iron shacks tens of metres away. Outside the cities and towns, the pace is slower but it felt like everyone was doing something or going somewhere. Read more
Minas Hill Coffee Founder Marcelo Brussi says his admiration for coffee farmers comes from his relationship with his grandfather, Francisco Brussi, who grew up working on coffee farms.
Francisco’s parents migrated from Italy to Brazil to work in coffee farms before he was born. After his father left the family when Francisco was 10, he, his mother and brother, moved to Sao Paulo. When Francisco was an adult, the State Department of Agriculture hired him to monitor coffee exports, due to his knowledge as a coffee picker and worker. Read more
Every producer thinks their farm is special, but in Gabriel Oliveira’s opinion, owning Bom Jesus is a matter of luck and merit.
Located at Alta Mogiana biome in Brazil, Bom Jesus is a picture perfect postcard of lush terrain, symmetrical rows of coffee trees, and natural vegetation.
As a child, Gabriel recalls playing among the drying coffee on his grandparent’s farm. He grew up with first-hand appreciation that coffee production was arduous, detailed, and extremely passionate work, but it was work that fascinated him. Read more
To Will Valverde, Fairtrade is not just about certification. It is a comprehensive system that helps coffee-producing communities build their knowledge, skills, and production capacity.
“The consumer will buy a product because they want to help the farmers. But at the same time, they want to have a good quality product they can buy all the time,” Will says.
“As part of our commitment to the industry, we are working closely with producer organisations to ensure that they can bring the best quality green beans possible to their buyer.” Read more
Over more than 30 years importing coffee to Australia from around the world, Cofi-Com has developed strong ties with its Volcafe sister companies that operate in most growing origins.
These relationships give Cofi-Com an in-depth knowledge of the requirements and capabilities of farmers in these areas. It is this on-the-ground presence that gives the trader the ability to provide a range of coffees, from commercial blends to high-end speciality, to its roasting customers. Read more
When Sasa Sestic first introduced carbonic maceration (CM) to the global coffee community on the 2015 World Barista Championship (WBC) stage, the industry saw the value the new processing method could offer in terms of taste and coffee quality.
CM sees farmers ferment coffee in a controlled setting, allowing them to bring out complex flavours and ensure greater consistency. Read more
There’s an unusual scene in the large Chinese cities of Shanghai, Chongqing, Beijing, and Guangzhou. Rather than occupying stores selling Sinkiang Black Beer, green tea, or pearl milk tea, city goers are flooding coffee shops for a daily caffeine hit.
“Coffee drinking in China is a fashion, not a habit,” says Shirley Liu, Yunnan Volcafe General Manager. “Five years ago, you wouldn’t have seen any coffee shops in the city. Now they’re everywhere.” Read more
Winning the coveted Cup of Excellence (COE) competition is like winning an Oscar at the Academy Awards. Just as the esteemed movie awards celebrate the best in cinematic production, each year the COE commends hundreds of farmers who submit their best coffees for assessment. The coffee with the highest score out of 100 is announced in front of hundreds at an awards ceremony, only without the red carpet arrival and golden statue. In this competition, becoming a champion is the reward.
Ismael Andrade knows this feeling well. On 30 October, his name and farm, Andrade Bros Estate Coffees, comprising Sao Silvestre and Capim Branco farms, was announced as winners of Brazil’s Naturals COE competition with a score of 93.26 for a lot from the Paraíso farm in the Capim Branco Terroir unit.Read more
Every Tuesday, Dirk Sickmueller, General Manager of premier export company Taylor Winch (Coffee) in Nairobi, goes to auction. Rather than a vision of excited bankers yelling out figures and gesticulating wildly like a scene from The Wolf of Wall Street, green bean buyers and local roasters bunker down in a theatre-style auction hall.
The scene appears more subdued thanks to the digital platform the Nairobi Coffee Exchange implemented 20 years back, which only a few months ago had an upgrade to include a web camera and TV screens so that farmers in certain coffee growing regions can watch the bidding action unfold. Prices are displayed on a large digital screen. The numbers fly back and forth, with the final print, or best bid, confirmed or noted to a particular buyer. Read more
October is Eduardo Gurdian’s favourite month of the year. It’s the start of crop season, when weather conditions are optimal for cherry picking, when staff receive a steady income, and the month he expects his first child to be born.
“October will be a good challenge for production volume and sleepless nights,” Eduardo says.
Eduardo is a sixth generation coffee professional. It’s too early to predict if his unborn son will join the family dynasty one day, but Eduardo is working hard to ensure he creates a sustainable legacy for the next generation of Costa Rican producers. Read more