Gabriel Oliveira

Gabriel Oliveira of Bom Jesus shares his gift

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

Fairtrade Papua New Guinea

Fairtrade: More than a label

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

Cofi-Com

Cofi-Com on the ground

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

Project Origin

Project Origin raises reputations

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

Chinese coffee

China’s sleeping giant

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.” 

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Andrade Bros Estate

Andrade Bros Estate explores a new frontier

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.

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#coffeepledge

Cofi-Com on Kenyan coffee and quality over quantity

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

A model Costa Rican farm

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

A Brazilian commitment

On the day I spoke to Jose Francisco on 8 May, Monte Alegre Coffee was a hive of activity on the first day of harvest. Despite the early mark, conditions were “perfect” – a dry 26°C during the day, 14°C at night, and low 45 per cent moisture. 

The cherries were ripe and mature, ready for round one of picking. It’s a process that will go until the end of August. 

About 35 per cent is mechanically harvested, and 65 per cent done by hand, a balance of technology and craft to ensure the best cherries are picked. 

Brazil’s special climatic conditions are one of the reasons the country has a reputation as one of the biggest coffee producers in the world, and an emerging specialty coffee scene.  Read more

Fairtrade’s premium living

Most people travel with a suitcase bursting at the seams with clothes to suit every occasion, but Henrik Rylev of John Burton coffee traders in New Zealand packed his full of soccerballs on a recent trip to Sumatra.

“My colleague Danny Mosca and I took 40 soccerballs with us, kindly donated from his football club. As soon as we saw a child on the streets of Aceh we starting handing them out,” Henrik  says. “I’ll always remember arriving at the community of Wonosari (part of the Kokowagayo or more commonly known Wanita Gayo women’s cooperative) and seeing the young kids perform a traditional welcome dance. When we gave them the soccer balls to play with, they were hysterical with excitement.” Read more

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