stretch your coffee comfort zone overlaid on top of 16oz black coffee

We know: change is uncomfortable. Especially when it includes your coffee routine.

But January has a way of casually inviting change. Maybe because our worn-out livers are asking for a course-correction? Or perhaps we just need a new start every now and then. Whatever the reason, the new year brings with it an opportunity to experiment in our lives.

So, if you’ve been interested in stepping out of your coffee comfort zone, here are a few ways you can add a little spice to your coffee life.

Make a Coffee Smoothie

Here’s a time saver: incorporate your coffee into your breakfast. This recipe for a Cafe Campesino “Wake and Shake” combines bananas, cold brew coffee, cocoa powder and your choice of milk into a tasty morning smoothie. Add a half a cup of blueberries or a teaspoon (or more) of cinnamon to up its nutritional value. Will it become your new morning ritual? Who knows! It will be fun to experiment, though.

Cafe Campesino Wake N' Shake coffee chocolate banana smoothie

Find a New Favorite

Golden Iced Latte

This recipe for a Turmeric Iced Latte (also known as a Golden Iced Latte) is an increasingly popular coffee house trend that you can easily make at-home. Again using cold brew as its base, this Golden Iced Latte can either be served over iced or blended. It’s fun not only for its color and caffeine content, but also for its health benefits. Both turmeric and cinnamon have been proven to reduce inflammation in your body, helping to lower your risk of developing certain diseases. Our recipe suggests serving it over ice, but you could also throw-in half a banana and blend it like a smoothie. Choose your own [coffee] adventure.

Golden Milk Iced Latte with Cafe Campesino fair trade coffee cold brew

Try a Natural (or Unwashed) Coffee

If you’ve never tried a naturally processed coffee, you are in for a sensory adventure. Natural (or “unwashed”) coffees often have a distinct berry-like aroma and flavor. (The term “natural” does not refer to how the coffee is grown, but instead how it’s processed after harvest.) Often, the coffee bean (or seed) is removed from its ripe coffee cherry shortly after the fruit is harvested. Once the fruit is removed, the seed is washed for several hours and left to dry on concrete patios. A natural (or “unwashed”) processing method doesn’t remove the fruit at harvest, though. Instead, the seeds ferment inside the coffee cherry for up to 30 days or more after harvest. When the seed is finally removed and prepared for export, it has absorbed berry-like aromas that release when the coffee gets roasted, ground and brewed. Farmers at the Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union do an excellent job with this processing method. Our Sidama Natural coffee is a key component in our espresso blends and a deliciously aromatic coffee on its own. Experiment at home with a bag, and let us know what you think.

Experiment with Decaf

Okay. We know. There are a lot of decaf-haters out there. “What’s the point of drinking coffee if you don’t get the caffeine?” Or “Is decaf really considered coffee?” We know. We’ve heard it. But, the truth is, our decaf coffees really taste good. And there comes a time in many peoples’ lives when they reach a limit on their caffeine intake. So, for the coffee-lovers out there who have to cut-out or cut-back on caffeine, please know: we got you. Our natural-water processed decafs are delicious. AND (added perk): we sell them in in whole-bean (in addition to ground), so you can still delight in the smell of freshly ground coffee filling your kitchen. Our Decaf Full City Roast is a crowd-favorite. Give it a try.

bag of decaf coffee in a paper bag

Play with Brewing Equipment

There’s a world of coffee-brewing gadgets out there, and at first they can seem pretty intimidating. But they all work off the same principles for brewing and extraction, so once you experiment with one brew method, you can apply the same rules to others. The basic variables that will affect any brewing method are: grind-size, water-to-coffee ratio, water quality, water temperature and turbulence. Yes, different brew methods and filter types will impact your final cup, but if you start to experiment with grind-size and water-to-coffee ratio, you can play with those variables in any brew method you choose. Here’s some basic guidelines to start experimenting with brewing equipment:

Grind-Size

In general, the longer your brew time, the coarser your coffee grounds. Take cold brew, for example. The cold brew method has coffee grounds sitting in water anywhere from 8-24 hours. That’s a LONG time in the world of coffee brewing (especially when you realize most espressos brew in 30 seconds or under). So brew methods that require shorter amounts of time will likely need finer grind sizes. For folks experimenting at home, your finest to coarsest brew method would be: Aeropress, Hario, Kalita Wave, and Chemex. Using an automatic drip pot? Depending on the size of the batch, your coffee grounds should probably be about the same size as a Chemex, or slightly more fine.

Coffee-to-Water Ratio

Here’s a brewing formula to live by: use 1 gram of coffee to anywhere from 15 to 20 grams of water. This is the drip-coffee brew ratio used by baristas around the world. I know, it involves a scale (! ) (which sounds like a lot of work), but the pay-off can be pretty fantastic once you get it down. First, weigh your ground coffee before you brew (one 8-12 oz. cup can use 18-28 grams of coffee). Then, tare your scale and pour hot water over those coffee grounds until your water weight is 15-20 times your dry coffee weight. It’s that simple. Using an automatic brewer? Just weigh your coffee and water using the same 1:15-20 ratio and let the machine do the heavy-lifting for you.

Once you find the grind-size and water-to-coffee ratio you like for a particular coffee, you’ll start brewing more consistently satisfying cups. Want to start experimenting? Try with one of these pour-overs.

Develop Your Coffee Knowledge

Enjoy a cup of coffee while learning more about the industry as a whole. There’s surprisingly SO MUCH to learn about coffee. Take a gander at our YouTube page to see some of the videos we’ve accumulated over the years, or learn why we only source fair trade, organic, shade-grown coffee. If you want to dive even deeper into the social and environmental impact of our trading model, take a look at our first-ever Impact Report that we published last year.

In fact, you might find it interesting that the small-scale coffee farmers we source from are helping to cool the planet. The agroforestry systems they use to produce coffee have a regenerative and restorative impact on their soils. Learn more.

Evolve your Coffee Comfort Zone

So, as with many things in life, “it’s the journey, not the destination” that matters. Even if your coffee routine ends up staying exactly the same as it’s always been, at least you’ll have dipped your toe in for a sensory adventure. And who knows what seed that might plant? This time next year, you may be roasting your own coffee in your garage … or traveling with us to origin…. or drinking exclusively decaf? :)

Smiling customers pose for a photo after a coffee training class.

Words by Christy Deen. Images courtesy of Drip-Thru Coffee®

Training is a key process in any company that wants to maintain mastery in its field, and companies in the coffee industry are no different. On-going training is important for staff development, product consistency and empowering a team to rock this third wave of coffee.

Drip-Thru Coffee® has and continually partners with Cafe Campesino’s Coffee Training Lab to fulfill these training goals. My husband and I successfully completed the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA)’s Barista Level One certification with the Coffee Training Lab before opening our first Drip-Thru Coffee® location.

Coffee Training Lab instructor helps student pour milk into mug.

Employees at both our locations have completed Espresso & Milk 101 with Hannah Mercer, an authorized SCA trainer and education coordinator for Cafe Campesino and its sister roastery in Florida, Sweetwater Organic Coffee.

Most recently, we took several baristas to a latte art class at the Coffee Training Lab in Americus, Ga., at Cafe Campesino. It was a great way to step back from the daily grind (“ha ha”) at the shop and really focus on the craft and knowledge behind creating latte art.

the main takeaway for our staff is to never stop learning. There is so much knowledge in the world to gain!

Christy Deen, co-owner of Drip-Thru Coffee®
smiling barista shows off his latte art

Fun was had by all, and in addition to learning about latte art, the main takeaway for our staff is to never stop learning. There is so much knowledge in the world to gain!

Whether you are a coffee enthusiast, barista-in-training, or coffee shop entrepreneur, the Coffee Training Lab has something to offer you! Be sure to check them out.

Christy has worked for over 20 years in the food -and-beverage industry. She’s managed restaurants from the Walt Disney World Theme Parks to the Atlanta airport. She and her husband Martin opened their first location of Drip-Thru Coffee® in Stockbridge, Ga., in 2016. Shortly thereafter, they opened a second location in College Park. Drip-Thru Coffee® brings good, fast coffee to Atlanta commuters without compromising quality or service. Learn more about their company at: https://www.dripthrucoffee.com/

As a wholesale customer of Cafe Campesino, Drip-Thru Coffee® receives periodic training that is tailored to its needs. In addition to managing wholesale-customer training, the Coffee Training Lab offers Barista and Brewing classes that are a part of the Specialty Coffee Association‘s Coffee Skills Program . The Lab’s 2020 SCA classes have recently been listed online. Visit: www.coffeetraininglab.com for dates and locations.

women in green shirt smiles at the camera

We’ve all got our favorites. And yes, even at Cafe Camp HQ (where we love each little bean equally), staffers have their preferences. Here’s what an informal survey of staff turned up this December when we asked, “What coffee are you loving right now?”

2019 Best Coffee – Staff Picks- Blends

Mocha Java – Viennese Roast

Long-time coffee house barista Karen Montano responded first. “Mocha Java!!!” (note multiple exclamation points). An all-around great coffee, Mocha Java balances acidity and body. It’s a blend of coffees from the Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union of Ethiopia and Permata Gayo of Sumatra, Indonesia. Known for its earthiness and body, the Sumatran coffee helps balance the bright acidities of the Sidama coffee. There is no question why Karen loves this coffee.

Easygoing Espresso

“I’m loving the Easygoing Espresso as a drip coffee,” says Cori Lyman-Barner, location manager at Cafe Campesino roastery. “It’s just a solid cup of coffee. I actually like all our espressos as drip, but the Easygoing is my favorite.” A blend designed for coffee shop espressos, Easygoing is similar to Mocha Java in that it blends brightly acidic coffees with the heavy, earthy body of Sumatra. This blend, though, incorporates some of SCFCU’s naturally processed (unwashed) coffee, which imparts berry-like notes to the cup. With berry aromas and a sweet, deep flavor, Easygoing Espresso is both delicious and interesting. For beer or wine-drinkers who like to identify flavor notes in their cup, this coffee is a great morning match. They can apply those same sensory skills to coffee.

Good Morning Americus

A hometown favorite, Good Morning Americus is a medium-roast blend of Colombia, Nicaragua and Sumatra coffees. It’s our financial manager’s favorite coffee. “It has a smooth, balanced taste,” Marcia Dupree says, adding with a laugh, “It is also one that my husband and I can agree on.” It is a favorite at our Americus coffee house, too. Plus the coffee packaging incorporates artwork from Americus-based artist, Jeff Williams, whose work has been on display at the Louvre in Paris. (yep. we’re THAT fancy.) Learn more about Good Morning Americus here.

Finance Manager Marcia Dupree drinks Good Morning Americus, a home-town favorite, and a coffee she and her husband agree on.

Holiday Blend

Marketing Director Nema Etheridge’s favorite coffee right now is the Holiday Blend. A pre-roast blend of Guatemala, Peru and Colombia, the holiday blend showcases the bright acidities of Fondo Paez’s coffee, while also offering roasty, nutty flavors and a medium body from Peru’s Pangoa cooperative. Well balanced and easy-to-drink, the Holiday Blend is a cozy go-to for this holiday season.

Marketing Director Nema Etheridge loves the Holiday Blend right now. Because the green beans are blended before roasting, the bean sizes are more even, which offers a consistent extraction in the cup, she says.

Atlanta Audubon Society

Lee Harris, Chief Operating Officer and trained chef, is loving the Atlanta Audubon Society blend coffee. Using the same origins as the Holiday Blend, the Atlanta Audubon Society coffee is a lighter roast profile. The fruit-like acidities from Guatamala and Colombia shine in this blend, and the Pangoa coffee from Peru anchors the coffee with rich body. A blend created in collaboration with Atlanta Audubon more than 5 years ago, this coffee generates an annual donation for the Atlanta Audubon. Ten percent of every online sale of this coffee goes back to the organization, which educates the public about the importance of forest-like habitats for preserving bird species.

Preferred by COO Lee Harris, the Atlanta Audubon Society Blend showcases bright acidity from Colombia and Guatemala. Plus, 10% of every retail sale goes back to the Atlanta Audubon Audubon Society.

2019 Best Coffee – Staff Picks -Single Origin

Colombia Medium Roast by Fondo Paez

Coffee House Manager Ifah Hathcock loves Colombia Medium Roast coffee, produced by small-scale farmers of the Fondo Paez co-op. This coffee shows up in blends such as the Holiday Blend and Atlanta Audubon Society, but it stands alone just fine.

Fondo Paez of the Cauca region of Colombia just keeps getting better and better.

About three years ago, the cooperative started training farmers how to roast and cup (professionally taste) their own coffees so that they could better understand preferences of the specialty coffee consumer.

Their work has paid off. We roast this coffee at a medium roast level, which allows its bright, juicy, mango-like flavors to shine. When you first start to brew this coffee, a sweet, caramel-like aroma is one of its mouth-watering hallmarks.

Coffeehouse Manager Ifah Hathcock & Chief Executive Officer Tripp Pomeroy both love this coffee, and it’s easy to see why.

Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Fondo Paez’s general manager, Yuri Pilliume, came to visit Americus last year and those memories are still fresh in our minds. The first female manager of the Fondo Paez cooperative, Yuri came to Americus to celebrate 20 years of Cafe Campesino, and she brought us all hand-made gifts, weaved by members of the Fondo Paez cooperative. It was pretty special.

woman talks to man while woman listens in the background.
Yuri Pilliume of Colombia’s Fondo Paez cooperative presents hand-woven belts to Cafe Campesino CEO Tripp Pomeroy & staff. Esperanza Dionisio Castillo of Peru’s CAC Pangoa cooperative listens.

Yuri was joined by Esperanza Dionisio Castillo of Peru’s CAC Pangoa cooperative and Carlos Reynoso of Guatemala’s Manos Campesinas, a secondary level exporter of the APECAFORM cooperative we’ve sourced from for more than 18 years. Learn more about their visit here.

2020 Best Coffees- What Will Staff Pick next year?

And so there you have it. Our favorites as of December 2019.

But coffee is an agricultural product, and each season’s harvest is a little different. Producers in Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras are in the middle of harvest season right now. And the consistency and post-harvest processing methods of cooperatives like Guatemala’s APECAFORM or CHAJUL have gotten better and better over the years. Honduras’s COMSA cooperative also consistently produces beautiful, high-scoring coffees.

So, there is no telling where staff’s selection will be this time next year. (Or how close our staff’s preferences align with YOUR preferences). But we do know that the there are a lot of great coffees in store for all of us in 2020. So, cheers to 2019!

Get those mugs warm for some even better ones in 2020. (Speaking of mugs… check this puppy out.)

Gratitude for Staff

It’s impossible to have a month of gratitude without recognizing our awesome staff. These folks work behind the scenes to bring you Cafe Campesino. We are SOooo grateful for their hard work and positive energy. We want you to know them, too.

Our Production Crew

Led by Esme Hernandez, this crew roasts, packs, grinds and seals all the coffee that leaves Cafe Campesino. They are some of the hardest working, most joyful people we know. Their laughter, attention-to-detail and pursuit of excellence makes our product what it is. We are so grateful to Esme, Itzel Reyes (not pictured here), Erika Hernandez, Barbie Phillips and Thomas Weber. This is a busy time of year, and they keep the coffee flowing. We. Are. Grateful.

Our Location Manager

Cori Lyman-Barner is the voice behind the phone and the personality behind customer service emails. She makes sure your orders get entered and processed, working directly with Esme to get them out of the roastery. She also makes sure our roastery location stays sparkling clean, our production crew gets time off and every miscellaneous coffee need that comes through the door gets managed. We are so grateful to Cori for working diligently with all of our customers and staff to make sense of what could easily be coffee chaos.

Our Delivery Driver

After 10 or so years in our customer service seat, Dave traded in his view of a computer for the open road. He knows our roastery, our customers, and so many back roads between Americus and Western North Carolina. We are so grateful to him for his long-running commitment to small-scale coffee farmers and his endurance to drive to and from Atlanta every week… and to and from North Carolina and Savannah every other week. Honk if you see Dave in our giant delivery van.

Our COO

Coffee House Manager/New England Culinary Institute Alum-turned COO (chief operating officer), Lee Harris’s behind-the-scenes wisdom helps steer our ship. Whether it’s crunching numbers, cupping coffees, training coffee house staff on made-from-scratch baking or overseeing purchasing, Lee stays busy. He served as the company’s first roastmaster back in the day, and it’s so fun to have him back.

Our Bookkeeper

We drive her crazy with our vacation requests and under-reported sick days and old invoices and need for petty cash…but (we think?) she love us anyway. We sure love her! We couldn’t survive without Marcia Dupree’s skillful management of our accounts receivables and our accounts payables and all things in between. She is truly a behind-the-scenes shero for our company.

Our Webmaster and BRAG Brewmaster

Sometimes it’s easy to forget the folks who’ve been around the longest. But not Geoffrey! Geoffrey started as our first customer when he lived out at Koinonia, and he’s been with us ever since. His work is so critical to our team that we all have him on speed-dial. He’s an expert in bulk brewing, having brewed coffee for so many Bicycle Ride Across Georgia events we’ve quit counting. But most importantly, he’s our all-things-tech adviser and our webmaster. Making sure our sites stay secure, updated and optimized is critically important this time of year, and we are SOOO grateful to have his support on that.. and so many other things.

Last but not least OUR COFFEE HOUSE STAFF

These folks rock. Led by Ifah Hathcock, this amazing crew of food service industry professionals is one of the best in the biz. Not only do they make sure Cafe Campesino coffee is outstandingly brewed for both drip and espresso drinks, they also make breakfast and lunch FROM SCRATCH (thank you, Lee Harris). The baked goods and sandwiches are some of the best there are in any coffee shop anywhere. And the crew taking your order and prepping it always has such an amazing, positive attitude. They are: Ifah Hathcock, April Rustin, Savannah Morgan-Barber, Karen Montano, Javier Abendando, Heather Thornburgh, Kasie Ware, Conner Batchelor ,Nathan Gibson and Alex Exum. (Pictured here from left-to-right are: Javier, Alex, Savannah, Ifah and April). They inspire us.

five people posing for a picture that recognizes coffee house staff. They are wearing dark shirts and cafe campesino hats and are posing in what looks to be a coffee house.

WE ARE GRATEFUL. We could not do Cafe Campesino without these awesome people.

(Looking for someone not here? They’re awesome, too. Check out our staff page to learn more about our crew.)

sticker of drip-thru coffee between a fair trade and organics image

Written by Martin Deen, owner of Drip-Thru Coffee

Since we started Drip-Thru Coffee and opened our first shop in 2016, we’ve always planned to run the business in an ethical way.  For us, that meant things like looking for local suppliers, choosing ecologically sustainable packaging, and looking for other ways we could have a positive impact with our business. 

Fair Trade: a Must for Drip-Thru Coffee

Given our primary product, coffee, is mostly an imported good, that also meant Fair Trade.  Fair Trade is trade that adheres to standards of social, economic, and environmental practices that provide a sustainable livelihood, empowerment, and a safe environment to the communities with which we trade.

Martin and Christy Deen of Drip-Thru Coffee found ripe coffee cherries while visiting farmers at the Asociacion Chajulense during a recent coffee origin trip to Guatemala . November 2019. Photo courtesy of Drip-Thru Coffee.

This began with our roaster Cafe Campesino who imports Fair Trade coffee as a member of Cooperative Coffees.  We’ve relied on their guidance and experience in sustainable and fair importation of specialty coffees from all over the world.  But this year we had the opportunity to see part of that process first hand by making a trip to Guatemala to visit with some of the co-ops that export the coffee and the farmers who grow it.

Meeting with the passionate people in Guatemala involved in the Fair Trade movement was eye-opening. 

– Martin Deen, owner of Drip-Thru Coffee
Bill Harris of Cafe Campesino and Martin Deen, Drip-Thru Coffee co-owner, near Lake Atitlan in Guatemala . Photo courtesy of Drip-Thru Coffee.

A Life-Changing Coffee Origin Trip

We’ve made an effort to be informed cafe owners, studying with the Specialty Coffee Association to become certified as baristas.  This study included information on how coffee was grown, the process involved in exporting and importing, and other information about coffee trade.  Diligence in study was important, but it was also important and life changing to experience the coffee country that is the origin of this beverage we all love.

Meeting with the passionate people in Guatemala involved in the Fair Trade movement was eye opening.  Our visits with Asociacion Chajulense and Manos Campesinas let us meet men and women who are devoted not only to producing quality coffee but also helping their communities and empowering the coffee farmers they work with.  They were excited to share their time with us and give us so much information and background on what it takes to bring coffee to market.  They also shared with us the struggles involved in keeping farms, co-ops, and small-scale coffee production going in Guatemala.

Juan Solis Brito, Chajulense coffee farmer and promoter, with Christy and Martin Deen in Chel, Guatemala. Photo courtesy of Drip-Thru Coffee.

Seeing the small farms in a beautiful country where our Guatemalan coffee was grown was wonderful.  But meeting the farmers who are involved, engaged, and eager to remain informed about the journey their coffee makes to its final destination was truly revelatory.  While we play different roles in the coffee industry than the farmers we met, we all shared a sense of community being part of Fair Trade coffee as a whole.

In the end, it was an adventure of discovery of people as much as landscape or experience.  Making connections across distance and barriers of language revealed our common passion and labor towards delivering good coffee while honoring the people that made it possible.

While we play different roles in the coffee industry than the farmers we met, we all shared a sense of community being part of fair trade coffee as a whole.

Martin Deen

Martin & Christy Deen own Drip-Thru Coffee, which has two drive-thru coffee locations in metro Atlanta. Martin wrote this piece after he and Christy returned from Guatemala in November 2019. Visit Drip-Thru locations at: 50 HWY 138 West in Stockbridge, Ga., and 1515 Virginia Ave. in College Park, Ga. Learn more at https://www.dripthrucoffee.com/

Gratitude for Customers text overlaid on a blue background

Running a small business might be one of the hardest jobs there is.  If you’re the one(s) in charge, you are always working.  You’re always solving problems.   Planning ahead.   Dealing with yesterday’s issues. Stocking product. Taking inventory, managing employees, dealing with human resources-related issues, marketing, selling, marketing, selling, overseeing customer service issues, cleaning, fixing that piece of equipment, marketing, selling, evaluating, tweaking.  Constantly improving. Your business is a child that always needs attention. You love it.  But it never stops needing attention.

Most of our wholesale customers are these people.  They’re the folks who had an idea and are wildly committed to seeing it through.   They are constantly learning, constantly working and constantly thinking about their business. 

We are so grateful to them. 

We are not only grateful that they had the courage to follow their dreams and jump into the world of small-business ownership- where they ‘dig-in” to the everyday life of their communities, offering folks a safe place to gather or others a place to work.  But we are also grateful that they’ve chosen us as their coffee roaster.

a gentleman in a black shirt that says "the sentient bean" stands holding a pan of cinnamon rolls in front of a wall of coffee beans.
The Sentient Bean in Savannah, Georgia, is one of our longest standing customers. They sell Cafe Campesino by the pound and by the cup….and make some pretty amazing vegan cinnamon rolls (as seen here). Photo by: The Sentient Bean.

By choosing to work with us, they’ve said that they care about the fate of the small-scale farmer.  They want to source organic coffee.  They believe in the power of farmer-owned cooperatives.  They don’t want coffee to be a nameless, faceless product.  And they know they can help.  They know they have a place in this supply chain.  They know their work is critical for creating the pull-through small farmers’ need to move their product.  They know these farmers are investing in the their own communities and farming in a way that helps preserve the planet.   AND…. They know that their customers will care.

Their coffee house customers are like our online customers…  or our own coffee house customers in Americus.  They’re conscious consumers.    We are convinced conscious consumers have the power to save the planet.

Conscious Consumers are Making a Difference

Just down the road from Americus, in Bluffton, Georgia, friends of ours at White Oak Pastures have been practicing rotational grazing, organics and regenerative agriculture for a little over 20 years.  Though they’ve been farming their land in Bluffton since the late 1800’s, it wasn’t until 1995 that Will Harris returned his farming operations to “radically traditional” farming practices that restore health to the livestock and to the soil. 

This year, international sustainability consultancy Quantis released a Life Cycle Assessment of White Oak’s beef. They wanted to assess the total environmental impact of White Oak’s beef production, because the conventional beef industry is known to be a top offender in the world’s green-house gas emissions.

The study found that White Oak’s soil teems with life.  The farm wasn’t just carbon neutral (which alone is hard-to-do in the world of livestock farming) but it was actually carbon positive.  A holistic approach to farming that includes planned rotational grazing has made White Oak’s soil capable of sequestering more carbon than their cows emit in their lifetimes. Keeping carbon in the soil ultimately helps cool the planet.

Now take that concept from the cattle farms of South Georgia to the coffee lands around the Equator. Small-scale coffee farmers are also practicing regenerative agriculture – fostering biodiversity in their soil and on their farms (and soon they will be able to measure their own carbon footprint) . Suddenly, a patchwork of healthy soils starts to form around the globe… helping to cool the planet.

But neither White Oak Pastures, nor small-scale coffee farmers would be able to survive if it weren’t for conscious consumers.  Customers who care enough to ask questions and seek business transparency.  Customers who demand a sustainable supply chain alongside a great-tasting product.  Customers who are willing to change their purchasing habits or spend a little more from time-to-time.

Man wearing white shirt and a hat talks with shorter women in a busy setting.

We are so grateful to those customers who care. Wholesale and retail.  Big and small. Coffee shops, natural food markets, food-service institutions, general stores, offices, restaurants, places of worship, individuals at home.  We absolutely would not exist if it weren’t for you. 

Thank you. And please stay engaged. Your purchases matter.

Conscious Consumption On-the-Road: Visit our Customers

If you’re a Cafe Campesino coffee drinker, and you’d like to support some of our wholesale customers, you can visit them at these locations.

"gratitude for producers" text sits on top of blue background. Word "producers" is yellow in the foreground

Anyone familiar with our company knows that we are extremely aligned with the interests of the small-scale coffee farmer.  After all, it’s in our name (“Café Campesino” loosely translates from Spanish to “coffee of the small farmer”).

It’s worth taking a moment to explain why.

Small-Scale Coffee Farmers are the Backbone of the Specialty Coffee Industry

Some 14 billion pounds of specialty grade Arabica coffee is produced every year, according to the International Coffee Organization.  Eighty percent of that is grown by small land holders who do not have full-time employees. 

Unlike Robusta (the other commercialized coffee species) Arabica is notoriously difficult to farm with machines.  For starters, it grows at higher altitudes on the sides of steep mountainsides, which are unfriendly to machines. The stems of the Arabica plant can also be easily damaged during a harvest cycle if the coffee cherry is not removed with just the right amount of finesse. If damaged, the stem risks not flowering or producing fruit the following season. And finally, the human eye is better than any machine at discerning the optimum ripeness of a coffee cherry, a detail that impacts the overall sweetness and flavor profile of a cup.

So, the majority of the world’s specialty-grade coffee – some 11.2 billion pounds- is picked by hand by small-scale farmers.

This raw product gets cleaned and processed by farmers. Then it gets exported to coffee drinking countries where it is roasted and brewed and leveraged into what in 2018 was a $ 45.4 billion industry in the United States. The specialty coffee explosion we’ve come to love in the United States- the one that supports importers, baristas, truck drivers, marketers, roasters, real-estate developers- it all happens because 25 million people around the world pick Arabica coffee by hand. We are immensely grateful to them for their work.

Small-Scale Farmers Preserve Indigenous Cultures

Nearly all of the farmers we source coffee from are indigenous people living in geographically remote places around the world. Coffee is their livelihood and a means of survival for communities. Ancient indigenous languages and traditions are kept alive in these communities. In Colombia, the Nasa farmers at the Fondo Paez co-op are preserving heirloom varietals of corn by saving and sharing seeds among cooperative members. In Mexico, Maya Vinic is able to practice ancient traditions of self-government and a reverence for mother earth with traditional farming practices and cooperative organizing structures. At the Asociacion Chajulense in Guatemala, women are paid to hand-sort coffees, earning money that supports a tradition of weaving colorful huipil textiles that are characteristic of their region.

In every farming community where we source coffee, indigenous cultures live on. We are grateful for this cultural diversity on the planet.

Small-Scale Farmers Teach us about Community

Last October, Yuri Pilliume, the first female general manager of the Fondo Paez cooperative of Cauca, Colombia, visited us in Americus for our 20th Anniversary celebration. She joined our staff for our daily morning huddle, and after everyone had shared their work plans for the day, she presented us each with a gift. Rainbow-colored woven belts she and other Fondo Paez members hand-made for us before her trip. “Each color has a meaning,” she told us. The blue is for the clean blue waters that run near their farm lands, green for the health of the earth, the red for the blood that has run from years of past violence in their area, the black for the dark times we all have to go through to get to the lightness, and the orange for the natural minerals found in their soils.

woman is talking to man with another woman listening in. She has a group of rainbow-colored hand-woven belts in front of her.
Yuri Pilliume the general manager of the Fondo Paez cooperative presents Tripp Pomeroy and Cafe Campesino staff with colorful hand-woven belts as a gift. Esperanza Dionisio Castillo, general manager of Peru’s CAC Pangoa cooperative, listens.

She, like so many small-scale producers over the years, reminded us of the power of community. That together, we can love and support one another to be our best selves- for the benefit of our community and for the planet. Freddy Perez of Honduras’s COMSA cooperative sums it up like this: “It’s one big give and take. Alone, we can move faster, but together we can go much further. This is our proposal, and it’s what we’re betting on.”

Small-Scale Farmers Show Us How to Preserve the Planet

A layered tree canopy and biological diversity of plants and animals are hallmarks of shade-grown coffee farms. Organic coffee farming at its best is regenerative – sequestering carbon and preserving life in and around the soil. You see this from small-scale farmers who live and farm in these environments. Their commitment to composting, applying micro-organisms to their soil, planting and caring for trees and preserving biological diversity in their fields reminds us that being human is about living with nature.

For these and so many other reasons, we are deeply grateful to the world’s small-scale coffee farmers who are the true leaders of specialty coffee. Their work and commitment to community and the planet, have been and will remain our guiding posts for business at Cafe Campesino.

A bag of Cafe Campesino holiday blend coffee with a cup of coffee next to it and christmas ornaments and coffee beans sprinkled across the background.

If you’re looking for a meaningful gift for your clients, look no further than the Cafe Campesino Holiday Blend. We’re convinced this mighty little coffee will make your life easier and leave your customers feeling valued and appreciated. Here’s why:

Why our Coffee is the Perfect Corporate Gift Idea

  1. It’s easy to gift.
    Packaged in 8 oz. bags with a festive Holiday Blend label on the front, this coffee is ready to be gifted as soon as it arrives. The only decisions you have to make are whether the coffee is whole bean or ground (your customers will likely want it ground) and when you’re going to call to place your order. Gifting. Made. Easy.
  2. It tastes delicious.
    A blend of Latin American Arabica coffees, including coffee from Peru’s Central Amazon region and Colombia’s Cauca region, our Holiday Blend has a great body with a rounded sweetness and delicate acidity. Plus, it will be freshly roasted, which, in terms of coffee flavor, means everything.
  3. The supply chain is spot-on.
    As a certified B Corp that maintains long-term trading relationships with farmer-owned cooperatives, we can ensure that the coffee you’re gifting has come through a well-vetted, sustainable supply chain. All of our coffees are certified organic and fair trade and because they are sourced through co-ops, their production helps to develop coffee-farming communities worldwide. Learn more about our business transparency efforts and our collaboration with coffee farmer co-ops in our 2018 Impact Report.
  4. We have a fast turn-around time.
    We process orders within two business days. Place your order by Friday, and it will ship by Tuesday.
  5. It will stay fresh throughout the holiday season.
    Because your coffee is packaged in sealed, air-tight bags, it will remain fresh through the holidays. Whole-bean coffee can retain freshness for up to three months and ground coffee for up to one month in sealed bags. Because you will be ordering directly from our roasting facility, you can be sure that you’re getting our most freshly roasted coffee available.
  6. It communicates a meaningful story.
    The name “Cafe Campesino,” loosely translates from Spanish into “coffee of the small farmer.” Founded in Americus, Georgia, Cafe Campesino was born after a small-scale coffee farmer communicated the inequity of the coffee supply chain to Habitat for Humanity volunteers working in Guatemala. After that interaction, Bill Harris Jr. returned home to Americus to source coffee directly from farmers. Direct sourcing meant fewer actors in the supply chain and a greater percentage of the coffee’s retail value would get back to the farmers. Since that interaction in 1997, Cafe Campesino has steadily worked with coffee farmers to improve the terms-of-trade for producers. It collaborates with like-minded coffee companies around the world, while investing in its hometown in rural Southwest Georgia. In many ways, the Cafe Campesino story is about the value of investing in your own community.

Pricing and Minimum Orders

Eight-ounce bags of Holiday Blend are $5.95 each.

A minimum order is 20 bags.

Contact Cori Lyman-Barner for pricing and minimum quantities for larger bag sizes.

How to Order

Call Cori Lyman-Barner at the Cafe Campesino roastery at 229-924-2468, or email her at cori@cafecampesino.com.

Cafe Campesino Holiday Blend sticker on a kraft bag with the words "A Great Gift for: Clients, Friends & Family and Colleagues & Employees" on top.

Shopping with us Online

If you are curious about larger bags of our Holiday Blend or some of our other coffees, visit our web store.

We are offering a 20 percent discount on all coffees purchased online in November when you use the code: thanks20 at online checkout.