Picture yourself in the Sumatran jungle mountains of North Indonesia, a crescendo of mountains shooting up from the sea where many locals’ lives depend on the coffee industry. This is one of the most beautifully lush regions of the world but fraught with historical mistreatment that lead to separatist fighting since 1976.
Over the course of the year, we get to interact with some wonderful businesses that inspire us to keep fighting the good fight. Their products are the perfect addition to your Christmas gift-giving, especially for those do-gooders in your life.
Cafe Campesino visited its fair trade, organic coffee trading partners in Cauca, Colombia, in 2017. Learn more about their trip to Fondo Paez.
Sustainability in Specialty Coffee is key for us and others, as the industry adjusts and the climate changes. Learn how we’re laying the groundwork for our future.
People ask me all the time what’s one thing they can do to step up their coffee game in the morning. Once you go beyond buying high quality, fresh coffee, the answer is simple: buy your coffee whole bean and grind it fresh every morning. With that being said… there are hundreds of grinder options on the market, and choosing the right one for your lifestyle can be overwhelming. Here are a few questions, and suggestions, to help you find the right grinder for your morning brew.
It seems in the coffee world there is the ever-present question: “Which brew method is better?”. Professionals and avid home users alike will all champion one as their favorite, swearing that it produces THE BEST cup of coffee, every time. But with so many brew methods out there, they can’t all be right, can they? […]
A French Press is one of the easiest and most recognized manual brew methods. Since they come in a variety of sizes they can be perfect for making a personal cup, or a brew for six people to share. This is often described as a “set it and forget it” method – perfect for beginners or for people who want an easy way to experiment with brewing variables like time or coffee-to-water ratio. French Presses are characterized by their full body and heavy sediment in the finished cup.
It’s fitting that “International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples” (Aug. 9) falls squarely in the middle of “National Coffee Month” (August). Nearly all our coffees come from indigenous communities around the world. The contributions of indigenous peoples to specialty coffee are exceptional, and we would have little to offer our customers without the hard work of people like the Ixil in the Guatemalan Highlands or the Gayo in the mountains of Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia. It seems that these people- who continue to work to protect their languages and cultures – are often forgotten by the rest of the world- their ancient histories lost in the modern melting pot of international business. We encourage you to take today and every day to learn more about the rich and vibrant indigenous communities of the world. Many of these people spend their entire lives on the front lines of environmental stewardship and social justice- tending to organic plots of land or standing in solidarity with their marginalized friends, colleagues and neighbors.
Ethan Ryan, our roaster extraordinaire, traveled to Guatemala for the first time in May to meet producer partners at the APECAFORM cooperative, learn about coffee harvesting and exporting, and generally polish up on his Spanish. It was his first time abroad. And his first time at coffee origin.
Coffee training is such a vital part of a coffee shop’s success that many shop-owners send their staff to get trained. Our own Hannah Mercer is teaching coffee classes this week at Barista Camp- an annual training session for new baristas. It is organized by the Barista Guild of America and the Specialty Coffee Association.
Before she left, Hannah listed her top 5 reasons coffee shop owners should train their baristas.
Hannah Mercer, our sales, customer service and training representative, is pictured here (center) with school children in La Nueva Colonia, a community located deep in the coffee-producing highlands of the Cordillera Central mountains of Colombia- home to Fondo Paez.
In Spanish the word “Esperanza” means hope, so it is fitting that one of fair trade coffee’s most hopeful protagonists would be named Esperanza. Esperanza Dionisio Castillo leads Peru’s CAC Pangoa cooperative, a farmer-owned enterprise of some 700 campesinos headquartered east of the Andes mountains.