Monthly Archives: April 2011

154. CRS (and friends) at SCAA 2011

2011-04-25 No Comments

Tomorrow I travel to Houston for the annual gathering of the SCAA.  CRS has participated in some capacity in every SCAA since 2004, but this year is special.  It marks our first time participating in Symposium, our first time with a booth on the show floor (#441) and the largest CRS delegation ever.  With new […]

153. Thank you – Hope – Peace

2011-04-20 No Comments

The title of this post was not lifted from a greeting card.  Rather, it was my travel itinerary on my recent visit to Honduras, which took me from the vibrant coffee town of Gracias (Thank you) through Esperanza (Hope) to Marcala in the department of La Paz (Peace).  The visit was designed, as I have […]

152. Coffee for water

2011-04-19 No Comments

Yesterday I reflected on the idea of “water for coffee.”  Today: “coffee for water.” We all know that water is important for the quality of your coffee.  But what does your coffee do to improve the quality of water in the coffeelands?  As it turns out, a lot.

151. Water for coffee

2011-04-18 No Comments

With SCAA right around the corner, I revive my annual lament about the exclusive focus at the show on the quality of the water that goes into your coffee.  Last year, I celebrated the water that doesn’t go into your coffee.  Smallholder cooperatives all across the coffeelands are adopting water-efficient post-harvest technologies to reduce their […]

150. What makes a cooperative special?

2011-04-15 No Comments

In conversations with roasters and importers, I have often referred to farmer organizations as “special.”  The term is spectacularly imprecise, since the sources of “specialness” can be so diverse.  It is important for cooperatives to articulate clearly just what makes them so special, however, since roasters are not just searching for quality coffee, but quality […]

149. San Antonio – Breaking with tradition

2011-04-14 No Comments

The San Antonio cooperative is located in amid the peaks of the Cordillera del Bálsamo, high in the mountains above San Salvador.  For more than 30 years, it has had a tradition of producing high-quality shade-grown coffee.  This year, the organization produced 12 containers of quality varietals: Borbon, Catuaí, Pacas and Pacamaras.  Producing high-quality coffee […]

148. El Pinal – Heads in the clouds, feet on the ground

2011-04-13 No Comments

The members of the El Pinal cooperative have their heads in the clouds, literally.  Their offices and their mill are perched on a narrow peak of the Cordillera del Bálsamo that is as often as not wrapped in mist and clouds.  But the organization is seeing its future clearly and thinking in ways they haven’t […]

147. More on Counter Culture’s Direct Trade model

2011-04-12 No Comments

Yesterday I shared some good news:  Counter Culture Coffee is now offering a Direct Trade Certified coffee from 5 de junio, a cooperative we work with in Nicaragua under our CAFE Livelihoods project.  The cooperative has been working hard over the past few years to improve the quality of its coffee, and we are delighted […]

146. Maya Vinic – Life in every sip

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Maya Vinic means Maya Man in Tzotzil, one of the three indigenous languages the organization’s members speak.  Maya Vinic’s members say the cooperative’s name evokes their ancestors and their coffee, which they grow with love and respect for Mother Earth, in the highland forests of Chiapas. Maya Vinic’s members believe that the extraordinary quality of […]

145. Counter Culture announces 5 de junio single-origin offering

2011-04-11 No Comments

Counter Culture Coffee on Friday announced it is now offering a single-origin, Direct Trade Certified coffee from 5 de junio, a cooperative participating in our CAFE Livelihoods project.  While this may not be Earth-shaking news in the United States, it represents the culmination of years of hard work in a handful of coffee communities in […]