Tag Archives: Counter Culture

Third-Rail Communications

The Direct Trade-v-Fair Trade debate resurfaced here last week.  I weighed in on that debate here yesterday. Today I want to explore a related idea: that the leading proponents of these two trading models may have communicated themselves into corners from which they can’t easily extricate themselves even though they desperately need to. Direct Trade […]

Apples and Oranges

When the Fair World Project published this comparison of select brands in the U.S. coffee market last year, I was sorely tempted to respond here. To explain publicly what was happening privately: that I was being asked by Fair Trade roasters in the upper tiers to arrange meetings with Direct Trade roasters in lower tiers […]

Nariño’s Third Wave

Nariño, Colombia, strikes me as a coffee origin that everyone in coffee knows, but very few people in coffee know well. . . I have had the extraordinary good fortune to get to know Nariño better than most over the past four-plus years as director of our Borderlands Coffee Project there.  When I first started […]

Back-to-School Theme: What (and Where) I Drank This Summer

It’s that time of year again: back-to-school time.  Which means it is also time for the annual “What I Did This Summer” essay. As a home roaster in Ecuador with a limited array of locally available coffees available to roast, my annual summer vacation affords me the opportunity to branch out and sample all the […]

SCAA Symposium video: “A Simple Question”

Yesterday SCAA Symposium organizers posted a video of my presentation “A Simple Question: Castillo or Caturra?” Watch it in its entirety here. .    

Sustainability in practice

Earlier this month I was scheduled to faciltate a panel during the The SCAA Event titled “Sustainability in Practice”–a conversation with five women who are among the best thinkers (and doers) on sustainability issues in specialty coffee: Sarah Beaubien Vice President of Sustainability FARMER BROTHERS COFFEE Tracy Ging Vice President of Sustainability and Special Initiatives […]

A simple question: Castillo or Caturra?

Yesterday I had the honor to present the preliminary results of the Colombia Sensory Trial at the 2015 SCAA Symposium. The Colombia Sensory Trial is a cross-sector collaboration with allies in the research community (the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, Kansas State University and World Coffee Research), industry (Counter Culture, Federación Nacional de Cafeteros, George […]

449. La Florida: Meet the growers

Since early this morning, members of the 33 families who grew the coffee in Counter Culture’s La Florida single-variety Caturra lot have been gathered in Pasto, the capital of Nariño.  They are waiting until 3:12 pm local time, when their coffee takes center stage in the able hands of Anna Utevsky.  Meet some of them […]

448. USBC preview: Anna Utevsky and intentionality

The U.S. Barista Championship gets underway tomorrow in Long Beach.  The live broadcast of the competition will reach viewers in a place not accustomed to watching barista events. I’m not talking about Las Vegas, North Carolina. Or Holland, Michigan. Or even Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I am talking about Nariño, Colombia, where the farmers who grew Anna […]