Yesterday I suggested that an upgrade of Nariño’s coffee sector is underway—one that builds on the region’s rich tradition while innovating to further segment the region’s coffees and expand smallholder access to higher-value segments of the market. That post highlighted the role that the Borderlands Advisory Council—a small group of U.S.-based coffee companies that has […]
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 […]
In this post more than two years ago, I juxtaposed Colombia’s long-standing and very deliberate efforts to eradicate coca with the more recent policies of the country’s coffee institutions, which I suggested may be contributing unintentionally to the eradication of the traditional coffee varieties that made Colombian coffee famous. The post was inspired by my […]
This is the second in a two-part conversation with my friend “Alex,” a respected colleague in coffee, that explores the opportunities, limitations and impacts of microlots. Read the first part here.
At The SCAA Event last month, our CIAT friend and colleague Mark Lundy presented the results of costs-of-production research we did together on the basis of 2013 data from our Borderlands Coffee Project in Colombia. Today I explore with Mark what we learned from those data and what implications they may have for coffee buyers […]
Intelligentsia wasn’t just a charter member of the Advisory Council for our Borderlands project in Nariño, Colombia–conversations with coffee buyer Geoff Watts dating back to 2010 helped shape the project’s design and planted the seeds for the Colombia Sensory Trial, our partnership with leaders in specialty coffee, research and philanthropy on a rigorous comparative analysis […]
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 […]
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 […]
Last month, Counter Culture introduced this single-variety community lot from La Florida. This month, it rolls out a series of more than one dozen single-farm lots from the same region of Nariño. .
In Nariño, Colombia, we have been working for more than three years to build relationships between the 1,600 smallholder growers who participate in our Borderlands Coffee Project and six allies in the marketplace who are part of the project’s Advisory Council. This year, four of those companies purchased 41 separate lots from 324 different growers, […]