Tag Archives: quality

338. Castillo and Caturra, in words

Yesterday I shared some data showing how Castillo and Caturra samples performed as part of the baseline survey for our Borderlands Coffee Project.  As I reflected on the quantitative results, which showed a narrow but persistent advantage for Caturra and a slightly higher upper bound, I wondered whether there was a quantitative difference between the […]

337. Castillo and Caturra, by the numbers

I recently concluded a series that examined the current campaign by Colombia’s coffee authorities to replace the country’s traditional coffee cultivars with the disease-resistant Castillo hybrid as part of their response to the coffee leaf rust epidemic. As part of that series, I wrote: At the risk of oversimplification, the debate has been framed by […]

334. The Colombia cultivar question: what we can learn

Over the past two weeks I have written about the coffee leaf rust epidemic that has decimated Colombia’s coffee production, and the response of the country’s coffee authorities, which includes financial incentives for farmers to plant the disease-resistant Castillo cultivar. I have shared the results of a survey we conducted that may bring something novel […]

332. Credit for coffee in Colombia

Colombia’s campaign to replace its traditional coffee varieties with the new, disease-resistant Castillo cultivar has been the topic of much conversation in recent years in specialty coffee circles.  What few people understand, however, is that Colombia is making coffee farmers an offer that the poorest among them can’t afford to refuse — free money to […]

331. Farmer perspectives on Castillo

The Castillo cultivar has been the subject of considerable discussion and no small amount of controversy in the marketplace in recent years.  At the risk of oversimplification, the debate has been framed by two positions: that of representatives of Colombia’s Federación Nacional de Cafeteros, who insist that Castillo will thrive in the specialty market because […]

330. The origins of the Castillo cultivar

Colombia’s Federación Nacional de Cafeteros is a most remarkable institution.  Among the many achievements of which the FNC is justifiably proud is its long tradition of coffee research.  The Federation’s first annual budget, way back in 1927, included funding for research into coffee production and disease.  In 1938, Colombia established a National Coffee Research Center, […]

328. Colombia’s OTHER eradication campaign

Over the past decade, the U.S. government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to help Colombia eradicate coca production.  The campaign has eliminated millions of acres of coca and been the source of considerable debate.  Opponents charge that aerial spraying — a controversial approach to eradication employed only in Colombia — has displaced farmers, […]

327. Single-serve brewers: A view from origin

The single-serve café may be the innovation that has most refined the presentation of specialty coffee in recent years, but the single-cup brewing system for home use has unquestionably been the innovation that has most disrupted it. To borrow from the lexicon of American political discourse, single-cup technologies have been embraced from Wall Street, where […]

326. The most important conversation in specialty coffee?

One overcast Sunday last September, Nick Cho published this searching reflection on the relationship between coffee quality and social impact.  Somehow it managed to escape my notice until this past weekend.  Nick’s post is beautiful in its candor, frankly acknowledging the limitations of specialty coffee and honestly exploring “the true human condition of the coffee […]

319. Please call me by my true names

CRS has been working to support smallholder coffee farmers — both in the coffeelands and in the U.S. marketplace — for the better part of 10 years.  For most of that time we have kept a low profile, working quietly to help farmers increase coffee productivity, quality and income at origin and  expand the market […]