CCS Friends & Family: Reveille Coffee Roasters

As part of our mission to source the right coffee the right way, we invest heavily in long term meaningful relationships in the coffee industry. This includes relationships with our customers, coffee roasters. We love growing with a business, understanding your markets, connecting you to producers, and sourcing the perfect coffee for you. We consider you a part of the CCS family.

This is the first in an ongoing series of blog posts celebrating the businesses and the people roasting CCS-sourced coffee.

Interview with Prestin Yoder, Roaster, Reveille Coffee Roasters

 Prestin Yoder, Reveille Coffee Roasters, San Francisco

Prestin Yoder, Reveille Coffee Roasters, San Francisco

Describe your coffee journey

I went to college and immediately got a gig as a barista. Found it a useful skill as a side-hustle while I did school. After graduating, I was not comfortable working within my line of study. At the time I found friends who were trying to improve quality of green, roasted and brewed coffee. The culture was lit with critical thinking and potential. I wanted in. Working my way through Seattle, New York and San Francisco, I soaked myself into a dissolved solid.


Why do you roast coffee?

I like the work. It’s interesting, gratifying and fun. I have been working with coffee for over a decade now, I want to get closer to the product and its producers. I like the challenge, meditation and discovery of the job.


If you weren’t working in coffee, what would you be doing?

Painting and mashing apples hillside.


(After coffee) what is the thing you love most?

People, my first love.


If you could change one thing about specialty coffee, what would it be?

Compensation for farmers. The chain has got to change, though I know we are better off now than before, there is much work to be done. This is a multifaceted issue of course.


If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

Our current administration.

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Tell us about Reveille Coffee Roasters

It started with two brothers, Christopher and Thomas Newbury. They tricked out an old DHL truck and started brewing the best coffee they could find. It was a modest operation for San Francisco, but it proved to suit the neighborhood of Jackson Square. After that, they locked down their first brick and mortar location in North Beach. As the company grew, logistically, the next step was to roast for themselves.


What makes Reveille Coffee Roasters special?

Reveille’s roastery is unique to me because it is one of the few light roasters in the city. We push the cup score for the Bay Area with acidity and clarity. I also find the coffees that CCS provide us with are above par. Quality green cannot lie.


Tell us about the San Francisco coffee scene

Oh San Francisco. What a romance, a steel colander of colorful characters strained into a reserved social disposition. It’s beautiful here, the greenscapes at your fingertips and the ocean whispering at you from all sides. We are fortunate to have a big audience for quality coffee here. Coffee is a staple for most folks in SF, the everyday consumer is a bit more conscious of what is good. The tech community has a special place in their heart for specialty coffee, they never cease to surprise me with their level of engagement.


What is your favorite CCS coffee?

That’s hard to say. One that comes to mind is the 2017 Harvest of Gakuyu-ini AB from Kirinyaga. That coffee was seductive with red velvet, saturated berry sweetness, ethereal hibiscus florality and a nippy carignan grape/cranberry finish...just for the record. That coffee aged really well, I appreciated how it opened up and remained vibrant/stable beyond 10 months post-harvest.


Preferred super power: flying or invisibility?

Flying, true Leo styles!

Ljubljana Coffee Festival

Ljubljana Coffee Festival Poster.jpg

Friends in Slovenia, Veronika is coming to the Ljubljana Coffee Festival.

On Friday the 5th of October Veronika will give a presentation on the role of a sourcing company in the specialty coffee supply chain in The Lab, and at 5pm she will lead a cupping of select CCS summer crops at the Sensory Cupping Table.

On Saturday she will be around, judging the barista competition and meeting old and new friends. Want to meet with Veronika? Get in touch.

Honduras Cupping with Benjamin Paz

We are thrilled to announce that our good friend Benjamin Paz will be in Oslo next week. Benjamin is both a producer and an exporter of coffee from Santa Barbara. To celebrate, we will host a cupping of fresh crop Honduran coffees that are fresh off the boat.

Honduras Cupping with Benjamin Poster.jpg

Spaces are limited. Email Bjørnar to reserve yours.

Summer's End Celebration Recap

The CCS Summer’s End Celebration was our biggest cupping event for the year so far. For two action-packed days we cupped, chatted, discussed, competed and partied with roasters from all over the world.

Tetsu Kasuya wowed us all with his cupping skills in the LPET Tasters Challenge, and took home the great prize of 12.5kg of La Palma y El Tucan Heroes Series Sidra Lactic. Spectators were also part of the action with a competition to guess the winner of the finals and their time. Emi of Mame Coffee in Switzerland was the lucky winner of 1kg of LPET gesha, by picking Tetsu as the winner of the competition, guessing he would complete the challenge in one minute. It took Tetsu 51 seconds.

Stay tuned for details of our next cupping event in November. Sign up for our newsletter to make sure you are the first to know.

We're Hiring

QUALITY CONTROL & ROASTING ASSISTANT, NORTH AMERICA

Collaborative Coffee Source (CCS) is looking for a self-motivated individual to join our team in the Boston area in North America. This individual will assist the Global Buyer & Quality Control Manager - responsible for the quality control of all the green coffee imported by our company - and provide additional support for Sales and Logistics. This is a full time position with some travel, based in the Boston area.


Who are CCS

We are a quality and education focused green coffee sourcing and import company founded in Oslo, Norway, and are expanding our market in North America.

CCS currently sources coffee in ten countries from Central & South America and East Africa and serve clients across three continents: Europe, North America and Asia. 
 

RESPONSIBILITIES & TASKS

Handle green coffee samples from inventory management of samples to distributing samples to customers, as well as samples roasting and setting up cuppings for customers. This includes:

  • Receive Samples (offer samples, pre-shipment samples, arrival samples, miscellaneous);
  • Perform quality control on all samples that have been received (e.g. water activity, moisture level, Blacklight);
  • Enter coffee data (origin info & QC results) into Cropster and Quality Control Google spreadsheet;
  • Roast & cup received samples, send feedback if needed and/or report back 
  • Manage outgoing samples that are to be sent out to potential customers from Sales Team;
  • Manage samples for Sales Presentations; 
  • Maintain Cropster Hub;
  • Organize lab, create systems, protocols, etc.;
  • Sales support;
  • Logistics support processing releases and providing customer service.

 

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Education and/or experience: a minimum of five (5) years in specialty coffee with at least one (1) year roasting experience.
     

REQUIRED SKILLS

  • Excellent interpersonal and customer service skills;
  • A demonstrated capability to collaborate with and maintain effective relationships with colleagues and customers;
  • A flexible nature, positive temperament and ability to handle stressful situations;
  • Enjoys working independently with minimal guidance as well as with a close-knit team;
  • Strong work ethic, self-motivated;
  • The ability to maintain confidentiality in all matters;
  • Strong attention to detail;
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills;
  • Demonstrated creativity and initiative finding solutions for key issues.

 

To apply, please submit your resume to Robyn

 

 

Update from Guatemala: Volcán de Fuego

On Sunday June 3rd, Guatemala’s Volcán de Fuego erupted. Within minutes, homes, villages and coffee farms were consumed by a pyroclastic flow, a fast-moving mixture of hot gas and volcanic rock.

Activity in this volcano is common, however the force of this eruption took everyone by surprise. It shot a blast of smoke more than 6km into the sky, and rained ash and volcanic rock down for miles around. The government declared a state of emergency in Chimaltenango, Escuintla and Sacatepéquez, the provinces most badly affected, where an estimated 70 people were killed and 1.7 million affected. 

CCS has been sourcing coffee from this region for over five years, with the help and guidance of our export partners at the Bella Vista Mill. 

How to help

Many of you have asked how you can help our producers and partners in this region. Some of you have raised funds and would like to know how to get the money to those who need it. 

Below is an update from Melanie Herrera of Bella Vista Mill, including suggestions for donations to help our people on the ground. 


Antigua Guatemala, August 27th, 2018

UPDATE ON FUEGO

Hello all.

I hope this letter finds you well.

As many of you know, on June 3rd, Fuego erupted causing a lot of damage in Guatemala.

Some members of our team were affected. Some lost family members, some lost their homes and belongings, some died during the disaster. Some coffee plantations were affected by ash and lava.

We have been working on how to support our team in the best way we can. We have given some time for things to calm down and to find out how our friends have been affected. After some time of discussion we have decided to involve a third party with experience in fundraising, distribution and emergency relief.

We have agreed to partner with Funcafé, the social arm of Anacafe, created to pursue socio-economic development of coffee producers in Guatemala. We will have a specific fund with Funcafé to help our crew who have been affected by the eruption. Funcafé will work on a diagnosis to fully understand the needs of everyone affected and will work on a plan to allocate the funds that many of you raised for this cause. If you would like to make a donation please contact me so I can give you instructions.

Thank you very much for your love, friendship and support. We highly appreciate it.

Kindly,
Melanie Herrera
Bella Vista
Antigua, Guatemala

 Photo:  La Republica

 

 

Valle De Cauca Origin Update

Earlier this month Colleen King, of our US West Coast office, and I visited Valle del Cauca, Colombia. It was CCS’ first official visit to this department which is better known for producing cane sugar, than coffee.   
 

Café Sello Mujer 

One of the reasons for visiting Valle del Cauca was to meet the women of Café Sello Mujer in Caicedonia. 

Though they only officially formed in December 2017, the group already have a significant project under their belt: the launch of their own brand of roasted coffee. With the assistance of Cafexcoop mill, the group set a quality standard, and all coffees from the last harvest that met that standard, were blended, roasted, ground and packaged by the mill. 

This impressive association of women producers has a very clear vision of what they need, and where they want to go. Their number one priority is improving the quality of the coffee. The second priority is increasing visibility of women producers in Colombia.
 

 Left to right: Aneth Choronta, Floralba Peña Peña and Amparo Corrales Baena of Café Sello Mujer women's producer association. 

Left to right: Aneth Choronta, Floralba Peña Peña and Amparo Corrales Baena of Café Sello Mujer women's producer association. 

Obstacles faced by women producers in Colombia

 Eugenia Balanta, Director of the Cafexcoop mill. 

Eugenia Balanta, Director of the Cafexcoop mill. 

Eugenia Balanta is the director of the Cafexcoop mill and one of only a few women executives in coffee in Colombia.

Eugenia identified several obstacles that women producers face in Colombia that may prevent them from achieving the quality needed to earn a premium for their coffee. Firstly, she said, women struggle to access training programs offered by cooperatives, aid agencies and the FNC. In addition to cultivating coffee, women are expected to care for children and manage the household. If attending a training program requires traveling overnight, very few women can attend, as it would mean leaving their children. 

Secondly, even when women are cultivating the coffee, their husbands may be the one making the business decisions. This may include whether or not they can enter their coffee into competitions like Valle Cafetero. 

Esperanza Fajardo of Café Sello Mujer agrees that support from men in the family is essential to the success of women producers. Her husband was waiting outside while we discussed their project and obstacles unique to women producers in societies like Colombia’s. While some may view this as a further suppression of women’s rights, Esperanza and her group see it as true equality. Women and men will always coexist, so cooperation is imperative. 

The women in this association meet every two weeks, which is a serious commitment, given how far they need to travel. Some of them don’t own a car or a motorbike, so husbands become bus drivers, collecting and returning women from these meetings. 

At its core however, Café Sello Mujer is about women helping women. They support each other through “mingas” which are working bees, or barn raising events, where the women work communally on projects on each others’ farms.

They also plan to harness digital media to tell their stories. Very often women in Colombia become producers because fathers, husbands or brothers are killed in Colombia’s long running internal conflict, but while this is part of their story, it is not what defines them as producers. Nor do they want to be presented as the beauty queens of coffee. “We won’t dress it up, we won’t be something else, we will tell our stories how we want them to be told,” said member Aneth Choronta.  

The next coffee harvest in Caicendonia is Dec/Jan, and we look forward to cupping coffee from producers of the Cafe Sello Mujer association. 
 

 Men wait on "Women's Street" in Caicedonia, Valle del Cauca. 

Men wait on "Women's Street" in Caicedonia, Valle del Cauca. 

Valle Cafetero Competition

The reason for visiting Valle del Cauca this month was to attend the fourteenth Valle Cafetero competition. The competition was run by the Cafexcoop mill which is owned by the four cooperatives associated with the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros (FNC).

The department is better known for producing high volumes of coffee than high quality, but this competition aims to increase visibility of specialty coffee in the department, and motivate producers to invest in improving quality. Over the last fourteen years of the competition, the scores of the coffees have vastly improved and the range of scores is narrower, suggesting that overall quality is improving every year.

Over 190 coffees were entered into the competition. The Cafexcoop team narrowed these down to 30 for the panel of judges. The top three winners received a cash prize and all of the top 30 coffees were up for sale at a silent auction at the award ceremony. 

Twenty-one of the top 30 coffees were sold during the auction. The lowest priced coffee sold at 30% above the current price in Colombia, while the top placing coffee sold well over 500% of the current price. 

The majority of the coffees were sold to exporters with South Korean clients. While we didn’t buy any coffees during the auction, we did identify several producers with delicious coffees, and we will be following up with them in the coming months. The event clearly showed this department has great promise. 


Business Round

All 30 coffee growers were invited to give a short presentation to the judges before the auction. The intention was two-fold: add value to the coffees by telling the story of the producer, and empower producers to negotiate prices for their coffees. While many of the presentations were more like a sales pitch, such as “my coffee is the best,” the experience was valuable to the producers who described it as terrifying, but also exciting to be a part of the sales process.
 

ABOUT VALLE DEL CAUCA

Some basic statistics:

  • 25,815 fincas in Valle del Cauca
  • 61,145 hectares in coffee
  • Most specialty is 1500-2100m
  • Density of planting is 4768 trees/hectare
  • Average age of trees is 7.6 years
  • Coffees are grown along the 2 Andes ranges in the department
  • 151 microcuencas
  • 30.2% of the members of these co-ops are women
  • The 4 coops have 3302 members in total

Valle del Cauca is a department located on the Pacific coast, bordered by Chocó, Tolima and Cauca. This department is named after the Cauca river that runs through it, and this river is the basis of their unique approach to coffee cultivation. 

The National Federation of Coffee Growers (FNC) divides Colombia into 86 “ecotopos” (ecotopes in English) within seven different coffee growing regions. These ecotopos are geographical areas that share the same soil and climatic conditions. Using this guide, the FNC create sustainable development programs, technical and crop forecasting models, and study the relationship between climatic conditions of the ecotopos and the cup quality they produce.

In Valle del Cauca, the flowing waters of the Cauca River unite the people, so instead of using ecotopes to determine their coffee sustainability strategy, the department uses “Micro-Cuencas” or micro river basins. Micro-Cuencas are the epicenter of the community and the source of coffee quality. Everyone, whether they work in coffee or not, must do their part to ensure the water is respected, because contamination flows downstream and negatively affects everything: the environment, the people, and ultimately, the coffee quality.  

Sustainability programs in Valle del Cauca work with the unique ecosystem of each Mirco-Cuenca. They encourage coffee cultivation in harmony with the natural resources, maintaining the balance of the local insect population, stimulating natural fertility of the soil, and conserving the river basin for the future of both coffee cultivation, and the community. 

 

CCS Top Five: Bjørnar

A client and I were chatting the other day and he asked “What are your top 5 coffees?”

I could spend all day answering this question.
My top 5 of all coffees we have had this year?
Of all the coffees I have cupped lately?
Of all coffees I have cupped, ever?

We started chatting in the office, and I realized the answer says so much about us and our role in the company, and I wanted to share these answers with our customers.

And so, the CCS Top 5 was born.

Each month we will ask a member of the team for their Top 5 coffees. For the purposes of this blog, we decided to focus on coffees that are currently available, that way, if you find our favorites interesting, you can get their hands on them.

I will kick things off this month, so here goes, my Top 5 list (In no particular order). Click on a coffee if you would like to order a sample. 
 

 Ricardo Perez and his daughter Lucia of Santa Lucia / Helsar de Zarcero, Costa Rica

Ricardo Perez and his daughter Lucia of Santa Lucia / Helsar de Zarcero, Costa Rica

Costa Rica, Santa Lucia

Plum and strawberry, marmalade, blueberry, 88 points. 

The coffees from the Mill Helsar de Zarcero have always been dear to me. Santa Lucia (the farm) and Helsar (the mill) were actually the first I ever visited in my coffee career. That was back in 2010. We have purchased coffees from Helsar every year since 2009, first for Kaffa and now for CCS. 

When I selected this particular coffee back March, it was a solid and sweet coffee. But when we just recently cupped the pre-shipment sample, I was quite surprised with how the coffee has developed. It is so complex, with lots of deep fruit. I am really looking forward for this to arrive, and hoping it will find a good home. 

 


 Karyu - coffee washer at the Hallo Fuafuate washing station

Karyu - coffee washer at the Hallo Fuafuate washing station

Ethiopia Hallo Fuafuate

Floral, peach, lychee, bright and clear, 88 points.

This coffee has consistently been the best washed Ethiopian on all our cupping sessions. It comes from Snap, a new partner for us in Ethiopia. Both the coffee and the partnership are very promising.
 


 Volcán de Agua, known as Hunapu in the Mayan language, Antigua, Guatemala

Volcán de Agua, known as Hunapu in the Mayan language, Antigua, Guatemala

Guatemala Antigua Hunapu

Hazelnut, Grape, Red Currant, Roasted Hazelnut, Roasted Bakers Chocolate, Caramel, 87 points. 

This is such a solid coffee. Hunapu is the name of a blend of coffees from smallholder producers around Volcán de Agua in Antigua, Guatemala. It’s a coffee that works really well as a filter, with notes of berries and complex acidity. And is also perfect as a darker roast, either as a stand alone deep espresso or as a fresh component in a blend. 
 

 

 


Kenya - Karimikui AA

Berry, strawberry, rose hips, blackberry, 88 points

This is one of these coffees that keeps on shining on the cupping table. In this lot the AA is by far the most intense and acidity-forward coffee of the three, with my absolute favorite note found in Kenyan coffee: rose hip.
 


 Drying beds, Kiunyu Coffee Factory, Kirinyaga, Kenya

Drying beds, Kiunyu Coffee Factory, Kirinyaga, Kenya

Kenya - Kiunyu AB

Raspberry, Citric Acid, Tropical Fruit, Grapefruit, Rose, 88 points

We will have all grades from this lot (AA, AB and PB) and they are all performing spectacularly well. For me, the AB sorting from this lot is the most vibrant and complex of the three.  

In Good Times and in Bad

CCS’ founder, Robert Thoresen, has been developing long-term relationships with producers and partners at origin since before he opened Kaffa Oslo roastery in 2005. Anyone who has worked in specialty coffee as long as Robert can tell you, those relationships will be tested. Like any long-term commitment, there are good times and there are bad. Enduring those tougher times only strengthens the relationship, and reaffirms its value and meaning. Our relationship with Moplaco Trading in Ethiopia is one of our most passionate, and right now it is being tested. 

 Heleanna Georgalis of Moplaco Trading, Ethiopia

Heleanna Georgalis of Moplaco Trading, Ethiopia

We began working with this pioneering company in 2013, and its director, Heleanna Georgalis, has been our trusted guide ever since. Ethiopia is a challenging origin. Its coffees are highly sought after for their cup profiles, the astounding genetic diversity, and for challenging our perceptions of what coffee can be. And yet it is so hard to buy coffee there. The labyrinthine and ever-changing coffee auction system and the laborious government bureaucracy can frustrate even the most patient coffee professional. Add poor infrastructure and political instability, and it is a small miracle that coffee ever leaves the country’s borders. And yet it does, and we can thank Heleanna for showing us how its done. 
 

 Photo by Ria Neri, Four Letter Word

Photo by Ria Neri, Four Letter Word

Our relationship with Moplaco

Heleanna is a coffee producer herself, plus, through Moplaco she has been purchasing and processing cherries through all manner of trading and auction models since she took over her father’s company in 2008. The great value that Moplaco add to their coffees is their meticulous processing, both natural and washed. This work has earned Moplaco an international reputation for exceptional and consistent high quality. 

But things have been rough this year. Despite preparing the contracts for these coffees back in March, we have still yet to receive a single container. Rarely are these rough patches the fault of just one party, and we admit our own part, we were late getting confirmation from our clients which delayed our purchasing decisions. If we had confirmed the coffees we were buying sooner, we might have avoided the problems that followed. 
 

 Photo by Ria Neri, Four Letter Word

Photo by Ria Neri, Four Letter Word

A series of very unfortunate events 

First, just as the coffees we purchased were approaching the front of the milling queue, the zone where the Moplaco mill is located lost power. It was almost a month before electricity was restored, delaying the milling of our coffees to the end of June. By that time, all our paperwork, the contracts, letters of credit (LC), export certificates etc., were out of date and had to be renewed. 

Moplaco’s headquarters are located in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia’s second largest city, located in the Somali Regional State in Eastern Ethiopia. Ethnic tensions are always simmering in this region, but in the last nine months violence has escalated, causing Moplaco to close their office. Internet in the region has also been intermittent -- cutting the internet is a tactic in some African countries to restrict the mobilizing power of social media. Admasu, the Moplaco staff member based in Dire Dawa is currently working in local banks who have sporadic internet access he can use when it is not busy processing international transactions. We are concerned firstly for the safety of Admasu, and secondly — by a very very long margin — that this is slowing down the paperwork. 

We are frustrated, of course. We want our delicious Ethiopians to hit the market early. We want them on your menus before anyone else’s. But this is the reality of working in Ethiopia. Other exporters have not faced these issues this year, and there is plenty of Ethiopian coffee available on the market, but we are not blaming Moplaco for the delay. Our respect for Moplaco’s meticulous work, knowledge of Ethiopia, and their stellar coffees is not diminished. We will continue in this relationship and support Heleanna in her efforts to counter each problem as it arises. 

The silver lining is that the delays caused by the power outage mean our coffee was only recently milled, so it will arrive fresh and delicious. 

To better times ahead. 
 

Moplaco Container update

New Jersey
Two containers for Continental are on the road to Djibouti and should ship soon. We expect them to arrive in September. The third container should arrive in October. 

Hamburg
Two containers are ready, all the paperwork has been updated, and will leave for Djibouti in the next week. We also expect them to arrive at the Vollers warehouse in September. 

Taiwan
We are working on an updated Letter of Credit (LC), an essential document that guarantees payment for the coffee to a government approved Ethiopian bank. We hope to have this sorted soon, and we are expecting the container to arrive in September. 

Spot offers
Plus we have stellar Ethiopian coffees from our partners SNAP, Kata Maduga and Guji Highlands available for spot purchase.

Ethiopia offers - Europe, Asia and the Middle East
Ethiopia offers - North America, East Coast
Ethiopia offers - North America, West Coast
 

 

 

 

LPET Neighbors and Crops Exclusive Purchasing

Quick links:

Who are La Palma y El Tucán?
LPET Heroes Series
LPET Neighbors and Crops
Neighbors and Crops Exclusive Purchasing
LPET Cuppings in Oslo
LPET Tasters Challenge Part II
Sign up for LPET cuppings in Oslo 

 

Nico is currently in Cundinamarca, Colombia, at the La Palma y El Tucán farm. He is cupping coffees, discovering the latest innovations in varieties and processing, and finding some time for a few beers and a game of tejo. Follow Nico’s adventures on Instagram. 

LPET August 2018.jpg

Who are La Palma y El Tucán? 

La Palma y El Tucán are pioneering producers from Cundinamarca, challenging the status quo of coffee cultivation and processing in one of the world’s largest producing countries, Colombia. 

The name comes from two rare species they discovered cohabiting on their land when they purchased the 18 hectare plot: the Emerald Toucan and the endangered Wax Palm. These species live in a happy symbiotic relationship, something the team hope to emulate with coffee and community.

LPET Heroes Series

Within just a few years, the name La Palma y El Tucán was all over the coffee competition circuit. On their own farm, they grow exotic varieties like Geisha, Sidra and SL28, and experiment with different fermentation techniques to produce unique and sometimes wild flavors in the cup. These coffees are called their Heroes Series, and they continue to attract judges attention at the international level in barista and brewing competitions. 

All coffees in the Heroes Series score 89 points or above, and are sold in 25kg boxes. Only 100 boxes are available each year, worldwide. 

See our available Heroes Series lots in the CCS Competition Coffee shop on Cropster Hub. 

LPET Neighbors and Crops

The Neighbors and Crops program was created to help producers with small farms and limited processing infrastructure gain access to the specialty market. These producers are cultivating typical Colombian varieties including Caturra, Castillo, Colombia, Typica, and Bourbon. LPET buy cherries directly and transport them to their state-of-the-art facility for processing. The team work with more than 70 coffee-growing families located within 10km of the LPET farm. 

 Alvaro Rodriguez, producer for the LPET Neighbors and Crops Series. 

Alvaro Rodriguez, producer for the LPET Neighbors and Crops Series. 

Building a sustainable community

LPET hope to revitalize the coffee growing culture of Cundinamarca by buying and processing exceptional coffee cherries from farmers who would otherwise not have access to the post-harvest infrastructure required to process high quality coffee. Additionally they invest in innovative practices to protect the local ecosystem. 

The average age of producers in the Neighbors and Crops program is over 60 years old, and younger generations who don't see a future in coffee farming seek new opportunities in cities like Bogotá (often with little success). LPET believe for future generations to continue cultivating coffee, it has to make economic sense, so they offer the following to their Neighbors and Crops partners:

  • Prices that are at least 50% more than the country's average;
  • Training for local cherry pickers in high-quality coffee harvesting methods;
  • Transportation of cherries to the LPET processing facility;
  • Donations of trees raised in the LPET nursery;
  • Donations of organic fertilizers created by composting cherry pulp on the LPET farm.
     

LPET & Sustainablility

In addition to sustaining their community, LPET are committed to sustaining the environment. Part of the LPET farm is dedicated to an agroforestry project and the team grow a wide range of complimentary crops, including beans, corn and bananas, nestled amongst perennial tree species including cedar, avocado, walnut and guayacan. 

This is all done using organic farming methods, decreasing the need for inputs for their coffee trees. The intention of this model is to leave the land enriched and viable, to support the community nutritionally and financially for generations to come. 

 A flowering Sidra tree on the LPET farm, Cundinamarca, Colombia

A flowering Sidra tree on the LPET farm, Cundinamarca, Colombia

LPET Neighbors and Crops Exclusive Purchasing

These are small lots of lovingly processed coffees, and from this harvest, we will be offering them as complete lots. Select your producer and have exclusive access to that coffee in Europe. Minimum purchase is 10 x 35kg bags. There are only fifteen lots for all of Europe, and nine are already booked. Make sure you don't miss out, contact Nico to find out what is still available. When all coffees have been booked we will put you on a wait list. 

To book your exclusive lot from the 2018 harvest, contact Nico

To order current crop Neighbors and Crops, available by the bag, see our Colombian offers list

LPET Cuppings in Oslo 

We will be cupping these coffees at our upcoming Summer’s End Celebration. On Tuesday September 4th we’ll cup Neighbors and Crops and on Wednesday September 5th we will feature the LPET Heroes Series in our special Competition Coffees cupping. Sign up for this event in the form below

LPET Tasters Challenge Part II

For those of you who missed out in Amsterdam, here is your chance to get your hands on some of this exclusive coffee with the LPET Tasters Challenge Part II, at our Summer's End Celebration in September. 

Eight contestants will battle in a triangulation competition, with the extra challenge of identifying La Palma & El Tucán's different fermentation methods and exotic varieties. 

The winner will take an amazing prize: a full 12.5kg brick of an LPET Heroes Series coffee! 

The competition will be on Day 2 of the Summer's End Celebration, Wednesday September 5th, in the CCS Oslo HQ. 

There are a few spaces left for this exclusive event. Complete the form below to reserve yours. 

Sign me up for the CCS Summer's End Celebration, Sep 2018

Name *
Name
Role
Sign me up for the CCS newsletter *
You will receive an email to confirm your opt-in.
Sign me up for the LPET Tasters Challenge Part II

CCS Tour de France

CCS Tour De France Insta.jpg

Retrouvez Nico et notre vieil ami Thomas de Belleville Brulerie, pour ce nouveau CCS Road Trip!

Au programme: Cuppings, ateliers roast et plus...!

Septembre 7 Paris @ KB Coffee Shop
Septembre 9 Lyon with Placid Roasters @ Slake Coffee - 16h00
Septembre 11 Marseille @ Deep Coffee Roasters - 17h30
Septembre 12 Montpellier @ Café BUN - 18h30
Septembre 13 Toulouse @ Café Cerise - 9h00
Septembre 13 Bordeaux @ Oven Heaven - 17h00
Septembre 15 Paris @ Belleville Brulerie - 13h00

Plus d'information: nicolas@collaborativecoffeesource.com

 

Is This Really Brazil?

It was a busy time leading up to the World of Coffee in Amsterdam. The team were working long hours, roasting crazy quantities of samples, packing equipment, finalising schedules, checking checklists. Then the Brazilians arrived. 

Boom! 

Everyone dropped what they were doing to meet Luiz Paulo Pereira and Hugo Silva from Carmo Coffees at the cupping table. 

What we tasted was like nothing we have come to expect from Brazil. Alongside the great washed and natural coffees we know and love from Carmo Coffees were these SL28 and Rume Sudan anaerobic newcomers: clean, bright with candy-intense fruitiness.

Exotic varieties? New processing methods? Is this really Brazil?
 

The Carmo Coffees approach

This is exactly the response Luiz Paulo Pereira was hoping for. This has been his mission since he started Carmo Coffees with his cousin Jacques Caneiro in 2007.

 Luiz Paulo Pereira, co-founder of Carmo Coffees

Luiz Paulo Pereira, co-founder of Carmo Coffees

The beginnings were not glamorous. The cousins, from a family of coffee producers, opened an export office in the small town of Carmo de Minas. It was important to look professional, so they hired Rose to work as a secretary and put a big white box of a computer on her desk. The machine didn’t work, but it showed they were a serious business; they had a secretary and a computer. 

They exported their first coffees in 2007, the same time CCS founder, Robert Thoresen, was in Brazil, sourcing for our sister roasting company, Kaffa Oslo. The three discovered a shared mission to showcase Brazil’s potential for specialty coffee, and began one of CCS’ longest running relationships. 

Twelve years later, Rose works in the QC department, Carmo Coffees employs 62 people, and all of their computers work. 
 

Carmo Coffees and Specialty

Carmo Coffees work differently to other coffee companies in Brazil. Firstly, they believe good coffee is born of relationships. 

“We have producers who come to us and ask, ‘I want to sell my coffee to you. What is the price?’” Luiz Paulo explained. “We want to know what is your plan? What future is there for both of us?”

Their sales force are called “Coffee Chefs.” Like a fine dining chef who sources the best ingredients and transforms them with passion and creativity into a delicious dish, the sales team must follow the coffee from the day it is planted until it is harvested, processed and delivered.

“Ninety nine percent of coffee traders in Brazil look for papers, the price, shipping times, negotiation possibilities. They sit at a computer all day,” Luiz Paulo said. “Our team are part of the coffee process from the beginning. They visit the producers, know their land, the costs, the challenges, the ambitions. This is all before the coffees arrive in our warehouse.”

 Luiz Paulo beside an African drying bed used for micro-lot washed coffees. 

Luiz Paulo beside an African drying bed used for micro-lot washed coffees. 


Santuario Sul

While Carmo Coffees have impressed us year after year for their consistent clean and fruity profiles, it was the coffees from Luiz Paulo’s new project, Santuario Sul, that had us all mesmerized in June. 

The project, which began almost five years ago, is a collaboration with Camilo Merizalde, the pioneering Colombian behind the Santuario project, plus the Santuario fermentation expert, Ivan Solis, from Costa Rica. The farm currently has 30 hectares of land in coffee production, and they aim to expand to 70 hectares very soon. 

We want this farm to be different,“ Luiz Paolo said. “If we do the usual things, it’s just another farm in Brazil. We are bringing together Brazilian terroir with Central and South American styles.”   

They began by planting different varietals, 25 in total, making it the biggest coffee garden in Brazil. Last year they harvested a their first crop of Sudan Rume. This year saw the first harvest of SL28. 

The next step was to experiment with processing, specifically anaerobic fermentation. Rather than import expensive equipment from overseas, the team looked in their own backyard. Carmo de Minas is dairy country — Luiz Paulo's grandmother is as famous for her cows as she is for coffee — so they bought a fermentation tank used for cheese making. 

The closed steel tanks are easy to clean and feature double walls and temperature controls, which Ivan Solís adapted to the exact temperature range required for coffee processing. The tank used on Santuario Sul can process 2000 liters of cherries - around ten bags of green coffee.
 

Anaerobic processing on Santuario Sul

The cherries are hand-picked to ensure perfect maturity, then washed to remove any juice excreted during the picking process which can significantly reduce the clarity in the cup. 

The team then measure the Brix levels of the cherries. If they are higher than 23, the cherries are used for anaerobic fermentation. If the Brix levels are lower than 23, they are destined to become naturals.  

The selected cherries are placed in the adapted dairy tank for 60 hours without any movement, then the tank is opened to check the PH level. When the PH of the mucilage inside the fermenting cherries reaches 4.5, it is time to take them out. 

“We experimented with a PH of 5,” Luiz Paulo explained, “but the flavor was too funky.” 

After fermentation the cherries are removed and left to dry with the cascara still intact. Drying takes between 18 to 21 days, depending on the weather.  

The resulting cup is the perfect combination of washed and natural: clean, bright, full of fruit and sweetness. 

 Ivan Solis, fermentation and processing expert from Costa Rica, and Alessandro "Viola", processing manager at Irmas Pereira with the  adapted cheese making fermentation tank used for anaerobic processing on several Carmo Coffees farms. 

Ivan Solis, fermentation and processing expert from Costa Rica, and Alessandro "Viola", processing manager at Irmas Pereira with the  adapted cheese making fermentation tank used for anaerobic processing on several Carmo Coffees farms. 

While Luiz Paulo notes that they are still learning, the initial experiments were so successful that they have installed tanks of three other sites: Fazenda Irmas Pereira (2000 liters), Alta Vista (2000 liters) and Pedralva (5000 liters). This is part of the Carmo Coffees approach. They are not interested in trends, or glamour, instead they aim to produce unique and delicious coffees year after year, which means everything must be repeatable.   


Natural Processing

The natural processing on Santuario Sul differs from other naturals from Brazil primarily in the picking, which is done manually. Maturing is a particularly long process in this part of Brazil, and trees frequently have both flowers and ripe cherries at the same time, making hand-picking only mature cherries essential. After picking, the cherries are laid to dry on average for 23 days. 

In both styles of processing the cherries are hand sorted as they dry on the beds. Carmo Coffees recently ran a competition, men vs women, to see who could select the largest number of imperfect cherries in the shortest amount of time. The women won by a large margin.
 

 On the left, natural coffees on the drying bed. On the right, anaerobic. Look at the difference in color! 

On the left, natural coffees on the drying bed. On the right, anaerobic. Look at the difference in color! 

Washed process

The cherries are hand-picked for perfect ripeness. They are de-pulped with some mucilage left intact. The coffee is left to ferment for an average of 24 hours, or until the PH level reaches 4.5. It is washed to remove any remaining mucilage and dried. Micro-lots are dried on African beds. The initial layer of coffee on the beds is very thin and as the coffee dries, they increase height of the layers. 
 

Want to get your hands on some samples? 

Carmo Coffees will be special guests in Oslo at our Summer’s End Celebration in September, presenting more of these stereotype-busting coffees. Email bjornar@collaborativecoffeesource.com if you would like to join us. 

If you can’t make it to Oslo, add your details to the form below and we will contact you as soon as pre-shipment samples arrive.  

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Summer's End Celebration & Cupping

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Join us for a huge 2-day event to celebrate summer crops from Colombia, Burundi and Brazil. We’ll be cupping coffees from our innovative partners Long Miles Coffee ProjectLa Palma & El Tucán, and CarmoCoffees. Special guest, producer Luiz Paulo Pereira, will present his exciting project in Brazil, Santuario Sul, plus there'll be roasting and brewing workshops, and your chance to win LPET Heroes Series coffee. 

Agenda

Tuesday 4th September

9:30 AM Introduction
10:00 AM Cupping Long Miles Coffee Project - Burundi
11.30 AM Ikawa Roast Workshop
12.30 PM Lunch
2:00 PM LPET Neighbors & Crops Cupping
3.30 PM Discussion: the LPET approach to pricing and quality
4:00 PM La Palma & El Tucán Tasters Challenge Part II


Wednesday 5th September

10:00 AM Cupping Brazilian coffees from Carmo Coffees
11.30 AM Presentation by Hugo Silva of Carmo Coffees 
12.30 PM Lunch
2:00 PM Competition Coffee Cupping
3.30 PM Discussion: selecting coffees for competition
4:00 PM Roasters' Cupping - bring your roasted coffee
5.30 PM Beers and other refreshments

CCS events are kept small and intimate to ensure our roasters have the best experience. Spaces in our Summer's End Celebration are strictly limited to 16 guests. Make sure you're among them - email bjornar@collaborativecoffeesource.com to reserve your place.

Valle Cafetero competition, 2018

August 1 – 3, 2018
Tulua, Valle del Cauca

Discover the enormous potential of Valle de Cauca, and uncover some hidden gems. 

CCS and Fairfield Trading invite you to the 14th annual Valle Cafetero competition in Valle del Cauca, organized by the department’s five FNC coffee cooperatives, and CAFEXCOOP mill. 

Valle del Cauca is an innovative yet lesser-known coffee growing department of Colombia. This is a rare opportunity to be part of a region’s coffee development, and add some unique and delicious coffees to your menu. 


Itinerary:

July 31: Arrive in Cali, Colombia. Transport to Tulua. 
August 1 to 3: Cupping and collaboration with producers
August 4: Return to Cali

Transportation to and from Cali airport, and accommodation in Tulua will be covered by the event organizers.
 

Agenda:

1. Cupping:
Assessing the top 30 micro-lots selected from 115 “micro-cuencas” in Valle de Cauca. 

2. Business round:
A time for buyers and growers to connect, discuss, network, build relationships, and possibly trade coffee. 
 

About Valle del Cauca:

Valle del Cauca is a department located on the Pacific coast, bordered by Chocó, Tolima and Cauca. This department is named after the Cauca river that runs through it, and this river is the basis of their unique approach to coffee cultivation. 

The National Federation of Coffee Growers (FNC) divides Colombia into 86 “ecotopos” (ecotopes in English) within seven different coffee growing regions. These ecotopos are geographical areas that share the same soil and climatic conditions. Using this guide, the FNC create sustainable development programs, technical and crop forecasting models, and study the relationship between climatic conditions of the ecotopos and the cup quality they produce.

In Valle del Cauca, the flowing waters of the Cauca River unite the people, so instead of using ecotopes to determine their coffee sustainability strategy, the department uses “Micro-Cuencas” or micro river basins. Micro-Cuencas are the epicenter of the community and the source of coffee quality.  Everyone, whether they work in coffee or not, must do their part to ensure the water is respected, because contamination flows downstream and negatively affects everything: the environment, the people, and ultimately, the coffee quality.  

Sustainability programs in Valle del Cauca work with the unique ecosystem of each Mirco-Cuenca. They encourage coffee cultivation in harmony with the natural resources, maintaining the balance of the local insect population, stimulating natural fertility of the soil, and conserving the river basin for the future of both coffee cultivation, and the community. 

Our partners in the region, Fairfield Trading, have worked with the group of cooperatives (organizers of this event) since 2002, serving as judges for the Valle Cafetero competition and purchasing winning lots of coffee. Alejandro Renjifo, founder of Fairfield Trading, is from this department, but that is not the only reason for his belief in its coffee growing potential. The exceptional coffees he has recently bought, coupled with the department’s unique approach to community and sustainability, has him convinced that Valle del Cauca will soon be one of the most highly regarded departments on Colombia’s coffee map. 
 

YOU'RE INVITED

Roasters, green coffee buyers and QC managers are invited to join us as judges of the Valle Cafetero 2018. For more information, and to register your interest, fill in the form below.

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Please include the country code, for example +1 for the US.

Transparency is hard

“No one is crying for the poor Napa Valley vineyard owner,” said Peter W. Roberts, speaking at the Transparent Trade Coffee Colloquium in Hamburg late last month. Peter is a professor at the Goizueta Business School, Emory University and he began his academic career investigating the wine market, which he says functions well. 

“Markets work best when there is a lot of information, and a lot of opportunity,” Peter explained. “A vineyard owner can deliver their grapes to the back door of a winemaker, then walk around to the front door to find out how much their wine sells for,” he explained. As a result, “Napa Valley vineyard owners are paid well. Coffee farmers are not.” 

Several industry veterans attended the colloquium, including Peter Dupont of Coffee Collective, Geoff Watts of Intelligencia and Mark Dundon of Seven Seeds Coffee. All agreed that after 20 years working in this business, little has changed for coffee producers. They still struggle to make a living, they work at the mercy of the market, and they remain at the bottom of the supply chain, with no power to change their situation. 

Part of the solution is to increase the amount of information available, or in other words, increase transparency. “Get roasters to origin. Get farmers to places where coffee is sold,” Peter W. Roberts suggested. And, when this is not possible (and it rarely is), those of us working in green coffee purchasing need to be the conduit of information, providing negotiating power to producers, the kind enjoyed by Napa Valley vineyard owners.

Sounds easy enough. So why is it so hard? 
 

 The barriers to transparency in a long and complicated supply chain are many, but we have to try anyway. 

The barriers to transparency in a long and complicated supply chain are many, but we have to try anyway. 

BARRIERS TO TRANSPARENCY: Business and competition

The first and most obvious obstacle is business. Sharing sensitive financial data makes us uncomfortable as it could negatively impact our bottom line. Will customers complain when they see the margin we earn for our labor? Will our competitors use that information to steal our precious coffees by offering producers slightly more than we pay? 

These are valid concerns and highly probable scenarios. The only defense against them is trust, the kind of comes from long term and mutually beneficial relationships. Customers must trust the work we do and the value we add. Producers must trust us to come back to buy the coffee year after year, which would make it less attractive to sell at a higher price to a one-off buyer. We must also welcome the competition and pay higher prices, trusting our customers, and their customers, will be willing to pay extra too. 
 

BARRIERS TO TRANSPARENCY: Which number do we share?

Percentage above… 
You may have seen claims like “we pay an average of 20% above,” “twice the market price,” or some other multiplication of the C-Price. This is an easy way to contextualize the high prices paid for specialty coffee, and we admit to doing something similar ourselves. But it is a fundamentally flawed comparison because, as most in the specialty industry would agree, the commodities market is a flawed system. 

FOB
The most common number shared by specialty coffee companies who practice transparency is the FOB. This stands for Free On Board and it represents the price paid by the importer to get the coffee out of the country. Consider it the moment the crane carries the container of coffee from the dock to the ship.   

The reason the FOB is the most commonly shared number is because it is the number those of us working in the markets know and can verify. As importers, this is the price CCS pays for the coffee, and we can prove it with our purchase contracts. 

The problem with the FOB is that it says little about how much the producer was paid. Included in the FOB price are many additional costs, such as milling, storage and transportation. There may also be an exporter’s fee, which covers their work in sourcing the coffees, supporting and training the teams that cup these coffees, possibly paying agronomists who advise the producers. Often it includes origin country taxes and insurance. 

Return to Origin (RTO)
Based on the FOB, several roasters have begun publishing percentage they call Return to Origin, or RTO. This is the FOB as a percentage of the final cost of roasted coffee. A 20% RTO means that 20% of the final price of that roasted coffee was paid to people in the country where that coffee was cultivated. 

This is an interesting initiative, and hats off to the roasters who use it. However, the risk of publishing the RTO as a percentage is that a higher percentage looks better, it suggests more money in the pockets of people at origin, but that isn’t always true. It really depends on the final price of the roasted coffee; 10% of a high-priced coffee might mean more money than 20% of a cheaper coffee.  

FOT
Free on Truck (FOT) is the amount paid when the coffee is transferred to a truck for transport, and it is hard to know if this was paid to a producer, or another actor along the supply chain. FOT might be paid to a farmer, but it is more likely it was paid to a washing station, dry mill or exporter who must then transport the coffee to port.

Farm Gate
A more accurate reflection of what a farmer earned is called the Farm Gate price. This is the price paid the moment the coffee was transferred from the hands of the producer. Once again we encounter problems with this figure. 

Firstly, the Farm Gate  price is almost never the price paid for green coffee, as producers usually deliver cherries or parchment. Calculating the price paid for green coffee based on the Farm Gate is complicated by a number of different factors, all of which impact the amount of green coffee derived from the delivery. Even when the producer is delivering dry parchment, coffee in its final state before milling, there is no easy equation to calculate the amount of green coffee purchased. This depends on the yield factor, which is the amount of green coffee produced after waste from parchment and any impurities like stones and sticks is discarded. As you can imagine, the yield factor can vary from lot to lot. 

Each step in processing coffees carries with it loss and risk. The loss is in the form of cascara, pulp, humidity and parchment. The risk is that something goes wrong during processing that could impact the quality of the coffee, lowering its value. The more loss and risk a producer carries, the more they are paid for the product they deliver. This makes it almost impossible to compare a Farm Gate price paid to a producer in Colombia, who processed their own coffee and sold it as dry parchment, to a Farm Gate price paid to a producer in Ethiopia, who sold fresh cherries to a washing station. 

Similarly, it is difficult to compare these numbers without understanding the cost of production in each origin. And imagine the producer delivered their coffee over a series of weeks, with differing yield factors, price fluctuations and changing currency valuations. 

The calculations get complicated.
 

LACK OF CONTEXT

The biggest obstacle to transparency is context. A single number can not communicate the long and complicated supply chain of coffee, and the costs associated with delivering it. Nor can it account for variations in cost of production, cost of living, currency fluctuations or volumes produced.    

There are efforts to improve this. Colombian coffee exporters, Azahar, presented data to those gathered in Hamburg from their own study into providing their producers with a living wage. Working with 100 farms in three departments in Colombia, they determined three price points for a carga (125kg) of parchment, which is how most Colombian producers sell their coffee. The three price points indicated the price Azahar needed to pay in order to:

  1. Meet the poverty line 
  2. Meet the minimum wage in Colombia
  3. Meet the minimum wage, plus enough extra to reinvest in developing the farm.

The fourth column, which contained only question marks, asked “How can we do better?”

This data goes a long way to contextualize the Farm Gate price, and is a great potential model for other companies buying green coffee. However, for now, its scope is limited. 


MARKETING TRANSPARENCY

“Transparency is not marketing,” Peter Dupont noted, “but we do need to market these numbers better.” 

Our customers do not have time to investigate the supply chain of every product they buy, they need at-a-glance information in order to make their purchase decision. This is something Fair Trade understands well

More importantly, consumers need to believe transparency matters.
 

No profit in transparency, yet

Operating transparently requires an enormous amount of work. It means asking everyone in the supply chain to keep and share detailed financial documents, which need to be understood, analyzed, distilled, then formatted, packaged and communicated to customers. It means research into local economies to provide context for these numbers. 

It is difficult for small specialty coffee companies to justify the additional expense unless the customer is willing to pay for it.

This is the crucial link in the transparency chain. We must convince customers to demand transparency, even if they don’t have the time to analyze and understand the data we provide them. “Ultimately, no one will choose to pay producers more for coffee,” Peter W. Roberts said, “the market has to force it.” 

For transparency to make business sense, we need to convince consumers to ask:

1. "How much was the farmer paid?"
and
2. "Is that enough for them to live?" 

If enough consumers ask, everyone in the supply chain will make it a priority to find the answers.
 

Share what you have

The overwhelming agreement in the few days spent in Hamburg was that transparency can’t wait until we have perfect data.

“We have to start somewhere,” Peter Dupont added, “then push the conversation forward,” even if that means we start with the FOB.

Professor Peter W. Roberts is working on research to strengthen transparency in specialty coffee, but even he noted “we can’t ask you to share data you don’t have.” 

This is the reason the research to create a Data Backed Transaction Guide for the Specialty Coffee Market will begin with the FOB. It is an imperfect number, but it is the one we all have and can verify. The hope is that the breadth of the data in this pilot study will be robust enough to encourage further research into producing better numbers. 
 

TRANSPARENCY AT CCS

Transparency is one of our core values, and yet we have struggled, as have so many companies in specialty coffee, with all of the above issues. In the past we have shared the FOB of the coffees we buy with our customers, but we have not published them for fear of misrepresenting what the farmer is earning for that coffee. 

We have been pushing for better data, from our producers and from our partners. We are trying to contextualize the prices paid for specialty coffee with the cost of producing such high quality. We have an initiative to source better data and create a methodology for people at origin to do this on a regular basis. Plus, we will be data donors for the Data Backed Transaction Guide mentioned above. 

And, from today, in the spirit of the Hamburg colloquium, we will start with what we have. Below you will find the FOB of all coffees we have purchased so far in 2018. You can also find them on the origins pages on our website. We will do this for all coffees we purchase from now on. 
 

FOB of CCS Selection, 2018

Kenya
Ethiopia
Colombia
Guatemala


CONTEXT

The FOB represents the price we pay our export partners at origin. To calculate the cost we charge to roasters, we add the following:  

  1. Financing and logistics, on average USD $0.3/lb
    (USD $0.4/lb for inland coffees such as Burundi).
    We work with financing partners as we are an independent sourcing company without the capital to finance coffee. Logistics covers shipping, insurance and other costs to transport coffee from ports at origin to our warehouses located in Oslo, Hamburg, New Jersey and Oakland. This price is only for full containers. When we ship smaller quantities of coffee, like from Panama for example, financing and logistics costs are much higher. 
  2. Our markup to cover our costs.
    The markup varies, depending on the FOB, volumes purchased, and the need to remain competitive in the market. For example, we take a lower margin on our most expensive coffees. On average, in 2018, our markup is 20%.  

So the equation for all origins, except Burundi, looks something like this:

Price to roasters per pound = (FOB + US$0.3) x 1.2
Price to roasters per kilo = (FOB + US$0.66) x 1.2

The equation for Burundi looks something like this:

Price to roasters per pound = (FOB + US$0.4) x 1.2
Price to roasters per kilo = (FOB + US$0.88) x 1.2

Please remember, these are averages. 
 

Push the conversation forward

“It’s not necessary to go from zero to one hundred in the first try,” said Meredith Taylor, Sustainability Manager for at Counter Culture. Their first transparency report included data on twelve coffee contracts. Now they publish details on over 300

Publishing the FOB of all coffees purchased in 2018 is, perhaps, starting at five. Meanwhile we, and many of our colleagues in the industry, are working towards delivering one hundred. 

Do you want to be part of the conversation about transparency in coffee? Share your thoughts below, and join the Transparency in Coffee Facebook Group

LPET Tasters Challenge Recap

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Nine roasters from all over Europe joined us for this exciting challenge, with a few late entrants who cajoled the judges into letting them in on the fun. The prize had to be good in order to coax so many great cuppers away from the RAI Amsterdam to the considerably more stylish surrounds of the La Cabra pop up cafe. And it was an awesome prize indeed: an exclusive LPET Fermentation Pack from our friends La Palma y El Tucán

The  competition had three rounds: 

1. Tasting

Cuppers were presented with the four coffees that were part of the competition and given a chance to get to know the fermentation profiles:
Geisha Acetic
Sidra Natural
Typica Honey
Sidra Lactic


2. Triangulation

It was all-in for Round 2, with nine cuppers at the table at once. They all had ten minutes, but time mattered, and the fastest cuppers would move on to the finals. Nikko from Andante in Helsinki, Finland, flew through to the finals, while Tomas of Rebel Bean in Brno, Czech Republic, earned his place with a stellar time. 

 All in for Round 2 of the LPET Tasters Challenge

All in for Round 2 of the LPET Tasters Challenge

 

3. Fermentation

In this final round Tomas and Nikko had to identify the fermentation method of the coffees: Acetic, Natural, Honey or Lactic. An informal round followed, as the cuppers gathered at the table to compare their thoughts with the selections of the finalists.
 

The winner:

Despite Nikko's prowess in the triangulation, it was Tomas of Rebel Bean who won the day! In a lightning quick time of 48 seconds, Tomas correctly identified two of the four fermentation methods. He left Amsterdam with a bag 4kg heavier than when he arrived. We can't wait to see what Rebel Bean do with these exclusive coffees. 

An enormous thank you to all who came for this fun event, and an extra special hug for La Cabra who provided the perfect venue. It was an ideal space, away from the craziness of the Roasters Village, to appreciate great coffee (and hear each other speak). 
 

How to get your hands on these coffees

Want to know how these innovative processing methods affect the cup? Looking for a unique coffee for your next competition? Check out our Competition Coffees page on Cropster Hub, and read this guide on buying greens for competition. 

 

 

World of Coffee Sideshows: Nico Roasts on an Ikawa

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Our Ikawa roasters are indispensable tools both at origin and in the lab. Nico will show you all the features while roasting some exceptional Burundian coffees from our partners Long Miles Coffee Project at World of Coffee, Amsterdam. See you there!

And don’t miss our packed schedule of cuppings at the CCS stand, Booth 30 in the Roasters Village. See our full cupping schedule and all our sideshows for the next fun-filled three days. 

WORLD OF COFFEE SIDESHOWS - Veronika Brews Finca Elida

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Veronika Gálová Veselá, five-time Slovakia Brewers Cup champion, and the latest member of the CCS team, will be brewing at the WB.coffee Booth, Roasters Village, World of Coffee, Amsterdam. 

Join Veronika and enjoy her award-winning brews of this delicious coffee from our friends at Finca Elida, Lamastus Family Estates, Panama. 

Friday June 22, 11.30am - 1pm. 

Plus, we'll be cupping every day at our stand, Booth 30 in the Roasters Village. See our full cupping schedule.