The Importance of Inefficiency and the Danger of Detail

  Specialty coffee is overwhelmingly inefficient. This inefficiency might be the one unilateral criterion that makes certain coffee special and also the one unilateral virtue—or opportunity for positive impact—that circumscribes specialty coffee as a category. Between 275-320 bags (total varies depending on country of export and their standard bag weight) of coffee are packed into … Continue reading The Importance of Inefficiency and the Danger of Detail

Get Aspirational

At last month's Rainforest Alliance gala reception I spoke briefly with Rainforest President Tensie Whelan for a few articles for Tea & Coffee Trade Journal. This is her response to my question of "how can behind-the-scenes intermediaries, as well as consumer facing brands, can help close the disparaging differential gap between the available volumes of … Continue reading Get Aspirational

Lazy Change

Walk the dog. Grab brunch. Change history. Is that how it works? Can changing history be accomplished just by showing up someplace on a Sunday afternoon? Twentysomethings like me were raised to believe that we can change the world. All-school assemblies, motivational movies, and a cultural mantra repeated by parents, teachers, politicians and the media … Continue reading Lazy Change

To Better Understand

Often, questions like, “what’s it like to be an agricultural producer?” are met with descriptive answers, but whose descriptions are rather glossy. When we want to know what it’s like to be the newest edge of an industry very much defined by its traditions, we need more than the superficial to be able to really … Continue reading To Better Understand

Para Entender Mejor

  Preguntas como, “como es ser agricultor?” suelen se encuentran con respuestas descriptivas, pero cuyos descripciones son muy someras. Cuando quisieramos saber como es ser la borde mas nueva de una industria muy marcada por sus tradiciones, necesitamos algo mas que lo superficial. Esta historia de Lukas, uno de mis mejores amigos en Colombia, empieza … Continue reading Para Entender Mejor

Young Colombian Coffee Growers

I have the privilege of spending this week among 1000 young Colombian coffee growers in San Geronimo, Antioquia, as they participate in a camp dedicated to stepping up their coffee game. The week of workshops is a prime example of how education and agriculture can be mutually supportive, with participants scheduled to attend sessions about … Continue reading Young Colombian Coffee Growers

Antioquia La Más Educada

Hace un mes asistí la conferencia, (o si prefiere “el evento”) del SCAA, la Asociación de Cafes Especiales de Estados Unidos, en Seattle. Como prensa, estuve invitada a un almuerzo patrocinado por CQI, el Instituto de Calidad de Café, el órgano responsable por los estandares, examinaciones, y entrego de titulos de “Q Grader.” Hubo muchas … Continue reading Antioquia La Más Educada

You Can Feel Good About Potenciana Cafe

It’s Monday morning. It’s rainy and gray and dreary out. There are lots of coffees that claim to save the world, but really, we just want them to save Monday morning. Luckily, there are coffees that can do more than drag us through Mondays without attempting to take on the world. Sometimes, modest efforts at … Continue reading You Can Feel Good About Potenciana Cafe

The Illusion of Diversification

For all the rows of products lining grocery store shelves and the mile long menus we gaze up at when enter a coffee shop or down at when we enter a restaurant, it might seem like we’re faced with a lot of choice. If we want a sandwich we might have fifteen options to choose … Continue reading The Illusion of Diversification

That Business Model is Looking Good

I’ve finished the book so the blog is back! I just finished writing and putting together “When Coffee Speaks,” a collection of interviews with people who work in coffee. The whole point of the book is that I don’t do much explaining; I let coffeepeople speak for themselves so that readers can make their own … Continue reading That Business Model is Looking Good