Voices From Origin: A Producer-Driven Approach

By Mayra Orellana-Powell, Catracha Coffee Company At the recent SCAA Symposium, I was honored with the opportunity to speak about small coffee producers from my hometown in Santa Elena, Honduras. Using the experiences of my cousin Rosibel and her husband Toño, I talked about how importers, roasters, and consumers working together with small producers can impact the …

SCAA Barista and Roaster Compensation Report Shows Correlation Between Certification and Higher Salaries

The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) has published the 2014 Barista and Roaster Compensation Report, which shows that while some coffee professionals are paid only slightly over minimum wage, certification plays a key role in advancing their compensation. The objective of this report, conducted in conjunction with Marketing General, Inc. (MGI), is to recognize …

Seeking Baristas: A Call to Action for the Coffee Service Professional

by Colin Whitcomb, Madcap Coffee Recently, much has been said and written about the evolution of specialty coffee’s retail side. Oftentimes the cry to disrupt current models has centered on an argument that diversity in an increasingly competitive retail environment is the key to discovering new modes that will carry us forward. These arguments in favor …

Risk, Responsibility, and Potatoes? A Rwandan Coffee Story

There’s a lot more specialty coffee coming out of Rwanda these days, and there’s a lot to love about Rwandan coffee. 25% of Rwanda’s agricultural exports consist of coffee, and in recent years, the country has made substantial investments in specialty coffee infrastructure. As a result, numerous 90+ coffees are now coming out of the …

The Green Coffee Buyer: A Key Link in the Coffee Supply Chain

by Andi C. Trindle Mersch, Philz Coffee Green coffee buyers essentially operate right in the middle of it all: we serve as intermediaries for the coffee bean, standing between growers and final consumers. Despite the bad rap “middlemen” have received in the coffee trade over the years, speaking from the middle as a green coffee buyer myself—I …

Expanding the Role of the Exporter in the Direct Trade Model

by Francisco A. Mena, Exclusive Coffees S.A. Many of the other participants in this issue are green buyers who work for roasters or importing companies. In this feature, we shine a spotlight on the role of an exporter, which is someone who consolidates crops from producers for processing and sale to out-of-country businesses. Francisco Mena, standard-bearer …

A Novice Green Buyer’s Search for Meaning

by Jessica Cole, Elysian Coffee Roasters There are a few things about green buying that aren’t what I expected. I thought green buyers trotted over volcanic terrain shouldering sacks of coffee, heroically hopping around like nimble-footed mountain goats. I thought being more connected to purchasing would shed some light on coffee’s more existential questions: what …