Let's Talk Relationships - A World of Coffee within Panama

Every year for the past dozen years, Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers has hosted a unique event called Let’s Talk Coffee. This year the event was held in early October, at a resort just outside of Panama City, Panama. The purpose of the event is to bring the entire supply chain under one roof to discuss a wide range of topics related to coffee including agronomy, economics and sensory evaluation. The presentations and workshops are intended to educate and sometimes serve to challenge popular thinking. I participated in a panel discussion on the subject of Geisha variety coffee, quite appropriate since Panama is credited with the rediscovery of this heirloom variety. I also delivered a presentation on implications of the Robusta species in the specialty coffee market from the roasters perspective. 

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"Hot, You're Not": A Look Inside This Year's Roasters Guild Retreat Competition Through the Eyes of a Roaster

This year’s Roasters Guild Retreat returned to the Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, Washington. Located in a secluded area of the beautiful Columbia River Gorge, it is the perfect place to immerse yourself and get lost in the world of coffee. Due in part to this annual event and events like it, the coffee industry has created a platform for ideas to be formulated and discussed and shared. Attendees can promote the point of view of the company they represent and show off their skills by participating in friendly competitions. 

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The Tiger Trust

Across Indonesia, tigers are disappearing fast. Over the last century, two of three subspecies have been hunted to extinction, and now a small population of Sumatran Tigers is all that remains. Protecting the tiger means supporting the rangers who keep them safe, and we are committed to doing our part. Every drop of our Equator Blend and Equator Espresso supports The Sumatran Tiger Trust, an operation working to protect the dwindling number of tigers in Sumatra.

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Q&A: Caitlin McCarthy-Garcia at the Cup of Excellence

Right now, our Associate Green Coffee Buyer, Caitlin McCarthy Garcia, is on her way to Honduras as a Jury Observer for the annual Cup of Excellence. The competition is a critical one that takes place in many of the countries we buy from, and the process is a fascinating one. As a Jury Observer, Caitlin will spend her week cupping and scoring coffee, visiting exporters, farms, and producing regions across Honduras. Recently, we caught up with Caitlin for a more thorough peek into the competition. 

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We're Off to Seattle!

Every year, for a few days, members of the coffee industry convene for the most frenetic, inspiring weekend of the year: The SCAA Exposition. The Event draws together producers, baristas, roasters, buyers, journalists, and folks from every arm of the industry—perhaps the broadest cross section of the supply chain you're ever likely to find in one room. This year, we'll be sending our largest delegation yet, and we're all up to some exciting things. Here's a peek. 

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Sourcing Coffee in Central America - Pt. 1, Costa Rica

In February, the Central American coffee producing countries of Costa Rica and Nicaragua were on the itinerary. Traveling to this region in the early part of the year is ideal -- the harvest is underway, the mills are in full swing and samples are starting to become available for evaluation. It had been a couple of years since I last visited Costa Rica and I was especially looking forward to making contact with some of the growers whose coffee we have been roasting and enjoying at Equator since then. In addition to meeting with farmers we have been working with, travel to origin inevitably leads to introductions to new producers, many of whom are doing outstanding work with their coffee.

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Review of 2013 Coffees and Outlook for 2014

January is a good time to review coffees from the previous year and regroup in anticipation of the new crop arrivals that have already started coming in. As most coffee drinkers know, coffee is a seasonal crop with distinct periods of time in each growing region for harvesting, processing and shipping. From a coffee enthusiast’s perspective, it is sad when a favorite coffee runs its seasonal course but, exciting knowing that a new vintage is just a few months away.

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