Rwanda 2020 fully pre-booked

Did  you know the word “crisis” originates from a Greek word that means “decision”?  We have all been in crisis mode for the better part of the year, and six months in, we’re seeing a distinct change in our industry, and the vital importance of firm and early decisions.  The new model of specialty The overwhelming feedback I have received from customers all over the world is that the demand for micro-lots has seen an Read more…

Indonesia Harvest Update – Frinsa Estate

What to expect Indonesians will be on the water soon and will arrive earlier than ever before. We will have a range of delicious clean washed coffees, and we have expanded our volumes of the experimental preparations we began last year. Plus, we’ll have a selection of naturals.  The different fermentation methods involve bacterias like Lactobacillus and Saccharomyces, anaerobic and partially anaerobic environments. Last year these coffees flew off the shelf, so if this is Read more…

Sourcing in the time of Corona

Origin travel suspended Traveling to origin has been the cornerstone of our buying since this company was founded. Every year we travel to each of the coffee growing origins we work in at least once, often several times, to meet with export partners and producers, explore farms and check out the dry milling facilities, and of course, to cup coffee and make selections. Many of you have joined us on these trips, and you know Read more…

The impact of COVID-19 at origin, and how it might affect your green buying

We are all staring into the crystal ball, trying to predict how our industry will look in the aftermath of the curfews and lock downs. Everyone in the specialty coffee value chain is adapting on the fly, and that includes importers. We are working to keep everyone in the value chain in business, which means adjusting our own buying plans for the remainder of the year, and finding ways to help you adapt and plan.  Read more…

The impact of COVID-19, survey results

Our recent survey into how the restrictions in place to contain Covid-19 have affected our customers paints a diverse picture. There isn’t a single experience. The full impact of Covid-19 depends on your country, your city, your business model and how you have been able to pivot, if at all.  We know anecdotally that web shops are a lifeline for many of you, and they may have turned your buying strategy on its head. However Read more…

Ethiopia 2020 Harvest Update

There is no such thing as business as usual in Ethiopia. Every season has its unique set of challenges, but this year has been a little crazier than usual, even before Covid-19 hit. At the beginning of the season cherry prices were almost double those of last year. Then in mid-season, the industry was hit with a new minimum price directive that threw contracts into disarray. On a positive note, new and exciting coffee profiles Read more…

Ever changing Kenya

If you ask most green coffee buyers about Kenyan coffees they will reminisce about back in the day, when Kenyan coffees used to taste the way Kenyan coffees should taste. How much of this is due to nostalgia versus reality, even I am unsure. What we do see is that the landscape of Kenyan coffee production has changed dramatically over the past years, and continues to do so. Kenya is a country of dwindling coffee Read more…

Huge potential in Uganda

Last summer I went back to Uganda, following up on a project we started in 2018. While there I visited the West Region and launched some new projects. These initiatives in Uganda have yielded some amazing coffees which are on their way to Belgium, estimated to arrive in port on March 28th. We believe that Uganda will play a significant role in the specialty coffee industry of the future. There are great coffees here, plus Read more…

Finding the perfect sample roaster for you

Finding the right equipment for your business might seem like an impossible task. With so many different manufacturers and models, it’s an ocean of opportunities. Kaya, manager of the Nordic Approach lab, asked some of our customers how they made these decisions.  If I were to start a roastery tomorrow, I would have an army of ROEST machines. Four different coffees on the line. One roaster for each. One profile for each. That would be awesome. But hey! AINT NO Read more…

Finding the perfect roasting machine for you

Finding the right equipment for your business might seem like an impossible task. With so many different manufacturers and models, it’s an ocean of opportunities. Kaya, manager of the Nordic Approach lab, asked some of our customers how they made these decisions.  Your roaster is a big investment and you know you need to do your homework. If you make the right choice, it will be with you for many years, but what should you Read more…

Women we admire in coffee

In honour of International Women’s Day this Sunday, we honour a few of the women we admire in our value chains.  Natalia Brito Garcia, Brazil Natalia is the reason we buy coffee from Brazil. We didn’t source coffee from Brazil until we met her, now we buy all our Brazilian coffees through the specialty programme she established. Natalia is a passionate advocate for smaller farmers in her region, and works to find them a stable Read more…

coffee cherries

A guide to import certifications.

Unlike their fellow roasters in Europe or North America, most of our customers in Asia or the Middle East face challenges in bringing the green coffee beans to their countries. Customs regulations change frequently, and there is an extra layer of bureaucracy with customs officials demanding to see different certifications. Sometimes it can be confusing, like walking through a maze If this is the first time you import coffee to your country, we suggest you Read more…

A guide to shipping outside North America or the EU

After talking about how important it is to plan your coffee purchase, we would like to share how you should manage your shipping, if you are a roaster located in other countries outside North America or the EU.  We are fully transparent about our product costs, so let us be equally transparent about freight. Using road transport, delivery within Europe usually takes 5-7 business days, and in North America anywhere from 2 to 10 days. Read more…

coffee cherries

Connecting the dots: from farm gate to sale price

We have just released our first origin transparency report from Rwanda. In the coming months we’ll release reports for all of our origins.   These origin reports break down the FOB price and how it is distributed among the different players of the value chain in that country. There is a lot of information you need to absorb in order to contextualise these numbers, so for now we have kept the data to transactions that happen Read more…

Pride (and nerves) for our first origin transparency report

By Suzie, Morten and Jamie We published our first origin transparency report with price data from Rwanda today. We are very proud, and just the tiniest bit nervous for our numbers as they go out into the world.  We stand behind our numbers, we know we pay our farmers and producers well in the context of coffee prices in the origins where we work.  So why are we just the tiniest bit nervous? Because, well, Read more…

Rwanda 2019 | 20twenty…!?

While we’re literally only just starting to sell our 2019 offering, our partners in Rwanda are hard at work to plan for 2020 and distribute the right knowledge and fertilisers. Fertilisers Wait… fertilisers!?!? Isn’t that a bad thing? Sometimes yes, frequently no. Heavy use of fertilisers without considering what the soil actually needs can damage the soil and its microorganisms, and cause pollution. However not caring for the soil and replenishing the nutrients consumed by Read more…

Planning = better coffee for less

It is my personal quest to ruin every coffee party by talking exclusively about purchase planning. Despite this, I feel that roasters still don’t fully get the concept or how valuable it can be to their businesses.   Planning is one of those crucial things that’s much easier to talk about than to actually commit to and it can be more art than science. Many experienced roasters and green buyers still struggle with this, but it Read more…

Introducing our new origin: Peru

We are amazed by the potential in Peru. With simple equipment, minimal infrastructure and hardly any government support, smallholder farmers are producing amazing coffees. Alas most of them go into a big pile which is sold for much less than it is worth. The country is known for certified coffees at low prices which means producers earn a small premium for the certification, but there is no incentive to improve quality.  This situation is unsustainable Read more…

A Fresh Perspective on Brazil

Rosimeire’s house was immaculate. Every surface gleamed and not a single item looked out of place. Her kitchen, where she served us coffee and cake, had all the modern appliances. This was not what I expected.  I lived in Colombia for several years, and it is where I have the most origin experience. My recent visit to Minas Gerais earlier this month was my first ever time in Brazil, and the contrast between the two Read more…

Experimental coffees from Java, and a new project from Sumatra!

This is the fourth year for us working with Wildan Mustofa and his family. Wildan is the entrepreneur and producer. His son Fikri recently graduated from university and is involved in processing and operations, while Wildan’s wife, Atieq, manages the financial side of the business.  We also began a new project in Indonesia this year with a Cooperative called Alko Coop in Kerinchi. We had help from a local friend, David Irawan, who managed the Read more…