Uganda harvest update

Good day! I was lucky enough to travel to Uganda in April, taking every precaution and being tested ten times a day, or at least that’s what it felt like. What a beautiful journey through Uganda it was. There’s a good reason we took the calculated risk to travel. Firstly, since I will be taking over the buying for Nordic Approach’s Ugandan offers, it was important to meet our partner, Kingsley Griffin, from Kingha Estate Read more…

How to plan your buying for Jul – Dec 2021

If you only have 30 seconds, read this: For the second half of the year we will have coffees from Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Uganda, Rwanda, and Indonesia. Samples will start arriving in July/August, and coffees will land from Sept/Oct onwards. Coffees will be slightly more expensive in the coming months, regardless of quality or who you buy from. Plus there are a lot of different challenges in origin countries that might impact when your coffee Read more…

Farm Workers in Antioquia

The situation in Colombia

Just over a month ago the Colombian government proposed a major tax reform which sparked massive protests. The government quickly withdrew the reform proposal, but protests continued as people expressed their frustration of years of poverty and inequality, exacerbated by a violent response from police.  Sadly there is a long history of violent conflict in Colombia. It dates back to the 1940s and 1950s when the country endured “La Violencia”, a decade-long conflict between liberals Read more…

Your guide to green coffee samples

The sample you are cupping represents a moment in the value chain, from the very first coffees coming off the drying tables to green coffee landed and ready to release from our European warehouse. It is important to know which step in the value chain your sample comes from, and what you should be looking for (and looking past) in this coffee.  There are a lot of names and acronyms when it comes to samples, Read more…

Ethiopia transparency overview now available

Our third transparency overview with prices paid to farmers in Ethiopia is now available. It explains how we work in Ethiopia, the suppliers we work with, and the complicated journey our coffees take from farm to port. The overview also includes average prices paid to farmers in each region and the FOB price for all coffees we purchased from Ethiopia during the 2019/2020 harvest.  Ethiopia is a complicated country and our largest origin in volume. The Read more…

Meet Belcy Astudillo, “Final Spoon” at Coocentral cooperative, Huila

When Belcy Astudillo first began working in the lab at Coocentral cooperative in Huila, Colombia, her colleagues would hide the sugar so she couldn’t add it to her coffee. Now she is an integral member of the lab, one of the “Final Spoons” deciding which coffees meet the cooperatives standards on quality. She analyses the Yield Factor, moisture, and the flavours, where her palate may determine how much over the base price the farmer will Read more…

Your guide to our Ethiopian profiles

Coffee is a very important agricultural export for the Ethiopian economy, and has therefore been very tightly controlled by the government. Until very recently, all coffee traded in Ethiopia was bought and sold through the Ethiopian Coffee Exchange (ECX). This entity inspected every lot of coffee, assigned it a grade according to its quality (Grade 1 being the best), and assigned it a regional profile such as Yirgacheffe or Guji. These regional profiles reflected the Read more…

Plan your buying for 2021

ME: Hey it’s Alec from Nordic Approach! Just calling to ask about your coffee planning for 2021 🙂 🙂 YOU, A COFFEE ROASTER, IN 2021:  Um, what? Yeah, I know. It’s been a year. But we’re still here and so are you, and people still need coffee. So how should you approach coffee planning this season? Every roaster is different but there are a few things every roaster can benefit from. 1. Define your current Read more…

Uganda, everything we knew it could be

We are blown away by the quality coming from Uganda this season. With twin challenges of the global Covid-19 pandemic and climate change, we were expecting a drop in quality from Uganda this harvest. Instead they have improved quality and consistency across the board.  Uganda is a relatively new origin for us. Morten began establishing projects in 2018 with a focus on the naturals and special preps. These processes give our offers a lot of Read more…

Your guide to the current harvests

It’s an exciting time of year — so many origins are in harvest, and so much great coffee is coming our way! What can we expect from Ethiopia, Kenya, Honduras, Colombia and Uganda this year? Our buyers give us an update. Ethiopia The harvest this year was earlier with higher yields. Last harvest the rain continued to the end of December but this harvest it stopped in early November in most regions, Yirgacheffe being the Read more…

Special Preps Webinar Wednesday Dec 2

Wednesday Dec 22pm CET Love them or hate them, these new styles of coffees have taken hold. But beyond the profiles, be they crazy delicious or just straight crazy (depending on your preference), what do these new fermentation methods mean for our industry? We’re teaming up with our friends at Cropster and experts across the value chain for a free webinar. We’ll explore these new methods, the science behind the process, what flavours they add Read more…

Our dream team in Brazil

This year has been one of the most exciting seasons in my experience of working with Brazilian coffees, which seems strange considering the circumstances. I have been traveling to Brazil and working with coffee producers there for the past four years. When making decisions about which coffees to buy and which coffees not to buy, who to develop relationships with, and what our selection should look like, I keep coming back to the same idea Read more…

Colombia Harvest Update October 2020

In any normal year I would be visiting Colombia between July and August, and then again at the end of November leading into the beginning of December. These would be our primary trips for coffees from across Nariño, Huila and Tolima when we would be able to meet with producers, see the harvest and gain insights into how the internal production and market is functioning for the season. Depending on the area I would either Read more…

Your guide to our Special Prep coffees

Anaerobic Fermentation, Saccharic, Lactic, Skin Contact — you might have seen these terms on our offers list lately. We call these “Special Preps”, and the names all refer to different methods of fermentation which lead to unique and novel flavours in the cup.  However, there are a lot of different terms for these new styles of fermentation and processing, which can be confusing for roasters and their customers. Here is a guide to the names we Read more…

Peru Harvest Update

I have said this before, and I will keep saying it: the quality of coffee we are sourcing in Peru is outstanding, given the low income, general lack of infrastructure, and scarce equipment for post harvest processing.  Peru has impressed us again this year, both in terms of quality, and the commitment from producers and our export partners. I can’t wait to see how this origin develops over the next few years. That said, it’s Read more…

Securing the coffee you need in a pandemic

You might have noticed our offers list is not as long as it used to be. There are a couple of reasons for this. Previously we planned our buying based on past years’ experience which gave us a pretty good idea of your coffee needs. But then pandemic came and shook our industry like a snow globe. Until the shaking stops, no one can really say how anything will land, so we’re a little more cautious with our Read more…

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.  Shifting supply and demand The overwhelming feedback I have received from customers all over the world is that the demand for micro-lots has seen an incredible 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…