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…

Being transparent about transparency

This blog post is part of a series called Why Transparency Matters. Read all posts in this series here. For several months we have been working on a transparency model, with the aim of releasing a transparency report that breaks prices down beyond FOB, and be clear about our own costs and margins. Our goal is to have this price breakdown a standard part of the information we provide for every coffee we sell, and Read more…

Rwanda 2019 | Gitesi’s first naturals

One the goals going into a new Rwanda season this year was to diversify the profile range. To that end we asked our long-term partners, Aime & his father at the Gitesi washing station, to prepare some naturals for us. It was their first time with this process. Always exciting! To sell naturals in Rwanda, first you need a license, and to get a license you need a guaranteed buyer. Otherwise it is illegal to produce Read more…

How to plan your menu

For new roasteries, one of the toughest questions, after “which roaster should I buy?” is “what should go on my menu?”  The answer will be different for everybody, depending on your customers, your location, and your capacity. To help decide what is best for you, we asked some of our customers how they tackle this question.  How do you choose which coffees to put on your menu?  The first step to answering this question is Read more…

Coffee competitions in origin

Coffee competitions in origin: What are they, why are they important and how can you get involved? We run two annual competitions in origin, the Apas Cup in Brazil and the Tarqui Cup in Colombia. Each competition judges a selection of coffees from producers working in a particular region. The top lots earn significant premiums on the local price, which is a huge benefit to the farmers. More importantly, these competitions help farmers create a Read more…

Burundi, 2019 | What’s cropping?

Slight turbulence ahead. Things were a little bumpy going into the season this year, but we have become accustomed to that over the years. And the Burundis, taste, well… like stunning Burundis: amazing complex coffees and so characteristic. Definitely worth a few bumps and jumps. Low yields this year As every year our focus is on our long-term relationship with Salum Ramadhan and his four washing stations. The yield on the trees was low this Read more…

Can you feel it – a workshop on detecting mouthfeel

At Nordic Approach HQ in Oslo we regularly hold sensory training events for our staff. This month we ran a workshop to help the team detect mouth feel.  I learned this exercise from Ida at CoffeeMind. It’s great for training yourself to discern body and mouthfeel when cupping coffee, and best of all, it’s easy to set up and do yourself.  Here’s how: Objective: Range and sort four different liquids from low to high in mouthfeel.  Read more…

North America buying strategy in Colombia

In summer of 2018 I first visited producers that have been part of long-standing Nordic Approach quality-based premium programs – some for nearly a decade. The premium program Morten built years ago still benefits a growing number of producers and roasters (and other importers), so this year, 2019, I went to investigate how we could develop this project to serve the North American market, and apply what we’ve learned about developing specialty coffee supply chains Read more…

Update from Juan David Cordona

David is a young producer in Antioquia, part of an informal group of innovative young farmers who are determined to prove the potential of their region goes beyond chocolate and caramel cups. His father thinks David’s ideas are too radical and their pair argued about the best way to manage the family farm. To solve the conflict, David’s father decided to lease the property to David to manage as he chooses. David and his brother Read more…

Rwanda 2019 | our renewed focus

Busy but beautiful times! … wait wait wait, it’s 2019 and August already? Are you sure?But… the summer of 2018 just ended?That pretty much sums up the feeling I had going into this summer, and I think all the staff over here in Oslo are with me. A bummer for me this year was that I’ve had to cancel my trip to Rwanda & Burundi the day before actually flying out, due to problems that popped Read more…

Meet the producers of Intibuca

Seeing their name on a bag of roasted coffee is a privilege few farmers experience, and not always because their coffee isn’t good quality. In many parts of the coffee growing world there simply isn’t the infrastructure to maintain lot separation all the way to the port.  In Honduras, the producers suffer a lack of service providers for small scale production. Smallholder farmers must combine their coffee with that of other producers in the region Read more…

Intibuca, Honduras: increasing profitability through micro-lot separation

Honduras presents as an exception in Central American coffee production, being the only country to increase volume, and at a rapid rate. Steadily holding its place within the top ten producing countries of arabica coffee, Honduras went from the fifth largest producer of arabica in the world, to the third in 2018, overtaking Ethiopia.  Yet Honduran coffees are not well known or established in the market. Coffee professionals are far more likely to know the Read more…