Shopping Cart

The cart is empty

Shopping Cart

The cart is empty
Menu

October 23, 2018
Category: in Burundi
Sh*t's Getting Real in Burundi Sh*t's Getting Real in Burundi 10/19/18 Update Poop production begins soon! Farmers in Crop to Cup’s second longest standing relationship (since 2010) have inched closer to a legally recognized cooperative and are well underway in their comprehensive community initiative, called Projet Vache.   The goal of the program is quite simple: increase incomes by improving farm productivity and quality and provide alternative sources of income How to achieve the goal is much more intricate, including work both on and off the farm. Healthier soils and trees are on their way through 2 new seedling nurseries across the Buhorwa-Gatare smallholder catch basin, and 2 compost production facilities utilizing livestock, coffee cherry and other materials. In addition, dairy – and, later, the sale of...
b2ap3_thumbnail_BZ1.jpg
Through the uncanny valley to Brazilian specialty coffee August 2018, Brazil Minas Gerais state | Cerrado Minero region Alto Paranairiba municipality | São Gotardo locality “It felt kind of funny”. My first few days back from my first time in Brazil, this is how I tried to describe my experience. “It was familiar. Yet totally different.” Food is relatable, so I start by describing the mixture of queues, customary and new, that make Brazilian food a masquerade of the familiar. Beautiful, bountiful breads I later learned are made with manioc or cassava flour instead of wheat[1]. Pizza is popular, thank you, but only to be eaten with a fork and knife if you please. Peppers; you’ll find peppers galore –...

September 10, 2018
Category: in Crop to Cup
b2ap3_thumbnail_20180802_140843.jpg
What’s in a name São Gotardo means ‘village of confusion’. This is the Cerrado Mineiro region of Minas Gerais; an area best described as a high-altitude savannah, and best known as the carrot capital of Brazil. In addition to producing nearly half of the country’s carrots, this region also grows onions, garlic, onion, potatoes….and coffee. Coffee was the most recent to join the party, starting in the 1970’s around the same time that São Gotardo earned it’s name. This region was designated as a destination for a rural resettlement program that the government was promoting in an attempt to feed growing urban centers. São Gotardo was the town to which people were relocated, and coffee became the way out of...
Converting Export to Farm-Gate Price with Kata Maduga in Ethiopia     2018 Kata Maduga Income, Cost and Profit Distribution (an example)                 On average farmers in Africa only expect to capture 61% of export income. This is due to poor outturns, export inefficiencies and the number of middle-men small farmers required to get smallholder coffees to market. In Latin America the average capture is 87%, showing incredibly efficient export processes (13% cost and loss), and integration of farming up through value-added processing, sometimes all the way to export.                             In search of better prices, a number of Western Ethiopian Cooperatives split off from the Oromia Union to represent themselves through...

September 06, 2018
Category: in Ethiopia
Ignorant Impressions of Ethiopia Ignorant Impressions Ethiopia 2017 Jake Elster, Crop to Cup Coffee Importers              You are only allowed to be ignorant once, so you better make the most of it. Ignorance is an incredible state to be in for experiencing new people and places. If you don’t know, you don’t have any choice but to take each person and idea as novel, as if it were new. The downside to adulting is that you aren’t often allowed to come across as a child. Maybe this is why you don’t see as many full-sized humans awestruck as often as this world warrants. At some point, growing up, you’re just supposed to just know already. Ergo, when you come across that rare first, you have...
A Sing-Sing in Wainger, the Hives of Jucuru, Bilum Bags and a Prize Pig - Ben in PNG '18 It was this cowboy’s first rodeo in PNG, but Crop to Cup's fourth year with the AAAK Cooperative. So, I had an idea of what was going on. Trip prep included conversations with the charismatic and cooperative head, Brian, as we all worked to encourage the first ever cupping competition between the farmer “clusters.” For review, AAAK comprises Apo, Angra, Angana and Kange Cooperatives (with the addition of Angana, the name recently changed from AAK). These coops span the three coffee producing provinces in Papua New Guinea: Eastern Highlands, Western Highlands and Chimbu/Simbu Provinces. Different places, different languages, different cultures with one thing in common. Coffee. Due to a history of differences, the cooperative's message has all along been one of...
Dreaming up a better bean, Colima Mexico 2018   Trip Report, February 2018 Visitng Colima, Mexico By Ben Heins Dreaming of a better bean Colima Mexico 2018   Arriving in Colima couldn’t have been sweeter. Despite sharing a desk in Chicago, it had been quite some time since Jake and I had any time to actually enjoy another’s company. Even the layover in Mexico City was filling the battery. Boarding the plane to Colima we recognized Daniel, who worked with us in year’s prior as a translator. He was on our connection to Colima – a flight he takes every other week while working towards a degree in Music therapy. We caught up with him as we waited for bags – hauled up from the tarmac in the back...

March 15, 2018
Category: in Mexico
In the service of coffee   Trip Report, February 2018 Visitng Oaxaca, Mexico By Jake Elster the service of coffee    ’Coffee is a noble crop’, Gildo translated from Mixteca to Spanish. We were in Southern Mexico, Oaxaca State, near a Puebla called Guadalupe Mirimar, an indigenous Mixteca town smaller than my graduating class in high school. Being from the area Gildo (pronounced Hildo) showed us all that his community had to offer the world of specialty coffee. We were above the cloud-line, something that always makes sunrises special, and walking back from a plot where one farmer had worked – alone – and with love– to replant all 2000 trees. Gildo was explaining the pride people take in cultivating coffee, something more than all other...

January 24, 2018
Category: in Ethiopia
Western Ethiopia in 4 Days Western Ethiopia in Four Days Jimma, Keffa, Limu – this is coffee country. Every community has a different claim to being the birthplace of coffee, and backs it up by producing some of the world’s best coffees every year. This is not Sidama or Yirgacheffe, this is Ethiopia’s wild west. Lower producing farms are spread out over larger areas, oftentimes overlapping or fully within large swaths of protected forest. Land ownership is an issue here, as estates bring in outsiders but bring roads, jobs, housing and schools. Smallholders are in an interesting position to gain from new laws allowing for more direct export as some of the country’s top cooperatives unite under the new Kata Maduga Union to triple their income...
Papua New Guinea's Coffee Context I wrote a brief blog before travelling to Papua New Guinea for the first time. Now I am back after a short trip to the Highlands, and thought that my armchair article (here) could benefit from a recap. There are a few points I made which deserve different emphasis. Not so much misstatements as understatements, lacking in context. And so, those of you interested in smallholder specialty coffees from PNG, read on for context. --  Jake Elster, Crop to Cup Coffee Importers. August 5th 2016.  on airstrip coffee and geography Unlike other coffee-growing areas I’ve been too, once you get there, PNG is incredible accessible. Ninety percent of the country’s coffee comes from the Highlands region, which stretches between the Southern Highlands, Western...