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Cup to Crop For the past three weeks Crop to Cup has been working in Burundi to get to know the farmers of the Bukeye region, set up reinvestment projects, supervise the preparation for the harvest (about a week away now), and implement a number of initiatives with our coffee's farmers. Last week we organized a fantastic event, called Cup to Crop. At Crop to Cup we strive to connect consumers with the people who grew and process their coffee. Cup to Crop is our way of connecting farmers to the end product that they grow. The vast majority of farmers in Burundi, and especially those from the Bukeye region, have never tasted the coffee that they grow. Roasted coffee is...
Tagged in: coffee Farmers
One of our partners here at the Buhorwa Washing Station is the Burundi Agribusiness Project (BAP).  Projects like this make me actually happy to pay tax on my hard earned income and our monthly payroll to the US government.  You see, BAP is a USAID-funded project.  It is administered by Development Assistance International (DAI) and Michingan State University’s Institute for International Agriculture.  MSU’s Anne Ottoway initially introduced us to BAP and she is awesome.  If you’re at SCAA in Houston this year make sure to find Anne and pick her brain. We first visited Burundi about a year and a half ago, and we were excited to start a partnership with BAP, as their staff seemed to efficiently understand and work...
Greetings from Bukeye.  You may notice “Bukeye” on our coffee bags currently on shelves in NY and Chicago.  Bukeye is the main town nearest to the Buhorwa Washing Station, where our coffee is collected in cherry form fresh from the farms.  Although Bukeye is a well known region in Burundi for having produced many powerful figures in politics and business, there isn’t much to the town, save for a trading center, large church, and one restaurant and roadside inn, where I sleep, take my meals and have learned to time bathing to the on-and-off whims of Bukeye’s municipal water system.  I also discovered here that ripening guavas, when left in one’s room, act as an all natural air freshener against the...
Tagged in: coffee industry maps
Burundi Trip Begins...What to Expect Taylor here, recently arrived here in Bujumbura and for about 3 weeks starting tomorrow I'll be up at the Buhorwa Washing Station, whose coffee many of you may have tried through C2C.  Dan (C2C Brooklyn) will be joining me on the 15th. In case any of you would like to follow our trip or are looking to learn more about coffee  processing and sourcing, here's a bit of what you can expect from our trip: - An unscientific report on "trickle down" of current world market prices to the farmer level.  We all know world coffee prices are crazy high right now, but there has been little info out there about what this actually means for smallholder family farmers (several stages...
Follow Crop to Cup's travels in 2011 - w/ lots of pics! C2C's travel season is upon us, and this year will see Taylor (normally based in Brooklyn) travelling during most of 2011.   Taylor and others will be posting here from time to time and often posting photos to his picasa page. Up on Picasa now are both coffee-related and random fun pics from trips in Hong Kong and New Zealand. For the entire month of April Taylor and Dan will be visiting coffee origins in Burundi and Uganda, and he'll be posting lots of pics!  Make sure to follow the photostream, learn more than you could imagine about coffee origins and processing, and meet the farmers who are growing those awesome beans you brew. Post comments and questions either to this...
Tagged in: coffee industry travel
Crop to Cup Coffee Co is excited to announce Whole Crop, a groundbreaking new coffee project, as we expand our farmer engagement into Burundi.  This has been 2 years in the making, searching out the right farmers and the right partners to be sure that this was something that could actually happen. The project is centered in and around a washing station called Burhorwa, which is located in Muramvya Province, northeast of the capital, Bujumbura.  Both the washing station setup (2nd highest altitude station in the country, and utilizing a siphon density cherry separation system) and the surrounding region are beautiful.  But that's not why we chose to work with Buhorwa.  What makes Buhorwa ideal is the eager determination of the...
Dear Friend and Colleagues, We have launched a petition against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill introduced into the Parliament of Uganda on October 14, 2009.  For years we have been disheartened and offended by the homophobic statements and actions by the Ugandan government and even its media, and, now thanks to a radical MP, a bill that would clearly violate basic human rights has been introduced and is gaining support. The petition's website link is pasted below, and you can learn more about the issue through a simple online news search or by visiting Human Rights Watch.  If you care about this issue, PLEASE SIGN OUR PETITION HERE.  Even more, PLEASE SEND THE PETITION LINK TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN.  Help...
Tagged in: Origin uganda
So we're nearing the end of our trip here in Uganda.   We've been all over the coffee farms, coffee shops, washing stations, processing factories, savannas and deserts - from Kampala to Jinja to Mbale to Karamoja to Kidepo.  Tomorrow we cap off the trip with an all day bonanza at the Uganda Barista Championship.  Many of our friends are competing and we'll be there to cheer them on. Best of all, we're happy to report that - before the picking season is even finished - we've already locked in an import of two new micro-regions.  These coffees are absolutely amazing, and C2C and its partners are charting new territory in the Uganda coffee industry with the level of coffee quality and...
In case our coffee wasn't enough to get your brain moving in the morning, here's a traceability teaser to wake up your brain. We are also here to enlist YOU to help us solve this on-mountain problem related to traceability of coffee when it is sold in parchment form. After reading, please submit your ideas in the Comments section of this blog post. This scenario is based on a real situation observed just last week in the greater Mbale region of Uganda. First, allow me to introduce the two sides of the traceability argument. You are a farmer. You pick your coffee berries and have two options. One, you can carry your cherries to the nearest washing station, where you will...
Tagged in: Origin Traceability
by Alexis and Neil. Hello from Uganda! The whole Crop to Cup crew is now in tow in Mbale, with Alexis and Neil now officially known as Muzungus. We are following the energetic lead of Taylor and Jake, who are practically locals here and are ear-to-ear smiles being back on UG soil. Over the past few days, we’ve had fruitful meetings in Kampala with EAFCA (East African Fine Coffee Association) and LEAD (Livelihoods and Enterprises for Agricultural Development Program). Kampala is a bustling capital, but we jumped right into it, hopping on the back of boda bodas (motorcycle taxis) to get around town. Now on day 3, we find ourselves busy as ever in Mbale at the base of Mt. Elgon....