New Origins Reports: Peter's Trip to Kenya and an Update from the 21st de Septiembre Co-op!
Following his recent trip to Rwanda, Counter Culture Coffee’s director of coffee and co-owner Peter Giuliano made a quick trip to Kenya. Travelling a few hours north of Nairobi, Peter met with some of Counter Culture’s coffee producing partners and sampled new harvests. In his report, Peter outlines somewhat-recent legal changes in the Kenyan coffee trade and explains the impact of those changes on our buying practices—as well as revealing some interesting details about coffee harvesting and flavor profile!
Visit our Origins section to read Peter's 2008 trip report from Kenya!
For our 2007 Holiday Coffee, CCC went a step further than ever before in realizing our dedication to connecting coffee producers with coffee consumers by focusing our attention on a single coffee: the 21st de Septiembre from the co-operative of the same name in Oaxaca, Mexico. Now that the growers have finished harvesting and the co-op has finished processing coffee for the year, we got an update.
Producer Update: News from Central America
It's an interesting time of year for the Central American supply chain because the lives of growers are slowing down after the harvest season, while the lives of the millers and exporters are still crazy as they try to get coffee onto container ships efficiently.
Here's some news:
Marysabel Caballero of Finca El Puente is South Korea, where she is serving as a sensory judge for the Ultimate Barista Challenge! She asked for my advice on whether to participate because she was nervous about her ability, but she's an adventurer through and through and an amazing ambassador for growers, so I knew she'd be up to the task.
The 21st de Septiembre is using the post-harvest calm as an opportunity to do visits and training in the communities that make up the co-op in order to strengthen their membership.
[Note: For more information on our producer partners, please visit our Coffee People section. For more information on our visits with the producers of our authentic, delicious coffees, including both Finca El Puente and 21st de Septiembre, please visit our Origins section. Thanks, Nathan]
Counter Culture Direct Trade Certification!
Today, we are proud to introduce the world’s first third-party authenticated Direct Trade coffee certification. Our new Counter Culture Direct Trade Certification, which is designed to better communicate our quality-driven approach to sustainable coffee, engages USDA-accredited Quality Certification Services (QCS) to verify Counter Culture’s compliance with four measures based the guiding principles behind our coffee purchases and relationships with coffee farmers. Each Counter Culture Direct Trade Certified coffee meets the following criteria:
- Personal & direct communication with coffee farmers: Counter Culture has visited grower partners on a biennial basis, at minimum.
- Fair & sustainable prices paid to farmers: Counter Culture has paid at least $1.60/lb. for green coffee. This exceeds the Fair Trade Certified floor price by at least 19%, not including quality-based financial incentives paid to growers.
- Exceptional cup quality: Coffees have scored at least 85 on Counter Culture’s blind 100-pt. cupping (cup quality) scale.
- 100% supply chain transparency: Counter Culture maintains direct communication between buyers, sellers, and any intermediaries. All relevant financial information is available to all parties in the supply chain.
Our personal, direct communication with coffee farmers builds trust and lays the groundwork for long-term, mutually supportive relationships that allow us to work side by side with growers to improve quality; encourage ecologically responsible cultivation methods; assess social practices and working conditions; and learn more about the cultures and people who produce great coffee.
Click here to learn more about Counter Culture Direct Trade Certification.
Counter Culture Coffee Forms a Partnership with the Culinary Institute of America2-15-08
We’re excited to announce our new partnership with The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, NY. The partnership will create a cutting-edge coffee curriculum for the world’s premier culinary college’s baking and pastry arts program!
The first stage of the partnership includes the launch of a new espresso and single-origin French press program for the CIA’s Apple Pie Bakery Café; a coffee lecture series featuring Counter Culture and specialty coffee industry experts; and the implementation of a new, intensive coffee education curriculum for the school.
The same coffee expertise that will guide some of the world’s top food professionals through this partnership goes into our Education classes—click here for more information!