Covid-19 at origin: an update

We’re 10 weeks into lockdown in the UK. We’ve seen Easter, Eid, and two May Bank Holidays come and go. And don’t forget, even Eurovision...

Covid-19 and Coffee: thank you for helping us support farming communities

Everyone’s had to find a new way to ‘be’ lately - including businesses. Some companies have closed temporarily or furloughed their staff, others have quickly changed what services or products they offer or how they offer them - from breweries turning to hand gel production and restaurants embracing delivery options, to high street indie stores working together to offer food boxes. All these adjustments are partly to stop businesses from dying, and 1000s of people...

2019 in Coffee: the good, the bad, and the downright scary

2019 was a wild ride. It was the year of the meat-free sausage roll, school kids striking for climate change, and yet another general election. But what in the world was happening for coffee? January Some of the coffee chat was ‘out of this world’, with one company looking to roast coffee beans using the heat of re-entry after blasting them into space. Why? Theory is that each bean would get 360 degrees of even...

What is the ‘Land of Diversity’ Green Coffee Competition & Auction?

We know you can’t put a price (or a mark out of 100) on that first sip of coffee on a cold Monday morning… but a lot of people, as it happens, can! The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCA) is one of the industry’s benchmark scoring systems for ranking coffees, as we’ve explained here, and informs most green coffee competitions around the world. But there is one notable exception – and that’s the ‘Colombia,...

Is coffee bad for children? If they grow it for the commodity market, yes

Owning a coffee farm is not a glamorous job. You’re working in a steamy field, not an air-conditioned office. Your pay depends on the commodity market and how well your crop grows – there’s no guarantee of a comfortable salary and benefits each year. It’s unlikely you’ll ever own mansions and helicopters, and it is almost certain that there will be times of extreme uncertainty. So why farm coffee? For the love of it! Unfortunately,...

Kopi Luwak and the ‘Most Expensive Coffees in the World’

Now and then, a coffee hits the news - usually because it’s been dubbed the ‘most expensive in the world’. Cue the cries of “who on earth would pay that for a latte?” - and hey, we get it. But there are a few things at play here. One is the cultural categorisation of coffee as a household item. A cupboard-filling, shelf-stocking everyday item - like rice, bread, kitchen roll… something you wouldn’t necessarily want...

Cenicafé 1 vs. Climate Change: Round 1

While the world’s in the middle of another crisis, it might be easy to forget that we’re also in the middle of a climate emergency. You read it in the headlines, saw people protesting in the street, new findings and actions are presented all the time… but we’re “way off track” with dealing with it properly. As the UN secretary general recently warned, we are nowhere near meeting the Paris agreement’s target of keeping the...

Fire & Frost: how climate change is hitting Brazil hard

Watching the news is pretty stressful lately. Whether it’s (a lack of) Brexit developments, Trump’s latest fanatical fixation, or the state of the pound sterling, things don’t look great. And the sight of the Amazon rainforest on fire isn’t really helping matters… Brazil’s had a rough time of it, weather-wise. From the ‘earth’s lungs’ burning, to the worrying cold snap experienced earlier in the year, make no mistake - climate change is at least partially...

How to become a coffee buyer: meet Maria Olano

Meet Maria Olano, Speciality Coffee Buyer at the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros (FNC) and longtime friend of Pact Coffee Hi, Maria. Can you tell us about yourself? My name is Maria Alejandra Olanao and I was born in Bogotá, Colombia. At 25 years old, I’ve already discovered my passion: coffee. I have a Master’s Degree in Coffee Economics and Science from the Università del Caffè, in Italy. Before that, I studied Business Administration in Colombia...

Celebrating Women in Coffee: International Coffee Day’s 2018 Focus

Like Christmas, it comes just once a year. But, unlike Christmas – it’s not all fun and games (and overeating and over-drinking…). International Coffee Day...