News — green buying

#OrigenCA2015, Part 4 - Malacara B and El Borbollon

This is Part 4 of our Coffee Origin Trip to Central America, follow along on Instagram with #OrigenCA2015. For Parts 1, 2 or 3.

A worker picks out defects from African-style drying beds at Beneficio El Borbollon.

After a night of grilled meats, beverages, cigars and bonfires, the thought for Valentine’s morning was a leisurely cupping followed by breakfast and then a trip to visit Finca Malacara B - that is, until Roberto “Chele” Dumont showed up at our door at 7:30am.

Rodrigo Dumont details an example of the Agobio Parra style of...

#OrigenCA2015, Part 3 - Cuatro M

This is Part 3 of our Coffee Origin Trip to Central America, follow along on Instagram with #OrigenCA2015. For Part Two.


After morning breakfast with Hermann and Nena Mendez, we’re on the way back down the mountain a bit to Cuatro M Coffees - a beneficio specializing in processing high-quality microlots. At the helm of Cuatro M is Emilio Diaz, coffee grower, miller, roaster and a vocal leader within the Roasters Guild of America. We’ve been invited by Emilio to stay at the mill, tour the facility, watch production and sample processed coffees from...

#OrigenCA2015, Part 2 - Finca Talnamica

This is Part 2 of our Coffee Origin Trip to Central America, follow along on Instagram with #OrigenCA2015.

Three year old Oscar Jesus welcomes us to Finca Talnamica while the workers sort their harvested coffee cherries.

The journey from Nicaragua to El Salvador was a relatively easy one, except for waking up for the first flight out after having spent the evening eating and imbibing at one of my favorite restaurants in Managua: Taska Kiko.

 I’m on the road with Jeff Babcock (owner of Zoka Coffee, Seattle), Celeste Clark (Zoka’s head roaster), Jack Kelly (owner of Ladro...

#OrigenCA2015 - Nicaragua

Bienvenidos a Finca La Aurora in Matagalpa, Nicaragua.

Familia Ferrufino and Finca La Aurora

This month I’m off to Central America to seek out coffees for the coming year. First stop: Nicaragua where I spend a few days with the Ferrufino family visiting their Finca La Aurora in Matagalpa.

 Red Bourbon coffee cherries ripe and ready for harvest at La Aurora.

I first visited La Aurora last March during a trip to Matagalpa and found a farm teeming with activity and a renewed sense of excitement. Doctor Enrique Ferrufino has owned La Aurora since 2005 and has been...

Thinking About Fair Trade, Certifications and Green Coffee Buying

Not too long ago, a young couple came into Spro and asked me if we had "Fair Trade" coffee for sale. Like always, I informed them that we don't subscribe to these certification coffees and that we buy our coffees based on their individual qualities. They then told me that they would prefer to buy "Fair Trade" coffee and declined to try any of our coffees. Usually when I speak to someone about our buying practices based on quality instead of certification that's enough for them to at least give our coffees a try, but not this time. I was...