Recent Posts

The signal and the noise

The signal and the noise

Arguably the most important principle of our Direct Trade model is the one implied in the name: a commitment to direct engagement with the farmers who grow our coffees.

The Four Horsemen

The Four Horsemen

Beginning about a decade ago, the term resilience began a steady climb to ascendancy in the field of international development.  In that domain, resilience refers to the ability of disadvantaged people to draw on different forms of capital — financial, natural, physical and social —…

Risk, resilience and Direct Trade

Risk, resilience and Direct Trade

Last month, I was invited by old friends at the Sustainable Food Lab to join its annual Leadership Summit in Mexico.  

Ad Lucem | A Journal of Coffee Illumination

Ad Lucem | A Journal of Coffee Illumination

I joined Intelligentsia just over 18 months ago because I thought it had the best sourcing program in the business, and still some room for improvement.  The idea that I might contribute to that process at a company with a pioneering Direct Trade program was too…

Introducing Flor de Março

Introducing Flor de Março

Today we celebrate the inaugural releases of two single-origin coffees: our Port of Mokha Al-Jabal Yemen Special Selection and our Flor de Março Brazil Limited Release.  The coffees come from origins that could not be less alike.  But they have three things in common.  They are…

Fazenda Progresso, Sim!

Fazenda Progresso, Sim!

From James McLaughlin, Intelligentsia President and Green Coffee Buyer for Brazil: Meaningful collaboration between a coffee farmer and a coffee roaster is still a relatively new concept. Farmers have spent years—sometimes generations—developing farming and post-harvest practices that reflect the climate, geography and traditions of the…

Closing the Books on 2017

Closing the Books on 2017

We have closed the books on 2017.  It was, in our estimation, a very good year for our sourcing program. This issue of Axioma, the curated data set that tells the story of Intelligentsia Direct Trade in numbers, shows where we went in 2017.  Literally. . .…

Abagore

Abagore

From our Green Coffee Buyer for Burundi J Mlodzinski: Kirundi is the official language of Burundi, and Abagore is Kirundi for women. Why Abagore?  Because this coffee was grown largely by women.  They are part of a farmer association led by women.  That association participates…

Show your commitment

Show your commitment

SHOW YOUR COMMITMENT Zirikana is Kinyarwanda for “show your commitment.”  We can’t think of a better name for our annual single-origin offering from Rwanda.  After all, commitment is what this whole specialty coffee thing is all about, and Rwanda’s coffee sector offers more inspiring examples…

Gaspard!

Gaspard!

It hardly seems possible that we first tasted coffee from Nshimiyimana Gaspard just three seasons ago. He has become such an integral part of our Rwanda sourcing program, and looms so large in our imagination of what coffee can be, that it seems he has…

Rwanda’s coffee heroes

Rwanda’s coffee heroes

From our Green Coffee Buyer for Rwanda J Mlodzinski: Kinyarwanda is the official language of Rwanda, and Imena is Kinyarwanda for hero. Our Zirikana Imena Rwanda is a new Intelligentsia offering that marks the beginning of an exciting new phase in our Direct Trade relationship…

Enter Buziraguhindwa

Enter Buziraguhindwa

From our Green Coffee Buyer for Burundi J Mlodzinski: Ramadhan Salum has been an Intelligentsia Direct Trade partner for the past three years.  He owns and operates Kayanza Premium Coffee (KPC), a quality-focused coffee company whose growth has helped to drive the emergence of Burundi’s…