Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Burundi and Haiti Coffees Storm Espresso Royale

Monday, May 13, 2013
Landmark coffee roasting co. and multi-location cafe, Espresso Royale, launched a new "single origin" initiative today in SE Michigan. Owner/founder Marcus Goller is introducing what he calls two single-origin "gems" -- one from Burundi and the other from Haiti. They are "gems" because they both create a direct connection between an Espresso Royale customer and a coffee producer or specific small group of producers half-a-world away. 

Crop to Cup - Burundi Single Origin Training @ Espresso Royale
In a staff training event at the State. St. store in Ann Arbor, MI, Goller invited Crop to Cup representatives to deliver a workshop on the topic "what is single-origin coffee?" and the story behind the Burundi Buhorwa coffee that Espresso Royale will now carry. After all the words and talk, it was time for some tasting. The Burundi coffee was brewed with several different brew methods by staff working in teams.

Crop to Cup has been engaged with Burundi farmers since 2007. Jake Ester, one of C2C's partners, explained his story of how he got started learning about coffee in Uganda, then moved to neighboring Burundi. He describes a pivotal moment where he and his partner were standing in an export warehouse and a colleague pointed to the 2 or 3 pallets that were shipping to a café that is heavily marketed as "helping farmers by buying direct." Jake explains how in that setting, with aisles of coffee stacked floor to ceiling, and a football field length long, it did not seem like 2 or 3 pallets of coffee could possibly make much of difference at all. That's when they decided as a company that they would do "whole crop" purchasing. The Burundi Buhorwa coffee Espresso Royale is now selling is part of that whole crop project.