Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Courier Delivers Coffee and Suprises in Portland Oregon

Courier Coffee in Portland, Oregon is one of those cafes that seems to be steeped in the culture of the city where it "lives". The cafe today is downtown at 923 SW Oak Street, just steps away from the famous Powell's Bookstore. The roastery is in a separate building in another famous Portland neighborhood: SE Hawthorne St. 

The cafe is ecletic, unpretentious and "granola" and at the same time surprisingly wholesome and classy. The sign for the cafe is a hand-painted board leaning against the sidewalk window, but the french pastries are baked fresh, in the cafe, every morning from scratch by the owner. He even makes his own condensed milk!

The cafe space is shared with a Japanese ex-patriot who is an expert in a sumptuous ice treat called Kagigori, known in English as Japanese shaved ice. She has the authentic machine for transforming the condensed, sweetened milk into a beautiful dish of cream, cold sweetness drizzled with fresh fruit and hand-made fruit sauce.

Joel Domreis, Couriers founder, owner, roaster and baker, rides his bike about 4 miles every day to bring fresh milk to the store. You often see his sturdy, blue cargo bike parked right outside. 

There is a record-player playing Ethiopian jazz music for the clients as they file in throughout the morning, many of them regulars. One gentleman with many piercings has a trusty bulldog in tow. A father with 6 year-old child enjoy the baked treats.

We can't forget to mention the great coffee! Courier is one of the loyal buyers of our Agasaro, women-grown coffee from Rusizi district, Rwanda. Joel roasts it to a perfect medium-light roast. 

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Paying Women's Premiums - A Little Goes A Long Way

We'd like to share how Artisan’s women's premium program works in Rwanda. 

Basics of how the program operates

·        Cooperative agrees to pay $0.136/lb of the green coffee price to the women’s group. The president of the women’s group signs the green contract. We believe we may be the only importer where every contract at origin is signed by a woman representing the women’s group, (along with the signature of the president of the cooperative, who is typically male, but not always).

·        Artisan wires the women’s premium to the cooperative’s USD account separate from other coffee payments. The cooperative’s leader is required contractually to send Artisan a receipt showing the deposit to the local currency account of the women’s group.  

·        The leaders of the women’s group agree on the amount, timing and process for distribution of the cash to its members. This is approved at an assembly of all group members. If the amount is small (< $1,000) they may decide to use the funds for a community project instead of direct cash distribution to each member. Documentation of the distribution of funds is sent to Artisan and always available to roasters.

 2017 General Assembly Celebration: Click here to view the YouTube video

2018 General Assembly Celebration: Click here to view the YouTube video

Click here to read our 2018 blogpost about the day the premium is distributed.


Symbolic check given to Ejo Heza - $7,920 premium for the 2018 season.