2010 Ethiopian Cupping Caravan

Stockton Graham & Co.’s Director of Coffee and Roastmaster Brandon Riggs is attending the 2010 Ethiopian Cupping Caravan through Harrar.  He will be one of 12 international coffee buyers to meet  with the farmers and producers of some of the world’s best coffees. It is designed to benefit the buyers and producers to exchange information about what the buyers are looking for in a cup and to understand how farmers impact the cup quality.

“I’m really excited to visit the birthplace of coffee,” said Riggs.

He will be in Ethiopia for about a week in March.

Using all-wheel drive (4×4) vehicles and mobile cupping units, the teams of buyers and guides will explore the Harrar region to visit farms, cooperative mills and cup in-person with the people growing and processing the coffee.  The goal of this 2010 Cupping Caravan is improve communications and understandings of the coffees to ultimately result in higher quality for the consumer and higher prices for the farmers.

We are honored to have Brandon participate in this endeavor to encourage relationships between Stockton Graham & Co. and Ethiopian farmers to provide great coffees to our customers and to help the farmers achieve higher revenues and lowers costs.

The 2010 Ethiopia Cupping Caravans are organized by Boot Coffee Consulting, with a grant from the United States Agency for International Development, and features the participation of large sectors of the Ethiopian coffee industry, as well as 24 leading coffee companies from around the world.

Jeff Vojta
Stockton Graham & Co.

SGC's Trip to Origin: Guatemala

Stockton Graham & Co. Roastmaster and Director of Coffee Brandon Riggs is preparing to leave for a week-long trip to Guatemala to visit coffee farms we buy from currently and to check out some other farms that we might consider sourcing from in the future. He will be gone Feb. 15th – 19th.

Currently, harvesting of the high-grown Arabica coffee is in full swing. Brandon will visit, amongst other places, the La Casacada Estate in Alta Verapaz, one of our current sourcing farms. This is a region in Guatemala that is famed for its tropical rainforest,  storied indigenous past and wonderfully complex coffee offerings.  The coffee farm is called Flor del Rosario, and is owned by German Horst Spitze who settled in Guatemala in 1961.  This is a relatively “new” coffee farm, as the fist planting was started in 1988, but it has quickly become on of Guatemala’s finest.  In 2002, this farm finished 6th in the Guatemala Coffee Auction, and was the only coffee from this region to qualify.  Throughout the coffee farm, which consists of 550 hectares, there is an abundance of natural flora and fauna.  Many orchids, cardamoms, and Guatemala’s national flower, the Monja Blanca, can be found.  Deep inside the farm you can find a beautiful 100 meter natural spring waterfall that honors the name of the farm, which mean, “The Waterfall” in Spanish.

Brandon will also visit Huehuetenango and stay at the La Victoria Champilia Finca, amongst other places. Additionally, the itinerary calls for a stop at our producer’s dry mill in Antigua, where Brandon will be cupping new, boutique coffees from the area.

He will be taking lots of pictures and, hopefully, getting some good video, too. Keep your eyes peeled to the blog.