Coffee in a Post-Covid Cup
The coffee industry has had quite a journey over the last year and a half as it has navigated the challenges of a pandemic. Quarantines, shutdowns and closed ports have impacted not only shops like The Well but coffee producers at origin also. During the last year, we talked to our farmers who were sitting on over 50% of the 2020 crop that couldn’t be exported because of closed coffee shops across the world. For us, some of our green coffees lasted longer than usual due to the volume decrease in our stores.
That loss of income at origin impacted the economic security of coffee producers globally. Additionally, the lack of workers on the farm due to restrictions caused some coffees to over ripen, not meeting the quality standards that have been the norm in previous years. Some of our coffee friends in Ethiopia shared that it was hard to find workers to rotate the naturally dried coffee cherries, an important step in the process that results in the fruit-forward notes that region has been known for. Now that shops have reopened in some parts of the world and shop owners like us at The Well are challenged to find highly skilled baristas to keep up with the resurgence, coffee producers are also experiencing the demand as they need laborers to scale up the export volume. Additionally, we are seeing a shortage of labor at port as well as in the transportation industry. Shipping containers sit at port, waiting to be offloaded from the boats.
Yet, even in the midst of this industry domino effect, our mission to source great coffee remains. We are excited about this long-awaited season of great coffee, and our commitment to our coffee producers remains the same: pay well above market price to ensure a living wage for great coffees, sustaining an industry that has long been undervalued for their craft. The long awaited journey of a new coffee from Ethiopia to us in Nashville reminds us of the impact we get to make when we said ‘yes’ to this coffee. After trying the first cup on the cupping table from The Tima region of Shakiso in Guji, Ethiopia, it reminded me of what the region is known for and all we have in common. It tasted like hope. It tasted like resilience.
With every cup of coffee or bag of freshly roasted and ethically sourced beans, you fulfill the mission for the coffee producer. And with those profits, we can ensure those communities and those like them can have access to safe water.
Thanks for partnering with us,