We attended a webinar this month that our friends at coffee distributor Genuine Origin put together to talk about “The Coffee Journey: Logistics Revealed.” Rob Sulkow did a Q&A with coffee logistics expert Juan Manuel Alvarez, and they delivered, taking us from coffee sources in the Americas and Africa to your trusted roaster here in Florida.
Start with Colombia, from where we source our customer favorite Supremo single-origin. Colombian coffee normally ships from Buenaventura, the seaport closest to the country’s coffee region and its main port on the Pacific Ocean, but social unrest this year has closed the main roads farmers use to get there. They are working around the roadblocks by using the Caribbean ports of Santa Marta and Cartagena instead, but those could not cope with all the extra cargo, causing delays in shipments.
Another source they covered is Uganda in Africa, the world’s eighth coffee-exporting country. Since Uganda is a landlocked country, all their coffee exports are shipped from neighboring Kenya. This extra step sometimes creates unpredictable delays, depending on how long it takes for Ugandan cargo to clear Kenyan customs.
Of course, Kenya also grows coffee, sometimes called “the champagne of coffees,” which you might know from our Kenya AA single-origin. Kenya has ports on the Indian ocean, but its coffee still goes through several hops before arriving to your cup. Cargo from Kenya often makes a stop in Oman before continuing the route to its destination. Philadelphia is one of the US ports where they ship your favorite coffee beans.
Even in the US, the coffee journey is not quite over yet. US ports and railroads were already in a logjam with all the shipments ahead of the China tariffs, and then Covid hit. When activity stopped, some drivers left their trucks to work in construction. Then activity shot up because of ecommerce. UPS is now paying drivers over $21 per hour plus benefits on average. FedEx has offered $200 bonus for warehouse worker referrals. And Amazon will give you $1,000 just to sign on to work at one of their warehouses all over the country.
Tempting, but at Calusa we’ll stick to roasting your favorite coffee, including eleven single-origins from the Americas, Africa, and Asia. One logistics tip we did pick up is that all US delivery systems are going into the busiest part of the year without any spare capacity like they usually do. To help out, we are now offering free shipping when you order four 1-pound bags or a 5-pound bag. That should be enough to last you an entire month if you drink about four cups per day, and a faster coffee journey from the source to each cup. Just use coupon 4X1LB at checkout, valid through 9/30/2021.