What's Up (or Disturbingly Down) with Colombian Coffee?
If you've been around Red Eye Bistro for a while, you know by now that what makes specialty coffees exceptional is the people involved from mountainside to mug. The connection between growers, exporters, roasters, sellers, and consumers is relational, not merely transactional. We care about the product and about the people involved at every step of the way. Which brings us to what's happening in Colombia.
In May 2021, Colombian coffee exports dropped a staggering 52%.*
That means less coffee is leaving the country and making it to roasters and coffee shops globally. It also means the coffee farms in Colombia are not able to get their goods to market and make money as usual. Can you imagine your ability to earn income and support your family being cut in half suddenly? Many of us can, as we experienced that in some form during the pandemic, and we know what a hardship that can be.
But, this isn't just a depressing news headline. People in specialty coffee are uniquely connected to one another as human beings. I reached out to our roasters across Tennessee to ask how this is impacting their access to Colombian coffees and how we can help our coffee growing neighbors in Colombia.
Unanimously, our roasters are continuing to import, roast, and serve Colombian coffee.
They recognize there may be delays in delivery time between Colombia and the US and that prices may increase, yet they are committed to maintaining long-term relationships with the growers in Colombia. Some are even offering payment in advance to ensure the farmers have the means to continue their livelihood as export difficulties continue.
Their responses made me think, "Man, I LOVE specialty coffee!" Yes, we all find a rich, flavorful cup of coffee delightful, but what really matters is our connection to our fellow human beings and how we treat one another. I want you to know this part of Red Eye Bistro's identity. When you buy coffee from us, this is the story you are part of.
I don't like to present a problem without offering a way to be part of the solution. A simple way we can help is to continue buying Colombian coffee. Money speaks, and every purchase we make sways the economics of supply-and-demand. In the coming months, the retail price of Colombian coffee may increase everywhere. What translates into a few pennies extra per cup for us can have a significant effect on the livelihood of these Colombian farmers. We are committed to making that small investment, and we hope you will too.
If you'd like to purchase your Colombian coffee from Red Eye Bistro, these are the roasts we currently have available that are single origin or blends with Colombian beans:
Thank you for being your amazing self and looking out for your neighbors.
Amy, Founder of Red Eye Bistro