Community Caravan

Written by Cafe Campesino on Apr 1, 2008 in Community Caravan, NEWSLETTER |

Bill arrived back in Americus on March 18 after spending two weeks traveling throughout Guatemala and Colombia. Joining Bill on his return home was our lovely friend, favorite cupper, and phenom coffee grader, Madlyn Madrid, who led staff and roastery visitors alike through valuable cuppings down here at the roastery. Thank you, Madlyn!

For folks who aren’t familiar with cupping, the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America, of which Café Campesino is a member) describes it as follows:

Cupping is a method of systematically evaluating the aroma and taste of coffee beans. It is often used by growers, buyers and roasters to assess the quality of a particular coffee sample. Proper cupping requires the adherence to an exacting set of brewing standards and a formal step-by-step evaluation process. A trained cupper generally looks at six characteristics:

  • Fragrance – the smell of beans after grinding
  • Aroma – the smell of ground-up beans after being steeped in water
  • Taste – the flavor of the coffee
  • Nose – the vapors released by the coffee in the mouth
  • Aftertaste – the vapors and flavors that remain after swallowing
  • Body – the feel of the coffee in the mouth



Bill, Tripp, and Tripp’s son Hugh just returned from a four-day journey to our friends at Heine Brothers Coffee in Louisville, Kentucky, where they attended the Cooperative Coffees (CC) annual Executive Committee Retreat. Tripp, who serves as CC’s treasurer, and Bill, who is the founding president of the coop, were joined by Mike Mays, co-owner of Heine Bros Coffee and CC’s vice chair; Jody Treter, co-owner of Higher Grounds Trading Co. and CC’s chair; Lee Wallace, director of Peace Coffee and CC’s secretary; Monika Firl, CC’s manager of producer relations; and Tio Pistilli production manager for Bongo Java, a fellow founding member of Cooperative Coffees. This two-day meeting brought the executive committee together to work on Cooperative Coffees’ effectiveness as the only Fair Trade green bean purchasing cooperative of its kind, that we know of at least, in the world! 

On their way back to Americus from Louisville, Tripp, Hugh and Bill stopped off at Ruby Falls — a 145-foot underground waterfall located more than 1120 feet beneath Lookout Mountain’s surface — in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to Hugh (Bill and Tripp too!), this natural wonder is a must see. Oh, and by the way, if you’re ever in Chattanooga, be sure to stop and eat at Lupi’s Pizza Pies… perhaps the best pizza and pizza-eatin’ place in the world!

Upcoming events…

On April 12th, Tripp will journey to long-standing customer, supporter and good friend The Sentient Bean to talk Fair Trade and cup our coffees with the staff of Savannah’s best coffee house.

While Tripp is at “the Bean,” Bill will be at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta from April 11-13 for the 3rd annual Bioneers Southeast Forum, “a 3-day celebration and exploration of innovative and visionary approaches to designing a better future for humanity.” On Saturday afternoon, Bill will join our friend Steve Cooke of Sevananda Foods, Heather Gray of the Federation of Southern Coops, and Rashid Nuri of Truly Living Well Urban Gardens as a speaker for the session entitled Social Marketing & Framing the Issues for Success. To learn more about this year’s forum and the work of our friends at Bioneers/Inspring Futures, visit their website.

On Tuesday April 15th, Bill will travel up to his alma mater Georgia Tech as a featured speaker for the Amnesty International chapter’s annual Human Rights Week series. The event starts at 6:00 PM with a screening of Black Gold, followed by Bill’s presentation, which will focus on the benefits of, and challenges presented by, Fair Trade to native peoples.

It’s that time of the year again! Café Campesino is getting all geared up for this year’s BRAG Spring Tune-up, where we will, as usual, be serving up BRAG Brew to the hard-workin, fun-lovin cyclists who make BRAG a time-honored tradition. Cyclists and their families are invited to join in the 15th annual BRAG Spring Tune-Up ride which starts in Madison, Georgia and runs from April 18th-20th.

From May 1st through the 4th, Rebecca and Tripp – along with Bill and Abby from Coop Coffees – will be traveling to Minneapolis, Minnesota, for this year’s annual Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) conference. The SCAA will be hosting their 4th Sustainability Symposium on Friday, May 2nd, which will explore the numerous social and environmental advances and achievements since the last forum (held in San Francisco in 2000) while also setting new challenges for the future. On Friday, Bill will represent Cooperative Coffees as one of five speakers featured in a symposium entitled Selling Sustainability: Spreading the Gospel or Green Washing?

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