In The Community

Central America Sourcing Trip

Part 1

In February of this year, Bird Rock Coffee Roasters and PT’s Coffee Roasting Company joined forces. As a result of this new partnership, both companies will see expanded coffee offerings by this summer. We hope customers of both companies will enjoy what we have in store for this year and for many years to come. Not only is this merger beneficial for our customers, it will benefit the long-time Direct Trade partners of both companies as the growers get access to two growing companies instead of one.

In 2002, I founded Bird Rock Coffee Roasters and now am the green coffee buyer for both Bird Rock Coffee Roasters and PT’s.  Jeff Taylor, PT’s co-owner and the new owner of Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, and I have known each other for over 10 years and have traveled parallel paths in the coffee industry. We both built our companies on great coffee and by establishing Direct Trade relationships with wonderful farms all over the world.  Both companies have strong Direct Trade partners, such as Hacienda Esmeralda in Panama. Each company has also forged relationships with different farms in different countries, thus providing an exciting opportunity to join Direct Trade forces.

Central America is an important region for most coffee buyers and especially for Bird Rock and PT’s.  Both companies have spent the better part of the last 10 years searching for great coffee in this region.  In the greater coffee world, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama are perhaps the most common coffees customers encounter at third wave coffee shops, so even the most passive coffee customer is somewhat familiar with what each region has to offer.

While I have been to Central America countless times, this sourcing trip was scheduled to be a bit longer and more ambitious as we wanted to cover a lot of ground in one shot.

Unfortunately, things have been difficult for many of the Central American coffee producers during the last few years.  The roya outbreak a few years ago devastated many trees and some of the affected farms never recovered. The 2016-2017 harvest yields are significantly down in just about every country. While we have been used to water issues/drought in California for years, a prolonged drought in Central America is a new problem. In addition to not having enough water for the crops, in many cases farms do not have enough water to properly process their coffee.  As a result, quantity is way down. The good news is quality seems to be up and if the April rains were sufficient as hoped, the 2017-2018 crop could be huge.

To be continued…

Earlier Articles

PT’s Coffee Estate Series

Each year we have the pleasure of bringing some of the highest caliber specialty coffees through our roasting facility. We believe in the connection between the quality of any one coffee and the producers and farmers who work long hours to actualize it. Just like your favorite type of produce, quality is tied to seasonality… Continue Reading

This story begins with one very tiny KIA Sportage, five coffee professionals, a cooler full of cold brewed Pacamara Natural, and a trunk packed with specialty coffee from our Colombian Direct Trade partners. Last weekend members of the PT’s crew hit the road heading east with one goal in mind – to share our love… Continue Reading

And the winner is …

Well here it is, you guys – the third installment of the PT’s Challenge. For those of you unfamiliar with the challenge, check out the original blog post by clicking here. Let’s get down to business and explore this week’s featured coffee, brew method, and the winning recipe! Featured Coffee: Sidama Guji Our Sidama Guji started its… Continue Reading

Exceptional coffee starts at the farm

PT’s Coffee Roasting Co. is honored and delighted to announce that we are hosting specialty coffee producer Armando Benavides of Finca Santa Maria, a Direct Trade partner from Colombia. Benavides will be at our two retail cafés on Monday, April 6th, where he will discuss Colombian coffee production and the pursuit of his dream-turned-reality: growing… Continue Reading

Round 2. Ready, FIGHT!

  One by one, the names of eight fierce competitors filled the vacant spots on the PT’s Challenge bracket. Competitors spent time getting to know the featured coffee and brew method. The outcome of this hard work: one kick-ass cup of coffee and a new champion. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty: this week’s… Continue Reading

Mmmm, Cookies…

It’s been said that if you give a mouse a cookie, it’s bound to ask for milk. Well, if you give the team at PT’s cookies, we’re going to ask for something stronger than that. To celebrate the return of the Girl Scout cookie, our team has put together some excellent coffee pairings to accompany… Continue Reading

We’re How Old?!

PT’s Coffee Phil saw his shadow! Fear not, we’ll help you get through the cold days with 22% off of our Signature PT’s Team Scarf and select Direct Trade coffees! Why 22%? Because that’s how old we are! 22 years ago today, PT’s Coffee opened with our first cafe in Topeka, Kansas, and we’ve been growing and innovating… Continue Reading

Happy Groundhog Day!

PT’s Coffee Phil woke up this morning and saw his shadow, so that means six more weeks of winter.  Brrrr! Fear not, we’ll help you get through with 22% off of our Signature PT’s Team Scarf and select Direct Trade coffees! PT’s Team Scarf Modeled after the scarves of our favorite footie teams (Go Sporting KC!), this jacquard… Continue Reading

America’s Best!

For the second year in a row, PT’s at College Hill has been named one of America’s Best Coffee Shops by The Daily Meal. While there are many “Best Of” lists to be had, we are especially proud to place highly here. Curated by some of the best and brightest in our industry, they have… Continue Reading