Although in my role as Roastmaster and green coffee buyer I have never been to Africa, I feel that tomorrow’s trip to Kenya is to a place that I already know. Coffee is originally from East Africa. The highlands of Ethiopia to be exact, where the goats can be seen dancing buoyantly after a little too many nibbles on coffee berries. My father spent a lot of time in Africa. He worked for non-governmental organizations and really loved the continent and all its' diversity of cultures from East to West and North to South. In a way, I feel like this trip is a homecoming both to the birthplace of coffee and honoring the memory of my father who passed away two years ago. Over the last decade, The Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Co. has begun to develop direct relationships with farmers, mainly in Central and South America. One of the joys of doing business in this way is getting to know people: families, coffee growers, pickers and the people in the world-wide coffee community. As we grow as a company, from our base in Detroit, it has always been our desire to visit East Africa. I will be joining Café Imports as we spend a week in Kenya searching for exceptional coffees. We are excited by the prospect of visiting farms in Kenya, starting new relationships and continuing old ones from coffees that we have purchased in the past. Please follow along on social media as we post stories from our upcoming trip and be assured that these coffees will be absolutely delicious. This is the start of a new chapter for Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Co.
-James Cadariu, Roastmaster