Café Imports Celebrates Producer Partners in Unique Event

Café Imports’ first-ever End of Harvest event in honor of their hard-working Costa Rican producer partners was a huge success


With several roaster partners from the United States along to take part in the grand fiesta, Café Imports hosted their first-ever End of Harvest party for their producer partners in San José, Costa Rica, on Friday. With offices in Minneapolis (HQ), Berlin, and Melbourne, Australia, Café Imports annually procures some of the best coffees this diverse Central American coffee hotspot has to offer.

Longtime Café Imports partners the Aguilera family—who operate the famed Aguilera Brothers Micromill in Los Robles de Naranjo—assembled in full force at the End of Harvest party and ceremony.

Noah Namowicz, Café Imports’ VP of Sales; Jessica Brotzer, customer service; and Luis “Lucho” Arocha, green coffee buyer, welcomed more than 50 producers to a beautiful event space surrounded by lush tropical gardens. Guests were welcomed into a ballroom where they danced to traditional music and had the opportunity to visit with one another. Oftentimes, producers are so consumed with work on their own farms that they rarely have the chance to mingle with their coffee-growing peers, so this was indeed a treat for attendees.

Noah jumped behind the espresso machine with a few friends to make espresso for the producers at the party.

After a fabulous catered lunch, Noah, Jessica, and Lucho got down to the business of graciously thanking the producers in attendance for their efforts, their vision, and the beautiful coffees they produced in the most recent harvest. Each producer was brought up on stage to accept a plaque, and given the opportunity to speak about their own farm and their experience. From the warm hugs each producer gave to the Café Imports staffers, the sense of teamwork and long-standing trust was evident.

Francisca Chacon of Las Lajas receives some of the coffee Café Imports brought her from roasters around the world who use her coffee, as part of Café Imports’ Send Back program.

“It’s truly our honor to work with you,” Noah told the producers. “Café Imports is tremendously grateful to work and enjoy relationships with you, some of the very highest caliber of producers not only in Costa Rica, but in the world.”

Earlier in the day, the producers gathered at ICafe, Costa Rica’s government-run coffee institute, for a tour of experimental farms and the center’s labs where genetic research is ongoing, and an opportunity to talk with ICafe’s agronomists and scientists.

Plaques Café Imports presented to their producer partners at the seminal End of Harvest party in Costa Rica last week.

“This has been a very special day,” said Doña Francisca Chacon, who operates the celebrated Las Lajas Micromill in Sabanilla de Alajuela, at the event. “We are very grateful to be a part of the coffee-growing family in Costa Rica, as well as around the world with Café Imports.”

Look for the full article about this special trip, which included representatives from Cat & Cloud Coffee in Santa Cruz, Calif.; Signet Coffee Roasters in Pittsburg, Kan.; and Mylo Coffee Co. in Little Rock, Ark., in the August+September 2017 issue of Barista Magazine.

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Sarah Allen (she/her) is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.