The staff at Cafe Imports knows a lot about coffee, and this year they’ll launch a video series aimed at making information more accessible and available to anyone in the coffee industry.
BY ASHLEY RODRIGUEZ
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
The world of coffee knowledge is endless. What keeps most of us in the industry excited is the promise of a new subject or skill to learn. With the amount of information that’s out there, it’s easy to sometimes miss things. Especially for those new to the coffee industry or with fewer resources, it can seem complicated to find out something simple like the differences between washing processes or what direct trade means.
Cafe Imports has always been a leader in showcasing coffees and importing quality lots, but now they also hope to be a leader in making information accessible. “As a link between producer/exporter and roaster, there is so much information that passes over the desks and field notes of our team,” notes Andy Reiland, creative director for Cafe Imports. But Andy also comments that coffee information often gets lost because of how quickly things need to move. “Coffee is such an expansive industry that more often than not, this information can take a second chair to the sheer priority of logistics—getting coffee from point A to point B.”
With all the moving and shaking that happens in coffee, it can be difficult to sit down and see how much information you actually have at your disposal. As an importer, Cafe Imports is uniquely positioned to see a lot of things and collect information and data that don’t often make it to baristas. “Cafe Imports [is] sort of a treasure trove of coffee information that is readily available, with the only challenge being an effective way to pin it down,” says Andy. So he and Joe Marrocco, director of education for Cafe Imports, have decided to make a video vault full of how-to guides and tutorials aimed at making information more accessible.
The videos will vary widely in scope, from basic ideas like “How We Cup,” to more specialized topics. “The goal in doing any video, since so much time and energy is involved, is essentially to have them be relevant forever. That means wrapping our head around the subject so much, that the end result is as absolutely thorough and as absolutely concise as possible to communicate what we know, while hopefully being entertaining at the same time,” Andy shares. Essentially, the videos should be applicable to a large swath of the coffee community, and can hopefully endure as a living library of coffee knowledge. “Our goal is to illustrate what we do, and offer it as a free resource on our website for any person on the planet to watch, and hopefully it will lend some interesting touch points to any subjective coffee conversation,” Andy adds.
Although Cafe Imports is poised to offer the last word on big topics and coffee protocols, the video series isn’t intended to be the final word on how things in coffee should be done. Instead, the videos are meant to offer a glimpse into the way Café Imports operates and thinks about coffee. Right now, Andy and Joe are working on more videos meant to demystify the roasting process (they’ve already made a video about sample roasting that was released last year) and hope to expand their focus as they release more videos. “We hope to get as many other people involved from Cafe Imports as possible, and don’t think for a minute we have forgotten about origin either—narrated processing videos are in the works … lots of work ahead!” shares Andy.