In Defense of Brazil

Not all of our coffee comes from small farms run by family farmers. Our Brazilian coffees come from very large estates operated by corporations.

We chose the coffees for the way they add a specific type of mouth-feel and the way they carry some of the fruity and intense flavors of the other coffees in our blends. They are delicious on their own (sometimes they are available individually from our Single Source menu) but as a catalyst for the texture and flavor combinations found in Think Blend, they are superb.
Think Coffee has a certain amount of purchasing power thanks to our loyal customers and fans and that has allowed us to enter to relationships with small farms around the world unfettered by unnecessary steps in the supply chain. We have very personal friendships and purchasing relationships with our farmers and the small communities in which they live. Due to size and large economic nature of most Brazilian estates, this has been more difficult there. More to the point, they don't need much from us. They live under a strong economy with great working conditions, nice houses, and terrific access to health care and education. Think Coffee is based in New York City, so the disparity between how we live and how they live is generally opposite what we find in other coffee producing countries. 

So how do we become a part of their lives, of their communities? In other places, we have asked if we could join in helping to improve quality of life. We've partnered to build better housing, schools, medical facilities, and more. Here in New York, most of our baristas would agree they wished they had the quality of life enjoyed by Brazilian coffee employees.
We don't have an easy answer. We've decided to consolidate our Brazilian coffee purchases to one estate. That will give us more relative purchasing power in one community and allow us to be more of a viable partner for future projects within that community. Second, we are going to be humble and recognize that our Brazilian friends probably have more to offer us than we have to offer them and graciously accept their offers of coffee-related education and research. We can use what we learn from them concerning coffee business, processing, technology and environmental control to help some of our other partners in other countries. Third, when our partners ask for us, we will be there. Our friends at Fazenda Nossa Senhora Aparecida have begun some community garden sharing projects, their water treatment and reclamation system is world-class and in its second year, and they are in their first year of on-site busi- ness education for community youth in an effort to keep their talented students interested in using their talents at home rather than seeking opportunities in the larger cities or other countries.
In Brazil, we don't climb mountains to find the coffee or help begin small libraries. We drive thousands of miles on nice highways and have meetings in beautiful office spaces and stay in amazing estate-owned lodges or nice hotels. It's not as romantic as our other relationships, but it's how it really is. We're proud to have every personal relationship we have and happy to be able to share the truth behind all of our coffee with our customers.