I am thrilled to announce that Karehe coffee sourced through JNP Coffee became available at Nordstrom department stores across the United States May 7. Harvested by women farmers in Ngozi Province, the coffee is one of three featured in the retailer’s new initiative to highlight the roles women play in the global coffee economy.
New Karehe coffee at Nordstrom sourced through JNP Coffee
We celebrated this news at a special dinner with the team from Nordstrom during the Specialty Coffee Expo in Seattle last month. They applauded the work of JNP Coffee and encouraged me to bring others into this work.
The women of Karehe washing station, as with those in other parts of Burundi, continue to benefit in several ways from this attention -- from premiums provided by JNP Coffee that reward their high-quality coffee harvest and from financial literacy classes offered through the non-profit I founded, Burundi Friends International, that present them with new pathways to economic prosperity.
My week in Seattle highlighted for me some of the threats these women farmers face, but also some opportunities for coffee producers to support them in every season.
Jeanine Nyonzima-Aroian with women from Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda
Climate change was (quite literally) a hot topic all week, with presentations charting the impact of erratic rains on harvests, the demand for shade trees, and the intensifying need for collaboration to respond to this challenge.
I was happy to attend other discussions on sustainability, which detailed ways to support the communities that grow the coffee. Caring for the farmers can mean supplying tools like agricultural training and financial education to sustain their livelihood.
Seattle was the hub of the coffee universe, at least for that third week of April. Attendees came from more than 75 countries, and the event attracted more than 13,000 people. I spent much of my time at the Re:co specialty coffee symposium, tuning into the global trends facing the coffee industry. That’s also where the Cupping Exchange was held, and the women’s coffee cupping sessions were popular, cultivating more fans of Burundi coffee.
Cupping Burundi Coffees
What makes any coffee stand out is the commitment to quality found at every step of the production process. The Coffee Quality Institute hosted an event at the Expo recognizing important contributors to the industry. This organization has created a common language for coffee production, determining standards of quality that we all strive to meet and exceed. I returned from Seattle energized and ready for this year’s harvest of both delicious coffee and new ideas.
Climate Discussion at Conference