Whirlwind would be an understatement to describe the SCA Expo experience in Boston in April. Close to 10,000 coffee people came together for a return to almost-business-as-usual. After not seeing each other in Boston since the 2019 show, it was a joyous reunion, a time for rekindling connections and finding new friends.
Highlights of our time included recognition of our work empowering coffee farmers in several venues and introducing more people to the sweetness of Burundi coffee.
We also appreciated the opportunity to learn more about new-to-the-market varietals adapting to climate change, and to see exciting new roasting equipment featured at the show.
JNP Coffee’s founder, Jeanine Niyonzima-Aroian, was at the ribbon cutting with her fellow SCA board members to kick off the weekend. The JNP Coffee booth in the Roaster Village was busy all three days.
Burundian Ambassador His Excellency Jean de Dieu Ndikumana spent much of the weekend at the show, eager to learn more about an industry so vital to the well-being of Burundians. As he said at a dinner gathering Friday evening, “I appreciate the work of JNP Coffee’s founder to bring greater attention to Burundi’s high-quality coffee.” Our lab manager and freshly recertified Q grader Gilberte Horugavye even taught him how to run a cupping.
Bright and early Saturday morning, we were thrilled to share our Turihamwe coffee with attendees at the packed IWCA breakfast. The story of this women-produced and women-processed coffee from their own wet mill demonstrates so clearly how specialty coffee can shift the paradigm of how coffee farmers are paid and sustained.
Cuppings at our booth attracted visitors from around the world, including Australia, Germany, Honduras, Democratic Republic of Congo, Korea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Mexico, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and many more! We offered both natural and fully washed coffees from four different provinces, and we are grateful to our clients who supplied us with enough to last all weekend.
A quick word about naturals – expect more of these from JNP Coffee in this year’s harvest, as fuel shortages are influencing the decision to choose the process that requires no power, and no depulping.
We heard more coffee stories at the SCA Expo on Sunday with a visit from a friend from Royal Coffee, coffee quality specialist, writer, researcher (and podcaster) Chris Kornman. He recently published his book Green Coffee: A Guide for Roasters and Buyers with Roast Magazine. He brought a signed copy to the booth as his book acknowledges Jeanine.
The team racked up many miles on foot as they explored the show in the vast Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. With those miles came new relationships and a lot of smiles.
We are grateful for the opportunity to share our stories with the world’s coffee industry and look forward to more conversations with our new friends eager to share the delicious flavors of Burundi.