A Colombian Coffee Crisis

A Colombian Coffee Crisis

Colombia has experienced its fair share of turmoil, and this past year is no exception.

Covid 19 brought the world to a screeching halt in March 2020, and coffee production was not spared. Our farming partners experienced uncertainty on how they were going to produce their coffee without workers. With stay-at-home orders in place all around the world, and these countries experiencing the severe effects of the pandemic - we watched from afar and wondered how the coffee market would recover.

As things opened up, the demand for commodities quickly, and severely outnumbered the supply. Shipping containers were sparse, ports were backed up and delays were experienced all across the supply chain.

Then, in March 2021, one single ship blocked the Suez Canal for six days. The world watched while this single vessel caused havoc on ordering, shipping, and receiving.

And then, a mere month later, protests erupted in Colombia. The Colombian government had proposed an increase in taxes to help recover from the effects of the Pandemic, but those increases were disproportionately affecting the lower and working class. Colombians took to the street in frustration over inequality and outrage over being disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

Roads were blocked. Ports were inaccessible. And coffee was unable to be transported from the farms, to the mills, or for export. Again we found ourselves wondering about the fate of our Colombian coffee farmers.

We ‘WhatsApp’ed, emailed, and texted with our friends in Colombia, asking if they were safe and offering help in any way. Most of our farmers are up in the mountainous regions and were away from most of the danger found concentrated in the larger cities.

A staple in our Blackbeard Espresso, a single origin from Finca Samaria, was suddenly impossible to receive. We started ordering tiny mico-bags that were drop-shipped to us at an infrequent cadence. We brought back the Rock Me Mama and waited for things to stabilize.

Now, after the turmoil has settled and the roads and ports have opened up, we are thrilled to receive our Colombian coffee in the Roasting Room again. In addition to bringing back the Blackbeard Espresso, we are happy to be serving the Power Couple (Finca Samaria) on its own to pay tribute to our friends, Mauricio and Adrianna.

As coffee prices surge, the market is volatile. With bottlenecking at ports, a continued shortage in containers and the effects of the pandemic and climate change, we watch the market carefully.

At Treeline, we believe in building relationships based on trust. So regardless of the pandemic, prices or delays in receiving coffee; our farmers know we are there for them, ready to order and continue our mission of providing an excellent coffee experience, from farm to cup.

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