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The SCAA Convention in Charlotte has come and gone, and we are pleased to report that we found much increased enthusiasm in support of Gourmet Robustas.
The concept of well prepared robustas generating substantial premiums at all stages of the coffee chain is gaining ground: This year, we have shown on our booth promising West African robustas from the Ivory Coast and other origins, as well as Silver Dragon, Vietnam’s first high class robusta, one of the very few homogenous bold beans coming as sizes 16, 18 and peaberries. Impressive as they already are, these coffees will all be fully washed within 2 to 4 years, a further improvement which will drive up their appearance, their cup and their value.
Since we saw you last, more origins have joined our ranks and we have received samples of promising coffees that we plan to exhibit at future shows and conventions. Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Togo are upgrading the cream of their crop to specialty level, and coffee from Central America has even joined our ranks, with an outstanding washed type from Guatemala. Mexican highland robustas will hopefully follow. A distribution network for the finest robustas is gradually taking shape in America, as well as in Europe and Asia. We have also received numerous signs of consumer interest.
We see it as good news that, although not all the feedback was positive, the sneering with which our initiative was met a few years ago has all but subsided: While many of today’s robustas are still poorly prepared, and years of promotion neglect have taken their toll, the legend that only arabicas can produce a good cup and worthy prices is increasingly fading into the past.
More than ever, our Alliance needs your participation and support to spread the word about Gourmet Robustas, to increase their diversity and availability, and to maintain and improve their quality along the entire robusta chain, from grower to retailer.
As an enticement to get reacquainted and to contribute to strengthening the specialty robusta sector we are offering you a reduced price membership if you join us before May 31st -- savings of one third or more off the regular dues!
Simply go to www.wagro.org/e_membership_scaa06.html to sign up.
A coming improvement on the Wagro site will be the availability of cross links between our website and yours. Later this year, members will be referenced in our “links” page, and we shall be pleased to be mentioned on your site.
We are also most interested in your feedback, please let us know your views with a message through our website. Thank you.