Bean of the Week: Rwanda Dukunde Kawa

Dukunde Kawa (Let us love coffee) Cooperative in Ruli, Gakenke is a high-profile and high-quality cooperative in Rwanda.  Many baristas used this coffee during last year’s competition season which brought this coffee to the spotlight.

The cooperative started in the year 2000 with about 300 members.  It now has 2000 active members.

Dukunde Kawa owns 3 washing stations.  One of this is the main one with 2 additional satellite stations.

The cooperative has 10 extension workers who give technical assistance to the members.  They are educating farmers on the importance of fertilizing their land and the responsible use of pesticides.  Dukunde Kawa also runs an experimental farm.

Origin: Rwanda
Region: Ruli Sector, Gakenke District
Farm: Many small-holding farmers
Varietal: Red Bourbon
Altitude: 1600 – 2000 masl
Proc. Method: Fully washed and sun dried

In The Cup: ” Sweet and savory, juicy with brown sugar, lime and floral flavors.”

Bean of the Week: Sulawesi AA Tana Toraja

Sulawesi (Celebes), was influenced and controlled by the Netherlands from 1605 until World War II.  In 1669 the Dutch East India Company took control of the trade in Sulawesi.  The Dutch built Fort Rotterdam in Ujung Pandang (now Makassar) in the mid 1600’s and not until 1905 they finally gained control of the whole island becoming part of the Dutch state colony of the Netherlands East Indies.  The Dutch East India Company was in control of coffee production in Indonesia during most the 1700’s and introduced Arabica Coffee (Typica) to Sulawesi in 1750.

Indonesian coffee has traditionally been processed with the Giling-Basah method, or wet-hulled like Sumatra.  In 1976 TOARCO, a Japanese-Indonesian joint-venture, introduced to Sulawesi the traditional washed-process, similar to Central America.

TOARCO owns Pedamaran Plantation at 900 – 1250 masl and purchases wet-parchment (at 40% moisture) from small producers at 1200 – 1800 masl.  Coffee is trucked to Pedamaran Plantation immediately and coffee gets dried on patios at their mill facilities.  If a producer wants to sell their parchment coffee to TOARCO they need to get certified to their standards as far as selective-picking, storage, transportation, moisture levels, etc.  Farmers are issued ID cards that allow them to sell their coffee at various purchasing points in the Tana Toraja region during the market of the week.  Café Imports’ coffee comes from small producers at the higher altitude areas.

Most of the coffee produced in Tana Toraja is S795 variety, a Typica hybrid.  This proves once again how important the variety translates in the cup.  Indonesia has a great deal of Catimor, a Robusta-heavy x Arabica hybrid, but Tana Toraja has kept high-quality varieties.

Origin: Sulawesi
Region: Tana Toraja
Farm: Various small-holders
Varietal: Typica hybrid
Altitude: 1200 – 1800 masl
Proc. Method: Fully washed and sun dried at central dry mill

In The Cup: “Sweet and tangy with chocolate and sweet herbal flavors.”


Bean Of The Week: Burundi Kayanza Kinyovu

Burundi is often referred to as “the Heart of Africa” and rightly so. The people of Burundi have an amazing spirit and have fully embraced their raw talent for growing and harvesting coffee. The people of Burundi have taken huge steps forward to rebuild their country following their nearly 12 year civil war that ended in 2005. Coffee farming and production has quite literally saved many of their lives.

Origin: Burundi

Region: Sogestal Kayanza, North-Central Burundi

Farm: Many small-holding farmers

Varietal: Bourbon, Jackson and Mibirizi (all bourbon mutations)

Altitude: 1880m

Proc. Method: Fully washed and Sun Dried on Raised Beds

In The Cup: Balanced with a light but smooth body and sweet lemon-lime flavor.

Bean of the Week

Starting next week, we will begin our “Bean of the Week” program, spotlighting a new bean each week and a brewing method that we feel pairs great with that bean to accentuate its unique attributes.  While there is no one right way to make coffee, different methods lead to distinct characteristics.  We look forward to sharing some of our favorite beans and brewing methods that we are loving together.  We will be including videos demonstrating each brewing method so you can brew along at home and experience each coffee at its peak deliciousness.  We looking forward to sharing our Bean of the Week with you.

Join us back here on Monday when we get started.


Buddy Brew Coffee at SCAA 2013

Headed to Boston? Come have some shots with us!



We are excited to announce that Buddy Brew Coffee will be the featured guest roaster at the La Marzocco Show Floor Booth at the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) Exposition in Boston this Saturday from 11am – 1pm! We are thrilled to partner with our friends at La Marzocco for the biggest coffee event of the year. The SCAA is the world’s largest coffee association with members across 40 countries, dedicated to improving the quality of specialty coffee from “seed to cup” and creating a vibrant specialty coffee community to ensure that excellent coffee will be available well into the next century. We are looking forward to being a part of the Boston Exposition this weekend and connecting with other coffee professionals! We will have our baristas, from Buddy Brew Coffee, pulling shots on the Strada EP featuring Buddy Brew coffees. If you are going to be attending the SCAA 2013 Expo, please stop by and say hello and taste espresso with us!

You can keep up with us while we’re at SCAA 2013 by checking out the following:

Join us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Follow the #SCAA2013 Hashtag on Twitter

Follow La Marzocco’s #LMBar Hashtag on Twitter

Stay tuned for more updates from SCAA 2013!

Cupping Coffee – It’s in the Details

So it has become quite the routine for us here at Buddy Brew, 4 days a week (Tuesday – Friday) the brew crew gathers in the back room of the roastery and begins the process of cupping coffees. Now, for those of you who don’t know what “cupping” means, it’s basically the term we use in the coffee industry for “tasting” coffee, although the brewing method is much different than what you’d experience as a customer, and the point of the practice is to taste every coffee on an even playing field.

The truth is, the difference between many of the world’s top rated coffees are very small, delicate nuances in flavor that can sometimes be manipulated by different brewing methods, therefore changing the characteristics of body, flavor, aroma and finish before you really have a chance to see how these coffees stand up to each other. Cupping the coffees allows us to remove a lot of the variables between different brewing methods(Chemex, French Press, VacPot etc.), and give the individual beans an opportunity to speak for themselves.

We do coffee cuppings often for two reasons:
1) To profile new coffees we have purchased, or are considering bringing to YOU!
2) To make sure that the coffees we are currently serving you are as dialed in and perfect as they should be.

Paying attention to the little details is our commitment to you, our friends & customers. But the community that builds naturally around the cupping table, when friends come together to taste coffee, is rewarding. We share notes and discuss what we love about different qualities and characteristics of the coffees we’re cupping, we’re challenged to learn and grow as our palettes are stretched by more experienced baristas, and our love for coffee deepens.

Barista Jam in the News!

Earlier this month, we had a blast at our Oxford Exchange location. We sent out the call to baristas everywhere to come to Tampa and show off their latte art skills. And thus was born the first ever Tampa Bay Barista Jam & Latte Art Throwdown. We’re really thankful to our friends at the Tampa Bay Times, who came out for the event. Below you’ll find the video recap they did. It really was a blast. We can’t wait to do it again soon!



We start with sourcing the highest quality beans  from the best farmers across the globe.  We follow that with the beautiful, messy craft of hand roasting, combining art and science, to bring out the full flavor of individual deliciousness in each batch.  Next, we commit unwaveringly to bean freshness.  We want to change the way the world drinks coffee. It is, after all, an agriculture product, just like the produce you eat.  We believe it should be treated as such. We record roast dates on each bag so that you can enjoy your coffee at its best, at its peak flavor, within the first weeks of roasting.

Brew Good. Do Good.

Brew Good. Do Good.  It is more than a brand statement; it is our mission. As such, Buddy Brew is committed to serving our customers, suppliers, employees and our community both local and global.

Brew Good starts with a Direct Trade platform to ensure benefit to our global community. Direct Trade allows Buddy Brew to offer exceptional quality coffee sourced in a method that rewards the farmers and producers for quality, directly contributing to their economic and social sustainability. Buddy Brew forged its first Direct Trade relationship with coffee producers in Haiti. Our Haiti Bondye Lanmou beans benefit Haitian coffee producers, helping them build a sustainable income and provide local jobs, which yields food security and hope for a stronger future. Buddy Brew also features The Cup of Excellence (COE) winners. Our most recent COE offering was Rwanda, Nyakizu, lot 19. The Cup of Excellence (COE) is the most prestigious award given for top coffees, recognizing the highest quality product produced in the world. Beyond recognition, the farmer and regions receiving this award benefit economically for years to come as the region becomes a destination for coffee companies and award money is typically spent on farm improvements or family education. Brew Good means quality and conscience are passed down to our customer in every cup. We take every aspect of coffee as serious as the next. Starting sourcing only the best beans,  hand roasting them in small micro batches to sweet delicious perfection and finally, with excruciating attention to detail and un surpassed passion, we craft our coffee beverages. The cup always tells the whole story and it never lies…

Do Good is why Buddy Brew exists. We are passionate about doing something bigger than ourselves and want to inspire the Buddy Brew community to do the same. Since we opened, we have supported a number of causes including: Cure on Wheels, benefiting the Moffit Cancer Center and All Children’s Hospital; Walk for Life, benefiting Life Impact Network; Vino, Java and Jazz, benefiting Easter Seals; Touch a Truck, benefiting Freedom Playground; Brews by the Bay, benefiting the Florida Aquarium; CITY Neiman Marcus Fashion Show, benefiting the Tampa Museum of Arts; and Patch Give A Ton Food Drive to help fight hunger in the Tampa Bay area. Buddy Brew has invested in building our local community by contributing to causes such as the Hyde Park Home Tour, raising funds for the Historic neighborhood that houses Buddy Brew; Barcamp Tampa Bay, a local technology convention; Kidmandment, an author’s lecture on raising stronger families; and by hosting local web casts and community forums for our local County Commissioner. In 2011, Buddy Brew donated over 10% of revenues in coffee and goods to charitable causes in our local communities. We’ve exceeded that number in 2012 .

We believe in the power of coffee to bring joy, brighten a day and do good.   As important, Buddy Brew is a small business, and small business is the backbone of our economy. Buddy Brew employs 18 people; eighteen new jobs created for our local community in the 2.5 years since we opened. We work hard to create an encouraging, motivating and inspiring atmosphere with opportunity for growth.

Brew Good. Do Good.


Oxford Exchange

The Buddy Brew Coffee Bar is located in the atrium of Oxford Exchange and gives off a distinctly different feel than the roastery that we all know and love. Service is faster, more grab-and-go, and more akin to a traditional Italian espresso bar than the informal hangout-and-chat vibe you’ll find at our home base. However, bar seating at the end of the counter still ensures quality conversation with our charming baristas (who may look a little different in their crisp white shirts and ties). In terms of coffee technology, our espresso bar at OE is first-rate, boasting not one, but two La Marzocca Strada EP espresso machines, K30 Twin Mahlkönig espresso grinders, a Marco Über Boiler water dispenser, plus an entire dedicated Slow Bar station offering pourovers, VacPots and French presses. This bar was designed for high-volume service and was outfitted with the tools to match.