Son of Alberto Guardia, who turned a mainly sugar cane and ornamental plant producing farm into a mainly specialty coffee farm. The family turned a 100+ year old sugar processing mill with a water wheel into a coffee mill, making it self-sustaining and ecologically responsible. Diego effectively saved their farm and mill by changing their main export over to specialty coffee. Visit them at SonoraCoffee.com.
Owner of Bella Vista Beneficio in Antigua, Guatemala. The family has been producing coffee for decades using traditional washed and sun-drying processes. They focus on maintaining soil health and quality by enriching the soil, rotating crops, as well as treating the soil for disease. The small farms in surrounding areas are a focus of the mill. They help their neighbors by teaching environmental practices and by purchasing and processing their coffee cherries at the family mill.
Owner of Beneficio La Esperanza in Antigua, Guatemala. Josué works closely with agronomist Luis Barrios to help the surrounding small farmers improve their cultivation and harvesting techniques including overall soil health and proper shading. Josué has started a program that takes farmers through the processing, roasting, and cupping of their coffees, allowing them to experience their hard work first hand. Josué’s own coffee trees are subject to much experimentation, such as varying the space between rows of coffee plants and the amount of shade trees. He is one of 5 coffee farmers in the world to have an area dedicated to “wild coffee,” where the only human influence is occasional pruning and harvesting. Josué’s dedication to the science behind coffee and the farmers and harvesters themselves makes him a key player in the growth and development in the coffee industry within Guatemala.
First and only female mill owner in Ethiopia. In 2005, she returned to her hometown to improve the quality of coffee and living conditions in her community. Her mill produces both washed and natural coffees and she is said to be very strict in ensuring cherries are ripe and ready before sending them to her washing station. Cherries are dried on raised beds to create a cleaner coffee and even aeration for quality. Thomas’ farm trains neighboring farmers in quality and high-yielding practices as well as starting an incentive program for farmers to plant more trees to fight climate change. She has started an association for women-in-coffee, sponsors The Amaro Gayo Football Team for local youth, and funds local schools to purchase books and laptops.
Rayyan MillIn 2012, Andrew Nicolson and Sean Marshall started Rayyan Mill with the desire to breathe new life into war-torn Yemen’s economy while helping to reestablish Yemen’s coffee industry that dates back to the 15th century. Their commitment to cup quality, farm level interventions, good processing methods and relentless quality control coupled with their relationships with farmers (and many others in the supply chain) in Yemen make Rayyan a strong bridge between the Yemen coffee people and the specialty coffee market. The war in Yemen creates a difficult environment for producing and exporting coffee, with bomb blasts that shake the mill itself. However, through these difficulties, Andy and Sean are dedicated to the farmers and the families who have been producing coffee for generations.