If you know your coffee roaster you have made the first step towards becoming a connoisseur. You have pursued coffee beyond a fancy package and showed your friends that Folgers just isn’t good enough, that coffee is more than a caffeine buzz and actually has culinary qualities. When you pick up your beans you chat with the roaster, telling them about how much you like the new blend or the nutty notes in the Brazil. You linger on the few juicy details they offer about coffee to use at your next dinner party, like “the peaberry is actually a mutant coffee bean” or “the Brazil is grown in the Cerrado mountains.”
Every time you leave you wonder how they know. Have they walked the soil and shook hands with the farmers? Some roasters have, but most use a broker. Mark Norgren of Reality Roasters says “your coffee is only as good as your broker,” the reason why he and many other roasters in Minnesota use Café Imports, a nationally recognized green bean coffee importer in St. Paul.
Andrew Miller, President of Café Imports, started importing green coffee beans in 1994. After over a decade, Café Imports has become one of the premier coffee importers in the United States. The Café Imports warehouse holds over 400 different coffees from countries all over the world. Every year Miller and members of his staff travel to places of origin to walk the soil and shake hands with the farmers. This past year he traveled to El Salvador, Rwanda, and Burundi. Jamin Haddox, Café Imports Quality Control Manager, traveled to Colombia to be part of the international jury for the Cup of Excellence Competition. Other members of the staff traveled to Costa Rica, Mexico, and Ethiopia.
To keep their roaster up to date they keep an online blog and photo journal where roasters can learn about their coffee and Café Imports trips to origin. As Café Imports pushes forward by learning about their coffee, they also push forward by telling their customers everything they can about the coffee. For a roaster in Minnesota and around the country, Café Imports is not only a source for green coffee, but a connection to the origins of coffee.
2140 Energy Park Dr
St. Paul, MN 55108
OWNER: Andrew Miller
HOURS: Mon-Fri 9am-4pm (warehouse pickup)