Q&A With Brazuka Coffee Roasters

Brazuka Coffee's President & CEO Gregg Butler Talks Fair Trade

03/18/2011 - 11:06 AM

Fair Traders of the world, meet Brazuka Coffee. Our laid back, Southern California coffee roasting parter has always been committed to finding the best quality beans from around the world, beans sourced in the most socially and environmentally sustainable ways possible. We applaud Brazuka for being 100 percent Organic and Fair Trade Certified, and for thier unwaivering committment to responsbile sourcing and  supporting small family coffee farmers around the world.

Here to tell us a little more about the company and thier relationship to Fair Trade is family man, surfer, coffee lover Gregg Butler, President and CEO of Brazuka Coffee, LLC.

About Brazuka 

Brazuka Coffee Roasters, LLC is a micro-roaster in the beach town of Ventura, California. We are 100% Fair Trade and Organic. Our clients are software engineering companies, office coffee suppliers, organic food markets, high-end Bed & Breakfasts, restaurants and delis,  think-tank retreats, and individuals; all of whom insist on going “green” and Fair Trade, even in their coffee. We source our beans from a few very trusted brokers who consistently find the quality of bean we want, and which are produced and brought to America in a manner that’s economically fair for all parties—the farmer, the importer, our family, and the consumer. Next to good coffee, we stress customer service. When our customers want something, we listen and respond ASAP.

Why is Fair Trade important to your business?

Fair Trade is important to Brazuka Coffee Roasters because we aren’t big enough ourselves to ensure that farmers in the fields of Peru, Costa Rica or Sumatra are getting a fair deal. We rely on the experience and resources of Fair Trade USA to monitor the situation for us and to negotiate standards that benefit the farmers and their families.

What got you started with Fair Trade?

Our exposure to a few coffee roasters we respect in the Specialty Coffee Association of America turned us on to the solution of Fair Trade. It’s a tougher sell; it makes our economic path a little rougher… but this is the best thing we can do.

What is your favorite coffee origin?  Have you been there?

I don’t really have a favorite origin. I like many of the good coffees produced in theEast Pacific, South America, Central America and Africa. There are dozens of excellent coffees around the world and I’m happy to roast and drink any of them. Right now, I’m impressed by the progress of the Bolivian and Honduras FTO (Fair Trade, organic) coffee growers. They’re laboring in the mighty shadows of the neighboring coffee nations like Brazil, Columbia and Costa Rica. Against those and other odds, they’re producing great coffee beans, and making a business out of it. I haven’t been there yet, but if enough people keep buying our coffee we’ll get there!

What do you want to tell Fair Trade fans about your company?

We’re always trying to do the next best thing. It works in a product-quality sense for us, too. When you buy Fair Trade Certified and organic green coffee beans to roast for your customers, several knowledgeable people up the supply line from you have “blessed” the beans, so to speak. It doesn’t mean they’re exactly the right bean for us, but it helps reduce the variables in the purchasing matrix and gives our customers a product they can trust.

How do you like your coffee?

Ha! I’m going against the tide here. The current orthodoxy in Specialty Coffee is single origin. But I love blending coffees. The first time I blended a moderately-dark East Pacific coffee with a medium-roast Central American, I knocked my own socks off. So, while I appreciate a sweet, single-origin Costa Rican or a fruity Ethiopian bean by itself, I’m always excited about trying a new blend of the world’s best coffees. And, so far, our customers seem to like our products; both our single origins and our blends.   

To learn more about Brazuka Coffee check out thier website at:

03/18/2011 - 11:06 AM
03/18/2011 - 11:06 AM