STiR coffee and tea magazine

Volume 4, Number 4

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28 STiR tea & coffee industry international / Issue 4, 2015 (August/September) By Jenny Neill Beth Ann Caspersen, a certified Q instructor and quality control manager for Equal Exchange, recently led the on-the-ground training and organization efforts for the Saveur du Kivu, the first international cupping competition held in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). With international judges from Cooperative Coffees, InterAmerican Importers, Counter Culture, Kickapoo Coffee, Blue Bottle, Peace Coffee, Twin, Thread Coffee, Heine Brothers, Amavida Coffee and Tea, and Higher Grounds Trading Co. in a matter of a few action-packed days, every bit of Caspersen's coffee and leadership experience was tested as she mobilized volunteers arriving from more than eight organizations. STiR: Let's start at the beginning: What was your response when Richard Hide, senior African coffee marketing manager at Twin, approached you about it in March? Caspersen: I said, "If we can do it at a really high level, then I would be interested in doing that. But I need to see pictures of the labs, I need to understand what's hap- pening." STiR: Let's skip ahead to when you got to Bukavu to prepare for the competition. Did the lab meet your expectations? Beth Ann Caspersen Equal Exchange STiR Tea & Coffee International caught up with Beth Ann Caspersen shortly after the Saveur du Kivu in June. Read how her coffee and leadership skills were tested in this first ever specialty coffee competition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Q A Beth Ann Caspersen at Gumutindo in Mbale, Uganda in 2011

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