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Joanna Lawson Leading Trader Caravela Coffee’s First European Office, in London

Joanna Lawson of Caravela Coffee.

Joanna Lawson of Caravela Coffee.

Green coffee trader Caravela Coffee (formerly Virmax) recently established its first European Office, which will be led by longtime trader and certified Q Grader Joanna Lawson in Central London’s (UK) Shoreditch district.

The 16-year-old company built its reputation on sourcing quality Colombian coffees, yet in recent years has established sourcing, production and export operations in Nicaragua, Honduras, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru, in addition to operating from its headquarters in Bogotá, Colombia.

Along with the newly created European office, Caravela maintains import operations in Australia in the North Sydney suburb Manly in NSW, and in the United States in Chapel Hill, N.C.

The company said Lawson’s position reflects her professional interest in specialty coffee with investment at origin and recognition for farmers. “Caravela is really pioneering a new model for specialty that isn’t based on buying from a well­-known farm and re­selling,” Lawson said in a company announcement. “Buying from smallholders means impact at origin while minutely controlling the QC process eliminates any of the quality control issues sometimes associated with this model. This gives us an incredible amount of flexibility and opportunity to source coffees according to each buyer’s needs and bring them to the market.”

Lawson and Caravela are currently preparing to sponsor the sensory experience at the industry event Re:Co Dublin later this month, presenting a selection of coffees with to tie in with the World Coffee Research Sensory Lexicon and the new Coffee Tasters Flavor Wheel.


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