Alterra Teams Up With Mars Drinks to Bring Alterra Coffee Worldwide

imageWe are extremely proud to announce that we’ve teamed up with Mars Drinks to share the Alterra brand with coffee drinkers throughout the U.S. and abroad.  Mars traveled the globe looking for a great cup of coffee…and they found it right here in Milwaukee.  Mars has purchased the global rights to the Alterra brand so that it can become a key part of Mars’ FLAVIA single-serve coffee, tea and cocoa system.  However, we retain the rights to use the Alterra brand locally in Wisconsin and Illinois.  Mars has seen what makes Alterra special - our commitment to quality backed up by 17 years experience as a specialty coffee roaster - and selected us to bring a piece of the Midwest to the rest of the world.

Our homegrown roasting operation, cafes and bakery will all remain local and independently owned. This new relationship will allow us to grow and improve what we do here in our own backyard.  Our cafes, bakery, employees and drinks will remain the same and we look forward to serving Milwaukee and its neighbors even better in the years to come!


Will this partnership change my Alterra café experience here in Milwaukee?
Not at all! Alterra Coffee will remain an independent, locally owned company with the same great people, drinks, food, imageproducts and service on which we’ve built our business. We will continue to operate our cafes and roasting facility just as we have for the last 17 years.

If the cafes aren’t changing, then what is?
For our loyal café customers in Milwaukee and its surrounding areas, nothing will change. This relationship just means that many of the things that you love about the Alterra brand will be brought to the rest of the world via Mars Drinks.

Where and how will Alterra Coffee be available that it wasn’t before?
Mars Drinks will make Alterra coffee available to the world through Mars’ single-serve coffee platform. However, we retain the right to use the Alterra brand in our retail and wholesale coffee operations in Wisconsin and Illinois. Mars Drinks customers will begin enjoying Alterra coffee in the US this fall and in the UK, Japan, Germany and France in 2011. This is a great opportunity to take a beloved Milwaukee brand and share it with the world.

Can you tell me a little more about Mars?
Mars is a privately held, family-owned company of global scope with a variety of business segments, among them, Mars Drinks. Our agreement with Mars is unique in that we have not sold Alterra as a company, just the use of our brand in improving the coffee experience for FLAVIA customers.

imageWill there be any changes to the Alterra staff?
There will be no changes in ownership and our staff will be identical with no management or structural changes on any level - café, warehouse, office, bakery/commissary, or roastery. Our Green Coffee Buyer, George, will still select exceptional coffees and Roscoe and the gang will roast the beans.  If you call our offices, Jesse, Sarah, Wendy and Jeff will be there to greet you and answer your questions!

As we develop and grow in our new relationship with Mars we will be sure to keep everyone informed on how we’re doing and, once again, we look forward to continuing to serve our community with the same strength, consistency and quality that you’ve come to enjoy in the past 17 years.

All of us at Alterra Coffee

This entry was posted on April 22 2010 in the Alterra News category.
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Alterra Baristas to Compete at the US Barista Championship

imageWe are excited to announce that two of our favorite baristas are competing in the 2010 US Barista Championship! Scott Lucy and Colin Whitcomb are both set to bring their A game to this year’s competition and represent as some of the Midwest region’s finest baristas. Can’t make it to Anaheim to catch the show? You can watch them online at Colin competes on April 15th at 3:45pm* and Scott competes on April 16th at 12:40pm*. (* Times are approximate and are Central Standard Time as shown.)

Update: congrats to Scott Lucey for making the semi-finals! He competes on Saturday April 17th at 11am CST. Go Scott!!!

This entry was posted on April 13 2010 in the Alterra News category.
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Alterra Bay View Project - Community Meeting April 12th

We would like to invite all residents of the Bay View community to a public meeting, this Monday, April 12th at 6:30 pm at the Bay View Public Library. As some of you may already know, Alterra is in the planning stages to redevelop the former Maritime Bank building on the corner of KK and Lincoln Ave. We are holding this meeting to ensure all interested residents understand our plans and have an opportunity to comment.

Alderman Zielinski has graciously agreed to host and moderate the meeting. We will provide renderings and plans of the project and will do our best to answer any and all questions. For those interested, we have posted these plans on our website. Use the link below for a “sneak-peek” at the plans and to check out the project FAQ. As with many projects of this sort, there is quite a bit of information circulating… and not all of it accurate. It is our intention that everyone have a clear picture of the entire project and a forum where you can voice your well-considered opinions.

To see the project plans and read the FAQ please follow this link

Thanks and see you at the library!

This entry was posted on April 12 2010 in the Alterra News category.
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Our Brazil Coffees Have Changed Names!

The new crop coffees from Fazenda São Domingos are in, and we’ve made a few minor changes to the ways in which we refer to our offerings from Brazil.

imageFrom now on, our Brazil Traditional Dry will be be known as Brazil Fazenda São Domingos. Here’s why:
1) To recognize the hard-working farmers who produced this exceptional coffee, we have added Fazenda São Domingos to the name…

2) The coffee is no longer a “Traditional Dry.” Traditional dry refers to the type of processing method in Brazil where ripe, red cherries are harvested and dried on patios before milling.  All of the coffee we purchased from Fazenda São Domingos are true naturals, where the coffee is left to dry on the tree before harvesting, and additional drying happens on raised beds. Tree-dried “naturals” tend to have increased levels of body, sweetness and complexity compared to “traditional dry” coffees from the same farm, and we are thrilled that we have been able to work with Fazenda São Domingos to secure enough top-quality naturals to offer them year-round.

3) In general, the coffee from Fazenda São Domingos has the same basic profile as the Brazil Traditional Dry we have been offering for years, and should satisfy 100% (we repeat...100%!) of the customers who are fans of the Brazil Traditional Dry. 

imageAlso, the name Brazil Natural Dry will be changing to Brazil Fazenda Santo Antonio Bourbon Natural. You might be wondering… “if the Traditional Dry is now comprised of Naturals, how is it any different than “Natural Dry?” This year, the Natural Dry comes from a farm in South Minas called Fazenda Santo Antonio.  Just like the previous Natural Dry we offered, this coffee is harvested from 100% Bourbon variety trees and is silo-aged before shipping.

So to sum up: same great coffees and now, named to match. Enjoy!

This entry was posted on March 23 2010 in the Alterra News category.
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Roasters Guild Guatemala Tour 2010 - Blake’s Travelblog

From January 31st to February 10th, I had the opportunity to attend the 2010 Roasters Guild Tour of Guatemala. I traveled with fellow coffee roasters from Ireland, Korea and the U.S. On this journey we experienced 6 of the 8 growing regions Guatemala has to offer, visiting small co-op’s up to medium/large sized estates and self-sustaining farms that generate their own power. We were able to experience the entire coffee process, from picking to pulping, washing, fermentation and drying.

Being my first trip to origin, this was definitely the trip of a lifetime. I met a lot of new people and learned more than I had ever imagined. It also brought to light how important our (Alterra) role is in the chain of the specialty coffee cycle. Our host, Anacafe was amazing and treated us like royalty and the Roasters Guild also did an awesome job of organizing the trip. I uploaded a few photos from 4 of the farms we visited and hope you enjoy them.  Cheers!

- Blake Bauman
Roaster, Alterra Coffee

This entry was posted on March 19 2010 in the Alterra News category.
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Show Us Your Alterra Wear! Fashion Slideshow

We asked Alterra fans to email pictures of their Alterra Wear in unusual places...the Great Wall, strawberry picking in New York, and London to name a few. Keep ‘em coming and we’ll continue to add photos of our favorite coffee-drinking world travelers to the set. Email your pics to . Thanks, everyone!

Click on the larger photos for more information or visit the AlterraCoffee flickr page by clicking here.

This entry was posted on March 17 2010 in the Alterra News category.
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