Real People, Really Good Coffee – Ron Cortez, Cortez Coffee Company

Cortez Coffee Academy and Roasterie


Our coffee travels lead us to meet some of the most interesting and helpful people in the trade. Ron Cortez of the Cortez Coffee Company in  Tempe, Arizona has an amazing story & Ron is  extremely supportive of our work with Peruvian farmers. Here’s more about this true coffee hero.

From humble beginnings as the son of a Costa Rican coffee plantation worker, who was also the son of plantation worker, Ron Cortez has become a voice for direct “More than Fair” Certified coffees from around the world. Ron is a consummate coffee professional, dedicating his daily life to the promotion & betterment of the coffee industry.

One of Rons’ favorite sayings is, “We now can say that the best coffee in the world is produced around the world but roasted in Arizona.” Now that may seem like a stretch to some, but Ron has gone beyond simply searching out fine coffees from around the world to working directly with the growers, not only helping these smaller family farmers, but building real relationships. Relationships where everyone is fully committed to coffee quality at every step of the way from choosing the right coffee varieties at planting time, to organic fertilizers, and to perfect fermentation and drying.

Starting small in the 1990’s Ron has grown from micro lots to importing over 150,000 pounds of coffee annually. One innovative idea that Ron has perfected is “bottled coffee.” Ron carefully roasts and prepares coffee for drinking and then seals it into a glass bottle for flavor preservation. It’s the “hot”  summer drink – specialty iced coffee!

Ron Cortez – Cortez Coffee Company

From Cameroon to Arizona

From the desert southwest of Arizona, to the steaming rain forests of Viet Nam & Cameroon, Ron has guided and improved the coffee quality and lives of many small family growers. Ron has written a book of his adventures and success with the farmers of Cameroon. These very same farmers recently opened a grower owned coffee shop in Atlanta, Georgia.

More Than Fair

More Than Fair is an organization dedicated to connecting coffee roasters directly to the farmers that produce the coffees that we enjoy every day. The direct trade model allows coffee farmers a better living and the ability to focus more on coffee quality. This in turn creates a sustainable model vs the traditional method which exploits farmers and clearly tends to diminish quality. MTF promotes equality, that is, treating the farmers as equal partners for their vital part in preserving coffee quality at the source.

By partnering with coffee farmers directly, we are helping to improve the lives of these producers, while raising the quality standard for all. In the long run, this is the only viable future economically for the specialty coffee industry. Mass coffee production does not produce the high quality coffees that specialty coffee lovers want. More Than Fair goes beyond just a fair price, and actually seeks to cement strong relationships all the way from seed to cup. Great coffee that is ethically sourced is well, More Than Fair!

Cortez Coffee Bar & Academy

As if all of these impressive accomplishments in the coffee industry weren’t enough, Ron also runs his own coffee bar & coffee market. Featuring 19+ specialty coffee varieties, there’s something for every coffee aficionado. Ron has spent years perfecting his roasting equipment through careful testing & modification in order to fully control every aspect of the roasting process. This means the optimum flavor and full development in every roast.

The coffee market offers a multitude of specialty coffee. Not only flavorful roasts, but for those who love to roast at home, Ron offers a variety of small quantity green coffee. Don’t have a home roaster? No problem, Ron has small batch roasting equipment that will allow you to roast your fresh beans while you sip a delicious espresso and smell the rich aromas of toasted beans.

Need training to be a barista or roaster? Ron offers classes for the beginner all the way to expert in everything coffee. Ron also repairs equipment whether it’s your favorite espresso maker, or a huge 60 kilo coffee roaster.

The Roasted Beans drop at Cortez Coffee Roasters

Beyond the coffee bar & market, Ron is also actively involved in Phoenix Coffee culture, supporting local coffee shops, purchasing locally, and avoiding national chains in favor of area merchants. This effort helps to keep vital areas of Phoenix alive and vibrant with a change made “latte by latte.”

At the Coffee Bar – Cortez Coffee Roasters

Lots of Goodies Available at Cortez Coffee

Lots of Goodies Available at Cortez Coffee

Supporting Curibamba Coffee

From the very first moment that we met Ron Cortez, he has been tremendously helpful and supportive of the Curibamba Coffee Project & our work with Peruvian coffee farmers. Not only by purchasing and marketing our coffee, but in offering advice & help whenever we needed it. We at A Little Further South have been blessed to have met such a good friend & knowledgeable mentor.

Visit Cortez Coffee

So whether it’s ethically sourced green coffee beans for your home roaster, a tasty espresso to go, or just advice on how to prepare the best coffee at home, Ron Cortez is the man to see.  What more could a coffee lover want?

On the web:


  • 1030 E Vista Del Cerro Dr.
    Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Phone number (480) 968-8333


©2015 Ben Gangloff


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Curibamba Coffee (It’s special to be a good coffee bean)

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