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Skill-Building: Sourcing

Coffee Industry Secrets Revealed ( #1) Secret # 1: Espresso Terminology Misnomers   There is no such thing as an espresso tree that grows espresso beans                                                                             There is also no such thing as an espresso roast Whether you’ve purchased chocolate covered espresso beans from your local grocery store, or bought a bag of espresso beans from that cute barista at your café, don’t be fooled by the name. Your beans did not come from an espresso tree. This is a myth. There is no espresso tree that grows espresso beans (or, technically, espresso cherries from which we remove the seeds that are processed into beans). Espresso is a drink that results from pushing water through coffee under pressure. To be more specific, it...
Tagged in: coffee industry
Greetings from Bukeye.  You may notice “Bukeye” on our coffee bags currently on shelves in NY and Chicago.  Bukeye is the main town nearest to the Buhorwa Washing Station, where our coffee is collected in cherry form fresh from the farms.  Although Bukeye is a well known region in Burundi for having produced many powerful figures in politics and business, there isn’t much to the town, save for a trading center, large church, and one restaurant and roadside inn, where I sleep, take my meals and have learned to time bathing to the on-and-off whims of Bukeye’s municipal water system.  I also discovered here that ripening guavas, when left in one’s room, act as an all natural air freshener against the...
Tagged in: coffee industry maps
In case our coffee wasn't enough to get your brain moving in the morning, here's a traceability teaser to wake up your brain. We are also here to enlist YOU to help us solve this on-mountain problem related to traceability of coffee when it is sold in parchment form. After reading, please submit your ideas in the Comments section of this blog post. This scenario is based on a real situation observed just last week in the greater Mbale region of Uganda. First, allow me to introduce the two sides of the traceability argument. You are a farmer. You pick your coffee berries and have two options. One, you can carry your cherries to the nearest washing station, where you will...
Tagged in: Origin Traceability
Unlike wine, coffee does not get better with age. If you are keeping your coffee out, we suggest using an airtight container (ceramic or glass is best) to store your beans...
Coffee Processing/Handling Techniques (at origin) Play out in the Cup Lessons from cuppings of six different Uganda Bugisu coffees by Taylor Mork, Crop to Cup Coffee Co. (Brooklyn, NY) Yesterday at Crop to Cup Brooklyn we had an eye opening and tasty coffee cupping. The goal was to re-cup a set of 6 new crop coffee samples that we recently received from two sources in the Bugisu region of Uganda.  We had cupped them last Friday, off a nice sample roast created by no other than NYC coffee fave Daniel Humphries.  We cupped roughly 24 hours after roasting.  JD and his team from Oslo Coffee and a few other friends joined us, and we definitely got a good read on the...

June 08, 2009
Category: in Skill-Building: Sourcing
You already know about the state of the coffee industry. There’s some not-so-decent stuff going on. But, don’t be too discouraged: There are a lot of organizations and companies trying to reverse this trend. Look at TechnoServe, or the East African Fine Coffee Association (EAFCA) for examples of good people doing good things with coffee in the country of origin, or contact us to find out who is doing what in your community. Technoserve is one of those nonprofits with a small name in America, but a large presence on the ground. Visit their website to learn more about how they are positively affecting coffee-growing communities. Another organization working towards helping coffee growing communities is EAFCA. Their Secretariat is located in...