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Uganda has been in the news a lot recently, but unfortunately for all the wrong reasons.   Yet again, misguided members of the Parliament of Uganda have introduced their anti-homosexuality bill, which threatens life in prison for those who are involved in certain types of homosexual practices.  Promotion of or even failing to report homosexuality now risks punishment.  Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda (as is the case for over half of Africa's countries), but this time around the penalties are stronger and it puts Uganda's gay community in an even more dangerous place.  For the details you'll have no problem finding them on any major news outlet covering this story. Our purpose here is to simply respond to the many...
Please consider donating towards providing relief for Mt. Sinabung refugees It's going to be a white Christmas in central Sumatra this year. Not snow, though; ash. This is because Mt. Sinabung is erupting. This volcano has been shooting ash miles into the air for weeks now - the government has evacuated an estimated 17,000 people from around the mountain's base and most people are just waiting for the other shoe to drop. This directly impacts the coffee farming community with whom we work in Simalungun (Sumatra, Indonesia), and we are putting the word out that there are people who could use your help this holiday season.  Here at Crop to Cup we are organizing an appeal for donations - made here or through the Donate button at the bottom of this post. The largest shelter...
Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Coastal Coffee. When people think of coffee from Mexico they think of Veracruz, Chiapas, Oaxaca or Puebla. They do not think of the western state of Guerrero. Those who do think of coffee from Guerrero think of the town of Atoyac, which is where almost all of the state's coffee comes to market. They do not think of the sleepy town of Zihuatanejo five hours north of Acapulco along Mexico's Costa Grande. Yet Zihua (affectionate abbreviation) is now one of my favorite places to go for coffee. In the Spring, and again in July I traveled down to meet with the Grupo de Trabajo Levya Mancilla - a farmer group with 26 members. Their farms overlook the Pacific ocean and beaches of  Zihuatanejo...

Some pictures and notes from my first trip to Sumatra; Jacob Elster

February 04, 2013
Category: in Skill-Building: Extraction
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Originally invented in 1941, the Chemex is a classic in the world of brewing devices.  With its hourglass shape and classy wood collar and tie, it’s simple and attractive.  It’s also all-American, made by a family-owned business in western Massachusetts.   But does handsome and timeless translate into a good brew?  I decided to check it out using our Chemex guide. The Process Fill your kettle three-quarters full with boiling water. Weigh and grind the coffee: I used 16 grams for 8 oz. of water and ground it on the “drip setting” Set up and rinse the filter:  One of the most unique parts about the Chemex is the extra-thick filters.  This allows the water to flow through slowly, making it hard...
Tagged in: brewing
The Taste of Paper Filters Here at Crop to Cup Brooklyn we were so bummed that we couldn't attend MANE Conference 2012, we decided to hold our own!  To do that we kicked out our cafe customers for the day (sorry) and held our own internal staff training,  quality competitions (barista Maya B. won all), tastings, lectures, etc.  For some unknown reason Dan decided to call the event Timecop 2012, even finding a photo of me (Taylor) giving a look similar to Jean Claude Van-Damme on the '94 hit's VHS sleeve.  Coincidentally, my "name" in high school French class was Jean-Claude for a year. Anyway, what I wanted to post about was our PAPER TASTING.   No coffee, just paper and water.  It's a good test to...
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

July 25, 2012
Category: in News and Events
Yup, Robusta, you read correctly.  Come to our Brooklyn cafe - a place we surely consider to be a specialty coffee establishment - and drink some Robusta.  For those of you lost in the land of pourover stations, cortados  served as macchiatos and cappuccinos that are no different from lattes, and who may not know much about Robusta, know that Robusta is a commonly reviled, denegrated and maligned bean which causes coffee snobs across the specialty coffee world to scoff, sneer and turn away with a conspicuous uplift of the nose.  Coffea Canephora, commonly known as Robusta coffee, is one of the two main coffee varietals that is commercially grown (the other is Arabica; there are others such as Liberica, but they are not common)....
Tagged in: robusta
Join us on the 2012 East Africa Origin Trip! CUP MEETS CROP - Crop to Cup is bringing coffee home this October. YOU ARE INVITED 2012 HARVEST -  BURUNDI & UGANDA OCTOBER 20th - NOVEMBER 1st Open Invite Origin Trip We are organizing a guided trip to Burundi and Uganda this October. We will meet with farmers, help with the harvest, and have fun too. A group of us coffee lovers are visiting farmers in Burundi to provide feedback on last year's harvest, and to break ground on a community coffee tree seedling nursery, called the Bukeye Seedling Project . Then we travel to Uganda during harvest to provide input on harvesting, washing, drying and lot separation through the dry mill. We will provide valuable feedback to farmers, strengthen our (and your) relationships...
We are excited and proud to announce that one of our finest coffees, Burundi Buhorwa Washing Station (Season II!) is now avaialble for sampling and purchase.  We imported 40 tons this year (the Buhorwa community's entire harvest) and the two shipping containers were cracked open and unloaded this morning (4/11/12) at Continental Terminals in New Jersey. Samples are now available for roasters nationwide, or you can come pick some up at our office in Brooklyn or at SCAA in Portland next week (find us at the Burundi booth).  Call or email us for samples.  If you're a home roaster looking for less-than-bag volumes, you can order online by-the-pound here. This year we cupped the washing station's coffee per harvest day and...
Tagged in: burundi