Welcome To SUNDAY Coffee+: Coffee News That Made The Headlines
Each week, Craft Beverage Jobs compiles the top headlines for Craft Coffee News & Information. On Sunday morning we post those headlines in SUNDAY Coffee+ for your reading pleasure. Whether its industry growth, new business, job openings, profiles or human interest, you just never know what will tickle our fancy from week to week. We want to make SUNDAY Coffee+ a part of your Sunday morning coffee experience. Want Sunday Coffee+ delivered via email each weekend? Sign Up Here.
Alumni bring production of coffee to South America, by June Jennings and Mike Toomey – Student Life
Washington University’s alumni base is highly involved in the coffee-growing business. Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Co., Washington University’s main coffee supplier, is itself the product of one of the University’s alumni, providing Dining Services exclusively with coffee grown through the efforts of University graduates.
In 2002, University alumnus Ben Weiner founded Gold Mountain Coffee Growers, a group that aims to connect Nicaraguan coffee growers with roasters in the United States. The organization’s flagship coffee farm, Finca Idealista, is in Tepeyac, a remote mountaintop community in Nicaragua. Gold Mountain has ongoing projects in 10 other communities in the region.
Weiner first visited Nicaragua as part of his undergraduate study abroad experience at the University, living in Tepeyac and studying various aspects of the local economy. While there, he perceived a need to connect local coffee growers with international markets.
I saw firsthand how [the growers] were being cheated by these middlemen who were paying them almost nothing for their coffee – Weiner
How does Chad Scott take his coffee?, by Matt Viser – The Boston Globe
My Morning Cup features the coffee ritual that most of us have. People from all walks of life – from US senators to ballplayers, subway drivers to college professors – have submitted entries that will run each day. To submit your own My Morning Cup entry, e-mail Matt Viser at [email protected].
My Morning Cup: Chat Scott, 37. Visiting assistant professor at University of Nevada at Las Vegas.
Describe your coffee routine. Where do you frequent, what do you like?
First thing I do in the morning is get up and grind some coffee beans. We’ve got the whole setup. I grind the beans right before with a burr coffee grinder. I use a drip coffee maker called a Technivorm. We used to do pourovers but with the busy schedule my wife and I have, pourovers just didn’t fit into our time frame. So we had to go to drip.
We have one or two cups together before I head out. If I have more time I’ll usually stop by Sunrise Coffee, a local coffee shop here, and get cappuccino from my favorite barista here. After work, on my way home, I’ll stop and get another cappuccino. I feel like I’m walking into Cheers. “Hey, Chad, hey, Chad. Cappuccino?” “Yep.”
When your making coffee, what are you using?
Mostly what I drink is the local coffee roaster, Mothership, because I like to support local businesses. They have a blend called the Star Destroyer. I love that name. But my favorite coffee is the Stumptown Hair Bender blend. We also treat ourselves to Blue Bottle, Madcap, or Heart.
To continue reading Chad Scott’s My Morning Cup entry, follow link.
A Conversation with Ric Rhinehart on the Future of Coffee in Mesoamerica, by Michael Sheridan – Daily Coffee News
Last week I participated in Let’s Talk Coffee, importer Sustainable Harvest’s annual value chain event, for the fifth time. The content of the event was broader, and the caliber of the speakers higher, than at any other LTC event I remember. But the best presentation of the event — the one that still has me thinking the better part of a week later — was not a presentation at all. It was three related comments made in rapid succession by SCAA Executive Director Ric Rhinehart during the event’s opening panel discussion on the state of the coffee market:
- the coffee sectors Brazil, Colombia and Vietnam are emblematic of what happens when the
government gets into the game;
- Panama’s coffee sector, by contrast, is emblematic of what happens when the government stays on the sidelines; and
- Panama’s coffee sector is beautiful for a certain kind of grower and terrifying for another kind of grower.
The craft coffee trend: its pricey, but farmers aren’t getting rich, by Amy Westervelt – The Guardian
Consumers pay a premium for specialty products, in theory supporting higher wages for farmers. But it will take more to make these markets truly sustainable.
When you pay $20 for a bag of coffee or $10 for a chocolate bar the general assumption is that you are paying for a higher quality product, and that some portion of that higher-than-normal price is making its way into the pockets of farmers.
That belief is underscored by stories and photos lining the walls of the shops that sell such goods, or stamped onto packages, depicting subsistence farmers who have been given a lifeline out of poverty by your addiction to medium-roast Yirgacheffe. Similarly, socially conscious consumers will often opt to purchase products that are certified organic or fair trade, believing that these products go farther to support farmers than their non-certified counterparts.
Unfortunately, the emergence of specialty product segments in commodity markets like coffee and chocolate has not dovetailed with a rise in the quality of life of farmers producing the raw materials of those products. That’s not to say that specialty products are not helping at all, just that various market forces need to shift in order to make these markets work better for farmers.
Announcing the 2015 Micro Roaster of the Year: Portola Coffee Lab – Daily Coffee News
- Established: 2011
- Location: Costa Mesa, California
- Employees: 28
- Leadership: Jeff Duggan, Christa Duggan, co-owners
- Retail locations: One; three more in the works
- Roasters (machines): U.S. Roaster Corp. Revelation
- Roasting Output: 85,000 pounds per year
I’m a firm believer that the same bean can taste like three different coffees based on how you brew it – Jeff Duggan, co-owner of Portola
The question is, how do you sell that to a demographic that walks into your shop for the first time and thinks, “What planet did I just land on?”
You create a customer experience that’s more inviting than pretentious. You build a coffee bar where it’s easy to see what baristas are doing and ask them why they’re doing it. Questions are currency at Portola Coffee Lab—the more, the better.
“It’s not just about selling a $4 cup of coffee,” Jeff says. “It’s about being open and accommodating, and being willing to answer the same questions hundreds of times a day, if necessary. The last thing we want to do is impose a sense of superiority on our customers by acting exclusive, but we also had to teach the people of Orange County that there are very distinct reasons our coffee tastes different.”
Then, after you succeed in educating your customers, you push their palates even further. At the edge of Portola Coffee Lab sits a “concept” coffee bar called Theorem—a six-seat bar that asks the question, “Is coffee a beverage or an ingredient?”
The answer is an emphatic, “Yes!”
feature photo credit: Chris Blakeley via photopin cc
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