Coffee En Masse: Pictures of a Coffee Warehouse

Quality: 
3

I was visiting a coffee warehouse in the SF Bay area recently and thought I would share a few images with you. While it seems like a massive amount of coffee, this is a small warehouse compared to others. In fact this is the warehouse for some of the finest coffees coming into the US, and these lots represent the top 5-10% of the coffee produced worldwide. The warehouses in New Orleans store much of the lower grade coffees, and are much larger (and infinitely more humid) than this. In fact, the bay area is an ideal coffee storage climate.

Coffee Production Timetable

Quality: 
3

This information is very approximate and can change from year to year a bit. There's another issue ... you could get new crop Costa Rica, for example, in December or January ... but would you want to? Probably not! Those shipments are lower grown coffees, lower altitude farms where coffee cherry ripens sooner. These are not going to have the cup quality of higher grown coffees, and will lack bean density and brightness. And sometimes coffee is "rushed" through production for market reasons, ruining any cup quality it has.

How To Buy Full Bags of Coffee ... or not.

Quality: 
3

Folks, I sometimes write my opinions in a fit of zealotry, and it is then I put my foot into my mouth up to the ankle. I wrote this in that mode ...and I have had to edit a few stupid comments I made that were based on half-informed partial facts. In coffee, whenever I think I know too much about what I am saying, I bumble. This is still a rant, but I hope you see it is well-meaning op-ed, and there are a few good points made here-in, with a thick layer of opinion smothering the rest of it -Tom 11/16/04

 

New(ish) Methods in Brazil Coffee Production

Quality: 
5

By and large, Brazil must innovate in their coffee production techniques; they can’t afford not to. The price one would need to produce coffee in Brazil as it is picked and processed in Ethiopia, or Kenya, or Guatemala, or Sumatra, would be far higher that the quality of the cup is truly worth. There is simply not the available low-cost labor to do this job in most coffee areas of Brazil, nor willing workers. Fortunate for laborers, they have options.

I Found the Future in Brazil (and now I feel like crying)

Quality: 
5

Is the Brazil of today, where coffee is becoming increasingly technified, the future of coffee in the Americas? What is pushing farmers in Brazil away from hand labor toward machine-based picking and processing? And what is the impact on quality of machine-harvested coffee?

Brazil is a vast and varied nation, which holds true in terms of its coffee production. From Cerrado to Bahia, Sul de Minas to Matas de Minas to Mogiana, there are different challenges that the landscape and climate bring to coffee growing.

Direct Trade Coffee Adventure

Video: 

 Amazing? Well, not really. This is an homage to other youtube coffee sourcing videos. Quien es mas macho?

September/October 2011: A Bump on the Butt of Specialty Coffee

Date: 
Wed, 2011-09-21
Quality: 
1
129.jpg

A guy goes into a coffee roasting shop and asks if he can buy some green coffee to roast at home. The owner says, "Sure, and I will give you a 10% discount off our roasted coffee price."  The guy thinks to himself, "Golly gee, since I will have 20% weight loss, that means I am basically paying 10% more to have him NOT roast my coffee for me." The guy then starts a web site for home coffee roasting, naming it for his wife, who was certainly sweet to sell $12,000 of Grandpa's stock to get the ball rolling .

May/June 2011: Farms as Brand Names

Date: 
Mon, 2011-05-16
Quality: 
1
Micro-Mill

From the beginning, Sweet Maria’s Coffee has  identified coffees we sell with as much information as possible:  detailed farm info, altitude, cultivar, photographs, processing details.. Beyond simply describing a product we sell, we provide clues to the quality that we found in the cup.

History of Coffee Chart

I had to seam this image together, so I am not sure how legible it
is. David Roche had it at the Roaster’s Guild Retreat, and it’s from
a book but I am not sure which. Ukers? Interesting history of how
coffee was disseminated through the world.

Coffee Research – What is next?

I reported before on our involvement in the Global Coffee Quality Research Initiative. This is a project funded primarily by coffee roasters to advance research into improving coffee quality, and improving the volume of quality coffee produced in the world. It’s not as if there is a lack of great coffee out there, but we are definitely on the threshold of seeing production of really good arabica drop, given greater consumption and agricultural issues with pernicious pest and disease.

Attention all Coffee Buyers!

Quality: 
4
Publication Date: 
Fri, 2011-04-01
Summary: 
Remember, origin is a long way from home, and some may not believe you were actually there.

Feb 2011: More Coffee Market Craziness; Life without Centrals?

Date: 
Tue, 2011-02-01
Quality: 
4
Kenyaauctionhouse.jpg

Coffee is about to get ridiculously expensive. I sit here in Kenya as I write this, having set aside 271 bags of amazing coffee, but at prices that would have been unbelievable, even last year. Auction prices have hit new highs, $10.08 in last week’s auction. It's hard to speculate if those particular lots were bid up due to some prior arrangement with a buyer who specified no cap, or whether 2 parties thought the coffee was that good. (I cupped a different lot that went over $10 in the auction and did not think it was a real Gran Cru coffee).

Dec 2010 - Jan 2011: Mr. Natural No More

Date: 
Wed, 2010-12-01
Quality: 
4
raised drying bed.jpg

Natural coffee sounds good, right? Who wants un-natural coffee? Of course, by “natural” we are talking about dry processed coffees, as opposed to wet processed or washed coffee. I'll be honest; over time I have begun to shy away from fruity naturals quite severely. The questions I ask when cupping them are: is the cup sweet? Is it a clean or a dirty fruit flavor? and will it last? (I mean will the fruit notes fade in a couple months and the cup just taste earthy and dull?) If the latter is true, then I am not doing anyone a favor by offering a coffee like that.

Our coffee shipment on the way from the Isle of St. Helena.

Quality: 
3
Publication Date: 
Fri, 2004-11-19
Summary: 
Well, a sample of the latest shipment from St. Helena has come in, and the the news is not good.

I went to the SCAA in Seattle and all I got was this lousy pen …

Quality: 
3
Publication Date: 
Sat, 2005-01-01
Summary: 
I came in just after noon, checked in to the Crowne Plaza (the extra "e" means it's fancy, too fancy for me at least).

Cup of Excellence Roundup 2009

Quality: 
3
Publication Date: 
Thu, 2009-01-01
Summary: 
Of course, we think the Cup of Excellence program is fantastic on quite a few levels.

From the Volcano, the Rarest Brew: Kona Coffee (NY Times article)

Quality: 
3
Publication Date: 
Wed, 2001-02-28
Summary: 
As you drive south along the west coast of the Big Island, you can't help smelling the coffee roasting.

In Panama, Sipping Coffee at It's Source (NY Times article)

Quality: 
3
Publication Date: 
Mon, 2001-02-05
Summary: 
This article is interesting to us because we buy many of our Panamanican coffees from the Casa Ruiz mill in Boquete.

Brazil "Cup of Excellence" Auction - Fazenda Boa Vista

Quality: 
1
Publication Date: 
Wed, 2002-12-04
Summary: 
Fazenda Boa Vista was the lot we wanted from the outset of the 2002 Brazil C.O.E. Auction.
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