Latest Posts

  1. You Asked. We Answered.

    You Asked. We Answered.

    Miss the live show? Watch the re-run.

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  2. Blog: These Weird Times

    Blog: These Weird Times

    Thoughts on the economic impact of the virus on the coffee trade, and what's happening at our warehouse too.

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  3. POSTPONED - Online Event - Sensory Series 101 - March 18th

    POSTPONED - Online Event - Sensory Series 101 - March 18th

    Join us online and compare coffee flavors to familiar foods and drinks

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  4. Roast Level Chart: Download our Card

    Roast Level Chart: Download our Card

    Check your next order for this informative postcard or download it here.

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  5. Holidays are Here...Like NOW.

    Holidays are Here...Like NOW.

    ...like for reals.

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  6. Sweet Maria's Green Coffee Sample Sets

    Sweet Maria's Green Coffee Sample Sets

    The ultimate order-ahead-of-time pre-holiday non-procrastinator stocking-stuffer

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  7. Oct. 27th. Two Bay Area Coffee Demos in One Day.

    Oct. 27th. Two Bay Area Coffee Demos in One Day.

    Join us in Oakland or Berkeley on 10/27.

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  8. Send a Pic of Your Pet for our 2020 Calendar

    Send a Pic of Your Pet for our 2020 Calendar

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  9. Six under Six - July 2019

    Six under Six - July 2019

    Six delicious coffees for under six dollars.

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  10. Discussion: Burundi & Global Coffee Market Issues

    Discussion: Burundi & Global Coffee Market Issues

    Sign up for this informative talk about issues surrounding global coffee pricing and small holder farmers.

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  11. New Products from Flair, Fresh Roast, Bonmac and Airscape

    New Products from Flair, Fresh Roast, Bonmac and Airscape

    If coffee products were movies, these would be great sequels

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  12. Sign Up For Our  Colombian Coffee Sourcing Discussion & Slideshow on March 6th

    Sign Up For Our Colombian Coffee Sourcing Discussion & Slideshow on March 6th

    Dan and Tom will discuss the leg work that goes into buying coffee from this ever important coffee origin.

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Prize in Every Bag?

Prize in Every Bag?

Every roaster cherishes their collection of extraneous matter found in coffee. You hear stories of such glamorous items as live bullets (that expode in the roaster of course) and fingers. But that doesn't happen to mere mortals like myself. In fact, good coffee isn't supposed to have any "chud" in it ...but wouldn't that be dull?

So here is a selection from my humble collection of Misc Stuff found in my coffee:

Sticks, mostly found in DP Ethiopians. Most appear to be from the coffee-trees themselves...
Assorted Beans: red beans, black beans, and an odd acorn or two. Not enough to make Jambalaya though...
One genuine Sumatran Bee. I imagine to poor thing was enjoying a sweet coffee-tree flower when his time came ---wouldn't his buddies be suprised he ended up on the Internet!
Corn, corn, corn! Mostly found in Colombian and Mexican
This is the grinder-killer: nails (perhaps from a wood skid) and other metal items. Install magnets in your grinder hopper!
Unidentified frond
Rocks, certainly the most common foreign material. Found in every coffee, washed or dry. That bright one is colored concrete
Pods and parchment. Amazing how much parchment some East African coffees can have ...I mean, good ones!
This is my prize! An unidentified globule that emerged from the roaster with a cluster of roasted beans stuck to it, and chaff. It reminds me of some kind of candy. I have no idea what it is....

Now, if you are seeing this and freaking out, don't. This represents foreign matter found in many many thousands of pounds of coffee. Coffee is strictly graded and priced based on the absence of defects like these and the quality of the milling and sorting.

The globule was probably just melted plastic. And the only finger I found in the coffee was my own, and they DID reattach it (just kidding). If you want to scare yourself, you would have access to the stuff a low-grade commercial roaster finds in their coffee Vietnamese Robusta or Chinese Yunnan Arabica. THAT might be really horrifying...

Another point of interest: if you ever see fine round, dark green granules in a bag with green coffee, don't worry. I know it looks like insect poop, but it is quite likely the dried up coffee embryo that normally lives inside the fold of the bean. Sometimes they dry up and fall out, accumulating in the bottom of the bag. You know how a peanut has that little thingy on the one flat interior side of the nut. Well, its the same thing. Chances are you have seen this in Costa Rican, Colombian or other wet-processed Central American.

 


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