Latest Posts

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    Podcast Episode 19: Kenya Coffee: Growing, Trading and Marketing

    A while back we had Mary Maina Manyeki visit us in Oakland, and had a great conversation about her experiences as a Kenya coffee farmer.

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  2. The New Postcard

    The New Postcard

    We are really proud of our latest postcard because it captures an aspect of one of Tom's photographic projects; shooting realistic macro photos of coffee beans.

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  3. Sweet Maria's Green Coffee Sample Sets

    Sweet Maria's Green Coffee Sample Sets

    The ultimate order-ahead-of-time-pre-holiday-non-procrastinator-thing-you-can-buy-from-us-right-now

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  4. New Macro Videos

    New Macro Videos

    An inside look at parchment coffee and Kenyan coffee grades

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  5. Kenya Coffee Grades

    Kenya Coffee Grades

    A geeky macro video of the various grades and types of Kenya coffee. Some of this information can apply to wet processed coffee elsewhere too! -Tom

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  6. Sweet Maria's Product Guide: Roasted & Green Coffee Storage

    Sweet Maria's Product Guide: Roasted & Green Coffee Storage

    ...because you gotta put it somewhere.

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  7. Sumatra Aceh Mandheling Preparation Notes

    Sumatra Aceh Mandheling Preparation Notes

    Just some quick comments on the benefits to pre-sort this lot of Sumatra before roasting

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  8. The Amazing Spider Graphs

    The Amazing Spider Graphs

    ...fighting the crime of buying bad coffee

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  9. Adios! We're Out! Hooray!

    Adios! We're Out! Hooray!

    No more Centrals, and that's a good thing.

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  10. New Postcards...With a Lot of Information About Dry Processing

    New Postcards...With a Lot of Information About Dry Processing

    It's much more than just dehydration.

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  11. Roasted Coffee Macro Images

    Roasted Coffee Macro Images

    This photo gallery has a collection of extreme close ups of roasted coffee beans.

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  12. Podcast: Ferment in Colombia with Leo

    Podcast: Ferment in Colombia with Leo

    Breaking down coffee...literally

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Arrival Date

Arrival Date

Jun. 20, 2013

We get excited about new crop coffees, and while there is almost always some new crop coffee landing, this particular time of year is very hectic with arrivals.  I thought now would be a good time to explain more about what exactly the "Arrival Date" in our reviews is referring to.

The arrival date field lists the month that particular coffee landed here at the Port of Oakland.  The most recent dates usually equate to the most recent harvest.  This, however, does not always mean that the cup quality of the coffees with older arrival dates has degraded, or that fresher is always better.  Coffees from Ethiopia, for example, often cup great many months after they landed.  We recently cupped several Ethiopias that arrived late 2012 that showed little to no signs of age, and stacked up amazingly well to their new arrival counterparts.

Packaging in grain pro bags has really helped to facilitate longer storage, but a coffee's ability to stand the test of time can also be attributed to the altitude where it is grown and the way it is handled after being picked.  Pristine milling, drying, and local climate play a big role in creating a coffee with a more stable profile - and farmers in some regions are more able to achieve this than others.  Other determinants include logistics of the region, and how coffee is moved, stored and transported out of the country.  These are all factors we consider when deciding on how much of any particular coffee we purchase.

With this in mind, "Arrival Date" is one more piece of information we include in our reviews as an added layer of transparency.  We don't think of it as a ruler by which you can simply measure a coffee's quality, or part of an equation that determines which coffees are "good" or "bad".  Rather, this is a tool for you to use in order to gain a more complete picture of coffees you're considering buying.  Most important, we continually cup our inventory, checking for quality and consistency in cup profile, and updating reviews and cupping scores when needed.