Latest Posts

  1. Podcast Episode #22 - Burundi Conversation with Alistair Sequeira - Part 2

    Podcast Episode #22 - Burundi Conversation with Alistair Sequeira - Part 2

    Part 2 of 2 - Continuing the talk about the coffee supply chain and other topics

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  2. Podcast Episode #21 - Burundi Conversation with Alistair Sequeira - Part 1

    Podcast Episode #21 - Burundi Conversation with Alistair Sequeira - Part 1

    Part 1 of 2 - Talking about the coffee supply chain among other topics

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  3. Podcast Episodes 19 & 20: Kenya Coffee: Growing, Trading and Marketing

    Podcast Episodes 19 & 20: 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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  4. Podcast: Coffee and Microorganisms with Leo and Jenni Henao: Los Palomos, Colombia

    Podcast: Coffee and Microorganisms with Leo and Jenni Henao: Los Palomos, Colombia

    Another great insight into coffee and how Leo and Jenni Henao incorporate microorganisms into the process of farming great coffee.

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  5. Podcast: Indonesian Coffee with Coffee Trader, Daniel Shewmaker

    Podcast: Indonesian Coffee with Coffee Trader, Daniel Shewmaker

    Tom and David chat about the Indonesian coffee trade.

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  6. Kenya - Samuel Kabuye, just 76 years at Karagoto mill

    Kenya - Samuel Kabuye, just 76 years at Karagoto mill

    Another great trip to Kenya, to see the amazing system from the small cooperative farmer, to the factory (what they call a coffee mill), to the dry mill and preparing coffee for export.

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  7. Peru, or ... the Longest Slideshow Ever

    Peru, or ... the Longest Slideshow Ever

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  8. Dolok Sanggul, Lake Toba, Sumatra

    Dolok Sanggul, Lake Toba, Sumatra

    Green unripe coffee cherry from Dolok Sanggul area of Lintong, Sumatra.

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  9. Central America and Ethiopia Updates: June 30th, 2009

    Central America and Ethiopia Updates: June 30th, 2009

    News about new arrivals. 2009

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  10. Honduras Cup of Excellence 2009!

    Honduras Cup of Excellence 2009!

    Is this the finest and most inspirational photograph ever taken at a Cup of Excellence coffee competition? Yes, yes it is.

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  11. Los resultados ... Best of Panama 2009

    Los resultados ... Best of Panama 2009

    So we finished the Best of Panama competition this afternoon with an unusual twist: re-roasting and re-cupping the top 8 coffees.

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  12. Early morning Ethiopia

    Early morning Ethiopia

    The problem with traveling to Africa or Indonesia is you are totally flipped, time-zone wise.

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Central America and Ethiopia Updates: June 30th, 2009

Central America and Ethiopia Updates: June 30th, 2009

The Centrals: It's June 30 and the Centrals are starting to come in en masse. You have already seen the Costa Rica micro-mill lots arriving, kicked off with the AMAZING wet-process Cafetalera Herbazu. Small lots of La Guaca Bourbon, La Yunta Organic and the award-winning Sin Limites have made for a full list of offerings right now. And more are on their tail, including the CoE winning Genesis. We have had the Guatemala Agua Tibia for several weeks and now comes quite a few new arrivals in the next week or so, including the spectacular Guatemala Gesha we have stocked the last 4 years, as well as Huehuetenango La Maravilla (we had it in '05 and I have been trying to get it ever since) and a really interesting JBM cultivar lot from El Progresso state, Finca La Bella. El Salvador new crops are 10-14 days out, Matalapa Estate, and later we will have some micro-lots from Matalapa as well. Honduras new crop we have had for a while, and we have one more lot in the works as well as our CoE lot we split with Ritual coffee roasters. Panama La Berlina Organic has been in stock a week, and gosh, where is our vacuum packed Esmeralda Gesha from the auction. In transit, but arrival date unknown. Anyway, that's a short rundown of where we are at today!
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Ethiopia: It's June 30th and usually we would have incoming Ethiopia coffees arriving around now. In fact Harars have typically been arriving in March or so, much earlier than others. Sadly, the whole Ethiopia ECX boondoggle has turned an already chaotic system on it's head, and hopefully it will be straightened out for next years crop. As for this year, I have finally been cupping some very nice DP coffees from Sidamo and Yirga Cheffe as well as Guji lately, and some from the West. We have some very promising lots "on the water" that had very nice samples in the pre-ship as well. So it's not like there won't be great Ethiopia coffees. They are just late, a little harder to find, and a few, if they went through the exchange, may not have the exact producer name attached, although they are identified by region and in some case subregions. One victim of all this seems to be Harars. I have only cupped 2 or 3 that made it to the US and they were, well, not the kind we buy, even when desperate. There was one with very nice body and good chocolate and positive earthy and herbal notes, but around 25% of the cups were musty; unacceptable! Musty goes beyond just a bad taste, I consider it a possible danger since it must originate in a mold or fungus ... even if it is roasted at 450f and brewed at 195f, I wouldn't trust it and I would sell it to anyone... so Harar is in Limbo. I will be a little surprised at this point if a good one materializes, because late shipments from the East are never good due to the storage conditions in Dire Dawa and shipping from Djibouti. 2009 might be the "Year of No Harar". Too bad because we had this beautiful coffee all lined up from the Choma subregion, the raised bed project there, the one I went and photographed in February. We have some nice wet-process Yirga Cheffe lots on the water too, so no worries there, And in fact this late current crop Bonko wet process we have now has been a lifesaver. We also keep our secret stash of wet process Kochere that helps make a couple of our new Espresso Workshop blends so aromatic and sweet. And Misty Valley, ay, finally running out of stock. Farewell my friend, I have some fears that we might not see you in '09 due to quality issues with that project (mainly linked to too-rapid expansion I think --- havent you seen IMV offered all over, and has it been good? Not all of it. (We squirreled away our separated lot, but I cupped others that were, yawn... not what they should be...)
-Tom

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