Latest Posts

  1. Sulawesi and the Sumatra Effect.

    Sulawesi and the Sumatra Effect.

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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. Coffee Production Timetable

    Coffee Production Timetable

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  6. Coffee Quality

    Coffee Quality

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  7. Proper Pants for Coffee Travels?

    Proper Pants for Coffee Travels?

    Tom's take on on the right pants...more than just protection from ants.

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  8. New(ish) Methods in Brazil Coffee Production

    New(ish) Methods in Brazil Coffee Production

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  9. Costa Rica Coffee Competition

    Costa Rica Coffee Competition

    No, we're not having a competition for Costa Rican coffee. But for both private and cooperative mills in many of Costa Rica's growing regions, the competition for ripe cherry has become quite intense insuring an uptick in coffee prices, despite the ever-dipping NY Commodities Exchange.

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  10. The Mania of Tanzania

    The Mania of Tanzania

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  11. Podcast: Episode 1 - Coffee Buying and Travel

    Podcast: Episode 1 - Coffee Buying and Travel

    While grinding and brewing a cup of coffee in Ethiopia, Tom talks about what goes into purchasing the coffee that ends up in your home roaster.

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  12. Jabez Burns 4 Barrel and 5 Barrel Sample Roasters

    Jabez Burns 4 Barrel and 5 Barrel Sample Roasters

    As inspiration for building home-made drum roasters or roasters from converted gas barbeque grills, I wanted to share some photos of the Jabez Burns sample roaster.

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Coffee En Masse: Pictures of a Coffee Warehouse

Coffee En Masse: Pictures of a Coffee Warehouse

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 arrives in 250-275 bag lots, about 37,500 lbs per shipping container! The container can be "mixed" from several farms/types of the coffee or all from one farm/exporter.

The coffee must be unloaded from shipping containers by hand. 2 people swing the bags using these scarey-looking specialized hooks (we use them at our shop now too) onto oversized coffee skids. Then the pallet truck can do the rest.

A wandering soul looks over the coffee... it sorta makes you feel small and insignificant to walk among the stacks of burlap, or sisal as the case may be. No, that's not me...

Ah, the art of the folks. This is a common site in coffee-growing regions and warehouses in the US too! It is known as CHUY, protector of the coffee worker. There are varying representations of CHUY based on geographic region and local history, but I have heard there is a recent PhD thesis devoted entirely to the subject! Coming soon: CHUY t-shirts

Here is their cupping table, the one I always wish I had, but I don't.

(insert sad-face emoticon here)

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