Latest Posts

  1. How to Roast Coffee (circa 1850) !

    How to Roast Coffee (circa 1850) !

    When roasting at home was the primary method, and buying from a shop was your plan b !

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  2. The Fifth Wave of Coffee

    The Fifth Wave of Coffee

    Fifth Wave Coffee. I stake a claim on where it will come from, even while I don't like this whole "wave" thing ...

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  3. Sumatra Video: Aceh in October (Long Edit)

    Sumatra Video: Aceh in October (Long Edit)

    Video visits to coffee farmers and millers around Aceh Sumatra

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  4. Sumatra: Arabica Varieties in Aceh

    Sumatra: Arabica Varieties in Aceh

    This is a list of coffee varieties / cultivars found in Aceh and more broadly in Sumatra, Indonesia

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  5. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    A Sumatra travelogue in photographs, focused on Aceh area around Lake Tawar and Takengon town

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  6. Sumatra: Some Things I Have Learned About Aceh, Perhaps.

    Sumatra: Some Things I Have Learned About Aceh, Perhaps.

    Thoughts on Acehnese coffee and the trading system here, written from Banda Aceh, October 2019.

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  7. Organic Certification and Green Coffee

    Organic Certification and Green Coffee

    An inside look at Fair Trade and Organic Certifications

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  8. Rwanda and Burundi Coffee Quality is Still Undervalued

    Rwanda and Burundi Coffee Quality is Still Undervalued

    These neighboring landlocked East African countries have great coffee, yet how do they rate next to others? Lets see...

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  9. Podcast Episode #25: The Global Trade/Burundi Discussion

    Podcast Episode #25: The Global Trade/Burundi Discussion

    Some very informative audio from last month's discussion

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  10. The Flores Factor

    The Flores Factor

    Crowd pleasing coffee from a promising origin.

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  11. 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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  12. Video: Sample Roasting with an Aillio Bullet R1

    Video: Sample Roasting with an Aillio Bullet R1

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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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