Latest Posts

  1. Colombia: New Projects, Familiar Faces

    Colombia: New Projects, Familiar Faces

    Hear more about the new coffee buying operation in San Antonio, Inzá

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  2. Ethiopia Beshasha School Project in Agaro

    Ethiopia Beshasha School Project in Agaro

    A University prep school in rural Agaro Ethiopia, funded by the premiums paid for coffee to 3 coops: Duromina, Biftu Gudina and Hunda Oli

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  3. Podcast Episode #24: Kafa in the Morning, Ethiopia

    Podcast Episode #24: Kafa in the Morning, Ethiopia

    Tom's thoughts and various experiences from his recent travels in Kafa, Ethiopia, near the town of Bonga.

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  4. We Are Not Nuts Over Styrofoam Packing Peanuts

    We Are Not Nuts Over Styrofoam Packing Peanuts

    We hope to protect your breakables with environmentally safe packing material sooner than later.

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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. Coffee Production Timetable

    Coffee Production Timetable

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  9. Coffee Quality

    Coffee Quality

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  10. 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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  11. New(ish) Methods in Brazil Coffee Production

    New(ish) Methods in Brazil Coffee Production

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  12. 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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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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