Latest Posts

  1. 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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  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 Production Timetable

Coffee Production Timetable

This information is very approximate and can change from year to year a bit. There's another issue ... you could get new crop Costa Rica, for example, in December or January ... but would you want to? Probably not! Those shipments are lower grown coffees, lower altitude farms where coffee cherry ripens sooner. These are not going to have the cup quality of higher grown coffees, and will lack bean density and brightness. And sometimes coffee is "rushed" through production for market reasons, ruining any cup quality it has. Coffee needs careful, timely processing, and it needs to "rest" in it's outer parchment layer for 30-60 days at least after drying.

Even at the good farms, there are still early, early pickings of ripe cherry that are not usually the best coffee the farm will produce. For that you need to receive a lot of "heart of the crop" coffee, the mid-crop pickings when the cherries have uniformly ripened. The best lots of a farm, their "reserve" lots come from these pickings. In our Costa Rica example, those would arrive in the U.S. starting late March through June, in most seasons. There are always exceptions, and there can always be a great coffee the arrives out of sync with the crop cycle. Sometimes the first Harar arrivals are best, oftentimes not. Sometimes the last Harar arrivals are best. Cupping is the way we find out....

I have changed the table to reflect Best Harvest Time and Best Shipment Period ... in other words, the peak of the harvest at good altitude farms ... in other words, Specialty Coffee. But this is still a very general and rough guide to the Coffee Crop Cycle and should be regarded as an estimate, not a definite.