Latest Posts

  1. Not Another Fruit Cake! (and what to do about holiday blending?)

    Not Another Fruit Cake! (and what to do about holiday blending?)

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  2. Sumatran Coffee: Grading and Appearance

    Sumatran Coffee: Grading and Appearance

    The appearance of green coffee from Indonesia can be jarring, especially if you’re used to washed beans from Africa or Central America. Why, many ask, does a Grade 1 Sumatra lack uniformity of color and/or bean size?

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  3. The Return of Ethiopiques

    The Return of Ethiopiques

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  4. Behmor Roast Profile: Burundi Kayanza Gahahe

    Behmor Roast Profile: Burundi Kayanza Gahahe

    Taking the "light and bright" approach to roasting Burundi Gahahe on the Behmor 1600+

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  5. Quick Guide to our Rwanda and Burundi Coffee Sale!

    Quick Guide to our Rwanda and Burundi Coffee Sale!

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  6. Roasting Different Batch Sizes of Burundi on the Behmor 1600+

    Roasting Different Batch Sizes of Burundi on the Behmor 1600+

    What happens when you roast a coffee to the same roast level but at different rates of development?

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  7. Behmor Roast Profile: Burundi Kayanza Dusangirijambo Coop

    Behmor Roast Profile: Burundi Kayanza Dusangirijambo Coop

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  8. Timor No Leste

    Timor No Leste

    Posted from the road, some thoughts on coffee from East Timor (Timor Leste) and working with small holder farmers.

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  9. Roasting Flores Gunung Gedha on a Popcorn Popper and Quest M3s

    Roasting Flores Gunung Gedha on a Popcorn Popper and Quest M3s

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  10. Aillio Bullet R1 Roaster: Testing Airflow with Rwanda Kageyo

    Aillio Bullet R1 Roaster: Testing Airflow with Rwanda Kageyo

    A look at two extreme examples of airflow settings on the Bullet and how they affect roast development.

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  11. 20% Off Guatemala Sale - Check Out Our "Cheat Sheet" Overview

    20% Off Guatemala Sale - Check Out Our "Cheat Sheet" Overview

    Take advantage of this great discount on these crowd-pleasing coffees.

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  12. Behmor Roast Profile: Ethiopiques 2.0

    Behmor Roast Profile: Ethiopiques 2.0

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Planting for the Future in Huehue 

Planting for the Future in Huehue 
(08/30/13)

While the Guatemala coffees are arriving weekly here in Oakland, the harvest is all finished on the small farms that work with us in Proyecto Xinabajul. Coffee buyers usually visit in the harvest, to see production, learn and taste. But I just returned last week from Guatemala last week to meet with the producers, find out how they feel about the project, and explore some new areas.

I found the farmers to be excited about the prices we paid, that included a premium for quality. They also liked the promptness of payment and the stable price we kept, even as the market was falling and the multi-nationals and "coyotes" were rapidly dropping the price they paid. I found many new farmers wanting to try out our direct purchase system in the next harvest, many being relatives of current farmers and friends. When the multi-nationals and roadside buyers are the only choice, the farmer loses. I feel a new option benefits all the farmers in the area, directly or indirectly.

I found farmers taking steps to prune their shade trees to help fight the encroachment of Roya, the rust fungus that slowly kills the coffee shrub. I also found farmers re-planting with new trees, but using older varietals like Bourbon and San Ramon. Here the Bourbon seeds are placed in a sand bed for germination.- Tom
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Sent from Tom's phone
(please forgive misspellings)