Saturday, February 09, 2019

Organic Coffee

Just as organic coffee designation has a dozen ways to cheat, so does fair trade, rain forest and shade grown. In Hawaii, there are open fields with trees planted around the perimeter pretending to be shade grown. — (Kona is a more restrictive quality designation)

The only way to classify the truely good stuff is by detailed description. In Guatemala these charictoricts might be classified as SHB, strictly hard beans, but look further to the following.

  1. Hand picked, wherein the family picks only ripe healthy beans. This allows for up to four harvests as younger beans mature rather than mixing them all, as does a mechanized harvest.
  2. High altitude plants grown above 4,500 ft. avoiding insects and disease, ripen more slowly, are harder and taste better.
  3. Volcanic soil lends a better taste and a richer healthier tree
  4. Probably the most unique and exclusive characteristic derives from the coffee trees growing within the actual high mountain rain forest, a symbiotic relationship.
  5. Lovingly hand cultivated Arabica coffee trees grown in hectors of mountain rainforest owned by indigenous multigenerational family farmers 

Friday, July 08, 2016

Village Coffee

Unlike fine wines, the estate coffee cannot match the quality of village coffee. Estate coffee is grow in large fields, in the valley, near good transportation, in open cultivated fields harvested mechanically. The tree is striped and the beans are of unequal maturity - green cherries among the red. Village coffee usually grows wild in the rain forest at high altitude, hand picked by indigenous village farmers; this makes all the difference.


Roasters probably blend coffee for a number of reasons but mostly to save money. Blending several inexpensive coffees can result in an improved taste. The roaster may try to create an espresso with extra kick by blending robusta with arabica beans. Roasters who package these blends roast the component beans separately in order to turn out a mixture of uniform color. Herein lies the reputation of well known roasters. However, like single malt whisked or fine wine, the roaster with the best reputation for blending may not be able to match the quality and taste of the single source coffees.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


It seems like a decade ago, I bought a Keurig coffee maker, more as a test market than anything else. Looking at the undated cups and the price of the k-cups, I said, this will never survive long term; it's a fad. I returned the unit. More recently, I purchased a simple but snazzy red one at Target and would not want to be without it. The price of the cups? Yes, fifty to ninety cents a cup but no mess, quick, and the machine comes off with a hot steamy sound, like an espresso machine announcing it's final offering -- even a bit of crema. I find myself looking for a plug in car model -- too many watts for the car battery - so far. It turns out that the sealed cups while perishable have a long shelf life.

With the greatest of difficulty, Diane Added K-compatible cups to her fund raiser subscription line for Earth Friendly Coffee. Her coffee, while uniquely high quality and organic, accomplishes a significant social benefit on both ends of the supply chain. If you know a team, club, school or non-profit looking for a fund raiser, give Diane a call. -- Ask her about the roasting and milling equipment she with Rotary and the Earth Friendly Foundation are providing the Maya Ixil Cooperativa in Guatemala. -- The business has been nearly all wholesale, and this subscription line has been a challenge to develop. It encompasses a unique I-phone application.

Fortunately, I get all the French roast K-cups I can use every morning, but I don't mind the Tilly's from COSTCO either. I'm still looking for a Keurig for my truck.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Exploring Coffee's Past To Rescue Its Future : The Salt : NPR

Exploring Coffee's Past To Rescue Its Future : The Salt : NPR

What is CIRAD doing about coffee? - CIRAD

What is CIRAD doing about coffee? - CIRAD

The coffee genome has been sequenced - CIRAD

The coffee genome has been sequenced - CIRAD