Tag Archive for: Karen

by Kerri Goodman, Publisher
CoffeeTalk Media

Publisher’s Prologue

Categories: 2013, DecemberTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Welcome to CoffeeTalk’s 2014 State of the Industry.

This new year brings with it a sense of excite­ment and hope. Change is all around us, and if we wish to sur­vive and thrive, we must embrace it. I am per­son­ally thank­ful for the amaz­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties the cof­fee indus­try has bestowed, and I hope to some­how give back in some mean­ing­ful way this year next year, 2014. And to begin, we share with you the wis­dom of some of the most respected pro­fes­sion­als in the industry.

Reading through each arti­cle I found myself hum­bled. Even after 20 years, I am just a “baby” in this indus­try. The com­bined wis­dom in this issue quite lit­er­ally has the power to change the world.

I hope to entice you to read all of the arti­cles by giv­ing you a brief glimpse with my favorite nugget of wis­dom in each arti­cle. However, there was one arti­cle that had just too many gems to limit it to a sin­gle quote. These con­cepts from one of our writ­ers* embody the spirit of this entire issue:

• Our indus­try con­tin­ues to pro­vide a means of expres­sion, hope, and income for a mul­ti­tude of peo­ple around the world.

• Our hard work and suc­cess does not come with­out strug­gle, and many chal­lenges await us as 2014 quickly approaches.

• […] This issue should not be left to the next gen­er­a­tion of roast­ers. It must be addressed.

• It is wrong to think there is noth­ing left to learn.

• As both mature and imma­ture mar­kets see new shops open­ing their doors, famil­iar ter­ri­tory is becom­ing any­thing but that.

• Learning from our past mis­takes and dis­cussing our future will help us sus­tain and survive.

So, cof­fee pro­fes­sion­als, remem­ber that knowl­edge is power… don’t miss out on the oppor­tu­nity to learn from the sea­soned souls who have cre­ated this 2014 State of the Industry.

Clearly, it’s been a chal­leng­ing year for cof­fee in the pub­lic pol­icy arena, and year-end won’t neatly wrap up these chal­lenges.”
Under The Microscope
John Boyle, National Coffee Association of U.S.A. Page #16

Once con­sumers start drink­ing bet­ter qual­ity cof­fee, they tend not to trade down. This puts greater pres­sure on roast­ers to main­tain and pre­serve qual­ity…”
One-Way Coffee Degassing
Alma Likic, Plitek, Llc. Page #18

For endur­ing suc­cess in the spe­cialty cof­fee busi­ness, it is a must to under­stand these processes and where qual­ity hap­pens or lacks…”
Game Changer: IT Supported Quality Management Systems
Andy Benedikter and Norbert Niederhauser, Cropster Inc. Page #20

There remains a mad scram­ble to get into the sin­gle serve busi­ness, with just about every roaster aspir­ing to pro­duce them, and most inde­pen­dent multi-store oper­a­tors eager to have their own pri­vate label Keurig® com­pat­i­ble line of cof­fee.”
The Borer And The Never Boring
Donald N. Schoenholt, Gillies Coffee Co. Page #22

Best of all it is grown by some of the kind­est, most gen­tle peo­ple any­where.”
Myanmar And Specialty Coffee: Critical Crossroads
Rick Peyser, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Page #24

There are too few cof­fee sci­en­tists…”
The Art & Science Of Specialty Coffee
Spencer Turer, Coffee Analysts Page #26

I believe we’re in a Renaissance. Growth + Innovation = Renaissance.”
New & Views From NAMA Chair
Pete Tullio, NAMA Board Page #28

Words, use them wisely. Self, social, finan­cial, and eco­log­i­cal sus­tain­abil­ity…”
Making Sustainability Sustainable
Rocky Rhodes, International Coffee Consulting Page #30

‘Packaging Analytics’ is entirely new ter­mi­nol­ogy and intent to launch more inno­va­tions and appli­ca­tions aimed at pro­vid­ing a more sci­en­tific approach to the design and man­u­fac­ture of food and bev­er­age pack­ag­ing.”
It’s Time To Put Analytics Into Packaging
David Weiss, uVu Technologies LLC Page #32

The dri­ving force behind the health and well­ness move­ment is Opportunity. America is primed and ready. Would you like Repeat Customers? Give them what they’re look­ing for.”
Four Opportunities
David Gross, Add a Scoop Page #34

Coffee con­nois­seurs are nat­u­rally curi­ous infor­ma­tion seek­ing peo­ple who are loyal, inclined to seek con­ve­nience, and eas­ily con­nected to strong brand iden­tity and rep­u­ta­tion.”
Improving Your Product Sales
Torie Burke, Torie & Howard, Llc. Page #36

Is America really the land of the “pod” peo­ple? Can it really be true that the indi­vid­u­al­ism we’re so proud of can actu­ally be sat­is­fied by a ‘pod?’”
The Rise Of Single Cup Coffee
Mike Gronholm, Single Cup Accessories, Inc Page #38

Life is hard for farm­ers. Winston Churchill once said that, ‘If you are going through hell, keep going’… They did not give up on their love and pas­sion for their farm, and they never lost faith in the impor­tance of qual­ity.”
Colombian Coffee, A Story (Still) To Be Told
Juan Esteban Orduz, Colombian Coffee Federation, Inc Page #40

In retail, if it’s not mak­ing you money — it’s cost­ing you money.”
Cup Sleeve Marketing
Don Scherer, BriteVision Page #42

Big busi­ness is most cer­tainly bet­ting on tea.”
The Hottest Thing In Coffee Right Now Is Tea
Stefanie Makagon, TEAJA Office Page #44

Especially when con­sid­er­ing the inde­pen­dent owner, there is a com­mon thread that bonds these retail­ers. With all of the var­i­ous con­cerns vying for their atten­tion, typ­i­cally there is title time left to con­sider what is required to develop a suc­cess­ful retail mer­chan­dise pro­gram.”
Profit Building Merchandise Strategies For Coffee Houses
Erez Toker, Vessel Drinkware Page #46

We all like doing the things that we are com­fort­able doing, but it may be time to step out of our com­fort zone and not let our com­peti­tors beat us to the punch.”
Single Cup Solution, What Are You Waiting For In 2014?
Thomas G. Martin, Pod Pack International, Ltd. Page #48

Does the new gen­er­a­tion of cof­fee afi­ciona­dos embrace Direct Trade because of its hip and fancy appeal, or do they sell direct rela­tion­ships for the right rea­sons– to truly help the farm­ers?”
Changing Our Industry One Caring Soul At A Time
Karen Cebreros, Coffee Cares Page #50

I have this grow­ing con­cern that the spe­cialty cof­fee indus­try is bro­ken.”
The Fourth Wave Arrives In 2013: Collaboration To Fix A Broken Coffee Industry
David Griswold, Sustainable Harvest Specialty Coffee Page #52

From out­moded per­cep­tions of the “mobile con­sumer,” to evolv­ing cus­tomer habits, there’s much to learn about mobile, and the many ways you can profit from that knowl­edge.”
Mobile Usage Is Exploding. Is Your Coffee Business Ready?
Rob Bethge, Perka, Inc Page #54

The sus­tain­abil­ity of cof­fee lies in the hands of its farm­ers.”
Subsidy Programs: A Glimmer Of Hope For Struggling Coffee Farmers
Alexis Rubinstein, FCStone, LLC Page #56

[…] We are on a clear path toward a new way of doing busi­ness in the cof­fee world.”
The Fourth Wave And Functional Sustainability Models
Miles Small, CoffeeTalk Foundation Page #58

Unless mar­ket con­di­tions change, the strug­gles that farms are fac­ing to remain prof­itable will have seri­ous con­se­quences on cof­fee qual­ity […] Every voice should be heard, and every mem­ber should have an unequiv­o­cal oppor­tu­nity to con­tribute to the orga­ni­za­tion (SCAA).”
Think Global Time To Align
Marty Curtis, Combustion Systems Sales Service, Inc Page #60

Our indus­try should be hav­ing these con­ver­sa­tions, not because we are nec­es­sar­ily doing things wrong, but because we might be able to do things bet­ter.”
Discussing Coffee Quality Assessment Strengthens The Industry
Shawn Steiman, Daylight Mind Coffee Company Page #62

Data will become an equal­izer […] but it’s the busi­nesses that know how to use it well that will win.”
Why Data Matters
Jason Richelson, ShopKeep POS Page #64

It is wrong to think there is noth­ing left to learn. As both mature and imma­ture mar­kets see new shops open­ing their doors, famil­iar ter­ri­tory is becom­ing any­thing but that. And, Learning from our past mis­takes and dis­cussing our future will help us sus­tain and sur­vive.”
Roaster’s Resolutions
Andrew Russo, Roasting Expert Page #66

One of the more dif­fi­cult con­cepts for the cof­fee mer­chants to grasp is that sus­tain­abil­ity at ori­gin is not about cof­fee. It is about the farm­ers, their needs, their val­ues, their cul­ture, and their own com­mu­ni­ties, and it all must be long-term or it can­not be con­sid­ered sus­tain­able.”
Sustainability At Origin
Bill Fishbein, The Coffee Trust Page #68

The learn­ing curve of spe­cialty cof­fee has advanced dra­mat­i­cally, and the end con­sumer is now bet­ter edu­cated and curi­ous about the top­ics.”
A New Set Of Critical Questions
Josué Morales, Mayaland Coffee Page #70

We are lucky, for few jobs offer the fun, the com­mit­ment, and the pas­sion that we enjoy…”
A Roaster’s Checklist For Optimal Packaging
Jeff Beer and Chris Burger, Fres-co System USA, Inc. Page #72

*By the way, Andrew Russo has just moved to the area and is seek­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties within the cof­fee com­mu­nity in the Pacific Northwest. You can reach him at

Erasing the Pornography of Poverty

Categories: 2012, DecemberTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

ttilogo6There is one thing stronger than all the armies of the world and that is an idea whose time has come.     
~Victor Hugo

The spe­cialty cof­fee indus­try is the global leader in sus­tain­abil­ity. At the SCAA in 2000, our keynote speaker, Paul Hawkin, author of The Ecology of Commerce stated he had con­sulted to over 500 cor­po­ra­tions world­wide and the indus­try that was far­thest along was spe­cialty cof­fee. Those words have never rung truer than today, but how then do we take our gen­er­ous work to the next level? This mis­sion even more pow­er­ful when we real­ize only 25% of Americans donate to good causes and 80% come from indi­vid­u­als not cor­po­ra­tions, gov­ern­ment or religion.

People today often quit their careers to become cor­po­rate refugees; start­ing non­prof­its with a goal of sav­ing the world. John Wood left Microsoft to start Room to Read 13 years ago, and now has a 60 mil­lion dol­lar annual bud­get to dis­trib­ute mil­lions of books to 11 Asian coun­tries. Excellent work, but most of us in our indus­try bal­ance our day jobs with our com­mu­nity service.

With so many fan­tas­tic non­prof­its in our indus­try, many of us want to sup­port all of them. Cup for Education is also send­ing out books, pay­ing for teach­ers and schools, Coffee Kids has been work­ing for decades in ori­gin coun­tries in the areas of heath, edu­ca­tion, and train­ing and focus­ing on what the local com­mu­nity wants and needs. Grounds for Health con­tin­ues to open up new coun­tries for their cer­vi­cal can­cer clin­ics, a dis­ease that August Burns declared will be gone in our life­time. Café Feminino has helped women diver­sify with com­mu­nity gar­dens and micro credit loans. Food 4 Farmers is work­ing on food secu­rity, Root Capital and Transfair, also 13 years old, are touch­ing the lives of mil­lions through fair wages, loans and lit­er­acy train­ing. Then we have the International Women’s Coffee Alliance, CQI, SMBC, Coffee Lifeline, Rainforest Alliance, START, and the numer­ous other orga­ni­za­tions work­ing as hard as pos­si­ble to lift farm­ers out of abject poverty.

New busi­ness mod­els for global sus­tain­abil­ity are grow­ing rapidly. The face of social respon­si­bil­ity is no longer big sad eyes and a bloated stom­ach. We no longer sell guilt or pull on heart­strings to raise up all stake­hold­ers in the chain from tree to cup. We believe every bean counts and now we believe every per­son counts and we view them with dig­nity and as equal part­ners. We will not let our part­ners starve.

A fast emerg­ing busi­ness model is now the “B” cor­po­ra­tion. This cor­po­rate struc­ture ben­e­fits all, not just share­hold­ers.  Think Paul Newman salad dress­ing. A fair mar­ket exchange dri­ves a cor­po­ra­tion and allows busi­nesses to pur­sue a “triple-bottom line”: prof­its and envi­ron­men­tal and social ben­e­fits. Excellent resources on why this is the future are Sustainable Harvest and Equator, both pio­neers in sus­tain­abil­ity, and B Corporations.

Partnering is an excel­lent solu­tion to max­i­miz­ing efforts. Mohamed Yunas won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for start­ing micro credit in Bangladesh. Starting as the lender to the poor­est of the poor, now there are 300 mil­lion small loans out with an aston­ish­ing 97% pay­back. One of his B Corp busi­ness part­ner­ships was made with Dannon Yogurt. Thousands of women received loans to open up yogurt stores. They paid back their loans, got on their feet, and increased the health of the com­mu­nity with the cus­tomized India style yogurt. And the ben­e­fits keep on giv­ing. Access to credit is a mon­u­men­tal strug­gle for women. Female cof­fee farm­ers own less than 1% of land at ori­gin. Micro credit is show­ing suc­cess with groups of women pay­ing back prin­ci­pal, inter­est, and sav­ings some­times at $1.00 per week. It works.

A devel­op­ing con­cept is com­ing from the National Coöperative Business Association in Washington D.C. Partners include organic women’s Guatemalan cof­fee co-ops, exporters, importers, roast­ers, dis­trib­u­tors, added-value arts and crafts, IWCA and North American Retailer Co-ops. Complex? Yes, but of tremen­dous value to all the small partners.

So,” asked Don Schoenholt, CEO of Gillies Coffee Company in Brooklyn, New York, “how do we engage the small and medium-sized busi­nesses that make up 80% of the SCAA? How do we reach past the CEOs, Vice Presidents of Corporate Responsibility, Marketing Departments and the one per­son who makes the dona­tion deci­sions?” We all know that the major­ity of cof­fee farm­ers live on less than $2.00 a day. I believe if given an easy plat­form, every­one would donate at least $1.00 per month and we would lift up every­one together. Whole Foods already asks all its employ­ees to donate $1.00 per month to micro credit if they chose.

While brain­storm­ing with Robert Fulmer of Royal Coffee in Emeryville, California, he came up with an idea for how small busi­nesses can par­tic­i­pate in the broader social good. Larger busi­ness could act as an aggre­ga­tor for Mom and Pops and medium-sized com­pa­nies like Signature, Equator, Bird Rock and Strong Tree, con­sol­i­dat­ing vol­un­teers and dona­tions into one space and help with their dis­tri­b­u­tion. Janet Aguilar of Thanksgiving Coffee sug­gested a mem­ber­ship type of vol­un­teer­ing and donat­ing, and the brain­storm­ing con­tin­ues… How do we lever­age every per­son, penny, and pound of cof­fee to ben­e­fit all? With all of our small and medium-sized busi­nesses, includ­ing every employee, work­ing together we can and will impact the social and envi­ron­men­tal issues on a grander scale. As Paul Katzeff said it is not just a cup but also a “just cup.”

We can shift our think­ing from the pornog­ra­phy of poverty to eras­ing poverty. Let’s chal­lenge our­selves to engage all of us and work together in a syn­er­gis­tic way that is effi­cient and that can be repli­cated instead of recre­at­ing the wheel, wast­ing energy and tal­ent. We can and will declare our­selves as one of the global lead­ers in the Sustainability of the Planet. Send in your ideas to the Sustainability Council.

12_12 28-BKaren is the Co-Founder of IWCA and Track the Impact; she has been 23 years in cof­fee as founder and pres­i­dent of Élan Organic Coffee.

The View

Categories: 2012, AugustTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

So, it is time to fess up… for the last five years Miles has writ­ten not just some but each and every one of “The View” arti­cles in the mag­a­zine. Yes, we always dis­cuss and agree on con­tent, but I sim­ply have this love/hate rela­tion­ship with writ­ing. I hate to do it; I LOVE it when it is fin­ished. I have no idea how I even was able to write a 280 page book in 1993 (Java U: Business Basics) in only 3 months. I think it has some­thing to do with a huge quan­tity of choco­late cov­ered espresso beans con­sumed at all hours of the day. However, I digress. So, to return to my topic, who wouldn’t want to be cooler and sexier?!?

I read a recent ad…
“It is time to get your Q-Certification! You know you want it! Here are your top 5 rea­sons to take my class in July to test for it: 5) You WILL get a tremen­dous edu­ca­tion. 4) You will set your­self apart from your peers. 3) You become part of a select group of peo­ple com­mit­ted to improv­ing the qual­ity of cof­fee in the world. 2) Improve Quality in Coffee= Improve the lives of those that pro­duce it. And the num­ber one rea­son to take my class and test for the Q-Grader Certification: 1) You will be cooler and sex­ier than other cof­fee people!”

Ok, given this set of rea­sons, I imme­di­ately signed up for the course, not for only myself, but recruited three of my clos­est cof­fee friends to take the course with me! Interesting enough, three of us had 19+ years each in the cof­fee indus­try, and the other grew up in a coffee-producing fam­ily and has worked in the indus­try for the last 14 months. Each of us had our own rea­sons for want­ing to take this ridicu­lously demand­ing series of lec­tures and 22 tests given over an intense 5-day period. And, each of us found our own unique chal­lenges and gained a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive when we were fin­ished. However, we all had one thing in com­mon: this expe­ri­ence was one of the most reward­ing and impact­ful expe­ri­ences in our var­ied lives.

What is “Q-Certification?” and why do I care?
First, to under­stand “Q” you must under­stand “CQI.” The Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) is a non­profit orga­ni­za­tion work­ing inter­na­tion­ally to improve the qual­ity of cof­fee and the lives of the peo­ple who pro­duce it. CQI pro­vides train­ing and tech­ni­cal assis­tance to cof­fee pro­duc­ers and other indi­vid­u­als in the sup­ply chain to increase the value, vol­ume, and sus­tain­abil­ity of high qual­ity cof­fee production.

The “Q Coffee System” locates spe­cialty cof­fees at ori­gin and helps to improve those that have the poten­tial to meet spe­cialty stan­dards. The effect is a com­mon lan­guage between buy­ers and sell­ers that draws atten­tion to more spe­cialty cof­fees while cre­at­ing an infra­struc­ture that gives pro­duc­ers greater oppor­tu­ni­ties to enter the mar­ket­place and to increase their eco­nomic via­bil­ity. (Next Confession: The last two para­graphs were taken directly from the CQI web­site.)
To read a great arti­cle on Q Grader Certification, see our August 2011 issue–

To sum­ma­rize, we were being trained/certified to rec­og­nized the spe­cific attrib­utes of “Specialty” cof­fee and the tests ver­i­fied our abil­i­ties in grad­ing green cof­fee, iden­ti­fy­ing roast­ing stan­dards, and our knowl­edge of cof­fee from crop to roast­ing. That was what I con­sid­ered the easy part. Anyone can study and learn. The truly chal­leng­ing part was prov­ing that we each had the “nose” and palate to iden­tify quality.

To this end, there were 5 “Triangulation” tests, 4 “”Olfactory” tests, 3 “Sensory Evaluation” tests, and one Organic Acids Matching Pairs test. I was intim­i­dated by the thought of mem­o­riz­ing 36 scents includ­ing rub­ber, bas­mati rice, and leather, among oth­ers. However, the most dreaded test of all (and most failed by any stu­dent attempt­ing the course) is the third “Sensory Evaluation” test in which we were each pre­sented with 8 cups con­tain a mix­ture of sweet, salty, and sour solu­tions. In each case, we were to iden­tify not only the com­bi­na­tion of fla­vors, but also the inten­sity of each. I was pos­i­tive I would never get this!

My Secret Nemesis
To my com­plete sur­prise, I passed the Sensory Evaluation on the first attempt. Unfortunately, “Triangulation” was a dif­fer­ent story. We were each pre­sented 6 sets of cof­fees, 3 cups each. In each set, 2 of the cof­fees were the same and the third was dif­fer­ent. Our job was to iden­tify the cof­fee in each set that was dif­fer­ent cor­rectly in at least 5 of the 6 sets. Now this is done under a red light so we were unable to dis­cern color dif­fer­ences. In many of the cases, the “dif­fer­ent” cof­fee was from a dif­fer­ent ori­gin (coun­try), how­ever in some of the cases all three cof­fees were from the same coun­try, just dif­fer­ent farms. My first attempt was not just a fail­ure; it was an “Epic Failure” (Thanks Rocky). Thankfully as the week pro­gressed, expe­ri­ence and my amaz­ing class­mates helped me to gain much-needed skills and I finally passed three of the five Triangulations.

The Next Step
So this brings me to my admis­sion: after 3 weeks of intense study before the course, and 5 days of exhaust­ing test­ing and learn­ing, I can’t yet say I have my Q Grader Certificate. I can say con­grat­u­la­tions to two of my friends (both from pro­duc­ing coun­tries) who did man­age to pass all 22 tests in that first week! And I am hop­ing that by the Roasters Guild Retreat (in two weeks), I will have passed the final two Triangulations and awarded my Q Grader Certificate (Thanks to Craig Holt at Atlas for allow­ing me in to retake the final two tests this week!). A huge thanks goes to Rocky Rhodes for being an amaz­ing Q Grader Instructor (there are only 31 cur­rently cer­ti­fied in the world!). Luzma and Ashley, thanks for cram­ming with me for 3 weeks and even help­ing me study for the Triangulations after you passed! And, Karen, your pas­sion and knowl­edge has been an inspi­ra­tion to me for years and I know you will pass your last two tests as well!
If you’d like to read more about our Q Experience and quotes from our class­mates, visit!

Kerri & Miles

Experiences from Q Training 2012

Categories: 2012, AugustTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

I just wanted to share a bit more on this amaz­ing expe­ri­ence from my per­spec­tive as well as a few of my class mates.

Ashley14 months in the indus­try as a part of CoffeeTalk Media. Her Family owns a Coffee Farm in Guatemala and she has grown up as a cof­fee pro­ducer.

Q –What was most MEMORABLE about study­ing for and attend­ing the Q Grader Training?

A– The most mem­o­rable part for me was com­ing together with other peo­ple from dif­fer­ent parts of the sup­ply chain (Producers, Importers, Roasters) to learn a com­mon lan­guage and real­ize we are striv­ing for a com­mon pur­pose: Quality.

Q– What was BEST part of this experience?

A– The best part was learn­ing how to cup accord­ing to the Q/SCAA Standards. It is designed in such a way, that I was able to learn how to process and orga­nize my thoughts while cup­ping in order to give a score. Also, being able to go to the cup­ping table and feel­ing con­fi­dent in know­ing how to do this is a great feel­ing. Finally, the cred­i­bil­ity that comes with being a “Licensed Q Grader” is def­i­nitely a huge plus.

Q– What would you con­sider the HARDEST Part of the experience?

A– Definitely prepar­ing for and pass­ing the Sensory Skills Test (Identifying sweet, sour, salty… specif­i­cally deter­min­ing the vary­ing intensities!)

Q– Is there any­thing you Wished Was Different?

A– NO… I thought it was great! The class was well orga­nized and a great learn­ing expe­ri­ence (but very intense)!

Luzma…  20+ Years in the Coffee Industry as a Producer. She is a 3rd gen­er­a­tion cof­fee farmer from Colombia. She also Manages a farm in Costa Rica.

Q –What was most MEMORABLE about study­ing for and attend­ing the Q Grader Training?

A– To find out that there are fla­vors in the cof­fee like berries and peaches, I could not even believe it! I had heard it, but never believed it before! Then when I cupped it and found the dif­fer­ences between the cof­fees… it was amaz­ing! From the Green to the Roasting, it is just unbelievable.

Q– What was BEST part of this experience?

A–To be with dif­fer­ent peo­ple and to be with friends I enjoy. I already knew Ashley and Kerri, so to share this expe­ri­ence with them was great; but also to meet the other peo­ple from dif­fer­ent coun­tries and back­grounds… I just loved the experience!

Q– What would you con­sider the HARDEST Part of the experience?

A– oh my gosh… the sweet, the salty and sour. The sen­sory eval­u­a­tion test was the most chal­leng­ing! By them­selves, I know the dif­fer­ence; but com­bined, it was really challenging!

Q– Is there any­thing you Wished Was Different?

A– It would be nice to get a recognition/reward at the end… an apron, a spoon, some­thing that shows the accom­plish­ment! The diploma is nice but some­thing to remem­ber it by would be just won­der­ful! Get spon­sors for that, or add it to the price… but it should be included!

Karen20+ Years in the Coffee Industry as an Importer. Founder of an import­ing com­pany and mul­ti­ple non-profits in the industry.

Q –What was most MEMORABLE about study­ing for and attend­ing the Q Grader Training?

A– Learning what real sam­ple roasts are like. After 20 years of “wrong habits” I had an eye open­ing expe­ri­ence of the way sam­ples should be roasted.

Q– What was BEST part of this experience?

A– It was an extra­or­di­nary expe­ri­ence for me. I was reborn. I for­got how much I missed being in cof­fee. I was wor­ried about being able to sit still for 10 hours a day. I was sur­prised; it was quite thrilling! I feel like we were doing some­thing impor­tant for the indus­try. We are bridg­ing the gap with the wine indus­try and we are mak­ing giant steps!

Q– What would you con­sider the HARDEST Part of the experience?

A– The stink­ing sen­sory eval­u­a­tion! I still have to pass that part. I think being my age has to do with less abil­ity to dis­tin­guish the fla­vors. Your really have to FEEL the impres­sion on your tongue!

Q– Is there any­thing you Wished Was Different?

A– Don’t give us a test on acids when we haven’t learned them yet! I also think there should be a col­lab­o­ra­tion / updated with other “tree to cup” input… I don’t think that the spe­cialty cof­fee indus­try has the right to dic­tate zero defects! This is “wrong think­ing” who the hell are we??  It is nice to have a high bar; it is not rea­son­able to have a per­fect bar!

Kerri19 Years in the Coffee Industry as a Journalist and Non-Profit Volunteer

Q –What was most MEMORABLE about study­ing for and attend­ing the Q Grader Training?

A– Watching Luz Marina fly into the air in jubi­la­tion as she received her Q Grader Certificate.

Q– What was BEST part of this experience?

A– Feeling ALIVE! There is no feel­ing like learn­ing! It was the equiv­a­lent of being back in col­lege dur­ing finals week. We “crammed” for three weeks prior to the actual class, and then would con­tinue to study after the 8–10 hour course/testing for another few hours each night!

Q– What would you con­sider the HARDEST Part of the experience?

A– The absolutely most chal­leng­ing party for me was learn­ing to really dif­fer­en­ti­ate the cof­fees in a tri­an­gu­la­tion. After so many attempts (some fruit­ful, some “epic fail­ures” – thanks Rocky!) I finally real­ized I needed to take more time, really con­cen­trate on the sub­tle dif­fer­ences in acid­ity, body, after­taste, and most impor­tantly, clear my palate (ok take a small drink of water) between tastes.

Q– Is there any­thing you Wished Was Different?

A– Ok, I wish I had passed the first time! I wish I had fig­ured out the tri­an­gu­la­tion process ear­lier. I wish I had cupped more before the actual class and tests. And I think I wish I had an extra day to just prac­tice dur­ing the course.

Coffee Community Engagement

Categories: 2011, DecemberTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Saving the planet is not a choice. How you do it is! Each and every one of us can view our­selves as a social entre­pre­neur and share the chal­lenge of slow­ing the cri­sis of social and envi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion. As the cof­fee indus­try takes the lead­er­ship role and moves into a green busi­ness model, we all have the oppor­tu­nity to engage on line and sup­port one or more of the cof­fee NGOs.

Government, foun­da­tions, reli­gion, and sci­ence will not solve the global prob­lems alone. We will all help. Lines are blur­ring between For Profits and Non Profits and the good news is we can lift the sup­ply chain from tree to cup.

Are you mak­ing an impact in your community?

Research shows the pub­lic will to do more busi­ness with cause-driven orga­ni­za­tions. Employees want to work in com­pa­nies that par­tic­i­pate in com­mu­nity ser­vice. Have you found a cost-effective and time effi­cient approach to track your impact?

Profits4Purpose (P4P) is an inno­v­a­tive online tool that sim­pli­fies the process of mea­sur­ing and com­mu­ni­cat­ing social impact.

Our soft­ware empow­ers orga­ni­za­tions of all sizes, includ­ing smaller com­pa­nies, uni­ver­si­ties, cor­po­ra­tions, and pro­fes­sional sport teams. P4P engages and moti­vates employ­ees while strength­en­ing your brand as a cause-driven orga­ni­za­tion. See how we have done it by view­ing a one and a half minute video here.
P4P makes vol­un­teerism and dona­tion sim­ple, while track­ing in real time.
P4P pro­vides a com­pany branded solu­tion, while com­mu­ni­cat­ing your impact.
P4P finds rel­e­vant vol­un­teer oppor­tu­ni­ties in your com­mu­nity or area of interest.

Why do it?

Increase sales
74% of peo­ple are more likely to rec­om­mend your com­pany. Customers like to know that by pur­chas­ing your prod­uct or ser­vice, they are also giv­ing back to the community.

Strengthen brand
85% of Americans would switch to a com­pany that is asso­ci­ated with a cause.

Increase trust
Partnership with a non-profit orga­ni­za­tion demon­strates cred­i­bil­ity and integrity.

Increase employee recruit­ment, morale and pro­duc­tiv­ity
72% of employed Americans pre­fer to work for a com­pany sup­port­ing social causes when decid­ing between two jobs.
Please see Contact us for more information.

We make a liv­ing by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”

~ Winston Churchill

Karen is the Co Founder of Track the Impact; she has been 23 years in cof­fee as founder and pres­i­dent of Élan Organic Coffee; Currently North American Partnerships for Hanns R Neumann Foundation.

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