Tag Archive for: New York

by Maxim Vershinin

Retailer/Roaster Profile

Categories: 2014, FebruaryTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Hello every­one! Lets hear from the owner of Booskerdoo Coffee Company, James Cavelry! This super suc­cess­ful and super pos­i­tive busi­ness­man is here with us today:

V. Great to be here with you James! How did the idea for Booskerdoo Coffee Company come along, and how did it develop? Was spe­cialty cof­fee your first seri­ous pro­fes­sion, or did you do some­thing else before?
C. Booskerdoo Fresh Roasted Coffee Company offi­cially started in 2011 with our shop and roast­ery in Monmouth Beach, NJ. However, it really started in a tiny New York City apart­ment in 2009. I was 27 years old, and I was a free­lance copy­writer for a vari­ety of adver­tis­ing and mar­ket­ing agen­cies. I had never liked cof­fee, even though I worked at Starbucks in col­lege, until some­one gave me good qual­ity fresh roasted cof­fee. I drank it black and fell in love with it. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I started to obsess over find­ing fan­tas­tic cof­fee, but even in New York City, fresh roasted cof­fee was hard to find.

I had read online that you could roast your own cof­fee in a basic oven with a pizza sheet. So I tried it. I had read it would be smoky. I cooked it into the sec­ond crack, and oh my good­ness, black smoke filled the tiny apart­ment as if we had caught the whole build­ing on fire. Luckily, my wife Amelia found it as hilar­i­ous as I did. We tried the cof­fee the next day and it was the best cof­fee we had ever had. It was a Colombia Supremo, noth­ing fancy. I real­ized then that a niche needed to be filled; fresh cof­fee made eas­ily acces­si­ble to every­day cof­fee drinkers. I was not happy work­ing in offices, the pol­i­tics and the flu­o­res­cent light­ing was melt­ing my brain. So my wife and I scrounged up our sav­ings and started a cof­fee com­pany. I drank thou­sands of cups of cof­fee, researched like crazy, and roasted on a home roaster for a year. I had some friends of fam­ily who roasted pro­fes­sion­ally, so I drove to Brooklyn to learn from them. The best advice I received was to always taste what you roast and when it tastes great, do what­ever you did again. My obses­sion con­tin­ues today.

V. What chal­lenges did you face and how did you deal with them?
C. Our biggest chal­lenge is that we essen­tially oper­ate three busi­nesses: two cafes, whole­sale, and online sales. It feels like we are herd­ing cats some­times. My to-do lists every­day are very long with a lot of lit­tle things to do. My head spins quite a lot. There are two things that I do to keep things mov­ing smoothly: 1. I trust my employ­ees. I give them respon­si­bil­ity and allow them to learn from mis­takes to make the respon­si­bil­ity their own. 2. I will for­ever main­tain the rule, that myself and our employ­ees must focus on each cus­tomer, one at a time. No mat­ter how much stuff I have to do, I must always take the time to give each cus­tomer the atten­tion they need. No mat­ter how large our com­pany grows, this rule must never change.

V. I love your awe­some name, Booskerdoo! How did you come up with it?
C. We wanted a name that had no def­i­n­i­tion because we wanted to give the name mean­ing. My wife was a Latin teacher in Harlem, so I had planned to sit down with her and find pre­fix and suf­fix options that had the emo­tional brand ele­ments that we wanted to dis­play. It didn’t end up being that com­pli­cated. It ended up going like this: Amelia started call­ing me Boo, then Boosker, and then finally Booskerdoo. She ran­domly said one morn­ing at break­fast, “You should call the cof­fee com­pany Booskerdoo.” I laughed at her, “Yeah right, that is kind of stu­pid,” I said. About ten min­utes later I brought the topic back up. “I can’t get the name Booskerdoo out of my head… that is a really good name, lets use it.” Our brand is about energy, pos­i­tiv­ity, and not tak­ing our­selves too seri­ously. The pre­fix “boo” has energy, the suf­fix “doo” is very pos­i­tive, and the name as a whole is a lot of fun and a bit silly. Amelia is a genius.

V. What kind of advice/secrets would you give to those start­ing this kind of busi­ness now (both roast­ing and retail)?
C. In retail, we focus on the idea that we don’t sell cof­fee; we are in the busi­ness of mak­ing peo­ple happy. Coffee is just the con­duit. My advice is to fol­low that belief. If you have great cof­fee, but your baris­tas are snobs, you will lose a lot of cus­tomers. If you have nice employ­ees and great cof­fee, but your park­ing sit­u­a­tion will piss cus­tomers off, you won’t have a lot of busi­ness either. Any busi­ness is all about the root of human exis­tence… hap­pi­ness. As for roast­ing, I would sug­gest to any­one start­ing out to not believe every­thing that you read on the Internet. Read blogs and mes­sage boards, but try out what you read, and lis­ten to the taste buds of your­self, employ­ees, and cus­tomers. For exam­ple, to today’s cof­fee con­nois­seurs and in all of their talk on the Internet, it says that light roasted cof­fee is the only cof­fee worth drink­ing. However, our two cafes and whole­sale clients sell and pur­chase more dark roast than light roast cof­fee. To me, that dis­con­nect says a lot.

V. What is unique about you? What sep­a­rates you from oth­ers?
C. There are two points of dif­fer­ence that we focus on. One is lit­eral and the other is emo­tional. Our lit­eral point of dif­fer­ence is our focus on fresh cof­fee. We roast the same day that we mail it out, and we deliver to our whole­sale clients in the same man­ner. In our cafes, we never sell any­thing that has been roasted more than 7 days old. We roast twice a week, so most of our cof­fee is between only one to four days young. We donate all expired cof­fee to our local Red Cross chapter.

The emo­tional point of dif­fer­ence is best described in what reads on our crest, “fresh roasted cof­fee for all.” We focus on inclu­siv­ity. We don’t sneer at café cus­tomers who drink decaf or who have never heard of a mac­chi­ato. Like I men­tioned before, we focus on mak­ing peo­ple happy, and that includes every­one. We work very hard to bring excep­tion­ally good cof­fee to the every­day cof­fee drinker. We don’t focus pri­mar­ily on the cof­fee con­nois­seur, although they love our cof­fee too. We take a lot of pride when we turn the 7/11, Starbucks, or Dunkin Donuts drinkers into cof­fee lovers who can’t drink any­thing else but Booskerdoo.

V. What is your roaster’s brand and its capac­ity?
C. We use a Diedrich IR-12. We love it. Diedrich claims you can roast up to 25 pounds at a time. However, for qual­ity, we have found that we can’t put more than 22 pounds into the machine. But that is our only com­plaint of the IR-12. As we look for a sec­ond roaster, we’ll be buy­ing Diedrich again.

V.  Anything else to say to our cof­fee com­mu­nity?
C. I have just one thing left to say, “Coffee Rules.”

Maxim Vershinin has been a colum­nist for CoffeeTalk for the last few years high­light­ing var­i­ous roast­ers and retail­ers in the indus­try. He has lived in Peru for the last few years and is now fur­ther­ing his edu­ca­tion at Columbia University seek­ing a B.A. in economics.

Booskerdoo Coffee Company

36 Beach Road, Suite 9,
Monmouth Beach, NJ 07750
(732) 222‑0729
James Caverly

It’s Time To Put Analytics Into Packaging

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

A great cup of cof­fee, with a sleek designed cup, is a great com­bi­na­tion, but when paired with an un-safe lid, it’s a part­ner­ship doomed for fail­ure. Yet, every­day a cof­fee drinker’s expe­ri­ence is damp­ened, both lit­er­ally and fig­u­ra­tively, by this mis­matched cou­pling. Clearly, the next gen­er­a­tion of dis­pos­able cof­fee and tea lids must con­front the prob­lem of unin­ten­tional spillage, which report­edly occur hun­dreds of times a day. This hap­pens when ordi­nary con­sumers, wish­ing to enjoy their cup of cof­fee, believe they have applied it to their cup, only to find out it wasn’t really secure, seated, and thus sealed, thereby result­ing in unin­ten­tional spillage. Indeed, you need look no fur­ther than The New York Times’ 2011 fea­ture arti­cle, “A Changed Starbucks. A Changed C.E.O.,” in which Starbuck’s Founder and Chief Executive, Howard Schultz, reported that J. Crew’s CEO, Millard Drexler, had per­son­ally emailed him to report that the lids at his local Starbucks in Manhattan kept spilling cof­fee on his shirt.

Recently, news has been brim­ming with reports of spilled hot bev­er­age claims.  These news reports and arti­cles focus­ing on the defi­cien­cies, inher­ent in past lid designs bol­ster the demand for a bet­ter fit­ting, more secure and safer lid fit. Even main­stream media is focus­ing on bev­er­age pack­ag­ing issues. The main focal point in the excel­lent, 2013 New York Times arti­cle, “Who Made that Coffee Lid,” is the focus on the consumer’s inter­ac­tion with the lid. Which actu­ally defines the hot bev­er­age drink­ing expe­ri­ence, rather than the cup.

The take-away from this arti­cle appears to be that, with all of the man­u­fac­tur­ers bat­tling to “one up” the other’s cup design, the war will actu­ally be won by the indi­vid­ual who deliv­ers a safer more secure drink­ing expe­ri­ence. This, in turn, means atten­tion will finally be focused on the true defin­ing ele­ment in the pack­ag­ing equa­tion: Who can pro­vide the con­sumer a safer, more intu­itive, and more secure lid? Simply chang­ing to a new cup will not resolve the hor­ri­ble safety prob­lem hot bev­er­age drinkers are presently expe­ri­enc­ing with exist­ing single-use lids today.  In order to resolve the prob­lem, it is vital to gen­er­ally under­stand just how design choices in new pack­ag­ing prod­ucts are pro­mul­gated, given the green light and ulti­mately pro­jected through the man­u­fac­tur­ing cycle into the market.

In a recent study, enti­tled “The Product Mindset,” Underwriters Laboratories (“UL”) seeks to untan­gle and clas­sify the global prod­uct ecosys­tem to gain deeper insight in the vari­ance between man­u­fac­turer and con­sumer atti­tudes. In a cat­e­gory rel­e­vant to this arti­cle, UL polls the two groups on prod­uct safety, result­ing in an extremely wide diver­gence between the man­u­fac­tur­ers’ “per­cep­tion” that they are improv­ing in prod­uct safety, and the con­sumers’ belief that man­u­fac­tur­ers value sales over prod­uct safety.  On scale of most (“1”) to least (“7”), man­u­fac­tur­ers ranked the need to improve prod­uct safety as a “4,” while con­sumers scored the goal as a “2.”  Clear met­rics demon­strate the camps are mis­aligned when it came to assess­ing con­sumer con­fi­dence in prod­uct safety. In fact, 84 per­cent of the man­u­fac­tur­ers polled believe con­sumer con­fi­dence in prod­uct safety is increas­ing, while 58 per­cent of the con­sumer group dis­agreed, believ­ing instead that man­u­fac­tur­ers tend to value sales over prod­uct safety.

The import of the UL 2013 study, while mainly applic­a­ble to elec­tri­cal devices and com­po­nents, is clearly trans­ferrable across many indus­tries, includ­ing the food and bev­er­age pack­ag­ing sphere.  Up until recently, new food and bev­er­age pack­ag­ing inno­va­tions arose to fit within spe­cific exist­ing machin­ery. As run under Kaizen or Six Sigma meth­ods of process improve­ment, machin­ery and process drove design criteria.

As an exam­ple, within the hot bev­er­age pack­ag­ing field, inno­va­tions in form­ing machin­ery and plas­tics resins allow for faster cycle times, pro­duc­tion of larger vol­umes of hot bev­er­age lids in less time.   This method­ol­ogy drove design choices, which may not have resulted in pro­duc­tion of the safest prod­uct.  Thus, what appeared to be a drive to improve the over­all process might have resulted in the deci­sion to opt for a design. Which may be prac­ti­cally suited to the manufacturer’s cur­rent machin­ery capa­bil­i­ties, yet may not be the safest design choice lead­ing to a prod­uct that is func­tional with the poten­tial to cause injury or prop­erty damage.

As a mat­ter of prod­uct lia­bil­ity law, a man­u­fac­turer need not insure against all pos­si­bil­i­ties of per­sonal injury or prop­erty dam­age.  Indeed, in most juris­dic­tions, a man­u­fac­turer may defend against a claim of neg­li­gent design by demon­strat­ing that, at the time the prod­uct was designed and then pro­duced, it had selected a rea­son­ably safe design as com­pared with com­pa­ra­ble prod­uct design choices known at the time.  And, as a defense to a prod­uct lia­bil­ity claim, the man­u­fac­turer and its insurer may very well suc­ceed.  However, given the grow­ing force and power of the “blo­gos­phere” – i.e., the “Wired Court of Public Opinion” deliv­ered up by the Internet, one can see that this process-driven method of prod­uct design may fail to meet a grow­ing higher level of expec­ta­tion in the light­en­ing fast infor­ma­tion world of today’s consumer.

With the advent of spec­tac­u­larly new design aids, such as com­mer­cially avail­able 3D print­ers and, for the first time ever, a real-time tool-oriented ther­mo­form­ing qual­ity con­trol mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem, best design cri­te­ria can now be suc­cess­fully mar­ried with process dri­ven man­u­fac­tur­ing. This will result in both a safer design pro­duced within an effi­cient man­u­fac­tur­ing process serv­ing to close the gap between con­sumer prod­uct safety expec­ta­tions, and a manufacturer’s real world process deliv­ery program.

With our own inde­pen­dent ther­mo­form­ing engi­neer­ing lab­o­ra­tory, headed by our Technology President, Mark Strachan, SPE Chairman/President and Thermoforming Engineering Professor, Penn State College of Technology, we have even cre­ated an entirely new ter­mi­nol­ogy enti­tled “Packaging Analytics.” And, in 2014, we will co-host, with Penn State College of Technology, the very first “Packaging Analytics” con­fer­ence in the World.  We hope that this annual con­fer­ence will attract the best and bright­est in the pack­ag­ing world, with the intent to launch more inno­va­tions and appli­ca­tions aimed at pro­vid­ing a more sci­en­tific approach to the design and man­u­fac­ture of food and bev­er­age pack­ag­ing; bol­ster­ing safer design deci­sions within accepted meth­ods of pro­cess­ing improvement.

David is the C.E.O. of uVu Technologies. He is also founder of “Packaging Analytics™,” which strives to fos­ter advance­ment in pack­ag­ing tech­nol­ogy as a science.

The Borer And The Never Boring: The 2013 Coffee Review

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

The Great Durante was fond of say­ing, “Everybody wants ta get inta the act!,” The act is K-cups®, and it was the dom­i­nant fea­ture of the US indus­try in 2013. 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. Every hot served liq­uid food, from apple cider to soup, is now being brewed in a Keurig®. If the tech­nol­ogy con­tin­ues to extend its plat­form in American kitchens and work­sta­tions, foods pre­pared from por­tion con­trol cups of dry ingre­di­ents, may brew long term change in American food prepa­ra­tion habits in the home and workplace.

At ori­gin, there are gen­eral con­cerns about cli­mate change, and spe­cific ones that are con­sid­ered, in part, the result of cli­mate change as cof­fee rust in Central America (attrib­uted to lower rain­fall), where “roya” may, accord­ing to the ICO (as reported by Reuters in March) reduce cof­fee out­put in affected areas by 20 per­cent. But, losses will not be even, and some coun­tries such as El Salvador are expect­ing to be hurt dis­pro­por­tion­ately (35 per­cent), while oth­ers as Costa Rica may only suf­fer a “man­age­able” loss (13 percen). Hypothenemus ham­pei, the cof­fee borer, is also a seri­ous con­cern. It is being fought, with vary­ing degrees of suc­cess this year, in Brazil and Hawaii.

The Arabica mar­ket con­tin­ued to drift down­ward dur­ing 2013, with only the very best grades hold­ing a value of 50 per­cent or bet­ter above the New York “C”. The bet­ter Robusta grades, on the other hand, held value against the Arabicas, such that by year end grades, as Vietnam GR1, SC16, Wet Polished, were being offered in New York at prices com­pa­ra­ble to “C” grade Arabica beans. These Robusta cof­fees from Vietnam, and other ori­gins offer­ing neu­tral cup and bold bean style, have found favor in recent years in the espresso brands of American roast­ers, some of whom would not have con­sid­ered the ingre­di­ent only a few years ago. Uganda, the 4th largest Robusta cof­fee pro­ducer, is plant­ing 300 mil­lion addi­tional Robusta cof­fee trees in a large eco­nomic wager, that in the West, the espresso mar­ket will con­tinue to bal­loon, and that in the East and in the Southern hemi­sphere, a grow­ing world mid­dle class will choose to be cof­fee drinkers.

To the grat­i­fi­ca­tion and relief of small inde­pen­dent roast­ers, and prob­a­bly the big roast­ers too, the stran­gling effects of the his­tor­i­cally high cof­fee mar­kets of recent years, fade into mem­ory as money flows back into their pock­ets and out of their inven­tory val­ues. In June, Starbucks raised prices into the teeth of con­sumer aware­ness of a falling mar­ket. They’ve got grit.

Usually, we would expect that reduced exports from Central American, and pos­si­bly some Brazilian regions, would echo through the mar­ket putting upward pres­sure on cof­fee prices; with increased rev­enues per pound help­ing to defray a por­tion of the loss to blights and bugs. That may not be the case this year as there may be an abun­dance in Arabica cof­fee sup­plies, as the ICO expects sup­ply to out­strip demand by 4-million bags, or roughly equal to the cof­fee crop of Mexico. If this comes to pass, there will be added eco­nomic pres­sure on sub­sis­tence coffee-farm fam­i­lies brought about by the double-whammy of hav­ing less cof­fee to sell, while receiv­ing a lower price per pound for that which remains. The answer, of course, is to pro­duce cof­fee at such a high level of excel­lence that its value breaks free of the “C” con­tract. Sadly, becom­ing as La Esmiralda, Clifton Mount Estate, or La Minita is not an attain­able goal, but only an aspi­ra­tion for most farmers.

Espresso has changed cof­fee in America. Espresso machines are found in every man­ner of food ser­vice oper­a­tion today, and Nespresso® and Keurig® are work­ing hard to bring easy-access espresso bev­er­ages into upper-middle class homes and apart­ments. Simultaneously, Italian cof­fee brands as Illy, Lavazza®, Danesi®, and Segafredo® con­tinue to pour into the American cup sat­is­fy­ing the insa­tiable American taste for the exotic, and seem­ingly upscale taste for that which is European.

It has been a long time since Lauren Bacall pitched Instant Maxwell House cof­fee, and once again celebri­ties are being iden­ti­fied with cof­fee. In Australia, Al Puccino hawks Vittoria Coffee. Hugh Jackman and Leonardo DiCaprio sup­port Laughing Man brand, and David Hasselhoff pushed Farmhouse Blend Iced Coffee. Rarely does a celebrity enter the indus­try as a strictly busi­ness ven­ture, but that’s what Patrick Dempsey appeared to do this past year, tak­ing an own­er­ship stake in the Tully’s® chain of 48 retail out­lets dur­ing bank­ruptcy pro­ceed­ings in January. Mr. Dempsey was evi­dently burned by the expe­ri­ence, though accord­ing to the Associated Press, he never invested money in the chain, as by August, Dempsey had divested him­self of his hold­ings in the cof­fee retailer. In other celebrity cof­fee news, Marley’s Coffee, who went pub­lic in 2011, (JAMN) is still los­ing money, though sales are gyrat­ing. 12 OZ Marley’s® cof­fee was spot­ted not long ago at a Long Island T.J. Maxx out­let for $4.99.

The year saw the re-launch of a grand old name in the trade, Martinson®. A top brand in New York in the first half of the last cen­tury, it had been brought low (to the price/value level) by a suc­ces­sion of own­ers who did not appre­ci­ate what they had. Joe Martinson’s brand is now owned by Mother Parker®, and the re-positioning in the mar­ket includes sin­gle serve, soft bags, and fiber cans. The blend selec­tion is mid-line with names such as Joe’s Light Latin, Joe’s Donut Shop, and Joe’s Rich African Brew. It’s nice to see Mr. Martinson’s brand out there again.

Another old New York brand, an A&P orig­i­nal, 8’Oclock® cof­fee, now a Tata com­pany, rebranded itself in 2013 with strik­ing new red 11 OZ pack­ag­ing fea­tur­ing infor­ma­tional strips on the right shoulder…and of course, a sin­gle serve line.

No one with access to iTunes needs to go through the day with­out a decent cuppa. The Find Me Coffee app can find you a cof­fee shop around the cor­ner or around the globe, give you direc­tions to get there, and can even place an order. The iPhone’s cof­fee­hunter app has a col­lec­tion of 7,000 inde­pen­dent cof­fee places.

In the age before mechan­i­cally bot­tled beer, the bev­er­age was car­ried in tin pails. They were known as Growlers, which may be related to the sound made by the slosh­ing of beer, and the release of car­bon diox­ide caused by that action in the pails as they were car­ried. Later, the pails were replaced with bot­tles, but the name stuck. The Growler was returned to the tav­ern as desired, where it would be refilled with fresh beer at mod­est cost. Today, a Growler is a refill­able con­tainer (usu­ally 64oz) and an affec­ta­tion used by Cold Brew Coffee entre­pre­neurs as a descrip­tion of the pack­age in which they mar­ket their wares.

Cold Brew Iced Coffee began to take hold in the sum­mer of 2013, with amber glass bot­tles of iced brew found in trendy cof­fee bars and upscale mar­kets, where local iced brew­ers are located. Among Brooklyn, New York’s entries is Grady’s New Orleans-Style. Others around the coun­try, include Slingshot 16oz read to drink Iced Coffee, Raleigh, NC, Installation Coffee Co’ Cold Brew, Los Angeles, CA, Jittery John’s Cold Brew, San Francisco, CA, and Chameleon Cold Brew, Austin, TX. Gorilla Coffee, Brooklyn, NY renowned for their prod­uct mar­ket­ing graph­ics has, per­haps, the most strik­ing pack­age for their Cold Brew cof­fee. You can see it here.

Some cafés have declared war on WiFi squat­ters this year, and oth­ers con­tinue to make a point of adver­tis­ing free WiFi. The tug of war between pro­vid­ing added value to your cup, ver­sus the loss of seat­ing when some patrons take unfair advan­tage of the ser­vice by sit­ting for hours over a sin­gle cup of cof­fee depriv­ing the shop of open seat­ing for newly enter­ing cus­tomers, is becom­ing some­thing that is heard more fre­quently in con­ver­sa­tion between oper­a­tors. Along with the belief that WiFi squat­ters cre­ate a squalid atmos­phere that chases away a bet­ter qual­ity clientele.

Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain, Reiney’s Soda Fountain in Denison, Iowa, and Vincent’s Drug Store and Soda Fountain, John’s Island South Carolina aside, the old fash­ioned soda foun­tain, a fix­ture on Main Street in the first half of the last cen­tury, that as an indus­try, did not sur­vive the post WWII era, may be about to make a come­back with Starbucks in the van­guard. Stephan Wermuth reported in a Reuter’s piece that Starbucks, using Soda stream-like car­bon­a­tion machines is mak­ing old-fashioned soda foun­tain style sodas, by adding car­bon­a­tion to its juice, tea, and cof­fee bev­er­ages in an exper­i­ment in selected stores in Atlanta, GA, Austin, TX, and Asia.

During the Summer, while we were all drink­ing from Growlers and dream­ing of soda foun­tains of yore, SCAA Lifetime Achievement Laureate, Dan Cox, was spilling the beans on cof­fee spills with the pub­li­ca­tion of Handling Hot Coffee: Preventing spills, Burns, and Lawsuits. It is filled and over­flow­ing with help­ful infor­ma­tion on keep­ing hot cof­fee bev­er­age safe for the oper­a­tor, wait staff, and consumer.

The need for this thin vol­ume (98 Pages) pub­lished by Red Barn Books, ISBN-10: 1935922246, ISBN-13: 978–1935922247 should be obvi­ous to all in the trade, as law­suits over spilled hot cof­fee have been a reg­u­lar occur­rence since the ill-famed judg­ment in the 1994, California Liebeck v. McDonald’s case. Until Dan’s help­ful, orga­nized, anno­tated, illus­trated, and indexed sin­gle source book, oper­a­tors and attor­neys were forced to find answers from many dif­fer­ent resources. The trade owes the SCAA Past President, Cox, a thanks for help­ing his fel­low man (and mem­bers of WIC, too) with this use­ful tool.

McDonalds®, who upgraded the qual­ity of their cof­fee pro­gram some years ago, has seen the light, and is switch­ing to paper cups from poly­styrene. Big Mac® should be thanked for mak­ing this change, which will cost them money as the two mate­ri­als are not com­pa­ra­ble in price. McCafe® will taste bet­ter, and the envi­ron­ment will not have to con­tinue try­ing to ingest 10-million Styrofoam cups each day. Thank you, McDonalds®.

Joh. A. Benckiser, the new owner of Peet’s® and Caribou® cof­fee chains, has the two now-sister com­pa­nies play­ing dosey-doe your part­ner. Minnesotta based Caribou will become a regional North-Midwestern brand, with addi­tional out­lets in neigh­bor­ing Iowa, the Dakotas, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Colorado. They will also retain out­liers in North Carolina. Caribou® stores in the rest of the coun­try will be con­verted to Peet’s®.

At the end of October, Kraft® announced that they would begin test mar­ket­ing McDonald’s® McCafe® brand cof­fee in selected mar­kets. In November, an arbi­tra­tor deter­mined that Starbucks must pay 2.76-billion dol­lars for walk­ing away from their pack­aged cof­fee deal with Kraft® to dis­trib­ute Starbucks®. One went in and the other went out.

Ron Popeil, move over, for as the year ground down, Keurig® infomer­cials were becom­ing omnipresent on cable TV.

In the Coals-to-Newcastle depart­ment, The Wall Street Journal reported that Starbucks®, whose stated goal is 20,000 retail stores by the close of 2014, plans to open its first retail shop in Bogota, Colombia in the com­ing months. This pilot store is hoped to be the first of 50 Starbucks stores in Colombian cities, to be opened over the next 5 years. So you see, with all that tran­spired in 2013, we still have things to which we can look for­ward to in the New Year, such as 50 more Starbucks®.

Distinguished roaster/cupper Donald Schoenholt is cof­fee­man at cel­e­brated Gillies Coffee Co., Brooklyn NY, now begin­ning its 175th year. Don, a found­ing father of both SCAA and Roasters Guild, doesn’t look 175, but he says there are days when he feels as he, and not the firm, is America’s Oldest Coffee Merchant. Mr. Schoenholt can be reached at

El Paraiso Computer Laboratory

Categories: 2013, JulyTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

cup edu 4Project Description
Located 8 miles up the moun­tain from the main road to Mexico, very close to the bor­der, El Paraíso Development Center pro­vides locals with a clinic, phar­macy, and a com­puter lab­o­ra­tory. Cup for Education has been a long time sup­porter of the Computer Laboratory.

Since 2008 we have funded the salaries for the teach­ers, new soft­ware, com­puter main­te­nance, and art pro­grams over school vaca­tions.  Funding has also been increased for small read­ing pro­grams that travel around to the sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties to encour­age improved lit­er­acy skills, and 2 stu­dents have been awarded schol­ar­ships to attend University.

These schol­ar­ships pro­vide them with the oppor­tu­nity to earn degrees that can help them improve their lives, assist their fam­i­lies, and com­mu­ni­ties. Both stu­dents are doing very well. We are proud to work with the El Paraiso cen­ter and see how their out­reach to the sur­round­ing cof­fee com­mu­ni­ties brings much needed edu­ca­tion and skill build­ing in a safe envi­ron­ment to the chil­dren of Huehuetenango.

Who Benefits from this project?
Hundreds of chil­dren of cof­fee farm­ers and their fam­i­lies in the sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties in Huehuetenango, Guatemala ben­e­fit from this cen­ter.  Attendance has increased each year at the center’s classes, and we have been able to reach more chil­dren with the trav­el­ing programs.

How Can I Help?
The best way to sup­port the cause is to talk about it.  Cup is now on Facebook and twit­ter.  Get on board and talk about the need in these com­mu­ni­ties.  Host a fundraiser, col­lect Spanish books, or school supplies.

There is a need among all the cof­fee grow­ing com­mu­ni­ties of the world, and Guatemala is just one of many coun­tries where we have projects. If you know of a com­mu­nity that is in need of improved edu­ca­tional tools please send us a sug­gested project.

Of course, mon­e­tary dona­tions are always wel­come. Every dol­lar raised goes to the projects.  Everyone involved with Cup for Education is a vol­un­teer, and there are no salaries or admin­is­tra­tive costs.   Cup for Education’s admin­is­tra­tive costs are sup­ported by Coffee Holding Company Inc. so that we can make the biggest impact pos­si­ble with every dol­lar we receive from our supporters.

Contact Name:     Karen Gordon
Web Site:
Location:     Staten Island, New York 10314
Email Address:
Phone Number:     718.832.0800

Coffee of Grace

Categories: 2013, AprilTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

It was September of 2011 when this all started. I had the plea­sure of meet­ing President Kagame of Rwanda at an inti­mate gath­er­ing at a friend’s house. I had never heard any­one, in pol­i­tics or not, speak so pas­sion­ately about his peo­ple and his coun­try. The sim­plic­ity he spoke was inspir­ing.” This led Grace Hightower De Niro to meet with the Rwandan ambas­sador in New York to learn more about Rwanda and its peo­ple. Of course, one of the first things to come to mind in con­ver­sa­tions on Rwanda is the geno­cide only a few decades ago.

The ambassador’s wife touched Grace with this phrase… “They had to move on.” Grace had asked… “How do you move on with some­one who is stand­ing next to you who has killed your par­ents, or maybe your child or sib­lings?” The ambassador’s wife responded, “It’s sim­ple. You either choose to live or not live.” Grace con­tin­ued, “For me that stuck with me because I know that we have a great deal of chal­lenges here in America and we think our chal­lenges are so mon­u­men­tal (and some are), but noth­ing by com­par­i­son, with what they have gone through. It really started to make me think about my per­sonal life and come to some real­iza­tions about liv­ing. These peo­ple really do live. They really do live in the moment.” This spurred Grace on to con­tinue her quest. Though cof­fee had not been the focus of her thoughts ini­tially, she told me, “Rwanda got into my spirit, into my soul.” A friend of hers rec­om­mended she get into cof­fee. “Really?” was her sur­prised response.

Grace con­tin­ued brain­storm­ing with the Rwandan ambas­sador. “He explained to me there would be a lot of ben­e­fits for edu­ca­tion and health­care by work­ing with Rwandan cof­fee farm­ers.” She had never tasted Rwandan cof­fee and was rec­om­mended by the ambas­sador to try the Rwandan café in New York called “Bourbon Coffee.” Though she was not famil­iar with the café, her hus­band was.

Grace con­tin­ued, “Something just stuck with me. I had seen the movie, “Hotel Rwanda,” which also stuck with me, long before my meet­ing the pres­i­dent and my heart went out. I couldn’t quite fathom, how could this hap­pen? And the world didn’t really stop it. That got into my soul as well.”

I came to real­ize that it is far more reward­ing to work your land with your hands than to accept hand­outs. One of the things I was really impressed with was when President Kagame said he did not want his county to be depen­dent upon aid. He wanted trade. I like that idea. I think empow­er­ing peo­ple is the way to go. I don’t think you empower peo­ple when you give a handout.”

My vision with the cof­fee project (and there is some­thing added to it every day) is that I would like to see women and more young girls given the oppor­tu­nity (not exclud­ing males) to do busi­ness, to learn, to be edu­cated, to have vision, to have voice.”

In the short time Coffee of Grace has been pur­chas­ing cof­fees and pay­ing pre­mium prices more than 9,000 cof­fee fam­i­lies have been impacted. “We were told by the peo­ple in Rwanda that the sale of the cof­fee had helped build the local school.”

Grace focused on try­ing to find wash­ing sta­tions and farm­ers that are pro­vid­ing [social] ser­vices. However, she did empha­size, “Quality comes first. It has to be qual­ity cer­ti­fied by us, mean­ing it has to be some­thing we would want to per­son­ally con­sume. All of the cof­fee is Q-Graded at 85 or above.”

Throughout this jour­ney in cof­fee, Grace has insisted on two guid­ing prin­ci­ples: “The qual­ity had to be really, really good. And it had to be sus­tain­able.” When asked about expand­ing beyond Rwanda, Grace shared, “I am very open to work­ing in other cof­fee ori­gins and espe­cially work­ing with women farm­ers in these coun­tries.” Her part­ing thought was, “I would like to achieve suc­cess, sus­tain­abil­ity, eco­nomic invest­ment, social aware­ness, and a new way of doing busi­ness while hav­ing a fab­u­lous time. It is a lit­tle bit of fun, and a lit­tle scary.”

About Grace
Grace Hightower De Niro is an American mother, phil­an­thropist, actress and singer.  As a board mem­ber of the New York Women’s Foundation and a mem­ber of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance, Grace strives to empower women and their com­mu­ni­ties to achieve mean­ing­ful and sus­tain­able lives through their work. Grace’s love of cof­fee and ded­i­ca­tion to empow­er­ing women world­wide led her to launch “Grace Hightower & Coffees of Rwanda,” with the mis­sion of enhanc­ing the lives of the Rwandan peo­ple by pro­vid­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties to mar­ket their unique prod­ucts to the world. Grace also serves as a board mem­ber of the New York Fund for Public Schools, as well as a mem­ber of Ronald Perlman’s Women’s Heart Health Advisory Council. The New York Women’s Foundation and the American Cancer Society of New York City have hon­ored her for her work and ded­i­ca­tion. Grace resides in New York City with her hus­band, actor Robert De Niro, and their two children.

Tips and Tools to Manage Risk for Roasters

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

FINAL_fullpage_ DESIGN COFFEE TALKThe cof­fee indus­try is multi-faceted; with far rang­ing areas of exper­tise, vary­ing spe­cial­ties and a mas­sive array of knowl­edge. The cof­fee roaster is more than meets the eye…or cup. The strate­gies and finan­cials are just as impor­tant as the craft and prop­erly man­ag­ing risk can make or break a roast­ing business.

Risk man­age­ment can be broad for a roaster (and pos­si­bly over­whelm­ing) but if approached cor­rectly, can become sec­ond nature. Ways to man­age risk could be as gen­eral as mak­ing the right rela­tion­ships, or spe­cial­ized, like mak­ing use of the “C” mar­ket. Regardless of the approach, you must first iden­tify the risk, and then find a way to avoid it, reduce its effects or accept its results.

Navigating the “C”: Swim, Don’t Sink

Coffee futures have traded in New York since 1882, and cof­fee is famously known as the sec­ond most traded com­mod­ity after oil. Its longevity makes it a piece of his­tory, but its “intra­day volatil­ity” makes it a “favorite for day traders over the years,” accord­ing to the InterContinental Exchange (ICE). For par­tic­i­pat­ing roast­ers, there is a crit­i­cal need for risk man­age­ment when deal­ing with the market.

When a roaster is involved in the futures mar­ket, they become “com­mer­cial traders” and can play a role in deter­min­ing the price. “First and fore­most roast­ers should keep in mind that their chief pur­pose in using mech­a­nisms such as futures and options trad­ing is to secure desired cof­fee qual­ity sup­ply at rea­son­ably tar­geted lev­els,” says Carl Leonard, V. P. Green Coffee Procurement at Louisiana-based Community Coffee Company.

The futures mar­ket also allows roast­ers to trans­fer risk. Coffee roast­ers are “short” the mar­ket, as they are at risk if Arabica prices increase. The risk can be trans­ferred, or off­set, if a roaster goes long a futures con­tract. “Hedging done care­fully can be a means of pro­tect­ing a com­pany from excess risk, how­ever spec­u­la­tive trad­ing is like going to the Casino which can have very neg­a­tive results,” says Leonard. “If you are a novice, your best course of action could be to align your­self with a com­pe­tent cof­fee com­modi­ties bro­ker who has years of expe­ri­ence with cof­fee hedging.”

Joseph Fernandes III, Vice President of New Jersey-based Socafe, is the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion to work for the com­pany after his father brought it to the US from Angola nearly 26 years ago. He has recently made the deci­sion to become more involved with the “C” mar­ket and echoes Leonard’s sen­ti­ment. “I’m learn­ing from, and cur­rently receiv­ing help from, some­one who knows how to suc­cess­fully nav­i­gate the mar­ket.” By part­ner­ing up with some­one who can help Socafe man­age risks, Fernandes believes “2013 is going to bring change within the company.”

It’s Not Complicated: Easier Relationships

Global but con­nected” is how the cof­fee indus­try was ini­tially por­trayed to me. Relationships are imper­a­tive to bet­ter busi­ness prac­tices, no mat­ter what your role. Roasters, how­ever, are prob­a­bly the most con­nected. With direct links to pro­duc­ers, importers, dis­trib­u­tors and retail­ers, the cof­fee roaster must take advan­tage of its rank in pop­u­lar­ity. The risk aspect is mostly asso­ci­ated with the pur­chase of green beans.

Buying cof­fee for a good sized roaster means mak­ing use of siz­able sums of money. Making sure that you are get­ting the cor­rect con­sis­tent qual­ity, and on time deliv­ery is of extreme impor­tance,” advises Leonard. “Selecting the right pro­duc­ers, coop­er­a­tives, exporters, Importers, ocean going ship­ping com­pa­nies, truck­ing com­pa­nies and ware­houses to partner/work with is essen­tial. Having con­sis­tent pro­ce­dures in place to check grade and cup qual­ity to insure you are receiv­ing cof­fee of the value that you have pur­chased is a must.” The bet­ter your rela­tion­ships are, the more effi­cient your busi­ness will be.

Fernandes makes it a point to travel to ori­gin at least 3–4 times per year, meet­ing directly with pro­duc­ers, coop­er­a­tives and exporters. “This allows me to be spe­cific with what I want and com­pet­i­tive with my prices,” he says. He reduces his risk by prop­erly del­e­gat­ing logis­tics he doesn’t feel com­fort­able han­dling to importers who he knows and trusts. “I can com­mit to pur­chas­ing upfront, which moti­vates them to give me a fair price.”

It is crit­i­cal to work with trust­wor­thy com­pa­nies for your own man­age­ment of risks, and to ensure the rep­u­ta­tion of your com­pany mir­rors that of your affil­i­ates. “Your word is your bond, only do busi­ness with peo­ple of their word. Most times in the cof­fee busi­ness a signed con­tract is what fol­lows, busi­ness is actu­ally done upon one’s word,” states Leonard.

Actions Speak Louder: Tactics and Techniques

For most roast­ers, buy­ing prac­tices have changed dra­mat­i­cally in the last few years. Information is avail­able more quickly, spark­ing a new­found fast-paced, com­pet­i­tive mar­ket with every­one look­ing for the same thing: qual­ity cof­fee at a fair price. “Where I used to look at con­sumer demand as a main indi­ca­tor, I now focus on the behav­iors of the importers,” says Fernandes. “Conventional indi­ca­tors are almost thrown out the win­dow.” Differential prices went from being avail­able for a few days to five min­utes, “you have to act fast or you miss out,” Fernandes empha­sizes. A good plan is to align your­self with mul­ti­ple bro­kers who may be deal­ing with rejec­tions or mishaps with inven­tory. If your rela­tion­ships are strong, this can be a risk free way to get cof­fee for under mar­ket value.

If your roast­ing busi­ness is lucra­tive enough, it pays to stock pile inven­tory and con­stantly rotate through sup­plies. This puts pre­cau­tions in place that will allow your com­pany to over­come var­i­ous sup­ply issues, like sud­den price move­ments, nat­ural dis­as­ters, or poor weather cycles. Socafe learned to spread their inven­tory through­out mul­ti­ple ware­houses. “When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, those who kept their inven­tory solely in that one ware­house in Kearny, New Jersey that was dam­aged, must have faced major set­backs,” says Fernandes.

If your roast­ing busi­ness is involved with the pri­vate label sec­tor, you can min­i­mize the risk involved with those niche cus­tomers by sim­ply edu­cat­ing them. Fernandes sug­gests empow­er­ing them as much as pos­si­ble. “Tell them why the prices are the way they are. Explain to them man­u­fac­tur­ing costs, trans­porta­tion costs, etc. Ensuring trans­parency can ensure con­tin­ued business.”

Last, but incred­i­bly far from least, the uti­liza­tion of proper tools to help man­age risk is cru­cial in today’s strug­gling eco­nomic times. Many firms, con­trac­tors and web­sites can help a roaster under­stand, and ben­e­fit from, the futures and options cof­fee mar­ket. Coffee roast­ers should uti­lize the mar­ket to trans­fer risk and help deter­mine cur­rent prices. Combining this with other strate­gies could bring a bal­anced under­stand­ing of the global cof­fee picture.

While it is the futures mar­ket first and fore­most,” admits Fernandes, “that is just a snap­shot of the present moment and a roaster can­not react to the cur­rent screen. Therefore, we need another way to iden­tify trends.” Talking directly to importers, as pre­vi­ously men­tioned, is key, as they are on the fore­front of it all. Watch weather pat­terns in cof­fee grow­ing regions to stay ahead of crop qual­ity con­di­tions. Get on the ground infor­ma­tion about who’s sell­ing, who’s hold­ing and what prices they are look­ing for. Gather infor­ma­tion from ports of ori­gin to gauge what they’re send­ing over. And, as Fernandes advises, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket…all it takes is one spec­u­la­tor to ruin it.”

Join per­ti­nent cof­fee orga­ni­za­tions and asso­ci­a­tions to meet your roast­ing peers and lead­ing sup­pli­ers in the indus­try,” says Leonard. “Continuously attend Coffee Organization and Association train­ing ses­sions to gain depth of knowl­edge required to be suc­cess­ful as a roaster. Read indus­try books and trade mag­a­zines to stay in tune to cur­rent devel­op­ments in our indus­try. Spend time at cof­fee ori­gin and learn cof­fee from the Producers point of view. Work closely with your sales and mar­ket­ing depart­ment to help edu­cate them about the world of cof­fee and what might appeal to the con­sumers that you are try­ing to reach.”

12_12 7-AAlexis Rubinstein, Senior Editor INTL FCStone/CoffeeNetwork

Coffee Outlook for 2013 from Rabobank

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

12_12 11-ACoffee prices are expected to increase in 2013 find­ing sup­port from increas­ing global demand and tight­en­ing stock lev­els. Arabica prices are down over 52% from the 2011 high. However, a poten­tial deficit in the 2013–14 sea­son, as well as an already large short spec­u­la­tor posi­tion, will tem­per fur­ther down­side. Robusta mar­ket prices are con­tin­gent on the Vietnamese crop, and as the cur­rent out­look is pos­i­tive, major ral­lies are not antic­i­pated, but expect mod­er­ately higher prices in 2013. The price dif­fer­ence between cof­fee vari­eties has set­tled to a level of sta­bil­ity in the com­ing year. The range-bound out­look for the spread between Arabica and Robusta prices in 2013 is a fore­cast for less volatile price action in the Arabica mar­ket. Coffee con­sump­tion has not decreased, but demand has largely moved away from washed Arabica to Brazilian-natural Arabica or Robusta, which has shifted dif­fer­en­tials closer. This dynamic is a focal point in our fore­casts for mostly lat­eral but pos­i­tive move­ment in 2013.

Arabica fun­da­men­tals are fore­cast to be in sur­plus for 2012 and 2013, which will be a bear­ish aspect weigh­ing on prices in late 2012 and early 2013 due to investor short­ing and hand-to-mouth roaster buy­ing. Market prices may hit a bot­tom in 2012, with a pos­i­tive out­look in 2013 based on new sea­son fun­da­men­tals and increased buy­ing. The fun­da­men­tal fore­cast for Arabica beans in 2012–2013 is for a 4.1 million-bag sur­plus, while early pro­jec­tions for 2013 and 2014 sug­gest a likely deficit. The Arabica price out­look in 2013 is pos­i­tive due to this poten­tial deficit, antic­i­pated roaster buy­ing and Brazilian farm­ers hold­ing sup­ply off the market.

Farmers in Brazil still have a sig­nif­i­cant amount of 2012 Arabica har­vest to sell on the mar­ket, but given their well-capitalized posi­tion and gov­ern­ment sub­si­dies for stor­age, we antic­i­pate the sup­ply from Brazil will arrive only if prices are attrac­tive. The spec­u­la­tor gross short position—near his­toric highs—is expected to be pared back in 2013 as the deficit sea­son looms. The gross short posi­tion is equiv­a­lent to 14 mil­lion bags of cof­fee, and a reduc­tion in 2013 will likely sup­port futures prices. With the Arabica mar­ket in sur­plus, buy­ers have dis­ci­plined roast­ers in 2012, likely based on the assump­tion that the over­sup­ply will result in a fur­ther reduc­tion in prices. The out­look for 2013 calls for end users to increase buy­ing to build stocks, which will sup­port a retrac­ing in the market.

Market expec­ta­tions for the 2013 Brazilian Arabica crop will drive roaster buy­ing and spec­u­la­tor posi­tion­ing in the com­ing year. While early devel­op­ment is pos­i­tive, it will be an off-season crop, poten­tially shift­ing the Arabica fun­da­men­tal bal­ance into deficit. The scale of the season-to-season pro­duc­tion shift has fallen in the past decade due to agro­nomic prac­tices. The dif­fer­ence between on– and off-season crops is antic­i­pated to con­tinue to shrink in the com­ing years, but given the scale of Brazilian pro­duc­tion rel­a­tive to global Arabica output—forecasted at 46% in 2012 and 2013—the off-season har­vest will still likely bring about a global deficit in the com­ing sea­sons. Also impact­ing the sup­ply of Arabica in 2013 will be lower incen­tives from prices. Multi-year pro­duc­tion highs of Arabica in Central America, Asia and Africa in 2012 and 2013 were in part a reac­tion to the high­est nom­i­nal sea­son aver­age New York price ever. In 2013, antic­i­pate lower New York val­ues and lower washed dif­fer­en­tials will reduce incen­tives to use inputs and thus mod­er­ate yield poten­tial in the short term. With reduced yields and an off-season Brazilian har­vest, a high prob­a­bil­ity of an expected Arabica deficit sup­port­ing New York prices in 2013 is predicted.

The shift­ing demand pro­file in the cof­fee mar­ket will keep washed Arabica prices and dif­fer­en­tials under pres­sure and sup­port Brazilian Naturals and Robusta mar­kets in 2013. Coffee-demand growth in 2013 is likely to be con­cen­trated in emerg­ing and non­tra­di­tional mar­kets as it has been for the past cou­ple of sea­sons. Given the price con­scious con­sumers in these grow­ing mar­kets, roast­ers are expected to focus on lower-priced beans, there­fore max­i­miz­ing Robusta use. The 2010–2011 price rally in New York sup­ported washed Arabica pro­duc­tion. This, cou­pled with demand mov­ing towards Brazilian Naturals, is pro­jected to result in an over­sup­ply of washed Arabica. In the short term, over­sup­ply is illus­trated by the New York exchange inven­to­ries grow­ing 52% in the sec­ond half of 2012 as ori­gins sell to the board due to mod­est phys­i­cal buy­ing inter­est. The post-boom Arabica mar­ket leaves Brazilian sup­ply in demand while higher cost washed sup­ply exceeds demand. In 2013, the mar­ket will have to pay Brazilian farm­ers higher prices to draw out sup­ply while pro­duc­ers of washed Arabica will find the mar­ket over­sup­plied. This has resulted in dif­fer­en­tials mov­ing closer together, a sit­u­a­tion that is likely to remain in 2013.

The Robusta mar­ket has been bal­anced with strong demand growth and large Vietnamese har­vests, and in 2013 we see this dynamic con­tin­u­ing. Expect the mar­ket to be sup­ported by increased con­sump­tion, espe­cially at ori­gin and in Asia. In our view, the sub­sti­tu­tion of Arabica for Robusta in 2010 and 2011, which esti­mated at between 3 mil­lion and 5 mil­lion bags glob­ally, was a dynamic not expected to occur again. If the Robusta/Arabica price spread remains near cur­rent lev­els, we do not expect con­sump­tion to shift back to Arabica, and we do not expect fur­ther sub­sti­tu­tion. Robusta demand is fore­cast to increase 3.8% in 2012 and 2013, down from 11% the pre­vi­ous year, and will likely grow at a sim­i­lar pace in the fol­low­ing sea­son if prices are near our fore­casts. Robusta mar­ket fun­da­men­tals are fore­cast to be in a mod­est deficit of 204,000 bags in 2012–2013. The con­tin­ued growth in demand is expected to be coun­tered by a large Vietnamese crop of 27 mil­lion bags in the new season.

The spec­u­la­tor gross long posi­tion in the Robusta mar­ket has been pared back sig­nif­i­cantly since its peak in July 2012 as the sup­ply out­look improved. If Vietnamese and Indonesian crops meet expec­ta­tions, investors will likely keep reduc­ing long posi­tions. A sharp rever­sal in the fund posi­tion­ing is prob­a­ble if bull­ish sup­ply news arrives, and con­se­quently our sense for price spike risks in Robusta are ele­vated. With our base case Robusta sup­ply sce­nario for 2012 and 2013, we do not antic­i­pate investors increas­ing the net long lev­els, but we expect com­mer­cial buy­ing and the need to encour­age Robusta pro­duc­tion to be sup­port­ive fac­tors, result­ing in increas­ing prices in 2013. Early sea­son har­vest pres­sure cou­pled with fund liq­ui­da­tion is fore­cast to give way to com­mer­cial buy­ing sup­port­ing futures prices.

12_12 11-BKeith Flury, Senior Analyst Soft Commodities for Rabobank

12_12 11-C

Arabica dif­fer­en­tials have shifted closer together as demand has moved from washed to naturals

12_12 11-D

Robusta is fore­cast to move to deficit in 2012/13 while Arabica will be in surplus

12_12 11-E

In Memoriam

Categories: 2012, NovemberTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

The cof­fee indus­try pays respect to and remem­bers with great admi­ra­tion the life of a man who played a very for­ma­tive role in the devel­op­ment and advance­ment of spe­cialty cof­fee. Salim Janna, or “Salo” as many of his friends called him, started his cof­fee career by join­ing the Colombian Coffee Federation in Bogotá in June, 1983. Shortly there­after, he received his first pro­mo­tion and was trans­ferred to the Colombian Coffee Federation in New York where a few short months later he was appointed President.

Salim was one of the pio­neers and pro­mot­ers of the 100% Colombian Coffee pro­gram. He led an adver­tis­ing and pro­mo­tional cam­paign which posi­tioned Juan Valdez among the most rec­og­nized icons in the US, and Colombian Coffee among the top qual­ity cof­fees in the world.

In 1995, he and his wife Marcela decided to move their fam­ily back home to Colombia. Salim wanted to con­tinue his career in cof­fee and decided to invest in Café Condor. In 1996, Salim became its CEO and major­ity investor and under his lead­er­ship the com­pany became a pio­neer­ing exporter of spe­cialty coffee.

Salim was actively involved with the SCAA where he par­tic­i­pated in the International Relations Committee as well as on the board of direc­tors. He was also one of the founders of the Colombian Specialty Association. His pas­sion for qual­ity showed in his many con­tri­bu­tions to the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI), where he served as respected trustee for a period of thir­teen con­sec­u­tive years, until he retired from the board two years ago. He was very instru­men­tal in help­ing CQI to attain many of its suc­cesses and his wis­dom and coun­sel were highly val­ued. He was a straight shooter whose com­mit­ment to qual­ity was unwavering.

Salim was a go-getter. He would break­fast in Bogotá, be seen at an after­noon meet­ing in New York, and later dine with clients in L.A before tak­ing the red-eye back to Miami or Barranquilla. His intrin­sic sense for oppor­tu­ni­ties com­bined with his tenac­ity and deter­mi­na­tion made him a suc­cess­ful entre­pre­neur at a very young age. He invested in the port of Barranquilla as well as in coal min­ing in Colombia’s inte­rior where he acquired a coal trad­ing com­pany, serv­ing as its CEO. He also served on sev­eral boards in the energy indus­try and health care sec­tor in Colombia. When Salim was engaged in an indus­try he com­mit­ted him­self to mak­ing it bet­ter, and to mak­ing a difference.

He had an insa­tiable appetite for learn­ing and would share with friends and col­leagues the case study learn­ings from his annual sojourns to Harvard Business School’s exec­u­tive edu­ca­tion pro­grams. He was very pas­sion­ate about the impor­tance of life­long learn­ing and to work­ing hard to achieve your goals. He cer­tainly mod­eled those values.

Yet, for all the accom­plish­ments of his career, the sin­gle most impor­tant focus of his life, and the only real mea­sure of suc­cess that was impor­tant to him was the love of his fam­ily. Salim’s wife Marcela and his three sons, Nicolas, Julian and Gabriel were the cen­ter of his uni­verse and the source of his joy and inspi­ra­tion. He beamed when he spoke of them and was so very proud of the life they shared. Salim was a devoted and lov­ing hus­band and father. He had a heart that was big­ger than his entire body and it over­flowed with gen­eros­ity and warmth and acceptance.

And so, we pay trib­ute to the con­tri­bu­tions of an indus­try leader who so many of us had the priv­i­lege of call­ing friend. Let us honor his mem­ory by our stead­fast pur­suit of qual­ity and in our under­stand­ing of what is really impor­tant in life. We shall carry him our hearts always.

The View

Categories: 2012, NovemberTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

As I am prepar­ing this col­umn for pub­li­ca­tion, about half the pop­u­la­tion is endur­ing the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy as it comes ashore in New Jersey. The destruc­tion is already exten­sive and we haven’t heard from the inland areas that are bound to expe­ri­ence wide rang­ing power out­ages, flood­ing, and loss of life and prop­erty. We sin­cerely wish all our friends and busi­ness asso­ciates in the Mid-Atlantic, New England, Great Lakes, and Canada God speed and good luck dur­ing these ter­ri­ble few hours and the days and weeks of clean­ing up ahead.

Congratulations to Basic Health International for receiv­ing the most clicks in our Making A Difference issue that is pub­lished on-line every July. Basic Health International will receive a $1000 dona­tion from the CoffeeTalk Foundation and our warm con­grat­u­la­tions. Basic Health International devel­oped, along with stu­dents from Hampshire College in Massachusetts, a trans­portable light­weight gyne­co­log­i­cal exam table made from inex­pen­sive mate­ri­als. The table folds up and can be car­ried like a back­pack into remote areas that may not have seen women’s med­ical care for gen­er­a­tions. The frame also has pouches for car­ry­ing the cryother­apy tanks and sup­plies
In the words of BHI
“Imagine paint­ing a 5-story build­ing with­out a lad­der, or har­vest­ing cof­fee with­out a con­tainer to store the beans? This is the sit­u­a­tion that many health care providers find them­selves in when admin­is­ter­ing cer­vi­cal can­cer screen­ing in remote and rural areas. Health care providers often travel long dis­tances to pro­vide life-saving cer­vi­cal can­cer screen­ing and treat­ment to rural areas that do not have health clin­ics or gyne­co­logic exam­i­na­tion tables. Women have to be exam­ined on desks, tables, hard floors or low mat­tresses in com­mu­nity rooms or pri­vate homes. These non-traditional facil­i­ties are often poorly lit and uncom­fort­able for women. In addi­tion, to treat pre-cancerous cer­vi­cal lesions, cryother­apy (freez­ing) of the cervix is employed. This requires providers to lug the gas tanks that weigh approx­i­mately 25 lbs each. These tanks are awk­ward and dif­fi­cult to grasp because of their cylin­dri­cal shape and lack of a han­dle. As a result, providers either roll the gear on a dolly-like struc­ture, or bear the weight on their own
heads – all of which prove unfea­si­ble in remote, moun­tain­ous areas.”

We hope that our small con­tri­bu­tion will help Basic Health International deploy more of these needed tools to vil­lages and women in need. We also urge you to give as well. For more infor­ma­tion on Basic Health International, you can call 212−241−0733 or email them at Their address is:
Basic Health International
Mount Sinai Medical Center
One Gustave, L. Levy Place, Box 1170
New York, NY 10029–6574

Thank you for mak­ing our raf­fle suc­cess­ful!
On behalf of the 5th graders of the West Seattle Elementary School (a school with hope and heart), we would like to thank the gen­er­ous Coffee Fest exhibitors and our din­ner party guests for their con­tri­bu­tions to our raf­fle fundraiser. Miles and I were amazed at the con­tri­bu­tions of so many friends and busi­ness part­ners, enabling us to suc­cess­fully reach our goal to sus­tain the camp in Islandwood, where the stu­dents par­tic­i­pate in expe­ri­en­tial and project-based field­work. For many of these stu­dents, it is their first time being out­side of the city and they come back changed, with a broader view of them­selves and the impact they have as mem­bers of a com­mu­nity. Keeping the pro­gram alive would not have been pos­si­ble with­out your support!

Coffee Fest Seattle 2012 Highlights

Categories: 2012, OctoberTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Coffee Fest has now com­pleted pro­duc­tion of the 66th Coffee Fest trade show, the 21st held in the emer­ald city. Although Coffee Fest is well estab­lished with more than 20 years under its belt, it remains a top pri­or­ity and pri­mary objec­tive to keep the pro­gram­ming extremely fresh and inno­v­a­tive. Coffee Fest Seattle 2012 debuted two pro­fes­sional com­pe­ti­tions; America’s Best Espresso Competition and the DaVinci Gourmet, America’s Best Coffeehouse Competition. Additionally, Coffee Fest Seattle fea­tured the launch of Coffee Fest’s new Freshman Class; First Time Attendee Orientation Program, which had more than 200, pre­reg­is­tered. The New Product Showcase received a face-lift and the edu­ca­tional pro­gram included 19 brand new classes.

Attendees from all over the U.S. and the world came to the Washington State Convention Center to par­take in the edu­ca­tional offer­ings, the net­work­ing events, the Latte Art World Championship Open com­pe­ti­tion and sam­pled from over 250 exhi­bi­tion booths. Once totaled, actual atten­dance was just over 4,300.

The Coffee Fest Product Showcase has received an online facelift and atten­dees now deter­mine the Best New Product win­ners. Voting occurred online at and the results were announced on Friday after­noon with awards pre­sented to these manufacturers:


1st – GoodDrinks – High Fructose Corn Syrup Free Sauces

2nd – Jet – Jet Arctic Lemonade

3rd – Earnest Eats – Hot & Fit Cereal


1st – JavaHook – JavaHook

2nd – Hot Straw – Hot Straw

3rd – Blendtec – Stealth Countertop Blender

Coffee Fest’s Latte Art World Championship Open fea­tured 64 baris­tas in a head-to-head, bracket style, free pour latte art show­down. The 2012 World Championship Open had an Olympic feel with an astound­ing 27 com­peti­tors who trav­eled from Japan, China, and Australia, Malaysia, and Canada to com­pete in Seattle. The com­pe­ti­tion also fea­tured defend­ing cham­pion, Christopher “Nicely” Alameda and San Diego 2011 cham­pion Satoru Oiso. After 3 days of intense com­pe­ti­tion, the cham­pi­ons were named:

1st place – Winning $2,500 and a 1st place Trophy – Kei Hamada from Shibuya, Japan

2nd place – Winning $1,000 and a2nd place Trophy – Shimoyama Nobumasa from Melbourne, Austrailia

3rd place – Winning $500 and a 3rd place Trophy – Cole McBride of Visions Espresso –  Seattle, WA

The NEW America’s Best Espresso Competition pre­sented for cof­fee roast­ers is also a head-to-head, bracket style com­pe­ti­tion in which cof­fee roast­ers from the west­ern region of the U.S. and Canada show­cased their espresso. A panel of chefs and restau­ra­teur judges eval­u­ated one shot from each com­peti­tor based on the virtues of 1) Flavor Complexity, 2) Mouthfeel & Appeal, and 3) Aftertaste. Once the 192 shots were extracted, con­sumed, and eval­u­ated the win­ners were:

1st place – Winning a first place Trophy – Blue Star Coffee Roasters of Twisp, WA

2nd place – Winning a sec­ond place Trophy – Conduit Coffee Company of Seattle, WA

3rd place – Winning a third place Trophy – Bowen Island Roasting Co. Ltd of Bowen Island, BC, Canada

Finally, the NEW DaVinci Gourmet, America’s Best Coffeehouse Competition cul­mi­nated at Coffee Fest Seattle. After under­go­ing a 60 day process of elim­i­na­tion by secret shop­per eval­u­a­tion and pub­lic vote, eight semi­fi­nal­ist cof­fee­houses from the west­ern U.S. were cho­sen to com­pete in an on-site pop-up cof­fee­house. Each cof­fee­house brought a team of three to per­form for thirty care­fully selected and pre­pared judges. The emerg­ing vic­tors were:

1st place – Winning $2500 and a fist place Trophy – Klatch Coffee, Inc. from San Dimas, CA

2nd place – Winning $1000 and a sec­ond place Trophy – Heart Coffee Roasters from Portland, OR

3rd place – Winning $500 and a third place Trophy – Dog River Coffee Company from Hood River, OR

All three pro­fes­sional com­pe­ti­tions will con­tinue at every Coffee Fest start­ing in New York March 8–10, 2013. New York will serve as the U.S. and Canada Eastern Regional Championship. Coffee Fest’s Latte Art World Championship Open will remain open to com­peti­tors both domes­ti­cally and inter­na­tion­ally. To apply for any of our upcom­ing com­pe­ti­tions or for more details, visit the

Coffee Fest is a trade show cater­ing to the spe­cialty cof­fee and gourmet tea indus­tries. For more about their shows or on the win­ners of the com­pe­ti­tions present and future, visit or become a fan at Coffee Fest’s next show is slated for New York, NY March 8 – 10, 2013 at the Jacob Javits Center. In June, Coffee Fest returns to Chicago, June 7–9, 2013.

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