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by Rocky Rhodes

Introducing CoffeeTalk’s “Virtual Roaster’s Challenge”

Categories: 2014, AugustTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

For any­one who has been to a Roasters Guild retreat, you know that there are fun and cre­ative chal­lenges each year to stim­u­late your cre­ative side and to chal­lenge your team’s skills in the roast­ing field. We have decided to try some­thing new here at CoffeeTalk. Welcome to the first annual (or pos­si­bly the last depend­ing on how it goes) Virtual Roaster’s Challenge!

‘MacGyver Roasting’
If you do not know what ‘MacGyvering’ is, then you are prob­a­bly under 30! In an 80’s tele­vi­sion show, the lead char­ac­ter, Angus MacGyver, was able to find and use tools around him to do amaz­ing things. If he had a stick of gum, a paper­clip, a nine-volt bat­tery, and his trusty penknife, then he could dis­arm a mis­sile or take down a Sherman tank. He was that smart and cre­ative. If you have been roast­ing for any time, you will have had to ‘MacGyver’ your roaster in some way to keep roasting—jumping a kill switch, duct tap­ing the, well, duct­ing that of which is falling apart, etc.

For your chal­lenge, we are going to present you with some items and you need to build, rather MacGyver together, a sam­ple roaster. This is, of course, a vir­tual roaster because if any of you get a lit­tle TOO cre­ative, a vir­tual roaster will not burn down your shop, and we do not have any lia­bil­ity issues!!!

Unlike the Roasters Guild Retreat, this is not group work. You are all on your own! You will have 30 days to sub­mit your solu­tions. Here is what you have to work with:

The MacGyver sta­ples:
1)    The pock­etknife: (Think Swiss Army knife)
2)    A stick of chew­ing gum with a foil wrap­per
3)    20 feet of string
4)    A fully charged nine volt battery

A few chal­lenge add-on items
1)    Hair dryer (assume you have access to elec­tric­ity)
2)    A roll of tin foil
3)    A can of extra chunky beef stew
4)    A camp stove with fuel
5)    2 rolls of duct tape
6)    1 bro­ken refrig­er­a­tor (all of the parts are there, it just stopped cool­ing last week)
7)    A pile of ¾ inch diam­e­ter sticks in three foot lengths
8)    A smart phone with no recep­tion or Wi-Fi (you can never get a sig­nal when you need it)
9)    A cast iron skil­let
10)    A 1–5 quart pot
11)    A deck of play­ing cards
12)    A 9 iron – right handed – Ping!
13)    1 large towel
14)    An umbrella
15)    10 empty Coke bot­tles
16)    Four coconuts
17)    A Minnesota snipe (If you do not know what one is or how to use one, ask me at the next Roasters Guild Retreat in August. Skamania has snipe too.)

Tools nearby:
1)    Hacksaw
2)    Hammer
3)    Small spot welder
4)    And of course, the trusty pock­etknife men­tioned earlier.

Handy ‘other items’:
1)    Anything you were wear­ing when you started the chal­lenge. Things like shoelaces, glasses, a belt etc.

A cou­ple of obvi­ous ground rules: No you can­not ‘phone a friend’ and have them bring you stuff. Think of your­self as caught behind enemy lines and no one is com­ing to save you. The only way out is to build this sam­ple roaster and roast your way out! It is a life or death sit­u­a­tion and the only per­son you can trust is you!

No, you can­not have started this con­test wear­ing a 1-kilo sam­ple roaster.

Submitting a Solution
Once you have a con­cept for a great sam­ple roaster, you need to sub­mit the fol­low­ing:
1)    A 250-word descrip­tion of your roaster design phi­los­o­phy and how you ‘built’ it
2)    A schematic of what your roaster looks like when it is func­tion­ing
3)    Create PDF’s or word doc­u­ments and sub­mit to:
roasterchallenge@coffeetalk.com
4)    Include a short bio includ­ing how long you have been roast­ing, what you use, and a photo of you or logo for your company.

Fabulous Prizes
CoffeeTalk will take the best designs and fea­ture them over the next few months and share your bril­liance with the world. Awards will be given for:

•    Most likely to work
•    Most cre­ative use of mate­ri­als
•    Most likely to be a spec­tac­u­lar mishap involv­ing the fire depart­ment
•    Best over­all plan, phi­los­o­phy, exe­cu­tion of design, and sub­mis­sion story

International Coffee Consulting is proud to spon­sor the prize for “most likely to work!” The prize is five hours of Coffee Tech Support from their new ser­vice to the cof­fee indus­try. Think of it as a help desk at your dis­posal, where all cof­fee ques­tions will get answered (for a fair price). Other spon­sors will most likely come on board as well, but if not, then hey, you can have brag­ging rights as being the first ever to win the category!

Have fun and be creative!

The View

Categories: 2014, AugustTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:
With my grandson, Finn,  at Wharaiki Beach, New Zealand July 2014

With my grand­son, Finn,
at Wharaiki Beach, New Zealand July 2014

Balance. With it, you can achieve great­ness. Without it, suc­cess is lim­ited and fail­ure is much more likely. But “bal­ance” is a tricky thing. As a busy busi­nessper­son you are always think­ing of what you can do bet­ter. What did you for­get? You dream of the day when you will be “caught up.” The day when you can finally relax a bit. Be care­ful! Before you know it, your chil­dren are grown, your friends are mostly gone due to your com­plete and utter focus on your busi­ness goals, and you are still fight­ing the bat­tle of to-dos, projects and things! So how do you get off the end­less roller­coaster ride? How do you get “caught up”? How do you succeed?

You STOP. You take a break. You look at the big­ger pic­ture. And you rede­fine “suc­cess.” You accept that you will never be caught up and the list never ends. You make peace with that, and you learn to trust oth­ers. Yes, just maybe you can do X, Y, and Z faster and bet­ter than any­one else can (at least in your own mind), but is that really your best use of time? You learn to let go and do what is really impor­tant. AND, you define “impor­tant.” Is impor­tant mak­ing sales, or the per­fect brochure; or the per­fect word­ing or the per­fect ANYTHING?

You learn that there is no such thing as “per­fect,” But there is suc­cess. And, suc­cess is wak­ing up each morn­ing proud of who you are and what you have achieved. Success is help­ing your employ­ees to grow and become bet­ter at what they do. Success is help­ing your cus­tomers in what­ever it is you do to serve them. Success is real­iz­ing that peo­ple are more impor­tant than goals. Success is spend­ing a good pro­por­tion of each day doing the things that will make you and your fam­ily hap­pier and health­ier. Success is the jour­ney – one day at a time. Success is find­ing that bal­ance between profit and people.

Today I wish for all of the CoffeeTalk read­ers and fam­ily, success.

Juan Valdez: Beyond the Bean

Categories: 2014, AugustTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

When you hear the name Juan Valdez, you likely think of the image of the Colombian cof­fee farmer with his mule, Conchita. You might also think of Colombian cof­fee pro­mo­tional cam­paigns that for many Americans were the first glance at where cof­fee orig­i­nated. What you prob­a­bly do not real­ize, how­ever, is the rich­ness and his­tory behind Juan Valdez and the vast impact it has on both Colombia and, fur­ther­more, across the globe. To fully grasp the evo­lu­tion of a char­ac­ter into a brand, it is key to under­stand where it comes from and, more impor­tantly, where it is going.

The Juan Valdez char­ac­ter was cre­ated more than 50 years ago in order to posi­tion Colombian cof­fee inter­na­tion­ally. It was designed to rep­re­sent one of the more than 500,000 Colombian cof­fee grow­ers rep­re­sented by the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC), which owns the Juan Valdez brand. The Colombian Coffee Growers Federation real­ized early in its his­tory that one of the avenues to help these cof­fee grow­ing fam­i­lies was to make sure that con­sumers val­ued the ori­gin of the prod­uct and the qual­ity asso­ci­ated with Colombian beans. This is why, for decades, it has sup­ported 100 per­cent Colombian cof­fee brands in all con­ti­nents. Today, there are nearly 1,000 brands of 100 per­cent Colombian cof­fee around the world car­ry­ing the Colombian cof­fee logo as an ingre­di­ent brand.

In 2002, in response to the “Latte Revolution,” –the estab­lish­ment of spe­cial­ized chains that sold pre­mium cof­fee and changed the cof­fee retail mar­ket in the 1990’s, – Juan Valdez was re-launched as a Juan Valdez sig­na­ture brand with the inau­gu­ra­tion of the Juan Valdez® Cafés. This new con­cept also came about when prices were at their low­est and Colombian cof­fee grow­ers felt that they deserved a higher share of the value asso­ci­ated with spe­cialty coffees.

Thus, the Juan Valdez® Café busi­ness was orig­i­nally designed as an inclu­sive busi­ness. It was meant to show­case the diver­sity of high end Colombian cof­fees and its dif­fer­ent ter­roirs, gen­er­at­ing inter­est among cof­fee indus­try mem­bers about the var­ied pos­si­bil­i­ties that Colombian cof­fee could offer in the high end seg­ment. Ten years later, Colombian spe­cialty and ter­roir cof­fees have become much more preva­lent in the dif­fer­ent offer­ings of inde­pen­dent baris­tas and well-known spe­cialty brands.

Juan Valdez® Café also gen­er­ates value to cof­fee grow­ers in brand roy­al­ties. A por­tion of every sale made under this brand goes back to Colombia´s National Coffee Fund and is invested back into assis­tance pro­grams that focus on sus­tain­able and com­pet­i­tive prac­tices for cof­fee grow­ers.  The brand roy­al­ties gen­er­ated by the busi­ness have now sur­passed 20 mil­lion dol­lars. No other cof­fee brand has a sim­i­lar track record of allo­cat­ing a por­tion of its rev­enues into sim­i­lar pro­grams. In addi­tion, the brand has paid qual­ity pre­mi­ums amount­ing to more than $6 mil­lion to pro­duc­ers for cof­fees that are sold under the brand. Furthermore, 18,000 actual farm­ers are share­hold­ers and see addi­tional prof­its through the indi­vid­ual shares they have purchased.

These fig­ures have come about after over­com­ing a num­ber of chal­lenges asso­ci­ated with the world eco­nomic reces­sion that affected most European and North American mar­kets. During the last 10 plus years, the Juan Valdez® Café brand and retail chain has diver­si­fied its focus in a num­ber of grow­ing mar­kets and is begin­ning to step up its pres­ence in tra­di­tional cof­fee con­sum­ing coun­tries. By the sec­ond semes­ter of 2014, a total of 270 Juan Valdez® Cafés have opened to the pub­lic. While 191 of these cafés are located in Colombia, nearly 80 new out­lets have now opened in Aruba, Chile, South Korea, Ecuador, Spain, the United States, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, Panama, Kuwait, Bolivia, and Malaysia.  Several Juan Valdez® Cafés are also about to open their doors in Miami, com­ple­ment­ing its pres­ence in cer­tain United States airports.

From the per­spec­tive of its own­ers, the grow­ers them­selves, the brand is now very suc­cess­ful. The busi­ness is prof­itable, gen­er­at­ing qual­ity pre­mi­ums to grow­ing fam­i­lies and a larger por­tion of brand roy­al­ties for sus­tain­abil­ity ini­tia­tives.  The most sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fit to cof­fee grow­ers is no doubt the abil­ity to show­case the dif­fer­ences within Colombian cof­fees to con­sumers and clients world­wide. In order to do so, Juan Valdez aims to high­light the ori­gins of its cof­fee so that peo­ple can under­stand the authen­tic­ity and ded­i­ca­tion of Colombian cof­fee grow­ers, as well as the rich and vast geo­graphic and cul­tural diver­sity of Colombia. Specialized buy­ers and baris­tas are now fre­quent vis­i­tors to the country´s dif­fer­ent regions, as they have become dis­cern­ing cof­fee con­nois­seurs who demand the best-quality cof­fee in the world. The Juan Valdez brand is now elic­it­ing not only thoughts of a Colombian cof­fee farmer and his mule, but also notions of the ori­gin, his­tory and rich­ness of a coun­try that boasts the world’s best coffee.

Alejandra Londoño is the International Vice President, Procafecol-Juan Valdez.

Cerrado Mineiro Region: Coffee with Origin and Quality for the World

Categories: 2014, AugustTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

ipadScan copyThere is a sub­stan­tial change in cof­fee drink­ing habits through­out the world. Nowadays, the bev­er­age is con­sumed not only for drink­ing high-quality cof­fee, but for social needs as well. The con­sumer has become extremely demand­ing and sophis­ti­cated and wants to have pro­found knowl­edge about all of the stages of the pro­duc­tive chain: the pro­ducer, how the cof­fee was cul­ti­vated, its vari­ety, ori­gin, how it has been mar­keted, and dis­tri­b­u­tion. He or she wants to know if the con­sump­tion is gen­er­at­ing value for the cof­fee pro­duc­ers. The Cerrado Mineiro Region has shown its poten­tial, and it is pre­pared for this chal­lenge: to make the Cerrado Mineiro Region a ref­er­ence of “atti­tude” for the new world of cof­fee in terms of the pro­duc­ers, the region, and the prod­ucts, and to also be rel­e­vant for the new consumers.

The Cerrado Mineiro Region is the first and only coffee-growing region in Brazil rec­og­nized with the Designation of Origin sta­tus. This achieve­ment is recent and has been awarded by the Brazilian Regulating Agency, INPI, on December 31, 2013. The cof­fee pro­duced in this Region, besides hav­ing unique char­ac­ter­is­tics, presents a com­plete trace­abil­ity sys­tem focused on the cof­fee pro­ducer and ori­gin. The pri­mary aim of the sys­tem is to inform by whom, how, and where that cof­fee was pro­duced. Much more than excel­lent cof­fee, the Cerrado Mineiro Region offers the world the oppor­tu­nity to get to know those respon­si­ble for the qual­ity and dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion of the coffee.

The President of the Cerrado Mineiro Coffee Growers Federation, Francisco Sérgio de Assis, explains: “We have dis­cov­ered that the search for inno­va­tion and tech­nol­ogy is aligned to the con­sumers’ inter­ests, and for that, we will seek to always dis­close new tools and infor­ma­tion to this public.”

The con­trol of the cof­fee pro­duced within the Cerrado Mineiro Region is ensured by the Seal of Origin and Quality, attest­ing that cof­fee has been pro­duced in the region and com­plies with qual­ity stan­dards, such as to have at least 80 qual­ity points earned in the SCAA method­ol­ogy. The Cerrado Mineiro Coffee Growers Federation makes the issu­ing of seals, as well as the eval­u­a­tion of the cof­fee. There are two Seals of Origin: one for green cof­fee and another for cof­fee already processed (roasted), mak­ing its way to the final consumer.

To obtain the Seal of Origin and Quality the cof­fee is sub­mit­ted to the already men­tioned analy­sis process, and only after com­ply­ing with all the require­ments it becomes apt to receive the seal and thus becomes trace­able any­where in the world. This seal is sown to the cof­fee bags at the moment of ship­ping the lot. A code to be inserted in the Cerrado Mineiro Region site is printed on the seal allow­ing retrieval of all infor­ma­tion about the prod­uct: the farm where it has been pro­duced, the name of the grower, and also the beverage’s eval­u­a­tion report and its roast­ing curve, which is help­ful for the indus­tri­al­iza­tion of coffee.

Whoever buys cof­fee with the Cerrado Mineiro Region Seal of Origin and Quality may use in their already processed cof­fee pack­ages, a spe­cific Seal of Origin and Quality, also issued by the Cerrado Mineiro Coffee Growers Federation. In this seal there is a QR Code, which is read through apps in smart­phones, that shares with the con­sumer the grower´s his­tory, the farm data and loca­tion, and infor­ma­tion on the region. In other words, it is cof­fee that is totally trace­able from its ori­gin all the way to the cup. This is a strong demand from the new con­sumer mar­ket, thus com­plet­ing the entire indus­tri­al­iza­tion of cof­fee process.

The Cerrado Mineiro Region has made the inter­na­tional launch of the Designation of Origin at the SCAA 2014 Conference and Expo dur­ing a lun­cheon for 100 guests, which included the media, roast­ers, pro­duc­ers, and author­i­ties, thus mark­ing this achieve­ment and pre­sent­ing the region’s entire exclu­sive trace­abil­ity system.

There was also a stand, which was fre­quented by mul­ti­ple vis­i­tors, where the entire con­fer­ence atten­dance could go and visit to obtain more detailed infor­ma­tion and insight on the trace­abil­ity tool that is exclu­sive of the Cerrado Mineiro Region.

On the Shoulders of GIants

Categories: 2014, AugustTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

alton_c (2) copyAlton McEwen, a man truly ded­i­cated to his work. He has come out of retire­ment mul­ti­ple times because the indus­try needs his help and has called him back. His skill is too great to keep hid­ing in retire­ment, and in a time of need, he has always been there for this indus­try. He is a man who guides, and he has guided mul­ti­ple cof­fee com­pa­nies to help rev­o­lu­tion­ize the spe­cialty cof­fee sec­tor into what it is today. His com­mit­ment to qual­ity can be seen in the suc­cess of the busi­nesses in which he has been involved.

You Must Pick Coffee First
McEwen is a grad­u­ate of Macdonald College of McGill University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Management.

In the 80’s, McEwen bought the com­pany, Second Cup. Having vis­ited ori­gin, he had great respect for end work that goes into the prod­uct from seed to cup. Having wit­nesses how com­plex and dif­fi­cult the entire process is to cre­ate the final cup, McEwen gained a vast appre­ci­a­tion. So much so that he took 129 fran­chisees to La Minita, Costa Rica prior to open­ing their shops to ensure their pas­sion for qual­ity as well.

I always say that when you are in the busi­ness to under­stand it, you have to go to ori­gin because no one can explain it to you.” explained McEwen.

To this day, every fran­chisee must pick cof­fee first, before open­ing their busi­ness doors.

McEwen served as a Director of The Second Cup Ltd. since 1988, and he also served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Second Cup from 1988 to 1996 and from 2000 to 2004.

During his time at Second Cup he was in charge of mul­ti­ple United States acqui­si­tions from 1997 to 1999. In July of 1999, McEwen decided to retire and travel to see the world. However, retire­ment did not last long. In October of 2000, McEwen returned to Second Cup for about 17 months after being asked to come back to help in a time of need. After Second Cup was sold to CARA in  2002, he stayed two more years and then retired for a sec­ond time. Soon after, he retired for a sec­ond time in 2004, and moved to California.

Working Magic in Multiple Companies
McEwen has been a Director of Franchising Corp., Gourmet Coffees since November 1995, a Director of Coffee People Inc. since 1998, and Director of Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Income Fund and Swiss water Decaffeinated Coffee Company Inc. since July 19, 2004. He has also served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Coffee People Inc. since May 1998.

Since 2006, McEwen has been on the board of Distant Lands, a roast­ing com­pany that also has mills, farms, and an green trad­ing group. In fact they have been pro­vid­ing the roasted cof­fee to Panera for eigh­teen plus years. Their food-service ori­ented roast­ing plant in Texas also spe­cial­izes in singe serve.

McEwen has served on the Strategic Planning Committee of the Specialty Coffee Association and on the board as well.

The 80’s to Now
McEwen entered the spe­cialty cof­fee indus­try in the 80′s. As with many things, the indus­try has evolved. When McEwen entered the indus­try, less than 10 per­cent of the mar­ket was specialty.

McEwen shares his obser­va­tions, “When we first came into the cof­fee sec­tor, spe­cialty cof­fee was unclearly defined, it was really just five per­cent of the United States, it was def­i­nitely less than ten per­cent. Take Gloria Jeans as an exam­ple. The com­pany is a good mea­sure of how fast the indus­try grew.  The first meet­ing of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) in New Orleans there was about 200 atten­dees. Then the Berkley show and then finally we were in Seattle, serv­ing 5,000 peo­ple just two years later. It turned from a spe­cialty busi­ness into some­thing else.”

Once the larger play­ers, whom pre­vi­ously were not in the spe­cialty sec­tor, wit­nessed what was going on in the spe­cialty indus­try, it, as a whole, trans­formed again.

They put on the ‘spe­cialty’ hat and then spe­cialty cof­fee was not as spe­cial. It really turned from really a bou­tique spe­cialty busi­ness to a mass spe­cialty busi­ness. It helped accel­er­ate the growth,” McEwen said.

McEwen has come out of retire­ment three times and is still going strong. The com­pany had chal­lenges and obsta­cles and McEwen was ready to respond.

A Trip to Origin Makes a Difference
After McEwen’s first ori­gin trip, he repeated the ven­ture and added other ori­gin coun­tries as well as indus­try con­fer­ences such as Sintercafe.

Hopes and Dreams
McEwen hopes to soon see an increase in the qual­ity of the cof­fee beans that are brought into the United States.

While the rise in cof­fee prices is fright­en­ing to some, McEwen embraces it. “Coffee is not too expen­sive, there is tremen­dous value in it! I mean, sure there are expen­sive drinks served in cof­fee shops, but you can pur­chase good cof­fees and brew them at home. I do not have one favorite cof­fee. A good Central American or Colombian is always good. One that sticks out is Yiregechiffe.”

With home brewed cof­fees, the K-Cups are a pop­u­lar topic talked about across the board. McEwen says, “K-Cups have been dri­ven by a con­ve­nience motive. They will grow in its cur­rent state until it fills the con­ve­nience demand, which will never be 100 per­cent. Only then will there be an increase in qual­ity, and not just in convenience.”

A Final Word
McEwen left one great piece of advice behind. He said, “It is easy to start, but hard to stay. Study very care­fully and visit lots of stores. Dig deep. Figure out what the real chal­lenges are.”

Linda Smithers-2014 Rainforest Alliance Change Agent Award Recipient

Categories: 2014, AugustTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Linda 2 copyLinda Smithers was recently awarded the 2014 Rainforest Alliance Change Agent Award. This award was pre­sented to her at the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Coffee Breakfast on April 25, 2014. The Rainforest Alliance Change Agent Award, pre­sented at the annual Rainforest Alliance Breakfast at SCAA April 25th, 2014. This award hon­ors sus­tain­abil­ity cham­pi­ons that strive to make vast dif­fer­ences within the industry.

Smithers received this award in acknowl­edge­ment for her ded­i­ca­tion to the indus­try, inno­v­a­tive efforts to pro­mote pro­ducer best prac­tices, her exten­sive lead­er­ship efforts in the Rainforest Alliance Cupping Events, and her ded­i­ca­tion to cof­fee qual­ity improvements.

We are thrilled to honor Linda for her supe­rior com­mit­ment to pro­mot­ing sus­tain­abil­ity in the cof­fee indus­try over the past decade,” said Alex Morgan, the Senior Manager of Sustainable Agriculture at the Rainforest Alliance.

Daterra Achieves Climate-Smart Verification
Smithers, past pres­i­dent of SCAA is cur­rently the head of the North American Marketing depart­ment for Daterra Coffee, a Brazilian cof­fee farm that achieved RA Certification in 2003 and was the country’s first farm to meet com­pre­hen­sive social, envi­ron­men­tal, and eco­nomic stan­dards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network.

The Rainforest Alliance works to con­serve bio­di­ver­sity and improve liveli­hoods of indi­vid­u­als with the imple­men­ta­tion of their sus­tain­abil­ity stan­dards. These stan­dards are designed to stim­u­late eco­log­i­cal, social, and eco­nomic ben­e­fits. Rainforest Alliance cer­ti­fi­ca­tion val­i­dates that all stan­dards have been met, sus­tain­abil­ity efforts are being achieved, and the par­ties involved are benefitting.

Daterra was also the sec­ond cof­fee farm in the world to achieve Rainforest Alliance climate-smart ver­i­fi­ca­tion. The com­pany gained this ver­i­fi­ca­tion by meet­ing inclu­sive stan­dards that help farms reduce emis­sions, increase car­bon stor­age, and adapt to changes in the local cli­mate. Climate-smart ver­i­fi­ca­tion is achieved when farm­ers com­plete the require­ment of con­serv­ing already exist­ing for­est on their farms, while also plant­ing addi­tional trees. Farms also adopt soil con­ser­va­tion meth­ods that sequester car­bon by uti­liz­ing organic mat­ter as com­post and bury­ing fer­til­izer to help reduce emis­sions. By adopt­ing such prac­tices, cof­fee farms are prepar­ing for the chal­lenges that are caused by cli­mate changes that are already evi­dent through­out the world.

Smithers and the Cupping for Quality Program
Smithers has played a key role in var­i­ous cup­ping events over the past decade, often serv­ing as the lead-cupper her­self. In 2003, Smithers helped to launch the Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality Program. This pro­gram is essen­tial to estab­lish great qual­ity cof­fee uni­formly through­out the world. The Cupping for Quality pro­gram was devel­oped in an effort to link sus­tain­able farm­ing prac­tices with cof­fee qual­ity. It was also cre­ated to rec­og­nize farm­ers for their hard work and ded­i­ca­tion in adopt­ing rig­or­ous sus­tain­abil­ity stan­dards on their farms.

Through Smithers’ efforts, our cup­ping for qual­ity pro­gram has now devel­oped into an invalu­able tool for farm­ers, help­ing them improve crop qual­ity, while cham­pi­oning the rig­or­ous social, envi­ron­ment, and eco­nomic stan­dards for Rainforest Alliance cer­ti­fi­ca­tion,” said Morgan.

The Cupping for Quality pro­gram is also use­ful to var­i­ous farm­ers and their farms. This pro­gram can help to iden­tify dif­fer­ent areas that may need some improve­ment. This has trans­lated to improve­ments in cof­fee crop qual­ity, and of course, the cup­ping scores of the cof­fee has improved year after year because of this pro­gram. Farmers who adopt the prac­tices for Rainforest Alliance cer­ti­fi­ca­tion are going above and beyond what is expected. They are greatly improv­ing the qual­ity of their beans, while simul­ta­ne­ously con­serv­ing nat­ural resources, pro­tect­ing wildlife habi­tat, and also sup­port­ing their local communities.

Practices that are imple­mented on the farm level must trans­late to qual­ity in the cup. These cup­pings are not a con­test, but rather a way to pro­vide farm­ers with invalu­able feed­back on the qual­ity of their beans, while also link­ing sus­tain­able farm­ing prac­tices to qual­ity beans,” said Smithers in regards to the Rainforest Alliance 2014 cup­ping results.

Smithers has done great work in the sus­tain­abil­ity efforts of Daterra Coffee, which reflects on the entire indus­try. She has aided the Daterra Coffee with the tools nec­es­sary to reach sus­tain­able suc­cess. She has worked long and hard to not only bet­ter the Daterra Coffee Company, but also the indus­try as a whole. A big con­grat­u­la­tions to Linda Smithers, the most recent recip­i­ent of the 2014 Rainforest Alliance Change Agent Award. You deserve it!

Coffee Service Corner

Categories: 2014, AugustTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

The NAMA Emerging Leaders Network (ELN) is some­thing very new to this indus­try. Its basic foun­da­tion is some­thing that should be mir­rored by other indus­tries. It is one giant step in the right direc­tion to mak­ing an indus­try ever last­ing, and flour­ish­ing as new gen­er­a­tions come and go and leave their marks in an organization.

While the ELN is still in the works, it is already mak­ing a pos­i­tive impact. This group is just that, a net­work. A net­work that is absolutely nec­es­sary in cre­at­ing some­thing spec­tac­u­lar. Here is what they have been up to recently!

Membership
Since the orig­i­nal launch, mem­ber­ship has increased to roughly about 100 mem­bers. Their LinkedIn site has more then 71 fol­low­ers. This site allows the ELN mem­ber­ship to stay up to date and receive infor­ma­tion in a mat­ter of sec­onds. Paul Tullio, ELN Chair, says, “Having the net­work allows us to address the issues on a broader scale both locally and nationally.”

The Launch of the Steering Committee
Recently, The NAMA ELN has announced the for­ma­tion of the Emerging Leaders Network Steering Committee. The com­mit­tee was formed this year just before the NAMA OneShow in Chicago on April 9, 10, and 11. The show had over 4,300 peo­ple in atten­dance. So far, there are 14 mem­bers in col­lab­o­ra­tion to ensure that the imple­men­ta­tion of this com­mit­tee goes as smoothly as pos­si­ble with the most ben­e­fi­cial impacts for the industry.

The committee’s goal is to pro­vide broader ELN par­tic­i­pa­tion in var­i­ous leadership-related events and activ­i­ties for future ELN oppor­tu­ni­ties and devel­op­ments. It is designed to guide the indus­try and the var­i­ous lead­ers in the right direc­tion to con­tin­ued successes.

I’m look­ing for­ward to work­ing with our newly formed Steering Committee,” Tullio said. “Many NAMA mem­bers are excited about the future of the ELN, and I want to ensure the group takes advan­tage of its con­sid­er­able potential.”

A monthly con­fer­ence call is arranged for the com­mit­tee to have the oppor­tu­nity to inter­act and bounce ideas around to see what they can do to bet­ter the indus­try as a whole, what they per­son­ally can do for the indus­try, and how to accel­er­ate for­ward. Their first con­fer­ence call was held on May 20th and was greatly successful.

In the Near Future
The NAMA Coffee, Tea, & Water show will be held on November 11, 12, and 13. This year it is being held in Dallas, Texas. The NAMA ELN plans to meet at this con­fer­ence and dis­cuss cur­rent and future issues within the indus­try and how to han­dle them to prop­erly gen­er­ate a pos­i­tive impact.

The NAMA ELN is also get­ting involved in the Washington Public Policy Conference that is held in Washington D.C. in early September of this year. This event is a promi­nent and influ­en­tial assem­bly for strate­gic face-to-face inter­change with key mem­bers of Congress, their respected staff, and top reg­u­la­tory officials.

Last year, five NAMA mem­bers attended this con­fer­ence. NAMA mem­bers joined board mem­bers to dis­cuss the issues that are affect­ing the indus­try. These mem­bers gained a great deal of knowl­edge and met indi­vid­u­als to fur­ther net­work with. This con­fer­ence is ben­e­fi­cial for every­one who attends.

What our atten­dees can gain is this, more expe­ri­ence deal­ing with leg­isla­tive issues in the indus­try, build a greater net­work, and strengthen ties with leg­is­la­tors and mem­bers,” says Tullio.

Five Years into the Future
When asked, “Where do you see the NAMA Emerging Leaders Network five years from now?” Tullio answered, “Continuing to grow as a net­work and con­tin­u­ing to bring tal­ented young peo­ple into the industry.”

Anyone that is involved can make new con­nec­tions within the indus­try and even out of the indus­try. Because of these newly formed con­nec­tions, along with already exist­ing con­nec­tions, they have var­i­ous addi­tional peo­ple that they can turn to for their busi­nesses and local and national leg­is­la­tures. They can work together in win-win sit­u­a­tions to bet­ter the com­mu­nity, indus­try, and their businesses.

Tullio said, “Members can con­tinue to grow and expand their net­work to give them addi­tional infor­ma­tion and have bet­ter help when an issue arises. They have a net­work to tap into.”

The NAMA ELN is mark­ing mile­stones within the indus­try. Seeing that there is a need for change is the first step in mak­ing changes, and rec­og­niz­ing that there may be gen­er­a­tion gaps is the ini­tial phase in begin­ning to close them. We are in an indus­try where com­mu­ni­ca­tion is always needed and change is an inevitably going to hap­pen. With the recent instal­la­tion of the NAMA ELN Steering Committee and the year’s future endeav­ors with con­gress, the ELN is bound to make his­tory and progress to future successes.

Marketing Miracles

Categories: 2014, AugustTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Sustainability in the cof­fee cat­e­gory has become a sort of “greens fee.” You get the pun. Look around and one can see a mix of inno­v­a­tive busi­nesses that are out front mix­ing with “first move” and “fol­lower brands” all equally telling sto­ries about their envi­ron­men­tal good­ness and why it is impor­tant for a mul­ti­tude of stake­hold­ers to pay atten­tion to these altru­is­tic deeds. Many go beyond only focus­ing on some­thing gen­er­ally good for the envi­ron­ment to pur­sue sus­tain­able poli­cies that are specif­i­cally fair trade, bird friendly, shade grown, and soil-friendly, among many others.

In mar­ket­ing, these activ­i­ties often fall into the clas­si­fi­ca­tion of issues man­age­ment, con­tent mar­ket­ing, thought lead­er­ship, build­ing cor­po­rate image or rep­u­ta­tion, and con­nect­ing with con­sumers all for the goal of dri­ving bet­ter busi­ness results. But for some com­pa­nies, these prac­tices are woven into the very cor­po­rate cul­tural tapes­try of their val­ues and behav­iors of lead­er­ship, no mat­ter what the busi­ness results may be. There are indeed busi­nesses in our cat­e­gory doing the right thing, not because it will make them a buck, but because they believe in the gov­ern­ing par­a­digm of doing what is right.

However, it is not always this way. I can remem­ber a CEO who had the best of inten­tions and was the per­son­i­fi­ca­tion of a suc­cess­ful busi­ness­man, but he could not fig­ure out why we would sell cof­fee from a par­tic­u­lar region just because it helped migra­tory fowl. He said that the con­sumer would never care about bird issues in South America, and we would never sell cof­fee that was bird friendly, organic, sus­tain­able, or stood for the pre­ven­tion of deforestation.

After much inter­nal debate, he then agreed to sell this cof­fee when he learned of the bird’s migra­tory pat­tern – they rested in land and flew a pat­tern over the very state where his cof­fee was sold. So, even though it was sourced from a region that he should have cared about, but did not, the region that mat­tered the most to him was the one where the cof­fee was sold and not where it originated.

The met­ric of suc­cess that he always used for this pro­gram was how many bags of this cof­fee were sold, not that it was a good thing to help the land, ani­mals, and peo­ple from where the very beans of this cof­fee had been grown. It was his way of know­ing that the con­sumer cared enough to buy this sourced coffee.

The point was not the con­sumer pur­chase as the action to reveal that they cared. The point was that the cof­fee com­pany buy­ing this green cof­fee cared, and in doing so, made a state­ment about its lead­er­ship style and its own val­ues. In the end, there was a great deal of car­ing for this issue.

“He said that the con­sumer would never care about bird issues in South America, and we would never sell cof­fee that was bird friendly, organic, sus­tain­able, or stood for the pre­ven­tion of deforestation.”

Starbucks is under a lot of crit­i­cism for the recent announce­ment that the com­pany would help defray the cost of some col­lege tuition for its employ­ees. The pro­gram may not be per­fect, but at a time when the nation is in deep con­ver­sa­tion about the ris­ing cost of col­lege tuition and mount­ing stu­dent debt, here is a com­pany that acted. And with that action, it never tied, at least not yet, a spe­cific prod­uct to the edu­ca­tion pro­gram. Sure, I get the inten­tion and implied link between good­will and build­ing brand pref­er­ence, but this was clas­sic lead­er­ship in execution.

Between these two cof­fee com­pa­nies, what kind of lead­er­ship is on dis­play? What are the impor­tant dimen­sions of lead­er­ship? A men­tor of mine worked for every man­ner of leader in the world and dis­tilled his thoughts to many of the fol­low­ing ele­ments of lead­er­ship. He was the type of leader that we wanted to fol­low, and not because he told us to, but rather because we were bet­ter per­son­ally as a result.

Below I dis­till what we observe as the behav­ioral ele­ments most com­mon in effec­tive lead­er­ship. I have added some of my own ele­ments based on recent expe­ri­ences with peo­ple and orga­ni­za­tions that I admire.

Mike Dabadie is the founder of Heart+Mind Strategies, LLC, a research con­sul­tancy that con­tin­ues to pio­neer the use of personal-values insights and mar­ket­ing. He can be reached at mdabadie@heartandmindstrategies.com.

The Last Mile

Categories: 2014, AugustTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

It is tragic when good peo­ple do bad things to excel­lent cof­fee. Some just make me cringe, like stor­ing beans in Lexan dis­pensers, leav­ing naked beans to soak up the sun, degrad­ing by the sec­ond, while smear­ing the evi­dence – all those essen­tial, beau­ti­ful oils – all over the plas­tic on dis­play for the world to see. That is just no way to treat a bean, or any bean for that mat­ter. Or, how about beans dis­played in those huge open bar­rels, like prize pick­les at a week­end farmer’s mar­ket. Ah, but those cof­fee aromas…so good! Make that, so bad, because those aro­mas delight­ing your nose are now gone for­ever, tak­ing fla­vors with them on a non­stop flight to nowhere. While know­ing how lit­tle is under­stood about grind­ing out­side of cof­fee pro­fes­sion­als, who would ever turn over the keys to the store’s grinder to a once-a-month cus­tomer, just itch­ing to over-rev that machine like a souped-up Vespa, turn­ing every­thing in its path to dust? “Self-grind-and-bag” should come with the risk of prosecution.

I could go on and on.

Like so many things gone sour, these crimes to beans come down to a lack of knowl­edge; in this case, knowl­edge about the dynam­ics of roast­ing and what hap­pens soon after­wards. When I lec­ture on this topic, I start by explain­ing that roast­ing, like any chem­i­cal reac­tion, nei­ther destroys nor makes any­thing, but rather, it trans­forms just about every­thing. Subjected to heat, small, hard, green beans, with hardly a trace of aroma, meta­mor­phose into big­ger (yet more del­i­cate), brown, fully aro­matic crea­tures, kick­ing off lots of (in coffee’s case, pre­cious) car­bon diox­ide along the way.

Assuming a good roast, the prob­lems start there, with roasted cof­fee los­ing up to 40 per­cent of its essen­tial, delight­ful aro­mas after only eight hours’ of expo­sure to air. As I have writ­ten before, how much degra­da­tion actu­ally occurs stems from an epic bat­tle between coffee’s own Cain and Abel: a pair of sib­ling processes with polar oppo­site effects. “A” is for aging (and Abel), the do-good brother inspir­ing pos­i­tive, nat­u­rally occur­ring chem­i­cal and phys­i­cal steps that, over time, opti­mize coffee’s aro­mas and fla­vors. And then there is stal­ing – coffee’s Cain – which brings neg­a­tive, yet still nat­ural changes to aroma and taste, wreak­ing havoc on his brother’s good works.

For about the first 24 hours after roast­ing, cof­fee beans con­tain too much car­bon diox­ide to be brewed prop­erly, espe­cially if the brew­ing method is espresso, because their aro­matic com­po­nents are unsta­ble, pro­duc­ing a less fla­vor­ful liq­uid than fully matured roasted beans. (Think about a Polaroid pic­ture about 30 sec­onds before full devel­op­ment, it is just a tad out of focus.) However, on the flip­side, beans that are not prop­erly pre­served or used too long after roast­ing lose too much car­bon diox­ide, sur­ren­der­ing too many volatile aro­mas in the process and mak­ing for weak­ness in the cup.

Which brother wins any given post-roast cage match comes down to one thing: pack­ag­ing. When it comes to bags, one-way valves are like good insur­ance poli­cies; you should not go through life with­out them. Along with pro­tect­ing its con­tents from mois­ture and light, like any opaque pack­age, bags with valves allow cof­fee to be packed soon after roast­ing with­out forced degassing, which is never a good thing. The valves keep essen­tial car­bon diox­ide in the bag that forms a bar­rier against oxy­gen and its degrad­ing effects, slow­ing down stal­ing. Meanwhile, the valves do let out trace amounts of car­bon diox­ide to keep bags from explod­ing under nor­mal rises in atmos­pheric pressure.

image001 copyHowever, that escap­ing gas, minute as it may be, takes with it some essen­tial, volatile aro­mas. Knowing that time is of the essence, some roast­ers, for exam­ple Intelligentsia, stamp roast­ing dates on bags, which is use­ful and noble if retail staff is vig­i­lant about dis­card­ing post-prime bags. Date stamped or not, I tell my stu­dents to place the valve close to their nose and squeeze the bag gen­tly to let just a lit­tle gas escape, then give a lit­tle sniff to see if good, fresh aro­mas are in evidence.

Non-valve bags are essen­tially con­tain­ers with­out seals; for all intents-and-purposes open, ren­der­ing forced degassing unnec­es­sary. Coffee can be put in bags soon after roast­ing, and indeed, some pur­vey­ors, such as Blue Bottle, bag and ship cof­fee the day it is roasted. But beware: too young and car­bon dioxide-rich beans will pro­duce over­abun­dant crema in the cups of espresso lovers – yes, there can be too much of this good thing – while beans degassed too long are degraded and weak, pro­duc­ing insuf­fi­cient crema.

And now for that ques­tion for the ages: to chill or not chill to extend beans’ use­ful life? While I used to favor refrig­er­a­tion under cer­tain cir­cum­stances, my thoughts on this topic have recently evolved with research show­ing that the oxi­da­tion pro­moted by refrig­er­a­tion out­weighs the good it does to stunt degassing. Whole beans kept in air­tight con­tain­ers away from light in a dry place, is my new recipe. (Better yet, just invite over all of your friends, empty and grind the con­tents of a full, primo bag at peak potency, pre­pare it your favorite way, and enjoy. Coffee is, of course, a social beverage!)

Which finally brings us to cans, the most mis­un­der­stood of all cof­fee stor­age ves­sels. It is a shame that vac­uum pack­ing has got­ten a bad rap because it out­per­forms any bag at pro­tect­ing roasted cof­fee from mois­ture, oxy­gen dam­age, and light. However, vac­uum pack­ing car­ries one dam­ag­ing, inescapable require­ment: the need to com­pletely degas cof­fee before seal­ing to keep the can from expand­ing or pos­si­bly even explod­ing. Essentially, shelf life’s gain is aroma and flavor’s loss. (For the record, I think that vacuum-packed “brick” bags are the best appli­ca­tion of this method. Look for bags that have some­what lost their brick-like shapes: a good thing, indi­cat­ing that some flavor-preserving gas remains inside.)

Some innovation-minded roast­ers use a pres­sur­ized can­ning method invented by Francesco Illy more than 80 years ago that, in my opin­ion, still reigns supreme. After draw­ing out air, his schema intro­duces inert nitro­gen gas to push out resid­ual oxy­gen, while upping pres­sure in the can. This process cre­ates a nat­ural, flavor-retaining bar­rier that is far stronger than any in a valve bag, trap­ping the vital volatiles that nor­mally escape into noth­ing. The key period is the first 10 to 15 days after pack­ag­ing, when a strong aging effect takes place that actu­ally improves cof­fee qual­ity, the high inter­nal pres­sure spread­ing nat­ural oils around the cof­fee cells (see photo). Flavors are, in effect, infused into those oils, ready to be extracted dur­ing the brew­ing process.

OK, so I am par­tial, but I can tell you in good faith that my posi­tion on pres­sur­iza­tion is sup­ported by sound sci­ence and years of val­i­dat­ing research.

Bag, can, Grecian urn…you name it…understanding the dynam­ics of freshly roasted cof­fee is crit­i­cal to mak­ing sound deci­sions about packaging.

Giorgio Milos is illy’s award-winning Master Barista and illy’s North American Barista in Residence who reg­u­larly ven­tures beyond the cup to study the biol­ogy and chem­istry of the cof­fee bean, con­tin­u­ally striv­ing to mas­ter the bev­er­age that is his pas­sion and profession.

Retailer/Roaster Profiles

Categories: 2014, AugustTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Hey guys! Today we are talk­ing to one of the most accom­plished and unique busi­ness own­ers in the indus­try – Frank Lanzkron-Tamarazo. Read our inter­view with him below:

V. You have a book called “God Cries and An Angel Loses its Wings.” Catchy name! Please tell our read­ers what it is about and how did the idea for it come along?
L. Well, wine has 750 dif­fer­ent fla­vor pro­files and cof­fee has over 1,500 notes. We roast 20 dif­fer­ent sin­gle ori­gin cof­fees fresh every day. I never under­stood why any­one would put sugar or cream in cof­fee. If the cof­fee does not enrich your life and you need sugar, it is either not fresh or roasted poorly. So, when some­one asks for sugar or cream in his or her non-espresso based bev­er­age, we say, “You should try it first! This is the best cup of cof­fee you will ever taste.” I pause, there is quiet in the café, and I state, “Do you know what hap­pens when you put sugar or cream in Chazzano Coffee? God cries and an angel loses its wings.” That is where the name of my book orig­i­nated. However, I wrote the book about cre­at­ing com­mu­nity in your busi­ness and build­ing rela­tion­ships with your cus­tomers. Even though we have over 200 whole­sale accounts, retail is 60–70 per­cent of our rev­enue. When a new cus­tomer vis­its us, we inter­view them about what kind of cof­fee they want. Do you want some­thing bold, some­thing rich, choco­laty, fruity, or nutty? We will have them smell 10–15 dif­fer­ent cof­fees and then we will ask them if they want it brewed as a French Press, Vacuum Syphon, Turkish, Pourover, Espresso, Iced, Cold Brew, or Aeropress. After we have destroyed their will to live because of the sheer amount of choices, we will ask, “What do you do for a liv­ing? What is your tar­get mar­ket?” If the new cus­tomer just moved into town, we will let them know that we know some great plumbers, insur­ance agents, land­scap­ers, pedi­a­tri­cians, den­tists, etc. If a CPA is look­ing to hire more accoun­tants, I will look for accoun­tants who are not happy in their present jobs and refer them to the CPA. As a cof­fee roaster and cof­fee shop owner, I have tremen­dous power to do good in the world. Sure, it is impos­si­ble to get bet­ter cof­fee any­where, but the true value that we give is teach­ing our cus­tomers and busi­ness friends how to grow their lives and their busi­nesses. The book dis­cusses the var­i­ous tech­niques that will help you grow your busi­ness and cre­ate a bal­anced life for you and your family.

V. What kind of advice/secrets would you give to those start­ing this kind of busi­ness now, both roast­ing and retail?
L. Make sure that you are spe­cial. Read the Blue Ocean Strategy. The strat­egy is that if you cre­ate a busi­ness that is unique, you will not have com­pe­ti­tion. Your busi­ness should seem like it is on an island sur­rounded by blue ocean and that the sharks are unable to touch you.

Figure out how much money you truly need. I have seen many cafes quickly go out of busi­ness because they did not real­ize the amount of money they needed for pay­roll for the six months before peo­ple know that you even exist.

The most impor­tant advice is to buy high qual­ity cof­fee. Buy from a cof­fee roaster that you trust. The cof­fee roaster should be crazy pas­sion­ate about cof­fee and his/her busi­ness. Do not look for inex­pen­sive prod­ucts. Look for prod­ucts that will make your cus­tomers proud. Buy local, organic, or Fair Trade for all of your products.

Educate your cus­tomers con­stantly. They will never become bored if you speak with pas­sion in your eyes and voice. You, the owner, must be present all of the time dur­ing the first year, at least. You do not really know who and what you are until you are in busi­ness for a year. Train your employ­ees by exam­ple. They need to hear you speak to cus­tomers, see how quickly they need to move, and you need to gen­tly cri­tique them so that they know what is expected of them.

Unfortunately, the old say­ing, you need to spend money to make money, is true. Spend copi­ous amounts of your money on smart brand­ing and mar­ket­ing in the begin­ning. It pro­duces quick vis­i­bil­ity and cred­i­bil­ity, which will lead to greater profitability.

Plan on your suc­ces­sor before you open the busi­ness. If you are bak­ing cup­cakes after three years until 3 o’clock in the morn­ing and you do not get a chance to spend qual­ity time with your fam­ily, you will hate your life and you will hate your business.

V. What is unique about you? What sep­a­rates you from oth­ers?
L. We roast over 20 dif­fer­ent sin­gle ori­gin cof­fees fresh to order. After 2.5 weeks past the roast date, we buy back cof­fee that is on spe­cialty mar­ket shelves, replace it at no addi­tional cost, grind it up, and donate it to home­less shel­ters and low-income hous­ing. We call all of our 200 whole­sale accounts weekly. We pro­vide them with enough cof­fee for just a week and a half at the most. We train every account how to sell and brew our spe­cialty cof­fee. All cof­fee is roasted to order. None of the cof­fee on our shelves is more than two days old. For all of our restau­rant and café accounts, we pair the cof­fee selec­tion with their menu. If your Italian restau­rant has a spe­cial caramel/fennel gelato, we will pair our cof­fee with the notes of the dessert. If your bar sells a lot of Mt. Veeder caber­net, I will find a cof­fee that will cut through the bold, rich mouth feel of that wine.

You could starve to death in our café. We do not offer a bite to eat because we want you to enjoy the 1,500 pos­si­bil­i­ties that cof­fee offers. Will I ever serve food in my café? Never. We have organic loose-leaf tea that we pur­chase from Zen Tea Traders. It is dif­fi­cult to find any­thing of higher qual­ity than our cof­fee or tea. My pas­sion is in cof­fee roast­ing, busi­ness, and refer­ral mar­ket­ing. I love food, but my whole­sale accounts employ some of the great­est chefs in the area. I can­not pos­si­bly pro­vide the same qual­ity. We are about the cof­fee – that’s all.

In the café, we offer a flight of cof­fee. Four dif­fer­ent cof­fees brewed as a French Press with cup­ping forms. In addi­tion, we have fre­quent cof­fee cup­ping par­ties where you will be involved in vio­lent sip­ping and sniff­ing of four dif­fer­ent cof­fees. Finally, I trade­marked, “Drinking for the Cycle.” You may have heard about “Hitting for the Cycle,” where a base­ball player hits a sin­gle, dou­ble, triple, and home run in the same game. At Chazzano, we drink for the cycle by try­ing the same sin­gle ori­gin cof­fee as a French Press, Iced, Vacuum Syphon, Espresso, Pourover, and Turkish. Again, we speak about the var­i­ous fla­vor pro­files that occur from brew­ing the cof­fee differently.

We have been break­ing the par­a­digm of tra­di­tional cof­fee roast­ers. We do not sup­ply the equip­ment to our whole­sale accounts. If you love our cof­fee and under­stand how much you can profit by hav­ing our prod­uct and cus­tomer ser­vice, you should buy your own equip­ment. I want to ensure that if you stop lov­ing us, then you can break the part­ner­ship imme­di­ately. We only want accounts that love us and will brew the cof­fee cor­rectly. You pur­chased your fur­ni­ture, your cook­ing uten­sils, and the art­work on your walls, why would you not pur­chase the cof­fee equipment?

V. What kind of roast­ing equip­ment do you use, brand and model?
L. We use a US Roaster 5K roaster. It is fire engine red and it looks like some­thing from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. I was happy to find an American man­u­fac­turer of roast­ers. In addi­tion, the roaster is elec­tric. I wanted to do with­out a large pur­chase of an afterburner.

V. At last, is there some­thing else you would like to com­mu­ni­cate to our read­ers?
L. If you live your life with pas­sion and joy, and you love what you are doing, then the money will fol­low. Treat every­one around you with com­pas­sion and find rea­sons to smile. Spend your life learn­ing about every­thing you can get your hands on. Look for that bal­ance in your life between busi­ness, per­sonal, and family.

Chazzano Coffee Company

1737 E Nine Mile Rd
Ferndale, MI 48220
+1 (248) 691 – 4256
Frank Lanzkron-Tamarazo
www.chazzanocoffee.com

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.