Tag Archive for: specialty

Courtesy of COE

Producer Profile

Categories: 2015, SeptemberTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Santa Lucia

12.2Mr. Barrantes says, “Santa Lucía cof­fee farm has par­tic­i­pated in all the COE events of Costa Rica since 2007. It is an organic farm, cer­ti­fied by Control Union under the NOP, EU and JAS stan­dards, and we are also cer­ti­fied car­bon neu­tral. We pro­duce bananas, lemons and avo­ca­dos besides coffee.

Table1Located at 1700 meters above sea level, the aver­age Celsius tem­per­a­ture is 22º and the rain­fall 2500 mm. We pro­duce Caturra, Villalobos, Typica and Catuaí and are also mak­ing our way into the Geisha and Bourbon vari­eties. We think we have sig­nif­i­cantly improved in qual­ity as we have ren­o­vated 40% of the area and increased the inoc­u­la­tions of microor­gan­isms result­ing in a more con­sis­tent cup.

We have worked in organic pro­duc­tion for more than 15 years and we have gone through dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions to be able to imple­ment it, but we have man­aged to go ahead and incul­cate an envi­ron­men­tal and sus­tain­able aware­ness in the whole family.

Table2I was born with visual prob­lems so I ded­i­cated the farm to Santa Lucia. Also my old­est daugh­ter is named Lucia. Our par­tic­i­pa­tion in CoE has been very enrich­ing, because this project has intro­duced us to the world with our qual­ity and par­tic­u­lar­i­ties. Nowadays, we are known and rec­og­nized every­where. CoE has been a fore­front for our sales and is very impor­tant to our cus­tomers that we take part in this con­test. I hope some­day to win CoE and give the sat­is­fac­tion to my par­ents who have always sup­ported me and given their life to coffee.”

Coffee and Acidity

Categories: 2015, SeptemberTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Coffee and its acid­ity. Is less acidic cof­fee bet­ter? Worse? Does acid­ity change the taste? This is my deep burn­ing question”

— Joy


Acidity…it all depends on what you mean by it.

When you hear a ‘cof­fee nerd’ talk about acid­ity they’re gen­er­ally talk­ing about the fla­vor char­ac­ter­is­tics of the cof­fee, like it tastes like lemon or orange or even things like white grapes or peaches. This is what we are refer­ring to when we score cof­fees here at roast rat­ings, which we con­sider to be a big part of the fla­vor bal­ance of a cof­fee, along­side sweet­ness and bit­ter­ness. You will some­times also hear this called “Brightness”.

Acidity, or “bright­ness” is that zippy zing of fla­vors like these

Now, acid con­tent is a dif­fer­ent story. What I under­stand from my “nerd-ucation” is that cof­fee isn’t as heavy of a hit­ter in the acid depart­ment as many peo­ple think. Scientifically, the pHs of most cof­fees are around 5 which does indeed mean that it is a bit on the acidic side. Keeping in mind that lemon juice has a pH of 2 and vine­gar 3, it’s not off the charts. I have always been told that for those who have stom­ach prob­lems with acid, a darker roast is bet­ter suited to their needs. Even bet­ter are cof­fees that were brewed in water for longer peri­ods of time, meth­ods like cold press (toddy) or Kyoto that brews for sev­eral hours.


As far as what’s good? That is up to you! If you like tast­ing fruit and bright­ness in your cof­fee, then you like what we call acid­ity. If you like some­thing bolder or suited for cream and/or sugar, then acid­ity is prob­a­bly not your bag. Either way it’s your cof­fee. Enjoy it!


“Why must I have my cof­fee black? What’s wrong with adding cream or sugar to it?”


This is one of my favorite questions.

The short answer? Absolutely noth­ing. It is your cof­fee and there­fore your right to like what you like. No one should make you feel oth­er­wise. Truth be told, I occa­sion­ally enjoy a creamy sweet brew.

There are tons of peo­ple who do it daily– 65% of the US makes it a major­ity. Aside from pop­u­lar­ity, there are times when this is just the appro­pri­ate move. It mainly boils down to what kind of cof­fee you hap­pen to be drink­ing. Just like other food and bev­er­age items out there cof­fees have vary­ing fla­vors and lev­els of quality.

Take wines for instance. There are some wines out there that are per­fectly good, but you would con­sider using to make san­gria in a pan for a wine sauce. But there are some wines that you wouldn’t dream of adul­ter­at­ing because, on their own, they’re incred­i­bly tasty. Beef is another exam­ple. You might buy ground beef for taco night, but you prob­a­bly wouldn’t sac­ri­fice your filet mignon for the job. No way. That baby’s going to be juicy and deli­cious with­out much help at all!

While there is a cer­tain ele­ment of “cof­fee is cof­fee” out there, there’s a move­ment in the “Specialty Coffee” sec­tor of the cof­fee indus­try that is usu­ally the one encour­ag­ing, albeit force­fully at times, the con­sump­tion of unadul­ter­ated cof­fee. Much like ground chuck com­pares to a prime filet, Specialty Coffee is a bit dif­fer­ent from most of what you see out there. While the beans mostly come from the same places and are labeled sim­i­larly, the eas­i­est thing to notice about it at first is that Specialty costs a bit more. But there’s a lot more to it than that.

Nowadays Specialty Coffee makes up the top 20% of cof­fees in the world. Like the afore­men­tioned exam­ples of fine wine and a great steak, it usu­ally tastes pretty amaz­ing on its own. The only way to achieve this con­sis­tently is through the work of a lot of peo­ple – from those who pick it off the trees to those roast­ing and serv­ing it. The devil is in the details, and that takes many hands and a great deal of ded­i­ca­tion to achieve.

The other thing to know about the cream or no cream quandary is that some­times the sug­ges­tion to take it black is for your sake. Some Specialty Coffees are amaz­ing on their own, but kind of ter­ri­ble with cream and/or sugar. Ones with a lot of juicy acid­ity taste really funky, like adding milk to orange juice. But these same cof­fees, when tasted alone can really open your mind up to a totally new idea of cof­fee – of crazy fla­vors like berries and plums. It’s all part of the fun that is Specialty Coffee.

So, to go back to the begin­ning – noth­ing is wrong with adding cream and sugar, but if you find your­self in a spe­cialty café just ask your friendly barista which cof­fee is best suited for cream. Or alter­na­tively, walk on the wild side….

Your ques­tion could be next! If your have a Q for Roast Ratings, send it to us at or post it to one of our @roastratings social media sites.

By Holly Bastin

New World Coffee

Categories: 2015, SeptemberTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Not unlike the wine grow­ing indus­try of the 1960’s & 1970’s the cof­fee Industry is fast approach­ing major change.

This change, whether largely or partly influ­enced by cli­mate change (or as I see it cli­mate cycles), causes effects on sta­tic plan­ta­tions of any one selec­tion. Despite the debate of whether this change is caused by global warm­ing, global cool­ing, cli­mate change or cli­mate cycling, or whether this is with or with­out the influ­ence of human inter­ven­tion, the depen­dency on Arabica is increas­ing while sup­ply of sus­tain­able high qual­ity beans are seen by many to be decreasing.


Map 1: Current cof­fee pro­duc­ing regions

Map 1 (June2014) shows areas of cof­fee cul­ti­va­tion by type, robusta ®, robusta & Arabica (m), Arabica (a). Although some loca­tions are absent, the gen­eral over­lay of sig­nif­i­cant cof­fee grow­ing areas char­ac­ter­izes both the degree of lat­i­tude per­ceived suited to cur­rent cof­fee pro­duc­tion & high­lights the poten­tial indus­try vul­ner­a­bil­ity to change.

Otto Simonett illus­trates (Map 2) the poten­tial impact of global warm­ing in one loca­tion on a vari­ety least affected by eco­log­i­cal & mete­o­ro­log­i­cal conditions.


Map 2

A rise in tem­per­a­ture, shown by this map, will severely reduce total pro­duc­tion, irre­spec­tive of addi­tional adverse fac­tors caused by this change. Changing cli­mate con­di­tions will inevitably have a higher impact in Arabica, which requires spe­cific con­di­tions with less vari­a­tion to pro­duce good qual­ity cher­ries. In September 2014, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) pro­jected a global warm­ing between 2.6 oC – 4.8 oC by the end of the cen­tury. It con­tin­ued to report that in Brazil, a tem­per­a­ture rise of 3.0 oC would reduce suit­able areas for grow­ing by 66 per­cent in Minas Gerais & Sao Paulo & elim­i­nate it in oth­ers. Similarly, in 2012 the International Coffee Organization (ICO) ana­lyzed effects of cli­mate change on wild indige­nous Arabica in Ethiopia, sug­gest­ing that cur­rent pro­duc­tion could dis­ap­pear by 2080. World Coffee Research (A & M University Texas) points out that either ris­ing tem­per­a­tures, fluc­tu­a­tions in tem­per­a­ture, other weather con­di­tions or pests would cause a defi­ciency of suit­able high­land moun­tain­side on which Arabica flourishes.

It has been reported that tem­per­a­tures above 23 oC can effect cof­fee plant metab­o­lism, result­ing in reduced yields, unbal­ance aro­matic volatiles & increased lev­els of borer bee­tle & leaf rust. My find­ings between 2008 – 2014 sup­ports this, though actual tem­per­a­tures were found to be slightly higher at 25oC with rel­a­tive humid­ity (RH) less than 65 percent.

It is clear that a rise in tem­per­a­ture would severely reduce exist­ing grow­ing regions & sig­nif­i­cantly effect cherry quality.

Mauricio Galindo (ICO) stated in 2012 that cli­mate change was the biggest threat to the Industry, adding that if we don’t pre­pare our­selves we are head­ing for a big dis­as­ter. In March 2014 (ICO) fur­ther cau­tions were expressed that cli­mate change would have a neg­a­tive impact on pro­duc­tion in many coun­tries unless urgent research is car­ried out on adap­ta­tion measures.

What if we could pro­duce a more uni­form crop of cher­ries, cher­ries of selected size, known qual­ity, time of har­vest or even increased choice of geo­graphic location?


Figure 1: Effect of Pollination on cherry ripeness.

Consistency of crop (Figure 1) is often a reflec­tion of how each plant is in bal­ance with its micro­cli­mate. This ecos­phere, both above & below ground, which can dif­fer from plant to plant, is cru­cial to under­stand­ing & deliv­er­ing high-quality con­sis­tent production.

To help under­stand the effects of these cycles on cur­rent Arabica plant­i­ngs & ulti­mately cherry qual­ity, I went into the under-story of South East Asia. For the past 9 sea­sons I have com­pared plant habi­tat, plant form, flora, fauna & phys­i­o­log­i­cal aspects of Arabica from Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam & Thailand.

During this time, accom­pa­nied with 14 years (1984−1998) ana­lyz­ing gov­ern­ment cli­mate data, it is a no-brainer to con­clude “we” need to both adapt & evolve with the flu­id­ness of what is hap­pen­ing around us. Often these effects of “change” cause spec­u­la­tion seen as adverse char­ac­ter­is­tics on the things we cur­rently do. Along with most climate-related indus­tries, the cof­fee indus­try drinks these effects but equally swal­lows oppor­tu­ni­ties for inno­va­tion & indus­try development.

To ensure fun­da­men­tals of sus­tain­able cherry qual­ity in cycles of change, we need to con­sider nature’s rhythm & diver­sity. Nature is a wise teacher with a long his­tory of per­se­ver­ance whom we need to realign with, draw aware­ness from, and under­stand what she is already prepar­ing & implementing.

Geographic loca­tions on the fringes of cur­rent nat­ural adap­ta­tion are often the first to notice sub­tle indi­ca­tors as a result of change.

Why con­tinue to drink a reduced ‘qual­ity nec­tar of nature’ (QNON) when nature has pro­vided the APPS to make things easy!

Stimulated with this cup of knowl­edge I trav­elled to the South Island of New Zealand (Aotearoa o Te Waipounamu) to inves­ti­gate Arabica plant func­tion & cherry qual­ity as effected by cool tem­per­ate cli­mate. Trials were located in Hortons Road Tasman, 43 km west of Nelson & 41degrees lat­i­tude south of the equa­tor. Nelson is unique in its inher­ent nature of mar­itime influ­ence, not only expe­ri­enc­ing long sun­shine hours but cool night tem­per­a­tures. This diur­nal fac­tor of tem­per­a­ture is a fun­da­men­tal key in both the fruit­ful­ness (cherry/leaf ratio) but more impor­tantly cherry phys­i­o­log­i­cal ripeness (CPR). Cherry phys­i­o­log­i­cal ripeness (CPR) from obser­va­tion & in my opin­ion cor­re­lates to (QNON) in Arabica. Initial tri­als over 7 sea­sons & a sub­se­quent trial over 5 sea­sons have shown a sin­gle selec­tion of 500 plants of Arabica has tol­er­ated fre­quent tem­per­a­tures of 0 oC with short peri­ods as low as –1.5 oC mea­sured at 1.5 meters above ground level. Furthermore flower num­bers, cherry size, even­ness of ripen­ing & cup qual­ity com­pared favor­ably with geo­graphic loca­tions from tra­di­tional Arabica cof­fee grow­ing regions.

In con­clu­sion, find­ings sug­gest that there are pos­si­ble alter­na­tive Arabica coffee-growing loca­tions out­side those cur­rently planted. Whether these ‘new world’ loca­tions are linked more closely with cur­rent micro­cli­mate, fore­casted using pre­dicted cli­mate mod­els or diver­si­fied with genetic selec­tion, there are oppor­tu­ni­ties for increased plant­i­ngs away from cur­rent grow­ing regions expe­ri­enc­ing cli­mate cycle chal­lenge, envi­ron­men­tal sen­si­tiv­ity or unsus­tain­able pro­duc­tion. Additional advan­tages of plant­i­ngs out­side exist­ing cof­fee grow­ing regions includes the absence of estab­lished pests & disease.

More ‘flu­idly attune’ plant­i­ngs will ensure con­sis­tent high-quality crops with increased eco­log­i­cally adap­tion & bio­log­i­cal sus­tain­abil­ity, ensur­ing the deliv­ery of life’s essence.

By Gregory Lupton, Plant Physiologist

La Roya

Categories: 2015, SeptemberTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Untitled 1The La Roya Recovery Project assists small-scale farm­ers with train­ing to erad­i­cate the cof­fee fun­gus “la roya”, and improve cof­fee crops and soil conditions.

There are now 541 farm­ers par­tic­i­pat­ing in the pro­gram, pro­duc­ing effec­tive micro-organisms or EMs, a pro­bi­otic for plants, up from 383 and 95%, over 500 of them, are spray­ing with Effective MicroOrganisms. EM appli­ca­tions began in 2014 and we will be mon­i­tor­ing results for the next har­vest start­ing October 2015 to March 2016. We are happy to report the cof­fee plants receiv­ing EMs have begun to flower, indi­cat­ing a good future har­vest! We have also started prun­ing, pulp appli­ca­tion, and land con­tour­ing prac­tices, and will keep you up to date as we progress.


Untitled 3I wasn’t moti­vated when I first started receiv­ing train­ing. I felt as if it was a waste of time. However, with encour­age­ment from the pro­mot­ers and coör­di­na­tor, I con­tin­ued. I started prepar­ing my gar­den, and with the help of my pro­moter I sowed my veg­etable seeds. Now I don’t buy veg­eta­bles. I only use the veg­eta­bles in my gar­den. And my son and I eat six eggs a week from my two hens.”


Untitled 2During the 2014 har­vest, pro­duc­tion was so low and nearly all my plants lost their leaves. I har­vested about 600 lbs of cof­fee in total for that year. This year I have applied EMs to half my crops, pruned my shade trees, applied pulp and carved ter­races. During only January and February of the 2015 har­vest, I have already har­vested 500 lbs of cof­fee and much more is expected in March and April. I am very happy with all this as my income sup­ports nine children.”


Having just returned from Guatemala I am happy to report that the leaves on the cof­fee plants that were sprayed with the Effective Micro-organisms are full, moist and with no signs of La Roya. There are small, medium and large buds appear­ing on the branches of the trees that had been sprayed with EMs pre­vi­ously. It appears as if La Roya has been arrested at least on those farms that employed the EMs. Now, atten­tion is being paid to replen­ish­ing the soil.

Rich com­post and ash pro­vide nutri­ents and min­er­als lost from the har­vest. “Live Barriers” such as fruit trees and shade plants pro­tect against high winds and rain. “Hard Barriers” such as rocks divert leak­age from the runoff of non-organic farms. Level curves and ter­rac­ing pro­tect against ero­sion and cover crop­ping will rein­tro­duce nitro­gen into the depleted soil.

Roasters Rock

Categories: 2015, SeptemberTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Back in the day… (All old roaster sto­ries start like that) there were no, none, nada, zero classes for the pro­fes­sional roaster. Everybody was on their own.

Large com­pa­nies had inter­nal ‘roaster oper­a­tor’ classes that moved peo­ple up the ranks of pro­duc­tion to run the roast­ing machine. The first goal of these classes; don’t burn down the build­ing. The sec­ond goal; pro­duce exactly the same cof­fee over and over again as effi­ciently as possible.

Back in the day… If you wanted to be an ‘arti­san’ roaster you had two choices for learn­ing the trade. The first was to find a men­tor that would share indus­try secrets and allow you to appren­tice with them for a while. The sec­ond was to fig­ure it out for your­self by just get­ting started and hope for the best.

The first approach is only as good as your men­tor. A men­tor that prob­a­bly taught him­self. The sec­ond approach was fun, like being in the Wild West, but was prob­a­bly an expen­sive learn­ing curve and VERY time consuming.

Luckily for the rest of you young­sters, (Another thing old roast­ers say) you don’t have to take either of the above paths. You owe a lot of the avail­abil­ity of knowl­edge to an indus­tri­ous group of vol­un­teers that formed the Roasters Guild.

These pro­fes­sion­als thought it would be a great to be able to teach the new­bies as well as expe­ri­enced roast­ers alike. This would be a knowl­edge trans­fer of the things that go into cre­at­ing and improv­ing their roast­ing craft. They com­bined their col­lec­tive expe­ri­ences with research from SCAA and oth­ers to cre­ate the first roast­ing classes.

Over the years, SCAA has been able to add pro­fes­sional edu­ca­tors to staff and really focus on being able to deliver con­sis­tent, pro­fes­sional mate­r­ial. The roast­ers guild mem­bers are still called upon as subject-matter experts and their knowl­edge is fit into a teach­ing struc­ture that is repeatable.

Back in MY days as a young(er) roaster I took my first roast­ing class at the SCAA show in Anaheim. I was VERY intim­i­dated to say the least. I had a men­tor that taught me every­thing he knew. I had about 5 years of roast­ing under my belt. I was sup­posed to know what I was doing. As it turned out I was doing the best job I knew how, and that job was just a wild guess as to how it gen­er­ated the results I wanted.

I took a roast­ing level 1 course. I remem­ber think­ing “Holy Cow! That is what’s going on inside the bean?!?” My table lead, Kathi Zollman made me feel so great about learn­ing that I for­got about being embar­rassed. I became a devout stu­dent of the craft and tried where I could to add to the con­tent of classes being formed.

So where is the value in tak­ing roast­ing classes? If you shell out a cou­ple thou­sand dol­lars to get your Roaster Level 1 cer­ti­fi­ca­tion will it result in more rev­enue for your com­pany? Will you be able to get a raise? A pro­mo­tion? Will you gain a skillset that makes you more valu­able to your employer?

The answer is yes to all of the above! Roasting classes, espe­cially those that have been cre­ated by mul­ti­ple experts in the field as opposed to a sin­gle source, squish tons of good info into them. The com­bined knowl­edge and skills make these classes really come alive. Imagine the decades of expe­ri­ence that went into Roasting 101. Even if you have been roast­ing for a while, you will ben­e­fit from the insights of others.

Taking a class can have two lev­els of value. First is the knowl­edge you acquire. Just remem­ber, you can learn a lot of this stuff by your­self by just doing it. But every good busi­ness­man will tell you that if you can pay to learn some­thing it will always be a bet­ter value than try­ing to learn it on your own.

The sec­ond level of value is the oppor­tu­nity for growth, the improve­ment of your prod­uct or the sav­ings in expenses that you can achieve after learn­ing the con­tent of the class.

Every roaster I know has told me that they have ben­e­fit­ted in their busi­ness and per­sonal growth by tak­ing the classes far above and beyond what they paid for the class.

So back in the day, I would have gladly paid to learn what I learned the hard way. Take advan­tage of the classes avail­able to you. You will always learn some­thing that will help you.

Rocky Rhodes is an 18 year cof­fee vet­eran, roaster, and Q-Grader Instructor, and his mis­sion now is to trans­form the cof­fee sup­ply chain and make sweep­ing dif­fer­ences in the lives of those that pro­duce the green cof­fee. Rocky can be reached at

Work Hard, Play Hard

Categories: 2015, SeptemberTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Albert Scala, finan­cial guru of the coffee-trading world, spends time in the moun­tains of Brazil, the gov­ern­ment offices of Colombia, and coöper­a­tive farms in Peru. Mostly, though, he’s hun­kered over phones in his office at IFC Stone in Miami, Florida, watch­ing the cof­fee futures mar­kets and advis­ing his clients on trades, puts, and calls.

This past September of 2014, how­ever, found Albert with the spray and roar of the Deschutes River nigh on his right hip, shoul­ders bent over the han­dle­bars of a rented moun­tain bike, exhil­a­rat­ing down the ruts and jumps of an 18% grade river­side trail. Right behind him, grin­ning ear to ear, was Daniel Robles Muguira, a cof­fee farmer from a fam­ily steeped in Mexico’s rich cof­fee cul­ture. Daniel’s fam­ily runs cof­fee farms, a decaf­feina­tion facil­ity, as well as a sol­u­ble cof­fee pro­duc­tion plant in Veracruz. At this moment these two respected mem­bers of our cof­fee tribe were not think­ing of Roya, the New York C mar­ket, or drought in Brazil; they were instead cut­ting tracks on a dirt bike trail, focused on hang­ing on ‘till they could skid their steel stal­lions to a halt at the base of a water­fall marked on their route map, and take a refresh­ing plunge in the still pool at its base.

Just down­river from Albert and Daniel’s jour­ney, Leanne and Murray (The Silver Fox) Ross, of Dreyfus in New Orleans, and Arianna Hartstrom of Costa Oro Green Coffee Warehousing & Distribution in Portland, Oregon were rid­ing horse­back through the high desert splen­dor of cen­tral Oregon.

23 miles to the west, Johnny Hornung and Robin Gittins of Incasa Coffee in Berkeley, California, the longest run­ning importer of whole­sale sol­u­ble cof­fee in the US, were rid­ing a chair­lift up the north slope of the majes­tic vol­cano, Mt. Bachelor – one in a series of tow­er­ing vol­canic peaks that form the Cascade Range extend­ing north­ward for more than 700 miles (1,100 km) from north­east­ern California, through Oregon and Washington, into south­ern British Columbia. Robin and Johnny’s sum­mer chair­lift ride was tak­ing them above tree-line to a won­der of majes­tic views and a beau­ti­ful down­hill, scent-filled, vista-rich hike back to their rental car.

Other cof­fee pro­fes­sion­als were raft­ing the Deschutes, play­ing golf, or shar­ing a beer or cup of cof­fee over lunch with new­found friends.

And so it went that Saturday at the Pacific Coast Coffee Association’s 83rd annual con­ven­tion in SunRiver, Oregon. Greg Thayer of Cascade Coffee in Seattle, Washington, had this to say about his time that afternoon:

I had lunch sched­uled with one of our film sup­pli­ers and a joint cus­tomer to dis­cuss busi­ness oppor­tu­ni­ties. It was a beau­ti­ful day at the hotel restau­rant over­look­ing the golf course and Mt. Bachelor. Another film sup­plier was about to be seated near us so we invited him to join us at our table. He brought with him an equip­ment man­u­fac­turer and a com­peti­tor to our cus­tomer. We sat around the table and made intro­duc­tions, and got to know one another. We had a ter­rific lunch together! We were able to lay aside our sense of busi­ness com­pe­ti­tion and cor­po­rate ‘bound­aries’ to just be human, laugh, and make new friends. We met peo­ple in the indus­try that we never would have known if it weren’t for the PCCA gath­er­ing us together. To this day, I stay in touch with all the par­ties I met at our ‘spur of the moment lunch.’”

And so it goes at many of the PCCA’s events, where cof­fee pro­fes­sion­als who belong to this West Coast based trade asso­ci­a­tion real­ize that good busi­ness means mak­ing good friends; where shar­ing mem­o­rable expe­ri­ences together cre­ates bonds of friend­ship that form the basis of solid and trust­ing work­ing rela­tion­ships; where, “Work Hard, Play Hard” is a motto to be lived, and to be shared. And hey, even if you don’t end up mak­ing the sale to your new­found friend, you’ve rafted the Deschutes!

To find out how much being a part of the PCCA can ben­e­fit you, your com­pany, and your good times, join us at this year’s con­ven­tion, Sept. 17–19, 2015, dur­ing the wine grape har­vest sea­son in California’s incom­pa­ra­ble Napa Valley.

John “johnny” Hornung is Vice President of Incasa Instant Soluble Coffee, the country’s longest run­ning whole­sale sol­u­ble cof­fee importer and dis­trib­u­tor. He lives in Berkeley, California, and is happy to be a part of the cof­fee world after years as a musi­cal event pro­ducer, pro­fes­sional sailor, and home builder. He is nom­i­nated to become the next President of the PCCA at the September, 2015 con­ven­tion, join­ing his father Jack Hornung, uncle Ernie Kahl, and cousin Steve Kahl in that role.

Connecting the Dots

Categories: 2015, AugustTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Every step along the path from the farmer to the cus­tomer is impor­tant. Some will claim that one might be more impor­tant than the oth­ers. While they ARE all impor­tant, one step is the most ‘trans­for­ma­tive’ and that is the roast­ing process. Roasting can add fla­vors and take them away. If you screw up roast­ing, the best barista can’t fix it.

Roasting pro­fes­sion­als make tons of choices when decid­ing what equip­ment to use as well as how to roast a par­tic­u­lar cof­fee. Often the sec­ond deci­sion influ­ences the first and vice versa. Let’s look at the key ques­tions and fac­tors in design­ing and imple­ment­ing a roast­ing plant.

First: What kind of roaster do you want to be when you grow up? Different vol­umes require dif­fer­ent choices.

Second: How do you plan to source cof­fee? If you are just buy­ing from local importers you will have a dif­fer­ent cup­ping room and QA depart­ment vs. those doing direct import­ing. This may include sam­ple roasting.

Third: Where will you locate? There are needs to have retail traf­fic for a roaster/retailer that may work against a com­pany pri­mar­ily dri­ven by whole­sal­ing cof­fee to oth­ers. What kind of roast­ing you can do (if any) will be deter­mined by the zon­ing depart­ments of your city and county.

Fourth: Are you the type to ‘feel’ the roast and trust the art or do you pre­fer computer-based accu­racy when match­ing profiles?

Fifth: Do you have the bud­get to do it right the first time or to grow when you need to? Many com­pa­nies get stuck once they have grown because they have long leases in facil­i­ties that no longer meet the needs of the business.

If you have the answers to these ques­tions, you can dive into the deci­sions about get­ting your roast­ery set up or expand­ing an exist­ing one. Here are some help­ful tips:

A)    Decide on how much con­trol you want. Temp read­ings, air flow, data log­ger, automa­tion and burner type.
B)    Factor in ser­vice record and oper­at­ing cost.
C)    Size your roaster for about 50% growth.
D)    Size in appro­pri­ate smoke abate­ment via after­burner, scrub­ber, cat­alytic con­verter, or recir­cu­la­tion. Other coun­tries use other inter­est­ing devices that may not work in the US.

Other plant equip­ment:
A)    Green cof­fee load­ers, de-stoners, clean­ers, and stor­age bins need to be sized to meet pro­duc­tion require­ments and should be eas­ily upgraded for future expan­sion.
B)    Conveyance sys­tems move cof­fee from load-in through the roaster and out to pack­ag­ing. Designing a flex­i­ble sys­tem that can grow with you is a good idea.
C)    Grinding equip­ment comes in dif­fer­ent forms and sizes. Pick a unit that can keep up with your pack­ag­ing line and not be the bot­tle­neck. Also plan for ground cof­fee stor­age prior to pack­ag­ing for a degassing period.
D)    Packaging can be as sim­ple as a bucket, scoop and a floor sealer all the way up to a fully auto­mated machine that requires little-to-no human inter­ac­tion. A good sys­tem will be scal­able and expand­able to han­dle mul­ti­ple pack­ag­ing sizes and have options like nitro­gen flush­ing, valve appli­ca­tion etc.

Lab Equipment:
A)    A sam­ple roaster can be a cru­cial tool for any roast­ing com­pany. It is a tool that assists in the pur­chas­ing and accep­tance of green cof­fee as well as a way to ini­ti­ate roast pro­files for cof­fees before head­ing to the pro­duc­tion roaster.
B)    Color read­ers help a roaster to be more pre­cise in their final prod­ucts color both inter­nal and exter­nal fin­ished color.
C)    Cupping record sys­tems bring a sense of his­tory as well as qual­ity con­trol for roast­ing com­pa­nies.  On the low end you put cup­ping notes in a paper file. On the high end you store elec­tronic data in the cloud and share infor­ma­tion with your pro­duc­tion part­ners in the cof­fee grow­ing regions.

Deciding on a space and lay­out of the plant can now be done once you made the deci­sions above. As with most busi­nesses, loca­tion is impor­tant. In a man­u­fac­tur­ing plant like a cof­fee roast­ing com­pany the func­tional lay­out of the space is cru­cial for reduced oper­a­tional costs, pur­chas­ing costs, and pro­duc­tion effi­cien­cies. This is true regard­less of size of your company.

Being the mid­dle of the sup­ply chain and being the most trans­for­ma­tive piece of the sys­tem means that it is impor­tant to choose equip­ment wisely. It is equally impor­tant to fac­tor in size of plant for growth and the loca­tion to put your business.

Cablevey Conveyors Enclosed Tubular Coated Cable & Disc Conveyors
by Cablevey Conveyors | 641.673.8451
No Metal Shavings! 1-Piece Discs for Easy-to-Keep-Clean Material Processing. Strong, Reliable Conveying Machines for over 40 Years – Over 30,000 Conveyors Installed! Cablevey Conveyors con­tin­u­ally demon­strates “best in class” con­vey­ors with the least amount of dam­age, spillage, for­eign mate­r­ial con­t­a­m­i­na­tion or oper­at­ing costs.
Cable & disc tech­nol­ogy gen­tly move prod­ucts through an enclosed tube with­out the use of air. Systems can con­vey up to 1240 cubic feet (35 cubic meters) per hour.


Infinity Roast™
by Buhler Inc | 905.754.8389
Buhler’s InfinityRoastTM cof­fee roaster is lead­ing the way into the future of cof­fee fla­vor cre­ation. The InfinityRoastTM  assists in cre­at­ing roast­ing pro­files for cus­tomized fla­vor char­ac­ter­is­tics and phys­i­cal bean prop­er­ties. The roaster is designed with vari­able air-to-bean ratios and sets supe­rior stan­dards for safety, reli­a­bil­ity and energy efficiency.


Shore’s New Model 935 Moisture Tester
by Shore Measuring Systems | 217.892.2544
The Shore Model 935 Moisture Tester pro­vides a com­mer­cial grade mois­ture tester for cof­fee, tea and cocoa. Easy to use, the Model 935 fea­tures an inte­grated scale and printer as well as a touch-screen dis­play. Moisture test­ing cal­i­bra­tions are included for a vari­ety of cof­fee, tea and cocoa bean commodities.


The UpShot Single-Serve Filters
by Lbp Manufacturing Inc. | 800.545.6200
The UpShot Solution is a line of Eco-friendly, single-serve fil­ters paired with a flex­i­ble pro­duc­tion model that allows roast­ers to take advan­tage of the boom­ing single-serve mar­ket. Made from 100% polypropy­lene, it is recy­clable and is com­pat­i­ble with Keurig® and other single-serve brewers.


The E20-CP Analyzer
by Agtron, Inc. | 775.850.4600
The E20-CP and the M-Basic II are the finest instru­ments avail­able designed specif­i­cally to address the spe­cial require­ments asso­ci­ated with eval­u­at­ing and quan­ti­fy­ing the roast of whole bean and ground coffee.


PLI-VALV one way degassing valves
by PLITEK | 847.827.6680
One-way degassing valves (often called fresh­ness valves, aroma valves, or cof­fee valves) are crit­i­cal to max­i­miz­ing coffee’s fresh­ness by allow­ing freshly roasted cof­fee to degas in its pack­ag­ing. PLITEK’s com­plete degassing solu­tions, PLI-VALV® one-way degassing valves and valve appli­ca­tors are the most effi­cient, reli­able, and cost effec­tive solu­tion for degassing freshly roasted cof­fee in its pack­ag­ing. For more infor­ma­tion con­tact:


FLEXI-DISC® Tubular Cable Conveyor
by Flexicon Corporation | 610.814.2400
FLEXI-DISC® Tubular Cable Conveyors gen­tly slide frag­ile green and roasted cof­fee through  stain­less steel tub­ing, using poly­mer discs on stain­less steel cable. The sys­tem can have sin­gle or mul­ti­ple inlets and out­lets, and con­vey over short or long dis­tances. Offered as stand-alone sys­tems or fully inte­grated with exist­ing equipment.


The Diedrich Family of Roasters – from 1 kilo and sam­ple roast­ers to 280 kilo roast­ers
by Diedrich Manufacturing, Inc | 208.263.1276
Diedrich Roasters, the only roaster made from the ground up in America, is the lead­ing craft roast­ing solu­tion for com­pa­nies demand­ing a cof­fee roaster that deliv­ers high qual­ity, respon­sive con­trol, clean taste, low fuel con­sump­tion, reli­able con­sis­tency, and arti­san sen­si­bil­i­ties from a proven and tested man­u­fac­tur­ing partner.


Nesco Home Coffee Bean Roaster
by The Metal Ware Corporation – Nesco | 800.624.2949
The Nesco Coffee Bean Roaster allows con­sumers to roast their own green beans con­trol­ling the roast dark­ness and time.  Designed for in home use, with a cat­alytic con­ver­tor to absorb odors,  this qual­ity built, func­tional unit is a great addi­tion to Coffee retailer’s prod­uct portfolios.


US Roaster Corp
by US Roaster Corp | 405.232.1223
US Roaster Corp pro­vides a full line of ser­vices to the Industry.
Award win­ning High Efficiency roast­ers with low­est emis­sions and our Millennium mod­els for every need.  Special mod­els For Cacao and expe­ri­ence in roast­ing and grind­ing. Consulting and train­ing for start up to com­plete plants. New Grinders, Rebuilt Equipment.


33 Cups of Coffee
by 33 Books Co. | 503.888.3532
33 Coffees is a cof­fee jour­nal that pro­vides an easy way to quickly record cof­fee tast­ing notes in a small, con­ve­nient note­book for­mat. It’s per­fect for cof­fee novices and pros alike. The fla­vor wheel included in 33 Coffees lets you record a coffee’s fla­vor in a unique, visual format.


Unbiased Scientific Analysis of Coffee Products
by Coffee Analysts | 800.375.3398
The true mea­sure of any cof­fee pro­gram is the bev­er­age qual­ity: how does is taste?  Branding, pro­mo­tion, and mer­chan­dis­ing will cap­ture the first sale, but only qual­ity will keep your cus­tomers return­ing time after time. We do not sell cof­fee: we test cof­fee.  Our team spe­cial­izes in the eval­u­a­tion and improve­ment of cof­fee pro­grams through­out the global cof­fee sup­ply chain.


Loring Roasters–S15, S35, S70
by Loring Smart Roast | 707.526.7215
Highly con­sis­tent roast­ing regard­less of weather and pre­ci­sion con­trols to guide the roast enable roast­mas­ters to cre­ate & repro­duce excep­tional roasts at any time. Sustainable tech­nol­ogy built into the roast­ing sys­tem for smoke abate­ment can save up to 80% in fuel costs over roast­ers that require an afterburner.


Flavors of all types for the bev­er­age indus­try
by Beck Flavors | 314.878.7522
Beck Flavors is ded­i­cated to pro­vid­ing our cus­tomers supe­rior inno­va­tion, high qual­ity fla­vors and world-class cus­tomer ser­vice and sup­port. We con­tinue to cre­ate a range of fla­vors for your bev­er­age fla­vor needs. Our expe­ri­enced inno­va­tion staff and low min­i­mum order quan­ti­ties are just a few rea­sons to call us today!


Xeltron’s XR-Q model for Roasted Coffee
by Xeltron S.A. | +506.2279.5777
Xeltron is with with you from the green to the roasted bean process. Our lat­est model will help you increase your yield even on the final process of roasted cof­fee by achiev­ing a uni­form appear­ance and con­sis­tent qual­ity. Offer your clients the best look­ing roasted cof­fee on the market.

Roaster Resources

Categories: 2015, AugustTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

In Defense of the Middle Man
We hear it all the time in almost every indus­try:
“Remove the mid­dle man; make your busi­ness more effi­cient and increase your profits.”

That’s not an unfair state­ment in most indus­tries. However, the cof­fee indus­try has cre­ated a unique list of issues for the importer, just like it has for the pro­ducer and the retailer on either end. Coming from a barista and third-wave café man­ager back­ground, I always viewed the rela­tion­ship with the farmer to be para­mount. I imag­ined myself going to the farms and exchang­ing hand­shakes and laugh­ter for jute bags full of green cof­fee. This—much to my chagrin—is just not a real­is­tic rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the life of the aver­age roaster. I know; I’m as dis­ap­pointed as you are.

For the small to mid­size roaster, han­dling the logis­tics of inter­na­tional freight is a daunt­ing enough propo­si­tion, but when you add in the exor­bi­tant cost per pound asso­ci­ated with ship­ping any­thing less than a full (~37,500lb) con­tainer, the nav­i­ga­tion of gov­ern­men­tal restric­tions, the idea of tying up tens of thou­sands of dol­lars months before you might receive the cof­fee, and the years and patience it takes to build a rela­tion­ship with a pro­ducer, it quickly becomes unsus­tain­able to pop­u­late your menu with directly-sourced cof­fee. The time and costs you incur grossly out­weigh the cost of work­ing with an importer.

Probably the most time-consuming—yet most rewarding—aspects of devel­op­ing farm con­nec­tions are the rela­tion­ships. These rela­tion­ships are built on trust and mutual under­stand­ing, as well as a pas­sion and love for cof­fee. These farm­ers have, by far, the most work to do to make sure that what ends up in your cup is a beau­ti­ful start to your morn­ing. All things con­sid­ered, importers are going to spend a lot of time devel­op­ing rela­tion­ships, but they can only man­age so many. If a diverse list of unique cof­fees is what you’re look­ing for, a sin­gle source is prob­a­bly going to limit your abil­ity to accom­plish that. That may seem like a strange sug­ges­tion from an importer, but it’s just a real­ity. At Royal Coffee New York, we’re always look­ing for a way to ful­fill new needs as they arrive, and we do our best to have the right cof­fee for each type of person.

Familiarity with the cof­fee is another con­sid­er­a­tion. We spend a good chunk of time every day with cup­ping and qual­ity assur­ance. In any given week, we could cup between 50–100 dif­fer­ent cof­fees. This allows us to have a men­tal library of sim­i­lar­i­ties from which we can draw lines to sim­i­lar cof­fees in a way that some­one who only cups occa­sion­ally, or only a cou­ple cof­fees at a time, wouldn’t be able to. The beauty is we can’t do every­thing; no one can.

With the chain of cof­fee, every link needs to be strong, or it all falls apart. We’re proud to be able to be a part of that.

By Dave Planer, Marketing Director of Royal Coffee New York, Inc.

Producer Profile

Categories: 2015, AugustTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

What is Cup of Excellence®?
Cup of Excellence is a pre­mier cof­fee com­pe­ti­tion and world­wide auc­tion offer­ing the high­est award given to a top scor­ing cof­fee. The level of scrutiny that Cup of Excellence cof­fees undergo is unmatched as all of the COE award win­ners are cupped at least five times (the top ten are cupped again) dur­ing the three-week com­pe­ti­tion. Literally hun­dreds of cups are smelled, tasted and scored based on their exem­plary char­ac­ter­is­tics. The prices that these win­ning cof­fees receive at the auc­tion have bro­ken records time and again to prove that there is a huge demand for these rare, farmer iden­ti­fied cof­fees. The farmer receives the major­ity of the auc­tion pro­ceeds based on the price paid at auc­tion, and the farmer can expect to receive more than 80% of the final price. The remain­ing auc­tion pro­ceeds are paid to the in-country orga­niz­ing com­mit­tee to help pay for the program.

Changing Producer Lives
13.Miravalle1Being selected as one of the win­ners at Cup of Excellence means recog­ni­tion and reward for the grower and has been a spring­board for many grow­ers to secure long-term rela­tion­ships with inter­na­tional buy­ers, which, in turn, allows for fur­ther invest­ment in the farm and brings secu­rity for fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties.
The expe­ri­ence for the grower is life-changing. He or she is a star and for that one ner­vous, exhil­a­rat­ing moment, applauded. Proudly walk­ing up on the stage and accept­ing the applause, the grower real­izes their hard work, atten­tion to detail, maybe their very liveli­hood, is being rec­og­nized as impor­tant to their entire coun­try. Some are very shy, never hav­ing been in any kind of pub­lic spot­light. Many are hum­ble coun­try folk – and this is evi­dent as they shake hands with an ambas­sador, the vice pres­i­dent or even the pres­i­dent of a coun­try, their expres­sion clearly show­ing the huge ela­tion of win­ning. Cup of Excellence has cre­ated a much more trans­par­ent infra­struc­ture for high qual­ity cof­fee. Roasters can now iden­tify, find and build rela­tion­ships with grow­ers of supe­rior cof­fees. It brings together the high qual­ity roaster and the high qual­ity farmer and helps both under­stand and appre­ci­ate the nuances and fla­vor pro­files of rare exem­plary cof­fees. It has changed the pric­ing struc­ture for farm­ers and has dis­cov­ered many of the incred­i­ble cof­fees that have built con­sumer excite­ment and loy­alty. With that, we are excited to present our new series: Producer Profiles.

El Salvador: Finca Miravalle
Table 1High on the vel­vet green shoul­der of El Salvador’s Santa Ana vol­cano nes­tles Finca Miravalle. Dr. Jaime Ernesto Riera Menendez owns and man­ages these 10 hectares, where cli­mate, rain­fall, and metic­u­lous hus­bandry com­bine to pro­duce his award-winning cof­fee. In 1980, Dr. Mendez’s father, Amadeo Riera y Solsona, bought the plan­ta­tion and named it Miravalle (Overlooking the Valley). Dom Amadeo began the process of reclaim­ing the cof­fee trees from the wild, and when he passed away, left Miravalle to his wife, Marta Dolores Menendez de Riera. Eventually she trans­ferred own­er­ship to her son, Dr. Menendez, a gas­troen­terol­o­gist, who inher­ited his parent’s love for cof­fee, and today Jaime and his mother Marta super­vise the farm’s oper­a­tions together.

At Finca Miravalle, a com­bi­na­tion of Bourbon and Pacas cof­fee vari­etals grow in the shade of native Ingas, Cipres and Gravileo trees, thriv­ing at an aver­age alti­tude of 1650 metres above sea level. Menendez and his farm man­ager, Luis Flores, employ cul­tural prac­tices such as con­tin­u­ous prun­ing of both cof­fee and shade trees, weed con­trol, replant­ing, and more, all of which they accom­plish by tra­di­tional meth­ods. Flores has worked with Dr. Menendez for seven years, and man­aged the plan­ta­tion for the last four. They have been able to almost com­pletely avoid the cof­fee rust that has plagued much of Central America. Together, they have pro­duced a cof­fee that has won the Cup of Excellence award for four con­sec­u­tive years.

Table 2From its van­tage point so far above the val­ley, Miravalle’s cof­fee ripens slowly. It is selec­tively hand­picked, fully washed, and then dried in the sun. During most of the year, only two peo­ple live at the farm—Luis and his wife—but dur­ing har­vest that pop­u­la­tion swells to about 70, as selected pick­ers from the sur­round­ing region con­verge. After the 2005 erup­tion of the Santa Ana vol­cano, which caused rocks the size of cars to hur­tle down on the land, many work­ers migrated to lower ele­va­tions. Now, Miravalle pays their pick­ers almost 40% above min­i­mum wage to come back up the moun­tain and par­tic­i­pate in the cof­fee harvest.

Dr. Menendez cred­its the excel­lent qual­ity of the Bourbón vari­ety, along with the alti­tude and loca­tion of Miravalle, for his farm’s 13th place award in the Cup of Excellence this year. Dr. Menendez is highly moti­vated to keep up with opti­mum har­vest and sort­ing processes to improve the qual­ity of his cof­fee each year. The key to this, he believes, is moti­vat­ing the peo­ple that work on the farm, teach­ing them the impor­tance of their role, and improv­ing the ben­e­fits for every­one involved.

This lot of Finca Miravalle cof­fee offers jas­mine in the aroma, cedar, malt, and grape­fruit up front, and a clean mouth­feel that ends in a lin­ger­ing aftertaste.

Coffee Beyond the Drink

Categories: 2015, AugustTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Coffee has been a part of my life for longer than I care to admit, and a part of my career since 1999. I have fed, clothed, and housed my chil­dren through cof­fee. It is fair to say that I have an emo­tional attach­ment to the bean, as well as a prac­ti­cal one. Like many, it is the start of my day, which is filled to the brim (par­don the obvi­ous pun) with life.

I am a career woman, a wife and a mom with four kids, a pack of dogs, and a flock of hand-raised, back­yard chick­ens. My hus­band and I cul­ti­vate a healthy veg­etable gar­den, grow and blend our own herbal teas and hard­scape our own yard. You will often find me shed­ding my heels for my rub­ber work boots the minute my feet hit the dri­ve­way com­ing home.

The con­cept of waste holds no charm for me. The idea of using/reusing as much of an item as pos­si­ble, not only is appeal­ing and speaks to the nat­u­ral­ist in me, but has become a phi­los­o­phy of respon­si­bil­ity that I try and live by.

That is why I am fas­ci­nated by the devel­op­ing “other cof­fee” indus­try that has emerged in recent years. Throughout the food indus­try, holis­tic health care prod­ucts and cos­met­ics, we see var­i­ous parts of the cof­fee cherry being reused for pur­poses other than my morn­ing ‘nec­tar of the gods.’

The health ben­e­fits of brewed cof­fee have been debated end­lessly, with stud­ies and research both for and against the ben­e­fits of cof­fee. Coffee is, in truth, one of the widest used, nat­u­rally grown med­i­c­i­nal plants. Beyond the sim­u­lant ben­e­fits of brewed cof­fee, it also known to aid in diges­tion, increase reflex speed and men­tal activity.

However great the health ben­e­fit of brewed cof­fee, it is over­shad­owed by the ben­e­fits from the cof­fee fruit or cherry sur­round­ing the bean. The cherry or fruit on the cof­fee tree is high in antiox­i­dants, one of the high­est on the ORAC rat­ing, in fact. Long term con­sump­tion of phe­no­lic acid and plant polyphe­nols found in the cof­fee cherry can become a poten­tial power pack that helps with skin regen­er­a­tion, aids against dia­betes, osteo­poro­sis and can even pro­tect against the devel­op­ment of some cancers1. In short, we are speak­ing about the next super food.

With the emerg­ing new indus­try of using cof­fee by-products, it could offer another con­ceiv­able and much needed source of income for farm­ers and their fam­i­lies. There is a poten­tial for sell­ing the cherry for use in herbal sup­ple­ments, cos­met­ics, teas, and for use in food and bev­er­age ingre­di­ents. This would widen the mar­ket and expand sales using already exist­ing sup­ply chains, vir­tu­ally elim­i­nat­ing any waste.

In fact, most of the com­pa­nies researched had a focus on help­ing to broaden the eco­nomic oppor­tu­nity for cof­fee grow­ers, elim­i­nat­ing build-up of waste going into the soil and streams, and expand­ing a sus­tain­able sup­ply chain.

Foods of the Fruit
I am a couch chef. Think Monday morn­ing quar­ter­back, only with food. I love watch­ing cook­ing shows and cer­tainly love eat­ing, but I am more skilled with a shovel and rock bar than I am with a spat­ula. Regardless, I gob­ble up recipes and new food ideas think­ing that some­day, I am going to really learn to cook. When I learned that peo­ple were cre­at­ing food from cof­fee, for me, it was like the Seattle Seahawks going to the Super Bowl…twice.

A Bouquet of Flours
Life turns in inter­est­ing cir­cles some­times; cof­fee trees flower, flow­ers become cher­ries, and now cher­ries are becom­ing flour. Coffee flour is made from the pulp of cof­fee cher­ries ground into a flour that is high-fiber, gluten free, with a bit­ter­sweet taste. Coffee flour is not meant to be a stand-alone flour, but rather to be blended with other flours to add an ele­men­tal rich­ness that enhances food.

High in pro­tein, fiber, iron and potas­sium, it can be used in any recipe that would call for stan­dard flour or gluten free flour. Even fake food­ies like myself are eager to blend, bake, and savor. It will soon be pos­si­ble thanks to com­pa­nies like CoffeeFlour®, which hopes to launch the prod­uct com­mer­cially late in 2015.

Engineer, fac­tory designer, and ex-Starbucks entre­pre­neur, Dan Belliveau, started CF Global with some com­mer­cial lever­age help from Intellectual Ventures, ECOM Agroindustrial Corp, and Mercon Coffee Corp. In 2014, The Guardian named CoffeeFlour® top Sustainable Business Story of 20142.

Coffee flour can be used to bake cook­ies, brown­ies, most any sweet treat, but will also pair well with red wine cre­at­ing a new fla­vor in a red wine reduc­tion sauce for beef.

Waiter, there is some­thing in my food.”
While cof­fee flour is not yet avail­able, other com­pa­nies have cer­tainly dis­cov­ered the ben­e­fits of using the cof­fee berry fruit in their prod­ucts to boost the nutri­tional value and get com­plex­ity in their fla­vor profiles.

Earnest eats™, a com­pany based in Solana Beach, California, spe­cial­izes in healthy, hearty foods that use whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fruits. Blended together in var­i­ous ways cre­at­ing dif­fer­ent gra­nola, bars, and oat­meal. Their newest line uses cof­fee fruit to give the whole­some oats a lit­tle extra kick of good­ness. Using cof­fee flour, (dried cof­fee fruit pulp)3 adds between 15–40 mg of caf­feine per serv­ing, giv­ing a lit­tle extra some­thing in each bite.

Another feel good food using cof­fee fruit is Yebo Bars, for­merly Cherry Hero. Yebo feel good for good™, tells the story of Ethiopian war­riors cre­at­ing the first energy bar by crush­ing the fruit and wrap­ping it in other foods. As an avid trav­eler for work, I am all about “good food on the go” and bars are eas­ily portable. I want a power-packed energy bar with­out loads of junk. Yebo Bars is a small start-up com­pany that began in 2012, with a good heart and “works to empower cof­fee farm­ers while pro­vid­ing scal­able and sus­tain­able nutrition.”4

In addi­tion to good food, David Boyle, owner of Yebo Bars, donates 5% of every bar sold to help fund food secu­rity projects for cof­fee farm­ing fam­i­lies. Now that is feel-good food.

All This Food Has Made Me Thirsty
Food is not the only con­sum­able by-product of cof­fee cher­ries. Coffee berry tea is an herbal tea made from the dried, some­times coarsely ground cof­fee cher­ries. Coffee fruit tea, also known as, cas­cara, tastes noth­ing like brewed cof­fee. It has all the pleas­ant­ness of a light berry infused tea, and is full of antiox­i­dants. In a tea infu­sion form, it report­edly works sim­i­lar to a detox.

If you’re not in the mood for a hot tea, then you can try Kona Red®, a power-packed energy drink cre­ated by Greenwell Farms, using the cof­fee cher­ries from their farm. Prior to devel­op­ing the energy drink, Greenwell Farms would use the cher­ries as a com­post for their cof­fee trees, recy­cling the “waste” into a won­der­ful com­post. The Kona Red® brand has now devel­oped into a full line of energy drinks, pack­ets, and pow­ders for peo­ple on the go.

Using the “unused” por­tion of cof­fee cher­ries seems like a “win” for all par­ties, but con­cerned response to a 2014 arti­cle in The Guardian raised ques­tions. There are many farm­ers who use the dis­carded fruit as a nutri­ent rich com­post, help­ing to main­tain the bal­ance of the soil and in turn, cre­at­ing a bet­ter bean. Monika Firl, of Coöperative Coffees is quoted say­ing, “If well man­aged, there is no waste in the cof­fee fields.
It can all be recy­cled into very use­ful com­posted fer­til­iz­ers, which the fields need to main­tain pro­duc­tion levels.”5

The con­cept of using the whole of the crop and gen­er­at­ing addi­tional review to help off-set the lean months between har­vests is crit­i­cal to main­tain­ing a healthy sus­tain­able com­mu­nity. Diversification of the crops, how­ever it comes about, is key in bring­ing in more rev­enue. But sim­i­larly with the cof­fee bean, keep­ing the money local, the farms healthy, and the sup­ply chain trans­par­ent, will be key fac­tors in mea­sur­ing the impact of this emerg­ing new cof­fee indus­try. Success that is shared from farm to flour.


By Kelle Vandenberg, Free-lance Writer and VP of Marketing for
Pacific Bag, Inc.
To reach Kelle:

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Coffee for Your Workout

Coffee improves your phys­i­cal per­for­mance
Caffeine stim­u­lates the ner­vous sys­tem, caus­ing it to send sig­nals to the fat cells to break down body fat, which can be used as fuel when released into the blood. It also increases Epinephrine (adren­a­line) lev­els in the blood.

A study shows that because of these effects, the result is an 11 to 12.3% improve­ment on phys­i­cal performance.

Coffee pre­serves your mus­cles
Studies show that cof­fee can set off the part of your brain that releases the ‘growth fac­tor’: brain-derived neu­rotrophic fac­tor (BDNF).

BDNF pro­motes and improves neu­ro­mo­tor func­tion. Neuromotor func­tion can be described as your mus­cles’ igni­tion switch, the ner­vous system’s abil­ity to fire your mus­cles. Neuromotor degra­da­tion is among the lead­ing causes of age-related mus­cle atro­phy. Consuming cof­fee daily main­tains your BDNF at the nor­mal level and thereby strength­ens and safe­guards your muscles.

Coffee helps you work­out harder
According to recent research, ath­letes who con­sumed caf­feine prior to work­ing out took longer to become exhausted, com­pleted more reps, and were more psy­cho­log­i­cally ready to perform.

A group of researchers found that a ‘caffeine/carb combo’ could increase glyco­gen to more than 50 per­cent after an intense work­out. Glycogen is a form of car­bo­hy­drates that is stored in the mus­cles and can boost strength and stamina.

When con­sumed, the caf­feine in cof­fee can increase the glyco­gen in your mus­cles. Drinking cof­fee reg­u­larly ensures you’ll always have enough glyco­gen stores in your muscles.

Coffee reduces mus­cle sore­ness after exer­cise
Caffeine can speed recov­ery and reduce post-workout mus­cle sore­ness by up to 48 percent.

A group of researchers from the University of Illinois found that caf­feine affects the brain sys­tem and the spinal cord sys­tem in a way that reduces pain. Another study showed that sus­tained caf­feinated cof­fee con­sump­tion right before and after an upper-body resis­tance train­ing can improve per­for­mance and decrease mus­cle sore­ness in the days after the stren­u­ous work­out, thus let­ting indi­vid­u­als to increase the num­ber of their train­ing sessions.

The less pain you feel after a work­out, the less likely it is that you’ll be sore. Since cof­fee also helps pre­serves your mus­cles, it can help you recover quickly. The quicker you recover, the more you can exer­cise and improve.

Coffee low­ers stress
When you’re feel­ing stressed at work, you could make your­self feel bet­ter by tak­ing a big whiff of a cup of cof­fee before drink­ing it. By exam­in­ing the brain of some sleep-deprived rats, a group of researchers at the Seoul National University dis­cov­ered that those who were exposed to cof­fee aro­mas expe­ri­enced changes in their brain pro­teins tied to the stress they were expe­ri­enc­ing and alle­vi­ated it. The aroma study focused pri­mar­ily on stress related to sleep deprivation.

Nevertheless, numer­ous stud­ies pub­lished show that cof­fee has stress-reducing effects. A research titled “Hypertension” pub­lished in 2005 showed that the blood pres­sure of coffee-drinkers is not as affected when faced with stress­ful situations.

There may not be much effect for non-habitual drinkers of cof­fee, but for habit­ual drinkers there is a reduced stress-induced response.

Thanks to Michael York of Espresso Perfecto for shar­ing these fun facts.

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