After a short week, it’s Friday!
Some tidbits from this week:
Texas A&M Establishes Coffee Research Center (Roast Magazine)
Climate Change will Halve Suitable Coffee Growing Land (Sprudge)
Coffee on Instagram (Hilarious) (Sprudge)
Learn About Different Coffee Processing – Washed, Honey, Natural (Perfect Daily Grind)
The Coffee Hunter Movie Coming (Perfect Daily Grind)
Using Mango to Replace Cocoa Butter in Chocolate (CCI) Because we love chocolate too!
Let’s Talk Coffee in Puerto Vallarta in October (CCI)
Here’s a few tidbits that crossed my monitor lately… Enjoy!
Adopt a coffee tree! (Perfect Daily Grind)
Las Vegas Coffee Guide (Sprudge) Missing some of my favorites…
On Direct Trade (Perfect Daily Grind)
Burmese coffee arrives in the US (Roast Magazine)
Doctors Warn Against Asskicker Coffee – 80 Times the Caffeine: Wow!
Sony’s Coffee Ordering Robot (The Verge)
Coffee Prices are rising, and expected to rise more in coming weeks
Selling coffee directly increases farmers’ income (Nation)
A new startup in Prescott brings a sustainable coffee supply chain to Arizona. Via Roast magazine:
When engineer Joel Clark head to Guatemala several years ago for work on a silver, lead and zinc mine, little did he know that it was gold he’d actually strike. Coffee gold that is, in the form of partnership with brothers David and Eddie Solano.
David Solano was a local engineer hired to work with Clark, while Eddie Solano worked alongside American financial engineer Chris Dratz in ironing out fiscal projections and strategies for the business. Eventually it came out in conversation that the Solano brothers’ family owned the vast and well-respected Buena Vista coffee farm, and soon after that, Clark happened to see an episode of the CNBC reality TV show The Profit in which the host looks into a coffee roastery and advises the roaster to skip his green brokers and widen his profit margins by buying directly from the source.
“I was like, ‘woah, that’s quite a difference,’” Clark recalled. “And then I thought ‘woah, wait a minute, I know some farmers!’ Then I started talking with David and we hatched this scheme.”
In February of this year, the scheme came to fruition: The café Solanos y Hermanos opened its doors to the public in Prescott, Ariz., about one block away from the Prescott University campus. A seven-pound-capacity Sedona Elite drum roaster runs in a 200-square-foot roasting workshop adjoining Clark’s home, while the 1,140-square-foot coffeehouse caters not only to lovers of top quality coffee — greens from Buena Vista farm have scored 93 points in SCAA cuppings — but consumers that appreciate knowing their patronage supports an ethically sound supply chain, all the way down to the harvesters laboring on mountaintops a world away.
The last few months have been a flurry of activity. (So what else is new!) Besides wearing the green coffee importer hat, we’ve been steadily growing our retail, online, and wholesale roasted (and green) coffee business. I do have a couple of unfinished posts that I hope to publish soon.
The green coffee business has slowed over the summer, but we’re diligent in contacting new roasters to see if we can build a friendship, and some interest in the work (and coffee) that we’ve been doing. The direct trade coffee business is challenging in the real world, because although most would love to help the farmers, sometimes the bottom line seems to outweigh those “out of sight, out of mind” families that labor intensively to harvest, ferment, dry, and bag our daily cup.
The competition is ferocious. The large companies own farms, and contract for the cheapest possible price whenever they buy from local growers. In the ever changing commodity coffee market, this often places the value of the farmer on the bottom end.
Our direct trade model requires the farmer to put in a little more quality control, and attention, but allows earnings that are double or more for their efforts.
Paying more though, puts the smaller direct trade coffee importers at an immediate price disadvantage vs. the “big boys.”
Luckily, we do find many roasters that are interested in more than just price. While the idea of a truly sustainable coffee supply chain may never be completely realizable, we’ll never know what the possibilities are unless we make the attempt. We truly appreciate those who see the bigger picture, and support the small family farmers. The Curibamba Coffee Project is changing lives, and every cup makes a difference.
Meanwhile, the roasting part of the coffee business allows for a better profit potential. Here, the most important thing is quality. We recently purchased a Sonofresco Coffee Roaster for use at Farmer’s Markets & Shows. It’s a fun roaster, and produces excellent flavor in the cup. It works via hot air, and results in an amazingly consistent roast every time. Because we can roast live, it’s an attention getter. Most people are surprised to know that we actually went to the farm to buy our coffee. It’s a wonderful story, and we love to share what we learned along the way. Being warmly received makes it all worth while.
We recently had to contact Sonofresco regarding changes to accommodate roasting at high elevation. The response was very fast, and it’s always nice to know that there is someone behind the scenes. It was relatively easy, so we’re ready to roast fresh coffee sea level to Colorado Rockies!
Why It’s Time for Panama’s Coffee Fest
Although we’re beginning to see changes, it’s still true that specialty coffee is far less likely to be drunk in producing countries than in consuming ones. Panama is no exception to this. The country has been renowned for its high-quality beans for over a decade, but until recently the average Panamian citizen didn’t have any access to them.
Fortunately, this is starting to change, in a movement led by coffee shops and roasteries. Today, Panamanians can drink Geisha and other award-winning beans locally – although this fact is still not well-known or well-advertised.
Coffee Fest, the country’s first specialty coffee event open to the public, will be a part of this movement. The organisers hope that it will motivate local consumers to learn about and engage with the specialty industry. In this way, they aim to promote the consumption of good-quality beans and also help Panamian coffee drinkers to understand how special their country’s coffee truly is.
Full article with info: Introducing Panama’s First Public Specialty Event: Coffee Fest – Perfect Daily Grind
Here’s a list of upcoming coffee events via the National Coffee Association:
Our very first roaster was a Behmor 1600, and it opened the door to fresher coffee & all of the joys of coffee roasting. Founder Joe Behm has been working to get many of these roasters into the hands of farmers, not only to allow them to taste their own coffee, but to help them appreciate the subtleties of flavor & give back to the coffee communities at large. Via Roast Magazine:
About a year ago, Behmor creator Joe Behm was on a panel during a coffee industry event with specialty coffee pioneer George Howell, and one snippet of that discussion resonated with Behm more deeply than anything he’s heard in his nearly 20 years in and around coffee. “
George mentioned something that absolutely floored me,” Behm said. “He said all these small farmers, many of them had never tasted their own coffee.”
Despite the fact that Behmor had previously explored some Central American distribution for its signature Behmor 1600 drum roaster — a steady, popular performer in the U.S. home roasting segment — this realization led Behm and the Behmor team to chart a new charitable course designed to honor and benefit the people who grow the roasted coffee that so many people in the industry take for granted, Behm recently told Daily Coffee News.
“I’m certainly not rich. We’re not Bonavita money, we’re not Cuisinart money; but I do see that what I sometimes I call a stupid idea I had back in 1999 has a real ability to change people’s lives,” Behm said of his roasting machine, hundreds of which have already been shipped to coffee growing and milling operations as part of what’s now called the Behmor Inspired program.
“It’s an opportunity for me to give back to the men and women who make all of this possible. Without these men and women we don’t have what we do.” Behm said his hope is that, with some assistance from partner organizations on the ground, the roasting machines can be used to help farmers and others in the production chain begin to better understand their own product in order to work toward quality improvements and more premium market access.
The world is changing in so many ways. While many thought that we’d be flying around in jet-packs by now, we still instead find ourselves stuck in traffic. What if you could have your favorite coffee brought right to your car? Sound farfetched? Read on…
Via Global Coffee Report:
Coffee, donuts and a hot chicken sandwich were the first items to ever be delivered by drone in the US. The historic flight, which was approved by US aviation officials, was carried out by 7-Eleven in the US state of Nevada on Friday, 22 July.
The flight was the result of a collaboration between 7-Eleven and the drone start-up company, Flirtey. While the 7-Eleven delivery is the first of its kind, it is believed it will not be the last, with online retail giant Amazon also experimenting with the new technology. Flirtey is also working with drones to deliver relief supplies as part of humanitarian missions around the world.
Dutch Engineers Invent Coffee Delivery Drone
It’s a familiar feeling: mid-morning, exploiting the first caffeine high of the day, at your Everest of efficiency. Yet before long comes a realization that the cup you filled before reaching your desk is empty. What to do? Abandon your station—risking all the in-transit distractions that come with refueling—or stay put, convincing yourself you can withstand the pre-lunch doldrums?
If some Amsterdam entrepreneurs have their way, this dilemma will soon die out thanks to the Coffee Copter, a drone built to bring cups of fresh, handcrafted coffee to the caffeine-needy right where they work.
When Starbucks announced this fall that it would soon be offering delivery to select customers in the U.S., Dutch media went abuzz—and turned local attention to this video of Dutch-invented Coffee Copter’s test flight through A-Lab, a former Shell laboratory repurposed as an office space in Amsterdam Noord.
The video begins with the tap of a finger. An office worker places an order via the Coffee Copter app, and the request is instantly transmitted to the café on the building’s ground floor. The barista makes the drink—rosetta everlovingly included—and then places the lidded paper cup on the waiting drone, docked at the bar. Rotors spin and off it goes, flying away, up two flights of stairs, down a hall and into an office room, where an H-marked landing pad receives the gentle touchdown. Human hands retrieve the goods.
While the drone in the video is a prototype, work on a far more developed model of the Coffee Copter is underway. Behind it are six small companies whose leaders admit that the project has been a fine excuse to connect with kindred spirits over the offerings of their colleagues at Coffee Virus—an in-building coffee pop-up that became the official A-Lab lunch canteen, serving espresso drinks and filter coffee made from beans by Dutch roaster Bocca.
Full Article here. (Sprudge)
I’m still waiting for desert deliveries via drone, maybe it won’t be that long. Welcome to the future. Now, bring me my espresso!
Via Coffee & Cocoa International:
Global coffee consumption continues to increase, albeit at a slightly slower rate, with the most dynamic demand recorded in Asia & Oceania. The daily price of the ICO composite indicator increased steadily over the course of the month, starting from a low of 118.53 US cents/lb on 1 June and ending on a high of 132.04, its highest daily level since April 2015.
These developments have been matched closely by movements in the exchange rate between the Brazilian real, which also hit its strongest level against the US dollar since July 2015. This will reduce the incentive for exporters in Brazil to release coffee to the international market, especially with domestic stocks suspected to be running low. The market has also been reacting to the possibility of frost in Brazil, although any damage seems to have been relatively limited.
The four group indicators all increased compared to last month, with the most significant changes recorded in the Arabica groups. Colombian Milds, Other Milds and Brazilian Naturals settled up 8.6 per cent, 6.6 per cent and 7.2 per cent respectively. Robustas on the other hand increased by 2.4 per cent. As a result, the arbitrage between Arabica and Robusta, as measured on the New York and London futures markets, increased by 20.4 per cent to 62.23 cents, also its widest level since April last year.
Total exports in May 2016 were slightly lower than last year at 9.3 million bags, the second consecutive month of reduced volumes. Nevertheless, total exports for the first eight months of coffee year 2015/16 (October to May) are up 1.6 per cent to reach a record 75.9 million bags, exceeding the previous high in 2012/13.
The ICO said its second estimate of world consumption in calendar year 2015 is maintained at 152.1 million bags, with a slight downward revision in importing countries compensated by an equal increase in exporting. This volume is up 1.3 per cent compared to the previous year, representing an average annual growth rate of 2 per cent since 2012.
The strongest growth in recent years has been recorded in Asia & Oceania, at an average rate of 5.2 per cent, well above the global average. This growth has come from both producing countries, such as Indonesia, Vietnam and India, as well as importing countries like Turkey and Japan, all of which continue to exhibit dynamic domestic markets.
Full article here.