Posts

Links: October 20, 2016

Here’s some odds & ends, some coffee related, some not. Enjoy!

The Health Benefits of Caffeine

5th Coffee Festival in Prague

Can Coffee Grounds Filter Toxic Metals from Water? (Sprudge)

Focusing on Mexico Specialty Coffee (Perfect Daily Grind)

Dry Farming has Tremendous Potential & is Needed

Biodiversity is a Natural Crop Pest Repellent (UPI)

How to Start and Maintain a Worm Compost Bin (Peak Prosperity)

Coffee & Tea Fest, Dubai UAE 11/2/16-11/14-16

Kona Coffee & Food Festival 11/4/2106-11/13/16

 

Weekend Coffee Links September 23-25

We’re back in the saddle, and roasting like crazy to catch up on orders. This coming weekend is CoffeeFest Anaheim, which is sure to be an educational & delightful experience. We look forward to connecting with friends and business associates. Meanwhile, here’s some links for your perusal. Enjoy!

According to a new report, making coffee sustainable will cost billions and take decades.

It’s a lot easier said than done, and getting more money to the farmer workers is the hardest part.

The Philippine Coffee Board is working to educate farmers to do their own coffee tasting

 Many farmers have never tasted their own coffee properly roasted and prepared. (Perfect Daily Grind)

On Teaching all of the qualities of perfect ripening, and beyond

 Learning more about the science of coffee ripeness, and the precise temperatures for fermentation help farmers to produce the finest coffee. (Perfect Daily Grind)

Climate change could make coffee farming no longer viable. (gulp!)

 Farmers and locals are saying the climate extremes of the last few years are changing the viability of coffee farming. (NY Times)

US no longer leads in coffee consumption

 Hard to believe…

The founder of the Smithsonian was a coffee geek in 1823 & came up with a good way to prepare coffee

Coffee lovers are uniting in Turkey for the 3rd Istanbul Coffee Festival

 Turkey is having a coffee festival. (We won’t be there this year.)

Profits for coffee farmers dangerously low

 Low profits could spell the end of specialty coffee

Is Peru the Sunset Land of the Sumerians?

Interesting read about a possible Peru-Sumerian connection.

Spicy was out & Bland was In

Eating habits have changed a lot since the 1930’s

Monsanto & Bayer Consolidate More Corporate Agriculture

 Got seeds?

 

 

Farmworker Inclusion: The New Frontier

The specialty coffee industry has earned a sterling reputation for social inclusion through more than two decades of relentless innovation to develop strategies for meaningful, transparent and mutually beneficial engagement with smallholder growers. The smallholder farmers who have helped to create, implement, refine and improve those strategies over the past 25 years are certainly worthy of the industry’s attention. They produce most of the world’s coffee and are structurally disadvantaged in a global marketplace that rewards efficiency and scale.

But the tens of millions of people who work as wage-earners on coffee farms around the world each year represent the most vulnerable actors in specialty coffee supply chains, and they have mostly existed outside the scope of those efforts. Today, intentional engagement with farmworkers and issues of farm labor in the coffee sector represents a new frontier in sustainable sourcing, and presents extraordinary opportunities for specialty coffee.

These are opportunities to mitigate brand risk in a media environment that loves scandal, and to mitigate legal risk in a regulatory environment that is cracking down on the worst forms of labor abuse; opportunities to secure supply and to identify hidden sources of value in a market environment characterized by intense competition; and, ultimately, opportunities to renew the specialty coffee brand by including tens of millions of people on whom the specialty enterprise depends in the benefits it creates.

The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), through its Sustainability Council, has been working over the past year to help its members seize those opportunities.

Full Article Here: Farmworker Inclusion: A New Sustainability Frontier in Specialty Coffee | Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine

San Martín forest restored after illegal logging and coca planting

One ongoing problem in Peru is illegal mining and logging. Many once virgin rainforest areas have been devastated by clear cutting. As the forest is cut, biodiversity diminishes dramatically and is accompanied by a loss in wildlife and also results in loss of air and water quality, not just in the immediate area, but throughout the entire watershed.

Part of a sustainable future for coffee farmers is recognizing that working with nature vs clear cutting accompanied by composting residual crop waste as opposed to burning is the best way to maintain soil stability (critical on the hillsides,) and preserve nutrients over the long term.

Some areas are being restored according to this report via Peru This week:
Read more

Curibamba Workshops, A Conversation with Ignacio Medina

This past weekend, we journeyed to Chanchamayo for the first of a series of workshops to promote good harvest and post harvest techniques with the local coffee growers. We met with representatives from Edegel, non profit AVSI, and Tostaduria Bisetti of Lima. We also had the good fortune to be accompanied by world renowned food critic & prolific author Ignacio Medina. Ignacio is well known for his discerning palate and is an expert on Latin American cuisine . Read more

Real People, Really Good Coffee Update March 2015

Another month has flown by, and here we are in March already.  We did however manage to get all of the materials for the solar coffee drying tents lined up, and they all have a waiting space in San Ramon for installation in May.

Meanwhile, we’re focused on the move. Just to bring you up to speed, our place in Lima is going to be needed by the owners, so we’ve decided to relocate home base in Peru to the cloud forest region of San Martin province and the tropical city of Tarapoto. Everything is lined up, we’re just waiting until the last possible moment to do the final wrap. It quite literally is a wrap, as we’ll be covering up everything that’s not in a box (and those too) in shrink wrap. Everything goes tomorrow!

We had wanted to go to Chanchamayo this trip personally, but there were many washed out roads & even impassable river crossings, so we just decided to focus on the growing season ahead (see Massive Flooding in the Peruvian Rainforest, and  Torrential Rains & Mudslides Continue to Plague Peru.)
Read more

The Joy of Heirloom Seeds

 

There is nothing more fun & heartwarming (and bone warming too) this cold time of year than planting what will become the year’s garden harvest.

I’ve mentioned our favorite seed company – Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds before (see Peruvian Heirloom Seeds Arrive in the US)

We’ve used their seeds (and seed saved from these rare varieties,) for many years now. This year we decided to go all out and replenish what has been an aging supply of seeds. We purchased their Large Southern seed collection of 50 packs with over 30 varieties, and here’s what we have:

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Climate Change Threatens Quechua and Their Crops in Peru’s Andes

 

Published on Tuesday, December 30, 2014 Inter Press Service

PISAC, Peru (IPS)—In this town in Peru’s highlands over 3,000 metres above sea level, in the mountains surrounding the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the Quechua Indians who have lived here since time immemorial are worried about threats to their potato crops from alterations in rainfall patterns and temperatures.

“The families’ food security is definitely at risk,” agricultural technician Lino Loayza told IPS. “The rainy season started in September, and the fields should be green, but it has only rained two or three days, and we’re really worried about the effects of the heat.”

If the drought stretches on, as expected, “we won’t have a good harvest next year,” said Loayza, who is head of the Parque de la Papa or Potato Park, a biocultural conservation unit created to safeguard native crops in the rural municipality of Pisac in the southeastern department or region of Cuzco.

Read more