The Extraction Is Better at Lawyering Than It Is at Owning Coffee Shops

tully's coffee.

It’s hard to forecast what effect the high winds from Stormy Daniels might have on Washington D.C., although the sun would seem to be shining either way for her very…

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Forge Your Own Path: Five Keys to a Successful Career in Coffee

(Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in the March/April issue of Roast magazine. Click here for more information on Roast.) What does a lifelong career in specialty coffee look like?…

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Scratch Coffee Market Bakes Up a New Business for Fresh Roasts

Defying a stereotype in digital coffee commerce, new roasted coffee reseller Scratch Coffee Market is backed by a five-person leadership team that has a combined 100+ years of coffee experience. Don…

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Freezing Green Coffee: A Tale of Infestation, Treatment and Consequences

Despite the fact that coffee comes equipped with a natural insecticide (caffeine), it is still susceptible to sporadic insect infestation. Royal Coffee experienced a pest-related incident that affected thousands of…

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Coffee Design: Good In Portland, Oregon

Good opened its doors in Portland’s Southeast neighborhood in 2014. Since then, the multi-roaster cafe transitioned to a roaster and opened a second cafe (with another on the way). The company is now braving the exciting, adventurous world of bottling coffee beverages for the ever-growing ready-to-drink category. In a sea of cold brew bottles and cans, Good’s choice of bottle shape and minimal (yet colorful) label stands out. We talked to owner Sam Purvis to find out more.

Good Coffee now bottles RTD beverages. What are you currently offering?

Yes we do! We are currently in what we are calling Chapter One of our RTD program. We’ve built out a small warehouse here in Portland for brewing and packaging RTD drinks. We’re offering only cold brew for sale at this time. We wanted to venture into RTD slowly—product development is expensive and mistakes costly. Chapter Two is something we’re just now starting to venture into (planning, design, etc) and it will involve a lot of new product development—a number of new beverages in the coffee category, and a couple beverages not coffee based at all. Chapter Two will have an emphasis on forced carbonation. We love sparkling drinks and are very excited to give our guests access to some take-away beverages that are fun, refreshing and spritzy.

Where is it available?

You can buy bottled bevi’s from us at either of our stores, we’ll also have them on offer at our new NW Portland cafe when it opens in May. While a small distribution strategy is in the works, we’re going to be slow moving on this… and most likely won’t push on it until we have 2018 growth projects finished and stabilized.

What’s the price?

We sell 12 oz. bottles for $4 and and have four-packs available as well at a discounted bulk price.

Any plans on new flavors/milks?

Yes! Lots of fun ideas we’re kicking around as we start to get into Chapter Two. We’ll lean into our current cast of collaborators on new beverages: Superjugoso, Portland maker of DELICIOUS natural/seasonal reductions; Jacobsen Salt, whenever we can integrate their products; Mizuba Tea Co, Song Tea, etc. Alt milks are a must on milk beverages—better shelf life too.

Who designed the bottle?

This was kind of a hand-off project. General layout concept was developed by Kylie Freeman who had done some really great brand work for us prior. During this project, we were in the process of moving design fully in-house. Shawnie Fortune worked in our cafes and is a really talented designer and we were able put her on part-time salary for design work. She put the final touches on this project and has been on point with everything we’ve done moving forward, new store, new packaging concepts, web, etc. She rocks.

Is RTD the future?

I don’t think I know enough to know. I mean, it is interesting the part RTD has played in coffee companies (both growth and acquisition) in the last number of years. I have a friend who is in restaurants and he goes to these big conferences where they talk about macro trends. They were saying that packaged goods are definitely a big growth market for specialty brands right now, yes. I think for us the push into RTD came out of a desire to be a diverse company, and a desire to make things. Our company is built on one thing: creating delight. There are two ways we’ve said we’re really focused on doing this in the future: creating really great hospitality experiences for our guests in our own stores, and creating and making really delightful things (products). In both scenarios the guest is the hero. They’re the bar we’re trying to raise to. We really want to give them a good time.

Zachary Carlsen is a co-founder and editor at Sprudge Media Network. Read more Zachary Carlsen on Sprudge.

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A Decaf-Focused Coffee Dinner From Narrative This Friday

Coffee at restaurants is by and large bad. Really, really bad. Like, how-did-your-palate-create-this-amazing-food-but-not-realize-this-coffee-is-garbage bad. There are certainly exceptions, many of which have been covered on Sprudge, with great joy might I add. But this disconnect has led to many coffee folks to team up with chefs for one-off coffee pairing pop-up dinners, showcasing how well coffee can work both as a compliment and as an ingredient in a beautiful dining experience. Continuing in this tradition, Sprudgie Award-winning Narrative Coffee is joining forces with Chef Cody Castiglia this Friday, March 16th in Snohomish, Washington, and they are doing things a little different.

The chef/owner of Della Terra, Chef Castiglia will bring his focus on local, seasonally available ingredients for the four-course dinner and will be utilizing coffee in fun ways to compliment the dishes he creates. For the coffee pairings, Narrative Coffee owner Maxwell Mooney will be acting as coffee somm and is exploring an oft-overlooked but necessary expression of coffee for nighttime dining: decaf. Along with one caffeinated coffee “of a rare variety,” per Narrative’s Facebook post about the event, Mooney will be using three different uncaffeinated coffees, including both an ethyl acetate and a Swiss Water Processed decaf from Huila, Colombia, as well as a Swiss Water naturally processed Yirgacheffe.

Without giving away too many secrets about what he has in store for the evening, Mooney tells Sprudge that he plans on implementing some of his barista competition skills to “[pull] out some classic signature drink making techniques throughout” the night.

On the dinner’s decaf focus, Mooney had this to say:

We are just having fun exploring how coffee and food can interact beyond the typical breakfast/brunch setting. Caffeine is a real barrier to enjoying coffee later in the day, so why not use some of the amazing decaf coffees that are available out there to help push coffee out of the box folks usually put it in?

It all happens tomorrow night, at The Hungry Pelican in Snohomish, WA, starting at 6:30pm. Tickets for the coffee dinner are $69 per person and are available for purchase here.

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.

*top image via Narrative Coffee

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COFFEA Is Brazil’s First Coffee-Focused Podcast

coffea podcast brazil kelly stein juliana ganan

coffea podcast brazil kelly stein juliana ganan

Kelly Stein, a Brazilian coffee-focused journalist, launched the country’s first coffee-focused podcast last July. There is much to celebrate, including the fact that many of the episodes are in English, so foreigners can also follow the discussions happening in the world’s largest producing country. One of the main goals of COFFEA, according to Stein, is to help lessen the prejudice and stereotyping that Brazilian coffees tend to face (being such a large producer, the country produces both extremely good—and bad—beans). In its short lifetime, COFFEA won third place in the National Brazilian Coffee Journalism contest, a testament to Stein’s commitment to delivering relevant coffee content in a very accessible way.

coffea podcast brazil kelly stein juliana ganan

Mindful of our country’s educational and social conditions, Stein explains why she decided to go with audio journalism: “Close to 12 million Brazilians are illiterate in Brazil, not to mention the functionally illiterate people. My mission is to make information more accessible in a way that can transform coffee people’s lives. My life was transformed through education and access to information. Now is [the] time to give back to others.”

It makes perfect sense: although things are changing in the last decades, most people who work on coffee farms struggle with education. Many coffee pickers still “sign” their farm payment receipts with a thumbprint, as Stein reminds us. Once they have access to the internet—which nowadays is much easier with some affordable cell phone data packages—the COFFEA portal will be a quick source of coffee data and information for them.

coffea podcast brazil kelly stein juliana ganan

In one particularly interesting episode (this one in Portuguese), Stein interviews Aldir Teixeira, a renowned agronomist who worked at the Coffee Classification and Tasting Section of the São Paulo State Department of Agriculture in the 1960s, and also at the extinct Brazilian Coffee Institute (IBC, in Portuguese). Teixeira says that coffee when it was first planted here, was done so in an extractive way—the soils were extremely rich and the climatic conditions were very favorable to the crop. There was no production control whatsoever—so soon Brazil produced a lot of coffee and there were not enough people in the world to drink it. IBC would come and remove the surplus from the market by buying it from coffee farmers and stocking it at government-owned silos. They would then sell it to national roasters for a very cheap price, less than 2% of what they had paid for. This came to a stop when the International Coffee Organization (ICO) was founded, and then world production eventually became stabilized by a quota system.

coffea podcast brazil kelly stein juliana ganan

One of the finest episodes in English features Carlos Brando, an agribusiness trader and consultant. He works with Pinhalense, one of the largest coffee machine factories in the world—machinery used in the coffee farming and export businesses. Brando has a very pragmatic approach to the use of harvest machinery as opposed to manual picking: “People tend to think that God said that people have to pick only the ripe cherries. And that’s not what God said. What God said is that good coffee comes from ripe cherries. So, it may be economically better to pick a mixture of cherries—ripe, unripe, and overripe, sort them by machine and make the better coffee only with the ripe cherries—the others should go to a specific market that is not so quality sensitive.” Since in our country it’s very rare to have a farm that produces 100% specialty coffee, it’s important to keep in mind that we have a market for each level of quality produced there and that it’s not a “crime” to produce lower quality coffee. Brando’s company is helping to spread technology solutions as a means to economic viability to other countries in South America. Brando’s commentary offers a unique industry perspective that many specialty coffee fans may have overlooked.

COFFEA can be supported via subscription packages or one-time donations. Stein also encourages Sprudge readers to send her comments, questions or suggestions for the next episode’s topics, which you can send directly to her at contato@portalcoffea.com.

Juliana Ganan is a Brazilian coffee professional and journalist. Read more Juliana Ganan on Sprudge.

Photos by Pedro Hummel.

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Coffee Is Raising Funds For The ACLU On Friday March 16th

This coming Friday, March 16th we’re teaming up with a few dozen of our closest friends around the United States for Night of 1000 Pours, a fundraiser benefitting the ACLU. Several companies are stepping up with direct donations, and events are popping off across the country—a full list can be found at our official Night of 1000 Pours website—and we are particularly stoked about the following parties, activations, events, and fundraising initiatives.

Portland, OR at Sprudge Studios (10am-3pm)

Join us for the public debut of Sprudge Studios (3640 SE Belmont) in Portland for a very special Pop-Tart Pop-Up, in partnership with Portland Coffee Social Club. $5 gets you a delicious cup of coffee sourced by La Bodega and roasted by Portland’s own Smalltime Coffee Roasters, with your choice of delightful pop-tart pairing. This event is supported by Breville, Black Rabbit Coffee Service, Oatly, and Pacific Foods. 100% of funds raised will be donated to the ACLU Foundation.

Portland, OR + Los Angeles + New York City at Stumptown Coffee (7pm-10pm)

Stumptown Coffee is showing up big time with three (3) latte art parties at their Downtown Portland, Manhattan West 8th, and LA Arts District cafes. Music, food, prizes, and a $10 buy-in to benefit ACLU.

Los Angeles, California at G&B Coffee and Go Get Em Tiger (all day)

G&B Coffee and Go Get Em Tiger will be matching tips throughout the day at their coffee bars and donating those funds to the ACLU. Come enjoy what the New York Times strongly implied was America’s best iced latte and support a good cause while you’re at it.

Seattle at La Marzocco Cafe (all day)

Our friends at La Marzocco Cafe are stepping up big by donating 15% of all the days sales to the ACLU. Visit them at their beautiful location inside KEXP (472 1st Ave N) in the heart of Lower Queen Anne.

New York City at Coffee Project New York (all day)

Coffee Project NY (239 E. 5th St.) will be serving a special drink, “The Dreamers”, with 100% of profits from this drink benefitting ACLU in support of DACA. Check out Coffee Project NY in the East Village and tell ’em Sprudge sent you!

Portland, ME at Tandem Coffee (all day)

Tandem Coffee will be donating 10% of sales from both cafes to the ACLU of Maine on March 16th.

Washington DC at Multiple Locations (all day)

The good people of Coffee District have organized a multi-cafe effort across the Washington DC area, with a variety of menu activations happening at Qualia CoffeeThe WydownBump N’ GrindLittle Red FoxFox Loves Taco, and Glen’s Garden. A full list of participating venues and specials can be viewed here.

Dallas, Texas at Houndstooth Coffee (7:30—10pm)

A throwdown to raise funds for the ACLU at Houndstooth Coffee’s beautiful Sylvan Ave location in Dallas. Pours start at 8pm with a $5 buy-in—arrive earlier to show up and sign up.

Chicago at Intelligentsia Coffee (7-10pm)

Our partners at Intelligentsia are teaming up with Counter Culture Coffee and Stumptown Coffee for an unprecedented display of coffee civic unity, all raising funds for the ACLU. Join Intelligentsia on the new Sky Deck at Intelligentsia’s Roast Works (1850 W Fulton St) for an evening of tacos, beer, wine, and a rockin’ latte art throwdown. RSVP via Facebook. 

Milwaukee, WI at Hawthorne Coffee Roasters (3-6pm)

$1 per every pound of coffee sold and $1 per drink from a special happy hour menu donated to the ACLU of Wisconsin! Go here.

Tallahassee, FL at Southern Velvet Cafe (12pm-7pm)

An outdoor cookies & coffee confab on the lawn of Southern Velvet, benefitting ACLU Foundation. Get yourself a shimmery rainbow latte and enjoy family fun and games.

For much more information and an updating list of parties as they happen, visit the official Night of 1000 Pours website. 

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San Jose: Check Out Recovery Cafe During Their First-Ever Throwdown

It’s never too early to start planning for St. Patrick’s Day, by which I mean figuring out something more productive to do with your time than getting blackout drunk and acting like a fool during a bastardized holiday that has more to do with bad stereotypes than the actual day’s namesake. But I digress. What you could be doing—if you live in San Jose, California, at least—is going to the first-ever throwdown at Recovery Cafe.

Recovery Cafe isn’t like most coffee shops hosting latte art extravaganzas. It is “a safe space and healing community for those who have been afflicted by homelessness, addiction and mental health setbacks within the San Jose area,” according to assistant manager Rikki Vick. Along with coffee, they offer “meals, self-help classes, [and] job preparedness programs” to members of their community.

Thanks to a recent remodel, Recovery Cafe is the happy owner of their own espresso machine, which will allow them to better provide individuals with coffee-related job training, and they want to celebrate with the greater public with a little throwdown. They have teamed up with Chromatic Coffee, who has graciously donated over 60 pounds of coffee to Recovery for the event and beyond, for a night of pours, hangs, and good times. The cafe is still looking for a few espresso essentials to help complete their new bar, specifically a scale and a tamping mat, so if you have any to donate, make sure to get in touch with the good folks at Recovery.

The event gets started at 5:00pm, so if you’re looking for something better to do next Saturday than pretend to be Irish, consider checking out Recovery Cafe during their first throwdown. It’s sure to be a good time for a good cause, and you won’t regret it in the morning. For more information, visit Recovery Cafe’s official website.

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.

*top image via Recovery Cafe

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