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Origin Trip: Nicaragua 2015 – Day 2

Adventures at Origin: Nicaragua

Nic_2015_trip-mapJacob Long, Nicholas Hoskyns, and I (Jonah Katzeff) traveled together from March 23rd-27th. We visited first and second level coffee cooperatives that produce approximately 25% of our annual green coffee purchases. We cupped and selected our Nicaraguan coffees for 2015, met with cooperative leaders and farmers, and visited beautiful coffee farms.

We were received warmly everywhere. I am so grateful to the hundreds of hands that touch coffee, from the time it is picked to when it is exported. Our 2015 Nicaraguan coffees will be exceptional. The new harvest is now available now!

Read the first post in this series here- Day One: Solcafe and Byron Corrales’ farm visit


 

DAY TWO

Solidaridad Cooperative, Tour of Sol Café, and dinner with Pedro and Byron Corrales

Day 2 Yellow Coffee at Solidaridad Farm

Began day at the Solidaridad purchasing station and office, located in Aranjuez, which is a small community north of Matagalpa. We had coffee and introduced ourselves in their new meeting room.

The new wing was built this year for meeting space and offices using funds from the Fair Trade premium they received last year.

Day 2 Solidaridad Byron Corrales

Additionally, the cupping lab is going to be moved to the purchasing station. An old building where the lab is now located will be sold.

Day 2 Nicaraguan Horse

We toured two farms.

Day 2 Solidaridad Cooperative Farm

Day Two Jacob Long at Solidaridad Farm

Day 2 Chicken on Solidaridad Farm

Returned to purchasing station for lunch – Gallina Rellena y Sopa de Gaillina con albondigas (typical meal served on Christmas, New Year’s, and occasional special events).

We had a 2 hour meeting negotiating a three-year contract that would provide security for both the Solidaridad Cooperative and Thanksgiving Coffee.

Day 2 Solidaridad Group

Return to Solcafe for a tour of the new coffee roaster and dryers used to dry coffee mechanically.

Day 2 Sol Cafe Roaster

Dinner with Pedro Haslan, Byron Corrales, Nick, and Jacob; discussion of raised beds for drying natural coffees. Pedro calls it Cafe Ancestral or Ancestral Coffee.

Turns into a bigger discussion on how to promote natural Nicaraguan coffee with a national event that would bring roasters and co-ops together. Pedro proposes working with the co-ops that were involved with the cupping labs.

Day 2 Sol Cafe Group

More to come from this origin trip in our post about Day 3!


The green coffee sourcing team:

Green_Team

Nicholas (on right) is the Managing Director of Etico. He organized our visit and traveled with us throughout the week. Nicholas was born in England, but Nicaragua is his adopted home after spending almost 25 years there! Etico imports our coffees from Nicaragua as well as green coffees from Guatemala, Mexico, Rwanda, and Uganda.

Jacob (second from right) is the Director of Coffee Control and Roastmaster at Thanksgiving Coffee. He is responsible for developing the roast profiles of all our single origins, blends, and decafs. He approves all the green coffees we purchase and ensures that the coffee roasted at Thanksgiving is consistent roast after roast.

Jonah (on left) works in Business Development and as an Account Manger. He serves in a variety of roles that include green coffee sourcing, managing the San Francisco Bay Area accounts, and special projects, as assigned by Senior Management.

Origin Trip: Nicaragua 2015 – day 1

This coffee buying trip to Nicaragua marks the 30th year Thanksgiving Coffee has traveled to this beautiful country. It is also the first year that Thanksgiving Coffee is sending staff without the guidance and counseling of CEO Co-Founder Paul Katzeff.

The trip represents the “passing of the torch” to a new generation. It’s a generation that grew up with coffee as a medium for carrying the message of the people, their craftsmanship, and their hope for a better life through coffee cultivation.

Jacob and Jonah carried The Company message to the cooperatives that our mission, and the value we place on long term relationships, bridges generations. We are in this together, and prosperity for all is the common thread we value most.
– Paul Katzeff

Adventures at Origin: Nicaragua

Nic_2015_trip-mapJacob Long, Nicholas Hoskyns, and I (Jonah Katzeff) traveled together from March 23rd-27th. We visited first and second level coffee cooperatives that produce approximately 25% of our annual green coffee purchases. We cupped and selected our Nicaraguan coffees for 2015, met with cooperative leaders and farmers, and visited beautiful coffee farms.

We were received warmly everywhere. I am so grateful to the hundreds of hands that touch coffee, from the time it is picked to when it is exported. Our 2015 Nicaraguan coffees will be exceptional. The new harvest will be available starting in late May.

DAY ONE

Solcafe and Byron Corrales’ farm visit

Cupping-at-SolcafeCenocafen-cuppers

• We cupped the Solidaridad washed and dry-processed (natural) micro lots, along with Byron’s washed and dry-processed coffees in the morning at Solcafe- the dry mill that processes and exports coffees from first level cooperatives.

• Cecocafen is the second level cooperative that owns the dry mill and is the exporter for many first level cooperatives.

• They have constructed a new cupping lab that is much more spacious than the older one. It was interesting to see on this visit that three cupping labs had been moved to new locations.

Next-gen-with-tree

• We then traveled to Byron’s farm for a delicious lunch consisting of beets, carrots, squash, potatoes, cheese, tortillas, gallo pinto (rice and beans), and mini chicken tamales.

• After lunch, Jacob and I toured Byron’s two farms with Byron and his daughter, Sara.

• Byron showed us the tree where Paul, Byron, and Arnulfo (Byron’s grandfather) first agreed to work together 22 years ago (in the photo at left).

• We learned about some of the biodynamic techniques Byron is applying to the land.  Byron expressed that the 3 most important factors resulting in great coffee are: the producer/farmer, the quality of the soil, and the skill of the roaster.

• We also learned about some of the negative effects resulting from climate change on his coffee trees – fruit not ripening at all, or not ripening fully, and trees flowering now [end of March] when they typically flower in May.

Byron-with-goat

• Byron is taking action now by replacing older trees with ones that are more resistant to climate change. He is also planting more shade trees to protect the coffee trees from the sun.

• He expressed concern that if changes are not made now, there may be a lot less coffee in the future.

• We visited a small grove of a variety of pine trees (7 total) that Byron smuggled back from Brazil. There are no other varieties of this pine in Nicaragua.

• We then returned to Byron’s farm called Finca de Los Pinos and said our goodbyes to Byron’s parents, and returned to Matagalpa for the evening.

• We enjoyed pizza with the Corrales family in Matagalpa!

This story will continue in our next post, so check back soon!


The green coffee sourcing team:

Green_Team

Nicholas (on right) is the Managing Director of Etico. He organized our visit and traveled with us throughout the week. Nicholas was born in England, but Nicaragua is his adopted home after spending almost 25 years there! Etico imports our coffees from Nicaragua as well as green coffees from Guatemala, Mexico, Rwanda, and Uganda.

Jacob (second from right) is the Director of Coffee Control and Roastmaster at Thanksgiving Coffee. He is responsible for developing the roast profiles of all our single origins, blends, and decafs. He approves all the green coffees we purchase and ensures that the coffee roasted at Thanksgiving is consistent roast after roast.

Jonah (on left) works in Business Development and as an Account Manger. He serves in a variety of roles that include green coffee sourcing, managing the San Francisco Bay Area accounts, and special projects, as assigned by Senior Management.

Visit: Farmer Joe’s Marketplace

by Jonah Katzeff, Bay Area Accounts Manager

Visit Farmer Joe's

Farmer Joe’s Marketplace has been a family run business in Oakland, California since 1994, serving customers in the Bay Area for close to two decades. They have two locations in Oakland. Little Joe’s, in the Laurel District on MacArthur Boulevard and Big Joe’s in the Dimond District on Fruitvale Avenue.

Farmer Joe’s carries a large selection of organic products and naturally raised meats, and is a member of the Bay Area community, sponsoring numerous charities, organizing neighborhood events, and donating to local schools, churches, and homeless shelters. They feel that building community relies on both interacting with neighbors and contributing to local programs. We couldn’t agree more!

We’re proud that Farmer Joe’s features a large selection of Thanksgiving Coffee at both of their locations. Little Joe’s is located at 3501 MacArthur Blvd, and Big Joe’s is located at 2426 Fruitvale Ave. Please support this great supermarket if you live in the neighborhood, and pick up a bag of our coffee while you’re there!

Learn more at FarmerJoesMarketPlace.com

 

The SCAA Experience

The History of SCAA

by Jonah Katzeff, ETICO representative

The Thanksgiving Coffee crew at SCAAThe 2013 Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) conference was held in Boston. SCAA presents an opportunity for farmers, roasters, importers, educators, equipment makers, cafe owners, distributors, and non-profits to gather in one place and spend a few days together.

For many of us it’s like a family reunion – we’ve spent years working together to develop the specialty coffee industry, but only see one another once a year at the conference! Director of Business Development Kim Moore & Co-Founders Joan and Paul Katzeff represented Thanksgiving Coffee, and I served as an ambassador for Etico, which imports about 60% of the coffee Thanksgiving roasts.

Latte Art at SCAAFriday and Saturday were filled with lectures about the science of roasting, how climate change is affecting coffee farms and farmers, profiles of emerging coffee origins, and importing green coffee. Hands-on workshops at SCAA included coffee cupping and espresso training.

The exhibition hall had hundreds of vendors covering the full spectrum of coffee: from farmer to roasted product and everything in between. Throughout the weekend the U.S. Barista Championship competition took place as well as a Sensory Skills coffee cupping challenge that tested participants abilities to determine where coffees came from based on smell.

I spent most of the weekend catching up with old friends and networking. We had an opportunity to meet with some of our partners in Africa, Peru, and Nicaragua.

A highlight for me was having an opportunity to participate in a semi-private coffee cupping to taste a number of indigenous Ethiopian Geisha coffees. Most of them were unique and a few had outstanding flavor profiles. I also enjoyed walking the show floor, which is a bit smaller and more manageable compared with previous years.

On Saturday evening Al Lieu of Atlas Coffees threw a fantastic party in a hotel suite for about 75 people. It was great seeing so many friendly faces from all my years in coffee. The party was still going strong when security shut it down because of noise at 1:30 a.m. Kim and I met with Al the following afternoon and he told us a few folks stayed behind and the party continued until the wee hours of the morning!

Want to come to SCAA next year?
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