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The Roastmaster’s Select 50th Edition

In late 2014, Roastmaster Jacob Long was touring the Thanksgiving Coffee warehouse with a new employee, brand manager Marchelo Bresciani. Educating him on various green coffees stacked high on pallets, Jacob told Marchelo where the coffees had come from, the farmers and what time of year the coffees are freshest. Finally, he pointed out one particular sack of coffee.

Farmers in Nicaragua, he explained, were sending farm specific micro lots, as opposed to blended sacks of co-op beans. The quality of the coffee from this farm was so striking, that it shouldn’t blended. It would be a shame to lose it’s unique flavor. This coffee, though there was only one sack, was good enough to stand on its own. This coffee had something to say, and it was a micro-lot worth sharing with our customers.

That was how the Roastmaster’s Select Coffee came to be.

Roastmaster’s Select Coffees are a carefully developed monthly selection, roasted in small batches using only the freshest beans at peak flavor. Each month, members are encouraged to record their thoughts and impressions about each selection and country of origin with the informative cupping cards included in every box.

Over time, the Roastmaster’s Club evolved to exclusively showcase single origin micro-lot coffees. Some come from unique and surprising locations, like Nepal, Laos or Malawi. Others represent the highest quality beans from well established sources, such as Byron’s Natural from Nicaragua or the ever popular Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.

Shhh! It’s a Secret

The added fun of club membership is the surprise of not knowing what’s inside until you open the box. Is this month’s coffee from Mexico or Tanzania? Java or Guatemala? It could be unique beans from remote locations, or the highest quality of a favorite varietal. Every month, the Roastmaster’s Select Club Members are guaranteed to receive a box of awesome coffee.

Join the Club

Curious to know which coffee has been chosen for the 50th Edition of the Roastmaster’s Select? Sign up this month to find out! As a club member, you will have exclusive access to the finest selection of coffees, many of which have gone on to become award winning products. In fact, 2 out of the 3 Roaster of the Year winning coffees, the Kenya Peaberry and the Ethiopia Gedeb, were first released as Roastmaster’s Club Selections.

If you’re looking for just the right gift for the coffee lover in your life, or to add some spice to your coffee routine, a membership in the Roastmaster’s Select Club is guaranteed to please.

So what are you waiting for? These coffees are only available to Club members. Join the Roastmaster’s Select Club today. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to have Thanksgiving Coffee take you on a coffee tasting journey around the world, cup by cup, all from the comfort of home.


Not Just A Cup, But A Just Cup.

Flores Green Dragon

Every month, members of our Roastmaster’s Select Club have the opportunity to sample fresh and unique micro lot coffees from all around the world. In 2018 we were proud to showcase a diversity of coffee flavors from Ecuador, Mexico, Malawi, Sulawesi, Tanzania, and more. Now, for a limited time, join the members of the Roastmaster’s Club in exploring the taste of Indonesia’s Flores Green Dragon coffee.

Here there be Dragons

In the Indochina sea, south of the equator, lies the Malay Archipelago island chain. Rich volcanic soils and dense rain forests host a variety of life, including the largest lizards on the Earth: the famous Dragons of Komodo. It is no wonder why the islanders of Flores would name their unique style of coffee “Flores Green Dragon”.

On the upland plateau of Flores Island, nestled against the Mt. Inerie volcano, Green Dragon coffee is harvested and processed in the town of Bajawa, home to the Ngada people. Flores Island coffee is often sold in local Jakarta markets as commercial grade ‘Sumatra’, but the traceable supply of branded Flores Green Dragon ensures more value finds its way to the growers of this exotic coffee, playing a vital role in the local economy.

Coffee from Indonesia

The species of coffee that make up Green Dragon are Typica, Tim Tim, and Linie S 795 (locally known as Jember). Jember is a cross between Kent, a typical mutation, and S288, a naturally occurring C. arabica and C. liberica hybrid. Developed in India, it is known for being one of the first varieties to be highly resistant to coffee leaf rust. Harvested between June and September, the coffee is pulped with minimal water, dried to roughly 35 to 40% and then wet hulled in a process called “Giling Basah.”

  • Soil: Volcanic
  • Altitude Grown: 1200-1700 meters
  • Processing: Semi-washed (pulped natural, wet hulled and unpolished)
  • Cooperative: Bajawa smallholders
  • Region: Ngada Regency, Flores Island, Indonesia

Milk chocolate, heavy body, herbal notes.

Now for a limited time, you can order a package of Flores Green Dragon and taste it for yourself. This special micro lot coffee will only be available until March.

Don’t miss out on a chance to try amazing flavors from all over the world. Join the Roastmaster’s Select Coffee Club, and get first access to exclusive micro lots and rare coffees.

Not Just A Cup, But A Just Cup

What is Espresso?

Es·pres·so – /eˈspresˌō/
noun: espresso; plural noun: espressos; noun: expresso; plural noun:
1. strong black coffee made by forcing steam through ground coffee beans.
from Italian (caffè) espresso, literally ‘pressed out (coffee)’.


The Upsetter Espresso has been named a Good Food Award Winner, and it seems like a great time to talk about espresso roasts and perhaps clarify what that means. So let’s start with the basics:

What is espresso?

Espresso is coffee of Italian origin, brewed by expressing or forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans. Espresso generally has more body than coffee brewed by other methods, has a higher concentration of suspended and dissolved solids which gives it a satiny mouthfeel, and has crema on top, which is a foam with a creamy consistency. As a result of the pressurized brewing process, the flavors and chemicals in a typical cup of espresso are very concentrated. Espresso is also the base for other drinks such as a caffè, latte, cappuccino, caffè macchiato, caffè mocha, flat white, or caffè Americano.

What is an espresso roast?

Espresso is both a coffee beverage and a brewing method. It is not a specific bean, bean blend, or roast level, though it is more finely ground. An espresso roast is simply a way of roasting any green coffee with the intention of it tasting good brewed as espresso. Any bean or roasting level can be used to produce authentic espresso. For example, in Southern Italy, a darker roast is generally preferred. Farther north, the trend moves toward lighter roasts, while outside Italy a wide range is popular.

By lightly roasting a blend of high quality coffee beans from three different countries of origin, our Roastmaster developed a new espresso flavor profile; one with deeper complexities than many darker roasts.

Can I use an espresso roast in my home brewer?

Yes! The Upsetter Espresso was judged for the Good Food award, not prepared as an espresso, but served like all the other contenders as a drip brewed coffee. A blend designed with the extraction process of espresso in mind will also taste great as a drip coffee, a pour over, a french press, or even cold brew.

Try Some Today!

Order a bag of the award winning Upsetter and taste the difference for yourself. Do you already love the Upsetter? Please leave a review to let everyone know why this cup of coffee truly stands out in a crowd.

Not Just A Cup, But A Just Cup

Winner! 2019 Good Food Awards

Thanksgiving Coffee’s Upsetter Espresso has been named a Winner of the 2019 Good Food Awards!

Each January, the Good Food Foundation organizes a three-day weekend to meet, celebrate, taste and buy from the nearly 200 Good Food Winners. The awarded products top the charts in a blind tasting and meet the environmental and social responsibility standards of the Good Food Awards. Each year, over 2,000 entries from all 50 states are submitted.

The Judging

The coffees are judged and coded to be double-blind, so neither the volunteers nor the judges have any indication of what coffees are presented. Judges are broken up into groups, each team tasting up to 8 different flights of coffee. After the first round – which this year featured over 170 submissions – only 50 coffees move on. These represent the 10 highest scoring coffees from each region of the US: East, West, North, South, and Central. The finalists are evaluated again and the top two in each region become Good Food Awards winners.

The Winning Coffee

The Upsetter is a one-of-a-kind blend of coffees from around the world. This unique espresso is smooth and balanced, with complexities not found in single origin brews. Our Roastmaster, Jacob Long, spent a year developing this exciting advancement in espresso coffees, searching for just the right mix of varietals to roast to perfection.

Awarded coffees are usually single origins from Ethiopia. The quality and flavors of that region are legendary, and the fact that a blend has been judged their equal is no small feat. This award distinguishes the smooth complexity and rich flavor present in this coffee.

Authenticity with Distinction

To win a double blind tasting over 170 other distinguished coffee roasters is truly an honor. We thank the Good Food Foundation for recognizing the importance of authenticity and quality in the food we eat. When you love the work you do, and care deeply about the process from start to finish, it shines through to the finished product. At least, that’s been our experience here at Thanksgiving Coffee Company for over 45 years.

Thanks to you, our customers, for knowing that a great cup of coffee comes from the heart, just as much as it comes from the coffee beans. Not Just A Cup, But A Just Cup

The Upsetter

“Behind the controls of the roasting machine, the roaster checks gauges, fiddles with knobs and valves, and works to perfect each and every roast. We’ve named our Upsetter Espresso after Lee “Scratch” Perry, known as “The Upsetter”. A Jamaican musician famous for his unusual remixes, he uses 8-track analog recordings to produce strange, unique, and beautiful sounds. Just as The Upsetter used reverb, volume, and pitch to perfect his mixes, we fiddle with the controls of our roasting machine to perfect the flavor of this unique espresso blend.”


– Jacob Long, Roastmaster

You might not appreciate the similarities between a studio artist working a soundboard and a coffee roaster fine tuning his machine. Yet both require a deep well of knowledge, a desire to manipulate layers of input, and an artistic vision for how all the various elements will finally come together into a finished product.

The Upsetter espresso stands out as a truly bold step for espresso: a lightly roasted blend of the finest coffees from all around the world.

Enticing notes of caramel and rich milk chocolate are complemented by hints of sweet citrus. Especially well suited for straight shots of espresso.

It took over a year to develop the balanced taste and complex flavors of this espresso. Instead of using coffee from a single origin, Roastmaster Jacob Long played up the complexities imparted by different varietals. This one-of-a-kind blend includes sweet, nutty tastes of Nicaragua, spicy notes from Congo, and the beautiful fruit-forward qualities of Ethiopian beans.

By keeping the roast light, the end result is nuanced and lively; presenting richer flavors and deeper complexity than most dark roasted, single origin espressos.

Award Winning Coffee

The Upsetter espresso beat out 170 other coffees in a double-blind taste test to win this year’s Good Food Award. The award highlights the superior flavor of our blended espresso while honoring our social and environmental responsibility.

More than just espresso

Don’t let the name fool you: just because the Upsetter is an espresso roast, doesn’t mean that it can’t be enjoyed as a drip coffee. French press, pour over, or cold brew, the Upsetter tastes great no matter how you prepare it.

Good Food Award Finalist

For a long time, certifications for responsible practices and awards for superior taste have remained distinct – one honors social and environmental responsibility, while the other celebrates craftsmanship and flavor. The Good Food Awards recognizes that truly good food – the kind that brings people together and builds strong, healthy communities – contains all of these ingredients.

This year, Thanksgiving Coffee couldn’t be prouder to have been nominated alongside so many outstanding roasters with our one-of-a-kind light roast espresso: The Upsetter.

The winners of the Good Food Award for coffee will be distinguished by exemplary flavor – sweet, clean, well developed body, balanced acidity and phenomenal aromatics. To qualify for entry, roasters and coffee farmers must emphasize fairness and transparency from seed to cup. Acknowledging the difficulties of verifying farm-level sustainability efforts across continents, the Good Food Foundation again turns to third-party certification bodies for assistance in identifying beans eligible for consideration.

In order to be eligible for a Good Food Award, coffee entries must meet the following standards:

  • Roasted in the USA or US territories.
  • Beans must be certified through one or more of the following programs: NOP Organic, Fair Trade (FTUSA/Fairtrade International), SMBC Shade, Rainforest Alliance, C.A.F.E Practices, 4C/CAS – Global Coffee Platform, Demeter Biodynamic
  • To support the work of coffee growers, farmers and roasters around the world, roasters submitting more than one entry must be from different countries.

Members of staff, including our Roastmaster Jacob Long and CEO Paul Katzeff, will be attending the Good Food Awards event this weekend in San Francisco. Stop on by the Marketplace on Sunday to sample all of the amazing foods from producers across the country at Fort Mason in San Francisco. We hope to see you there.

Cause Coffees: a Year in Review

Changing the world, one cup at a time

Here at Thanksgiving Coffee, we are just as proud of our award winning coffee beans as we are of our amazing non-profit Cause Coffee partners. We know how hard it can be to fight the good fight, which is why we support so many organizations through our rebate program.

We support fundraising efforts to protect the rights of our wild horses to run free, to promote rural health care services, and to conserve precious jungle forests for endangered gorillas. Together with your help, we have supported the bee-friendly local food movement, helped protect the vanishing kelp forests of the Pacific, and even contributed to finding loving homes for stray cats and dogs.

This year we will be highlighting a different Cause Coffee of the Month to showcase all the good work that has been made possible with your help.


Thanks to you, we have raised over $150,000 since 2014 to help support these amazing causes!


National Partners

American Birding Association : The Cause Coffee program’s first collaboration was to address the issue of bird habitat loss in coffee growing regions. 20 years later we have helped raise over $36,000 for the American Birding Association.


American Wild Horse Campaign: One of our newest partners, the American Wild Horse Campaign joined the Cause Coffee program in 2017. Together, we have helped raise over $5,000 to protect the rights of wild horses to roam free throughout the American southwest.


Baby Rhino Rescue: The plight of Africa’s rhinos is truly desperate. The death and carnage left by poachers is devastating, but even more heartbreaking are the abandoned orphaned rhinos. Thanks to the efforts of Baby Rhino Rescue, we have helped contribute $1,500 in milk money to keep the babies happy, healthy, and fed.


Defenders of Wildlife: Another one of our oldest partners, Defenders of Wildlife have been protecting wolves, polar bears, and other native creatures and their habitats since 1947. Together, we’ve raised over $17,000 since 2014 with the ‘Save our Wolves blend’, one of the select few Cause Coffees available for purchase in stores.


Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund: Few of our partners are as directly affected by the coffee industry as the endangered Mountain gorillas and Grauer’s gorillas in Africa. We joined forces with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International and contributed over $10,000 to help support their work in gorilla conservation, research, and education, particularly in communities in close proximity to gorilla habitat. Specialty coffee places a high value on natural jungle forests conserved by organic, shade grown coffee farms. A great example of economic solutions to ecological problems.


Local Non-Profits

It is truly an honor to support the work of our national non-profits, but helping out the ‘little guys’ at home is equally rewarding. Together with our community, we have helped raise money for so many amazing causes, including: land conservation, schools, field trips, historical buildings, health care, camp programs, and environmental science.


Friends of the Earth and the Noyo Food Forest: Its not always easy to see the impact that national organizations have on our every day lives, but BEE Bold coffee is the perfect example. Initially a fundraiser for Friends of the Earth, BEE Bold coffee started a local bee-friendly movement. Now, the funds raised also support the Noyo Food Forest bee-friendly community garden that teaches agriculture at the nearby Fort Bragg High School.


Mendocino Woodlands Camp: This historic 700 acre campground is a National Historic Landmark built as a Recreation Demonstration Area by the Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s. For almost 100 years, this campground has hosted thousands of people from all over the world, helping them to shake their cares away beneath a forest of towering redwood trees.


Mendocino Land Trust: Protects and conserves open spaces and coastal vistas for the public to enjoy. From family farm lands, to sweeping ocean vistas, the Mendocino Land Trust is helping to keep Mendocino county beautiful for generations to come. They also design and build many of the coastal trails out here in Mendocino County that we know and love.


Mendocino Coast Humane Society: Almost every town has a local animal shelter, but caring for all those cats and dogs is no easy feat. It’s a big job that requires a lot of time and resources to properly care for and home lost pets, instead of putting them down. By selling a locally made product, our friends and neighbors can help animals find loving homes while supporting a community business. Its a win-win!


Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers: We are so proud to have a coffee that is helping to ‘keep the lights on’ for small non-profits, including the Point Cabrillo Light Station. First illuminated in 1909, the unique Fresnel lens is one of the few left in operation and an important piece of maritime history.


Thank You!

Thank you, you wonderful coffee conscious customers, for making this all possible. You are making the world a better place to live, one cup at a time.
“Not Just A Cup, But A Just Cup”

Do you know of a non-profit that would like to participate in the Cause Coffee program? Wondering how your organization can get their very own private label coffee? Give us a call! Dial (800) 462-1999 or send an email to Msmithyman [at] thanksgivingcoffee [dot] com

Award Winning Coffee

Authenticity is the heart of perfection.

When you love the work you do, and care deeply about the process, it shines through to the finished product. At least, that’s been our experience here at Thanksgiving Coffee Company. Our farmers love and respect the coffee trees they tend, just as we love and respect the farmers by offering a fair value for the their crop. The dedication and authenticity we have for every aspect of the supply chain delivers a delicious cup of coffee directly to you; one that you can feel good about. “Not Just A Cup, But A Just Cup.”

But how do we know that our dedication to the highest standards delivers the best tasting cup of coffee?

We know our coffee tastes great, but it’s really special when we are awarded by a third party. Let’s kick off the new year by celebrating a few of our award winning beans. For the entire month of January, enjoy 20% off your favorite ‘Just Cup’ of these coffees:


12oz package of Paul's Blend Thanksgiving Coffee.

Paul’s Blend

One of our best selling coffees and an award-winning roast from our 2017 Roaster of the Year distinction. This blend is always a crowd pleaser that can be enjoyed black or with a splash of cream.

92 POINTS – “Richly and sweetly pungent. Concord grape, roasted cacao nib, cedar, hazelnut, lemon blossom in aroma and cup. Brisk, lightly juicy acidity; delicate, satiny mouthfeel. A solid blend that offers deep fruit notes with sweet nut and aromatic wood complications.” – CoffeeReview.com




Byron’s Natural, Nicaragua

Selected as the #13 coffee on Coffee Review’s list of the Top 30 Coffees of 2014. “This may not seem like a win,” says our Co founder Paul Katzeff, “but a closer look at the numbers tells a different story. The top 30 were selected from 3,000 samples tasted over the course of 2014, so we were in the top 1%. It should also be noted that of the top 13 coffees, 12 were from Ethiopia. Our Maracarurra from Nicaragua was therefore, The Coffee Review’s selection for the best non Ethiopian coffee of 2014. Even though that distinction was 5 awarded years ago, Byron has continued to improve upon all his farm’s coffees, and this year’s selection of Maracaturra is even better than the 2014 edition.”

94 POINTS“One of the country’s pioneering socially and environmentally progressive roasters, Thanksgiving aimed to combine coffee quality with social and environmental responsibility many years before the latter preoccupations became fashionable.” – CoffeeReview.com




Ethiopia Yirgacheffe

An award-winning roast from our 2017 Roaster of the Year distinction, Ethiopian beans are highly regarded for their flavor and consistent quality.

93 POINTS – “Delicate, deeply sweet. Baker’s chocolate, magnolia, peach, black peppercorn, sandalwood in aroma and cup. Gentle, rounded acidity; velvety mouthfeel. The richly drying finish consolidates to baker’s chocolate and peach. An engaging coffee particularly appealing to those who value delicate, cocoa-toned coffees with gentle acidity and engaging spice notes. Reassuring environmental and socio-economic credentials.”
-CoffeeReview.com


Kenya Nyeri Peaberry

The final winner of our 2017 Roaster of the Year distinction, you can always count on the peaberry for a high quality and even roasting.

Five star rating: “Wonderful Taste!”
“This has been my favorite coffee since I first tasted it last year. It has supplanted Ethiopian Sidamo, my previous favorite. I like it so much I gave some as a gift to a fellow coffee lover — the only time I have thought enough of a coffee to make such a gesture. I anticipate that it will henceforth always be my first choice to enjoy the start my day.”




So ring in the New Year by sharing a cup of delicious, award winning coffee with the special people in you life.

“Not Just A Cup, But A Just Cup.”

Tanzania Coffee – Now Available for a Limited Time

Once a month, members of the Roastmaster’s Select Coffee Club have the opportunity to sample unique micro-lot coffees from around the world. Everything from our excellent Enjambre Cafetalero Mexico Coffee, to special micro-lots from farmers in Malawi, Sulawesi, and Honduras. Following the harvest cycle, Roastmaster’s Club Members have exclusive access to these one-of-a-kind coffees at their peak freshness, and now it’s your turn! We were so impressed by this beautiful Tanzanian peaberry coffee that we ordered a fresh lot, just for you, for a limited time. Don’t miss your chance to try a bag of this exquisite coffee from volcanic foothills, nestled at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Towering at almost 20,00 feet above the African landscape, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest point on the African continent and the highest “freestanding” mountain on the planet. It is in this nutrient-rich volcanic soil, at the foothills of the monumental giant, that some of the best coffee in the world in grown.

Tanzania is enormous, bordered by a few of our other coffee producing countries, like Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Just below the equator, Tanzania is in a prime location for growing coffee, but produces less than one percent of the world’s Arabica coffee supply. This year, the micro-lot that we received is excellent, and we think you’ll love it too.

Coffee from Tanzania

Unique and lively with hints of white grape.

Tanzania is perfectly situated for growing exquisite coffee, yet it produces less than one percent of the world’s Arabica coffee supply. Still, this modest production plays an important role in the nation’s economy as its third largest agricultural export. This year, the micro-lot that we received is superb and we are so thankful to be able to share it with you.

This Tanzania peaberry coffee is a premium blend from high grown estates in Southern and Northern Tanzania. The Southern Estates (lunji, Utengule, and Kanji Lanji) are located in Mbozi and Mbeya, in the southern highlands of Tanzania. The Northern Estates (Mondul, Burka, Ngila, and Lyamungu) are located in the Karatu District on the slopes of the Ngorongoro crater, surrounded by the Ngila Forest reserve, as well as on the southern foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Tanzania Coffee

Altitude Grown: 1400-1800 meters
Processing: Washed, Sun-dried
Grower: Estates of N and S Tanzania
Varietal: N & KP, Kent, Bourbon

Order a bag of this limited edition coffee and taste the one-of-a-kind flavors imparted by Mount Kilimanjaro, while supporting hundreds of small family farms. Are you curious about what this month’s special Roastmaster’s Select coffee? Be the first to know by joining the Roastmaster’s Select Coffee Club today!

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Winesong 2018

Living in a small rural town means that we all have to work together to support our community resources. Fundraising events are seasonal cornerstones out here on the Mendocino Coast, and of all the events we participate in throughout the year Winesong is the most prestigious. Since 1985, Winesong has raised over $7.5 million for the Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation and has contributed to our local health care services by funding everything from ultrasound machines, ambulances, and patient beds to uninsured cancer treatments. Every year it takes the whole town, and an army of volunteers, to put this event together and Thanksgiving Coffee is always there to lend a hand to serve everyone a delicious cup of coffee.

And what a beautiful event to attend! Held every September at the Mendocino Botanical Gardens, guests are surrounded by dahlias in full bloom while they enjoy wineries, musicians, and food vendors from all over California, culminating in an exciting live auction at the end.

We were happy to share our beautiful Congo medium roast with guests from near and far who appreciate a great cup of coffee while supporting health care services for our community.

Not Just A Cup, But A Just Cup.

 

Thanksgiving Coffee Company
2017 Roaster of the Year

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