We are beyond excited to announce that we have been chosen as the 2017 Macro Roaster of the Year! This prestigious award is chosen through a vigorous process by Roast Magazine, and we are so honored to have been selected.
Pictured Below: The Thanksgiving Coffee team outside our Fort Bragg headquarters
Roaster of the Year Selection Process
The selection process at Roast Magazine is truly impressive. In order to apply, the team at Thanksgiving Coffee compiled a 30 page booklet, outlining some of the most fascinating aspects of our company:
Pictured Below: CEO Paul Katzeff at the original headquarters in Noyo Harbor
Choosing the Coffee: Blind Tasting
Being Roaster of the Year is not just about what we’ve done or where we came from… it’s about the coffee. After choosing the finalists from the information submitted to them from coffee roasters around the globe, Roast Magazine does a blind taste test.
Pictured Below: Roastmaster Jacob Long in the Roastery
For this test, they asked each finalist to submit three roasts, and our roastmaster Jacob Long made the decision:
“This is an international competition, we were competing against the best artisan roasters from around the world. With so many great coffees to select from, I chose to present the judges with a few of our freshest coffees with amazing flavor profiles, vibrant and rich Kenyan Peaberry, floral Ethiopian Gedeb, and the beloved fruity-chocolatey Paul’s Blend.”
These coffees were sent to two separate cupping labs for the blind tasting. The judges at these labs scored all of the coffees presented by the finalists, and then combined those with the scores from the written submissions. The top rated coffee company is then selected as Roaster of the Year.
Pictured Below: Vice President Jonah Katzeff accepting the award at Let’s Talk Coffee
We want to say THANK YOU to our fans, our friends and family, and everyone who has supported us over the 44 years of coffee roasting. This is such a huge honor, and we can’t wait to share even more of our coffees with the world over the next year!
Many of us were raised to think a certain way, regarding wolves: they’re to be feared, they’re dangerous, they’re destructive. This manner of thinking has been the cause of decades of wrongful acts against wolf populations all over the US. This is something we need to change.
For over thirteen years, Thanksgiving Coffee has partnered with the people at Defenders of Wildlife. Defenders is one of the leading wildlife information and action organizations in the United States, and a non-profit that we admire greatly. This partnership was born out of a realization of the decreasing wolf populations here in America, and the idea that a cup of coffee can do so much. Learn more about our partnership on the Thanksgiving Coffee Store.
Fact + Fiction About Wolves
This week, we want to challenge all of our supporters, our families, friends and fans to reevaluate the way you look at wolves. During National Wolf Awareness Week, we encourage you to read through the Defenders of Wildlife Wolf Fact v. Fiction page, and adjust your perspective on these animals. Take some time to understand that there are nonlethal options for protecting livestock, and read through the coexisting project in Idaho’s Wood River Valley.
If you’re interested in learning more, the Defenders of Wildlife website is a wealth of information, dedicated to the protection of endangered and threatened species all over the United States. Learn more at www.defenders.org.
Thanksgiving Coffee Company supports Defenders of Wildlife by donating a portion of the proceeds of the sale of our Save Our Wolves Coffee. Choose your favorite roast, and every sip you take goes to support the Defenders of Wildlife program.
How else can you participate during National Wolf Awareness Week? Adopt a wolf! The Defenders of Wildlife offers the opportunity to “adopt a wolf” through their website. This is an awesome way to spread awareness of the plight of the wolves, as well as pick up a few plush toys for the kiddos when the holidays roll around.
Join the Conversation about Wolf Awareness
Join the conversation on social media, and share the information you’ve learned today with your friends during National Wolf Awareness Week!
Here at Thanksgiving Coffee, we’re always striving to better ourselves and our coffee – and history has shown this has a positive effect on the specialty coffee industry as a whole. One of the ways that we participate in the industry is by attending coffee events all over the world in order to meet with other leaders. This week we find ourselves at the Let’s Talk Coffee Conference.
Let’s Talk Coffee is a four day coffee conference held in Puerto Vallarta. At this event, leaders in the coffee industry from all over the world come together for one purpose: to talk about the coffee industry. The theme of the conference this year is Prospering in the New Reality; we’ll be looking forward to the future and discussing ways we can better our companies while forging new relationships at the conference.
Every facet of the coffee industry comes together at this event to discuss how the specialty coffee industry can make changes for the better. This is one of the few times that coffee producers, distributors, roasters, bloggers and investors all join together to discuss issues brainstorm solutions. Specialty coffee has long been a leader in the movement toward a more sustainable future, so we can’t wait to see how they continue to lead the conversation.
The Let’s Talk Coffee conference is put on by Sustainable Harvest, a coffee importing company that we have worked with for many years. We’re also happy to see that they are a fellow B Corporation!
Thanksgiving Coffee’s vice president Jonah Katzeff is in Puerto Vallarta now for Let’s Talk Coffee this year! We cannot wait to join the rest of the industry for thought-provoking conversation and informative lectures. See you there!
Follow Let’s Talk Coffee on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date! Keep your eye out for some big news on Saturday…
Coffee trees are remarkable for their ability to regenerate after severe pruning.
Severe pruning is hard on the psyche. You have taken care of your tree for 15 years and it has produced an amazing amount of enjoyment as it took you through its seasonal life cycles for 12 of those years. You are no Paul Bunyan with an anxious ax. You want to save trees, not chop them down. So you are about to break your own heart and you know it. You are, however, about to rejuvenate your tree and it will love you for your bravery. Sharp pruning shears are all that you need (and faith).
“The Cut” – May 4, 2016
On May 4th, 2016 the “cut” was made about 18” from the base of the tree; it broke my heart. That’s because I harvested 511 cherries from the tree, de-pulped them, soaked the seeds in a water-bath, dried them for a week on a window sill, and in the end had about 12 ounces of green beans. We invited the mayor of Fort Bragg, chefs, a winery owner, and our staff to a once in a lifetime “cupping.” We put the roasted beans on the cupping table with coffees from Central America and were pleasantly surprised when they received the highest praise for flavors we described as bright with hints of lemon, peanut butter, and dark chocolate.
27 Days Later – June 1, 2016
Note the small fresh leaves close to the trunk. This tree has plenty of root spore and therefore it is overpowered. It has stored its regenerative powers and now those roots have much less plant structure to support. It will put on a vigorous growth spurt over the next 6 months. Notice a new trunk beginning about 8” up the main trunk. We will watch it and hopefully 2 or 3 others will emerge from the lower trunk, proving the structure for the new tree.
48 Days After “The Cut” – June 21, 2016
The tree is beginning to fill in its remaining architecture with bright new leaves and a second trunk has emerged at about 10” from the base. We are on our way. There is nowhere to go but up and out.
Stay tuned for photos of its progress over the next 6 months.
1 1/2 lbs skirt steak
1 cup cold brew (use the TCC Cold Brew Kit!)
4 tablespoons Maple Syrup
3 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, torn
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1. Whisk cold brew, syrup, garlic, rosemary, red pepper, black pepper and salt together. Marinate steak for two hours in the fridge, turning the meat over about half way through.
2. Sear steak on grill or cast iron pan on high heat for three minutes on each side for rare, five minutes on each side for medium.
3. Let skirt steak sit for five minutes after cooking, then slice and serve.
2 oranges 2 cups (packed) medium-ground coffee 5 or so cardamom pods, crushed 2 quarts (plus 1 cup, to replace water lost during filtering) filtered water
Zest the oranges, making sure not to include any of the white pith (a microplane is the best way to do this). Reserve the oranges for another use, like, you know–eating.
Combine coffee grounds, zest, cardamom and water in a large container, stir well, cover and let it rest at room temperature for 24 hours. To filter, pour through a fine-mesh strainer a couple of times. Line the strainer with a paper towel and filter again once or twice. Store in the fridge or a cool location.
Here’s an inexpensive and easy way to make astounding cold-brew coffee.
1. Using the Thanksgiving Coffee Cold Brew Kit (the basic container and the mesh bag) grind up the entire 12 oz package worth of Thanksgiving Coffee. We recommend a medium to dark roast, (unless you’d like to experiment with other roasts) at a coarse grind. We’ve already ground the package that comes with your “starter” set. If you purchase whole beans later, and decide to grind your own, you are looking for a grind roughly the same consistency as breadcrumbs. Any finer and you risk cloudy, grimy-tasting coffee. Buy the Cold Brew Kit
2. Fill the mesh bag with the ground coffee, and place it in the bottom of the empty container like a huge tea-bag, and top up the container with tap water (distilled water would be better — fewer dissolved solids means that it’ll absorb more of the coffee solids, but that’s not a huge difference).
3. Stick it in the fridge overnight. Easy peasy. In the morning, take the bag out of the container and give it a good squeeze to get the coffee liquor out of the mush inside. Voila, an amazing cold-brew concentrate that you can dilute.
4. Dilute 50/50, for example, one cup water to one cup concentrate, etc.
Cleanup is easy: invert the bag over a trashcan or garbage disposal, rinse off the bag, place somewhere clean to dry and you’re done.
This produces very, very good coffee concentrate, with only a little grit settled into the bottom of the container (easy to avoid). It may just be the cheapest and easiest cold-brewing method you’ll try.
Cold Brew Facts:
No fancy brewing equipment needed. If you outgrow our “starter” kit, you can expand using common household or easily acquirable items..
Big batch or small batch, you pick what’s best for you. The recipe is easy to scale depending on how much coffee you drink.
Your cold brew concentrate will last about a week in the refrigerator without losing its freshness.
You can mix your concentrate with water or milk, or if you are totally hard core you can drink it straight.
By Joan Katzeff, Co-Founder & Director of Operations
I first visited Nicaragua in the early 1990’s. The terrible years of the Iran Contra Civil War were still dominant in the memory of the people, and its effects had taken a huge toll on coffee farmers already enduring a difficult way of life.
At one of the beneficios (where coffee is processed), I watched an assembly line of women sitting on a motley collection of chairs on either side of a moving conveyor belt. Their job was to separate defective beans from those that made the grade for sale and export. It was noisy, hot and dusty, so the women also wore masks that covered their noses and mouths while working.
I left knowing that as soon as I returned home, I would figure out a way to raise money to purchase new ergonomic chairs for those women, and I did, in a gesture of solidarity. But, I knew it was just a drop in the bucket.
Thanksgiving Coffee staff with the women of SOPPEXCCA, 2013
On another small group trip in 2012, we visited the beneficio of Soppexcca, a cooperative composed predominantly of women.
We spent some time “helping” the women transfer coffee beans from the drying patio into sacks that were in process for export. I’m not sure how helpful we were, but it was an enjoyable cultural exchange. These women performed hard physical work on a daily basis. Many of them walked miles to and from work each day if transportation wasn’t available, preparing meals for their families before and after work at the beneficio, as well as doing the rest of the work required in the home, and child rearing responsibilities, as well.
We were invited to sit in on a Board of Directors meeting composed of some of the women we’d worked with, and others from the cooperative who had founded and were operating a small store at the beneficio that sold food and sundries, and was a source of additional income for them.
Women coffee workers of SOPPEXCCA, 2013
While there has been progress made in the recognition and fair and equal compensation for women who work in coffee, there is still a long way to go.
Women we’ve met on buying trips to Central America and Africa live in remote towns and villages without running, potable water or electricity. Homes are rustic, often with a dozen or more family members living in one or two rooms with dirt floors. Many women don’t have access to health care, marry young, and have children soon after. During the “thin months” when coffee income is low, they and their children often go hungry. They perform much of the physical labor required to grow and harvest coffee, but have almost no influence on decisions about how family income is spent. They are typically uneducated, impoverished and disconnected from resources.
Thanksgiving Coffee & ETICO staff meeting with the women of SOPPEXCCA, 2013
Thanksgiving Coffee began to address these issues in two ways.
First, by purchasing only from cooperatives that show a willingness to eradicate this kind of gender inequity. They do this through their actions in support of remedies to eliminate food insecurity, and promoting, providing and ensuring access to training and education for women. These actions will enable women to participate as equal partners in the industry.
The second way we, as a company, have supported women in coffee is through “The Recognition of the Unpaid Work of Women.” We began this work in 2014, in Nicaragua by adding $0.10 per pound to all coffees we purchase from the Prodecoop and Soppexcca Coopperatives. They have committed to using these funds to improve the lives of women in coffee. The next post will go into detail about what has been accomplished to date.
– Joan Katzeff
Joan Katzeff, Co-Founder, Thanksgiving Coffee and Fatima Ismail, General Manager, SOPPEXCCA, 2013
Over the past several years, we’ve seen single-cup brewing machines like Keurig’s K-Cups become extremely popular.
They’re everywhere: in office buildings, hotels, gas stations, homes and restaurants. And we know why people love them: they’re convenient, easy to use, and brew a consistent cup of coffee.
But for years we’ve been struggling with the idea of packaging our coffees in K-Cup pods. Why?
Flavor quality is often compromised
Coffee is at its best within a few weeks of roasting. But most coffee pods packaged for single-cup brewers are pre-loaded with sub standard coffee, and in our experience, it’s usually stale. They also are loaded with a smaller amount of coffee than is necessary to brew a full-strength, flavorful cup. We love our coffee, and we refuse to provide weak, stale coffee to our customers.
Substantial waste is created
When you brew coffee using disposable coffee pods, you’re creating waste with every cup you brew. Imagine millions of people brewing multiple cups of coffee per day with their single cup brewers, and throwing away millions of plastic cups. That’s a lot of waste – and as a B-Corp Certified company with strong social & evironmental values, we don’t want to be a part of that.
Coffee pods are a “value added” product – roasters who package their coffee in disposable coffee pods are charging for the convenience they allow. That means your money doesn’t go nearly as far as when you buy whole bean or ground coffee in a bag. Spending a ton of extra money for a poor cup of coffee just doesn’t seem right to us.
There’s nothing better than grinding and enjoying a fresh cup from freshly-roasted whole beans – but we know that’s not always a reality in today’s fast-paced world. We know that many people have a single cup brewer in their home or office, and are forced to drink substandard coffee as a result.
We decided to go in search of a reusable K-Cup filter that could be used to brew our coffee without compromising flavor quality or the environment.
During our research, we found that many 3rd party reusable filters are made cheaply, with flimsy plastic parts that broke easily. Others left a strange “plastic” taste in the cup after brewing (gross!). Others still were undersized and couldn’t be filled with enough coffee to create a cup that was strong enough. But some worked – quite well!
The Ekobrew Elite (pictured at left) performed the best of all the reusable cups we tested.
We like the solid build of the stainless steel construction, and that this reusable K-Cup does not require any disposable paper filter. Since it’s not made of plastic, there’s no plastic aftertaste, or worry about BPA residue.
And best of all – the Ekobrew Elite is a Zero Waste brewing solution for your Keurig brewer!
We’re now offering the Ekobrew Elite in our online store, along with brewing instructions to help you brew the best cup of coffee possible with a single cup brewer.
Buy an Ekobrew Elite for your single cup brewer. Then, follow these instructions to make the best cup of coffee possible with a single cup brewer, and you’ll save money and the environment while you’re at it! Download and print the brewing guide and post next to your single-cup coffeemaker for quick reference in your home or office.
High in the lush mountains of northern Peru, two thousand family farmers produce coffee under the dense shade of guavas, acacias, orange, and banana trees. These farmers are members of CENFROCAFE, an association of over 80 small cooperatives working together to produce one of the finest coffees in Peru, while stewarding the surrounding mountain ecosystem.
Members of CENFROCAFE
Delicate honey-toned sweetness, juicy citric acidity, subtle chocolate notes, and hints of ripe papaya.
The province of Cajamarca has long been the backbone of Peru’s economy due to its vast mineral wealth. Unfortunately, these days, modern mining techniques despoil the earth and surrounding rivers and forests. The cultivation of high quality organic coffee has become the key to Cajamarca’s economic and environmental sustainability, and the farmers of CENFROCAFE are leaders in this effort.
Photos from CENFROCAFE
The members of CENFROCAFE carefully pick ripe cherries, depulp, ferment, wash and dry their coffee on their small farms ranging in size from one to three acres. The result is a finely crafted coffee with hints of honey, papaya, and milk chocolate complimented by a soft citric acidity.
Roastmaster Jacob Long
Our roastmaster, Jacob Long, shared his thoughts about the 2015 crop:
“The Peruvian Coffee we received this year is nice and sweet. Right now the beans are fresh and vibrant. It’s one of our favorite single origins at the moment.
People who typically don’t appreciate light roasts might like this coffee more than others – the acidity is more smooth and juicy than bright. When I taste this coffee, the smooth milk chocolate notes really come through.”
Delicate honey-toned sweetness, juicy citric acidity, subtle chocolate notes, and hints of ripe papaya.