Coffee from Rwanda

I was trailing off to sleep, it was a cool summer night in Mendocino. Joan’s voice came into my consciousness and broke my reverie. She was not yet ready to say good night to the day.

“Paul, I was listening to NPR today and there was this story about the poverty and the general plight on the African Continent. I think we need to begin focusing on buying coffee and supporting cooperatives in Africa like we do in Central and South America.”

Virunga Mountains in Rwanda

Of course I agreed, and dozed off to spend some unconscious time thinking about the idea and all the effort it would take to be as bold an activist in Africa as we were then (and now) in Central America. I hoped that when I awoke in the morning my mind would have used the eight or so hours sleeping to clarify. I had no intention of just jumping into more work.

What Joan was asking was not simple but as President of Thanksgiving Coffee she did have a big voice in things such as this. We would have to pick the countries we wanted to work in, we would need to take sixteen hour flights, we would have to find communities we could work with, we would need to buy coffee in container loads to be effective. A container load is 37,500 pounds. We would have to build a demand for these new coffees or we were going to have to buy less of other coffees (which hurts the farmers we are already working with). Can’t do that!

At the breakfast table the following morning, I told Joan that if she wanted Thanksgiving to work in Africa she was going to have to lead the way, because my plate was full. We ate breakfast and headed in to work. My sleep time thinking had convinced me that I was not right for the job in 2003 and it enabled me to say “NO” to finding the Africa connections we needed to do business our way. Our way had always been buying from small scale, Fairtrade certified farmer cooperatives and building quality of life and quality of coffee through social and environmental benefit initiatives. That was our our mission, and if I couldn’t do that effectively, why add more work to my plate?

That morning at work, an amazing thing happened.

I received a phone call from a professor at Michigan State University. She had recently received a USAID grant to help the Rwandan Coffee industry create a market plan for their reentry into the Specialty Coffee market, specifically aiming at the United States craft coffee trade. Yes, the entire country’s coffee industry!

How serendipitous is that? One moment we are lying in bed thinking, and the next day the answer and the challenge arrives on the phone.

They asked Thanksgiving Coffee to be part of a small group of coffee experts. We would fly to Rwanda in three weeks to help a country only ten years from its genocide in 1994. A genocide that saw 900,000 Rwandans murdered by their fellow countrymen, and their entire coffee infrastructure destroyed in the process. I wanted us to be there to help, but I said to Joan after the phone conversation: “Joan, you started this last night, and your answer and opportunity came this morning so I think it is YOU who will have to fly to Rwanda in three weeks.”

And that was the beginning of our now fourteen year odyssey with the Rwandan coffee farmers.

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Trips to Rwanda

On that first trip to Rwanda, I remained in Mendocino. It was a first for us; me staying home and Joan going to do the exploring and experience the adventure.

On her first day in Rwanda, she met with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International Executive Director, who was interested in linking the Rwandan coffee industry with saving the last 400 Mountain Gorillas, something Dian Fossey was murdered for trying to do. Joan saw the opportunity, and said that Thanksgiving Coffee would create a marketing plan for linking Rwandan coffee to Mountain Gorillas. That is how – on DAY ONE of Joan’s first trip to Africa – Gorilla Fund Coffee was born.

When things are supposed to happen, they do.

But usually, not so fast.

Coffee Cherries in Rwanda

Joan went to tour the gorilla habitat, trekking for hours into the Virunga National Forest and was gifted by coming upon a family of Mountain Gorillas, led by a 500 pound Silverback. In her words:

“The rain is soft, the trail slippery and muddy. We’re moving quickly, breathing hard in the thin high-altitude air. Intent young trackers radio one another, ‘We are close.’ Suddenly the Amahoro Gorilla family crosses our path. Wow! What a sight. Two young gorillas grasp the pant legs of a couple in our group before bounding off to join the adults – which included a 500 pound Silverback. I am transfixed and transformed in the presence of these gentle giants. I still can not believe I was there and it really happened.”

My own experience with the gorillas in Rwanda came a year later. I got a chance to hang out with a different family of gorillas. I sat cross-legged, facing the Silverback leader for 45 minutes exchanging grunts every so often but never allowing our eyes to meet. He had a very intriguing aroma about him. Musty, earthy, very Sumatra coffee-like. It was clean and powerful. I would recognize it anywhere. And yes, I did read the novel Ishmael about the Silverback Guru teaching a journalist about life’s questions. I sat with my Silverback thinking he might just know a lot more than me about the meaning of life. He had big Brown eyes.

I took his portrait picture and it adorned our Gorilla Fund Package until 2016 when it was removed in favor of a younger gorilla image.

Paul Katzeff, Making Friends with Gorillas in Rwanda

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Building in Rwanda

On my second trip in 2005, I met with the Director of the USAID project and we mapped out a quality improvement plan to make Rwanda coffee the best it could be. We wrote a proposal which was funded the following year. It was a plan to put a tasting laboratory at every coffee cooperative so the farmers could separate their coffees and evaluate each lot individually.

This was a great advance at the time, and it put Rwanda in the running to be one of the most advanced coffee regions in all of Africa. This project gave me the opportunity to travel the countryside and visit many growing regions and finally find the Dukunde Kawa Coffee Cooperative in Mussasa. It is the coffee we have purchased for the past 12 years and has won the reputation of being the best of Rwandan coffee for the past five years in the Cup of Excellence competitions held yearly. We use that coffee to help save the gorillas.

Gorilla Fund Coffee has raised over $100,000 for DFGFI, since we began this program in 2005. Joan and I have attended many DFGFI celebrity fundraisers given in big city venues as honored guests for Thanksgiving Coffee’s work educating coffee lovers about the Mountain Gorillas. At one event I met and had a conversation with Gloria Steinem, at another I spoke with Sigourney Weaver who played Dian Fossey in the movie Gorillas in the Mist.

Now we are partnering with DFGFI to inform the American Coffee drinkers about the plight of the Grauer’s Gorilla who is Critically Endangered in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In my youth, this area was known as “deepest, darkest Africa.” Using the same idea, we went after finding a good coffee from the Congo to represent the Grauer Gorilla, that we would create a dark roast from.

Congo coffee is new to the pantheon of craft coffees. It is a country rife with political instability and crazed rebels who wreak havoc on villages. In 2013, I turned down an invitation to visit the Congo by my long time friend Richard Hyde of Cafe Direct who was working with a group of coffee cooperatives there. He knew I could be a buyer, but I had enough coffee and the Grauer’s Gorillas that make their home in the Congo had not yet come upon the DFGFI’s radar.

Three years later, the DFGFI began to work in the Congo, and I called my friend Richard to find out where I could get the coffee that comes from the mountains where the Grauer’s Gorillas reside.

In the beginning of this journey, we realized that it was the gorillas that could help the Rwandan people. Not many Americans will go out of their way to help the Rwandan people but all Americans want to support the Mountain Gorillas. So we focused on the gorillas to build the value and demand by consumers for this coffee.

We used the Fairtrade model and certification to give money back to the Dukunde Kawo Coffee Cooperative. We created a climate change mitigation program and financed shade tree planting. We even funded a milk cow project to supply each family with whole milk and cheese for family use and for added income. Every sale of the Gorilla Fund coffee benefited not only the gorillas, but the people of this Rwandan coffee farm. We intend to follow that same model to inform the public of the Endangered Grauer’s Gorilla, and support industry in the Congo.

It isn’t easy to do this kind of work in coffee. Lot’s of collaboration needs to be built into the process. There is always the risk that too much coffee will be purchased and sales will not match up. But we do this work for other reasons. Coffee is the medium, but it is not the message. This is how we work now with the American Birding Association, to save Migratory Song Birds, with Friends of the Earth to save Pollinators, with Defenders of wildlife to save our Wolves and soon, with more partners to save our wild animals.

So join us in our efforts and purchase these coffees and together we will make a difference.

Shop Gorilla Fund Coffee

Paul Katzeff, co-founder and CEO

Picking Coffee in Rwanda
Rwandan Coffee Farmers with Paul Katzeff and Team
Paul Katzeff, On Safari in Rwanda
A Family of Coffee Farmers in Rwanda
Micro Lots of Coffee Farms in Rwanda
A Boat at Lake Kivu in Rwanda
Rwanda
Holding our Gorilla Fund Coffee at a Celebration in Rwanda

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Endangered Species Day

Today is Endangered Species Day, and we’re asking you to stand with Thanksgiving Coffee and our partner organizations to save our wild creatures. In honor of Endangered Species Day, send a package of these coffees to a friend, or sign up for a monthly subscription to keep your donations going.

• Not Just A Cup, But A Just Cup •

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Endangered Species Day

Flight Beyond Borders

A celebration of International Migratory Bird Day

Early one morning in 1992, a local Mendocino sculptor by the name of Howard Wheatley Allen was shaking in his boots. He had just been informed that he would be presenting a gift to a world leader on behalf of the United States, and the recipient was none other than Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. With a steadying hand, he held his bronze sculpture before the President and said, “Mr. President, this is a snow goose that migrates between our two countries.”
“You mean a living link,” Gorbachev replied, understanding the significance.

Gorbachev later recalled that, “During the nuclear arms race, I was given a gift by an American, a little figure of a goose in flight. I still have it at my dacha. It is a goose that lives in the north of Russia in the summer and in the winter migrates to America. It does that every year regardless of what’s happening, on the ground, between you and us.”

It was one year later, in 1993, that International Migratory Bird Day was established. While IMBD is celebrated from Canada to South America to support the hundreds of Neotropical migratory bird species that travel across the continent, Gorbachev’s goose is a beautiful reminder that birds will always rise above our imaginary borders, transcending beyond the cultural or political boundaries of the time.

Here in the United States, we sometimes claim a cultural ownership of beautiful birds like the Baltimore Oriole, perhaps forgetting that the very same species could just as easily be named the ‘Panama Oriole’, or the ‘Nicaraguan Oriole’, as it spends half it’s life in Central and South America. IMBD is a reminder that the health and abundance of these birds that are so much a part of our heritage does not stop at our own backyard feeders. If we wish to enjoy their beauty and their songs for generations to come, we must care for them and their well being across all borders.

The growing demand for coffee, and the rise of the mono-cultured full sun coffee plantations, has demolished much of the wintering habitat for iconic birds like Orioles. In fact, many of these species are now referred to as ‘Coffee Birds’ because the only forest home left to them are the shade-grown coffee farms that preserve the jungle canopy.

For over 20 year, Song Bird Coffee has been a leader in supporting the farmers who protect their native forests by growing delicious coffees under the jungle canopy, preserving priceless habitat and biodiversity. This year, on International Migratory Bird Day, we hope you will join us in protecting our precious songbirds, just by enjoying a great cup of shade-grown coffee. Not Just a Cup, But a Just Cup.

World Fairtrade Day

This weekend marks the largest celebration of Fairtrade ever! May 12-14, we invite you to join us in celebrating the certification that protects the producers: World Fairtrade Day.

World Fairtrade Weekend

Fairtrade Cafe Giveaways

For World Fairtrade Day, we’re excited to feature a few of our California cafes that serve Fairtrade certified Thanksgiving Coffee. We invite you to visit these cafes this weekend, and enter to win a prize pack of Thanksgiving Coffee and Fairtrade goodies at every one!

Cafe Presto • Arcata
Mara’s Coffee House
• Fort Bragg
Goodlife Café • Mendocino
STEEP • Hopland
Cotati Coffee Company • Cotati
The CBC Cafe • Petaluma
Caffe Etc • Los Angeles

View Thanksgiving Coffee Cafes in a full screen map


Fairtrade Coffee On Sale Online

Not close enough to one of these cafes? No worries! We’ve got some amazing Fairtrade certified coffee available online… and there’s a perk if you order over the Fairtrade weekend. Snag 20% off a selection of our Fairtrade coffees this weekend only, and gift a bag or two to your friends!

*Discount will be available Friday, May 12 through Sunday, May 14.

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What is Fairtrade?

Now let’s dig a little deeper… what does Fairtrade mean? We thought we’d let our buddies over at Fairtrade America explain that for us!

The Fairtrade system offers an alternative to conventional trade. By guaranteeing a minimum price and a premium payment, which producers invest into their businesses and communities, Fairtrade gives people in developing countries the opportunity to improve their lives and plan for their future.

These guys have been the driving force behind fair wages and fair treatment of producers at origins for over two decades, and we are proud to be one of their certified companies.


Participate in World Fairtrade Day

How else can you participate in World Fairtrade Day? Commit to buying only Fairtrade products this weekend, or at least take the time to dig into the origin of the goods you’re purchasing. Check in with your local coffee shop, your local farms and grocery stores. Instead of grabbing a bar of Hershey’s, snag some Divine instead! Instead of getting the generic bananas, find the ones with the Fairtrade stamp.

Learn more about World Fairtrade Day, and see what events are happening in your neighborhood! Check out their microsite at www.fairtradechallenge.org.

 

Share with us how you’re celebrating World Fairtrade Day on your social media channel of choice!

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Linkedin | Google+


This Friday through Sunday, take 20% off five of our Fairtrade coffees at the link below! This sale ends at 11:59pm PST on Sunday night, so don’t wait to snag your bag of Fairtrade Thanksgiving Coffee this weekend!

*Discount will be available Friday, May 12 through Sunday, May 14.
*This discount cannot be combined with any other offers.

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Global Coffee Expo Recap

It’s the biggest event in coffee, sponsored by the biggest names in coffee, held in what is probably America’s most coffee-obsessed city. It’s every coffee nerd’s dream, and seven of our team from Thanksgiving Coffee Company had the opportunity to attend this year. The Global Coffee Expo is a three day event with all the players in the coffee industry, put on by the Specialty Coffee Association. Roasting, importing, producing, farming, equipment, ideas, publications – there is so much to see and do at this convention.

Specialty Coffee Association

Above: The SCA logo on cupping mugs at the Global Coffee Expo

Stepping into the launch party on night one was an experience all in itself. At the Paramount Theatre in downtown Seattle, thousands of coffee professionals from all over the world flooded the floors. There was a virtual reality farm tour, a video from the board of the SCA, cold brew samples from Starbucks, a latte art throwdown, and networking with some of the most prominent people in coffee. It was overwhelming and spectacular — and a great way to kick off an exciting weekend.

Paramount Theatre in Seattle

Above: The Paramount Theatre in downtown Seattle hosts the SCA Global Coffee Expo launch party

The Specialty Coffee Association turns 35 this year. The years that have gone by have changed the association in many ways, but it remains at its core, a place for people to come together and fight for the greater good of everyone involved in the coffee industry. Thanksgiving Coffee’s Co-Founder and CEO Paul Katzeff was part of the team that founded the SCAA back in 1982, and has been an integral part of the association (and its president twice) through the decades.

Paul Katzeff at the Global Coffee Expo

Above: Paul Katzeff at the Global Coffee Expo launch party

The weekend was of course a whirlwind, full of lectures, meetings, walking the Expo floor, and naturally, lots of coffee breaks! We tasted coffee from Kenya, Colombia, Ethiopia, Uganda, Nicaragua, India, and many more origins. We met old friends and new, listened to lectures from coffee professionals, and visited our Fairtrade certification.

We were also able to take a peek into the newest publications that have featured Thanksgiving Coffee recently: Fresh Cup Magazine’s article on coffee bag packaging, and Stir Magazine’s feature on our Congo Coffee, benefiting the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International.

One of the main highlights of these conventions is the opportunity to meet with our producers – the human beings behind the coffee farms. Throughout the year, we speak with these folks over email and telephone, but at rare moments like these, we’re able to spend time with them face to face. We get to catch up on life and family and learn how their farms and co-ops are doing. We got some fun shots with a few of our friends:

Congo Coffee from Thanksgiving Coffee

Above: the SOPACDI co-op team from the Democratic Republic of Congo with the Thanksgiving Coffee team from Fort Bragg, California

Sara Corrales and Joan Katzeff

Above: Sara Corrales of the Los Pinos Farm in Nicaragua, and Joan Katzeff, co-founder of Thanksgiving Coffee

Jacob and Lucas at the Global Coffee Expo

Above: Jacob Long, Roastmaster and Director of Coffee at Thanksgiving Coffee, and Lucas Silvestre of the Guayab Co-op in Guatemala

Fatima, Joan, Nicholas

Above: Fatima Ismael of SOPPEXCCA in Nicaragua, Joan Katzeff of Thanksgiving Coffee and Nicholas Hoskyns of Etico in Nicaragua


We here at Thanksgiving Coffee want to give a HUGE thank you to the volunteer team that worked so hard at the Global Coffee Expo. Conventions like these simply cannot happen without the help of volunteers, and we are all indebted to you!

Take a peek below at some of the fun we had while in Seattle at the Specialty Coffee Association convention. After the Roasters Guild mixers, morning presentations, photo booth fun, and walking tens of thousands of steps across the show floor, we are going to need the rest of the week to rest and catch up.

The Thanksgiving Coffee team at Global Coffee Expo, with Nicholas of Nicaragua, and Isak of Rwanda

Joshua Long, Jacob Long, Paul Katzeff, Joan Katzeff and Jen Lewis outside the Washington State Convention Center

The Seattle skyline from our Airbnb in Queen Anne

Marchelo Bresciani at the Fairtrade America booth

Jacob, Josh and Nathan inspecting new roasting equipment

Joan and Paul Katzeff, co-founders of Thanksgiving Coffee Company

Jen Lewis with Jennifer Pawlik of Amavida Coffee Roasters, a fellow B Corporation

At the International Women in Coffee Association (IWCA) breakfast 

Thank you, volunteers

Jacob Long and Joshua Long with Kenyan dancers at the Global Coffee Expo launch party

Attending the Fairtrade America cupping 


We’ll see you in 2018, Seattle!

Stay tuned for some individual posts from our team that attended the show!

Global Coffee Expo Team

April snuck up and overtook us SO QUICKLY that it’s already time for the Specialty Coffee Association’s Global Coffee Expo. The biggest event in coffee starts this week, and we’re sending a pack of people there to represent Thanksgiving Coffee and hang out with all the coffee nerds of the world.

We’ve studied the lecture calendar, we’ve analyzed the exhibitor charts, we’ve RSVP’d to the breakfasts and lunches and dinners and drinks… we’re ready for you, Seattle!

The Thanksgiving Coffee Team

The seven people headed toward Seattle this week consists of a mix of management, marketing, roasting and sales! Meet the crew below:

Heading up the team are our fearless leaders, Joan Katzeff and Paul Katzeff. For the past 45 years, these two have been the backbone of Thanksgiving Coffee Company. Paul was actually a founding member and former president of the Specialty Coffee Association of America, and has a tendency to get mobbed on the expo floor. When you’ve been in coffee for over 45 years, you find a lot of people who want your advice.

  

The Roasters

The roastery is sending two to the Global Coffee Expo: Roastmaster Jacob Long and Roaster Joshua Long. Jake has been with Thanksgiving Coffee for over ten years, and has been to the SCA’s expo a number of times. Joshua is a newer addition to the company, since early 2016, but has quickly become an ace coffee roaster and an integral part of our team. Both of these guys will be meeting with the co-ops and farms that Thanksgiving works with, as well as researching new products, brewing methods, innovations in roasting and so much more.

  

The Marketing Team

From the marketing team, we have our Brand Manager Marchelo Bresciani and Digital Marketing Coordinator Jen Lewis! Both are newbies to this event and beyond excited to dive into the Global Coffee Expo. On their docket are lectures like “Current Coffee Market Trends” and “Telling the Stories of Coffee.” These guys will also be constantly updating our social media channels, so be sure to keep an eye on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date on what we’re up to!

  

Wholesale Accounts

On the sales side of things, one of our Wholesale Account Representatives will be joining the team as well. Nathan Nies leads up our sales in Sonoma County and the Bay Area, and is one of the few of the Thanksgiving Coffee employees that doesn’t work out of our Fort Bragg office. Nathan will be on the lookout for new ways that we can support our network of cafes throughout California and beyond.

If you want to meet up while we’re at the Global Coffee Expo, give us a ring! You can reach our Digital Marketing Coordinator by cell phone at 541-771-8794 or email at jen@thanksgivingcoffee.com.

See you in Seattle!

Smithsonian Magazine Feature – June 2004

We’ve been digging into the archives a little bit, and came across this article from June of 2004. As Earth Day rolls around, check out this article from Smithsonian Magazine featuring Thanksgiving Coffee Company and our work in Nicaragua.

Read the article on the Smithsonian Magazine website.

Read the article on the Smithsonian Magazine website.

Earth Day 2017

Brew yourself a pot of coffee, because we have a lot to talk about.

Earth Day at Thanksgiving Coffee

This Saturday is Earth Day – a reminder that each and every one of us depends on the earth for our survival. We are united by the simple fact that this beautiful earth is ours, and it’s up to us to take care of it.

In the article below, you’ll learn about how we here at Thanksgiving Coffee participate in Earth Day… every day.

Choose an item below to skip forward, or take the time to scroll through every piece of the puzzle.

      People of Earth Day


Shade Grown Coffee

You can call it shade grown, organic or bird-friendly. The thing to remember is that it’s necessary.

Coffee is the second-highest traded commodity in the world, and that has a huge impact at origin. With every sip of your morning cappuccino or your afternoon decaf, you are participating in the world coffee trade. The coffee industry is moving in the right direction, as long as every coffee drinker makes the right choice with their cup of coffee. That choice? Shade grown.

(If you’re buying organic coffee, you’re already a step ahead, since certified organic coffee beans are always grown in the shade.)

Now the question is… why is shade grown coffee important?

When a farm is clear-cut of its tropical canopy to grow coffee in the sun, the environment heats up. The natural fertilizers, biodiversity, and home of so many animals is harshly stripped away. Shade grown coffee grows at a slower pace, and allows for the coffee trees’ natural surroundings to be cared for. This difference has an especially large impact on Neotropical migratory birds, as they rely on this canopy during their winter near the Equator. This knowledge is what brought us to introduce our line of Song Bird Coffee. Certified Bird-Friendly by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and benefiting the American Birding Association, these coffees all feature a different migratory bird that lives on coffee farms during their cold months.

This Earth Day, make a commitment to purchase only shade grown coffee. Ask your local cafes and coffee shops if the coffee they serve is Shade Grown, Organic, or Certified Bird Friendly. Next time you order a latte or brew up your favorite roast, consider the process it went through to end up in your mug.

   


Caring for Creatures

One important thing to remember about our planet on Earth Day is that we are not the only inhabitants. Our world is made up of all kinds of creatures, and we play a part in how these animals are treated.

How does that involve Thanksgiving Coffee Company? Let us show you.

After our partnership with the American Birding Association took off, we realized that we had a role to play: helping provide for the wild creatures that roam our planet. It began with the birds, but turned into so much more. We partnered with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International in 2004, then the Defenders of Wildlife next. Last year came Friends of the Earth and the Baby Rhino Rescue collaborations.

We partner with organizations that are already doing so much good for this planet, to support their efforts and help them continue their cause. We wanted to find a way that we could use our business as a force for good, and this is one way we participate.  Join us this Earth Day: provide for the wildlife that roams our planet.

Click the buttons below to learn more about these cause coffees!

   

   


People of Earth

This is a little bit of a diversion from your typical Earth Day post, but it’s an important conversation to have: because frankly, people are a big part of this earth. In taking care of the planet, we must also take care of the people that live on it. At Thanksgiving Coffee, we look at this issue through the lens of our Fairtrade and B Corp certifications.

Earth Day

Fairtrade Certification

Fairtrade is a global system that supports small-scale farmers and workers. This certification helps consumers understand more about the products they’re purchasing. Are the people behind your products getting paid a living wage? Where is the money for each piece of chocolate, cup of coffee or bag of flour going? Fairtrade bridges the gap between consumer and producer, ensuring that everyone involved in the trade is compensated correctly and treated fairly.

B Corp Certification

Much like Fairtrade, the idea behind buying from B Corporations is knowing that your money is doing good. B Corps meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. These brands use business as a force for good, and change the world through their companies. B Corps are always giving back and always leading the charge to a more just world.

If you want your purchase to stand for more, look for these logos as you shop. Click either one to learn more about how Thanksgiving Coffee has partnered with B Corporations and Fairtrade:

   


When it comes to Earth Day, there’s a lot to talk about. This world is a big place, and every little thing we do can have an affect on the world as a whole.

The best thing to do? Be a conscious consumer. Be the person that asks where your food came from. Take a little extra time to read the labeling on your groceries. Use the dollars that you spend every day to affect change in some small corner of the world.

Want to do more? Tell their stories. Research the coffee farm behind your favorite cafe, and have a cup with one your friends. Find out some more information about the nonprofit you’ve been donating to, and ask your local news agencies to consider featuring it. Find out more about the people that hand-picked your tea leaves, and share that story on Facebook.

Share your Earth Day plans on Facebook and Instagram, and tag Thanksgiving Coffee! We want to hear how you celebrate our planet.

Cold Brew Coffee

Versatile, Healthy, Easy

In addition to being simply the best summertime drink, cold brew coffee has the distinct advantage of allowing you to taste more subtle notes in coffee than its hot-brewed counterpart. Some of the delicate tones in coffee can become masked in a hot drink.

The taste of coffee comes down to the chemistry of the brewing process. When you expose coffee grounds to hot water, they release oils. These oils are full of acidic compounds that won’t dissolve at lower temperatures. The bite of those compounds anesthetizes the tongue and prevents you from noticing the coffee’s flavor. The acidity can be nice in hot coffee, but for cold drinks, it’s a decided drawback.

Steep in Hopland serves up Thanksgiving Coffee Cold Brew on a daily basis. Below is a shot of one of their customers’ favorite drinks!

Cold Brew Coffee

Studies have shown that cold brew coffee is 67% less acidic than coffee brewed hot. The burnt flavor is eliminated from a coffee that is cold-brewed. The other upside of not having that acidic taste is that it’s healthier for both your stomach and your teeth.

And since cold brew coffee has never been subjected to heat, the chemistry of it doesn’t change. Hot coffee’s chemistry changes as it cools. Your day-old cold brew won’t taste stale, like a cup of day-old hot-brewed coffee certainly will. Caffe Etc in Hollywood serves Thanksgiving Coffee’s cold brew in 24oz portions to their morning customers. These people take their coffee with them to work, and save half of it in the fridge to consume later. There is no deterioration, and no second trip to the coffee shop this way!

Below is a shot from Caffe Etc in Los Angeles.

Cold Brew at Caffe Etc

Many people will argue that cold brew coffee simply tastes better. Undertones of chocolate, fruit, and nuts dance on the tastebuds more obviously with cold-brewed coffee. Our own preferences for cold brew here at Thanksgiving are single origin coffees, but some of our customers have used our Grey Whale Blend, and even our high caffeine Pony Express in their cold brew explorations. To find your preferred taste, experimentation is important – and cold brew is forgiving enough to allow that. You may even find that your tastes are seasonal.

As we experiment with our coffee for cold brew ourselves, we’d love to hear what your favorite cold brew coffees are! Share with us using our contact page, or on social media.

Another good thing about cold brew: It’s versatile. If you like your coffee hot, just add boiling water to the cold brew concentrate. Voila! Fresh hot coffee without the acid bite. If you’ve perfected your cold brew mix, but don’t want to dilute your drink with ice, freeze the mixture and use coffee ice-cubes. This way the mixture won’t get weaker as it melts – perfect for a picnic or a day on the beach. But here’s something to remember, though:. Ice cubes often pick up taste from the other things in your freezer,so be careful you don’t introduce off-flavors.

For our final little tidbit: A lot of recipes may avoid using coffee as an ingredient because of its acidity, but cold brew coffee, with its lowered acid content can be great for baking or marinating. Also, you can consider using cold brew in cocktails. Experiment with everything! You may discover your perfect cold brew libation. And if you do, let us know about it.

How to Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brewing coffee is easy, it’s fun, and it basically becomes a necessity as we head into summer. We sell a cold brew kit on our website that can get you started right away, with all directions (and coffee!) included. And we’re here to answer any questions you might have about how it works.

Cold Brew Kit from Thanksgiving Coffee Company

Lawrence Bullock
Thanksgiving Coffee Company

Three Coffee Cake Recipes

A Selection of Recipes for National Coffee Cake Day

Coffee cake comes in all shapes, sizes and flavors – but if there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that you can always count on that crumbly cinnamon goodness. April 7 marks National Coffee Cake Day, and we’ve compiled a few recipes for you to try out!

Do you have your own? Tell us about it!

Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake

from Go Go Go Gourmet

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

CAKE

1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
3/4 cup milk

FILLING

3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

TOPPING

5 tablespoon butter, softened
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

See the directions here: www.gogogogourmet.com


Vegan Coffee Cake

from Vegan Gretchen

Vegan Coffee Cake

2½ Cups Flour
¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
½ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
½ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon, plus more for topping
¼ Teaspoon Salt
¾ Cup Canola Oil
1 Cup Almond Milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
¼ Cup Plain Coconut or Soy Yogurt
1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

See the directions here: vegangretchen.com


Pecan Coffee Cake

from the Pioneer Woman

Pecan Coffee Cake

CAKE

1-1/2 stick Butter, Softened
2 cups (scant) Sugar
3 cups Flour, Sifted
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1-1/4 cup Whole Milk
3 whole Egg Whites, Beaten Until Stiff

TOPPING

1-1/2 stick Butter, Softened
3/4 cups Flour
1-1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
1-1/2 cup Pecans, Chopped

See the directions here: thepioneerwoman.com


Happy Coffee Cake Day from Thanksgiving Coffee Company!

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