Ethiopia Natural – 92 points

Coffee Review - Ethiopia Yirgacheffe





re-posted from

Blind Assessment:
Delicately bright, exhilarating. Candied lemon, vanilla, pear, baker’s chocolate in aroma and cup. Gentle, lively acidity; light, satiny mouthfeel. Lemon and crisp chocolate carry into a sweet, lightly flavor-saturated finish.

This coffee is certified organically grown and Fair Trade Certified, meaning it was purchased from small-holding farmers at a “fair” or economically sustainable price. This coffee was produced by farmers in the Worka Cooperative, currently representing 305 members. Southern Ethiopia coffees like this one are produced from traditional Ethiopian varieties of Arabica long grown in the region. It was processed by the wet or washed method (fruit skin and pulp are removed before drying). Ethiopia coffees processed with this method typically express great aromatic complexity and intensity, with a particular emphasis on floral notes.

Who Should Drink It: Those who value gently bright coffees, delicate, aromatic, pure.

Read the full review on


Latest Arrival Notes: Ethiopia Yirgacheffe

Ethiopia Yirgacheffe

Deep and immaculately sweet, with notes of ripe cherry and golden raisin.

Ethiopia is known as the birthplace of Arabica coffee. Centuries of production and perfecting methods of preparation have produced brilliant results. This fine Ethiopia Yirgacheffe coffee is sourced from family-owned farms organized around the Worka Cooperative located in the southern district of Gedeb, Ethiopia. The Worka zone encompasses the highest altitude coffee cultivation area in the entire country of Ethiopia, resulting in a stunningly unique flavor profile.

The Worka Cooperative was established in 2005 and currently has approximately 300 members. In 2005, the cooperative joined the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (YCFCU) to support a sustainable coffee supply from cooperatives in the Gedeo ethnic region of Ethiopia.

Shop Ethiopia Yirgacheffe

CR_2015_92_featured-150x150This coffee was recently reviewed by Ken Davids and the team at!

“92 points – Delicately bright, exhilarating. Candied lemon, vanilla, pear, baker’s chocolate in aroma and cup. Gentle, lively acidity; light, satiny mouthfeel. Lemon and crisp chocolate carry into a sweet, lightly flavor-saturated finish.”


Read the review

The Holiday Blend is here!

Holiday Blend 2015


Each year, we like to put together a special blend for the harvest and holiday season – to accompany cold weather, big meals and family gatherings.

In a big, 1.5 pound bag (twice the size of our normal coffee packages), the Holiday Blend is a great way to stock up on coffee for the holiday season.

We have created this year’s holiday blend in keeping with our 35 year tradition of bringing into the world a new coffee tasting experience each holiday season as our gift to you. We hope you enjoy it.

Layered & complex, with notes of
dark chocolate, cedar & plum.

Shop Holiday Blend


A few disclaimers: This discount cannot be combined with any other discounts, or applied to our Cause Coffee line (because these coffees are fundraisers), and cannot be used on gift certificates, hard goods or chocolate covered espresso beans. Offer expires December 31st.


Latest Arrival Notes: 100% Sumatra

100% Sumatra

Heavy, earthy body, with layers of cedar and butterscotch.

Small family farms blanket the mountains of Sumatra, Indonesia’s largest island. Under the dense tropical forests of the island’s northern Gayo Mountains, the 1,329 members of Koperasi Permata Gayo produce one of Indonesia’s finest and most sought after coffees.

The cooperative formed in 2005, following a peace accord that ended a decade-long civil war and a devastating earthquake that heavily damaged the farmers’ homes and warehouses. Growing in membership year by year, Koperasi Permata Gayo represents the farmers’ hope for a peaceful future, prosperity, and careful stewardship of the natural environment.

Like all the finest Indonesian coffees, Permata Gayo is produced using the distinct wet-hulled process that yields a pungent earthy flavor enlivened by sweet notes of butterscotch, cinnamon, and clove.

Available in Medium Roast and Very Dark Roast

 100% Sumatra100% Sumatra

Heavy, earthy body, with layers of
cedar and butterscotch.

Shop 100% Sumatra

Introducing #BeeBold Coffee

Many Bees

Thanksgiving Coffee Company has created Bee Bold coffee as a pioneering product designed to fund a vital movement to save our bees. You can support our work and the bees with your morning cup of coffee.

Bee Bold Coffee is born out of our partnership with Friends of the Earth and their National campaign called Bee Bold. This movement has come to us with a mighty force and we want to share this with you as we introduce our new Bee Bold Coffee.

Bees are dying in droves worldwide! They are “canaries in the coal mine,”  warning us of an imminent and frightening threat to our food.

One out of three bites of food we eat has been pollinated by honey bees and if we want to save the bees and ourselves we must do it now.

Together in this amazing collaboration full of bold vision, innovation, and awareness of the true costs of environmental inaction, we work to achieve a mutual goal, to ensure our planet is Bee Friendly.

Friends of the Earth (FOE) has been a true inspiration, as are the very bees themselves.  FOE has asked for an immediate halt to the use of the dangerous neonicotinoids (neonics) pesticides in the U.S.  These neonics have been identified as the main cause of the bees decline. The bees were the first indicator, now a serious decline in birds is being seen as these poisons make their way up the food chain.

Through this new awareness brought to Thanksgiving Coffee Company, we have made the commitment to urge local legislators to create a County ordinance that bans the use and sale of these neonics, in Mendocino County.  This bee friendly policy will:

  • Prohibit the sale of plants and seeds treated with neonics.
  • Prohibit the use of neonics on all public lands including schools, and government buildings.
  • Ensure shelter and food sources for bees.
  • Advocate that marginal lands be allowed and encouraged for bee habitat, with forage trees, shrubs and flowers.
  • Support adoption of a tolerant attitude to feral bee colonies in buildings, and hive bee colonies in one’s neighborhood.

Introducing #BeeBold Coffee

These coffees benefit #BeeBold – a campaign that Friends of the Earth is leading. When you buy these coffees, 25% of your purchase goes to Friends of the Earth.



Bee Bold Coffee

Seven coffees to choose from:
Light, Medium, Dark, Very-Dark and Decaf.



Support this work in an ongoing way by joining the BEE BOLD Coffee Club – you’ll receive two packages of coffee each month, and Friends of the Earth will benefit with every cup you drink!

Bee Bold Coffee Club


Local Action in Mendocino County

Thanksgiving Coffee Company will donate $1/package of Bee Bold sold in County Retailers to create and fund the Mendocino County Bee Bold Advisory Committee .

Here are the steps we are taking in Mendocino County, our own back yard to support the campaign that Friends of the Earth is leading:

  1. Creating a Bee Sanctuary out of the 3⁄4 acre Apple Orchard full of 47 heirloom trees at our roastery.
  2. Educating and distributing flyers that identify the plight of our bee population in Mendocino County.
  3. Assemble Mendocino County leaders into the Mendocino County Bee Bold Advisory Committee.
  4. Coordinating outreach to influential religious groups, labor groups, elected officials, citizen activists, and businesses.
  5. Assisting in media outreach to educate Mendocino County.
  6. Recruiting and managing local volunteers to run campaign actions such as rallies, tabling events, and film screenings
  7. Petition drive/County initiative on 2017 Ballot



What YOU can do:

There are many steps you can take locally to help save the bees. Here are a few ideas for where to start!

  • Create a Bee Sanctuary in your back yard.
  • Do not use or buy products containing neonics.
  • Ask your local nurseries, wineries, and building supply stores to stop carrying and using nionics.
  • Volunteer to organize campaign actions such as petition drives, tabling events, rallies, swarm-ins and media events.
  • Gather friends and family to participate in making Mendocino Bee Friendly.
  • Record your actions and make your pledge at


Latest Arrival Notes: Byron’s Maracaturra Natural


Byron Corrales is a visionary farmer, campesino leader, and pioneer in the application of biodynamic farming practices to coffee production. Twice he’s won top honors for this magical coffee: Maracaturra, a special variety found only on his small family farm in Nicaragua.


Last year, Byron began processing a small amount of this special coffee using the natural process: sun-drying the coffee cherries to develop a rich, fruity flavor notes. This coffee received a rating of 94 points from!

The coffee is a unique hybrid of the heirloom varietals Maragoype and Caturra (Bourbon). It was developed and is grown exclusively by Byron Corrales for Thanksgiving Coffee Company. It is a truly exceptional coffee that’s more akin to its cousins in the highlands of East Africa than its neighbors in Central America.

Byron's Maracaturra Natural

 Byron’s Maracaturra Natural


Lush, mellow and jammy,
with a suggestion of blueberry.

Shop Byron’s Maracaturra Natural



Bird Friendly Coffee Certification

Bird Friendly CoffeeSmithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) certification is another step we are taking at Thanksgiving Coffee to verify that the coffees we purchase and co-brand with them are truly coming from farmers who support and maintain “Bird Friendly” habitat on their farms .

The SMBC certification is “the undisputed “Gold Standard” when assessing forest habitat for the quality of its ability to support not just birds, but all the species that live and make their home in a particular indigenous forest . The standards that the Smithsonian scientists have set are based on rigorous research into the nature of the forest itself, its remaining over-story size and density, its type of remaining trees, the numbers of levels of “over-story” and how our coffee agriculture has been integrated into the original Habitat.

At the heart of the certification is the absolute of no use of oil based Fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. The coffee farm must first be Certified Organic before it can begin the SMBC certification assessment process.

Thanksgiving Coffee is a certified organic Roastery. We follow strict rules set by USDA . About 85 % of our coffees we purchase are Certified organic, but as of this writing only our coffees from Guatemala (Guaya’b Cooperative) and from Nicaragua (Byron Corrales’ Family Farm) are SMBC Certified. These coffees represent only 15% of our Roastings at this time.

After meeting with SMBC scientists in May of this year in Washington DC (Their offices are located at the National Zoo) we set up a plan to have each cooperative we buy from in Nicaragua, Mexico, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Peru, Uganda, and Rwanda, assessed for the “Bird Friendly” certification. Where farms are organic but lack the shade standards needed for the SMBC certification, we will work with the cooperative’s Board leadership to put forest restoration practices in place to enable certification. One by one these farm habitats will be certified.

Our goal is to have 85 % of our coffees SMBC Certified by 2020.

With collaboration and help from The Smithsonian Outreach program for coffee farms we hope to bring a wide range of coffee farms into this Gold Standard certification. Our relationship with the leadership of the SMBC is a close one. We see this as strong support for The American Birding Association Songbird Coffee we sell under a licensing agreement we have had since 1996. Their members, who focus on their love of and protection of migratory songbirds, depend upon the science of the SMBC for their assurance that the money they spend on coffee is being spent in the name of protecting them, and we at Thanksgiving Coffee mean to assure our Songbird followers that the highest level of awareness goes into the coffee they drink each morning, and that the birds out there are able to feed their young, build their homes and fatten up enough to make their amazing migrations each year.

Paul Katzeff, Co-FounderSincerely,
Paul KatzeffCo-Founder & CEO
Roastmaster Emeritus




Shop Song Bird CoffeeTry Song Bird Coffee

These coffees benefit the American Birding Association, which works to inspire people to enjoy and protect wild birds through publications, conferences, workshops, tours, partnerships, & networks.

Shop Song Bird Coffee

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



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:


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.

A lunch at Stone and Embers


This restaurant, located on the western edge of the Anderson Valley on Highway 128, about 25 miles from the Pacific Coast, serves the finest pizza west of the Mississippi River. I come from the Bronx where “Italian” means “old world”, authentic and spare. Dough, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, combined to make a savory blend, greater than the sum of its parts. I dropped in with Joan a couple of Sunday’s ago on a wine tasting trip, something we rarely do, being surrounded by great wineries, you seem to take them for granted.

Lunch was pizza and a draft, a North Coast Pale Ale from Fort Bragg’s North Coast Brewery. We sat at the bar, on high stools and watched the preparation of our pizza. The stone oven registered 900 degrees. Black Valley oak embers glowed in the oven. Sweet basil tickled my nose. The dough was spread, tossed just a bit and laid out on a wood panel board, covered with a right amount of tomato sauce, blobs of fresh buffalo mozzarella and slid into the oven. About four minutes later it was in front of us, bubbled up crust with carbony tipped edges just made me think of those days back in the Bronx in the 50s when the only pizza you could get was called a “pie” or a “beitz” and it came whole, not by the slice. It was “old country” just like the one we finished off at Stone & Ember.

A perfect Ten!

 – Paul Katzeff
Co-Founder & CEO


Find out more about Stone and Embers online at:

Clean Cook Stoves – Phase II

Maama Vanessa with new Clean Cookstove
Maama Vanessa with original cooking fire

The Namanyonyi Cooperative
 in Uganda is an interfaith community of Muslim, Christian and Jewish farmers who have put aside religious differences to produce a fine coffee called “Delicious Peace.”

The Clean Cook Stove project was born out of a climate change mitigation initiative brought to Namanyonyi Cooperative (formerly Mirembe Kawomera) in 2012. It began with planting trees. However, the trees were quickly devastated by the cooperative’s highly inefficient cooking methods.

The coop members knew that if they had more efficient ways to cook, they would lower their use of firewood. The Clean Cook Stoves were the solution. In the first phase of funding, we were able to provide Clean Cook Stoves to the most disadvantaged cooperative members. The first 44 stoves were built for the elderly, families with children, and single-parent families. This was completed by December of 2014.

Farida Wafidi with new clean cookstove

Farida Wafidi with new Clean Cook Stove

The objective of Phase I was to test the ability of the coop and staff to find local materials and train local craftsmen, creating ongoing jobs with a new Clean Cook Stove trade or industry. Funds were generated by coop board using their Fair Trade premium and by Thanksgiving Coffee Company’s sales rebate of $1.00/ pkg. added to Delicious Peace coffee purchases by supporters of interfaith work.

With Phase I successfully completed, we now enter Phase II: to complete the next 50 stoves for this year. It is our goal to continue to provide guidance and funding for a “smokeless kitchen” with a clean cook stove for every member of Namanyonyi Cooperative by the end of 2016.

Clean Cook Stove Benefits

Aisa Kainza with new Clean Cookstove

Aisa Kainza with new Clean Cook Stove

As a result of the Clean Cook Stove project, the rate of deforestation has been curbed. The newly planted trees can develop deep root systems which then allows the soil to become more fertile for food production as the trees bring up the water table. This rich soil further strengthens the coffee trees and other food crops grown for subsistence. This will improve food security for the area’s farmers by increasing the diversity of foods immediately available to farming families.

These stoves use 1/10 the fuel to produce a cooked meal, while the chimney directs smoke out of the kitchen, reducing the risks of respiratory disorders to all involved with cooking. They also reduce the risk of fire, given that the homes are made of dry banana fiber & grass-thatched roofs. This also lowers the chances of children getting burnt or even dying.

This project is designed to create a new indigenous industry. Over one million rural Ugandans use open fire kitchens in their highly flammable homes. Utilizing local materials and local craftsmen, this project will become a model for future funders. The Clean Cook Stoves are part Health Benefit, and part Climate change Mitigation, while also providing new employment opportunities. Scale will lower costs, increase the number of cook stoves builders, and form the basis of a new and healthier cultural norm.

Delicious_Peace_light-front_web Delicious_Peace_dark-front_web Delicious_Peace_Decaf_blend-front_web

Support this project by purchasing Delicious Peace Coffee. $0.50 per package sold will be used to fund Phase II of the Clean Cook Stove project.

Shop Delicious Peace Coffee

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