This month, we have some exciting news to share! Over the past several months, we’ve been working on some big projects to make it much easier to find coffees you’ll love. We’ve organized our coffees by roast color, improved our packaging and built a brand new website. You’re invited to take a look at our new look, below…
Visit the online store to see all of our new packaging!
This coffee buying trip to Nicaragua marks the 30th year Thanksgiving Coffee has traveled to this beautiful country. It is also the first year that Thanksgiving Coffee is sending staff without the guidance and counseling of CEO Co-Founder Paul Katzeff.
The trip represents the “passing of the torch” to a new generation. It’s a generation that grew up with coffee as a medium for carrying the message of the people, their craftsmanship, and their hope for a better life through coffee cultivation.
Jacob and Jonah carried The Company message to the cooperatives that our mission, and the value we place on long term relationships, bridges generations. We are in this together, and prosperity for all is the common thread we value most.
– Paul Katzeff
Adventures at Origin: Nicaragua
Jacob Long, Nicholas Hoskyns, and I (Jonah Katzeff) traveled together from March 23rd-27th. We visited first and second level coffee cooperatives that produce approximately 25% of our annual green coffee purchases. We cupped and selected our Nicaraguan coffees for 2015, met with cooperative leaders and farmers, and visited beautiful coffee farms.
We were received warmly everywhere. I am so grateful to the hundreds of hands that touch coffee, from the time it is picked to when it is exported. Our 2015 Nicaraguan coffees will be exceptional. The new harvest will be available starting in late May.
Solcafe and Byron Corrales’ farm visit
• We cupped the Solidaridad washed and dry-processed (natural) micro lots, along with Byron’s washed and dry-processed coffees in the morning at Solcafe- the dry mill that processes and exports coffees from first level cooperatives.
• Cecocafen is the second level cooperative that owns the dry mill and is the exporter for many first level cooperatives.
• They have constructed a new cupping lab that is much more spacious than the older one. It was interesting to see on this visit that three cupping labs had been moved to new locations.
• We then traveled to Byron’s farm for a delicious lunch consisting of beets, carrots, squash, potatoes, cheese, tortillas, gallo pinto (rice and beans), and mini chicken tamales.
• After lunch, Jacob and I toured Byron’s two farms with Byron and his daughter, Sara.
• Byron showed us the tree where Paul, Byron, and Arnulfo (Byron’s grandfather) first agreed to work together 22 years ago (in the photo at left).
• We learned about some of the biodynamic techniques Byron is applying to the land. Byron expressed that the 3 most important factors resulting in great coffee are: the producer/farmer, the quality of the soil, and the skill of the roaster.
• We also learned about some of the negative effects resulting from climate change on his coffee trees – fruit not ripening at all, or not ripening fully, and trees flowering now [end of March] when they typically flower in May.
• Byron is taking action now by replacing older trees with ones that are more resistant to climate change. He is also planting more shade trees to protect the coffee trees from the sun.
• He expressed concern that if changes are not made now, there may be a lot less coffee in the future.
• We visited a small grove of a variety of pine trees (7 total) that Byron smuggled back from Brazil. There are no other varieties of this pine in Nicaragua.
• We then returned to Byron’s farm called Finca de Los Pinos and said our goodbyes to Byron’s parents, and returned to Matagalpa for the evening.
• We enjoyed pizza with the Corrales family in Matagalpa!
This story will continue in our next post, so check back soon!
The green coffee sourcing team:
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.
Our partners at Jhai Coffee are making a huge impact in their community in Laos. In 16 months, Jhai Coffee has completed 21 community hygiene programs, installed 25 water filters and 7 clean water wells, which are providing thousands of schoolchildren with clean water. We’re proud to partner with Jhai coffee to roast their coffee in the United States!
Jhai’s Impact infographic re-posted from jhaicoffeehouse.com
re-posted from CoffeeReview.com
Immaculately sweet; lyrical. Peach, honey, lavender and honeysuckle, fresh-cut cedar in aroma and cup. Sweet, high-toned acidity; lightly syrupy mouthfeel. Peach, honey and flowers carry into a crisply sweet finish.
Rwanda’s tremendous potential as fine coffee producer has only come to fruition over the past several years owing to generous support from international aid agencies, the specialty coffee community and the industry of its growers. Made up entirely of the admired Red Bourbon cultivar and certified fair-trade, this lot comes from the Dukunde Kawa Cooperative; this collection of farmers in known as Musasa, after the areas major town. In 2012 Thanksgiving won the SCAA’s Sustainability Award for work they’ve done with this cooperative since 2004. 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. Visit www.thanksgivingcoffee.com or call 800-648-6491 for more information.
Who Should Drink It:
Those who enjoy a profound natural sweetness in a Fair-Trade-certified coffee. Sweeter and more delicate than a typical good Rwanda.
Read the full review on CoffeeReview.com
re-posted from yirgacheffeunion.com
From poverty to self sustainability; Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers’ Union has played a big role in the success of these farmers and their families as well as their surrounding communities.
The Testimonies coming from these great achievements of the Union are many, diverse and immense.
by Marchelo Bresciani, Marketing Coordinator
If you find yourself headed inland along Highway 128, your first respite from the winding road will be the Yorkville Market, and it is not to be missed. Those who have been to the Market in the past know that it needed a lot of renovations, but more then that, it needed someone with the passion to take on the challenge of making the Market a vibrant part of the community again. That someone is the new owner and Yorkville native, Lisa Walsh.
Lisa fondly remembers going to the Market for ice cream sandwiches as a child. She left home to attend UC Santa Cruz, and then moved around a bit over the next 10 years. When she heard that the Market was up for sale, she dreamed about buying and fixing the place up, but it seemed “too far away to be a reality.” That all changed after she moved back to Yorkville. With the help of her mother, she bought the Yorkville Market, and with the help of her husband and two brothers, she has restored the Market to its former glory- and then some!
The Market now has a whole new kitchen and concrete flooring, with more exciting features on the way. There are fresh muffins made in house, and the deli serves up sandwiches with bread from the Fort Bragg Bakery. During the renovations, Lisa made a point of saving as much of the original building as she could. One great example is their new wine bar, which was made with redwood salvaged from the old walls.
Yorkville Market features some of the best locally made goods from around the county, with everything from honey, soap, and wine. Lisa even has plans to offer a “rent a picnic” service so her customers can enjoy the gorgeous landscape with their lunches.
When I asked why she chose to serve our coffee, Lisa told me “Thanksgiving Coffee has always been a part of the Yorkville Market. The cupping experience was transformational. Discovering the flavor varieties from one coffee to the next was really eye-opening.”
We are so pleased to continue to be a part of the Yorkville Market story, and can’t wait to see the rest of Lisa’s plans come to fruition.
Every cup of Jhai Coffee makes a big difference. In Laos, diseases related to poor hygiene are the #2 killer of children under five years old. Our partners at Jhai Coffee are working to build a healthy community by directly supporting the installation of clean water wells and hygiene programs at schools in the region.
Jhai Coffee is also implementing farmer education and infrastructure to improve coffee quality and enable the community to receive maximum earnings for their hard work. Each cup you drink supports community health & sustainability projects in Laos. One dollar from every bag you purchase is donated to Jhai Coffee House to provide funding for their important work with the Jhai Coffee Farmer’s Cooperative.
We’ve set a goal of helping Jhai Coffee build a new clean-water well, which costs $600 to build. For every package that you buy, Thanksgiving Coffee will match an additional dollar of our own to fund this effort (up to $300). Let’s get this partnership off to a great start!
re-posted from yirgacheffeunion.com
No artificial additives, no chemical fertilizers, YCFCU’s coffee is so natural and 100% Organic. From the farm to your to your cup, its taste remains rare!
The Yirgacheffe region has a large natural forest cover, and 90% of the coffee farms can be found within these forests. The great forest cover provides organic fertilizer that contributes to YCFCU’s beautiful flavor profile. No artificial additives, no chemical fertilizers – the coffee is natural and 100% Organic.
With events in New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Portland, and recently in San Francisco, Green Festival is America’s largest and longest-running sustainability and green living event. It brings together a wide array of businesses and organizations with the worthy goal of helping conscious consumers work, play, and live green. Sustainable solutions can be found for everything from food, fashion, and energy, to construction, design and health.
Thanksgiving Coffee was the exclusive coffee sponsor at this year’s event in San Francisco. With our focus on social and environmental sustainability, it was a perfect pairing. As attendees entered the Festival Pavilion hall, our smiling faces and aromatic and delicious coffees greeted them. Our coffee was also served at the Green Festival café to rave reviews.
San Franciscans have a passion for coffee that was plain to see during the festival. We served about 2500 sample cups over the three day event! We also gave away about 600 sample packs for folks to try at home. Attendees asked interesting and thoughtful questions all weekend!
“What countries do you get coffee from?”
“What are you doing to support the cooperatives you buy from?”
“How are you different from other coffee companies?”
“How do you define sustainability?”
“How is Thanksgiving Coffee practicing what it preaches?”
Our answers deepened attendees understanding of not only our business model, but also the entire coffee chain. They also gained an appreciation for how much is involved in producing a single cup of coffee.
Our staff worked hard for three days, and the appreciation and thanks we received from everyone left us smiling and thankful for the opportunity to be Green Festival’s 2014 coffee sponsor.