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.
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.
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.
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:
Above: the SOPACDI co-op team from the Democratic Republic of Congo with the Thanksgiving Coffee team from Fort Bragg, California
Above: Sara Corrales of the Los Pinos Farm in Nicaragua, and Joan Katzeff, co-founder of Thanksgiving Coffee
Above: Jacob Long, Roastmaster and Director of Coffee at Thanksgiving Coffee, and Lucas Silvestre of the Guayab Co-op in Guatemala
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!
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 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!
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 email@example.com.
See you in Seattle!
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!
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.
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.
Thanksgiving Coffee Company
The world is lush with coffee growing regions, and inside those regions are thousands of small-scale coffee farmers, growing coffee in hundreds of different micro-climates and soil types. This is where we find the “micro-lot.”
Together with dozens of varietals (air, shade, wind, sun, rain, soil type, etc.), the coffee flavor is created in all its possibilities.
We have been in the coffee game for over forty years, and know the territory well, from Papua New Guinea to Nicaragua.
We know the farmers and they know us. Together we find these small, exceptional “micro-lots” produced by individual farms in quantities of no more than 10-20 sacks (1500-3000 pounds).
We pay the farmer a premium, and everyone involved is happy that a rare and quality coffee did not get lost in the crowd of good and quality coffee.
When the coffee finally arrives at Thanksgiving Coffee Company, our Roastmaster Jacob Long roasts the coffee 3-5 pounds at a time, using his knowledge to bring out the magic from each bean.
So when you see Thanksgiving Coffee offering a micro-lot coffee, you can be certain that you’re purchasing one hell of a great coffee.
– Paul Katzeff
Shop micro-lot coffee online.
This is a write-up from the archives (2010) that is worth reading again. Former Thanksgiving Coffee employee Ben Corey-Moran discusses how seasonality affects great coffee.
Like all agricultural crops, coffee changes from year to year due to subtle shifts in environmental factors such as temperature, rainfall, sunshine, and equally subtle changes in harvesting, processing, and preparation by the farmer. This complex dance between farm and farmer produces a fascinating saga of flavor that tracks over time a mosaic of character, sweetness, nuance, and style.
Understanding the seasonality of coffee and working in harmony with its cycles allows us to deepen our relationship with coffee and the farmers who grow it. By focusing on coffee that is origin specific and in-season, we shorten the time and distance that separates us from the production of coffee. Featuring in-season coffees from specific farmers who are close partners transforms the experience of coffee from a generic commodity to a specifically local seasonal product.
Because coffee grows in both the northern and southern hemispheres, the coffee harvest is actually an ongoing cycle whose timing depends on latitude, elevation, and weather. Typically, coffees grown north of the equator are harvested between November and January while coffees grown south of the equator are harvested between May and July. After harvest and processing, coffee requires a resting period of two months before it can be shipped. Together, these steps add another three to four months to the arrival of new crop coffee. Consequently, late in our spring we expect the arrival of coffees from the northern hemisphere, while late in our fall we expect the arrival of coffees from the southern hemisphere.
Our monthly rotation of single-origin coffees features a fresh, in-season coffee produced by one of the farms or cooperatives we’ve worked with for years. Each is a unique expression of the farmer’s craft as it combines with the subtleties of varietal, soil, temperature, rainfall, and sunshine. Each is handpicked by our roasting team to showcase an exceptional example of the benefits that come from working directly with farmers, and the vibrancy of in-season coffee.
We hope you’ll join us as we explore the joys of coffee every month and for many years to come.
Ben worked at Thanksgiving Coffee from 2003 to 2012, in charge of coffee buying and supply chain development operations, as well as working with farmers and cooperatives throughout Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Ben is now the Director of Coffee Supply at Fair Trade USA, leading their investment in producer services, industry collaboration, and supply chain development.
The holidays are all about spending time with the people you love. It’s the time for ice skating and caroling and snuggling up by the fire with a cup of coffee.
Our friend Sulin Bell created a cookbook that we just had to share: Two Hearts, Four Hands. This collection of thirty recipes was designed for two people to enjoy together. Separate directions for two cooks come together for a collaborative experience in the kitchen: desserts, dinners, brunch, baking and more. And this cookbook isn’t just for couples, but friends, family, roommates and anyone!
Two Hearts, Four Hands:
Put love into your food and food into your love at the same time! This is the first cookbook designed for two people cooking together. Join with your partner, family, friend, co-worker, or new relationship for a fun, creative and tasty experience. A date in the kitchen provides quality time for your relationships while preparing delicious healthy food.
Two Hearts Four Hands is a lighthearted approach to expanding culinary awareness while addressing the time challenges of food preparation in our fast-paced lifestyle. Cooking together allows you the extra time for deeply nourishing yourself and your relationships.
Learn more at www.twoheartsfourhands.com
If you appreciate a good cup of coffee, chances are that you’ve landed on the website CoffeeReview at one time or another. Founded by Kenneth Davis in 1997, CoffeeReview is the leading review website in the coffee industry. We regularly submit coffees for review to Ken and his team, and the latest results are in…
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.
Each of these award-winning roasts is available through our Thanksgiving Coffee online store!
2017 Macro Roaster of the Year
The Roaster of the Year announcement was made at the Let’s Talk Coffee conference in Puerto Vallarta, where our Vice President Jonah Katzeff accepted the honor. During this event, Jonah also had the opportunity to meet with the great people of Sustainable Harvest, the Specialty Coffee Association of America and so many more movers and shakers in the coffee industry.
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!
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.
Coffee Industry Leaders
Some of the speakers at this coffee conference include Daniele Giovannucci of the Committee on Sustainability Assessment,Tracy Ging from the Specialty Coffee Association of America, and Blanca Maria Castro of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance. There will be over twenty speakers from every facet of the coffee industry, and each one brings their own flavor and experience to the conference. See the full list on the Let’s Talk Coffee Website.
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…
by Paul Katzeff, Co-Founder & CEO
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.