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.
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: 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 email at email@example.com.
We are beyond excited to announce that we have been chosen as the 2017 Macro Roaster of the Year! This prestigious award is chosen through a vigorous process by Roast Magazine, and we are so honored to have been selected.
Pictured Below: The Thanksgiving Coffee team outside our Fort Bragg headquarters
Roaster of the Year Selection Process
The selection process at Roast Magazine is truly impressive. In order to apply, the team at Thanksgiving Coffee compiled a 30 page booklet, outlining some of the most fascinating aspects of our company:
Pictured Below: CEO Paul Katzeff at the original headquarters in Noyo Harbor
Choosing the Coffee: Blind Tasting
Being Roaster of the Year is not just about what we’ve done or where we came from… it’s about the coffee. After choosing the finalists from the information submitted to them from coffee roasters around the globe, Roast Magazine does a blind taste test.
Pictured Below: Roastmaster Jacob Long in the Roastery
For this test, they asked each finalist to submit three roasts, and our roastmaster Jacob Long made the decision:
“This is an international competition, we were competing against the best artisan roasters from around the world. With so many great coffees to select from, I chose to present the judges with a few of our freshest coffees with amazing flavor profiles, vibrant and rich Kenyan Peaberry, floral Ethiopian Gedeb, and the beloved fruity-chocolatey Paul’s Blend.”
These coffees were sent to two separate cupping labs for the blind tasting. The judges at these labs scored all of the coffees presented by the finalists, and then combined those with the scores from the written submissions. The top rated coffee company is then selected as Roaster of the Year.
Pictured Below: Vice President Jonah Katzeff accepting the award at Let’s Talk Coffee
We want to say THANK YOU to our fans, our friends and family, and everyone who has supported us over the 44 years of coffee roasting. This is such a huge honor, and we can’t wait to share even more of our coffees with the world over the next year!
Here at Thanksgiving Coffee, we’re always striving to better ourselves and our coffee – and history has shown this has a positive effect on the specialty coffee industry as a whole. One of the ways that we participate in the industry is by attending coffee events all over the world in order to meet with other leaders. This week we find ourselves at the Let’s Talk Coffee Conference.
Let’s Talk Coffee is a four day coffee conference held in Puerto Vallarta. At this event, leaders in the coffee industry from all over the world come together for one purpose: to talk about the coffee industry. The theme of the conference this year is Prospering in the New Reality; we’ll be looking forward to the future and discussing ways we can better our companies while forging new relationships at the conference.
Every facet of the coffee industry comes together at this event to discuss how the specialty coffee industry can make changes for the better. This is one of the few times that coffee producers, distributors, roasters, bloggers and investors all join together to discuss issues brainstorm solutions. Specialty coffee has long been a leader in the movement toward a more sustainable future, so we can’t wait to see how they continue to lead the conversation.
The Let’s Talk Coffee conference is put on by Sustainable Harvest, a coffee importing company that we have worked with for many years. We’re also happy to see that they are a fellow B Corporation!
Thanksgiving Coffee’s vice president Jonah Katzeff is in Puerto Vallarta now for Let’s Talk Coffee this year! We cannot wait to join the rest of the industry for thought-provoking conversation and informative lectures. See you there!
Follow Let’s Talk Coffee on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date! Keep your eye out for some big news on Saturday…
In 2015, Thanksgiving Coffee became a B Corporation, joining a global community of socially and environmentally progressive businesses.
What’s a B Corp?
B Corps are leading a global movement of people using business as force for good. They use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
Today, there is a growing community of more than 1,550 B Corporations 42 Countries 130 Industries 1 Unifying Goal: to redefine success in business.
Why did we become a B Corp?
Thanksgiving Coffee has been a longtime advocate of sustainable business practices. We pride ourselves on our long standing work with farmers at origin, investing in social justice and environmental projects, Fair Trade and Organic and biodynamic coffee growing methods. We constantly evaluate our decisions based on their social and environmental impact. B Corp certification seemed like a logical step for us, to join others who operate under these same principles .
We first looked into B Corp Certification because we felt the community reflected our company values, and because we wanted to formalize our membership in the socially and environmentally progressive business community. It’s a simple way of expressing our values to our staff, customers, partners and suppliers. We’re proud to be a part of this movement.
B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification or USDA Organic certification is to coffee. Inc Magazine calls B Corp “the highest standard in socially responsible business.”
To become certified, we underwent the B Impact Assessment. This is conducted by B Lab, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that serves a global movement, “People using Business as a Force for Good.” The assessment shows how a company performs against dozens of best practices on employee, community, and environmental impact.
Once our score was reached, we can then compare and learn how to improve the way we conduct our business for the future. This was a great opportunity to see how we stand and where to set our goals on where we want to be.
The second component to this is our company’s legal status, ensuring that we can justifiably incorporate social and environmental values into our business decisions without risking legal action from our shareholders. This is done by becoming a Benefit Corporation and changing the articles of incorporation.
Finally, we made it official by signing the B Corp Declaration of Interdependence:
We envision a global economy that uses business as a force for good.
This economy is comprised of a new type of corporation – the B Corporation – Which is purpose-driven and creates benefit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders.
As B Corporations and leaders of this emerging economy, we believe:
– That we must be the change we seek in the world.
– That all business ought to be conducted as if people & place mattered.
– That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm & benefit all.
– To do so requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another & thus responsible for each other & future generations.
We won’t stop here. We’ll continue to make strides to improve scores where they’re less than the median, and maintain our practices that are already high. After 2 years, we’ll need to re-certify and prove that we’re still worthy of B Corp status.
Many of the decaf coffees available in the supermarket are sourced from “past crop” coffees, which is why so many people think of decafs as tasting “a bit off” or “stale.”
We care deeply about the flavor of our decaf coffees. We send new coffee crop green beans directly to our Certified Organic decaffeination facility.
Shop Decaf Coffee
We have found a cooperative in Veracruz, Mexico that is a stone’s throw from the best decaffeinating plant in North America, which uses the Mountain Water Process. The green coffee beans are immersed in mountain glacial water to extract the coffee oils and caffeine.
The water/coffee oils/caffeine solution is then passed through a special filter to remove the caffeine. The flavor rich, but caffeine-free coffee solution is then returned to the coffee beans under pressure, to re-infuse them with their original oils. The decaffeinated beans are then thoroughly dried and tested for quality to maintain the flavor profile of the original coffee.
A note from our co-founder, Paul Katzeff, about decaf coffee…
I have always loved my after-dinner coffee with a dessert. The next three hours were bright and awake for me, perfect for reading a book without dozing, or watching a ball game. But, my body stopped metabolizing the caffeine as fast as when I was younger, and the coffee had to go if I wanted some good sleep.
Then the decaf revolution began to speed up, and decaf became tolerable for me. I accepted less flavor in favor of good sleep but I also knew there was a better train a-comin’ and I wanted to ride it, even be it’s conductor.
Thanksgiving Coffee is a small decaf railroad engine and we have done what I had hoped we could do. We have found a way to make decaf indistinguishable from caffeinated coffee flavor. There is a quality in the cup you will find as satisfying as any coffee you ever loved, and wanted more of.
As a coffee lover, I invite you to join me in a good night’s sleep after a great cup or three of our decaf, roasted to the exact flavor profile you love. I know you will be amazed, and hope you will feed me back your tasting comments below!
Sincerely, Paul Katzeff CEO & Roastmaster Emeritus