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.
re-posted from natalieparamore.com
1 1/2 lbs skirt steak
1 cup cold brew (use the TCC Cold Brew Kit!)
4 tablespoons Maple Syrup
3 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, torn
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1. Whisk cold brew, syrup, garlic, rosemary, red pepper, black pepper and salt together. Marinate steak for two hours in the fridge, turning the meat over about half way through.
2. Sear steak on grill or cast iron pan on high heat for three minutes on each side for rare, five minutes on each side for medium.
3. Let skirt steak sit for five minutes after cooking, then slice and serve.
Marinade can be made a day in advance.
Buy the Cold Brew Kit
A tasty twist on cold-brewed coffee
(re-posted from 10thkitchen.com)
2 cups (packed) medium-ground coffee
5 or so cardamom pods, crushed
2 quarts (plus 1 cup, to replace water lost during filtering) filtered water
Zest the oranges, making sure not to include any of the white pith (a microplane is the best way to do this). Reserve the oranges for another use, like, you know–eating.
Combine coffee grounds, zest, cardamom and water in a large container, stir well, cover and let it rest at room temperature for 24 hours. To filter, pour through a fine-mesh strainer a couple of times. Line the strainer with a paper towel and filter again once or twice. Store in the fridge or a cool location.
Try using the Thanksgiving Coffee Cold Brew Kit for this recipe!
Buy the Cold Brew Kit
by Lawrence Bullock, Thanksgiving Coffee
Here’s an inexpensive and easy way to make astounding cold-brew coffee.
1. Using the Thanksgiving Coffee Cold Brew Kit (the basic container and the mesh bag) grind up the entire 12 oz package worth of Thanksgiving Coffee. We recommend a medium to dark roast, (unless you’d like to experiment with other roasts) at a coarse grind. We’ve already ground the package that comes with your “starter” set. If you purchase whole beans later, and decide to grind your own, you are looking for a grind roughly the same consistency as breadcrumbs. Any finer and you risk cloudy, grimy-tasting coffee.
Buy the Cold Brew Kit
2. Fill the mesh bag with the ground coffee, and place it in the bottom of the empty container like a huge tea-bag, and top up the container with tap water (distilled water would be better — fewer dissolved solids means that it’ll absorb more of the coffee solids, but that’s not a huge difference).
3. Stick it in the fridge overnight. Easy peasy. In the morning, take the bag out of the container and give it a good squeeze to get the coffee liquor out of the mush inside. Voila, an amazing cold-brew concentrate that you can dilute.
4. Dilute 50/50, for example, one cup water to one cup concentrate, etc.
Cleanup is easy: invert the bag over a trashcan or garbage disposal, rinse off the bag, place somewhere clean to dry and you’re done.
This produces very, very good coffee concentrate, with only a little grit settled into the bottom of the container (easy to avoid). It may just be the cheapest and easiest cold-brewing method you’ll try.
Cold Brew Facts:
- No fancy brewing equipment needed. If you outgrow our “starter” kit, you can expand using common household or easily acquirable items..
- Big batch or small batch, you pick what’s best for you. The recipe is easy to scale depending on how much coffee you drink.
- Your cold brew concentrate will last about a week in the refrigerator without losing its freshness.
- You can mix your concentrate with water or milk, or if you are totally hard core you can drink it straight.
Buy the Cold Brew Kit
Over the past several years, we’ve seen single-cup brewing machines like Keurig’s K-Cups become extremely popular.
They’re everywhere: in office buildings, hotels, gas stations, homes and restaurants. And we know why people love them: they’re convenient, easy to use, and brew a consistent cup of coffee.
But for years we’ve been struggling with the idea of packaging our coffees in K-Cup pods. Why?
Flavor quality is often compromised
Coffee is at its best within a few weeks of roasting. But most coffee pods packaged for single-cup brewers are pre-loaded with sub standard coffee, and in our experience, it’s usually stale. They also are loaded with a smaller amount of coffee than is necessary to brew a full-strength, flavorful cup. We love our coffee, and we refuse to provide weak, stale coffee to our customers.
Substantial waste is created
When you brew coffee using disposable coffee pods, you’re creating waste with every cup you brew. Imagine millions of people brewing multiple cups of coffee per day with their single cup brewers, and throwing away millions of plastic cups. That’s a lot of waste – and as a B-Corp Certified company with strong social & evironmental values, we don’t want to be a part of that.
Coffee pods are a “value added” product – roasters who package their coffee in disposable coffee pods are charging for the convenience they allow. That means your money doesn’t go nearly as far as when you buy whole bean or ground coffee in a bag. Spending a ton of extra money for a poor cup of coffee just doesn’t seem right to us.
There’s nothing better than grinding and enjoying a fresh cup from freshly-roasted whole beans – but we know that’s not always a reality in today’s fast-paced world. We know that many people have a single cup brewer in their home or office, and are forced to drink substandard coffee as a result.
We decided to go in search of a reusable K-Cup filter that could be used to brew our coffee without compromising flavor quality or the environment.
During our research, we found that many 3rd party reusable filters are made cheaply, with flimsy plastic parts that broke easily. Others left a strange “plastic” taste in the cup after brewing (gross!). Others still were undersized and couldn’t be filled with enough coffee to create a cup that was strong enough. But some worked – quite well!
The Ekobrew Elite (pictured at left) performed the best of all the reusable cups we tested.
We like the solid build of the stainless steel construction, and that this reusable K-Cup does not require any disposable paper filter. Since it’s not made of plastic, there’s no plastic aftertaste, or worry about BPA residue.
And best of all – the Ekobrew Elite is a Zero Waste brewing solution for your Keurig brewer!
We’re now offering the Ekobrew Elite in our online store, along with brewing instructions to help you brew the best cup of coffee possible with a single cup brewer.
Buy a reusable K-Cup filter today!
Reusable K-Cup Brewing Instructions
Buy an Ekobrew Elite for your single cup brewer. Then, follow these instructions to make the best cup of coffee possible with a single cup brewer, and you’ll save money and the environment while you’re at it! Download and print the brewing guide and post next to your single-cup coffeemaker for quick reference in your home or office.
Download & Print K-Cup Brewing Instructions