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.
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.
Notes: 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.
Blind Assessment: Richly fruity and cidery. Baker’s chocolate, apple cider, wisteria-like flowers, a brightening hint of grapefruit in aroma and cup. Resonant, roundly tart acidity; lightly syrupy mouthfeel.
Notes: 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. It was produced by the Banko Gotitit Cooperative, established in 2012 and currently representing 300 members. Southern Ethiopia coffees like this one are produced from traditional Ethiopian varieties of Arabica long grown in the region. This is a “natural” or dry-processed version, meaning the beans were dried inside the fruit, encouraging a flavor profile that is less predictable and deeper than the more familiar wet-processed floral- and citrus-toned southern Ethiopia profile.
Who Should Drink It: Those who enjoy the subtle, complexly sweet ferment and lush flowers of the more rustic style of dried-in-the-fruit or “natural” coffees.
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
Blind Assessment: Richly cocoa-toned, crisp and balanced. Cocoaish dark chocolate, blood orange, fig, musky lily in aroma and cup. Crisp, gentle acidity; light, silky mouthfeel. The cocoa-like chocolate rings on in a quietly resonant finish.
Notes: 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. It was produced by the ASOCAFE cooperative, established in 1990 and comprising roughly three-hundred farmers.
Who Should Drink It: This quietly complex, crisply chocolate-toned cup should please those who prefer the subtle and silky to the bright and assertive in a Fair Trade- and organic-certified coffee.
Blind Assessment: 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.
Notes: 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.
Blind Assessment: Sweet-toned, gentle, juicy. Pineapple, sweet chocolate, rum, minty flowers, fresh-cut cedar in aroma and cup. Round, richly lively acidity; full, very syrupy mouthfeel. Flavor consolidates in a finish that balances continuing sweetness with a crisp drying edge.
Notes: This exceptional coffee was selected as the #13 coffee on Coffee Review’s list of the Top 30 Coffees of 2014. Certified organically grown from trees of the Maracaturra variety, a hybrid developed by Byron Corrales, the innovating Nicaraguan farmer who also produced this coffee. Maracaturra is a cross between the workhorse local dwarf variety Caturra (itself a mutant of the heirloom Bourbon) and the rare, huge-beaned Maragogipe, making it a parallel variety to the better-known Pacamara, a cross between Maragogipe and Pacas (also a mutant selection of Bourbon). A fine example of a “natural” or dry-processed coffee, meaning the beans were dried inside the fruit, encouraging a flavor profile that is sweeter and deeper-toned than the more familiar wet-processed coffees of Central America. 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: Aficionados may enjoy sampling an unusual variety and its enormous beans, but everyone with a refined coffee sweet tooth should enjoy the natural sweetness and tropical fruit (and drink) suggestions proposed by aroma and flavor.
Blind Assessment: Deep, intense but balanced. Peach, sweet chocolate, plum blossom, ripe orange in aroma and cup. Delicate, lyrically lively acidity; silky mouthfeel. Peach and chocolate in particular carry into a resonantly flavor-saturated finish.
Notes: From one of the few certified organic farms in the Kona growing region, Mahina Mele, or “Moonsong Farm” in Hawaiian. 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.
Who Should Drink It: A splendid organically grown Kona that manages to be deep yet delicate, and utterly pure in its peach and floral nuance.
by Mischa Hedges, Project Manager at Thanksgiving Coffee
Mischa enjoys a coffee in Mendocino
I like traveling, and I love the natural world. When I’m not working, I spend my time adventuring outdoors: biking, surfing, trail running, camping and hiking. Growing up on the Mendocino Coast, I took wild places for granted, but now appreciate and respect the North Coast of California more than ever.
I also love great coffee and tea…but traveling and great coffee/tea don’t always go together, especially when you’re far from an urban center with fancy cappuccinos, pour-over bars, competition-level baristas and tea houses.
When I travel, coffee is what keeps me going – especially through camping and strenuous outdoor adventures. Finding a good cup while you’re on the road often means traveling far out of your way just for some less-bad coffee, or buying from large food-service chains, just for consistency’s sake.
Diner coffee is hit or miss…
I’ve settled for some pretty terrible coffee while traveling (I’m guessing you have too), and at some point I took it upon myself to find the perfect brewing method for traveling that didn’t take up too much valuable backpack space, time or effort. I also wanted something that was easy to clean for camping trips.
In my search, I saw and tried all sorts of camping brewers, from unbreakable plastic French Presses, plastic or metal folding drip cones and cloth filters, strainers, mini espresso machines and percolators.
There are many brewing methods to choose from
All of these methods work, but they’re not always simple, small or convenient.
This June, I traveled across the country in a small truck camper with my partner Lillie. We spent 3 weeks on the road and covered over 4,000 miles, exploring America’s backroads, National Parks and wild places by foot, bike and watercraft. For our trip this summer, I wanted something without a lot of moving parts or accessories, and I didn’t want to use/buy filters (they’re hard to keep dry while camping).
On the road in Glacier National Park
While we were on the road, we made great coffee, tea and cold brewed coffee almost every day using this simple setup:
I love this grinder. It holds enough beans to make 2 cups of coffee, and takes about a minute to grind. It’s a fully adjustable burr grinder, and the handle comes off to save space. When space is extremely limited, I leave this at home and pre-grind my coffee to somewhere between french press and drip-grind.
This is my everything bottle. I use it to make my morning Maté, late-morning coffee, and keep my water cool. I’ve used it to collect berries, roll out bread dough and pound out tent stakes. These bottles never let me down (but I’m on my 4th one, since I’m always losing mine!). You can get a couple different styles of loop caps, and a cafe cap for easy drinking on the go.
THE solution. It’s a fine-mesh filter that screws onto most wide-mouth water bottles/thermoses. I’ve only tried it on Nalgene bottles and Kleen Kanteens, but it works very well. It doesn’t always seal perfectly, but as long as it’s not buried in your luggage, you can keep it on your bottle to save backpack space and keep it clean. GSI recommends two methods for brewing coffee or tea using their H2Jo filter:
Smooth, creamy and chocolatey (and this season’s blend has notes of berry as well!). Paul’s blend is the ultimate balance of sweet, rich and savory…the natural-processed beans in this blend really make it exceptional for infusion-brewing and cold-brewed coffee.
GSI recommends two different brewing methods using this setup:
Our simple coffee brewing setup
The Infusion Method:
Add hot water to your bottle, screw on the filter, add 2 heaping Tb ground coffee or 1 TB loose leaf tea per cup of water, cover and steep for 3-4 minutes. Then remove the filter and dump spent grounds or tea, replace and enjoy!
The Strainer/Cowboy Method: Add 2 heaping Tb ground coffee or 1 Tb loose leaf tea per cup of water directly to your bottle, screw on the filter, add hot water, cover and steep for 3-4 minutes. You can drink straight from the bottle without removing filter, or pour into another vessel to enjoy later so you don’t over-extract the grounds.
NOTE – either method can be used to make cold-brewed coffee or tea as well! Just let it infuse overnight – at least 8 hours
Breakfast in Camp, with some delicious Paul’s Blend!
This worked SO well for us. There are no moving parts, no filters to pack, no stovetop brewer to clean, all you need is coffee beans and hot water to brew. When my insulated bottle is empty, I rinse out the spent grounds or tea and re-fill it with my water for the day, eliminating the need for multiple bottles/thermoses!
When I’m camping, we boil water for our coffee using a camp stove and kettle. While traveling by plane, train, bus or car, rest stops and food establishments will usually give you hot water for free. We keep small bags of coffee and tea in our backpacks, and can brew 2 cups in just a few minutes.
What’s your secret to making great coffee and tea while camping or traveling?
– By Jacob Long, Roasting & Quality Control Manager at Thanksgiving Coffee
With summer in full swing, now is the time to enjoy a cup of iced coffee. Cold brewing is the best way to chill your brew, but we realize that not everyone has all the proper brewing equipment. And so, with a bit of experimenting, we present the easiest method to make delicious cold-brewed coffee with materials most everyone should have around their kitchen.
What you’ll need:
• coffee, coarsely ground
• quart (32oz) mason jar
• large bowl
• coffee filter
1. Use ~14 tablespoons (70g) of coarsely ground coffee beans (French Press grind setting). Pour the grounds into your jar and fill it half way with cold water. Stir the mixture to ensure all the grounds are wet, then fill the jar the rest of the way with water.
2. Put the lid on the mason jar with the coffee mixture, and place it in your refrigerator. Allow the coffee to steep for 12 – 16 hours, it’s a good idea to set this up in the evening and let it steep overnight. Be aware that the longer it steeps, the stronger your coffee will be.
3. Set your strainer over the large bowl and place a coffee filter in the strainer. Pour the cold coffee mixture through the filter to catch the grounds. Rinse your jar out, and transfer the cold coffee from the bowl back into the jar for storage.
NOTE: Coffee brewed this way may be stronger then you are used to. Try it straight and then dilute the coffee to your liking.
We made our mason jar cold coffee with Guaya’b – Vienna Roast. The resulting cold brew was silky smooth and full bodied, which allowed for the rich chocolate notes of the coffee to come through even with the addition of milk! Want to try it? Pick up a bag and see for yourself!