Byron Corrales is a visionary farmer, campesino leader, and pioneer in the application of biodynamic farming practices to coffee production. Twice he’s won top honors for this magical coffee: Maracaturra, a special variety found only on his small family farm in Nicaragua.
Last year, Byron began processing a small amount of this special coffee using the natural process: sun-drying the coffee cherries to develop a rich, fruity flavor notes. This coffee received a rating of 94 points from CoffeeReview.com!
The coffee is a unique hybrid of the heirloom varietals Maragoype and Caturra (Bourbon). It was developed and is grown exclusively by Byron Corrales for Thanksgiving Coffee Company. It is a truly exceptional coffee that’s more akin to its cousins in the highlands of East Africa than its neighbors in Central America.
Byron’s Maracaturra Natural
Lush, mellow and jammy,
with a suggestion of blueberry.
Shop Byron’s Maracaturra Natural
Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) certification is another step we are taking at Thanksgiving Coffee to verify that the coffees we purchase and co-brand with them are truly coming from farmers who support and maintain “Bird Friendly” habitat on their farms .
The SMBC certification is “the undisputed “Gold Standard” when assessing forest habitat for the quality of its ability to support not just birds, but all the species that live and make their home in a particular indigenous forest . The standards that the Smithsonian scientists have set are based on rigorous research into the nature of the forest itself, its remaining over-story size and density, its type of remaining trees, the numbers of levels of “over-story” and how our coffee agriculture has been integrated into the original Habitat.
At the heart of the certification is the absolute of no use of oil based Fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. The coffee farm must first be Certified Organic before it can begin the SMBC certification assessment process.
Thanksgiving Coffee is a certified organic Roastery. We follow strict rules set by USDA . About 85 % of our coffees we purchase are Certified organic, but as of this writing only our coffees from Guatemala (Guaya’b Cooperative) and from Nicaragua (Byron Corrales’ Family Farm) are SMBC Certified. These coffees represent only 15% of our Roastings at this time.
After meeting with SMBC scientists in May of this year in Washington DC (Their offices are located at the National Zoo) we set up a plan to have each cooperative we buy from in Nicaragua, Mexico, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Peru, Uganda, and Rwanda, assessed for the “Bird Friendly” certification. Where farms are organic but lack the shade standards needed for the SMBC certification, we will work with the cooperative’s Board leadership to put forest restoration practices in place to enable certification. One by one these farm habitats will be certified.
Our goal is to have 85 % of our coffees SMBC Certified by 2020.
With collaboration and help from The Smithsonian Outreach program for coffee farms we hope to bring a wide range of coffee farms into this Gold Standard certification. Our relationship with the leadership of the SMBC is a close one. We see this as strong support for The American Birding Association Songbird Coffee we sell under a licensing agreement we have had since 1996. Their members, who focus on their love of and protection of migratory songbirds, depend upon the science of the SMBC for their assurance that the money they spend on coffee is being spent in the name of protecting them, and we at Thanksgiving Coffee mean to assure our Songbird followers that the highest level of awareness goes into the coffee they drink each morning, and that the birds out there are able to feed their young, build their homes and fatten up enough to make their amazing migrations each year.
Paul KatzeffCo-Founder & CEO
Try Song Bird Coffee
These coffees benefit the American Birding Association, which works to inspire people to enjoy and protect wild birds through publications, conferences, workshops, tours, partnerships, & networks.
Shop Song Bird Coffee
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!
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.
by Marchelo Bresciani, Marketing Coordinator at Thanksgiving Coffee Co.
Located in Fort Bragg off of Highway 1 next to CVS, Downhome Foods, and Los Gallitos- Cafe JAAVY is a recent and welcome addition to the area’s breakfast cafe scene. They opened for business in April, but this family owned business has deep local roots. Owned by Margarita Valenzuela and her husband Efrain who is known by locals as “Red”, the name “JAAVY” is an acronym for the names of their three children: Jessica, Adam, Andrew, with the V and Y signifying their last name ‘Valenzuela’ and Margarita’s maiden name ‘Yanez’.
The family has owned and operated Los Gallitos restaurant for 8 years. The popular destination for great authentic Mexican food is frequently filled with happy local customers, so when a space opened up nearby, they jumped at the opportunity to expand. Cafe JAAVY serves authentic Mexican breakfasts, along with more traditional breakfast items and smoothies, at a very reasonable price for the quality. I recently ate there with my wife, and a full breakfast for the two of us was only $20 including the tip! I thoroughly enjoyed the French Toast which was covered with fresh local berries, and she polished off the breakfast sandwich before I could steal a bite, it was that good!
Andrew (Margarita’s oldest son) was our server, and he makes a delicious cappuccino. Our Roastmaster, Jacob Long, personally trained him to make the coffee drinks, and he tells me that Andrew picked up the barista work faster than anyone, and is one of the best in the area. They serve our Guatemalan Song Bird coffee, and this flavorful brew was a perfect pairing with the meal. They are open from 7:30am – 1pm six days a week (closed on Sundays), so stop in and break your fast with some quality local food and coffee.
Here is a link to Google Maps with their location.
In February of 2013, Thanksgiving Coffee staff visited the farm of Alexa Marín Colindres, a member of the PRODECOOP Cooperative in Nicaragua. We toured her farm, listened to her heartbreaking story, and wondered how we could help. Later that day, we did a blind cupping of 20 of the cooperative’s coffees, and asked that her coffee be included.
We sipped and slurped for two hours to get through them all, scoring each coffee on Fragrance, Aroma, Body, Acidity, Flavor Notes and Balance. One coffee was, hands down, the best on the table – and it turned out to be Alexa’s. We bought 10 sacks (all that was available), and are proud to offer you this special coffee, and invite you to help.
Meet Alexa. She lives with her two teenage sons in the mountains of Northern Nicaragua, where they focus on growing the best coffee possible. She has been a coffee farmer for many years and has worked with the cooperative PRODECOOP since 1992.
In 2013, Alexa noticed that the leaves on her coffee trees were affected by La Roya, a fungal disease which attacks the leaves and prevents them from converting sunlight into energy. The coffee cherries turn brown and fall off before ripening, and the tree eventually dies.
La Roya is thought by many in the coffee industry to be one of the many challenges brought on by Climate Change. This disease is sweeping across coffee country, devastating the coffee trees of many small, family farmers – and threatening their way of life.
For some, this will mean starting over – even on a new piece of unaffected land. For others, it may mean removing or pruning affected trees and replanting where necessary.
Want to Help? Support Project: La Roya
Alexa’s coffee is fabulous and we want her coffee farm to thrive – so we decided to rally our customers to support her and other farmers battling La Roya. In March 2014, we launched Project: La Roya with our partners at The Social Business Network (SBN) in Nicaragua.
The project will raise $10,000 to help the farmers of PRODECOOP stop the spread of this disease and re-plant 5,000 coffee trees that have been affected. $2 from every bag of Finca de Alexa coffee sold will be invested in Project: La Roya.
We’re proud to announce that we now offer Numi Organic Tea in our online store!
Numi is dedicated to sustainable values, to quality and to their communities – local and global. All of Numi’s teas and blends contain organic teas and/or herbs, as well as 100% real botanicals, including fruits, flowers and spices – no additional flavorings, oils or fragrances are ever added. They are at the forefront of the introduction of PuŸerh (pu-err), an ancient healing tea, picked from 500-year old wild, organic tea trees, in Yunnan, China. We carry 11 varieties of Black, Green, Herbal and Decaf teas from Numi. Add some tea to your next coffee order!
Numi’s packaging materials are biodegradable and/or recyclable, and over 95% incorporate post-consumer waste or bamboo. Packages are produced in a solar-powered facility and printed with soy-based ink. They use natural, biodegradable filter-paper tea bags, rather than “silky” tea sachets made from plastic or genetically-modified corn.
Numi is committed to ethical sourcing that supports the rights and the livelihoods of farmers and of farm workers. They are the largest importer of Fair Trade Certified Teas in to the U.S. We are proud to partner with Numi and offer their teas to you.
–> Try some Numi Organic Tea
Each year, we like to put together a special blend for the harvest and holiday season – to accompany cold weather, holiday meals and family gatherings.
Our 2013 Holiday Blend brings together coffees from Nicaragua and Indonesia, roasted individually to articulate their sweetness and develop a complex, full-bodied cup. The result is a big, bold blend with notes of plum and cashew and a smooth, savory finish.
In a big, 1.5 pound bag (twice our normal bag size), the Holiday Blend is a great way to stock up on coffee for the holiday season, and makes a great gift. We hope you enjoy it. Happy Thanksgiving!
Want us to ship gifts to your friends and family? Choose “Ship To: someone else” when you add coffee to your shopping cart – you can ship to multiple locations in a single order!
(offer ends 12/1/13)
Cody has been working for Thanksgiving Coffee, off and on, since he was 18 years old. He’s done almost every job on our production floor. He started on the packaging line – filling 12 ounce bags for the grocery store shelves and our online store. Next, he spent his days bulking – filling 5 lb bags for the many cafes and restaurants that serve our coffee. After that – he drove deliveries and visited our customers face to face. When a roasting position became available, he took it on, and has been loving it ever since.
In a typical day, Cody is ordering green coffee beans, roasting and blending hundreds of pounds of coffee each day, and cupping coffees with our Roastmaster, Jacob Long to make sure each roast is spot on. “My favorite part is when we get a new coffee and we’re trying to dial it in. I like the exploration and freedom – it’s exciting and there are so many different things you can try to develop it – I love all of it.”
Last year, he attended the Roaster’s Guild conference and was featured in Roast Magazine. “I’ve always been passionate about coffee but when I went to the Roasters Guild it threw me over the edge. Working in coffee never gets dull for me. I don’t know there’s another job out there where you get to experience something that was grown all over the world – it’s a rarity. Byron’s Maracaturra from Nicaragua is my favorite coffee right now – I love the big bean factor and it’s got everything – all the flavors I like.”