Earlier this month, we got the opportunity to host an excellent freelance photographer based here on the North Coast of California: Dusty Study! He came by to get some behind-the-scenes shots of the Thanksgiving Coffee Roastery, and we were more than happy to lead him on a tour of our headquarters.
Dusty lives here in the Fort Bragg area, but travels throughout Northern and Central California for a variety of film and photography projects. We were lucky to catch him between travels and get some beautiful photographs of the roasting process.
We also spent some time in the cupping lab, making coffee and practicing our latte art skills, which made for some stunning shots, poured by our Roastmaster Jacob Long, and photographed by Dusty.
Dusty was awesome to work with, and if you’re looking for someone to handle product photography here in Northern California, we definitely recommend him! You can check out his website for more examples of his work, and follow him on Instagram for more.
Every once in a while, there’s a coffee in our Roastmaster’s Select Coffee Club that really stands out. Our March coffee for the club has been the Enjambre Cafetalero, a micro-lot from the Mexico/Guatemala border that has the potential to become one of our favorites from the region. As a matter of fact, Paul Katzeff called it “the best Mexican coffee” he’s ever tasted.
This coffee is exclusive to members of the club, but if you sign up as a member before the end of the month, you’ll have the opportunity to be one of the few to enjoy this excellent cup.
Balanced medium body, syrupy-sweet, notes of chocolate resonate in a lasting finish.
Enjambre Cafetalero Origin Specifics
Founded: 2010 Total Members: 250 Average Farm Size: 2.08 hectares Total Size: 520 hectares Elevation: 1200-1700 meters
Enjambre Cafetalero is a cooperative society located in the region known as “La Franja de Oro” or “the Golden Belt” of coffee, located in the municipio of Amatenango la Frontera in the borderlands with Guatemala. The organization was founded in 2005 and legally incorporated in 2010. For years the farmers of Amatenango had sold their coffee to intermediary middlemen, who would in turn then sell their coffee to the national subsidiaries of transnational commodity brokerage houses for export. With the objective to bypass the predatory practices of local middlemen, Enjambre was founded in order to provide direct avenues of sale to national buyers. However, after having allied themselves with the non-profit Impacto Café, they were able to join the secondary-level organization Cafemex S.C., and develop the capacity to sell directly to international buyers while maintaining the traceability of their product.
The organization has for a long time promoted soil and water conservation as well as environmentally friendly production practices. With the accompaniment of Impacto Café they were finally able to achieve organic certification for the 2017 crop year. The cooperative has made it a goal to improve the incomes of its members by offering a higher quality, differentiated product.
Nope, that’s not the pi(e) that we care about. The pie we care about is filled with sugar and fruits, and wrapped up in a warm yummy crust. We’re talking about pie. It may be Pi Day (3/14), but we’re celebrating good old pie today.
You can find Thanksgiving Coffee at two different pie shops in Northern California, Petaluma Pie Company and Kemmy’s Pies! Both of these companies are blow-your-mind good, and use organic, local, wholesome ingredients. Plus, they can serve you a cup Thanksgiving Coffee alongside a slice of your favorite pie.
Daylight Savings Time began on Sunday, and we are feeling it. If your office is anything like the Thanksgiving Coffee headquarters, there will be a lot of coffee consumed this week to make up for that lost hour.
Need that extra kick of caffeine? Our Pony Express is called The Jackhammer of Coffees for a reason. Pick up a bag, and get ready to take on your day with a lot more gusto.
Happy Daylight Savings, everyone!
Thanksgiving Coffee Company
2017 Roaster of the Year
Not Just A Cup, But A Just Cup
If you’ve ordered our classic Mocha Java in the past few days, you may have spotted a difference in our packaging. Our new label design features a map that illustrates the story behind Mocha Java. In this blog post, we’re going to give you a little history lesson—so pour a cup of java (or grab yourself a mocha?) and have a seat.
While the word “mocha” may also refer to your favorite chocolate-y drink, that is not what we’re referring to in today’s post. Mocha Java is a historic blend of two origins an ocean away from each other: Indonesia and Yemen.
The History of Mocha Java
Back in the 1400s to 1600s, the majority of Europe’s coffee intake came out of the Red Sea, from the Port of Mocha [Makha or Mokha]. This coffee was grown in the country of Yemen, but was referred to by the name of the port from which it came. In the Pacific Islands, it was the same story. Most Indonesian coffee was coming out of a port on the island of Java, controlled by the Dutch East India Trading Company. This led to the term “java”, which has remained as slang for coffee to this day.
These two ports caffeinated most of the coffee-drinking world in those days, and trading ships passed through both on the same trip. Although 5,000 miles separated them, coffee from Java and Yemen lived together on the sailing vessels that made their way across the Indian Ocean and back to Europe. These two origins came together as the very first blend in the world of coffee, and it’s a combination that roasters continue to emulate.
The above pictures are a few examples of historic Mocha Java blends.
Mocha Java Today
These days, your typical Mocha Java has a few slight variations. Most roasters (and coffee enthusiasts) prefer Indonesian coffee to be sourced from Sumatra, the next island over from Java. On the Middle Eastern side, buyers will often source their “mocha” from the African country of Ethiopia, across the Red Sea from Yemen.
This is the case for our own homage to Mocha Java. For the Thanksgiving Coffee Mocha Java blend, we source our “java” from farmers in the the Takengon region of Sumatra, Indonesia. Our “mocha” is a natural-processed coffee that comes from farmer cooperatives in Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia. Our Mocha Java is a coffee that we’ve perfected over decades of roasting, and we strive to maintain its consistency.
The history of Mocha Java is a history of the coffee world as a whole. The coffee industry has changed significantly over the past five centuries, and we love looking back and researching where it all came from. Next time you brew up a cup of our Mocha Java, take your time drinking it, because you are sipping a truly historic coffee.
Mocha Java, Deconstructed
Now that you know the background of the Mocha Java, you have the opportunity to create your own. Our organic Sumatran Coffee is available in two roast colors, and we have three different organic Ethiopian coffees that you can choose from online. You can mix up the “mocha” and “java” to create your own perfect blend.
Thanksgiving Coffee Company • Not Just A Cup, But A Just Cup • 2017 Roaster of the Year
Happy Valentine’s Day from Thanksgiving Coffee Company!
We might be challenging the status quo with the below statement, but we’re pretty sure you will agree with us…
There is nothing more romantic than coffee.
Sure, it’s sweet to get a box of chocolates. Yes, a steak dinner with a glass of wine is heavenly. But there is nothing more divine than waking up to the smell of freshly ground, freshly brewed coffee.
Give your significant other the best gift this Valentine’s Day. Wake up first and brew the coffee!
Want to surprise your better half with some new coffee beans? Here are a few ideas…
If you’re looking for something really sweet, these are a few of our favorite flavored coffees! A touch of vanilla and a hint of chocolate make these coffees a delightful Valentine’s Day treat.
Want something special? These coffees are special editions – something you won’t typically find at the grocery store!
If your Valentine’s Day includes chilling at home and watching a movie, decaf coffee might be a good idea.
No need to break the bank this Valentine’s Day – these two coffees are on sale all of February!
Thanksgiving Coffee Company 2017 Roaster of the Year Not Just A Cup, But A Just Cup
February 16 marks the dawn of a new year under the Chinese calendar. 2018 is the Year of the Dog.
Chinese New Year in Mendocino
Here in Mendocino County, we’re lucky enough to have an early relic of Chinese culture in North America. Located in the village of Mendocino is our own Taoist temple: the Temple of Kwan Tai.
The Temple of Kwan Tai is a California Historic Landmark, and an important part of Mendocino’s history. The Chinese population of Mendocino in the 19th and early 20th centuries had a huge impact on the development and growth of the community, despite not being allowed to become citizens, own property, or vote in local elections. Notwithstanding the rampant racism of the era against Chinese populations, the community grew and flourished, and many of their descendants remain to this day.
The temple is one of the oldest standing buildings in the village of Mendocino, as it was built in 1854. This is the same year that the historic Ford House was built, and the year the Big River Mill was constructed.
The Temple of Kwan Tai Today
The Temple of Kwan Tai plays an active role in the Mendocino community, by putting on two spectacular events around the time of the Chinese New Year. These are the Chinese New Year Children’s Parade and the Chinese New Year’s Dinner. The public is encouraged to attend both of these events, and it’s always a joy to see members of the community and visitors the area join in on the celebrations. You can see the parade in the village of Mendocino on the late morning of Thursday, February 15th, and purchase tickets for the dinner on the evening of the 17th. The proceeds from the dinner help keep up the temple, and fund the annual parade.
Our own Lorraine Hee-Chorley, on the accounting team here at Thanksgiving Coffee, manages the temple and the events it puts on. Lorraine is a direct descendant of the man who first built the Temple of Kwan Tai in 1854, and actually wrote the book Chinese in Mendocino County, documenting the lives of early Chinese settlers of this area.
Thanksgiving Coffee is happy to donate coffee for the New Year’s dinner, and our employees look forward to attending and volunteering every year!
Join us in taking a closer look at Bolivia as a coffee origin.
Bolivian coffee is primarily grown in the Yungas – a band of forests growing along the slopes of the Andes. This is the Caranavi Province, located just northeast of the city of La Paz. It’s a fertile land that is excellent for growing coffee, and ranges from 800-1800 meters above sea level.
For many years, the only way to access the coffee farms of this region was via the Yungas Road – a steep and winding route that led from the city of La Paz into the Andes. This path was the one link between Bolivian coffee farms and the rest of civilization until the early 2000s. It has been called “The World’s Most Dangerous Road” or “Death Road”, and currently attracts mountain bikers looking for a high-elevation thrill. These days, there is a paved, two-lane road that allows for faster and safer traffic to move between La Paz and the coffee villages to the northeast.
The History of Bolivian Coffee
As the poorest country in South America, Bolivia has historically had a number of problems. Transportation of goods over the Yungas Road was a monumental issue for years, and the overworked coffee farmers had no reason to care about the quality of their product, knowing they would be underpaid whether it was good quality or not. Coca farming was a much more lucrative business than coffee.
USAID made huge strides in Bolivia in the early 2000s, by building wet mills in the Yunga forests. Processing at origin made the quality of the coffee increase dramatically, and helped a new generation turn toward coffee instead of coca. The swelling popularity of the Fairtrade and Organic movements also assisted in boosting the Bolivian economy, and improved the caliber of coffee coming from the country.
Thanksgiving Coffee and Bolivia
This year’s crop of coffee from Bolivia landed at the Thanksgiving Coffee headquarters in late January, making it our latest arrival for February 2018. We continue to be impressed with how much Bolivian coffee has improved in the 40+ years that we’ve been sourcing and roasting it.
Co-founder and CEO Paul Katzeff writes about his first time roasting Bolivian coffee in the late seventies:
“It was not memorable. Like most coffees from South America that were not from Brazil, Venezuela or Colombia, it was poorly prepped and inconsistent from sack to sack. It was long before coffee was even called ‘Specialty.’ Coffee farmers in Bolivia were not selling or even thinking about producing better quality. Their market was used as filler for the multi-national brands. My interest back then was only because I was exploring new possibilities, seeking treasure where treasure had not yet been found. Bolivia came into its own as an origin within the last 10-15 years and quality has improved steadily into a well-prepared, sweet and bright flavor profile. Bolivia has come a very long way in a very short period of time.”
Thanks for taking the time to dig into the origin of your coffee – check out our light roast Bolivian coffee below:
Bolivian Coffee Origin Specifics
REGION: La Paz, Caranavi Province ALTITUDE: 800-1800 meters above sea level GENETIC VARIETIES: Typica, Catuaí, Caturra CERTIFICATION: Fair Trade, Organic PROCESSING METHOD: Washed DRYING METHOD: sun-dried on patios
Thanksgiving Coffee Company Not Just A Cup, But A Just Cup
2017 Roaster of the Year
In the fall of 1967, 35 year old Dian Fossey of San Francisco founded the Karisoke Research Center in the Virunga mountains of Rwanda.
Dr. Fossey would have turned 86 on January 12, 2018. In honor of her birthday, we are featuring our coffees from Rwanda and the Congo: two single origins that directly benefit the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International. Her shoes may be hard to fill, but the DFGFI continues to lead the charge for gorilla conservation in Africa, and education across the globe.
We are excited to begin yet another year in partnership with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, and we look forward to many more to follow.
The pictures below are from the @savinggorillas social media accounts, from the years that Dr. Fossey was living and working among the gorillas in Rwanda.
Thanksgiving Coffee Company Not Just A Cup, But A Just Cup