Our New Blog

Hello World!

It’s great to be here…

After a few months of conversation and a few months of development, I’m thrilled to introduce our new blog and welcome you to join us for news, offers, stories, and conversation. Basically, if it has to do with coffee, with sustainability, with farmers, or even song birds, it’s going to be a topic of conversation on our blog. This is our chance to share the day-to-day musings of the people here at Thanksgiving Coffee. Here’s a quick intro to the cast of characters you might expect to hear from soon:

Paul Katzeff. Co-founder. Coffee maverick. Once referenced by a reputable source as the Michael Moore of the coffee industry. Most likely to post long and passionate  soliloquies on the subtle details of coffee and life. Most likely to answer a short question with a novel.

Ben Corey-Moran. Green Coffee Buyer. Reluctant and passionate coffee dork. Also likely to wax poetic and perhaps long-windedly on the subtleties of coffee and our relationships with farmers. Most likely to try to work a surfing analogy or two into a post.

Holly Moskowitz. Mirembe Kawomera “Delicious Peace” Project Manager. Loves coffee but would rather eat freshly roasted beans than drink espresso. Most likely to share stories from our the farmers of the Peace Kawomera Cooperative in Uganda.

Stay tuned…

-BCM

Comments (10)

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    richard watherwax

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    Please ask Paul if Jim Peterson’s coffee that was served at his coffee shop The Wall in Greenwich Village compares to Yemeni …Paul and I used to hang out at the coffee shop in the early sixties…

    Richard Watherwax

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      pk

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      Mr. Watherwax,
      No, the Yemeni coffee does not taste like the coffee you had in The Wall Coffeehouse on Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village in 1962. I remember that coffee well. It was perhaps , the most important cup of coffee I ever drank. It was the first coffee that I loved. I remember putting some cream in the cup and watching the color come up in billows of brown gold. Jim Peterson brewed it up in a Melita Filter in the back room and brought it out to me . It was in a heavy clay white mug which was hip for the era. After a few sips I called him back to tell me about the coffee. He brought out a can of Brown Gold, a brand that is still around back east. I was not deeply into coffee in 1962, I just liked it somewhat. That cup however, alerted me, however unconsciously, to the fact that there was another coffee world that existed that my parents never knew about.
      Brown Gold got buried in some file in my brain waiting for later use. That came 8 years later in Aspen when I decided to open a coffeehouse but that is another story for another time.
      In 1975 while in NYC I hunted down a can of Brown Gold in a Gristide’s Supermarket. I still have that can(unopened) as well as the original menu from the wall which boldly states that that auspicious cup of coffee that probably helped change my life forever, cost just ten cents!
      Brown Gold was 100 % Colombian coffee . Light roasted, it was mild and sweet with a bright and lively acidity and hints of peach . Yemeni coffee when roasted light is also a “mild ” coffee with a totally different flavor profile. It is heavy and mellow with a softer acidity but with flavor notes of sour blueberry and sweet strawberries. Fruity and wild it is while the Colombian is tamed and domesticated.
      It was 1962….before the Beatles and just about the time Dylan came onto the scene. Coffee houses did not have espresso machines, people didn’t walk around in the streets with to-go paper cups , and Civil Rights was just an expression waiting for a movement . I was a community organizer on The Lower East Side making $100 a week, rent was $60.00 a month, and coffee was a dime..

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    JT

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    I love your descriptions of the cast of characters. I imagine you create a fun place to work. I’m still leery of the Yemeni, however. 🙂

    • Avatar

      pk

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      Jt,
      Yemeni coffee is an acquired taste. You are right to be leery. Because it boarders on the sour it can be offensive . But id you think sour blueberries and sweet strawberries together, you get the flavor profile in concept and in this coffee , you actually taste the blueberries. The coffee has a wild untamed nature. As for our cast of characters, I never met a person who was living a boring life although I’ve met many people who did not know how to tell their story. Meaningful work helps everyone have a good time at work , so thanks for seeing us as we are… a fun loving group of serious minded ex loggers, hippies, and fishermen and woman, some over 60, some under 30, all of us , ordinary folks coming together 40 hours a week to do something extraordinary.

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    Mike Sheehan

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    I was prepared to buy your decaf for many good reasons, but then I see your “End-the”Embargo” brand with a photo of the mass murderer Che on the packaging.

    What a turn-off – sorry to see you support evil in the world.

  • Avatar

    pk

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    Mike,
    It is a big jump from our supporting an end to the Cuban Embargo(which is truly evil) and saying that we here at Thanksgiving Coffee company “support evil”. But let me say at the outset that I understand your position. My belief is that The Embargo hurts good people who are poor enough to begin with. Forcing greater poverty on an impoverished nation is, what I think both of us would consider un-American. Granted, my political leanings are admittedly to the Left, so the way I interpret history and social justice issues comes from that direction. Since the End the Embargo Coffee was brought into our product line on my watch, I take responsibility for offending you and I apologize. That was not my intention, however, it is in keeping with the culture of Thanksgiving Coffee Company to link our products to the issues of our time.
    There is no better place to explore ideas then on a coffee package. The very history of coffee is linked to both the French Revolution and the American Revolution. It was in the coffee houses of Europe that the ideas of freedom and Democracy began to take hold and capture the imaginations of people like Ben Franklin and Thomas Payne. They were not afraid to challenge the accepted reality and they risked death to do it. I do not wish to imply to you that I or anyone here at the coffee company can match that level of courage in support of an idea, but in the spirit of what they fought for, Freedom os Speech and the Right of Assembly , we have taken the risk of using coffee as a means to expand the dialog, explore the issue, and promote our opinion that any embargo is evil because it is in fact, group punishment for the actions of the few.
    Now, with that said, I believe the issue of our selection of Che as the label image we used to represent the product has to be discussed also. Long time customers of Thanksgiving Coffee might remember our introduction of “End The Embargo” coffee back in 1998. The light roast label had the famous picture of Pope Paul admonishing Fidel Castro , forefinger pointing in an angry pose at the Head of State. Che was then as now, the image for the dark roast. You might say that that was and is our concession to the fact that many see Che as the dark side of revolution and many think that he is the icon for “Power to the People”. It was, to my surprise , interesting to find that the vast majority of people who chose to direct their anger at us for this political product, the vast majority,found the image of Fidel more offensive . And those were the days of phones and faxes, so it took more motivation to be in contact, and the contact was much more personal. After five or six years we replaced Fidel and the Pope with a Cuban woman who we shall call Jasmine for the sake of this discussion.
    It is also my opinion that the embargo has not accomplished its stated objective of toppling the Castro government. This is obvious after 40 plus years, although some good has come to Cuba because of the poverty created by the embargo. The Farmer in Cuba has the highest status, the agriculture has been forced to go organic,
    and Cuba has become a major exporter of Doctors , a fitting tribute I guess, to Che who himself , was a medical doctor.
    Finally, our company position on the embargo is consistent with our 1986 law suit against Reagan, Bush and Meese for their declaration of an embargo against Nicaragua during the era of the clandestine CIA war against the Sandanistas. That embargo interrupted our coffee purchases, harmed the farmers we were buying from and impacted my community directly. The Center For Constitutional Rights agreed with our position and carried the case which eventually reached The Federal Court of Appeals in Boston. That is another story for another time.
    Mike, we are both against “evil”. I applaud you for taking the time to call us out on this subject which is close to your heart. We differ in our definition of evil, that is for sure. But I know our motives are pure and that we at least, come together because we enjoy a good cup of coffee.

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    Holly

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    Ben, you have outted me. This morning though it was a handful of chocolate covered espresso beans. I have only a couple vices; espresso beans, bikes (I saw Lance Armstrong yesterday), and well the rest are for me to keep to myself. I can’t be giving away all my secretes on here, now can I?

  • roasted coffee beans

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    roasted coffee beans…

    There is so much you can write about roasted coffee beans….

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    Jane Katra

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    Greetings,
    My daughter is Aleta Katra, and she is a group leader for the girls in the (Portland-based) Carpe Diem International Education group who spent the past week working at your Ugandan coffee farm. You might be interested to read the enthusiastic blog that Emily wrote on the Carpe Diem site (Under blogs, Africa) for all of us relatives and friends so we can vicariously share in their service adventures in Africa. It seems like it was a win/win work experience for all involved. I will be going to Sonoma, California soon.
    Where in Sonoma or Palo Alto may I buy a cup of your Ugandan coffee?
    Sincerely,
    Jane Katra

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      bcm

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      Hi Jane,

      Thanks for sending your daughter’s blog our way. I just missed her delegations visit by half a day, unfortunately I had to return to Kampala to begin my trip back home after two weeks working with our partners in Rwanda and then Uganda.

      All, here’s a link to a great blog posting from an organization doing fantastic work to make the study abroad experience the beginning of a life lived as a hopeful part of this small and hopeful world:

      http://carpediemeducation-africa.blogspot.com/2009/02/coffee-makes-me-crazy-but-i-have-to.html

      Enjoy a vicarious trip to Uganda!

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