Gather ’round for a coffee story

paul_joan1_2

Paul and Joan Katzeff at our factory in Noyo Harbor, 1972

I began my work here at Thanksgiving Coffee Company in 1972. The company was quite young back then, actually , it was like being there at conception . (inception ?) . There was no specialty coffee , nobody walked around in the streets with “to go” cups. There was Nixon and funny  colored  busses on the highways. People listened to the Moody Blues and said “oh Wow ! Petrol was 22 cents a gallon and a cup of coffee was a dime. I fell in love with the current President of Thanksgiving Coffee Company (Joan Katzeff)during those heady years of” anything is possible”, and together we embarked on a journey that eventually turned into Thanksgiving Coffee Company      We have been in business as a specialty coffee company since a time when there were less then ten coffee companies in the entire country that focussed on taste as a function of terroir and craftsmanship.  There were many excellent small coffee companies that specialized in coffee for specific ethnic groups,  like Bustelo that roasted for the Puerto Rican Community or Madalia D’oro That roasted for the Italian community. There were Turkish coffee stores, Armenian ones, and there also, lurking in the background, were shops like  Gillies and McNulty’s and Flavor Cup in New York  and Capricorn and Peets in California. The  forerunners  of todays 4 Billion Dollar specialty coffee industry and it’s “to go cups” .They were “Big City “companies all, and  Thanksgiving Coffee slipped in to that “uncrowded field” through the portal of the Mendocino Coast  of Northern California  .

Me and Brownie McGee

Me and Brownie McGee, New Guinea 2005. Many farmers in New Guinea speak english because they were colonized for 50 years by Australia. We had a long conversation about agrarian reform and revolution. He had traveled two weeks on foot hunting with a blowgun for food to bring a small sample of his cooperative's coffee to the tasting event that I attended.

The stories I tell in this blog are those of someone who found magic in the first sack of green coffee he opened (pardon the third person reference to myself) and later discovered that the magic came from the people in far off places…the farmers and campacinos that  cultivated and cared for the land upon which their coffee was planted. This discovery opened up the floodgates of adventure and experience proving that passion comes in many unexpected  forms as does kindness  and a great cup of coffee.

Comments (1)

  • nicaragua 1972

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    nicaragua 1972…

    What a relief, it is good to know that there is still quality content online. Blogs are becoming garbage mills but it is good to see real content….

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