News — green buying

From Seed to Brew: Humans of the Coffee World

to arrive at a profound realization: the making of coffee involves real human beings. I know. This is such an obvious fact that I was completely stupefied when I suddenly opened my eyes to it—why hadn’t I thought of it before? My oblivion to this simple fact was unforgivable on multiple levels. On one hand, one of my favorite activities at any coffee house (alongside sighing and pulling my hair out over whatever that I might be working on) is barista watching—I ought to have known that coffee was not brought forth by magic. On the other hand, as an incidental hipster, I’ve been aware of fair trade, which is all about people! But as I reflect on it, I do come to see that phrases such as “fair trade” only manage to generate an icon of a tanned farmer on a coffee plantation against the backdrop of a tropical sun. It’s almost as if concrete human beings are forgotten when images of them only serve to illustrate ideas.

New House Arrival: Kapchorwa, Uganda

Kyagalani Kapchorwa Washing Station
Kapchorwa, Uganda

Those of you who have been with us for a while know that we change up our coffees on a regular basis. While most coffee places tend to go with blends that have mass-market appeal, we love to showcase the vibrancy of the coffee and the potential that each farm can produce. Because of this, we switch throughout the year from coffee to coffee for our “House” coffee. And while we do change it around we tend not to go too extreme and stay with coffees that have classic coffee notes of nuts, chocolate and...

Introducing Xiaxun Ding!

Introducing Xiaxun Ding!

Every once in a while, one of the regular guests catches our eye. Xiaxun (Shia-shin) Ding is one of those people. Not because she was boisterous but rather because she was exactly the opposite. Ordering her cappuccino and taking it into the back room, next to the window and working towards her Masters in Literature from The Johns Hopkins University. I would go back to check on her every once in awhile.

A few months later, Xiaxun approached me to see if we would be interested in her contributing to our blog with articles about coffee. Since maintaining a blog...

How we source coffee

I'm often asked how we source our coffee. For many years, we sourced coffee via the most simplest route: we bought roasted coffee from other coffee companies. Companies like Hines Public Market Coffee, Intelligentsia, Stumptown, Ecco Caffe and Barefoot. These companies were operated by my friends and all of them shared a commitment to the ethical sourcing of coffee.

In 2011, when we decided to start roasting our own coffee full-time, the onus was on us to continue sourcing coffee in an ethical manner. Luckily, one of my friends had launched a new company importing high-quality coffee from his home...

#OrigenCA2015, Part 5 - Loma La Gloria

This is Part 5 of our Coffee Origin Trip to Central America, follow along on Instagram with #OrigenCA2015. For Parts 123 or 4.

You haven’t called me in four years,” the tone was emphatic but playful, and I swear it’s only been three years, not four. But arguing a point with a Latin woman is always ill-advised.

Anny Ruth Pimentel observes the bags of pergamino (parchment) coffee stacked to the rafters in the bodega of Beneficio Loma La Gloria.

I first met Anny Ruth Pimentel in 2011 when she was training to be a...