A DRABBLE OF INK

Mostly Coffee, with a brief intermission halfway through.
It’s been a while since I posted…
… I always feel a bit embarrassed for other blog writers when I read this. I superimpose a sheepish face over the post and imagine them rubbing circles in the dirt with the toe of their shoe. Oh well, it has been a while since I posted, and truth be known, I spend entirely too much time online when I should be roasting and cupping the stack of samples glaring at me. But meeting other people who write their passion inspires me and inspiration is one of my greatest strengths!
I am enjoying the coffee business. I have learned a LOT! Even though I have a solid technical knowledge of coffee honed as a serious hobbyist for more than a decade, running a business is a whole ‘nother thing. So I remain committed to the idea of staying small, focused on super high-quality coffee, and carefully selecting retail shops and restaurants who have a strong interest in specialty coffee.
The tree in the picture was a white oak growing in a spring that feeds our pond. Recent storms brought copious amounts of lightning with the rain. This tree was struck by lightning and then a few minutes later, hit again, blasting it into splinters! Who said lightning won’t hit the same thing twice?

It’s been a while since I posted…

… I always feel a bit embarrassed for other blog writers when I read this. I superimpose a sheepish face over the post and imagine them rubbing circles in the dirt with the toe of their shoe. Oh well, it has been a while since I posted, and truth be known, I spend entirely too much time online when I should be roasting and cupping the stack of samples glaring at me. But meeting other people who write their passion inspires me and inspiration is one of my greatest strengths!

I am enjoying the coffee business. I have learned a LOT! Even though I have a solid technical knowledge of coffee honed as a serious hobbyist for more than a decade, running a business is a whole ‘nother thing. So I remain committed to the idea of staying small, focused on super high-quality coffee, and carefully selecting retail shops and restaurants who have a strong interest in specialty coffee.

The tree in the picture was a white oak growing in a spring that feeds our pond. Recent storms brought copious amounts of lightning with the rain. This tree was struck by lightning and then a few minutes later, hit again, blasting it into splinters! Who said lightning won’t hit the same thing twice?

coffeecommon:

After many requests we’re happy to finally offer the opportunity to get your own Coffee Common “Process” shirt, and a few other ways to wear your support for the Coffee Common mission—to create unique experiences that introduce people to the nuanced joys of exceptional coffee.
Shipping begins next week, order yours now! 

coffeecommon:

After many requests we’re happy to finally offer the opportunity to get your own Coffee Common “Process” shirt, and a few other ways to wear your support for the Coffee Common mission—to create unique experiences that introduce people to the nuanced joys of exceptional coffee.

Shipping begins next week, order yours now

Decided to go foraging this morning in place of my daily walk. Took a bag, a book, and patience while I slogged along lumber trails adjacent to my property. I’ve learned if you sit and listen to the wildlife around you, you’ll hear a racket set up over something to eat. I was hoping to find a fruit tree and sure enough, squirrels were fighting over these beauties. I don’t know the variety; it’s an apple — gold, oblong, with black seeds. Firm flesh which leans toward sour vs. sweet. I’m going back with a ladder and fill my larder, leaving of course, enough for the squirrels to fight over…

Decided to go foraging this morning in place of my daily walk. Took a bag, a book, and patience while I slogged along lumber trails adjacent to my property. I’ve learned if you sit and listen to the wildlife around you, you’ll hear a racket set up over something to eat. I was hoping to find a fruit tree and sure enough, squirrels were fighting over these beauties. I don’t know the variety; it’s an apple — gold, oblong, with black seeds. Firm flesh which leans toward sour vs. sweet. I’m going back with a ladder and fill my larder, leaving of course, enough for the squirrels to fight over…

Yelping with Cormac: Ritual Coffee Roasters

I love this more than words can say…

yelpingwithcormac:

The Mission - San Francisco, CA

Cormac M. | Author | Lost in the chaparral, NM

Four stars.

Kent awoke to the dawn skylighting the foothills. The sun’s promise not yet fulfilled. He got up and walked to the campfire where Davis was brewing a pot of coffee on the coals.

What are you doing, Kent…

That’s just too beautiful for words to describe!
oliverstrand:

Cowgirl Creamery’s Pierce Point cheese at Pierce Point. Strong resemblance.
The cow’s milk cheese is only made in the summer, the bloomy rind rolled in Marin County flowers and herbs. A landscape wrapped up in waxed paper.

That’s just too beautiful for words to describe!

oliverstrand:

Cowgirl Creamery’s Pierce Point cheese at Pierce Point. Strong resemblance.

The cow’s milk cheese is only made in the summer, the bloomy rind rolled in Marin County flowers and herbs. A landscape wrapped up in waxed paper.

Every coffee has a story. And the Brazil Bob-o-link coffee I’m enjoying this afternoon is no exception. Knowing something about the coffee, and the people involved bringing it to us adds an additional dimension beyond flavor. Enjoy this brief story about the Brazil Bob-o-link Mogiana coffee I’m currently offering…
THE Bob-O-Link Story
In 1991 the Croce family moved from São Paulo, Brazil, to Chicago, USA and bought a home on Bob-o-Link Rd, Highland Park, IL. Eight years later they were invited by their dear friends Harry Drucker and Bruce Boyd to join the International Board of The Nature Conservancy of Illinois (TNC). What a surprise when, at the first meeting, they were welcomed with a coffee mug displaying the “Bob-o-Link.” What a coincidence they thought! 
"Why the Bob-o-Link?" they asked.
"We want the people to think beyond our borders. The Bob-o-Links flies every year from the Midwest of North America to the Southeast of South America. If we continue the vast mono-cultures of soybean and corn here in the US and all the sugar cane in Brazil, there will be no more Bob-o-Links!"
Since these farms are located on mountaintops, most enjoy more than one spring on their property. Historically, only the first user enjoys the clean spring water, beyond the mountaintops, spring water is no longer pure due to improper disposal of waste and the use of agro-toxics on the land. In addition, rainforest trees which naturally cover the mountaintops naturally are largely removed to maximize the use of the land for more production area.
Soon after learning the Bob-o-Links plight, Silvia acquired Fazenda Fortaleza farm from her parents. It was their opportunity to make a difference. They decided to transform their farm into a place friendly to “all” the Bob-o-Links of the world…
They changed the farm name to Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza (FAF), translated Environmental Fortress Farm and immediately banished all toxic materials, protected the springs, created green corridors for the wild life and began the process of cultivating an environmental awareness among their people at the farm.
They added fruit trees to their coffee plantations such as bananas, mango, avocado and coffee seedlings to their secondary forests. They also motivated and provided the resources to their people to continue education and promoted social integration, personal development, healthy and natural eating habits and personal skills. Although their efforts resulted in very positive progress, they learned their accomplishments were not enough since the birds that nest at FAF roam beyond the beyond their borders. While, the water from their springs run clean to neighboring lands, the same environmental efforts did not exist beyond their property—exposing their birds to the dangers from which they are trying to protect them. They decided to expand their efforts and invite their neighbors to join their cause to protect the environment and create a much wider free and clean zone for the “Bob-o-Links”. Their campaign resulted in a strong network of farmers producing Bob-o-Link Coffee, located in one of the best regions for producing high quality coffee in Brazil. They share a common vision to producing the best coffees using sustainable agriculture methods that reduce the “heavy footprints” of humans on earth—promoting harmony between men and nature.
Bob-o-Link Coffees are produced mostly in the Mountain Mogiana Region (States of São Paulo and Minas Gerais), at altitudes that vary from 900m to 1,400m high, with Arabica coffee varieties such as Bourbon, Mundo Novo and Catuai. Most of the FAF coffee farmers are formed by small properties, run by single or extended families, located at the top of the mountains—the perfect environment for the best coffees. The beans are picked selectively and dried in terraces next to their homes, under  their close supervision.
The Bob-o-Link farmers are part of the FAF network that will promote awareness for the increase of Quality Coffee that keeps the springs protected, create green corridors on the water ways, reduce the use of toxic material and keep the trees to shade the coffee and create a healthy place for people and for the Bob-O-Links.
Bob-o-Link Coffee has the mission to deliver the Finest Quality Coffees with the message of Awareness of Preservation and promote Culture Integration.
Their goal is to allow the Bob-o-Link flocks to once again thrive in their natural habitat and to spread their mission of Sustainability for a better, healthier, happier and peaceful world.
In 2008 Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza won the Sustainability prize from the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA).

Every coffee has a story. And the Brazil Bob-o-link coffee I’m enjoying this afternoon is no exception. Knowing something about the coffee, and the people involved bringing it to us adds an additional dimension beyond flavor. Enjoy this brief story about the Brazil Bob-o-link Mogiana coffee I’m currently offering…

THE Bob-O-Link Story

In 1991 the Croce family moved from São Paulo, Brazil, to Chicago, USA and bought a home on Bob-o-Link Rd, Highland Park, IL. Eight years later they were invited by their dear friends Harry Drucker and Bruce Boyd to join the International Board of The Nature Conservancy of Illinois (TNC). What a surprise when, at the first meeting, they were welcomed with a coffee mug displaying the “Bob-o-Link.” What a coincidence they thought! 

"Why the Bob-o-Link?" they asked.

"We want the people to think beyond our borders. The Bob-o-Links flies every year from the Midwest of North America to the Southeast of South America. If we continue the vast mono-cultures of soybean and corn here in the US and all the sugar cane in Brazil, there will be no more Bob-o-Links!"

Since these farms are located on mountaintops, most enjoy more than one spring on their property. Historically, only the first user enjoys the clean spring water, beyond the mountaintops, spring water is no longer pure due to improper disposal of waste and the use of agro-toxics on the land. In addition, rainforest trees which naturally cover the mountaintops naturally are largely removed to maximize the use of the land for more production area.

Soon after learning the Bob-o-Links plight, Silvia acquired Fazenda Fortaleza farm from her parents. It was their opportunity to make a difference. They decided to transform their farm into a place friendly to “all” the Bob-o-Links of the world…

They changed the farm name to Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza (FAF), translated Environmental Fortress Farm and immediately banished all toxic materials, protected the springs, created green corridors for the wild life and began the process of cultivating an environmental awareness among their people at the farm.

They added fruit trees to their coffee plantations such as bananas, mango, avocado and coffee seedlings to their secondary forests. They also motivated and provided the resources to their people to continue education and promoted social integration, personal development, healthy and natural eating habits and personal skills. Although their efforts resulted in very positive progress, they learned their accomplishments were not enough since the birds that nest at FAF roam beyond the beyond their borders. While, the water from their springs run clean to neighboring lands, the same environmental efforts did not exist beyond their property—exposing their birds to the dangers from which they are trying to protect them. They decided to expand their efforts and invite their neighbors to join their cause to protect the environment and create a much wider free and clean zone for the “Bob-o-Links”. Their campaign resulted in a strong network of farmers producing Bob-o-Link Coffee, located in one of the best regions for producing high quality coffee in Brazil. They share a common vision to producing the best coffees using sustainable agriculture methods that reduce the “heavy footprints” of humans on earth—promoting harmony between men and nature.

Bob-o-Link Coffees are produced mostly in the Mountain Mogiana Region (States of São Paulo and Minas Gerais), at altitudes that vary from 900m to 1,400m high, with Arabica coffee varieties such as Bourbon, Mundo Novo and Catuai. Most of the FAF coffee farmers are formed by small properties, run by single or extended families, located at the top of the mountains—the perfect environment for the best coffees. The beans are picked selectively and dried in terraces next to their homes, under  their close supervision.

The Bob-o-Link farmers are part of the FAF network that will promote awareness for the increase of Quality Coffee that keeps the springs protected, create green corridors on the water ways, reduce the use of toxic material and keep the trees to shade the coffee and create a healthy place for people and for the Bob-O-Links.

Bob-o-Link Coffee has the mission to deliver the Finest Quality Coffees with the message of Awareness of Preservation and promote Culture Integration.

Their goal is to allow the Bob-o-Link flocks to once again thrive in their natural habitat and to spread their mission of Sustainability for a better, healthier, happier and peaceful world.

In 2008 Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza won the Sustainability prize from the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA).

coffeecommon:

We were really excited to announce our partnership with TEDGlobal2011, and now we’re equally as stoked about our very first public event, when we take over Prufrock Coffee in London for a day.
On the Sunday following TEDGlobal, 17 July, we will be sharing the coffees of that event in an environment designed for discussion, learning, and appreciating beautiful coffee at its most honest—no sugar.
This won’t be any day at the café. We plan to offer a high level of engagement where you can learn how to choose and brew great coffee at home, listen to short talks from industry professionals, and enjoy great conversation over some amazing coffee.
Rumor has it there will be a chance to get some Coffee Common swag and see Brent Fortune sing a bit of Lady GaGa karaoke in honor of the new World Barista Champion, Alejandro Mendez.
We look forward to seeing you there. Cheers!
Location info at Prufrock Coffee

coffeecommon:

We were really excited to announce our partnership with TEDGlobal2011, and now we’re equally as stoked about our very first public event, when we take over Prufrock Coffee in London for a day.

On the Sunday following TEDGlobal, 17 July, we will be sharing the coffees of that event in an environment designed for discussion, learning, and appreciating beautiful coffee at its most honest—no sugar.

This won’t be any day at the café. We plan to offer a high level of engagement where you can learn how to choose and brew great coffee at home, listen to short talks from industry professionals, and enjoy great conversation over some amazing coffee.

Rumor has it there will be a chance to get some Coffee Common swag and see Brent Fortune sing a bit of Lady GaGa karaoke in honor of the new World Barista Champion, Alejandro Mendez.

We look forward to seeing you there. Cheers!

Location info at Prufrock Coffee

tumbling down the rabbit hole, again

True to my modus operandi of traversing subjects in reverse logical progression (I also read magazines backwards), I’m embarking on journey which will take me to a place where grinder dialing, boiler temperatures, and tamping pressures all result in a final appreciation of 3 ounces of delightfully crema laden espresso. I don’t know why I’ve waiting so long; espresso was my first experience of coffee fresh ground and delivered by the cup. I fell out of love with espresso when I discovered coffee roasting and brewing delicious pots of single origin coffees. When I go to a cafe, it’s almost always for the espresso, mostly because it’s NOT something I do well. I’ve pulled wonderful shots of espresso in my little Simonelli Ellimatic, but they’ve never held a candle to carefully brewed cups of fresh, high quality coffee or espresso I’ve had from places like Intelli, Counter Culture, and others. So I’ve bought a professional espresso machine and grinders to match and I’ll start down the road of sourcing coffees and roasting them with espresso in mind. When I started FinerGrind Coffee Roasters, I knew I’d arrive at this point, and guess what: Here I Am - Excelsior!

Kenya Gethumbwini

Amazing Thika, Central Province Kenya coffee from Gethumbwini Estate is resting after roasting here at FinerGrind. SL-34 and SL-28 varietals with deep raisiny / molasses aromas; this afternoon looks to become a #SiphonSunday which I’m confident will result in a sweet cup of Gethumbwini.

Ganesh

Ramping up for Specialty Coffee Assoc. America’s Expo in…

…Houston Tx 2011*. This will be my 4th year to attend SCAA’s annual conference; my 1st representing my fledgling coffee company. My relationship with coffee is complex. Like many drawn toward the Aesthetics, I realized after studying and experiencing coffee for decades, I really didn’t KNOW coffee. Initially, I bought professional coffee equipment not to go into business, but to get experience and knowledge on what it takes to produce quality coffee. My personal standards for coffee are very high, and my standards stay two steps ahead of my ability which rarely satisfies me; perhaps that’s the secret to passion.  

*At SCAA2011 I’ll be improving my “ability”, working with other coffee professionals at the Barista Guild Cafe, Roasters Guild “Coffee of the Year” (CotY), and table lead at GE201 Cupping Form and Peer Calibration on 4/29. Hope to see you there!

Coffee Common: Single Cup Vs. Single Cup

coffeecommon:

In the world of coffee, there are many choices representing levels of quality, methods of brewing and lifestyle. At Coffee Common we believe quality supersedes quantity and that often comes at a higher cost, but that doesn’t always mean exceptional coffee is more expensive.

The chart below is a…

No longer painting by numbers…

I’ve finally have achieved a level of competency where no longer do I start with a blank palate / palette regarding taste. Recent harvest of winter rye on my farm resulted in my first “baked” taste of local terrior. The resulting rye flour was very different than the organic rye I mill from the mid-west. Water, fresh milled (mid-west) rye flour, a bit of salt, I produced a flatbread baked nearly crispy. The same process using white all purpose flour, then my locally grown rye. So different! Much cleaner, lighter, fresher green taste came through. Like painting in negative space.

Nabeel's Local List: FinerGrind and True Regional Love

nabeelscafe:

In our American Dream series we asked Woody Wiginton about the coffee industry, his love of our region and state and the misconceptions that plague the South. Hope you all enjoy getting to know Woody a little better, he is a true Renaissance man!

Where were you born?

I was born in Birmingham,…

Pinball Publishing: Coffee Common debuts at TED, with Scout Books in tow

I love the spirit of this, I really do. I’m extremely hopeful that this concept can gain a foothold in the minds and spirits of coffee people AS WELL AS food people.

pinballpublishing:

“The people serving you coffee today come from a movement, not a company.”

So reads the first line of the Coffee Common Scout Book, just one branded piece of the Coffee Common movement that debuted yesterday at the 2011 TED conference in Long Beach, California.

All week long, an…

Coffee Common: The coffee we're drinking right now: Abangakurushwa, Rwanda

FinerGrind Coffee Roasters supports the USAID-funded project PEARL program by currently offering a Rwanda coffee from the Musasa / Dukundekawa Co-op which is 80% women owned, and also benefits from the PEARL program. This coffee is 100% Red Bourbon, with natural sweet, ginger and honey-toned flavors and floral aromas.  

coffeecommon:

A decade ago, Rwanda was a country deep in crisis. 5 years after the tragic genocide, the country was without meaningful export crops, leaving them vulnerable for more economic and political chaos. Enter a USAID-funded project called PEARL. Led by a unique and forward-thinking agronomist named Tim…