Friday, February 24, 2006


[i don't think i'm allowed to actually "sell" anything on this blogsite. this will eventually be on the website... it's posted here for, you know, "informational" purposes.]


‘Freshroast’ Whole Bean Offerings 2/06
Subject to Seasonal Availability

‘Freshroast’ means your coffee is roasted to order, never in advance, and always guaranteed to please. Available in 12 oz. bags with degassing valves. Yes! We offer our coffees in bulk. 5 lb. bags (with degassing valves) are available for wholesale accounts or for folks who drink tons and tons of coffee.

Brazil Cerrado 17/18 Perhaps the world’s ‘softest’ cup. Mellow sweetness greets you, while a fine, mid-notes body pleases the palate with a complexity that stands up to milk without standing too far out. Historically used as filler for industrial blends, our Brazil is finding a life of its own with amazing clarity in the cup. Delightful as a lighter roast, single-origin espresso or perfect as an all-day coffee.

Costa Rica SHB Estate Tarrazu EP If you’re a little in the dark about terms like “Strictly Hard Bean,” and “Euro-prepped,” don’t worry. All you need to know is that these coffee beans from the ancient region of Tarrazu are of the highest pedigree, cared for meticulously from seed to mill. An intriguing balance of tangy acidity and semi-sweet baking cocoa, gracious and inviting.

Sumatra Grade 1 Lintong, Triple-Picked Coffee from Sumatra’s Lintong region retains that earthy, mushroom quality Sumatras are known for, while displaying hints of cedar and even lemon grass. A triple-picked (TP) Sumatra means that its well-loved muskiness will give over to a slightly more refined feel in the mouth. A great match for rich desserts. Beautiful and brooding.

Kenya Auction Lot #54 Peaberry If you are a sucker for berries in the cup this one will really deliver. Here is a wonderful cup character with complex fruity and citrusy notes from blackberry to currant to Kenya’s signature caramelized grapefruit tones. Truly a special offering that unfolds richly even as the cup cools. Reward yourself with this African gem. Brew it double strength and pour over ice for a cool change of pace.

Guatemala Coban, El Tirol Estate (Aurora Lot) [Organic] Out of Coban’s mystic cloud forests comes a surprisingly versatile coffee. The Aurora Farm of “El Tirol” Estate resides at approximately 5,000 feet in a very damp environment. All that rain means a slow unfolding of the bean’s growing season, resulting in a spicy sweetness that turns to a pleasant milky chocolate in the leave. Wonderful with a light to mid-level roast.

Colombia Mesa De Los Santos [Organic] Since1872 this organic treasure represents the best of two worlds: it is both delicious and agriculturally sustainable. Sweet aromatic displays of pears, dates and raisins combine intriguingly with rumors of darker spices like nutmeg and sage. A coffee not to be rushed...unfold each layer one moment at a time.

Ethiopia Harar, Oromia Co-op [Fair Trade, Organic] A dry-processed coffee is a beautiful and mysterious thing. This cup shows at times the wild fruit of the tropics, while other times the passion of a gingery chocolate. These untamed tendencies prove Harar may be the world’s most unpredictable coffee, offering you the thrill of exploration, the satisfaction of discovery.

Rwanda Gatare, Grade A It is said there is no greater burden than that of potential. Thankfully, after many dark days, Rwanda is beginning to lift that burden as it produces elegantly floral coffees that are causing the world to take notice. This lot is exceptionally complex, exhibiting the bright, sweet bite of lemon rind and the aromatic woodiness of cedar and pine. Our Rwanda is a enticing selection we know you’ll enjoy.

Papua New Guinea, Kimel Plantation A beautiful, clean cup balancing a creamy butter foundation with a remarkable fruit nectar component. Delivering goods to market has historically been hampered by significant lack of infrastructure in this, one of the most indigenously diverse and ecologically pristine countries left on earth. We are intensely proud to offer this coffee as a rare treat to savor.

Java Djampit, Government Estate Coffee grown on the slopes of an active volcano has a mystique all its own. Coffee from the storied island of Java only heightens the expectation. Syrupy, rich and full-bodied, our Java is the prime example of the country’s terroir: pungent and intense. Brew yourself a cup and lose yourself in the shimmering deep oils of bittersweet bliss.

Decaf Kenya [WP] It’s nice to find a decaf that doesn’t lose character in the cup. Our Decaf Kenya is impulsive and ambrosial, with a sweet brightness that doesn’t blind and an unbelievable aroma of juicy grapefruit citrus that will fill any room. Plenty of action without being too busy; decaffeinated to keep you from being too busy, either. Enjoyable any time, day or night.

Decaf Sulawesi Toraja [WP] Start with a nearly heroic lot of coffee. Decaffeinate it without chemicals. Then recognize what an incredible find you hold in your hands: an Indonesian coffee of indelible character that doesn’t give an inch of flavor away to its caffeinated counterpart. An attractive offering with deep body, low acidity and hints of dried plantains and apples. A superb addition to a course of fruit and soft cheeses.

Four Ways To Order:
1. Phone: 512.264.4302. Live operator 9am–5pm CST.

2. Email: Safe, secure, speedy. Make sure you
indicate the type and quantity desired.

The Brown Coffee Company Accepts PayPal

3. Web: Opening soon with secure Shopping Cart.

4. Mail: The Brown Coffee Company
PO Box 680875
San Antonio, Texas 78268

If you’re choosing the mail option, fill out the attached Order Form and mail it back to us. Checks (payable to “The Brown Coffee Company”), money orders or well-hidden cash are acceptable.

[here is pretty much what the order form looks like]





Brazil Cerrado 17/18 $8.50
Colombia Mesa De Los Santos $9.00
Costa Rica SHB Estate Tarrazu EP $9.50
Decaf Kenya [WP] $9.25
Decaf Sulawesi [WP] $9.25
Ethiopia Harar, Oromia Co-op $9.00
Guatemala Coban, El Tirol Estate (Aurora Lot) $8.50
Java Djampit, Government Estate $9.00
Kenya Auction Lot #54 Peaberry $9.25
Papua New Guinea, Kimel Plantation $9.00
Rwanda Gatare, Grade A $8.50
Sumatra Grade 1 Lintong, Triple-Picked $9.00
5 lb. bulk bag – 10% discount
Select any three and receive 10% off

Select Grind:
Whole Bean
French Press

S/H for up to 1 lb. (U.S. Priority Mail): Add $5
Add $1.00 S/H for each additional bag of coffee
S/H for 5 lb. bulk bags (U.S. Priority Mail): Add $10
Sales Tax (San Antonio, Texas residents only): Add 7.75%
Total Sale:
Your email will be notified to confirm receipt of your order and again when your order ships.

Your coffee will typically be roasted and shipped within 8 hours of receiving your order. When it arrives it will retain its peak freshness for up to two weeks if stored in an airtight container at room temperature away from direct sunlight. Please do not refrigerate or freeze your coffee. The Brown Coffee Company recommends grinding your coffee per brew, using two tablespoons coffee per six fluid ounces cold, filtered water. For more tips on brewing the perfect cup, visit (coming soon!).

Thank You For Your Order!

bags are here

got my bags yesterday. one pound size and five pound size. jenee and a friend and i are collaborating on the final design of the labels and that should be wrapped up this weekend. even though they are one pound i am selling them at 12 oz. they are a touch easier to seal.

i "sourced" nine more coffees for my lineup. i'm really excited about them. some traditional favorites and a few uncommon origins. several organics and even a couple decafs. i'll try to post the list here on this blog soon. and i'm working on getting the website up and running soon so you can check that out.

that, and i've "hired" a wholesale account manager (see "friend" above), someone to take on the business of gathering wholesale accounts from restaurants and cafes and the like. we've set a very aggressive goal of twelve accounts by 1 MAY 06, so if you know anybody...

my focus will remain on roasting and will include new account training.

plenty of good opportunities to purchase individual coffees.

Friday, February 10, 2006

this is not... anti-starbucks blog. it's an anti-corporate, pro-independent coffee blog. to the extent that that resembles starbucks, so be it.

here's what's really important. i've learned more about really cupping coffee the way the pros do in the last week than i did in all my time at big green. why is that? is that because big green doesn't care about coffee? of course not. it's because what big green wanted me to do was to execute efficiently so that the bottom line worked well.

howard behar once said, "we're not a coffee company serving people, [ed: have i said this before?] we're a people company serving coffee." how that sounds in my ears today....

today i created my own cupping log based on cupping techniques i am perfecting on my own. what works; what's important to really know about a coffee; how should a cupping flow; what will make it easier to evaluate and record as you cup. these are questions i tried to answer. and they are questions that are taking me closer and closer into the coffee instead of closer and closer into another manager's roundtable about how to better manage the corporation.

i've not made a thin dime yet on my new business adventure. and i'm happier than i've ever been.

so am i anti-starbucks? no. but am i happy? never happier.

sometimes you can just see it coming

iced decaf triple grande non-fat extra caramel caramel macchiato? fine. "chantico drinking chocolate?" well, not so much.

"In a rare flop for the fast-growing No. 1 coffee shop chain, Chantico was pulled from Starbucks' menu in January, a year after its introduction, spokesman Alan Hilowitz said.

Described as "a drinkable dessert," Chantico resembled the thick, sweet hot chocolate found in European cafes but was only available without any variations in a 6-ounce size.

In the end, that limitation irked customers who are used to dictating not only the size of their lattes and cappuccinos, but also whether they want regular or decaf coffee, non-fat, whole or soy milk, sugar-free or regular flavor shots, and even extras like whipped cream and caramel." (from reuters, via yahoo news)
or maybe here's why. this is the nutrition information pulled directly from big green's website. pay attention to the calories line...the line that says that you're getting fully one-third of your total recommended intake of calories in that little six ounce drink.

Serving Size 6 fl. oz.

Amt Per Serving
Calories 390
Fat Calories 190
Total Fat (g) 21
Saturated Fat (g) 10
Cholesterol (mg) 25
Sodium (mg) 105
Total Carbohydrates (g) 51
Fiber (g) 6
Sugars (g) 40
Protein (g) 11
Vitamin A 6%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 25%
Iron 30%

pretty nuts, huh? i once heard of a fellow who would order this in a venti (that's 20 fl. oz. in real world parlance) cup every day. every day. prudence would dictate having this guy sign some sort of release first.

chantico today. what's next? online dating services? or maybe selling movies at their outlets? it's like i've said before, if you open your arms too wide you won't be able to embrace anything well.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


roasting and roasting. cupping and cupping. so this is the stage not to roast for tastes, per se, but rather to grow in knowledge about the mechanics of the roaster. yes, i'm trying to set up a schedule for the roaster and cupping so that i'm doing everything at the same time each day to help eliminate randomness and to better compare apples to apples.

so today i built a master roaster log to chart what is being roasted and when. it also is like a "hit counter" for the roaster so i can know when it's time for maintenance.

i'm also building a roasting log that i will use to have more detail about each roast as it progresses. sort of like charting a graph in geometry. every roast is different. keeping track of each roast so you can recreate it later is essential to becoming a decent roaster. this log also has complete descriptions of the beans, origin and whatnot.

to do: build my own cupping log and build my own "receiving log" where i'll assign each coffee i receive (either as a sample or as a production coffee) a "brown number." this number will correlate with the roaster log...i can just write the brown number in the description log to know which coffee i am roasting when.

i cupped my first sumatras today and scored the first brazils today, both roasted yesterday. i'm trying to begin my log of what is tasting like what, what roast profiles best fit each coffee and how to describe them for the benefit of customers. but again, the mechanics of the roaster are still the order of the day and first priority. i'll cup them both again tomorrow and the next day to study the effects of time on each roast and help determine a peak for each. all of these are important factors to know if you're going to be a roaster.

know thy coffee. know thy roaster. eventually it will be know they customer. but that day still seems so far off.

meantime tomorrow i'm going to a friend's house to see if we can sketch out some label designs for coffee bags. that, and another friend is building me a website.

laying the groundwork for a real company.

Monday, February 06, 2006

roaster is here

so my roaster arrived today. i would love to tell you all about it but honestly, i just can't. i'm too pooped and experiencing psychological letdown. not disappointment letdown. i guess i'm talking physiological/psychosomatic letdown one experiences when an expected big event finally passes. it's almost a "now what?" feeling.

got the whole thing set up (thank you, dougie!) and roasted three batches.

i'm sure i'll sleep well tonight.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

i feel sick

i feel like i'm in the novel "1984." there was a language that the governing body used to communicate the truths they wanted to convey that sounded similar to english, yet had slightly but specifically skewed meanings. over time everyone was supposed to use this language and by so doing thought became hijacked and subject to the designs of the designers.

i am convinced now more than ever that the company i once loved and had pledged my professional career to is no longer the company it once was. dollars. it's all about dollars. c.d. music houses? film releases and d.v.d. compilations?

i was listening to today's conference call given by the company's ceo, president and other senior executives. now, i understand that basically the only people who listen to these things are wall street types who give a damn about operating revenues and whatnot. but in the introductions and up until the cfo began to talk about the actual performance of the company all i heard were the same catch phrases and blather that i used to hear day in and day out there. catch phrases that are basically devoid of any nutritional value but sure do sound nice:

hand crafted beverages
a brand they come to trust
the strong execution of all our partners
human connection
passion to innovate
increase shareholder value
third place
partners connecting to their communities
one customer, one drink at a time
blah, blah blah blah, blah blah, blah blah blah blah

and so on and so forth. none of that stuff means anything to me anymore. i mean, i always recognized it as rallying language spoken by my managers to excite us into exciting the hourly folks. but heck, i saw it for what it was and understood the game. now that i am nearly half a year and 1700 miles removed from that world it tastes in my mouth like a drink that is way too sugary. the language sounds familiar, but too packaged and too over the top.

starbuckspeak. don't consume too much.