Tuesday, March 20, 2007


anyone interested in a brown t-shirt?
i'm getting some set up over at cafe press with some basic designs. here's a couple examples. pretty soon i'm going to be getting a bunch of them done by a screen printer with some other rad designs. let me know if you want one or visit my cafepress store. yes, that's supposed to be a coffee stain on the jersey to your left.

these are basically test runs to see if anyone is even interested in them. in a couple months brown will be releasing a special, limited run t-shirt commemorating the arrival of edwin's finca vista hermosa '07 crop...their 50th anniversary crop! so keep your eyes peeled for that. one shirt. one farm. one name. pretty simple, really. don't you think?


Monday, March 19, 2007


so i'm thinking of this word and what it means, could mean, in the world of coffee. i think of a couple roasters (most of whom are far and away larger, more established business than me) and i think there are some prime opportunities for us to collaborate. sure, we are "competitors" in the ethereal sense that we are both competing for the same types of dollars though probably not the same actual customers. but geography being what it is i find myself drawn to the idea of working with some of my direct/indirect competitors--fish of about the same size in our little pond--to further our mutual cause of presenting excellence in coffee to our customers. (these, by the way, are not to be confused with the general coffee consuming public; they are not our customers, in my opinion. i'm refering to people who can appreciate differences and finer distinctions in the world of coffee and have preferences against things like supermarket shelf shopping for coffee.)

anyways, i guess the center of this vacuous post is to say that, in the name of our goals i am very comfortable "coopeting" with others like myself. many, sadly, are too territorial to enter into such arrangements, to their loss, i think. but there are so many more benefits to be realized through coopetition than through mere direct competition. the frozen greens project is a prime example.

just a thought. anyone who has collaboration/coopetition ideas, you can always count me in as a willing participant.

btw, i'm not posting about the frozen greens project to toot our horn about the project. i couldn't care less about the "fame" aspect of it. i think it's a fascinating project to undertake and i'm happy to learn where it may lead, and definitely could not have undertaken it alone. coopetition.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

defecting, part two

inspired by actual events, your humble blogger has decided to sort a random pound of coffee for defects, roast the defectless batch against a regular, other batch and cup the results. defects were culled using the scaa's defects poster as a guide.

so far the defect picking has been completed and here are the results. there were 72 defects in all, with the most common (38) defect being partial sours. the second most populous group were chipped, broken or partial beans (17), followed by peaberries (10). the rest comprised an amalgamation of the other cat 2 defects such as partial insect bites (1) and (very) partial black bean (2). the rest were unclear as to which category they neatly fit into, as their defectiveness was minor at best and displayed the markings of at least two defects on the list.

in all, there were no death knell defects to be found in the sample pound and this made me quite pleased. not that i expected to see any from this source whatsoever. only that it confirmed the presence of good beans. using the system for adding the defects, however, gave me a total of 12 full defects, which is 4 more than should be seen for premium grade and seven more than for specialty grade.

if i can get this camera in line with the macro lens i'll try for some up closes of the defects.
i'll also mention that in this randomly sampled pound i did not count beans with silverskin on them, something the scca poster indicates as a sign of immature or unripe beans. i didn't count these as defects because i have a pretty good foundation for believing that this source of beans is not picking immature or unripe beans, and because i rarely have any quakers in my batches of this coffee. i'm not sure what causes the silverskin to stay on--a sign of fermenting/drying practices that need to be tightened? i would venture that it's not a dry mill issue, as the beans are already at their necessary moisture content by that point. and i would assume it's not a pulping issue, as a pulper wouldn't remove silverskin anyway, the beans still being in pergomino. the only solution that seems left is fermentation tank/drying.

i digress. next post should be about the comparison cupping. maybe some defect pics.

ah yes, one more thing. while not on the scaa poster, technically a peaberry is a defect. i counted those ten in my defect total.

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