Sunday, March 3, 2013

Mid Atlantic Wine and Food Festival

I'm delighted to be serving coffee and meeting new people as the exclusive coffee vendor at the Mid Atlantic Wine and Food Festival in Wilmington, DE from from March 6-10.  I'm using the occasion to relaunch my Grounds for Health fundraising coffee, El Amor de Madre, and am honored to be joined by a former GFH board member on Saturday. Grounds for Health addresses cervical cancer in migrant and underserved populations, where it is a deadly killer.  Not to overstate the matter, if we want to fix the world for our kids, we better keep all the Moms alive that we can.

My table is right next to the stage in the Main Festival tent.  On Saturday morning I'll be assisting Rich Lipner, a coffee grower from Panama, who will be sharing a lifetime of experience in the coffee world.

Check out all the celebrity chefs and the multi track programming using the link above, but prepare to be amazed on Saturday evening by Sharon Katz and the Peace Train, the apartheid busting musicians from South Africa.

I'm pretty excited about all of it.  If you are able to visit, tell me you saw it on my blog for a free cappuccino!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Coffee Realpolitik

I really enjoyed this conversation I had with Brian James at WPAZ radio. I do get going on some of my favorite topics, mostly economic realities in the global games we play, plus buying local.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Welcome Handcrafted Cookie Company

If you don't think a person can have tears of gratitude for a cookie, you haven't experienced what Chad and Theresa Williams are doing at the Handcrafted Cookie Company in Phoenixville, PA. Please consider what you would do if something with a name like one of these appeared in your hand: Lavender Vanilla Sugar Cookie, Blueberry Bliss Oatmeal, Mocha Coconut, or Chocolate Cherry Cordial. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. They custom bake for gifts, have great party trays, or you can buy the dough and show off at home.

Now you can get Kimberton Whole Foods Coffee there too, including our classic Northern Italian espresso blend, extracted on their La Marzocco Linea, one of the finest coffee machines you'll find in our area. And they really know how to use it. Espresso and cookies... I think I need to have my next birthday party there.

I'll be hanging out with them this Friday, April 2, about 6-9pm for Phoenixville's First Friday, answering questions and getting to know the customers. Hope to see you in the Ville.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Tale of Two Decafs

We've tweaked our existing decaf and added a new one. Here's the story:

We're darkening the roast for our Sumatran Decaf, and introducing a new Peruvian decaf. The natural sweetness of the Peruvian makes it winning candidate for a medium roast, and the deep, earthy characteristics of the Sumatran enable us to roast it darker but retain full flavor.

Both are decaffeinated by the Swiss Water Process. If you've heard that term for years, but still don't really know what it means, this diagram makes it very clear.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Introducing Bali Blue Krishna

We have a really fun coffee for our 'Roast of the Month.' Balinese Blue Krishna is a perfect example of the surprising and unique coffees that are tucked away in little corners of the Coffee Belt between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.

The classic Indonesian profile -earthy, fruity, chocolaty, - is certainly present, but this dear little bean has its own taste twist: the chocolaty goes to milk chocolate and the fruity goes to floral, producing a delicate but full bodied cup. Many farmers in Bali cultivate tangerine and orange trees in the same fields, creating biodiverse shade covers and an opportunity to imagine our two favorite breakfast beverages growing side by side!

Bali's Subak Abian is a traditional Hindu farming structure based on "Tri Hita Karana," the "Three Causes of Happiness." They are: good relations with God, with other people, and with the environment. So small family farms work cooperatively to create a world class, sustainable product, and they do it because that is their responsibility. Sounds like an approach we could all learn from. As far as I'm concerned, there is nothing troubling about the notion of spiritually cultivated coffee. The best cook I ever knew told me his secret ingredient was love. We'll have it in the cafe and on the shelf - hope you can stop by soon. Hari Bol!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Community Development in Cameroon

Last summer I had the great pleasure to meet Matti Foncha, a true global citizen, who has an import business based in Atlanta, and has been helping farmers in his native Cameroon organize cooperatively to bring their crops to world markets. Matti's vision for equitable trading is summarized here.
At Kimberton Whole Foods, this coffee is our first experiment with Direct Purchase from coffee farmers. We're helping pre-finance the 2010 harvest, an approach that helps stabilize the local economy, and gives farmers a chance to help their famlies and each other during the growing season, now underway.
We learned about this opportunity from Mocha Joe's, a coffee roaster in Brattleboro, VT. They've sent their own folks over there to help train the farmers to grow, sort, and process for the specialty coffee market. They've also organized local roasters (like us!) around this project, and are helping create resources and funding for new processing mills in Cameroon, to be farmer-owned.
Cameroon is the only region in West Africa with the altitudes and soils to support high-grade Arabica beans. The coffee is very robust and interesting, a unique combination of buttery chocolate notes with an earthy spiciness. We're offering it as a French Roast.
I have exactly one 130# bag in stock from the 2009 harvest. I think I can get more if customers clamor. This is a great coffee, and the 2010 crop promises to be even better.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Grounds for Health Giftbox

We have a new online offering that benefits Grounds for Health. This post will be admitting a little hat trick we're performing for the sake these dear mothers and their children. They are our three best selling coffees, but two of them have arrived in disguise!
The first is our dedicated, year-round fundraiser, "El Amor de Madre." We wrote about that a few months ago. "La Esperanza de los Ninos" is actually "Hobo Ed's Morning Mojo," the coffee I have sold more of than any other offering. Cupping and origin notes for Mojo have also appeared on our blog. "Afya Ya Mataifa" (that's Swahili, for the work GFH is doing in Tanzania) is actually "Hobo Ed's Midnight Special," a light French Roast that has recently threatened to unseat Morning Mojo. It's our version of the classic Moka-Java, the first blend in the history of coffee, combining Ethiopian coffee (historically shipped from the port of Moka) with Sumatran, the first coffee propagated outside of Africa and Yemen, by the Dutch on the island of Java.
As you make your holiday purchases this year, please consider the benefit Grounds for Health brings to women in coffee growing countries. All of us can make a difference in the world - it's easier than we think.