Thursday, May 12, 2011

shop talk.


i hope you are all frolicking around in the rain and splashing through puddles! thank goodness we finally get some of the storms coming through.

anyway, as promised, luke from third coast, is dropping in today to let you know a little more about their/our(!!!) coffee practices. if you find that you have any questions or are dying to know more, leave a comment in the space below and we'll make sure they get answered. and without further adieu..


Greetings all,
It's nice to finally meet you, and we're very excited to be joining the Vintage Heart family. Mallory invited me to drop by intermittently and post on all things Third Coast—who we are, what we do, why we do it, and other such etceteras. Little did she know what a maelstrom of verbosity she was about to unleash. Just kidding. I'll keep it in check.

I wanted to kick this series off with a few more basics about us as a company. Joe has been roasting coffee here in Austin since 1993, and his business partner Linda has been working the more visible side of the coffee world for just as long. We are a founding member of Cooperative Coffees, a green coffee importing group that works directly with Fair Trade cooperatives in fifteen countries. CC's raison d'etre is to provide long-term, direct trading relationships that stick to the principles of Fair Trade while going beyond wherever possible. If you're interested in our trading practices, I recommend you make a quick pit stop here.
The coolest thing—from my perspective—about our involvement in Cooperative Coffees is that it keeps us actively engaged in the communities that we source our coffee from. Joe was invited to judge a coffee festival in Honduras in March, and he spent a good chunk of January meeting with farmers and teaching a roasting clinic in Nicaragua; Linda went to Sumatra in November to build relationships with a few of our newer trading partners there. Our contracts take into account not only the quality and market price of coffee, but also the necessities of life on the ground in coffee-growing communities.
Mallory mentioned transitional coffee in her earlier post, so I wanted to include a few words about that as well. If any of you are familiar with organic agriculture, you'll know that there's a “waiting period” during which crops must be grown organically but cannot yet be sold as such—while this rule exists for a good reason, it does provide a powerful disincentive for farmers to make the switch to organic coffee-growing: their yields drop temporarily as their trees adjust to new conditions, but they don't have access to higher prices to make up for the difference.
As such, we actively seek out farms that are in the midst of this transitional phase and buy their coffee at a premium akin to (and often exceeding) the standard premium paid for organic coffee. Doing so takes the sting off the most difficult parts of the organic transition, and by marketing this coffee as “Transitional” rather than merely “conventional,” we give you the heads-up that you're still supporting a very worthy cause. Assuming, of course, that you're into organic coffee, which we hope you are.
That should probably be all for now, but I'll drop by again soon. Please let me know if there's anything specific you'd like to know about us; I'd be happy to expound on anything and everything that piques your interest.
Be well,


thanks luke! that was wonderful, even if you did use capital letters.

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