Long first day

As our first day of travel to Colombia began at 12:30 am, who knew we would be traveling for almost 24 hours to get to Bogota. The first leg to Houston was uneventful but a number of delays set us back over 2 hours from our original schedule. We finally departed Houston around 7 pm and arrived in Bogota at 11:15 pm. We cleared customs and immigration without incident, and after a 20 minute cab ride arrived at the Celebrity Suites hotel for our very short sleep. It was almost 1:30 before we got to bed, with a 6 am alarm set as we had an early breakfast meeting planned with two very important Colombia Coffee Federation gentlemen. Our hotel suite was huge, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and giant seating area, large kitchen and laundry area. Ironic we would only be sleeping for 4 and a half hours and then be gone all morning before checking out. Such is the life of the traveler. We arrived safe, and were looking forward to the beginning of our adventure.

Monday morning coffee (on Tuesday)

Yes, it’s Tuesday afternoon, so this post is a bit late. I was waiting for information on my latest coffee order to see how things would come together. So now that I have it, I can send out this update. I wish it was all good news…

First, the good news. With this order of coffee (11 bags – over 1500 lbs) that I’m picking up tomorrow, we are in for a full restock. I’ve been out of my coffee from Uganda for a while, but it will be available again tomorrow. As well, a restock of our coffee from Brazil. And a new addition. I’ve ordered a bag of coffee from Honduras for this go round. I’ve never carried one from there, so am looking forward to seeing how it is. I usually bring in something new in preparation for the Farmers Market season, so that’s the one for this year.

As well, I’ll be picking up a new bag of Colombia Santander which is a blend of beans from two of the farms I visited on my trip to Colombia in 2016. One of the farms that we visited had twin daughters, like me, so supporting them has been a priority. And I also learned that both girls have been able to go to University this year as a result of the work their families have done to grow their farms. A first for the family. I’ll also have a special bag of Colombia from Los Mandarinos farm, called Don Carlos Passion. I’ll be offering it on occasion as it will be a limited supply.

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Mark your calendars as well. The May long weekend is the start of the Farmers Market season, and I’ll be able to attend this year. The first market is always a fun one.

Now, the not so good news. As a result of increased prices coming off the farms, transport costs, and the current exchange between the Canadian and US dollars, I unfortunately will be taking a price increase across all our coffees. Prices haven’t changed in over 2 years, and so this is one of those increases that is necessary to continue to provide fresh roasted and delivered coffee to all my customers. One pound bags will be going up to $17, and half pounds $9. Subscription prices will also reflect this increase.

So, it’s an exciting time. New coffees, new season, and likely another exciting announcement about a new opportunity to sell my coffee at another event. But that will be for another time.

Monday Morning Coffee

Ah Monday morning. It signals the end of the weekend, and a new work week. Likely, it also means starting your day considerably earlier than the last two mornings. But there’s a remedy for that, and many of us look forward to our first cup of coffee early Monday morning. So, what better time to write about coffee. You need it. I have it and can tell you a little about it. So, it’s a perfect blend to get your day brewing.

At my house right now, we are enjoying some freshly roasted coffee that I brought back from my trip in August to Africa. We were fortunate to connect (or reconnect) with our friends at Munali coffee. It’s a family owned operation, now run by Jesper Lublinkoff, who took over operations from his father a few years ago. It’s been a long haul for them, but being back at the farm brought back many memories from my first trip to Zambia and visiting the farm. I was able to bring back two different batches of their wonderful coffee, and roasted the first one this weekend. It was a Peaberry from their farm, and it is fantastic. A perfect start to the weekend. One of the best parts is the amazing full body that it carries in the cup. We pulled some shots for latte’s and americanos here at the house, and they were tremendous. Even my son who has developed a discerning palate for coffee, enjoyed his americano enough to let me know how good it was. Sadly, it’s a very limited supply (one roast of 4 lbs) that our family will be enjoying over the weeks ahead. There are some pictures from our trip, and trips past to give you an idea of the farm and the family who run it.

I will be talking about some other new arrivals in the weeks ahead that will be available to order. So keep an eye out, and tell your friends about my blog. Hopefully, I’ll be more diligent in putting out content to keep you in the coffee loop, and provide some information to help you on your coffee journey.

Time for a new look

The time had come. After 10+ years with the old logo, it was time for a refresh. And what a refresh it is. Below is the link to our new look brochure. You’ll notice (or maybe you won’t) that it is definitely coffee related. But, if you look closely, you’ll also notice how one of my other favorite things has been incorporated into the look. See if you can figure it out. For those who know me, it’ll be easy. If you don’t know about one of my other passions beside coffee, I think you’ll soon understand.

Bean There Logo Photo Texture Black

Oct 2017 Order Brochure

 

 

 

Colombia and coffee

On my trip to Colombia in October, I had the privilege of meeting some great coffee farming families. And not just the husband and wife who were the primary managers and operators, but the entire family. Grandparents, kids, brother, sisters. Everyone was involved. One farm even had twin girls who were a key part of the operation. This hit home with me as a father of twin girls.wp-image-1351093156jpg.jpg

Each of the farms was unique. Yet one thing was common among all of them. A pride in their product. We had the opportunity to walk through their coffee fields to view the cherries on the plants. What an experience. To be able to sample a coffee cherry, hand picked by me, and taste the fruit of their labor is something I won’t forget. Those sweet ripe cherries were incredible. And as we toured their homes and work areas, you got a sense of the pride they have in everything they do. Equipment meticulously clean and well maintained. Floors and buildings spotless. It was an incredible experience I can’t wait to do again.

I will be carrying some of the coffees that these wonderful people produce. It is a unique privilege to be able to say, I’ve been to that farm and met the families who have produced this fantastic coffee. Below are some pictures from some of the farms we visited. Each one unique and wonderful, producing some of the worlds best coffee.
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Welcome to Colombia

This is the sign that welcomes you to Bogota, Colombia. We have arrived. Our group of 4 will be touring Colombia over the next 10 days on a coffee trip. Two days in Bogota at the Coffee Expo and then 6 days in the mountains touring coffee farms. It’s been a crazy hectic day, and I’ve been up since 2 am, so ready for bed. Two great flights Calgary to Houston to Bogota. Very relaxing. Dinner when we arrived here. Tomorrow starts early. It’s going to be a great 10 days. I’m hoping to blog something every night but not sure how late some of them will be. Also, staying at a fabulous hotel in Bogota. Pics of that to follow too. 

Light Reading

As a young kid growing up, I loved to read. If there was a book around, I’d read it. I was on a first name basis with all the school librarians. (well, close anyway, they were all family friends) One of the words I learned from reading is voracious, and that’s the kind of reader I was. Thankfully, that has carried on in my kids. I can’t count the number of times my girls have read the  entire Harry Potter series. And my son grew up reading the Redwall books, and every now and then I see him back in them.

As a middle age adult, I still enjoy reading. A lot. However, life phases change, so free time to read isn’t always available while kids are growing up, being driven around, and life is happening. So, as we (my wife and I) move into a new phase of life, one with independent kids, I am finding a bit more time to read. And most of the books on my coffee table nowadays are about, surprise, coffee. There are also a couple of Star Wars books thrown in there, but they are more for entertainment reading because I still love the story.

The coffee books I currently own are a great mix of educational and story telling type books. There is so much information out there about coffee that it’s hard to imagine a limit to the number of books I could read. One of my recent favorites is by Longberry Publishing. Aptly titled “Longberry” It has some education, but more to my liking, some fantastic writing about coffee, the coffee world, coffee people, growers, families, and other great reads. I missed out on the hard cover of Issue 1, but have in my possession now, Issue 2, pictured below. I imagine there will be more issues coming to my door, even though it is published in the UK. One of the editors is a long time coffee man James Hoffman. The selections are great, fun, and educational. One of the chapters is called Plant Sentence – Coffee has survival strategies. It gets into the science of the coffee plant and how it has changed and evolved through the years. Fun to dig into.

A second book I just started is called “Caffeinated – How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us” by Murray Carpenter. He is also a long time coffee guy and a scientist, so this is definitely a book for learning. And the writing is great as well. I’m really looking forward to this one.

I am fortunate to be able to find so much great writing on the subject of coffee. I encourage anyone who enjoys reading for fun to find any coffee book and give it a look. It will have great stories, and you’ll be able to learn something as well.

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Time Sure Flies

Who would have thought it would take 5 months to publish another blog post. It really shouldn’t be this hard. So it’s time to send one out.

One of the great things about the world of coffee is that there is always something new to try. My most recent pick up of green coffee from Calgary was around 1400 lbs. Pretty much filled the back of my father in law’s Escalade,  which I don’t really enjoy driving, but it’s a nice ride when picking up my goods. You can see the picture below.

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Included in this order were some new coffees for me to offer. One of the new ones is from Bali. (pictured above) And although it’s not really new, it’s a new offering. This one is again a Rainforest Alliance Organic coffee, however, it’s also a natural process coffee (my previous Bali was a washed coffee.)  This means it has a much lighter, sweeter, and definitely fruitier profile than the old one. There are hints of the earthiness that people liked in the previous coffee, but they are certainly muted by the sweetness that is prevalent. So far, it has been a great dark roast coffee for people to enjoy.

Also, a new, but not really new coffee from Bolivia. I’ve had a Bolivian coffee previously (but it’s been a couple of years) that was fantastic. Chocolate tones, with a hint of molasses. Smooth and rich, heavy on the tongue. Just a great coffee. So I was really looking forward to bringing it in again. This coffee does not disappoint. Same great profile with even more chocolate tones to it. (Of course everyone has different taste buds, but that’s what I get when I drink it)

And finally, one that is actually new for me. A coffee from Burundi. I’ve been patiently waiting for this to arrive as supply seems to be quite limited. I’m a huge fan of African coffees. Each are distinctive in their own way. But the one thing I enjoy the most is their dark fruit and chocolate tones. And they are so smooth. So this was another that I was really looking forward to. Surprisingly, it does not have the same chocolate and dark fruit tones I was expecting. The smoothness, yes. But definitely a more muted, soft chocolate hint to it. A wonderful, mellow, easy drinking coffee that I have discovered pulls some incredible espresso shots for an americano at home.  This doesn’t surprise me as all of my other coffees from Africa also pull great espresso shots for me at home.

I have also discontinued some of my other coffees either due to slow sales, lack of supply, or high prices. Peru, Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica (eventually) will no longer be available.  Sadly, I have had to increase all prices to $16 per pound due to the current state of the Canadian dollar next to our American counterpart. It’s been over 2 years since my last increase. And if you price it out, brewing a 12 cup pot, using 2 oz of coffee each time, that’s 8 pots for a total of 96 cups. (Depending on your mug size) That’s roughly $0.17 per cup if your brewing at home.  Even if you use a larger mug, it’s still less than $0.40 a cup which is a great price for fresh roasted and delivered coffee.

Attached below is my current list of coffees that are on offer. There is also contact information to reach me to place an order.

Oh, and don’t forget, the Farmers Market season is fast approaching. It all starts May 14, so mark your calendars.

February 2016

 

Special Season Special Coffee

With Christmas fast approaching, Bean There Roasting is happy to offer some unique and special coffees for this time of year. These are over and above my regular coffees that I carry year round. Below is an updated list of special coffees available for the Christmas Season.

The newest additions. No pricing yet as I don’t have all the numbers crunched for these.

Colombia Finca Manatiales del Frontino Red Bourbon. This is a micro lot coffee, so limited availability.

Galapagos Island – also a limited availability coffee.

A few of my more regular offerings. Prices are updated since my last post.

Yemen Mocha Ismaili  4 oz $5.50    8 oz $10.50    1 lb  $20.00

Maui  Mokka   4 oz  $9.50   8 oz  $18.00    1 lb  $35.00

Jamaica High Mountain    4 oz  $9.50    8 oz  $18.00    1 lb  $35.00

Colombia Geisha    4 oz  $7.00    8 oz   $13.00    1 lb   $25.00

So if your looking for something special as a coffee gift for that discerning coffee drinker, I’d be happy to help you out. Remember, the first Christmas Market I’ll be at is November 6,7 in the Cypress Center. Friday 12-8 and Saturday 9-4. Hope to see you there.

Christmas Market offerings.

Well, it’s that time of year. Even though Halloween isn’t done yet, it’s beginning to look (and sound) a lot like Christmas. So, in preparation for that, this post will be reposted multiple times. It will be a list of coffees available for people to buy during this wonderful time of year. Most are part of my regular offerings. One item available every year for Christmas is the 2 oz stocking stuffer. Available in all regular coffees the 2 oz bags are perfect for the coffee lover who wants to enjoy a different coffee each time. They are $3 each or 5 for $12, and you can pick them up at either of the two Christmas Markets that I will be at. So, without further delay, here is all the information you need to make a decision about what coffees to get for that special someone.

The Markets I’ll be at are:

November 6,7 at the Cypress Center. Friday the 6th from 12-8, and Saturday the 7th from 9am – 5 pm.

Thursday Dec. 3 at the Olde Tyme Christmas Market from 4 – 9 in the Auditorium of the Cypress Center. This is held by the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede and has become an annual event. The Olde Tyme Market brings all your favorite Farmers Market vendors back for one last chance to treat that special someone to a unique local product. Of course it’s December so there won’t be any produce.

Below is a list of our coffees for the Christmas Season.

Each of these is $8 for a half pound, and $15 for a pound.

Colombia Santander Rainforest Alliance,

Guatemala Huehuetenango Rainforest Alliance,

Bali Blue Moon Organic Rainforest Alliance.

Brazil Organic

Papua New Guinea Organic

Rwanda Dukunde Fair Trade Organic

Timor Fair Trade Organic

Ethiopia Yirgacheffe

Tanzania Peaberry

Colombia Centauros

Honduras Swiss Water Organic Decaf

Bean There Dark Side Blend

Bean There Espresso Blend

Each of these is $8.50 a half pound and $16 a pound

Costa Rica Tarrazu Rainforest Alliance

Kenya Peaberry

Mexico Swiss Water Organic Decaf

Along with our Dark Side and Espresso Blends, any of our coffees can be dark roasted if you prefer, and of course if you need it ground we can do that too.

Below are a list of some premium coffees that are available for the Christmas season for that extra special coffee drinker on your list. Each of these is best enjoyed as a medium roast. And they are all a limited supply coffee.

Yemen Mokka    1 lb  $20   1/2 lb  $10  4 oz  $5

Maui Mokka       1 lb  $35    1/2 lb  $17.50   4 oz  $9

Colombia Geisha   1 lb  $25   1/2 lb  $13   4 oz  $7

Jamaica High Mountain   1 lb  $35   1/2 lb  $18   4 oz  $9

As well, for the first time ever, I’m working with the Exhibition (for the November Market) and going to be able to serve cappucinos, lattes, and shots of espresso, as well as a wonderful afternoon treat called affogato, which a a shot of espresso over vanilla ice cream. Of course, you could have it anytime, but availability will be very limited as we are trying this out for the first time. (the affogato that is. I should have the beverages available the whole weekend.)

And, finally, I will have available raw, unroasted cacao beans. These will be available in 1 lb bags for $10. This is an unbelievable product. The aroma itself is incredible. And while it does take some loving work to get it ready, you won’t be disappointed in the result. I’ve roasted some here at home to try, and the flavor is amazing. Whatever you thought cocoa tasted like, this will totally change your perspective. It’s a product of Colombia (I’m not kidding) and has been brought in by my coffee importer Carlos at Single Origin Coffee in Calgary. Like coffee, it’s another one of those products you can’t grow in Canada. And it’s taken Carlos 3 years to get this product to market, so that’s a good indicator of it’s quality.

So there you have it. An exciting Christmas season approaches. Coffee, cacao, and coffee to drink while walking around the market. It just doesn’t get any better. So be sure to mark your calendars for November 6 and 7 in the Cypress Center and come see some amazing homemade Christmas gifts just waiting for you to discover.