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Traditional Charcoal Roasted Coffee

Hipster-my-blend-is-the-flavor-of-coffee

10372893_450026351800165_5471148228556551568_oThis is me…with several thousand pounds of coffee. Most of this coffee has gone through my roaster, by my hands. Aceh Gold, from northern Sumatra, a spicy peppery coffee with notes of bell pepper. In the back is coffee from Ethiopia, Kenya, Guatemala, Panama, Brazil, Colombia, Papua New Guinea, Bali…just to name of few.

Each one of these varieties of coffee is unique. The Rocchio family is about coffee; the beans are as individual as the people of the World. And that’s the way we roast. I offer this quote from our Yelp page:

“…the people at Rocchio coffee are passionate about coffee and down to earth. It’s not that arrogant hipster we-know-coffee-better-than-you-do-taste-isn’t-­subjective bullshit.”

If you are drinking a blend, that means you are drinking what someone has decided is the flavor of coffee and not the true flavors of the World’s coffees.

Single origin. Roasted to produce the most flavor from an individual bean. Rocchio Family Roasters: Coffee is a Joy. Enjoy it Your way.

Coffee: Some good information

Some good information…a few extreme views.

“Tea, a traitor’s drink,” – John Adams, 1772

In a letter dated July 6, 1774, John Adams wrote to his beloved wife a letter.

“I believe I forgot to tell you one Anecdote: When I first came to this House it was late in the Afternoon, and I had ridden 35 miles at least. “Madam” said I to Mrs. Huston, “is it lawfull for a weary Traveller to refresh himself with a Dish of Tea provided it has been honestly smuggled, or paid no Duties?”

“No sir, said she, we have renounced all Tea in this Place. I cant make Tea, but He make you Coffee.” Accordingly I have drank Coffee every Afternoon since, and have borne it very well. Tea must be universally renounced. I must be weaned, and the sooner, the better.

After the Boston Tea Party of 1773, when American colonists raided British tea ships and threw crates of tea into the harbor, Americans universally switched over to drinking coffee. Coffee houses became popular meeting places in the Colonies. The American Revolution was planned over a cup of coffee…well, several hundred cups of coffee.

18thcentury  oil on canvas portrait of a gentleman drinking coffee.

Artist Robert Edge Pine (1830-1888) painted many of the Founding Fathers of the United States. This man to the left isn’t one of them. In fact, even though Pine painted portraits of George Washington and other significant American Colonial figures, this gentleman has not been identified. It’s believed he may have been a coffee merchant. The man sits in a wicker chair, a cup of coffee in one hand, a newspaper in the other, his loyal dog by his side. Perhaps someone may recognize their great-great-great-great-grandfather. The painting is for sale; $16,000.00.

Coffee: A workout weight loss secret weapon

50 percent of Americans start their day with a cup of coffee.  And for those who hit the gym after that cup are getting an extra weight loss advantage. A Spanish study, published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, found that athletes who took in caffeine before they worked out burned about 15 percent more calories for three hours post-exercise, compared to those who didn’t.

Japanese scientist discovered that coffee drinkers had a 30 percent better blood flow during their workout than non-coffee drinkers. Better blood flow, better circulation to your muscles.

coffeeworkout1Scientists at the University of Illinois found that consuming the caffeine equivalent of two to three cups of coffee one hour before a 30-minute bout of high-intensity exercise reduced perceived muscle pain. The conclusion: caffeine may help you push just a little bit harder during strength-training workouts, resulting in better improvements in muscle strength and/or endurance.

coffeeworkout2And don’t forget that post workout cup of coffee. A recent study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that drinking coffee with carbohydrates resulted in a 66 percent increase in muscle glycogen four hours after intense, glycogen-depleting exercise. Glycogen, the form of carbohydrate that gets stockpiled in muscle, serves as a vital energy “piggy bank” during exercise, to power strength moves, and fuel endurance. Packing a greater reserve means that the very next time you work out, you’ve upped your ability to exercise.

Starbucks raises coffee prices

From the Associated Press:

Starbucks is raising prices on some of its drinks by 5 cents to 20 cents starting next week, and customers can also soon expect to pay $1 more for the packaged coffee it sells in supermarkets.Image

Starbucks also raised prices on some of the drinks sold in its cafes a year ago. The latest hikes don’t seem to be driven purely by the surging bean costs that have pressured other coffee sellers to raise prices, however, since Starbucks has said it already locked in its coffee contracts for the rest of this fiscal year and much of the next.

In March, CEO Howard Schultz said during an interview with Fox Business that Starbucks had no intentions of raising its prices.

“We can manage this, we have over a year’s worth of protection,” Schultz said at the time. “I suspect that most of our competitors are short, and we are in a much better position than they are.”

In an email Friday, Starbucks spokesman Jim Olson noted that many factors go into pricing decisions, including “competitive dynamics” and the company’s “cost structure,” which he said includes costs for a variety of ingredients, as well as materials, labor and occupancy costs.

Starbucks Corp. said the price increases in its cafes will kick in Tuesday and vary depending on the region.

The $1 price boost on packaged coffees sold in supermarkets and other retail outlets will kick in July 21, and follow J.M. Smucker’s recent decision to raise prices on its coffees, which include Folgers.

The Specialty Coffee Biz: Coffee on every corner

Nordstrom

Nordstrom’s coffee – do you really think they sent their shirt and skirt buyer to Ethiopia?

“I’d like a Felicity and Coco Strapless Stripe Maxi Dress, a white traditional button down shirt and a double moca latte, extra foam.”

Yes, caffeinated ones, Nordstrom is stepping up its coffee business. A friend of mine sent this flyer to me, publicizing Nordstrom’s Fair Trade and Organic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, whole bean or ground, compete with cupping notes.

A public relations department worked overtime coming up with all the coffee buzz words to make Nordstrom Yirgacheffe special. It has a little map with Ethiopia outlined in red. The narrative tells of the “rugged Sidamo Highlands” – a place that, in reality, does not exist and is no doubt an homage to the fictional Juan Valdez of Folger’s Coffee. Yirgachefe coffee is actually from the Yirgachefe region of central south Ethiopia. And, contrary to what the flyer says, is an heirloom varietal not typica.

It also says it’s Fair Trade. Just remember, when a coffee farm signs on to  Fair Trade, they can no longer sell their coffee beans to individuals, but instead only to the Fair Trade cooperatives…in essence a middle man. The FT cooperative keeps a percentage of the money and gives what’s left to the farmer. Direct Trade is when a farmer and a buyer make the deal for the farmer directly…no middle man…hence Direct Trade. The farmer keeps all the money.

Also, coffee that comes out of the cooperatives in Ethiopia is organic… by necessity more than design. Farmers in the coffee growing region are so poor, they can’t afford chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. They just use what nature gives them to grown their coffee trees.

A cup of Nordstrom's.

A cup of Nordstrom’s.

 

I did a little research. Nordstrom has a Specialty Coffee Facebook page. Nordstrom coffee is based in Seattle. I sure the goal is to give Starbucks a run for its money…to have shoppers sipping lattes as they peruse through the shoes, purses and other Nordstrom offerings.

Coffee when you need it, where you need it and how you want it – Not such a bad thing.

I’m calling BS on Folgers’ and Dunkin’ Donuts’ coffee price hike.

I’ve always said that if coffee were priced as Big Oil prices gasoline, a 16 ounce cup of coffee would cost more than a gallon of gas.

Now it seems as if one of the largest coffee retailers is taking a page from the Big Oil play book. Earlier this year, I reported that coffee leaf rust had ravaged coffee crops in southern Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. This is not a new problem.

Leaf rust fungus attacks the coffee tree leaves. The tree cannot produce quality cherries.

Leaf rust fungus attacks the coffee tree leaves. The tree cannot produce quality cherries.

Coffee leaf rust first hit Central America in the 1970s. But now the fungus has spread to some farms in the higher elevations where the better quality beans grow. I also reported, ” Limited Central American coffee futures are being offset by a glut of coffee in Brazil and some African countries.”

However, J.M. Smucker, which has a licensing agreement with Dunkin’ Donuts and Folgers brands, announced it would raise the price of its coffees sold in supermarkets by 9 percent. Starbucks has already announced it would not raise its prices despite the coffee crisis in some Central American countries.

Farmers in Central America, Africa and Brazil are already replacing their trees

Many farmers are replacing their old trees with new coffee plants that better resist the airborne disease, however it will be two to three years before the new plants produce the valuable beans. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)The Associated Press

Many farmers are replacing their old trees with new coffee plants that better resist the airborne disease, however it will be two to three years before the new plants produce the valuable beans. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)The Associated Press

with a leaf rust resistant variety. The tree will not only fight leaf rust, but it will produce a better coffee cherry/bean. A real threat to coffee is a drought that could affect coffee production in Brazil, the world’s largest coffee producing nation.

By the way, a cup of coffee per ounce is way more expensive than gasoline. Do the math: Brewed coffee can cost as much as $24 a gallon. $1.50 divided by 8 ounces times 128 ounces in a gallon.