Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Charbucks is closing more stores and cutting workers. It's too bad so many people are losing their jobs, but that is a classy move by the CEO to take a pay cut to 10k a year.

I believe that people still do want a quality cup, though, and that instead of saving money by buying a cup of poorly brewed commodity coffee, most people choose to brew at home.

That's fine by us. We would be happy to sell you 5lbs of coffee that you can grind and brew fresh every morning. We'll even sell you green coffee if you've got a little I-Roaster yourself and want to smoke up the house! (Our sampling roasts usually happen in the garage. Nicraugua & Uganda are next up).

Once you fall in love with quality, fresh-roasted coffee it's nearly impossible to go back.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Fun with Facts

Here we have a surprisingly good list of fun coffee facts. I'm going to have to double-check on some of these before I start using them in my pitch, but the few obscure coffee facts I do happen to know are repeated here, so that's a good sign.

Here's one I like: "It was in 1530 that the first coffeehouse was opened in Damascus, Syria. Istanbul, Turkey opened its first coffeehouse in 1554."

Feels pretty good to be part of a tradition that has lasted for 479 years.

If you see any that aren't true let me know!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Change is in the Air

What a fantastic day at the Bean yesterday. Had a great crowd there to celebrate the Inauguration of President Obama and a brand new blend mixed up to mark the day.

It's the Blend for Change and it's similar to our usual House Blend, but changed slightly (ha!). Peru & Sumatra remain the same, but in this new blend we've got Papua New Guinea in there instead of Colombia. It is amazing how different the coffee tastes with this slight variation.

Ordered lots of new green recently and I'm looking forward to roasting it up once it arrives.

And even more exciting is that in early February I will be making my first trip to origin. Boquete Panama is the destination and I will have a chance to sample some of the most unique and expensive coffee in the world. Can't wait!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Obviously here at Bean & Leaf we believe that fairly traded and organic coffe & tea is the only way to roll, but if you're still not convinced perhaps this article from The Learning Channel will help.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Made in the Shade

Happy birds, bats and insects are a few of the good things you already know about shade grown coffee but a new study published in the Dec. 23 issue of the journal Current Biology adds a few new tidbits.

University of Michigan researchers Shalene Jha and Christopher Dick discovered that native trees have more genetic diversity in the coffee plantations than they do in other parts of the forest, and that's a very good thing. From the Science Daily article:
A concern in agricultural areas is that increasingly fragmented landscapes isolate native plant populations, eventually leading to lower genetic diversity. But this study shows that shade coffee farms, by being hospitable to birds, support widespread dispersal of native trees, in effect connecting patches of surrounding forest.

In addition, shade coffee farms may serve as reservoirs for future forest regeneration, as the farms typically fall out of production in less than a century. Given that potential---as well as their roles in connecting habitat patches, preserving genetic diversity and sheltering native wildlife---it is important to encourage this traditional style of agriculture, Jha said.

So, long story short, drink shade grown beans. It's the only way to brew.