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SUMMER 2019 | Vol. XXXII No. 6




Rock 's r e t s a o R






An Interview with Melissa Brown 12


Electronic Service Requested

A Comparative View

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Roaster's Rock


The Power of Expensive Coffee and Roasting Competitions


Bringing In-Transit Visibility to the Coffee Supply Chain


Coffee Service Corner

An Interview With Melissa Brown


Beyond Quality - Designing your Custom Water for Champions


5 Tips to Navigate Direct Trading


Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee

A Comparative View




Show Listings Coffee Fest


Industry Calendar


Advertiser Index



The Power of Expensive Coffee and Roasting Competition August 2019

THE VIEW Kerri Goodman


The Death of Disenfranchisement With this industry transformation, I find myself feeling far less “connected.” Where once I served on many committees, and non-profit boards, those opportunities seem more elusive. While there are numerous barista competition opportunities which seemingly attract a much younger crowd, and still several board opportunities attracting a much more mature and in many cases, “it’s not what you know it’s who you know” conditions, the dynamic that once flourished at SCAA of bringing together the entire spectrum of the industry in committee work no longer exists. Frankly, this is a loss for the whole of the industry.


elcome to our Summer 2019 issue celebrating the art and science of Roasting. As you who live and breathe coffee know, it is this process which requires incredible attention to detail, patience, knowledge, and passion, that transforms the inert green bean to the dynamic fragrant and flavorful product we savor. This year we are proud to have experts from the industry sharing their expertise on new technologies to ensure quality and traceability in the logistics of moving the green from origin to the roaster, tips for successful direct trade relationships, the value of auction/competition coffees, and more. It is not only the green bean that is transforming. Our entire industry has experienced incredible transformation. Beginning with the birth of “specialty,” in the 70s/80s, we have progressed through 2nd and 3rd wave coffee, and some even say 4th and 5th waves. More recently, the massive amount of consolidation, the globalization of the SCA, the ongoing coffee pricing crisis, climate change challenges, the invention of barista competitions and coffee auctions, the Q-Grading system, and the rise of millennials and the next generation, continue to morph the industry in new, exciting, and sometimes frightening ways. At times, I find myself lamenting the changes... “it’s just not the same!” We have lost so many of our pioneers, people I counted as friends and my coffee family. Personally, I can’t think about coffee without remembering Skip Finley, John Rapinchuck, Erna Knudsen, Michal Rubin, Kevin Rich, Ernesto Illy, and most recently, Donny Harrell. Others are retiring and I find myself realizing I am no longer the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed 30-something who thought she knew SO much and was ready to change the world! Strangely, the older I get, the more I realize how little I know! However, there is one fact of which I am sure: as an industry, we must support each other to continue to grow and thrive.

Inclusion is the Solution Old, young, barista, producer, well all have much to learn from each other. I feel blessed to be in a position as a journalist to interact with all of the sectors. To see through the eyes of the farmer, the exporter, importer, roaster, retailer, and barista, each with their own perspective and priorities, gives an understanding and appreciation for the complexity of our profession. Imagine if every barista had the experience, even for just one full day, of the backbreaking work of climbing the hills, picking only the ripe, red cherries in the blazing heat with bugs biting and no restrooms (yup I did this one day), only to be paid enough as much as they make in one hour. Do you think that might impact their respect for making sure that drink is perfectly prepared? Wouldn’t it be amazing if the 50 and 60-somethings could experience the fascination and ease of today’s technology and social media opportunities our youth come by so naturally? Or for those young folks to comprehend the power of connecting one-on-one with business associates on the phone, on the road, in-person? We have so much to learn from each other! We must create an environment of inclusion. We must find ways to connect our next generation of industry professionals with the knowledge and wisdom of those who are getting ready to leave, while the “elders” must learn to accept and learn from the young, energetic, bright, and enthusiastic newcomers. The question is, how do we create an environment where knowledge is shared, and individual differences are celebrated. Recent research shows that inclusiveness is good for business! “A diverse and inclusive workforce helps businesses avoid employee turnover costs, fosters a more creative and innovative workforce. It is necessary to create a competitive economy in a globalized world. Diversity in the boardroom is needed to leverage a company’s full potential. Workplace diversity is not just a politically correct fad - it is a serious competitive advantage. Companies with more diverse workplace outperform their competitors and achieve higher profits!” How we do this is a question that should be at the forefront of our trade associations. Until next time...

6 August 2019

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Roasters Rock

The Power of Expensive Coffee and Roasting Competitions


n the surface of it, paying a stupid amount of money for a bunch of coffee beans is just like putting cash into a roaster and sending dollars up the stack.

Participating in a roasting competition also appears to be a waste of employee resources and adds unneeded stress to the company. So let’s look below the surface and see if this makes any sense at all. It turns out that Mike Perry at Klatch Coffee Roasters may be sly like a fox on this. Perry participated in the best of Panama coffee auction. He went in with a consortium of buyers, but none of the others from the United States. This gave him some exclusivity on the domestic market. Perry’s take of the 100-pound lot was 10 pounds. This means that with shipping and all, the coffee cost was about $1050 per pound in green bean. With a rounding error let’s call it USD 10,000.00 This coffee is selling at an incredible $75-$100 per cup. Sell 100 cups of that, and you are break even. At best you are going to get a couple of hundred cups, but you know Mike is going to drink some himself so really, what is the profit motive to take a risk like this? MARKETING may be the answer! A quick search for this topic online reveals articles from Fox Business, The Robb Report, NBC, CNN… CoffeeTalk! All of these articles mention the company and where you can find a retail location. You can’t buy this amount of favorable coverage for $10K. However, Klatch is helping you too. You might want to send a thank you card. Here’s how: Positive marketing about specialty coffee raises the entire industry.

by Rocky Rhodes

humble roaster from your town competing on the international stage. David vs. Goliath! Your ‘David’ may not win, but your community will still support the effort. They will be drawn in by the drama, and likely you will be selling ‘David’s Competition Coffee’ along the way to recoup the costs. However, if your competitor DID win, the marketing benefit would be a windfall. Imagine the headlines of the local paper celebrating your business as having the best roaster in the world! All in all, it is a low-risk endeavor to enter and participate with enormous potential rewards. Just as with the ‘most expensive coffee,’ a ‘championship in roasting’ is something that is being picked up by national media. Both things are elevating the industry. As the masses find out about these interesting stories that have to start thinking coffee is a product that deserves more attention. If the specialty industry grows even 5% in size, everyone should be more prosperous. Rocky Rhodes is an 18 year coffee veteran, roaster, and Q-Grader Instructor, and his mission now is to transform the coffee supply chain and make sweeping differences in the lives of those that produce the green coffee. Rocky can be reached at rocky@

Sure, everyone has heard of Starbucks. They are also part of the Specialty Coffee marketing apparatus. Their efforts focus the masses on the fact that coffee has flavors beyond the ‘can’ and raises expectations of what coffee quality can be. An event like ‘drinking the most expensive coffee in the world’ gets those coffee drinkers from Starbucks to look for additional, unique, and higher quality coffees. That is what YOU provide by roasting your own coffee. People will be asking their local roaster if they have heard of or can get some, of that ‘really expensive’ coffee. You will, of course, tell them, “No, but I have this lovely Panama coffee I roasted yesterday.” The tip of the spear coffee passionates crafting exotic single origins and blends are not likely to have the marketing budget to get national coverage — however, a strategically placed $10k might. You could even possibly turn a profit on your spend. Brilliant! Roasting competitions fall into a similar category. What could possibly be a useful skill building for your roasting company to have an employee train hours per day to win a roasting championship? Answer: very little. However, that is the wrong question! Americans love a couple of things: a good competition and a champion. Seriously! We will get fully committed to MY competitor in a turtle race at a bar just as much as we would MY cities’ NFL team. If there is to be a roasting champion, communities want MY coffeehouse person to win!

Photo by Trish Rothgeb

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So what would happen if you ‘sponsored’ an entry into the roasting championships? You would spend some money on coffee and salary. You will also need to get your competitor to a regional event and hopefully a national and international one. What do you get out of it? You just bought your community and NFL franchise! There is a competitor to rally behind. A Cinderella story of a

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Bringing In-Transit Visibility to the Coffee Supply Chain by Dagny Dukach Director of Marketing, Tive Inc


hen it comes to shipping highly sensitive specialty coffee beans, it can be a challenge to ensure appropriate conditions are maintained while in transit. Temperature or humidity excursions due to incorrectly set refrigerated containers, adverse environmental conditions, or unexpected delays can result in lowered quality scores and disappointed customers. However, with new IoT tools, roasters are gaining insight into the real-time location and condition of their green coffee, making it possible to pinpoint in-transit damages and bring a data-driven approach to the optimization of the coffee chain.

The impact of in-transit delays Of course, exposure to harmful environmental conditions is terrible, but the damage compounds when these sensitive shipments experience delays of hours or even days. As the TIS report explains, for shipments being unloaded in locations at potentially harmful ambient temperatures (such as cold North American or European ports), “speed is of the essence … the more quickly the containers are stripped, the lower the risk of moisture damage. Long truck or rail journeys should be avoided ... where possible [containers should] be unpacked within 24 to 48 hours of unloading from the container ship.”

Sensitivity to temperature and humidity One of the biggest challenges facing the modern coffee industry is ensuring consistent temperature and humidity levels while in transit. As a comprehensive study by the German Transport Information Service (TIS) explains, “coffee beans require particular temperature, humidity/moisture and possibly ventilation conditions.” The report advises that temperatures should be between 10°C and 20°C with humidity between 11% and 13% during transport of green coffee beans. According to the Cargo Handbook’s guidelines for shipping coffee beans, “any day under cold/wet weather above 0° C is adding another estimated 2-3% of damages to the cargo.” Even small environmental fluctuations can make a big difference when it comes to the quality (and ultimately, the price) of high-end coffee shipments.

Delays while in unloading, customs, or hand-offs between carriers can have serious implications for the quality of the shipment upon arrival at its final destination. As Jason Long explains, “Coffee spending time at a port is disastrous ... Mombasa, [Kenya] is 40°C and 99% humidity. So, you want to minimize time at port.” These delays can be extremely costly, with the potential to significantly degrade the product (not to mention the additional costs of keeping impatient customers waiting for their shipments to arrive).

For example, the TIS report describes how condensation resulting from temperature fluctuations as a shipment travels from a hot South American climate to a cold Northern European port can “cause considerable cargo losses.” Similarly, in an interview with the specialty coffee publication Perfect Daily Grind, CEO of coffee importer Cafe Imports, Jason Long explains the importance of maintaining top quality levels. “As a high-end specialty coffee trader, it [is] important to protect the coffee. If the coffee arrives in poor condition, you could claim to exporters, but the money that you get returned won’t make up for the loss financially.” These quality degradations can have serious monetary implications, but it can often be challenging to control or even identify issues that lead to temperature or humidity excursions. This isn’t a small problem. Alejandro Cadena, CEO of coffee importer Caravela Coffee, says that the company routinely loses “about 2-3% of our coffee because it gain[s] moisture” while in transit. When it comes to high-value green coffee shipments, even single-digit percentage losses are a serious problem. According to the Cargo Handbook, to qualify as SCAA Specialty Grade, green coffee beans can endure no more than five full defects in 300 grams of coffee - a high bar to meet for shipments that can take months at a time, traveling through regions with drastically different temperature and humidity levels.

What can shippers do to prevent these issues? As beans travel around the world, through different regions with different environmental conditions, some delays and temperature fluctuations are inevitable. While it may be impossible to eliminate these issues entirely, it is possible to decrease their impact on the bottom line significantly. The benefits of IoT The answer is IoT, or the Internet of Things. An IoT system refers to distributed trackers monitoring location and condition of in-transit goods and sending all that information to a cloud-based platform that enables easy, real-time access to shipment data. With IoT technologies, shippers can gain non-stop visibility into exactly where their goods are, and how they are doing, all around the world. This means that as soon as a high-value shipment is exposed to potentially harmful environmental conditions, the shipper can get an immediate notification, in time to resolve the issue and mitigate fallout. For example, trackers can send an immediate alert if temperatures exceed set thresholds, making it possible to notify the carrier about the problem. Immediate solutions can be requested (be it fixing an HVAC system, moving a shipment from an outdoor waiting area into an indoor storage area, or whatever solution is applicable). Similarly, if IoT trackers detect that a shipment is stopped in one location for too long, they can send a notification, enabling the shipper to contact any responsible parties and resolve the issue before the goods are damaged. It’s not just about eliminating one-off problems for individual shipments. When an IoT solution is implemented across the supply chain, it becomes possible to identify trends and determine the root causes of systemic issues. If historical data suggests that specific routes predictably experience high humidity levels at the same location, those routes can be avoided, or the carrier replaced for future shipments. A comprehensive data set enables executives to optimize the supply chain on a macro-level, making decisions based on quantitative facts instead of hunches. This enables a more efficient supply chain, with fewer issues, less waste, and a smoother experience overall. Delivering a top-notch customer experience From resolving temperature excursions and preventing delays to embracing a data-driven mentality throughout the supply chain, all these benefits boil down to the same thing: a superior customer experience. When issues are eliminated before damage is done, and when datadriven analysis enables consistently better service, it’s ultimately the customer who benefits.


Dagny Dukach is the Director of Marketing at Tive Inc, provider of sensor-driven supply chain visibility solutions. August 2019


May 2009


Cup for Education’s mission is to help poor, rural coffee communities around the world build schools within their communities, and assist in providing them with teachers and the basic tools needed to educate the future generations of coffee farmers. Remember those back to school adventures shopping for your new loose-leaf or spiral notebook, the perfect pencil case, or the coolest book covers? In in these rural communities there are no pencils to put in those cases, nor books to cover. The children in these areas do not have the basics. With our help though, they can have the materials they need to study hard, create a better future, improve their coffees, their lives, and their countries. A little goes a long way in these countries. For $1,900 you can sponsor a teacher for an entire year in Nicaragua. You can put a roof on a school for $500. Imagine how many pencils $25 can buy. Books cost money, and many of the schools do not supply them to the students. These are just some of the ways your donations can help. Please join in our cause of improving the educational situation of our partners in this wonderful industry of coffee. As we send our kids off to school with their backpacks weighted down with books after downing our morning java, let’s give a thought to who picked the beans, processed them, and helped create that wonderful brew.

Library created through raffle held at SCAA 2003. Jinotega, Nicaragua

Cup for Education is a non-profit organization with 503(C) tax-exempt status. 100% of all donations go to our projects.

Donations can be sent to: Traveling Library in Chacaya 2013. The Traveling Library was created to bring story hours and book kits to rural schools in Santiago Atitlan.

Cup For Education 3475 Victory Boulevard Staten Island, NY 10314 Or Paypal at

The teacher on the right was sponsored by Coffee Holding Company (Brooklyn, NY) through a Cup for Education project


by Ken Shea

Melissa Brown is founder and owner of Well-Bean, a flourishing and rapidly growing coffee roaster and OCS operation in North Carolina that began with a vision that occurred while visiting her parent’s non-profit ministry in Nicaragua known as New Song. After graduating with honors from Liberty University and serving for ten years as a personal trainer and corporate wellness coach, in 2012 Melissa realized her dream of importing coffee directly from countries of origin farmers and began contributing back to New Song through the profits. Melissa and her husband Jon, and sons Parker and Nolan reside in the Raleigh-Durham area.


ne of the fun things about attending trade shows is the opportunity to meet new people and share experiences. I had the chance to meet Melissa at the most recent NAMA show in Las Vegas and was fascinated by her journey that led her to our industry. Enjoy meeting Melissa Brown! KS: Melissa, tell me about the coffee farm tour that led to the creation of WellBean. Had you thought about importing and roasting prior to this tour or is was the experience more of an epiphany for you? MB: The trip to Nicaragua in 2012 was actually to find housing there. Our plan was to move down for a couple of years to open and run a hostel/café so we could also serve in my parents’ mission. A few months before moving, our youngest son Nolan started experiencing health issues, and we decided it was not the right time to move to a third world country. Since the trip to find housing was already paid for, we decided to make it a vacation. We booked a coffee farm excursion, and I knew I had found it! The tour was the eye-opening moment when it hit me that we didn’t have to be in Nicaragua to be effective in their ministry. We could use a Nicaraguan resource, sell our coffee in the States, and give back a portion of the profits to New Song. We loaded our suitcases with 50 pounds of coffee in December 2012 and incorporated Well-Bean 6 weeks later! KS: What a unique and bold beginning. Recognizing that OCS was not your first venture, would you share the path that led you to Coffee Service and also share your coffee offerings philosophy? MB: I didn’t jump into the OCS business until April of 2015. We started with a coffee cart on a seminary campus in Wake Forest, which failed miserably after nine months. I knew I needed to switch gears, so we opened a double-sided coffee and smoothie drive-thru in 2014. When customers would continually ask if we would deliver our coffee beans to their office, I realized there was a gap in the local OCS market. Rather than selling coffee by the cup, I should sell it in bulk to offices. The more coffee we move, the more we can give back! We landed our first account at the college campus, where we started our coffee cart. This one account was more profitable than the entire drive-thru, so we sold the business (for a significant loss) the next month, and I jumped headfirst into the OCS business. I was broke and discouraged, BUT I knew this was the right move. Even though my first two ventures were unsuccessful, the experience and coffee knowledge I had gained was ultimately what set Well-Bean apart & gave us our competitive edge against the competition. Since we roast our own coffee, we have chosen to focus on bean-to-cup brewing. Our company officially eliminated placing plastic pod brewers systems in May of this year due to the environmental impact, and our desire to promote the best quality product that we could. We place bean-to-cup machines in over 95% of new client breakrooms and have had wild success with this model. KS: How are your customers responding to your bean to cup offerings as an alternative to brew by pack cups?


MB: In our clientele, traditional carafe or airpot brewing, as the main source of office coffee, is a thing of the past. To be successful in this industry, we have to be at the forefront of coffee and tea technology. If I can get excited about something, I can sell it, and bean-to-cup brewing is just cool! Our clients & their staff LOVE these systems. Bean-to-cup machines are also super profitable for me because now I get to sell the powders in addition to our coffee. Now employees can have a latte, shot of authentic espresso, or flavored cappuccinos, so they don’t miss the old school way of brewing coffee. Don’t get me wrong,

there is definitely a place for fractional packs, but we do not lead with them. KS: Most operators report an evolving OCS industry with expanding opportunities. Where has Well-Bean been able to capitalize on new opportunities beyond bean to cup? MB: As a typical entrepreneur, I see opportunity everywhere! My staff laughs at me because a client will ask, “can you provide this” and my answer is “we do now!” If we stop our truck, I want to sell the client as much as possible. We now provide water purification systems, ice equipment, pantry services, micro-markets, and as of last month, we launched our kegerator and cold brew program. This mindset has been super successful because now our clients can consolidate vendors AND we can visit them more often due to higher order volumes. This provides the opportunity to be in front of our clients more often and deepen our relationship with them. KS: You mentioned pantry services. Was adding the multiple snack and drink SKUs difficult for you to accommodate operationally? MB: The expansion into pantry, along with micromarkets, were the hardest jumps by far in our growth. To pull it off, we had to break our lease and move into a much larger warehouse, change software platforms, our webstore, and keep a lot more product on hand. We went from less than 100 SKUs to 300+ SKUs with pantry alone. This was not only tough logistically but also on cash flow. It was a scary jump, but I had to take the risk if I wanted to play with the big dogs, and I do! KS: Do you offer, or are you considering offering office and/or janitorial supplies? Why or why not? MB: As an operator, our company tried but failed to get into the office supply business. There were just too many SKUs with different delivery expectations. We do provide cleaning supplies like soaps and dish detergent but not a full-line offering of janitorial supplies. This may be something we explore down the road if our clients ask. KS: Where do you envision Well-Bean in say the next 5 – 10 years? Are expansion plans being considered? MB: I am so excited you asked! With the success of our bean-to-cup model, we have had several independent OCS operators and water/ice dealers ask for help launching this portion of their business. Many are nervous about getting into the bean-to-cup model because the equipment is expensive, and if the machines aren’t cared for correctly, they can become a nightmare for their service department. To help, we have secured the 5,000 square foot warehouse next door and are launching our training facility & expanded coffee roastery in September. The goal is to help operators become successful with our system, and in exchange, they can offer Well-Bean Coffee in their beanto-cup placements. This will help us move more coffee, which will allow us to source our coffee direct from more farmers like we do in Nicaragua. It will also increase our ability to provide more support to New Song, so we are pretty excited about this new opportunity to expand within our industry. KS: In closing, I must ask you a question unrelated to the coffee business. I heard that you were being considered as a performer with Cirque du Soleil. Is there any truth to that story? MB: I used to compete in fitness competitions and won Ms. Fitness Las Vegas in 2003. I went on to compete in Ms. Fitness USA in 2004. The winner of Ms. Fitness USA received a $250,000 contract with Cirque du Soleil. That was my dream job outside of owning my business one day, BUT I got 15th place. Womp. Womp! KS: Melissa, Cirque du Soleil’s loss is the Coffee Service industry’s gain. Thank you for sharing your most interesting story. Many observers see you and your company and at first glance, imagine that you were an overnight success. Your journey had many ups and downs. It’s great to see how your perseverance has paid off. We all look forward to seeing the WellKen is President of Ken Shea Bean story evolve. and Associates and also serves as V.P. of Coffee Service Until next time - Ken for G&J Marketing and Sales

August 2019


Beyond Quality — Designing your Custom Water for Champions by David Beeman, “Water Wizard” at Cirqua

zinc-deficient people gives coffee a tremendous chalk taste. About 1 in 10 people have a deficiency in zinc. A fun experiment I’ve conducted many times is to add zinc to water and have several people taste it. You’ll usually always have one person that bitterly complains about the chalky taste while all the others taste nothing at all. After the initial taste, however, that same person taking a second taste will taste nothing at all, the zinc deficiency at least in the saliva resolved, and no chalkiness was perceived.


aving created “coffee water” for nearly 40 years and have learned water is by far the most misunderstood component in a great cup of coffee or tea. Believe it or not, Coffee/Tea flavor can be differentiated at the one ppm (part per million) level. Altering the mineral content by one ppm, a person can detect a flavor change. I’m not saying retailers must be that precise. However, modifications in water will make a difference in the final product. I’ve provided formulated water for competitions dating back to the very first regional, national, and world competitions. I’ve seen rivals try to copy what I do with disastrous results. One national competition, many years ago, a competitor paid for the right to provide “formulated” water and used a dry powder but neglected to check on the solubility of what they were adding. The result was that while some bottles were nearly distilled, others had minerals if the bottles were shaken on the way to the competition area. You can draw your own conclusions on fairness to the hard-working competitors who worked with distilled water. My first formula called for 150 TDS, 40 ppm alkalinity, and 5 grains hardness. This water can cause a slight scale build-up but at the time created the best profile. The roast profile at that time was only dark roast. Now, working with lighter roasts, I’m finding TDS levels as low as 101 had made the winning difference as when Todd Goldsworthy won the USBCR in 2014 & 2016 and 8th place at WBRC 2014 and 5th in 2016 using my standard formula but at the lower TDS level. At the competition level, one ppm was the difference in Todd’s flavor profile. I have to add that Todd and his team also had the advantage of roasting expertise and extensive origin experience. Recently, magnesium has become a “hot” topic. More specifically, magnesium sulfate. I’m not convinced, but I do have several formulations that include it at around the 2-ppm level and below. I, personally, find that it mutes the flavor, but there are too many variables to state that categorically and many roasters prefer it with their light roasts. Roasting to a water quality is new but seems counterproductive. Why let water quality dictate the roast profile. To me, the analogy would be roasting for a Mr. Coffee. Bad water quality is just that, BAD. Another trend is to add what I call adulterants to water such as calcium citrate, additives that are not found in water naturally. This needs to be a topic of discussion. I don’t want to offer up an opinion, but if the trend continues, where does it end? MSG, caffeine, artificial flavors, artificial aromatics? Zinc found in water naturally, but very seldom, has the ability, like MSG, to act as a flavor enhancer. I’ve experimented with it, and it will add to the flavor profile at levels of one ppm and below. The problem is that zinc in


Tasting my formulated water just prior to cupping coffee/tea alters the saliva enough that the coffee profile is greatly enhanced. A competitor using that technique may have a definite advantage. Try this one for yourself; it’s an eyeopener. Altering the chemistry of the saliva is why wine tasters suggest eating certain foods in combination with their wine. New technologies involving filters using catalytic media, such as my SRE media, can alter the calcium/bicarbonate chemistry. In every case I’ve done blind cupping, this water enhancement resulted in perceived flavor enhancement. It doesn’t work on low, below 30, TDS but the simplicity of using it makes it a no brainer. I have been building no waste reverse osmosis systems for about six years and can say where I have installed them, I get longer membrane life than standard RO. The concept of restricting water flow to drain in RO only decreases membrane life at a high cost with detrimental environmental effects. New technologies that will be coming to market soon include a catalytic carbon with much faster kinetics to remove chloramine. If you didn’t know, regular carbon does a poor job of removing the ammonia part of chloramine used for water disinfection. Removing ammonia is essential in preserving coffee flavor. I always recommend using a catalytic style carbon. Mineral formulations are incredibly fun to work with. What it tells you about flavor is enlightening. I have different minerals that I offer for experimentation and trial. The true geek working with altering the mineral balance will find slight variations can be used to adjust to a particular roast and origin. Water formulations have a similar effect on bread flavor and texture, creating pizza crust water was what initially got me on track to “coffee water.” I recently lectured at a water quality seminar, and I can tell you coffee professionals are far more advanced in water science for coffee than the people selling the equipment, so the coffee retailer needs to know what they want and how to get there. I love great coffee and enjoy sharing what I know. David Beeman, 41 year water industry veteran, developed the original water quality standards for Starbucks, Peet’s Coffee and Tea, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and literally thousands of cafes around the world. He also co-authored the SCA ”Water Quality Handbook” establishing the worldwide technical water standards for certified coffee cupping labs. And finally, Mr. Beeman is the inventor and manufacturer of “Formulated Water” — a system that allows the coffee shop owner to choose their water parameters. David Beeman Water Wizard Cirqua Inc. 310-428-8726 The Creator of the Original “Coffee Water,” AB Formula, Easy Series, No Waste R.O. Author SCA “Water Quality Handbook” Follow us on Instagram: @cirqua_inc

August 2019


5 Tips to Navigate Direct Trading by Stephany Dávila


offee farming is a bitter-sweet activity. Sweet, because the people who do it are passionate about it; and bitter, because of the instability of commodity prices. This pricing instability creates difficulty.

My family has been in coffee farming since 1940. There have been three generations; I am blessed to be the third generation involved in it. I inherited my passion for coffee from my grandmother, Julia. My cousin, Iris, and I have been working together in Finca Las Cortinas, located in Santa Rosa region, Guatemala, since 2015. Through hard work, we have built a network of clients and friends who support us by buying our coffee at fair, stable prices. However, I must tell you that buying directly from farmers —and selling directly to roasters— can be complicated! I have experienced the challenges first hand and learned how to navigate them. Here are my five top valuable lessons learned. #1 Join a Guild As female farmers, one of the most important things we did was joining the Guatemalan Women in Coffee Association. It was helpful not only for learning about best agricultural practices but also for increasing our network. Joining a guild or association helps you to stay updated and get to know people. Let us remember that the coffee business is very dependent on the social capital we build. #2 Trust is a Must When a farmer starts having direct customers, they usually don’t know much about the market. They are trying to increase their income and, by doing so, they have to change their whole sales structure. It is essential that they are selling to someone who is going to honor their commitment. On the other hand, roasters don’t know the farmer either; and they also expect the farmer to honor his/her word, especially quality wise. So, how do we overcome the trust issue? When the roaster has a history it’s easy to do it! However, when both players are new to the game, something that works great is to start with a low quantity of coffee. Next, create an agreement to pay a percentage of the cost of the contract at a specific stage of process where both parties feel comfortable. A few examples: • when the parchment is delivered to the processing facility, • after approval of a pre-shipment sample, • or when the booking of the shipment is done. The key to success is to talk about it and find the comfort zones that make both parties feel safe.

#3 Supply Chain Direct trade doesn’t mean chopping the supply chain, but creating a responsible one where value flows all the way to the farmer. Nowadays, there are great exporters and importers who understand and support direct businesses as they also reduce the inventory risk for them. If you are a farmer and happen to meet a roaster who wants to buy a small quantity (not a full container) directly from you, the best way to start defining the supply chain is to ask your buyer about the importer he usually buys from. You can connect with that company to request importing services. Not everybody does it, but you will surely find the right partners. #4 Pricing Finding the right price is a tricky point too. Farmers want the highest possible, and roasters want to pay a fair price that is good for the farmers but that also allows them to be competitive in the industry. If you haven’t read it, I recommend downloading the Specialty Coffee Transaction Guide. It is a helpful study that analyzed around 10,000 coffee contracts from the past two crops and reports that the middle price in the specialty industry is $3.00 per pound, Free On Board (FOB). It is available in English and Spanish. Don’t miss it! #5 Quality, Quantity, and Time Projections These three considerations are essential when making projections for purchases/sales of green coffee. Quality: Coffee is an agricultural product, and, as such, it will have variations from year to year. Consider this because, even if it shouldn’t change much, there will be a difference from crop to crop. Quantity: Farmers should avoid committing their whole production output in advance. Again, it is an agricultural product, and it is difficult to predict exactly how much you will produce too long before the harvest, so be careful to avoid disappointing your buyers. On the other hand, buyers must know that we, farmers, usually expect to create long-term relationships with you and, eventually, grow with you; so defining your requirements in advance is very helpful for planning. Time: purchasing from origin, especially if you are not trading full lots, requires export/import services from other companies. Both sellers and buyers are subject to the availability of those companies to ship the coffee. It is vital to have a clear understanding of when the coffee needs to be at the destination to avoid supply problems for the roasters and cash flow delays for the farmers. I hope you find this information useful. Creating a direct trade relationship can be fun and rewarding. It can also be impactful for the farmers and the communities in ways that you probably don’t yet imagine. Let’s be proud of the coffee we sell, and let’s motivate the new generations to keep producing amazing coffees.


by Stephany Dávila (Instagram @la_del_cafe), Finca Las Cortinas and IWCA Guatemalan chapter member August 2019

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17 Summer_Issue.indd 1

7/22/2019 3:23:24 PM

Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee by Randy Anderson

A Comparative View


little more than a year ago, Denver was host to Coffee Fest, an independent specialty coffee trade show and a competition known as “America’s Best Cold Brew.” As expected, many well-known brands competed for the coveted title. What was unexpected was that Beagle Coffee won a cold brew competition with an iced coffee. So then, what’s in a name? A cold coffee by any other name is just as delicious… right? Possibly. However, then, “delicious” is subjective and defined by personal taste and expectations. If you define “delicious” as chocolatey and mellow, then cold brew is probably for you. If, however, you expect a deeply nuanced coffee experience that highlights the coffee’s unique profile and tends toward bright and acidic, iced coffee will most likely fit better into your definition of “delicious.” When considering cold brew, George Howell was recently quoted in a Gear Patrol article saying, “If you’re into the flavors of coffee, you’re not into cold brew. It’s as simple as that”. To be clear, he also did not specify that iced coffee was necessarily the obvious alternative, and I think this is an important distinction. It appears that the argument for which brew method is better – cold brew or iced coffee – will persist. However, as a consultant and teacher, I often do my best to show (and prove empirically) that neither method is optimal in achieving a perfect brew nor are either optimally efficient or cost-effective. For now, let’s take a look at what is widely considered acceptable definitions of these common brew methods. Cold Brew (immersion method): Medium to dark roasted coffee is ground medium-to-coarse (never fine) and immersed in cold or ambient temperature filtered water, in anything from a bucket to a large stainless steel fermentation tank. A ratio of about 3 quarts of water to 1 pound of coffee is commonly used. The water and coarsely ground coffee is thoroughly mixed and sits for anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. Generally, the colder the water, the longer the brew time. The coffee is separated from the grounds, followed by further filtering to achieve a clean cup without sediment. Cold-brew uses time, rather than heat to extract the coffee’s sugars, oils, and caffeine. Iced coffee (flash chilled): Iced coffee that is flash chilled (also known as Japanese or Kyoto style) brews coffee using hot water that is immediately chilled down, stopping the further development of unwanted bitterness or astringency. Iced coffee can easily be made in the same way any hot pour-over (such as with a Chemex or dripper) as long as it is followed immediately with a chill down process. This method is different from hot blooming because the coffee is fully brewed before chilling. While there may be some points of difference with other experts in cold coffee brewing, you should now have a reasonably clear idea of these two basic brewing methods for cold coffee. With this in mind, please follow me down the rabbit hole. The truth (backed by proof) is that neither of these methods offers a considerable amount of control, efficiency or repeatability. There are, in fact, far better methods for cold coffee that don’t always fit well into an exact definition. If you are committed to supplying your customers with a cold coffee product that they like and a product that matches your Brand Story, do that.


I enjoy a cold brew that has been actively extracted. A Yama Tower, Bruer, DCS Cold Still, and the Brew Bomb offer an Active Extraction cold brew that can be pre-infused with hot water or “hot bloomed” prior to cold brewing. Some might argue that this is a hybrid of cold brew and iced coffee. I believe that this is often the case, especially for craft brewers who have experimented with hot blooming followed by standard immersion based cold brewing. To me, hot blooming opens the coffee up to release subtle or even not so subtle flavors that otherwise would never have been extracted. By adding a minimal amount of water only and going directly to cold brewing, the steeping extracts deeper without becoming too bright or acidic. The result isn’t exactly mellow, but it is mellower without being dull or absent of character. I like the way that Lorenzo Perkins explains this in his blog post way back in 2012 – the year I got into cold brew. “By utilizing a short 45-120 second ‘bloom’ with hot water, we are able to extract those easily dissolved volatile compounds (fruits and florals), and then by adding very cold water immediately afterward we in effect trap the volatiles into the cold water brew itself, while finishing out the coffee over a 12 hour steep time to pull out more of the heavy compounds like sucrose and polyphenols and avoiding the potential extraction of negative compounds like CGA and trigonelline.” Another highly efficient method is flash chilling and is a far better method than the old style of iced coffee. It is still bright and acidic but less astringent or harsh and maintains the higher yield and fast brewing of hot coffee. The one caveat is that to meet customer expectations, an automated method like the Snapchiller from Elemental Beverage Co is a good solution. Going even farther down the rabbit hole, you can find methods using nitro pressure and vacuum extraction. The Bkon Storm uses vacuum. The water essentially boils at very low temperature by creating low or “reversed” atmospheric pressure or a vacuum. A few of these methods are scalable, and some are limited. Some are meant for your retail store’s countertop or home, and some are meant for commercial application. While I have my favorites, especially when it comes to commercial brewing and packaging, I am impressed by so many of these methods. To one extent or another, they can increase not only the flavor experience but maybe just as importantly, better efficiency and economics. I would greatly encourage readers, especially those brewing large amounts to reach out to me for information on other brewing methods that allow you to produce a flavorful, delicious and cost-effective brew that sets you apart from the competition. Randy Anderson is A 20 year veteran of the coffee industry. For the past 6 1/2 years, Randy‘s has been providing customers small and large with solutions and education on the brewing, preparation, packaging and safe delivery of cold brew coffee, whether on dispense, in RTD format such as canned nitro and most recently, cutting edge no heat concentration for food service concentrates. His company, Caffrios leads the way in the cold brew coffee space as well as coffee cherry supply and CBD infusion. Randy is available for direct consultation as well as training events for basic and advanced cold brew. Randy can be reached through his LinkedIn page at, email at or by phone at 360-524-2003.

August 2019



Yvette Martas, MD, Joins Board of Grounds for Health Yvette Martas, M.D., OB/GYN, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Connecticut, was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of Grounds for Health, an international healthcare nonprofit that has a US administrative office in Williston, Vermont. Dr. Martas, of Columbia, CT, has been a dedicated volunteer since 2006, when she first traveled to Mexico to support the nonprofit’s innovative program to prevent cervical cancer. Along with offering her time and talent as a clinician, Dr. Martas served as a member of the Grounds for Health Advisory Board. Grounds for Health works primarily in the coffee lands and trains local health professionals to screen and treat cervical precancer and helps them develop a sustainable program in their communities to keep women healthy and stop cervical cancer deaths.

The New Curtis Chill-X™ Frozen Beverage Machine - Refreshingly Smart, Amazingly Profitable. The New Curtis Chill-X™ Frozen Beverage Machine - Refreshingly Smart, Amazingly Profitable. The Curtis Chill-X Frozen Beverage Machine makes it easy for operations to offer a large variety of popular and profitable frozen drinks to increase store traffic and drive frozen beverage sales. Smart, durable and reliable, the Chill-X features a straight-thru air flow which allows for zero side clearance installation. Operators can create an impressive and popular slushie center by placing multiple units side-by-side. Sleek and versatile,

the Chill-X looks great, works hard, and slips easily into any counterspace in spite of its large three-gallon bowl capacity. For continuous profits, Chill-X also features an optional auto refill system that saves operators significant time and labor and eliminates the need to prepare the mix and refill the machine manually. Digital temperature controls display temperature and machine status including a standby mode that keeps product fresh overnight.

Guiding the Coffee Industry towards Climate Resilience With climate change putting growing pressure to coffee production even the complete disappearance of coffee is feared if no adaptation and mitigation takes place. But that’s possible. This highlights the report “Brewing up Climate Resilience in the Coffee Sector: Adaptation strategies for Farmers, Plantations and Processors” accompanied by 15 country profiles launched during the Specialty Coffee Event “World of Coffee”. Catalogue and profiles are published collectively by IDH, Conservation International, Specialty Coffee Association, Global Coffee Platform and the initiative for coffee&climate (c&c). It highlights five critical climate issues namely: loss of suitable areas for coffee production and shifts to higher altitudes, increased water stress; outbreak of pest and diseases; poor flowering and cherry development; growing vulnerability of smallholder coffee farmers and especially women. The country profile for Brazil for example highlights loss of suitable land for coffee production of 18 percent until 2050 and even 27 percent by 2070.

Brewista® Smart Innovation takes First Place in Indianapolis! With an eyecatching matte black finish and capacitive touch digital base, this looks like Darth Vader’s water kettle! This marks the sixth time Brewista has received an award at Coffee Fest. The digitally controlled variable temperature cupping kettle has a 2-liter capacity, is commercially rated in the USA and a tapered, open spout provides fast and accurate pouring. Using Brewista’s patented boil sensing software and Strix thermal controls, it’s also built for safety! With features like one-degree Fahrenheit temperature control, Auto-start, Auto-off, rapid heating Smart Boil and an automatic Keep Warm mode that maintains the desired temperature for up to one hour, this latest offering from Brewista should have a place in every roastery and coffee shop. The stainless-steel kettle body can be laser engraved with a roaster or coffee shop logo! Available soon at Ska Fabricating Releases the “ZFR” Zero Footprint Rinser Ska Fabricating introduces the Zero Footprint Rinser (ZFR)! The ZFR – pronounced ‘Zephyr’. This pre-fill can rinser is an easy add-on to your depal or conveyance system, and was designed with the specific goal of saving space in smaller production spaces without sacrificing the power of a full canning line. The ZFR is configured with one 90˚ section, allowing cans to reverse direction prior to rinsing. It can be mounted straight or at a 90˚ angle.

The rinser is made of stainless steel and is recommended for line speeds up to 120 cans per minute. It can be mounted to all standard canning lines and is available in multiple can sizes. The product design was driven by customer feedback, especially from those with limited production space. For more information, visit zero-footprint-twist-rinse/. Nuzee (D/B/A/ Coffee Blenders®) Announces Co-Packing Agreement For Single Serve Pour-Over Coffee With Gevalia® Kaffe, A Kraft Heinz Company Brand NuZee, Inc. (OTCQB: NUZE), a specialty coffee company and a leading U.S. single serve pour over coffee producer and co-packer that wants to revolutionize the way coffee is enjoyed in America, announced that it has signed a co-packing agreement with Gevalia® Kaffe, a Kraft Heinz brand. Under the terms of the agreement, NuZee will prepare and custom package coffee supplied by Kraft Heinz into a single serve pour-over pouch for sale under the Gevalia® Kaffe brand. Production at NuZee’s facility in Vista, California commenced in early May. “This launch is at the foundation of our Café at Home platform, a line of products that allows consumers to experience their favorite café beverage in the comfort of their own home without the need for a special brewer,” said Greg O’Neil, Brand Manager for Premium Coffee. “We’re thrilled to partner with NuZee, Inc. to help bring our vision for Gevalia® to life.

Please Make Sure to Visit these Coffee Fest Exhibitors


Brewista 1923 (307) 222-6086 Bringing smart and honest innovation to the marketplace, Brewista designs, manufactures and distributes the finest brewed beverage products available. See our ad on page 21

Java Jacket 1809 (503) 281-6240 The Original Green Coffee Sleeve. Comes in 100% Recycled Natural Kraft or White. Can be custom printed with your design. See our ad on page 15

Fifty/Fifty Bottles 1930 (800) 849-5185 Fifty/Fifty bottles manufactures and distributes high quality double wall vacuum insulated bottles. We also have in-house laser engraving capabilities. Min. just 24 units. See our ad on page 13

NuZee/Coffee Blenders 1746 (760) 842-5522 NuZee, Inc. DBA Coffee Blenders is the only single serve pour-over private label coffee manufacturer that is SQF, Kosher, Organic, Fair Trade Certified See our ad on page 13

State Farm Insurance 2401 State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto, home and individual life insurance in the United States. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is available. See our ad on page 7

August 2019

Tightpac America Inc. 1740 (888) 428-4448 Patented coffee closure system that acts exactly the same way as one-way degassing valve, allowing natural gasses to escape without allowing oxygen in. See our ad on page 21 Wilbur Curtis Company Inc. 2012 (800) 421-6150 For over 75 years, the Wilbur Curtis Company has provided state-of-the-art coffee and tea brewing equipment, including the world-renowned G4 Gem-X® and ThermoPro-X® Brewing Systems. See our ad on page 5

Add a Scoop Supplement-Boosts TM

Call today to learn how Add a Scoop Supplement-Boosts can help you promote wellness and increase profits. 415.382.6535 |

Need a Boost?



Coldis here! Pro Jr.

Designed and manufactured in USA Recessed outlet filter holder with easy removal access Lever-controlled Open/Close drain design for easy use and clean up Integrated handles on brewer and carafe Carafe nests inside brewer for reduced storage space BPA free & Dishwasher safe Convenient volume for test batches and new recipes

Each Kit includes Brewer, Carafe, 2 types of filters, 2 outlet filters, and a helpful quick start guide

contact: visit:


IdentaBrew® cold brew merchandising kits can incorporate nearly any surface of your dispensing equipment: front and side panels, backsplashes, switch plates. If we can’t cover it, it can’t be covered.

Contact: Carol Andrews (253) 893-1132 •


Advertisers Index Account Name........................................ Phone.....................Website.........................................................Page................Coffee Fest Booth Add A Scoop / Juice Bar Solutions Inc...............(415) 382-6535.............. 21 Brewista...............................................................(307) 222-6086............ 21..................................................1923 Bühler Inc............................................................(763) 847-9900............ 17

Need to update your subscription or address? Visit

C2 Imaging/ Identabrew....................................(888) 872-7200............. 21 Cablevey Conveyors............................................(641) 673-8451.............. 2 Cirqua Inc.............................................................(310) 428-8726............. 19 Coffee Holding Company...................................(800) 458-2233............ 9, 11 Costellini’s............................................................(877) 889-1866............. 21

WHO WE ARE Phone: 206.686.7378, see extensions below

Don Pablo Coffee Roasting Company...............(305) 249-5628............ 21 Eastsign Int’l Ltd........................................................................................ 4 Fifty/Fifty Bottles................................................(800) 849-5185............. 13................................................. 1930

Publisher Kerri Goodman, ext 1

Fres-co System USA, Inc.....................................(215) 721-4600............. 3 General Packaging Equipment Co.*..................(713) 686-4331.............. 17 Grounds for Health.............................................(802) 876-7835............. 23

Administrative Director Laurie Veatch, ext 4

International Coffee Consulting.........................(818) 347-1378............... 13 Java Jacket..........................................................(503) 281-6240............. 15.................................................1809 NAMA...................................................................(312) 346-0370............. 19

Web Design Justin Goodman, ext 6

NuZee/Coffee Blenders.......................................(760) 842-5522............. 13..................................................1746 OptiPure a division of Aquion............................(972) 881-9797.............. 21 Pac Coffee Consultants Ltd................................(206) 310-6865............ 21

Print Design Marcus Fellbaum, ext 5

Pacific Coast Coffee Association........................(925) 335-2428............. 17 Primera Technology Inc......................................(800) 797-2772............. 21 Simpli Press.........................................................(424) 237-8818.............. 8 State Farm Insurance................................................................................ 7.................................................. 2041 Texpak Inc | Scolari Engineering........................(856) 988-5533............. 24 Tightpac America Inc..........................................(888) 428-4448............ 21..................................................1740

Mailing Info Mail: HNCT, LLC, 25525 77th Ave SW Vashon, WA 98070 Phone: 206.686.7378 Fax: 866.373.0392 Web:

Walker Coffee Trading LP...................................(713) 780-7050............. 4 Waterlogic...........................................................(800) 288-1891............. 21 Wilbur Curtis Company Inc................................(800) 421-6150............. 5.................................................. 2012



For complete and updated show information visit our online calendar:

August 15-18

SCA Coffee Roasters Guild Retreat

August 25-27

Coffee Fest, Los Angeles, CA, USA

August 25-27

Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo, Los Angeles, CA, USA

August 25-27

Healthy Food Expo West, Los Angeles, CA, USA

August 29-31

Expo Cafe Mexico

August 29-31

Chocotea Expo

Aug 30-Sept 1

Cafe Show China

September 7-8

Midwest Tea Festival

September 11-14

Golden Bean

September 12-15

88th PCCA Convention

September 15-16

Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show

September 22-23

The Canadian Coffee & Tea Show

September 23-25

Tea & Coffee World Conference 2019, Hong Kong

September 23-25


September 28-29

Northwest Tea Festival

Disclaimer CoffeeTalk does not assume the responsibility for validity of claims made for advertised products and services. We reserve the right to reject any advertising. Although we support copyrights and trademarks, we generally do not include copyright and trademark symbols in our news stories and columns. CoffeeTalk considers its sources reliable and verifies as much data as possible. However, reporting inaccuracies can occur, consequently readers using this information do so at their own risk. Postmaster: Send address changes to HNCT, LLC, 25525 77th Ave SW, Vashon, WA 98070 Subscription: The cost of a subscription in the U.S. is $47.50 per year; in Canada, the cost is $72.00. Free to qualified industry professionals. Non-qualified requests may be rejected. Publisher reserves the right to limit the number of free subscriptions. For subscription inquiries, please call 206.686.7378 x1 or subscribe online at

August 2019

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Profile for CoffeeTalk Magazine

Summer 2019 Issue  

INFORMATION IS POWER - Do you know as much as your competition? Do NOT give them the competitive advantage! CoffeeTalk makes it easy to stay...

Summer 2019 Issue  

INFORMATION IS POWER - Do you know as much as your competition? Do NOT give them the competitive advantage! CoffeeTalk makes it easy to stay...