Monthly Archives

September 2018

More Is More: LA’s Dayglow Coffee Maxes Out The Multi-Roaster Cafe

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dayglow coffee los angeles california

dayglow coffee los angeles california

Dayglow Coffee could only exist in Los Angeles. Opened in Silverlake on Sunset Boulevard in late 2017, the cafe from Tohm Ifergan, formerly of Portola Coffee Roasters in nearby Costa Mesa, is a neon-bright beacon not so unlike the city itself. A multi-roaster that sources coffees from some of the world’s most notable roasteries, Dayglow is, like LA, at once itself and a component of its parts.  

Ifergan founded the shop to not only provide customers with unique coffees but a side of information as well. Its interior has a clean aesthetic, with the seating and bar arranged in such a way as to encourage customers to interact with baristas as much as with each other, facilitating conversations about individual coffees, their roasteries, and means to prepare them at home.

dayglow coffee los angeles california

Tohm Ifergan of Dayglow Coffee

Dayglow’s menu is intended to be simple and approachable, whether you’re familiar with specialty coffee or not. It’s divided into 10 different categories, written in relative plain-speak: espresso, milk, sweetened, signature, tea, filter, handbrew, tonic, funk, and cold coffee. 

Ifergan’s experience crafting coffee cocktails is on full display here. One recent run of Signature Series menu items were all named after Wes Anderson movies, and included the Hotel Chevalier, which combined distilled coffee, fresh lime, and coconut cream, all garnished with mint and grated nutmeg. Another option, the Darjeeling Limited, was a mixture of distilled juniper berries, Tanzanian coffee from King State Coffee Roasters, Darjeeling tea, tonic, thyme, and sweet lime. Having a director’s cut menu is quintessentially Ifergan.

dayglow coffee los angeles california

The Hotel Chevalier

In addition to the Signature Series, at any given time Dayglow carries coffees from between 10 and 20 roasters, half international and half domestic. Ifergan and his staff blind-cup samples to determine their specific offerings for the week, and stock their shelves and online marketplace with a dizzying variety of options as well. 

They have a robust coffee subscription program that allows customers to sample from the Dayglow stable of roasters, and offers varying tiers depending on how much coffee you go through each month. And these are the coffees you want. They’ve already featured the likes of Koppi Coffee Roasters, The Barn Coffee Roasters, Little Wolf CoffeeColor Coffee RoastersThe Coffee Collective, Drop Coffee Roasters, Hex Coffee, and Madcap Coffee Roasters, to name only a few. 

dayglow coffee los angeles california

But subscribers have access to more than just amazing coffees. Instead, subscribing to Dayglow gives access to in-house training videos, brewing blogs, and a community on Dayglow’s website who share educational materials on topics ranging from coffee-specific brewing methods to theories on extraction and much more. Dayglow’s online presence feels more like a publication than a marketplace and acts as both a library for home-brewers as well as a feedback medium for Ifergan and Dayglow’s use. By sourcing the opinions of their community, Dayglow can alter their menu, brewing techniques, and coffee selection to suit customer taste.

dayglow coffee los angeles california

This kind of customer feedback loop is second nature for Ifergan, who built his success at Portola’s Theorem bar on direct interactions between himself and the people he served. Tasting his coffee there was to have an experience in your taste in coffee, but Theorem itself was intimate and dark and comprised of a handful of seats, a black bar, and a sliding glass door.

Dayglow is an evolution of that experience. One that embraces the city it calls home, holds its doors wide open, and lets the light rush in.

Dayglow is located at 3206 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

David Palazuelos is a freelance contributor. This is David Palazuelos’ first article for Sprudge.

The post More Is More: LA’s Dayglow Coffee Maxes Out The Multi-Roaster Cafe appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

In Defense Of Diner Coffee

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In a recent Chicago Tribune article reporter Nick Kindelsperger and Ipsento Coffee founding partner Tim Taylor visit an undisclosed diner to once and for all determine the objective quality of diner coffee. Using a refractometer, National Coffee Association and Specialty Coffee Association TDS recommendations, and some “[scribbled] down equations,” Kindelsperger and Taylor determine that diner coffee is weak—powerful weak—and terrible. And they couldn’t be any more wrong.

The thing is, they aren’t wrong. By all quantifiable specialty standards, even at their most generous, diner coffee just doesn’t measure up. But I’ll be DAMNED if I let anyone besmirch the good name of diner coffee. Yes, according to specialty coffee rubrics it isn’t as good as specialty coffee, but doesn’t quite seem like a fair test, now does it? According to the Zac scale, none of you jabronies are as Zac as I am, so I must be better, right? No? Sounds like an unfair “test” everyone who isn’t me is doomed to fail at, you say? I never thought of it that way.

And here are some more “facts” for you: diner coffee has brought more people into specialty coffee than any specialty coffee has, maybe all specialty coffee combined. And when I say diner coffee, I mean specifically the stuff that has sat on the heating element for at least two hours, served at 3:00am in an 24-hour greasy spoon where everyone still smokes inside—including the grizzled septuagenarian server with the heart of gold—even though it’s waaaaaay illegal, the sort of place where you leave you smelling like death and with a stomach ache from drinking at least eight cups of coffee. THAT is diner coffee. And if you want to get really real about which is “better,” the number of times diner coffee has met or exceeded my expectations far FAR FAR exceeds that of specialty coffee.

There is a whole generation of coffee professionals—of which I consider myself one, assuming coffee journalism falls under the coffee professional umbrella—for whom drinking diner coffee was “being into coffee.” That was our starting point. It wasn’t Instagrammable eight-tier tulips or being a barista because it was now the “cool” job, or hell, even because your favorite shop home makes their own vanilla syrup for their lattes. It was diner coffee. Burnt, crusty, loaded with more and more cream and sugar as the night progressed to gird the stomach, diner coffee. Mwah. Perfection.

I weep for the next wave of coffee professionals, whose introduction to the whole show are shops that close at 7:00pm. Coffee doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. For many, that’s when it all gets started. Yeah, maybe we all have that a-ha! moment with a natural that really turned us on to specialty coffee, but you know what started that whole journey? It was probably a cup of blueberry flavored coffee at the “fancy” diner, the one with like 20 different options that you could mix and match and everyone had a “favorite,” probably a blend of no less than three different flavors. Half vanilla, quarter Irish cream, quarter cinnamon, and juuuuust a splash of hazelnut for me.

I understand the point of the article. Kindelsprenger and Taylor are trying to show the “coffee is just coffee” crowd that there is, in fact, a difference between pre-ground commodity grade coffee and specialty coffee, and to do so in a quantifiable and scientifically repeatable way. It’s a laudable goal and I don’t begrudge them for it. But once you start calling diner coffee “terrible,” well, now we have a problem. So just remember, if specialty coffee is seeing more devotees than ever before, it’s because it is standing on the shoulders of giants.

You’re not as tall as you think you are.

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.

Image © Adobe Stock

The post In Defense Of Diner Coffee appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

New City, New Problems: St. Louis’ Sump Coffee Finds A Home In Nashville

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sump coffee nashville tennessee

sump coffee nashville tennessee

Though the cafe celebrated it’s one year anniversary on September 18, the story of Sump Coffee’s arrival in Nashville started more than three years ago. Their involvement in the striking oneC1TY development was, according to owner Scott Carey, a case of “dumb luck.” The developers mentioned the idea of including a coffee shop in the complex to Gerard Craft of Italian eatery Pastaria, who opened his own location within the development. Craft suggested Sump as a candidate, and a representative was dispatched to St. Louis to check out the brand and the coffee. They liked it, and hands were shaken.

But the coffee climate in Nashville changed a lot in the intervening years. New cafe after new cafe opened, leading Carey to question more closely how his cafe should fit into the growing community.

“The market here is very mature and so we have to ask ourselves what are we doing? Who are we? And how do we communicate that to people?” says Carey. And like many business owners have found before him, even the best-tested practices don’t always translate city to city.

sump coffee nashville tennessee

Sump owner Scott Carey

At first, Carey expected that what worked in St. Louis would also work in Nashville. “But that’s not what the market wants or what the location is dictating,” admitted Carey after Sump Nashville’s first year. Though Carey tried to bring the “slow bar” mindset of his St. Louis location to Tennessee, demand forced new methods. His team has had to quickly adapt in ways they hadn’t previously planned—like implementing a Ground Control II batch brewer. Other issues, like finding a consistent quality milk supplier, have taken time to perfect. However, just as the cafe has changed over the course of the year, so has its surrounding neighborhood.

As the area has thrived, Sump Nashville has come to draw an early-morning crowd of commuter-regulars—hence the batch brew. This part of Midtown Nashville has drawn restaurants and grocers that are themselves magnets, allowing Sump to fit right in as a coffee destination. “How we’re thinking about the model and how we’re thinking about the coffee goes hand in glove with how this part of the city is growing,” Carey says.

To that end, a stage has recently been added to a grassy area just outside Sump’s doors for live music, movie screenings, and other events. And in the coffee-specific realm, Sump hosts brewing classes and other coffee events, like open sessions for customers to bring in coffee from any roaster and learn how to brew it better. “We don’t sell a finished product,” Carey says. “We have to do a better job, without being pedantic, of providing accessibility and a doorway to go home and have a good experience.”

sump coffee nashville tennessee

sump coffee nashville tennessee

Functionality and volume were at the heart of the equipment choices for the Nashville location. They eschewed the Slayer espresso machine that is used in St. Louis for a Kees van der Westen Spirit, which boasts volumetric programming capabilities. This promotes consistency while freeing the barista up to engage with the customer. A Poursteady automated pour-over coffee machine fits this mindset as well. “If you’re manually brewing, you can’t really create that engagement,” says Carey. “It’s more like being a sommelier. They don’t make the wine, but they know a lot about it. So their goal is more engagement.”

Opening a shop five hours southeast from his original location brought about unseen challenges and insights, Carey says, but he appreciates the challenge. “It adds so much depth to how I think about the coffee and the business that I didn’t have before,” he says. These insights, although hard-earned, have been rewarding. He’s committed to the two existing Sump locations, but still has his eyes to the future. “The goal is just to figure it out, and if we get this figured out, I’d like to open up in another market.”

sump coffee nashville tennessee

For now, Carey is focusing on what’s already in front of him and learning everything he can. “Opening here has definitely broadened my worldview and caused me to reevaluate some thinking and maybe some of the absolutes I have.”

“It’s still an exploration,” he says. “Maybe I was more naïve than I thought… but I think sometimes being naïve and not completely digesting all the details allows you to do something risky. And now I’m figuring out what that means.”

Sump Coffee is located at 8 City Boulevard, Nashville. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Josh Rank is a freelance contributor based in Nashville. This is Josh Rank’s first article for Sprudge.

The post New City, New Problems: St. Louis’ Sump Coffee Finds A Home In Nashville appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

Announcing The 2018 New York Coffee Masters Competitors

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We are less than a month away from the return of the New York Coffee Masters, descending upon the Metropolitan Pavilion as part of the New York Coffee Festival October 12th through 14th. With just a few more weeks until festivities begin, Allegra Events has announced the 16 baristas who will be competing to take over the throne currently held by 2017 NY Coffee Masters champ Erika Vonie, who returns to the event this year as an emcee alongside Lem Butler (Black & White Coffee) and Jordan Michelman (Sprudge).

The 2018 New York Coffee Masters lineup reads like 2018 London Coffee Masters 2.0; there are a total of four competitors returning to give the 2018 title another crack: Janis Podins of The Coffee Collective (Latvia), Jaya Chingen of Press Coffee Roasters (UK), Wissem Ben Rahim of Ben Rahim (Germany), and semi-finalist Cole Torode of Rosso Coffee Roasters (Canada). Add in returning New York Coffee Masters competitors Varvara Stukalo of Coffeemania (Russia), Karley Jane Webb of Soul Work Coffee Roasters (USA), and Reef Bessette of The Coffee Movement (USA), as well as returning London Coffee Masters vet Remy Molina of Café Barakah (Coasta Rica) and you’ve got a recipe for fireworks.

Overall, 10 different countries are being represented at the 2018 New York Coffee Masters, competing on a clutch of hot gear from sponsors Slayer, Hario, Mahlkonig, and many more. And this year’s batch of judges is a coffee industry who’s who, with returning Head Judge Anne Lunell (Koppi) joined by Michelle Johnson (The Chocolate Barista, Sprudge), Kris Schackman (Five Elephant), Tymika Lawrence (Genuine Origin), and David Donde (Truth Coffee).

For a full list of competitors and to see their application videos, visit the 2018 New York Coffee Masters official website. Get ready, y’all, it’s about to get wild.

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.

Top image via New York Coffee Masters

Sprudge Media Network is partnered with the 2018 New York Coffee Festival. 

The post Announcing The 2018 New York Coffee Masters Competitors appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

The New Rules of Coffee Is Now Available Wherever Books Are Sold

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Today’s the day! The New Rules of Coffee—the very first book from Sprudge founders Jordan Michelman and Zachary Carlsen—is out now on Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House. You can pick yourself up a copy wherever books are sold, including AmazonBarnes & NobleIndiebound, and Powell’s.

But wait! A limited number of signed copies are available now (while supplies last) in the Sprudge Shop, shipping worldwide. Each order includes a note from the authors, plus stickers and other assorted swag to be named later. We’ll do limited drops on these signed copies in the store between now and the holidays, so watch for updates on Instagram.

Is your local cafe not stocking The New Rules of Coffee? Demand that they do so immediately! Stockist requests can be fulfilled by the teams at Sprudge + Ten Speed Press—simply reach out to us at books@sprudge.com to get the literary ball rolling.

Are you loving your copy of The New Rules? Share that shit on Instagram and tag us up, and we’ll give you a bump. Share, baby! #newrulesofcoffee

And come see us on tour! The New Rules roadshow kicks off tomorrow (!) Wednesday, September 26th at Olympia Coffee Roasting Company in Olympia, Washington. This event is free and there will be tasty snacks, beers, and wine available for guests, plus books for sale and the signing of said books by the authors. See below for a complete list of tour dates—and watch for updates as we add more events around the country through the fall, including just-added dates in Philadelphia at Elxir Coffee on October 18th!

Wednesday, September 26th in Olympia, Washington at Olympia Coffee Roasting Company

Thursday, September 27th in Tacoma, Washington at King’s Books

Friday, September 28th (daytime) in Everett, Washington at Narrative Coffee

Friday, September 28th (evening) in Seattle, Washington at La Marzocco Cafe at KEXP

Saturday, September 29th (daytime) in Portland, Oregon at Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Thursday, October 11th in New York City at Counter Culture Coffee in partnership with Taste Magazine (ticketed event—buy tickets here!)

Saturday, October 13th in New York City at New York Coffee Festival

Wednesday, October 17th in Brooklyn at Stumptown Coffee Cobble Hill

Thursday October 18th (daytime) in Phialdelphia at Reanimator Coffee Kensington

Thursday, October 18th (evening) in Philadelphia at Elixr Coffee Center City

Sunday, October 21st in Washington DC with Smithsonian Associates at Ripley Center (ticketed event—buy tickets here!)

Thanks and we hope to see you on the road!

Buying links: AmazonBarnes & NobleIndiebound, and Powell’s.

Wholesale queries: books@sprudge.com

The post The New Rules of Coffee Is Now Available Wherever Books Are Sold appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

Trump’s Trade War Includes Multiple Tariffs On Coffee

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America is in the middle of a trade war with what feels like the rest of the world. Luckily, trade wars are fun and super easy to win, so I’ll just sit back and watch all the fun and the winning from the comforts of my American-made Ikea POÄNG (I turned the Allen wrench, therefore it’s technically American made, ok). But until all the messy details of the winning get ironed out, other countries are being real meanies about the whole war and slapping tariffs on American goods. Eater has been keeping a running list of things seeing anywhere between a 10% and 25% tax added to the top, and that list now includes coffee.

The trade war has escalated quickly since Trump signed an “executive memo to tax up to $60 billion worth of Chinese imports with the intent of penalizing China for unfair trade practices.” China then went tit-for-tat with $60 billion worth of their of tariffs, which then led the American “leader” to “I’m rubber and your glue” the whole situation with an added $200 billion in tariffs earlier this month.

Now it’s China’s turn to spin the wheel of calamity, and their newest round of tariffs include a tax on coffee, taking effect today, September 24th. It is unclear exactly how much in additional taxes will be placed on coffee.

And it’s not just China who is penalizing the American coffee industry. Our friends and allies to the north Canada—CANADA! We are openly feuding with Canada now?!—have also implemented retaliatory tariffs on the U.S. According to Eater, the Great White North having been taxing American goods since July 1st, including a 10% fee on coffee, non-decaf.

Back in 2016 we openly wondered if Trump—who famously claims to have “never had a cup of coffee”—would be bad for the coffee industry. “If elected,” we wrote, “would President Trump ban coffee? Only time will tell.” Welp—time has told us that Trump’s Game of Tariffs is, at the very least, going to make the global commerce of coffee needlessly more expensive, at a time when the global coffee market can least afford such pointless belligerence.

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.

The post Trump’s Trade War Includes Multiple Tariffs On Coffee appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

Unpacking The 2018 World Coffee Research Annual Report

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world coffee research annual report

world coffee research annual report

While it’s tempting for many who own, work in, and frequent coffee shops to focus solely on day-to-day issues like rising rent, increasing labor costs, and fierce market competition, the coffee production sector currently faces critical long-term threats—threats like climate change, cost of production, and lack of educational and fiscal resources. These issues, if unchecked, will present major barriers to every link in the coffee supply chain, threatening the future of coffee for all. 

World Coffee Research, a nonprofit agricultural research and development organization that’s worked for the last five years to develop solutions to issues facing green coffee and its producers, has been one of many groups pushing the industry to address these critical threats to the coffee supply chain. Their work is complex and multi-pronged, but the issues they’re confronting are crucial for anyone who loves coffee—and especially for those who make their living in the coffee sector. In this piece, I’ll break down the highlights from WCR’s recently-released annual report and its first five years.

The Problems

The central problem the coffee industry faces today, according to WCR’s annual report, is a long-term gap between supply and demand. Using the year 2050 as a benchmark, it breaks down what it terms “coffee’s science gap,” a situation wherein if coffee consumption continues to grow at its current rate, world coffee producers will need to double current production by 2050 to meet demand. On the other side of that equation lies climate change, which, without intervention, could actually render coffee production lower in 2050 than it is today.

Currently, 47% of coffee production comes from countries that are expected to lose more than 60% of their suitable coffee land by 2050. Those countries are expected to take the hardest hits, but even the countries expected to see the least losses are still projected to lose up to 30% of their coffee-producing land due to climate change.

world coffee research annual report

One possible solution, according to WCR, is in the creation of climate-resilient varieties, alongside improved farming practices and better farmer access to those varieties and practices. The main conditions that coffee plants will face will be extreme heat, drought, and the pests that thrive on those conditions—to say nothing of issues like monocropping and soil health, approaches to which can be seen in projects by Elias Roa and Tim Wendelboe at Finca Tamana. While it would be inaccurate to think of agricultural research and development as a magic bullet, WCR’s first five years in operation show potential for creating plants that can handle the specifics of the future climate.

“These challenges can feel really big and heavy,” says WCR communications director Hanna Neuschwander. “But looking back even 10 years, something like the idea of using F1 hybrids in coffee production was seen as impossible; now we actually have F1 hybrids growing on coffee farms.”

While the agricultural research being done on genetics is encouraging, Chris Kornman of Royal Coffee encourages people in the coffee industry to recognize that WCR is but one of many organizations doing agricultural R&D. “It’s the local iteration: Cenicafé in Colombia, JARC in Ethiopia, IAC in Brazil, for example, that have already been doing sophisticated genetic work for decades to isolate favorable varieties and develop high-yield, high-quality, disease-resistant cultivars,” says Kornman. “Their facilities are state-of-the-art, and the work they are doing largely set the stage for an organization, like WCR, to step in during an age of information freedom to share and distribute to a broader base of consumers with a more global and modernized support structure.”

Green coffee buyer Katie Carguilo of Counter Culture Coffee (full disclosure, my former employer) sees the collaboration of WCR and producing countries’ agricultural associations as a major step forward for coffee as a plant, and for those who grow it. “These challenges are much bigger than what a single government or company can alone solve,” says Carguilo. “The FNC in Colombia, for example, has seen success with its Castillo variety coffees in that they are more resistant to rust than the Caturra that most farmers were growing, and the cup quality loss is not very significant. However, as a buyer, I haven’t encountered Castillo outside of Colombia. If it’s so successful, why not provide other producers with access? In theory, WCR is setting itself up to do just that. ”

world coffee research annual report

Momentum

Agronomical research projects can take longer than other types of research to yield necessary data, but WCR is starting to see major momentum in terms of the data they’re able to collect.

In 2015, WCR created the core collection, a diverse collection of Arabica coffee plants that can be used by breeders to create F1 hybrids and study genetics with a solid and varied control group in hand. As breeders study the core collection, they find the correlations between phenotype and genotype (the way the plant looks and the genes within it), which will eventually allow them to efficiently target genetic markers as they breed hybrids—meaning that rather than having to wait for the plants to grow up to see which traits they display, they’ll be able to tell from the plant’s DNA, cutting research time and costs nearly in half. They’re only just starting to find the correlations between traits and genes, but once they do, they’ll create an integrated database for breeders to use.

WCR already has three categories of F1 hybrid out in the world, some being studied in the actual ground, some waiting to be planted in the best possible space for study. For instance, they currently have 13 hybrids in Zambia being tested to respond to the hot, dry climate many coffee producing areas can expect in 2050.

World Coffee Research is also preparing a new generation of F1 hybrid varieties with the goal of releasing specifically selected varieties to farmers in Central America and Africa by 2025. Because F1 varieties are the first generation result of a cross between two genetically distinct varieties, they tend to display what’s known as “hybrid vigor.” These hybrids specifically are expected to have yield increases up to 20-40% over the current standards, high cup quality potential (some capable of scoring 90+ points), and overall tolerance of stressors like temperature extremes, diseases, and pests, including leaf rust. While hybrid has often been a dirty word in the specialty coffee world because of past hybrids’ tendencies toward lower cup quality (note that older hybrids like Castillo and Catimor are not F1 hybrids), this new generation of F1 hybrids was created not just for resilience but specifically for flavor.

Since replanting with new varieties won’t ever provide immediate solutions for most farmers, WCR is also working on other solutions for extant pests, including a four-year leaf rust study which just concluded, yielding actionable findings on how to best treat leaf rust. The research found that not only can certain types of shade trees help minimize the severity of leaf rust, but that plant nutrition, specifically the application of fertilizers, actually does a lot more to control leaf rust than intensive fungicide application.

world coffee research annual report

Accessibility

When working to enhance the supply of quality coffee, accessibility becomes a key concern. Most coffee farmers face economic disadvantages that make it much harder for them to access the latest technologies than other parts of the supply chain, like cafes or roasters.

“You can create the best coffee variety in the world and if a farmer does not have access to it, it doesn’t matter that you have created it,” says Neuschwander. “You can even get that variety out to a farmer and if they don’t have the tools and knowledge to get it in the ground and help it be successful, it doesn’t matter that you’ve put that amazing genetic potential in their hands.” While Neuschwander points to accessibility as a major focus of WCR’s work, she readily admits that it will always be the central struggle and they have in no way “cracked the code” on accessibility.

Despite its difficulty, getting information and plants themselves into the hands of farmers is mission critical. Established in 2016, the Arabica Varieties Catalog was WCR’s first major step in the information delivery part of the equation. Produced in both English and Spanish, it was created with a specific focus on making sure it could be as useful to farmers and nurseries as possible. “When we were designing it, we tried to think about maximizing legibility for as large an audience as possible,” says Neuschwander. “We worked to make sure it was easy to read in the design. It has a lot of pictures and references so people can go deeper, but we also tried to make sure it’s not too overwhelming. We want to translate into more languages going forward.”

In its next step, WCR launched a Verified Program, establishing a global nursery certification standard to verify that nurseries are producing healthy and accurately-represented plants. The program, which includes a database that’s integrated into the varieties catalog, seeks to solve the problem of farmers not knowing how to find the right varieties to meet their needs.

“Beyond that, we also recognize the fact that a lot of nurseries around the world couldn’t meet those standards now, so clearly we need a lot more,” says Neuschwander. “But prior to the launch of this program, there was no clear set of standards for nurseries.” So, as a next step, they’re now launching a nursery development program so that nurseries can get the tools and training they need to meet those standards. Education and training of farmers is crucial work that many producing countries’ governmental agriculture boards and NGOs are also engaged in.

Another problem WCR saw was that farmers either weren’t convinced about adopting new varieties or couldn’t come up with the financial resources to renovate their farms. In response to that, they conducted a socioeconomic study of the barriers to variety adoption among marginalized smallholders, then launched an international network of 1200 on-farm profitability trials in 20 countries, examining which combination of improved varieties and improved agronomic practices actually increase profitability, yield, and quality.

On top of this, WCR saw that farmers in many countries lacked access to better varieties because those varieties were not commercially available there, so they established an international seed exchange (called the International Multilocation Variety Trial) of some of the world’s top-performing varieties, letting countries observe and test them before committing a lot of money.

“Accessibility has a lot of factors: it can be about readability or user interface, it can be about access to plants, but it’s a super central question to our work. We do not want to be a research organization that does research and keeps it locked up in a lab. We are entirely about getting that research out to farmers,” says Neuschwander.

WCR will not be selling these varieties directly, however. Most coffee-producing countries’ governmental agriculture boards control which varieties are planted within that country, including the means of distribution of the plants themselves. WCR as a nonprofit research organization has no ability to directly give farmers these new coffee varieties (outside of specific experiments), nor do they have the ability to sell them to farmers. The varieties will instead go to the agricultural boards which will then have the power to sell or distribute them. WCR works with those organizations on R&D but does not have control over that side of the chain.

Joe Marrocco of Mill City Roasters has high hopes for the future of coffee, but a lingering doubt nags him: coffee producers whose land loses the ability to profitably produce coffee potentially gain the ability to grow something easier and more lucrative. The prices that farmers get for coffee—yes, even high-quality coffee—are hardly enough to live on, and while the coffee industry is fighting to preserve the future of coffee, its members need to focus equally on fighting to make sure that producers and pickers of coffee make a living wage. “My questions are not [specific] to World Coffee Research,” says Marrocco, “but the work and conversations around the work that WCR is doing have simply brought on these questions.”

world coffee research annual report

The Future

For the world to continue to grow enough coffee to meet future demand, a lot of immensely complex factors need to be addressed at once. Luckily, the coffee industry’s focus on quality and sustainability has positioned us to recognize and address this need in a way that other industries have not.

“Coffee’s great because if you think of any other commodity crop, they’re not having these conversations,” says Neuschwander. “You don’t see the sugar or palm oil industries talking about transparency and sustainability. The coffee industry as a whole deserves a lot of credit for transparency efforts and really pushing to have difficult conversations.”

Neuschwander has been inspired by the level of industry support her organization has received, and how it’s allowed WCR to grow faster than expected and take concrete steps toward protecting and expanding the world’s supply of quality coffee. “It’s been really heartening. The challenges we’re facing are huge, but so are the opportunities for innovation. And that’s exciting.”

RJ Joseph (@RJ_Sproseph) is a Sprudge staff writer, publisher of Queer Cup, and coffee professional based in the Bay Area. Read more RJ Joseph on Sprudge Media Network.

The post Unpacking The 2018 World Coffee Research Annual Report appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

Unpacking The World Coffee Research Annual Report

By | Coffee, News | No Comments

world coffee research annual report

world coffee research annual report

While it’s tempting for many who own, work in, and frequent coffee shops to focus solely on day-to-day issues like rising rent, increasing labor costs, and fierce market competition, the coffee production sector currently faces critical long-term threats—threats like climate change, cost of production, and lack of educational and fiscal resources. These issues, if unchecked, will present major barriers to every link in the coffee supply chain, threatening the future of coffee for all. 

World Coffee Research, a nonprofit agricultural research and development organization that’s worked for the last five years to develop solutions to issues facing green coffee and its producers, has been one of many groups pushing the industry to address these critical threats to the coffee supply chain. Their work is complex and multi-pronged, but the issues they’re confronting are crucial for anyone who loves coffee—and especially for those who make their living in the coffee sector. In this piece, I’ll break down the highlights from WCR’s recently-released annual report and its first five years.

The Problems

The central problem the coffee industry faces today, according to WCR’s annual report, is a long-term gap between supply and demand. Using the year 2050 as a benchmark, it breaks down what it terms “coffee’s science gap,” a situation wherein if coffee consumption continues to grow at its current rate, world coffee producers will need to double current production by 2050 to meet demand. On the other side of that equation lies climate change, which, without intervention, could actually render coffee production lower in 2050 than it is today.

Currently, 47% of coffee production comes from countries that are expected to lose more than 60% of their suitable coffee land by 2050. Those countries are expected to take the hardest hits, but even the countries expected to see the least losses are still projected to lose up to 30% of their coffee-producing land due to climate change.

world coffee research annual report

One possible solution, according to WCR, is in the creation of climate-resilient varieties, alongside improved farming practices and better farmer access to those varieties and practices. The main conditions that coffee plants will face will be extreme heat, drought, and the pests that thrive on those conditions—to say nothing of issues like monocropping and soil health, approaches to which can be seen in projects by Elias Roa and Tim Wendelboe at Finca Tamana. While it would be inaccurate to think of agricultural research and development as a magic bullet, WCR’s first five years in operation show potential for creating plants that can handle the specifics of the future climate.

“These challenges can feel really big and heavy,” says WCR communications director Hanna Neuschwander. “But looking back even 10 years, something like the idea of using F1 hybrids in coffee production was seen as impossible; now we actually have F1 hybrids growing on coffee farms.”

While the agricultural research being done on genetics is encouraging, Chris Kornman of Royal Coffee encourages people in the coffee industry to recognize that WCR is but one of many organizations doing agricultural R&D. “It’s the local iteration: Cenicafé in Colombia, JARC in Ethiopia, IAC in Brazil, for example, that have already been doing sophisticated genetic work for decades to isolate favorable varieties and develop high-yield, high-quality, disease-resistant cultivars,” says Kornman. “Their facilities are state-of-the-art, and the work they are doing largely set the stage for an organization, like WCR, to step in during an age of information freedom to share and distribute to a broader base of consumers with a more global and modernized support structure.”

Green coffee buyer Katie Carguilo of Counter Culture Coffee (full disclosure, my former employer) sees the collaboration of WCR and producing countries’ agricultural associations as a major step forward for coffee as a plant, and for those who grow it. “These challenges are much bigger than what a single government or company can alone solve,” says Carguilo. “The FNC in Colombia, for example, has seen success with its Castillo variety coffees in that they are more resistant to rust than the Caturra that most farmers were growing, and the cup quality loss is not very significant. However, as a buyer, I haven’t encountered Castillo outside of Colombia. If it’s so successful, why not provide other producers with access? In theory, WCR is setting itself up to do just that. ”

world coffee research annual report

Momentum

Agronomical research projects can take longer than other types of research to yield necessary data, but WCR is starting to see major momentum in terms of the data they’re able to collect.

In 2015, WCR created the core collection, a diverse collection of Arabica coffee plants that can be used by breeders to create F1 hybrids and study genetics with a solid and varied control group in hand. As breeders study the core collection, they find the correlations between phenotype and genotype (the way the plant looks and the genes within it), which will eventually allow them to efficiently target genetic markers as they breed hybrids—meaning that rather than having to wait for the plants to grow up to see which traits they display, they’ll be able to tell from the plant’s DNA, cutting research time and costs nearly in half. They’re only just starting to find the correlations between traits and genes, but once they do, they’ll create an integrated database for breeders to use.

WCR already has three categories of F1 hybrid out in the world, some being studied in the actual ground, some waiting to be planted in the best possible space for study. For instance, they currently have 13 hybrids in Zambia being tested to respond to the hot, dry climate many coffee producing areas can expect in 2050.

World Coffee Research is also preparing a new generation of F1 hybrid varieties with the goal of releasing specifically selected varieties to farmers in Central America and Africa by 2025. Because F1 varieties are the first generation result of a cross between two genetically distinct varieties, they tend to display what’s known as “hybrid vigor.” These hybrids specifically are expected to have yield increases up to 20-40% over the current standards, high cup quality potential (some capable of scoring 90+ points), and overall tolerance of stressors like temperature extremes, diseases, and pests, including leaf rust. While hybrid has often been a dirty word in the specialty coffee world because of past hybrids’ tendencies toward lower cup quality (note that older hybrids like Castillo and Catimor are not F1 hybrids), this new generation of F1 hybrids was created not just for resilience but specifically for flavor.

Since replanting with new varieties won’t ever provide immediate solutions for most farmers, WCR is also working on other solutions for extant pests, including a four-year leaf rust study which just concluded, yielding actionable findings on how to best treat leaf rust. The research found that not only can certain types of shade trees help minimize the severity of leaf rust, but that plant nutrition, specifically the application of fertilizers, actually does a lot more to control leaf rust than intensive fungicide application.

world coffee research annual report

Accessibility

When working to enhance the supply of quality coffee, accessibility becomes a key concern. Most coffee farmers face economic disadvantages that make it much harder for them to access the latest technologies than other parts of the supply chain, like cafes or roasters.

“You can create the best coffee variety in the world and if a farmer does not have access to it, it doesn’t matter that you have created it,” says Neuschwander. “You can even get that variety out to a farmer and if they don’t have the tools and knowledge to get it in the ground and help it be successful, it doesn’t matter that you’ve put that amazing genetic potential in their hands.” While Neuschwander points to accessibility as a major focus of WCR’s work, she readily admits that it will always be the central struggle and they have in no way “cracked the code” on accessibility.

Despite its difficulty, getting information and plants themselves into the hands of farmers is mission critical. Established in 2016, the Arabica Varieties Catalog was WCR’s first major step in the information delivery part of the equation. Produced in both English and Spanish, it was created with a specific focus on making sure it could be as useful to farmers and nurseries as possible. “When we were designing it, we tried to think about maximizing legibility for as large an audience as possible,” says Neuschwander. “We worked to make sure it was easy to read in the design. It has a lot of pictures and references so people can go deeper, but we also tried to make sure it’s not too overwhelming. We want to translate into more languages going forward.”

In its next step, WCR launched a Verified Program, establishing a global nursery certification standard to verify that nurseries are producing healthy and accurately-represented plants. The program, which includes a database that’s integrated into the varieties catalog, seeks to solve the problem of farmers not knowing how to find the right varieties to meet their needs.

“Beyond that, we also recognize the fact that a lot of nurseries around the world couldn’t meet those standards now, so clearly we need a lot more,” says Neuschwander. “But prior to the launch of this program, there was no clear set of standards for nurseries.” So, as a next step, they’re now launching a nursery development program so that nurseries can get the tools and training they need to meet those standards. Education and training of farmers is crucial work that many producing countries’ governmental agriculture boards and NGOs are also engaged in.

Another problem WCR saw was that farmers either weren’t convinced about adopting new varieties or couldn’t come up with the financial resources to renovate their farms. In response to that, they conducted a socioeconomic study of the barriers to variety adoption among marginalized smallholders, then launched an international network of 1200 on-farm profitability trials in 20 countries, examining which combination of improved varieties and improved agronomic practices actually increase profitability, yield, and quality.

On top of this, WCR saw that farmers in many countries lacked access to better varieties because those varieties were not commercially available there, so they established an international seed exchange (called the International Multilocation Variety Trial) of some of the world’s top-performing varieties, letting countries observe and test them before committing a lot of money.

“Accessibility has a lot of factors: it can be about readability or user interface, it can be about access to plants, but it’s a super central question to our work. We do not want to be a research organization that does research and keeps it locked up in a lab. We are entirely about getting that research out to farmers,” says Neuschwander.

WCR will not be selling these varieties directly, however. Most coffee-producing countries’ governmental agriculture boards control which varieties are planted within that country, including the means of distribution of the plants themselves. WCR as a nonprofit research organization has no ability to directly give farmers these new coffee varieties (outside of specific experiments), nor do they have the ability to sell them to farmers. The varieties will instead go to the agricultural boards which will then have the power to sell or distribute them. WCR works with those organizations on R&D but does not have control over that side of the chain.

Joe Marrocco of Mill City Roasters has high hopes for the future of coffee, but a lingering doubt nags him: coffee producers whose land loses the ability to profitably produce coffee potentially gain the ability to grow something easier and more lucrative. The prices that farmers get for coffee—yes, even high-quality coffee—are hardly enough to live on, and while the coffee industry is fighting to preserve the future of coffee, its members need to focus equally on fighting to make sure that producers and pickers of coffee make a living wage. “My questions are not [specific] to World Coffee Research,” says Marrocco, “but the work and conversations around the work that WCR is doing have simply brought on these questions.”

world coffee research annual report

The Future

For the world to continue to grow enough coffee to meet future demand, a lot of immensely complex factors need to be addressed at once. Luckily, the coffee industry’s focus on quality and sustainability has positioned us to recognize and address this need in a way that other industries have not.

“Coffee’s great because if you think of any other commodity crop, they’re not having these conversations,” says Neuschwander. “You don’t see the sugar or palm oil industries talking about transparency and sustainability. The coffee industry as a whole deserves a lot of credit for transparency efforts and really pushing to have difficult conversations.”

Neuschwander has been inspired by the level of industry support her organization has received, and how it’s allowed WCR to grow faster than expected and take concrete steps toward protecting and expanding the world’s supply of quality coffee. “It’s been really heartening. The challenges we’re facing are huge, but so are the opportunities for innovation. And that’s exciting.”

RJ Joseph (@RJ_Sproseph) is a Sprudge staff writer, publisher of Queer Cup, and coffee professional based in the Bay Area. Read more RJ Joseph on Sprudge Media Network.

The post Unpacking The World Coffee Research Annual Report appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

Eater Just Noticed All The Australians

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Breaking news from five years ago: Eater reports there are really a lot of Australians working in American coffee.

Perhaps it was one of the 16 Bluestone Lane cafes in New York that tipped them off. Or maybe it was the 15 other Bluestone Lane cafes outside the city. Or perhaps it was this 2014 (!) Oliver Strand article for the New York Times with an identical premise.

Because Eater’s feature was written by an Australian, it includes claims that Australians invented avocado toast (they didn’t) and flat whites (also not them). Here’s an excerpt:

“When you walk in to an Australian cafe it’s going to be fun, lively, welcoming, you can kind of go there and feel comfortable and not feel like you’re walking into a science lab… it’s that mentality that we’re trying to replicate here,” says Ryan de Remer, owner of Sweatshop, which opened in 2014 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and now counts 11 Australians on staff. “Back in Melbourne you don’t go for the biggest coffee with the most caffeine, everyone sits and chills. The American coffee gets too focused on the product.”

Presumably the hit single Am I Wrong? by Nico and Vinz played whilst this quote was issued (or perhaps even Iggy Azalea, though that’s a bit on the nose) because evidently we have time traveled back to 2014. Australians are everywhere in North American coffee, and this isn’t news—it was news, several years ago, and was duly reported on then, but we live in the present, not the past. Right? Right??

Other shudderingly obvious features built on outdated premises we look forward to reading this weekend include:

LA Times: Tacos Seem A Trend Of Late
Chicago Tribune: City Cold In Winter, Warm In Summer
Pitchfork: Hyped New Record Not That Great
Us Weekly: Jennifer Aniston Exists
Tech Crunch: Founder Goals Include Disruption 
Philadelphia Inquirer: Eagles Win Super Bowl; Fans Hurl Praise, Batteries
High Times: Weed Is Tight

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.

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Source: Coffee News

Build-Outs Of Summer: Treeline Coffee In Bozeman, MT

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treeline coffee bozeman montana

treeline coffee bozeman montana

The official end of summer is tomorrow, but the official end of the Build-Outs of Summer is right here, right now. It’s sad to see it go back into its nine-month hibernation, but that’s just the way these things go. Sunrise. Sunset. But we aren’t leaving without giving you one last extremely beautiful cafe to behold: Treeline Coffee in Bozeman, Montana.

With an eye towards the outdoors (how could you not in a place as lovely as Montana), Treeline wants to fuel you up for your next adventure, all within of a clean-designed wonder of a space. Working with THINKTANK Design Group, Treeline is a mix of minimalism and warmth. And it is the perfect way to end the 2018 Build-Outs of Summer. It’s been a wild ride; we can’t wait to see what y’all have in store next year. But for now, let’s take in the splendor that is Treeline Coffee in Bozeman, Montana.

treeline coffee bozeman montana

As told to Sprudge by Natalie Van Dusen.

For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?

Treeline was born in the mountains of Bozeman, MT. We are a small batch, artisan coffee roaster in pursuit of an unforgettable cup of coffee. We pride ourselves on sourcing excellent coffees seasonally and roasting each bean to highlight the unique flavors that make for a rich and dynamic cup of coffee.

Yes, we are coffee lovers, but we are also adventurers, travelers, and outdoor enthusiasts! Treeline is built on the idea that your coffee should fuel you to do the things you love. With that as our motto, we have gone to great lengths to explore creative and innovative coffee solutions that allow our customers to take their coffee on-the-go. Whether it’s Bozeman or Bali, hotel or hut, we think coffee can be the ultimate travel and outdoor companion.

Driven by curiosity, intuition, and honesty, we seek to create an unforgettable coffee experience from farm-to-cup.

treeline coffee bozeman montana

Can you tell us a bit about the new space?

This summer we finished building and opened our second Treeline Coffee Roasters location in Bozeman! The new Treeline Coffee was key element in the design of The Lark Hotel expansion located on Main Street in downtown Bozeman. As a modern reinterpretation of a 1960’s motor lodge, the hotel sets a new standard of what a hotel experience can be by creating public gathering spaces for locals and hotel guests to interact. Treeline Coffee is at the heart of this interplay.

Housed in a warm, sustainable shell of exposed Cross Laminated Timber, Treeline Coffee’s inviting open-air entrance utilizes a large panel door to blur the indoor/outdoor connection. The space features brightly colored custom furniture by local artisans, contemporary lighting, and a steel barista counter whose design was born from a collaboration between the Treeline baristas, local craftsmen, and THINKTANK Design Group.

The barista counter is made from cold rolled steel and houses three pour-over stations, coffee grinders, brewers, Modbar expresso machines, a custom water tap, and a custom-made display rack for fresh pastries.

Guests cruise past display cases to the transaction counter in the middle of the bar where they can experience the creation of the drinks. The space and layout of the baristas equipment is spaced and grouped so they are ergonomically efficient and visually appealing to the clientele.

Treeline Coffee’s downtown location is roughly 700 square feet and serves fresh, locally-roasted coffee in the heart of Bozeman. In its opening weeks in July 2018, the coffee shop has experienced a large amount of traffic due to its uniquely bold, yet refined design, and of course… tasty coffee.

treeline coffee bozeman montana

treeline coffee bozeman montana

What’s your approach to coffee?

We approach coffee like we approach our adventures: with enthusiasm and an end goal of an awesome quality experience. The attention to detail in each cups starts well before the brewing process and begins with sourcing.

From the beginning we’ve been traveling to meet with farmers and develop long lasting friendships and relationships. This allows us to better understand their growing practice and approaches to sustainability.

We purchase our beans seasonally and design unique roast profiles to match each bean so we can offer a rotating and unique lineup of coffees.

Our baristas, who are coffee professionals and true crafts(wo)men of their trade, then take the freshly roasted beans and pull shots on our Modbars or provide-pour overs on our v60s. Each barista treats every cup with the respect it deserves, keeping in mind the entire coffee story and truly completing the farm to cup experience for our customers to enjoy.

Additionally, the more we learn about coffee the more we realize we don’t know and strive to keep learning. As a team we are always looking for ways to grow and expand our coffee knowledge and craft.

treeline coffee bozeman montana

Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?

So much fun equipment in this shop! We are continuing to use Modbars for our espresso but we’ve switched our grinders to the Nuova Simonelli Mythos One Clima Pro and are loving the upgrade!
We have a three station pour-over bar with Hario v60’s. The coffee for our pour-over bar and our batch brew is ground using the new Mazzer ZM.

We spent a bunch of time sourcing awesome cupware. We have a mix of mugs from Loveramics, Acme, and notNeutral.

What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?

We opened July 1, 2018

Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?

THINKTANK Design Group, Townsend Collective, and other local Bozeman artisans.

Thank you!

Thanks for considering us!!!

treeline coffee bozeman montana

Treeline Coffee Roasters is located at 132 W Main, Bozeman. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Build-Outs Of Summer is an annual series on Sprudge. Live the thrill of the build all summer long in our Build-Outs feature hub.

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Source: Coffee News