Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Movin' on up

For those on you who have this blog in your feed, I'm officially moving over to the new blog: BFC&T Blog. I invite you to switch your RSS feeds or change your bookmarks. I hope to post a little more often there as well.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

About Direct Trade

We are currently four bags into our ten bag order of Finca Vista Hermosa's "La Vega" Huehuetenango microlot. We love it. It forms the centerpiece of our drip coffee regimen and is a vital part of our 3219 espresso blend (webstore coming soon). Bethany and Jake, along with some other Geneva staff and students, are visiting the farm in mid-March and helping out (best they can) with the harvest. Our relationship with the farm is growing strong and we hope to be able to buy a container of their coffee next year.

That, though, is hard. Being a cash-strapped Beaver County business is difficult in itself, but when you add our commitments to the highest quality and the best buying practices, the dollar signs really add up. We are committed, though, to doing this.

Our work with the farm gives us a level of control over the long-term that isn't possible working with distant importers (although the ones we do work with, Royal NY and Coffee Holding, do a great job). We can work over a number of seasons to identify with lot (with its specific terrior) brings the flavors that we want. We can watch the farmers create and maintain great growing practices and be involved with their community (farming, after all, is never an individual endeavor). As the farm does better, we do better; as we do better, the farm does better. Gotta like those odds.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Why I Love My Work

I was struck the other day that I truly love what we are doing here at BFC&T. It has been a long time since I could say that: we've been racuously busy, in both the positive and negative sense, and I've just had a hard time sustaining a level of acceptable humanness. But the other day I was struck by a couple of things. Coffee, well grown, picked, processed, stored, roasted, and brewed is a wonderful beverage. Tea is the same way. I just did a cupping of Silk Road Teas and they were, by far, the best teas I've ever tasted. Seeing customer expressions after trying them confirmed in my mind why we do this day in and day out. Add to that the fact that Waffles Incaffeinated is making some sweet, culinarily adventurous waffles for us on Saturdays and Mondays.

Then, we've also moved the roaster. (Yes, that would be the third time in one year). It's new residence is a mere three doors down, on ground level, in the old Blue Room Billiards Hall here on College Hill. Compared to the space it was in, there is no comparison (but here's one anyway--100 sq ft v. 1100 sq ft). Now the roaster looks truly diminuitive, but its new digs herald a new age. Beleza Community Coffeehouse, in the Mexican War Streets of Pittsburgh, will soon be carrying our 3219 espresso, a specially created Beleza house blend, and our drip coffees. Yay! So, if you need a BFC&T, but cannot make the drive, try us in the city itself. I'm chasing down other possible wholesale accounts as a new part of my duties here.

Also, I learned about Terry Davis' Demitasse Poetry Contest. Few know it, but I am a published--and fairly prolific--poet, so I'm excited about this contest.

Lastly, competition is a-comin'! We are excited to have Jake and Meg compete, with Bethany judging, and myself volunteering at the event. If you have a chance, this is a great way to learn more about coffee and to support your favorite shops in our area. We'll be organizing trips down there for BF natives and Geneva College students, so be on the lookout for that in the store.

Coffee is great. Life is great.