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Welcome to Badgett's Coffee eJournal
All the Coffee That's Fit to Print"
Issue No. 13 - August 18, 2000

In This Issue:

1. Welcome
2. Some Words from Our Sponsors
3. Coffee Basics: Vacuum Brewer
4. Coffee that's Songbird-friendly and Healthy for Habitats
5. Computers and Internet
6. Links to My Friends
7. Feedback

Join the Buffalo for breakfast. We are serving up a batch of
TastyChips (adult jokes) with Lynn's Links and a garnish of
free offers . For reservations send a blank e-mail to :
or visit
Buffalos Jokes not one of those vegetarian jokelists.

1. Welcome

Welcome, my friends, and thank you for subscribing.

I love to watch political conventions, but I'm glad they're
over. I live on the East Coast (an 8 minute walk from the
Atlantic Ocean) and I've been sleepy all week because of the
lateness of the Democrats from Los Angeles. It was fun.

I urge you all to vote and to motivate your friends and
relatives to vote. This election is so important so please take
advantage of this wonderful privilege. It's a shame that only
half of Americans choose our president.

Once upon a time I could (and did) drink coffee at 11:00 p.m.
and never have a problem with sleeping, but I can't do that now.
As much as I love coffee, I just can't drink it at night and
sleep well. The old body changes, sometimes for the better,
sometimes not.

Nice article this week about songbird-friendly and shadegrown
coffee. I think this movement is valid and helps us all, so
please take a look. I will have more articles in the future
about Fair Trade and the shadegrown movement. I welcome any
viewpoint on these subjects. If you would like to contribute an
article, please contact me.

If you haven't visited my website lately, please take a quick
look. The Links Page has been updated. Also, I recently joined
the "Express Top 50" webring, which is a good collection of
coffee websites. Go ahead and hit the link, then come back here.

If you would like a past issue, please email me and I will send
it to you or anyone else.

My goal with this journal is to promote good coffee. I want to
learn, educate, and entertain. I publish every Friday via email
and readers include coffee consumers, home roasters, coffee
geeks, retailers, growers, roasters, and equipment dealers. If
you want to learn more about our most wonderful beverage, this
is the place. I don't sell anything and subscription is free.

If you want to advertise here or submit an article, contact me.
I don't charge for ads, links, or advice.

DISCLAIMER: All information contained here is obtained by
Badgett's Coffee eJournal from sources believed to be accurate
and reliable. Because of the possibility of human and mechanical
error as well as other factors, neither Badgett's Coffee
eJournal nor its publisher, Robert L. Badgett, is responsible
for any errors or omissions. All information is provided "as is"
without warranty of any kind.

To subscribe or unsubscribe, click here:

2. Some Words From Our Sponsors

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Organic New Guinea; A Grade, Shade Grown, Smithsonian Bird
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Mention Badgett's Coffee eJournal to get a FREE 1/2 POUND
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For Great Deals on other Organic Beans, Roasted Coffee,
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Visit us at:


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If you enjoy great gourmet coffee, why fight the traffic and the
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Special: Buy 3 lbs Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee and get 4 ounces
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Mention Badgett's Coffee eJournal


Cafe Campesino Coffees - Check out our new website at and get free shipping on your
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checkout page. Or call us at 888-532-4728 for more information.
"From crop to cup, a fair trade!"

"The problem with most marriages is that she thinks she can
change him, and he thinks she will never change. They are both
wrong." Anon.

2. Coffee Basics: The Vacuum Brewer

I am old enough to remember the vacuum brewer, but I don't. My
mother used an electric percolator during my childhood and then
graduated to the Chemex, so I was never exposed to the vac pot.
Remember high school chemistry, and how much fun the lab stuff
was? That is what the vac pot reminds me of. It's a glass
contraption that looks like a regular coffeepot on the bottom
and a glass beaker/funnel on the top. There's a tube at the
bottom of the top part that goes almost to the bottom of the
bottom part. When you watch it work you are reminded of stuff
you learned in chemistry and physics that you thought you had
forgotten, such as boiling water and changing it to gas, or
water vapor. And how the gas takes up more space when heated and
causes pressure that makes things move.

It's fun to watch and the coffee is the best. It makes coffee as
good as a press pot but there is absolutely no sediment in the
pot or in the cup. The coffee never touches anything but glass.
There is no filter, either paper or metal, to trap flavorful
oils. There is a glass filter but not what you would expect. The
glass filter is a stopper with rough sides that allow the
coffee, liquid only, to go down from the top to the bottom,
leaving the grounds behind in the top part.

For a much better discussion of the vac pot, please go to the
wonderful article by Mark Prince at:

Mark is the Coffee Geek of the coffee world. His website is Mark is a real friend to coffee folks. I have
asked his advice many times and he always is quick to answer,
even my sometimes dumb questions. Visit his website and learn
all about coffee and coffee equipment from an expert.

"If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the
impersonators would be dead." Johnny Carson

4 Coffee that's Songbird-friendly and Healthy for Habitats

By Francesca Lyman, MSNBC

What do the Baltimore Orioles, Bonnie Raitt and the Smithsonian
Migratory Birds Center have in common? They're all trying to
save songbirds and tropical rain forests by getting people to
drink more coffee. not just any coffee, but "shade-grown"
varieties that preserve rich rainforest habitats and are
healthier for land and people.

ONCE WE HAD a choice of regular, black or light. Now we can have
a Sumatran or Peruvian, mocha-latte or cappuccino, a marvelous
diversity of choice. But our thirst for coffee is jeopardizing
the biodiversity of the rainforests where coffee beans are
grown, some scientists say, and decimating populations of the
world's songbirds.

Flocks of migratory birds, which historically winter in Central
and South America by the millions familiar American songbirds
such as orioles, warblers and tanagers were declining in
populations. But it wasn't until the 1980s that ornithologists
began to link the bird decline, partly attributed to forest and
grassland loss, to the growth of tree-less and densely planted
sun-grown coffee plantations.

Historically, much of the coffee marketed to the United States
has been grown in tree-shaded areas on small fincas, or farms,
in Central and South America, says Russell Greenberg, an
ecologist with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. Two-thirds
of the world's coffee is grown here, the rest in Africa and

But in the 1970s, to combat a much-feared fungus and to also
boost coffee production, producers actively started cutting down
forests and converting them to plantations cultivating sun-grown
varieties. These "technified" plantations enable producers to
more than triple their yields, but require heavy doses of
fertilizers and pesticides.

Songbirds dying out

New higher-yield techniques for growing coffee in Latin American
are destroying winter habitats for many North American migratory
songbirds. Some songbirds declining or at risk:

Baltimore oriole - Eastern U.S.

Cape May warbler - Northern U.S.

Wood thrush - Eastern and Southern U.S.

American redstart - Eastern and Northwestern U.S.

Nashville warbler - Central and Western U.S.

Cerulean warbler - Eastern U.S.

Bobolink - Northern U.S., Southern Canada

Grasshopper sparrow - Throughout U.S.

Western bluebird - Western U.S.

Scarlet tanager - Eastern North America

About 40 percent of what was once shaded forest, "and really an
incredible refuge for biodiversity of all kinds insects and
animals, from frogs and salamanders to monkeys and sloths," says
Greenberg, was destroyed. Some 3.3 million acres of forest were
lost in just 20 years.

Tragically, these higher-elevation coffee zones, "lying in the
foothills of the Andes, and along the Pacific slope of Central
America, are some of the most biologically rich and sensitive
areas anywhere in the world."

Because technified coffee is so chemical-intensive, it has
proven unhealthy for the rivers, soil and workers harvesting the
beans. "The whole community is paying the bill for the higher
yields the pesticide pollution, the nitrogen fertilizers getting
into the water, the workers breathing the fumes," says
Greenberg. "But there's a lot less interest in the people who
grow the coffee than in the health of people who drink it."

As for whether chemical residues do reach consumers, "most get
burned off during the roasting process," says Bob Rice, another
Smithsonian researcher, "but not always." He points to a study
that found samples, even after roasting, that retained original
levels of DDD (the toxic metabolite of DDT).

In his own 1996 test, Rice was heartened to find no residues on
samples of gourmet specialty coffees. Still, he advocates more
testing, given "how many people drink coffee."

Fortunately, shade coffee offers a healthier, more ecological
alternative, say proponents. Shade trees are naturally nitrogen-
fixing, enriching the soil and reducing the need for chemicals.

According to Paul Katzeff, incoming president of Specialty
Coffees of America, the trade association, and CEO of
Thanksgiving Coffee, only a small percent, perhaps 1 or 2
percent of the total market is labeled "shade-grown," though
perhaps half of all coffee is actually shade-grown.

So Katzeff wants to identify it and third-party certify it, the
way organic coffee is, letting it command a premium. "I think
there's a groundswell growing for this, because people can
connect with songbirds in their backyards not fear of
chemicals." Most organic coffee, grown without pesticides and
chemicals, is also shade-grown.

How to find shade-grown coffee

While there is no uniform certification system to guide coffee
drinkers, several seals indicate care in how coffee is grown,
roasted and processed:

Look for the "certified organic" label with the names of
reputable certifiers, such as the Organic Crop Improvement
Association, Farm Verified Organic, Naturland or the Deter

The label "shade-grown" can be misleading, says Russell
Greenberg of the Smithsonian, as there are "shades" of "shade"
coffee. According to the Smithsonian's criteria for shade
coffee, only coffee grown under substantial shade trees that
offer habitat protection for birds and animals qualifies.

For a guide to genuine shade-grown coffee companies, contact the
Songbird Foundation.

Other seals include the "Transfair" social justice label,
indicating respect for community health and fair wages, the
"Eco-OK" program of the Rainforest Alliance and the seal of
Conservation International.

To get out the word last year, a group of birders held an event
for Migratory Bird Day at a Baltimore Orioles game, where they
served shade coffee. However, said one attendee, "it was 103
degrees, people were screaming and dancing to rock music, and
the last thing anyone wanted to drink was coffee, shade or not."

Meanwhile, the Songbird Foundation has started mobilizing
musicians such as Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt to educate
coffee consumers. The group, founded by Danny O'Keefe, a singer
and songwriter, recently staged a benefit concert in
Philadelphia that raised $100,000 toward the group's goal of
"bringing the issues of biodiversity and sustainability to a
larger audience."

Raitt sang an old Memphis Slim blues lyric, "Back to Mother
Earth," with new words written for the occasion by O'Keefe. "You
can poison all the rivers/ Chop down all the trees/ Greed will
make you sick/ Until you die from the disease.

"Don't care how great you are/ Don't care how much you're worth.
When it all comes down to it/ You've got to go back to Mother

Francesca Lyman is an environmental and travel journalist and
editor of the recently released "Inside the Dzanga Sangha

Published courtesy of The Caffeine Archive

"Have you ever noticed.... Anybody going slower than you is an
idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac."
George Carlin

5. Computers and Internet (First published in Issue #2)

Computer Maintenance: Keep your PC running with an occasional
tune up. Defrag about once a week and Scandisk every few weeks
and your PC will run better and faster. When you add files and
remove files, your hard drive becomes fragmented and the data
gets scattered, making access slower. Scandisk actually repairs
your hard drive clusters and cross-linked files, and will verify
proper working order of clusters of data. To find these
programs, go to Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools. You
can also use your Task Scheduler to perform these tasks at more
convenient times.

Mouse Maintenance: If you cursor skips and moves erratically, it
probably just needs cleaning. Turn it over and unscrew the
little disk around the ball. Clean the ball with a damp cloth.
Blow out the mouse with compressed air (buy cans of air in
office supply store) and examine the two pencil-lead sized
rollers for lint or build up of gunk. Clean them with fingernail
and blow it out.

CD-ROM Drive: That same can of compressed air works well. Just
open the drive and blow it out. There's not much else you can
do. Never, ever touch the laser lens with anything. Clean your
CD-Rom disks by rubbing gently with soft cloth outward from
hole. Do not clean in circles, but from hole to outer edge in a
straight motion. Also, the label side contains data tracks, so
do not scratch. If you must write on the CD label, use a soft,
felt-tip pen. Scratches in the shiny underside can often be
polished out if they are not too deep, but scratches in the
label side are usually fatal.

Monitor: There are thousands of volts of very dangerous
electricity inside your monitor, so stay out of the case unless
you're qualified. Just like a television, it can do serious harm
even after it's turned off. To clean, first turn it off! Clean
the screen with a damp, non-scratching cloth made especially for
monitor screens and use mild soapy water on your cloth (not too
much) for the case.

"The problem with the designated driver program, it's not a
desirable job. But if you ever get sucked into doing it, have
fun with it. At the end of the night, drop them off at the wrong
house." Jeff Foxworthy

6. Links to My Friends
Visit the links page on our website to get the latest links to
both coffee related and unrelated sites of interest. The links
page was last updated on July 29, 2000. Check it out. You might
find some old friends and make some new ones.

"It is easy to be independent when all behind you agree with
you, but the difficulty comes when nine hundred and ninety-nine
of your friends think you wrong." Wendell Phillips, 1863

11. Feedback

Tell me what you think. What do you want more of..less of...what
would you change, add, or delete?

Please direct all inquiries, comments, article submissions, and
suggestions to: Robert Badgett

(c) Copyright 2000 Robert L. Badgett. All Rights Reserved.


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