Welcome to Badgett's Coffee eJournal
"All the Coffee That's Fit to Print"(tm)
Issue No. 60 March 22, 2002
In This Issue:
2. Some Words from Our Sponsors
3. Bitter Days For Coffee Producers
4. A Daily Dose of Wisdom from the Rebbe
5. Coffee in Libraries
6. Fundamentals for "Reaching Espresso Nirvana"
8. Miriam's Well
9. Whazzup in Seattle?
10. Reader's Comments
11. Links to My Friends
Spring is here and it's the best time of the year. Actually, all
times are the best time of the year.
Many new subscribers have joined us recently. If you are new,
I'd like to hit you up for an article. Do you have an experience
related to coffee that you would like to share? Send me a
message and we'll discuss it. Some of the best articles are from
non-business coffee lovers.
Have you checked out CoffeeWantAds yet? See below.
Long article from my hometown newspaper about the coffee economy
in Latin America. Take a look and think about it.
Do you love espresso? Sharpen your barista skills with the
Espresso Nirvana article.
My goal with this journal is to promote good coffee. I want to
learn, educate, and entertain. I publish every other Friday via
email and readers include coffee consumers, home roasters,
coffee geeks, retailers, growers, roasters, equipment dealers,
and anyone else who shares our passion for our most wonderful
beverage. If you want to learn more about the fascinating world
of coffee, this is the place. I don't sell anything and
subscription is free.
If you want to advertise here or submit an article please
contact me for the ad rates.
Past Issues may be view at www.badgettcoffee.com
DISCLAIMER: All information contained here is obtained by
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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.
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2. Some Words From Our Sponsors
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"United We Stand...unless traffic is heavy; then it's everyone
for himself." Robert
3. Bitter Days For Coffee Producers
Glut depresses prices, could threaten stability in Latin America
By BRENDAN M. CASE / The Dallas Morning News
Reprinted with permission of The Dallas Morning News
CORDOBA, Mexico - Although U.S. consumers are paying top dollar
for decaf lattes and mocha cappuccinos, coffee farmers such as
Josi Inis Caballero are careening toward bankruptcy.
"Four or five years ago we got $180 for a [132-pound] sack of
coffee beans," said Mr. Caballero, 55, dropping off a coffee
shipment at a warehouse in Csrdoba, a mountain town in the Gulf
Coast state of Veracruz. "Now we get about $42. ... For most of
us, that's not enough to live on."
Coffee has reigned as Latin America's largest legal cash crop
for decades, fueling fortunes and social rebellions alike,
depending on price swings and government support programs. Now,
with the world's supply of coffee beans outstripping demand,
prices have plummeted - and a social crisis is brewing.
Misery is spreading through coffee farms in Africa and Asia as
But in Latin America - which accounts for about 60 percent of
world coffee output - low prices are undermining such U.S. goals
as slowing the flow of illicit drugs, stemming illegal
immigration and fostering economic development to accompany the
region's young democracies.
"Political stability is at stake, that's what's at issue here,"
said Larry Birns, the director of the Council on Hemispheric
Affairs, a think tank in Washington, D.C. "The coffee crisis
produces a kind of political volatility that could open the door
to populist solutions."
Coffee has long been an economic mainstay in dozens of countries
with tropical and subtropical climates. But it has also been
subject to volatile price swings, leading to a perpetual cycle
of boom and bust.
Prices reached $1.80 a pound in 1997, and farmers from Guatemala
to Kenya planted more bushes to boost their sales. Growers
increased their output with improved production methods.
Meanwhile, international development agencies helped finance
coffee production in Vietnam. The Southeast Asian nation, long a
negligible force in the coffee market, vaulted into the No. 2
slot in global coffee production, behind Brazil.
Now, there's a lot more coffee in the world than people are
drinking. The International Coffee Organization's benchmark
composite price has slipped below 45 cents a pound. Many small-
time coffee farmers receive somewhat less than that for their
crops of unprocessed coffee.
Coffee is no longer profitable throughout large swaths of Latin
America and dozens of countries in other developing regions.
"This is the worst crisis in the history of the coffee industry
- not just in Mexico, but in the whole world," said Roberto
Giesemann, executive president of the Mexican Coffee Council, a
government agency that looks after that nation's 280,000 coffee
In Nicaragua's Matagalpa region, Eddy K|hl Arauz has to spend
$75 to fill a sack with his high-end Selva Negra coffee. But the
sack is worth less than $65 these days, despite its premium
"That's very, very low," he said, adding that he can make ends
meet only by dipping into his savings.
Coffee-producing countries have implemented schemes to destroy
part of their crop, in a bid to reduce the supply. Many farmers
are simply leaving coffee beans on the bush because harvesting
has become too expensive.
In Colombia, unemployed coffee worker Marcos Cortez recently
moved to the part of the country controlled by the rebels of the
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia in order to work in a
feed lot for cattle.
"Coffee was our life, but there's no market now, so we came here
to work on cattle ranches," said Mr. Cortez, 28, who now works
in San Vicente del Caguan.
Low prices have proved a boon to U.S. coffee importers, which
have boosted their stockpiles of coffee beans and widened their
Among coffee producers, a few determined entities are trying to
weather the storm by changing the way they do business. Some are
even trying to copy Starbucks Corp. on a small scale.
In the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, for instance, a
growers' cooperative formed a company called La Selva a few
years ago to market their coffee at upscale cafes in Mexico City
and elsewhere. Other farmers are shifting to certified organic
coffee in hopes of earning premium prices.
A budding "fair trade" movement in the United States and Europe
aims to connect farmers in poor countries with socially minded
consumers in rich countries who are willing to pay a little
extra for their morning cup of joe.
U.S. imports of such fair-trade coffee has risen from about 2
million pounds in 1999 to more than 7 million pounds last year,
according to TransFair USA, a fair-trade group in Oakland,
Equal Exchange Inc., a fair-trade coffee importer near Boston,
now pays $1.26 a pound to its suppliers, providing a much-needed
lifeline to devastated growers in poor countries. Last fall, the
Northwest Texas United Methodist Conference in Amarillo passed a
resolution calling on members to serve Equal Exchange coffee at
"For farmers, we're always the best deal in town," said Rodney
North, an Equal Exchange executive.
Governments are developing solutions of their own.
Mr. Giesemann of the Mexican Coffee Council is shelling out tens
of millions of dollars in emergency aid and low-interest loans
to coffee growers. He also spearheaded a joint effort with
Central American nations to destroy 5 percent of their total
Now he's launching a campaign to boost the image of Mexican
coffee abroad, and increase consumption at home by installing
coffee machines in government offices, prisons and military
bases. He even wants to add coffee to the breakfast menu for
school children as young as 8 years old.
"Studies in Brazil showed that children who drink coffee and
milk do better in school," he said. "Besides, coffee is more
nutritious than soft drinks."
Seeking new ways
But such steps take time and expertise, and success is far from
guaranteed. Meanwhile, millions of farmers are seeking other
alternatives, many of which fly in the face of some of the U.S.
government's chief goals in Latin America.
In Colombia - the home of marketing icons Juan Valdez and his
coffee-carrying mule - law enforcement agents suspect that
displaced coffee workers and small-time farmers might be
abandoning coffee to sow another stimulant: the coca plant.
According to a report last year by the United Nations, the
acreage devoted to coca fields in Colombia jumped 60 percent.
Other farmers might be turning to poppies for heroin production,
"Those people are looking for other ways to make money, and it
seems other crops don't have the market troubles that are
affecting the coffee business," said John Narango, commercial
director of the country's National Coffee Federation.
"Coffee once provided people with a good income, higher than
elsewhere in Colombian agriculture. ... So it is tough for many
now to have to give that up."
In Mexico, coffee farmers are streaming off the farm to urban
shantytowns and the United States.
Donato Cortis, 25, says most of his peers have left the coffee-
growing areas around Zoquitlan, Puebla, to crowd into the slums
of Mexico City.
Pedro Castro, a 52-year-old grower in El Paramso, Veracruz,
reported that many of his neighbors have moved to Texas,
Colorado and California. Gustavo Luna said he is one of the few
men left in the hamlet of La Charca, Veracruz.
"There are 180 families in my village, and 150 family fathers
are working in the United States," said Mr. Luna, 43. "We're
only surviving thanks to the money they send us from up north."
Others aren't so lucky. Throughout Latin America, low coffee
prices are deepening rural poverty and creating a large class of
bankrupt farmers and unemployed workers, even as many nations
are still taking their first steps toward democracy.
"People who once lived on the farms and worked in the fields
have gone to the city to beg or to ask for temporary government
jobs," said Juan Francisco Chavirria, 37, a Nicaraguan who earns
$1 a day picking coffee. "This whole region is dead; there is no
Staff writers Laurence Iliff in Nicaragua and Ricardo Sandoval
in Colombia contributed to this report.
"The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by
the level of thinking that created them." Albert Einstein
4. A Daily Dose of Wisdom from the Rebbe
-Words and condensation by Tzvi Freeman
The common conception of how the system works is faulty.
They see a career as "making a living". A career doesn't "make"
anything. What you receive is generated above, in a spiritual
realm. Your business is to set up a channel to allow all that to
flow into the material world.
Brought to you by http://www.chabadonline.com/magazine
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5. Coffee in Libraries
Hi..I have been receiving the newsletter for about 6 months and
truly enjoy all of the content. I "surfed" into the newsletter
while doing research about Coffee in Libraries. I am an
architect. I am designing an expansion to our town's 1911
Library and coffee is IN. The depth of the concept is still
evolving. The Library has embraced the concept....gasp...drinks
mixed with books. Their problem is going to be the
implementation. They are leaning toward a vending system,
curses................ I enjoy great coffee and this will NOT
be the end product with this system, but it's better than a
defunct, un-staffed, espresso bar.
Does anyone have any suggestions...vendors...etc. about a "not
too terrible "vending" system. The majority of the folks using
this cafe will not be true "coffee snobs"...just folks excited
to enjoy a cup of coffee at the Library.
Any input from your readers would be much appreciated.
More Coffee in Libraries
In response to your notice in this issue of your fine
newsletter, I want to let you know about MacKinnon's Cake at the
Pattee/Paterno Library on the University Park campus of Penn
We opened the Cafe in September of 2001. Operated by Java
Company, an auxiliary enterprise of Penn State and part of the
Department of Housing and Food Services, the operation has 1,000
square feet of space next to the extended hours reading room of
the Library. We have 48 seats in this area and, when the
weather permits an additional 50 seats in a sunken courtyard
outside the French style doors of the Cafe. In addition to the
selection of coffee and coffee related beverages, the menu
includes a breakfast component of fresh pastries and muffins
made by our Departmental Bakery and a luncheon component of one,
or two (depending on the season) soups, deli market style
sandwiches and salads and fresh rolls. We also offer ready to
eat microwavable meals for customers to take away.
The hours of operation are:
Sunday 12 PM to 10 PM
Monday thru Thursday 8 AM to 10 PM
Friday 8 AM to 5 PM
Java Company operates 7 Coffee Cart and Cafe operates around the
University Park campus under the name of Java Marketplaces and
two more will open in the next two years.
"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small
people always do that, but the really great make you feel that
you, too, can become great." Mark Twain
6. Fundamentals for "Reaching Espresso Nirvana"
For Traditional, Semi-Automatic Pump-Driven Espresso Machines
Reprinted with permission of 1st Line Equipment LLC,
Note: The Following Does Not Fully Apply To Superautomatic, Hand
Lever, or Steam Power-Generated Espresso Machines That "May" Operate
Under Different Principles
and Guidelines For Proper Operation.
Part I: The "Fundamental Rule"
All of your favorite specialty coffee beverages (such as
cappuccino, latte, cafe mocha, etc.) Require "espresso" as the
main ingredient. The basis for all these beverages is to
understand the espresso extraction process. For the espresso
enthusiast, this process can become a ritual whereby the
aromatic coffee fragrance arouses the desire for the enjoyment
of the beverage. For others, the process can be troublesome to
overcome and tedious to clean up. We certainly hope to make it
the former, and, not the latter!
"Espresso Nirvana" is a result of two identities: visual cue and
flavor profile. The visual cue is crema. The crema is the golden
marbleized "cream" speckled with tints of brown on the surface
of the espresso at the end of an extraction. The flavor profile,
which is usually an acquired one, results in a bittersweet
taste. The crema, coupled with a bittersweet taste, is the
epitome of "Espresso Nirvana".
To many home baristas and new coffee shoppe owners, there is a
mystique in learning to extract the perfect espresso. With the
appropriate knowledge learned here, you can overcome this
mystique and extract high quality espresso in a very, very short
time. Couple this knowledge with some persistent practice and
patience on one of our electric pump espresso machines, you will
reach "Espresso Nirvana" very quickly as many of our customers
In the beginning, extracting espresso should be considered a
"science". The science is applying learned knowledge to specific
variables attributable to extracting "Espresso Nirvana" from
your espresso machine. These variables are:
The fresh roast of the coffee bean
The fineness of the coffee grind
The tamp pressure
The brewing temperature
The brewing pressure
Your "arte" is the experience culminating from learning the
"science" on your specific machine. In other words, you will
move up the learning curve to "naturally extract" the best
espresso without any scientific measurements or aids. In
essence, you will only rely on visual clues to achieve "Espresso
To start on your journey, one needs the "science" to progress to
the "arte". We shall start with the fundamental rule for proper
Single espresso shot = 1 to 1.5 fluid ounces in 23 to 27 seconds
Double espresso shot = 2 to 2.5 fluid ounces in 23 to 27 seconds
We recommend that you learn to extract espresso by always
measuring the extraction. We advise that you always utilize the
double filter basket that is included with your machine since
the double filter baskets tend to work better for beginners.
This means that a double shot of espresso should equal 2 to 2.5
fluid ounces and take approximately 23 to 27 seconds to extract
from the moment you start the pump (turn on the coffee switch)
until you reach the appropriate liquid volume.
Now, you may say, that I own a machine which makes four (4) cups
of espresso at one time. Now, this may be true. You do "make"
four cups, but this is not your typical espresso extraction. In
fact, it probably is just strong coffee that does not taste
good. Remember, "Espresso Nirvana" can only be reached when you
extract as indicated above.
Finally, you may read other rules, but we have developed and
trained many coffee shop baristas to success in extracting the
perfect shot! And, we want you to be on your way to do the
Rabbi Pliskin's Daily Lift
Daily Lift #991 Remember Positive Moments
When you feel discouraged, you are likely to remember past
failures and disappointments. This leads to more emotional pain
and increases your discouragement. Make a conscious effort to
remember any positive moment in your life. Even if you can only
remember one time when you felt positive about yourself or only
one time when you manifested confidence or strength, you
presently have a resource that is yours for life. Calmly recall
the positive feelings you once had and realize that since you
have experienced confidence and strength once, you can continue
to experience it in the future.
(Gateway to Happiness, p. 383)
Post your CoffeeWantAds FREE for the world to see. Buy, sell, or
promote anything coffee-related. Beans, equipment, parts, jobs,
advice; this is the place to promote! CoffeeWantAds is a free
classified ad service and is for both commercial and residential
coffee-related ads. You may post your ad by going to
www.badgettcoffee.com and hit the link to CoffeeWantAds. Most
folks do not like wordy ad copy so keep your ad simple, and like
a ristretto, short and sweet. You may include an image and a
website url. You may also password protect your ad and change it
as often as you like. What a price! What a deal!
"For a nation which has an almost evil reputation for bustle,
bustle, bustle, and rush, rush, rush, we spend an enormous
amount of time standing around in line in front of windows, just
waiting." Robert Benchley
8. Miriam's Well
Bringing Water to Coffee Communities in Need
In our travels through the coffee lands, we are consistently
told by farmers, in communities as geographically diverse as
Sumatra and Ethiopia, that access to water is a problem. Unlike
here at home, where the twist of a tap brings abundant and clean
water, in many coffee villages, women must walk miles each day
with earthen or plastic jugs to fetch the family's water, or
draw water from streams polluted by pesticides, oil or other
residues of "development".
MIRIAM'S WELL is our response to this situation. Beginning in
April, we are creating a revolving loan fund to build wells in
coffee villages. Dean's Beans will provide no-interest loans to
coffee cooperatives so that the farmers can purchase materials
and assistance in building their wells. Repayment will come
from coffee sales, and the repaid loan will be made available
for other community projects. Money for the fund will come from
sales of Miriam's Well coffee, other contributions by us and any
other matching funds we can find.
We are not new to this work. In 1990, while Director of
International Development at Coffee Kids, I designed a project
that brought water to 1,500 coffee villagers in Kabupaten
District in northern Sumatra. We supplied the materials and
assisted in the planning, the villagers did the work. Besides
bringing water from a mountain stream directly to the village,
the project liberated village women from hours of walking daily
with heavy water jugs to meet their families' needs.
When I mentioned this program to one large development
organization, they said they would be happy to help, and with
technical support, per diems and administrative overhead, it
should cost around $40,000 to build a well. Forget it! Working
directly with the farmers and local organizations, we can cut
that cost down to around $8,000.
Realistically, we would like to build one well each year in a
different community. Our first project will be in Ethiopia,
working with the Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union. We
will post our progress on our website, www.deansbeans.com, and
send out Field Notes from time to time to our retail customers.
On a personal note, we'd like to thank you for supporting our
work by buying our coffee. We promise to keep roasting great
tasting coffee to make the world a better place!
1-800-325-3008 * www.deansbeans.com
"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the
same box." Italian Proverb
9. Whazzup in Seattle? Two Spring events supported by The
Benefit for Seattle Audubon and the Northwest Shade Coffee
Featuring a Presentation on Neotropical Migratory Birds and
Shade Coffee by Dr. Gordon Orians
Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle, WA
Sunday, March 24, 2002 at 7 pm
City Music's third season of "Concerts with a Cause" honors
Seattle Audubon and the Northwest Shade Coffee Campaign with its
"Flavors of Bohemia" chamber music program. Three great
Nationalist composers are featured: Janacek, Kodaly, and Dvorak.
Dr. Gordon Orians, a respected ornithologist, behavioral
ecologist, biogeographer and conservation biologist, will kick
off the evening at 7 p.m. with a presentation on Neotropical
migratory birds and shade coffee. Dr. Orians is Professor
Emeritus of Zoology at the University of Washington and former
director of the University's Institute for Environmental
Studies. Seattle's Best Coffee, a founding member of the
Northwest Shade Coffee Campaign, will offer a selection of
Organic/Shade-Grown coffees for attendees to sample, and dessert
will be served. Ticket prices are $18 for adults and $14 for
students and seniors (age 60 and up). Children ages 6 to 17
attend for free (limit four children per adult). Tickets
available by phone or in! person through the Seattle Audubon
Nature Shop (206-523-4483). You may also order by mail using the
form at the City Music web site.
Americans for the Environment
Westlake Center to Seattle Center, Seattle, WA
Sunday, April 14th, 1:00 pm
EarthWalk is a march, rally and community celebration of
personal and public commitment to protecting the environment for
future generations. EarthWalk will show the nation and world
that Americans from all walks of life believe protecting the
planet's health should be a national priority. Bring your
friends and a banner representing your favorite cause! For more
information, go to Earthwalk Seattle.
We look forward to seeing you at these events!
"The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody
else up." Mark Twain
10. Reader's Comments
Robert, I appreciate your well rounded journal..very
informative and entertaining. A couple weeks ago I printed out
the class descriptions and schedule and took them to Las Vegas
Coffee Fest. It was the best and most complete rendering.
Other attendees asked where I got such great info. Better than
the Coffee Fest brochure. Your tidbits of wisdom are refreshing
reminders of what is Real. Don't change a thing!!
Bean Bay Espresso Cafe
"If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a
hundred days of sorrow." Chinese Proverb
11. 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. If you
would like to add your link, please contact me. Check it
out. You might find some old friends and make some new ones.
"The incestuous relationship between government and big business
thrives in the dark." Jack Anderson
Tell me what you think. What do you want more of..less of...what
would you change, add, or delete? mailto:email@example.com
Please direct all inquiries, comments, article submissions and
suggestions to: Robert Badgett mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
ISSN: 1534-4614 - Library of Congress, Washington D.C., USA
This journal was made from 100% post-consumer, recycled, non-polluting,
non-trashcan filling electrons.
(c) Copyright 2002 Robert L. Badgett. All Rights Reserved.