As of Monday, July 19th you will see some new names added to our blend offerings, while some will seem to disappear. No worries though, fundamentally these coffees aren’t changing…just getting a fresh look and feel. The coffees you have come to know and love will still be available, but here’s a run down of… Continue Reading
Trip Report – Guatemala, Part 1
Note from the author:
Just for the record I thought about calling this report: Friends, Fungus and a (starts with the letter F) good time! I thought it would better describe the trip but might not get past the PT’s company censors.
Anyway, here’s the report:
Until recently, I was sure that one of the best parts of my job was getting to travel to origin, visiting our Direct Trade partner farms, and telling our customers about the experience. I was very, very wrong.
Let me clarify. Traveling to origin is obviously great, but telling our customers about what it’s like at the coffee farms isn’t even in the same ballpark as the experience of taking our customers to origin.
Now, let me start by telling you who went to Guatemala with me (in the order of arrival to my house):
Tom Billionis, a good friend, amazing guy, and the owner of one of the finest cafes in the Midwest; the Coffee Ethic in Springfield, MO. I dare you to meet Tom and not like him. I double, triple dog dare you. He’s been a PT’s customer since the day his cafe opened (five years ago) and actually went with Jeff and few others to El Salvador a couple of years ago. He was excited for the chance to meet our Guatemalan coffee producers, and we were happy to have him along for the trip.
Second to arrive (perhaps only because of a poorly timed flat tire), was our own Brent Piepergerdes. Brent has been with PT’s for a while but has recently taken on the position of Finance Director here at PT’s and is a fantastic member of our team. I’m excited about the work that Brent does and thought it was awesome that he was coming along for his first origin trip. Brent is well traveled and knowledgeable about areas outside the US (he holds a Phd in Geography), but coffee farms were going to be a new experience for him.
Last, but certainly not least, is a guy that never showed up at my house at all (probably because we scheduled to meet him in Houston), Kevin Kerkoff. Kevin is the general manager for a massive operation on the campus of Purdue University known as Greyhouse Coffee. Greyhouse is a ministry based cafe that specializes in having great coffee, making delicious crepes, and being the nicest people on the planet. Kevin is a trained chef, a husband, and father to three (soon to be four) kids. Wait…I hope I’m allowed to tell people that now (sorry if it’s still a secret Kev). The good news is most people have already stopped reading this by now!
That’s our team! I hope you enjoyed the introductions. In my next post, we will look at what we actually did in Guatemala. I’ll give you a little teaser: there’s a nail biter of a flight, four grown men start finger counting to figure out the currency exchange, and we hitch a ride with one of the most celebrated coffee farmers in the world.
We at PT’s want to offer our hearty congratulations to the new World Barista Champion, Mike Phillips from Intelligentsia in Chicago! Mike is the first American to ever win the event and we are proud of him! The other finalists were Raul Rodas of Guatemala in 2nd place, Scottie Callaghan of Australia in 3rd place,… Continue Reading
Given the announcement yesterday of our change in leadership at PT’s Barrington Village, some of you are probably wondering what’s going on with the previous manager, Robin Seitz. No worries- only good things! Robin has accepted the role of Account Manager for our US accounts west of Kansas City. Starting June 1, 2010, he will… Continue Reading
As of June 1, 2010 there will be a new management regime at PT’s original location, Barrington Village. As the location has grown throughout its 17 years in operation, so has the role of management so we decided that it was time to take a little bit different approach… Three people in three distinct positions.… Continue Reading
On Friday, April 9th we at PT’s hosted a day of education for the Washburn Rural High School’s culinary classes. Starting at 8am we had 3 groups of students come through to tour our roasting facility and see what it is that we do exactly. All together there were about 150 students that got an… Continue Reading
But PT’s Coffee is committed to doing it right. Beginning April 1st, 2010, PT’s Coffee will only roast coffee grown in Kansas! Kansas’ relatively low elevation (mean elevation is 2,000 feet) and temperature swings will limit the annual production to just over 1 pound, but we understand that doing things right requires sacrifices. Our new… Continue Reading
For those who are not already familiar with Keurig, it is the latest in single cup brewing technology for home use. It delivers a cup of coffee in less than a minute, using pods called “K-cups” that hold a pre-dosed amount of ground coffee. While they have selections from a handful of roasters on their… Continue Reading
In order to become a good barista one has to dedicate a lot of time to refining their movements and paying attention to all of the little things that go into a great shot of espresso. But, to truly go beyond that, to become a great… Continue Reading
Last weekend in Portland, Oregon baristas from around the country gathered to battle for the title of United States Barista Champion. Among them were PT’s own Robin Seitz and Chris Weber. Chris had to start in the preliminary round, which consisted of 51 baristas vying for one of 15 spots. He had a great run… Continue Reading