I got one of “those” emails a few weeks back that seemed a little strange at first . It was a “last chance offer” to respond to an opportunity from Google. Apparently a representative of Google had tried unsuccessfully the prior week to reach me via email only I didn’t respond. I hate it when… 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.
Republished with permission by Mike Perry, Klatch Roasting One of the great things about the coffee industry is the friendships and relationships. Even though we all compete and strive for the perfect roast or espresso, we still work together and help each other out. Often we travel together and even buy lots of coffee together.… Continue Reading
El Salvador Cup of Excellence supporters – Nine years ago when El Salvador joined the Cup of Excellence family, many nay-sayers said that this country could not identify small farms and did not produce the kind of unique quality that was worthy of a Cup of Excellence award. El Salvador has always had great processing… Continue Reading
Big news for another one of our Direct Trade partners. Juan Diego De La Cerda of Guatemala – Finca El Socorro y Anexos - finished in the top 5 of the Coffee of the Year competition when the winners were announced by the Specialty Coffee Association of America and the Roasters Guild yesterday. I just… Continue Reading
I was enjoying a rare day off at origin today – in Panama City this time – when all of the sudden I began to get these nagging feelings of guilt about not updating our PT’s blog more often. I hate it when that happens! A self imposed guilt trip ruining a perfectly good day… Continue Reading
Finca El Socorro, Guatemala In 2010 we introduced you to a Guatemalan offering that we at PT’s were thrilled to launch as our newest Direct Trade Relationship coffee. Finca El Socorro Maracaturra made it’s way into our roasting plant mid September and was gone before we knew it. As sad as we were to see… Continue Reading
What an exciting visit to Finca Mercedes last week, even if it was a little different than first anticipated. Normally we are eager just to see the quality of coffee this farm continues to produce. This year we got a little added excitement. One member of our traveling party awoke early to the sound of… Continue Reading
In the past 23-years of coffee harvests, this is the first time in memory, for our friend and Owner of Finca El Molino, Jose Antonio Salaverrria, that three key factors in coffee farming aligned in the favor of the coffee producer. You see, each year coffee farmers around the world face tremendous challenges in order… Continue Reading
PT’S COFFEE ROASTING CO. TEAMS WITH TORAÑO FAMILY CIGAR COMPANY For “Single Region Tour” (Topeka, Kansas) Specialty coffee roaster, PT’s Coffee Roasting Co. is proud to announce their partnership with the Toraño Family Cigar Company. The two quality-driven companies are launching the Single Region Tour to kick off the new year. The Tour will feature… Continue Reading