Dear PT’s Customers, Having cleaned up from last weeks winter weather, we are now preparing for another storm bearing down on the Midwest. We are anticipating another 9 – 12 inches of snow here in Topeka, with possible ice and blizzard-like conditions. This much snow and ice could impact shipping routes for UPS and FEDex. Because of this,… 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.
Just as the sun was beginning to rise on Thursday, Winter Storm Q (as the Weather Channel likes to call it) came roaring into town. In the two hours between 6:30am and 8:30am, Topeka received 7 inches of snow and it continued to snow for several more hours, leaving us blanketed under nearly a foot… Continue Reading
We are proud to announce that our Caturra offering from Finca Villa Loyola has received a 94 point review from Ken Davids of CoffeeReview.com. When we visited Finca Villa Loyola during the harvest of 2011, we could clearly see the potential in the farm. With its high elevation of 1,800 meters (or 6,000 ft.) and… Continue Reading
This article was republished with the permission of Dan Dean, Staff Writer for Observer & Eccentric Newspapers. Jeff Taylor’s journey to find exceptional coffee has taken him across the globe and along the way he has met some exceptional people, none more so than his wife, Maritza. “I met Maritza at a coffee competition in Ecuador… Continue Reading
We are happy to announce our newest Direct Trade partnership with Juan Yurja in Bolivia. When we were first introduced to this farm in 2011, it was an interesting coincedence. There was a micro-lot that had been originally prepared for the Bolivia Cup of Excellence, and the competition had been cancelled last year. We were in… Continue Reading
Our two most recent Direct Trade arrivals feature the Peaberry of a Caturra Variety, grown around 2000 meters . The first roast date for these micro-lots will be on Monday, March 5th. Colombia Finca Villa Loyola Caturra Peaberry has a very complex and full bodied profile. Peaberries have a more concentrated flavor, making this coffee… Continue Reading
As the year comes to a close, we want to look back at the highlights that made 2011 great! 2011 brought much success in our sourcing efforts, and we were able to get our hands on many Award Winning coffees. Whether it be the Best of Panama, Cup of Excellence, or even something from the… Continue Reading
The holidays are rapidly approaching, and we have a few shipping updates to pass on to you for sharing great coffee with your family and friends. Thanksgiving is a time to feast, enjoy the gift of family and give thanks for all that we are grateful for. We are thankful for the time and effort… Continue Reading
“This article was republished with the permission of Barista Magazine. The article appeared in the August + September 2011 issue and you can view the full article in its original form by viewing pages 48-51 on Barista Magazines I-Mag or in the original publication. Holly Bastin is the Director of Retail Operations for PT’s Coffee… Continue Reading