Sunday, January 24, 2010

Announcing FlourPower

We would like to announce our newest Vendor of our coffee...

Please welcome FlourPower to our great list of vendors. Located behind Purple Dog Art Boutique in Abbeville, AL, this quaint boutique and bakery opened its doors at the end of November last year. Owners, Sarah Williams and Paulette Riley enjoyed a great Grand Opening with drinks, food, and entertainment from Clark Williams and Yuri Hoshino. Here's some pictures from that event. Thanks FlourPower for choosing Vienna Coffee.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Beneficio in Santa Maria

Les had a great meeting with the farmers this week. They have created a contract for the land that the beneficio (wet mill) will be constructed on. Because of the demand during picking season, construction will not start this season. Things move quite slow here in Guatemala, but it looks like construction might start in April! This is great news!

Just yesterday Julio and his nephew received and processed more than 18 Quintales of coffee cherries from various farmers within the coop. That's a lot of coffee cherries to process on his small depulpper. Therefore the idea of having a beneficio with a larger depulper and drying patio is a great idea for efficiency, and it will allow for more of the farmers to get more involved in the processing of their own coffee.

This is a video of the land that will have the beneficio on it...

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Photos of Alberto's land

As mentioned before, here are some pictures from Alberto's field. The first image is of the coffee cherries from one of Alberto's trees. They are almost ready for their first picking!

The second picture is of Alberto on the left, Julio (the main contact and organizer of the cooperative) in the middle and his son Melvin on the right.

The third image is of a coffee cherry with the two coffee beans that are found inside of each cherry. The beans are covered in a sweet tasting mucilage (the tan color). This mucilage is what ferments after the cherries have been depulped (depulping is what I did manually to show the beans inside. It is basically just taking off the outside ruby red flesh). From there the bean (with the mucilage on it still), is set out on drying racks and the mucilage turns into paper-thin parchment (this phase is called pergamino). I will show more of the phases later.

And the fourth image is of the coffee bean flowers. Before there are cherries, these white flowers form on the branches. Once these are pollinated then they will turn into the beautiful coffee cherries. The cherries start out as green to yellow to orange to light red to ruby red. If you don't pick it early enough they kind of turn a reddish brown color. All of these pictures were taken at the same time. Therefore, as you can tell there has to be multiple pickings of ripe cherries because some of the cherries are ready to be picked while others are still in their flower form.

More to come later...

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Guate travels: Alberto

Jamie and Les left the freezing USA last Monday to go to the deliciously warm Antigua, Guatemala to work with and visit the coffee farmers of Santa Maria de Jesus. To their great happiness, their first week in beautiful Guate was great consisting of farm visits, shared meals, and many meetings.

Here is a snippet of one of their trips to Santa Maria de Jesus...
"After catching a ride on the back of a local's truck and taking the long hike down from the village onto the farmland, we came to Alberto's land where the harvest is looking great. (photos will come shortly). He has shade trees full of avocados, lemons, Kumquats, bananas, pacaya and many other delicious treats. His coffee trees are full and plump with beautiful coffee cherries ready for the picking. Alberto, a masterful farmer, has a great selection of different varieties of coffee which helps if a coffee blight takes over one of the varietals. You can tell Alberto has such great passion for his crops not only by his enthusiasm when showing off his land and the twinkle in his eye, but also the health of all of his trees and plants. BEA-U-TI-FUL!"

The picture is of Volcan Agua (the Volcano Santa Maria de Jesus is located on)

Please check back in the near future for more about Les and Jamie's trip and pictures.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

INTRODUCING: Audra Doughty

Vienna Coffee Company is excited to introduce to you our newest employee...
Audra Doughty.

Audra found Vienna Coffee Company in 2005 when she opened her own coffee house in Athens, TN. Supplying the best available product and supporting local business being key to her success, Vienna was the obvious choice. After three and a half wonderful years of self employment Audra now joins our company with a vast insight into both the café business and its customers' needs. She is thrilled by the opportunity to pass her "trial by fire" experience, love for coffee and passion to see others succeed in their dreams on to Vienna's existing and soon to be customers.

Audra likes to start her day off with a 3 shot breve latte with just a touch of Monin's Pure Cane Sugar Syrup using only the best; Vienna's Espresso Bella.

So if you see Audra around town be sure to tell her, "hey!"

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Friday, January 8, 2010

La Armonia Hermosa coffee farm visit

Les and Jamie are off next Monday to Guatemala to work with the coffee farmers of our delicious La Armonia Hermosa coffee. Keep up with the story of the project at their website.

During this trip the goal is to start construction on a cistern that is needed for constructing the wet mill. Creating a wet mill will let the farmers to process their own coffee which gives them more control over the quality, and it will also employ the farmers which will allow more money to stay within their community instead of the larger beneficios (processing plants). John will be joining them at the end of January where we will help pick the coffee berries. Everyone is excited about the trip and will take many pictures!

*The picture is of the wet mill at Azotea where they get their coffee processed currently.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Espresso and Latte Art Training

Last month we had a record month and some exciting new classes. Les Stoneham held an Espresso and Latte Art Class on December 28th. The turn out was great with people from all over the world!

For the first half of the class, Les instructed all of the students on the history, agriculture methods, and what goes into pouring the perfect shot of espresso. Here is a short snapshot of this section of the class...

The second half of the class, the participants were divided into two groups. One group enjoyed some tasty treats (some people asked for these recipes, please check back soon. I'll post them in a later post) and learned how to create a latte on some of the high quality home espresso machines VCC has to offer (Nuova Simonelli Oscar, and Rancillo Silva). The second group was with Les again learning hands-on how to pour the perfect cappuccino, latte art included. With a sampling of our Little River Style Espresso and our Fair Trade Thunderhead Espresso, Each student was given the chance to pull their own shot and enjoy their own handmade drinks off of our Nuova Simonelli Appia compact commercial espresso machine. Then the two groups rotated. The class was incredibly enjoyable and informational with participants from all walks of their "coffee journey."

It was such a success that John has decided to make this training a seasonal training. If you are interested in attending the next class please don't hesitate to call or email us for more information. We have not planned the next event yet, but please check back soon.

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