Coffee Stuff For Which I’m Thankful

You wonderful customers.

From the largest institutional customer to the cultish devotion of those who call every Friday to see what’s fresh, we would have nothing at all if not for our loyal customers. Some of our relationships go back 23 years! Some of you came to cupping classes and got hooked. We’re so grateful that you choose us.

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Coffee is so damn good these days.

Every green sample we get is clean and well-processed. Even five years ago, we’d get some pretty icky samples, especially from Indonesia and Ethiopia--lots of stinkers, for instance. More and more of our coffees ship in GrainPro bags, which means they’re packed in their country of origin, in multi-layer vapor barrier plastic. This extends green shelf life, and is an indicator of how far producers have come in terms of their ability to invest in cup quality.

There’s an exceptional glut of great coffee in the world today, and that’s all thanks to efforts in countries of origin to mechanize, standardize and educate. This is great news for roasters and coffee drinkers in developed countries. Unfortunately, at the same time, green coffee prices have been depressed for many months now, and that’s not good for producers, which brings me to my next point...

Coffee consumers care about coffee producers

Ma Langer (right) with coffee grower Gracilia Odeús (left), in Colombia, 2014.

The very idea and execution of Fair Trade was forged in coffee. My industry leads the way in sustainability programming efforts. NGOs like Coffee Kids, Pueblo a Pueblo, the Cafe Femenino Foundation, and the International Women's Coffee Alliance (all of which we support financially, among other organizations) endeavor to bridge the gap between what coffee producers need and what they have

We have been donating to coffee charities since the day we opened--as is almost the default for my industry. My vision for a future in coffee sourcing is for charity to be unnecessary, because a fair price is being paid for the product. I don’t want to be a generous benefactor. I want to be an equal partner.

I am grateful that so many fantastic coffees are now Fair Trade certified, and that as clear-eyed partners in that project, we can work with producers to improve standards and fix what doesn’t work about Fair Trade.

I am grateful that when our customers see that we pay more for green coffee--up to 300% of C-market--that they understand that it’s worth it to pay producers for quality. In other industries, customers might see that as a negative that only increases their cost. In our line of work, the end customer buys in with us.

Normal people are talking sensory experience.

How much do I admire coffee drinkers who venture words to describe what they’re tasting? SO MUCH!

It’s not snobbish to want good coffee, and to want to enjoy the sensory experience. It’s epicurean! I count eating and drinking good stuff among the best things in life, and I love it when others want to participate in that experience with me. If you are new to coffee tasting, check out our cheat sheet and start talking coffee! There are no wrong answers.

Our store renovation is halfway there.

Look! The table saw moved!

As we've mentioned, we’re under construction--but still open! So just come in the back door for your fresh-roasted coffee, tea and accessories.

Once complete, our new space will be much more accessible to the public for a regular schedule of classes and events. We want your Red Rock Roasters experience to be about discovery, an indulgence in your passion, and fun. We’re halfway there!

We’ll announce our Grand Opening date in the next newsletter.