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It’s scary to put your business out in the world. Selling a commodity like coffee is particularly daunting. You can get coffee anywhere — why would you buy from us?
The first (easy) answer, is “not everyone WILL buy from us. Ever.”
Folgers drinkers (and drinkers of Folgers-like products) aren’t interested in our coffee. The gap between what they believe and what we believe about coffee (along with the quality gap between Folgers and the coffee we sell), is just too wide.
People who are in love with their Keurigs won’t switch to a different brew method just to drink our coffee. If convenience is your #1 criteria, nothing beats the Keurig. AND, no Keurig or Keurig-like contraption will ever make a truly wonderful cup of coffee. Ever.
People who drink coffee solely for the caffeine are not picky about which coffee they buy. Any cup of anything will fill their need. If these folks are in front of our table they might buy. But they won’t go out of their way to buy our coffee — or any coffee.
The second (tougher) answer is, people want to buy from us for a combination of reasons
These are the ones we’ve sussed out after 2.5 years in business.
They like what we’re doing on principle. These folks believe in buying from farmers markets, supporting local businesses, and are active in their community. A lot of them don’t care about coffee specifically (or haven’t given it a lot of thought), until they try ours. Then they rave about it. And come back. Again. And again. And again.
They hate Starbucks (and other “corporate” coffee) and need another option. These folks are relieved to see us at a market because we give them a fresher, much better tasting alternative to “corporate” beans. There’s a bit of overlap with those who like what we’re doing on principle. The main difference is these folks know what they don’t like in coffee and are actively searching for something they do like. Once they find it, they stop looking.
They’re obsessed with their coffee. They must have the best. The freshest. The most exotic. These are the people whose lives we’re changing. Coffee is a HIGH priority for them, and they have extremely discerning taste. Some know as much (or more) about coffee than we do. Some like their beans roasted a certain way and love that Glenn custom roasts for them. Others make sure to vacuum seal their coffee in special bags because they’ve done research that says it stays freshest that way. These folks ENJOY good coffee as much as (almost) anything in life and are tickled to death when they find us.
They are our friends and they like us. When Glenn started this business from nothing, we immediately had a handful of supporters. Friends and family who bought and drank the coffee and spread the word. It is these people who gave us the courage to keep going when it felt like the business was never going to catch on. It’s their support to this day that helps us grow.
Even though coffee is a commodity, people buy it based on what they believe.
They buy based on the statement they want (or don’t want) to make.
Our intention is to provide the best coffee customer experience we possibly can, while holding true to our own beliefs:
Coffee must be brewed properly to taste good
Coffee must be freshly roasted to taste good
Most people want to try different brands and roasts — and they should
Coffee is a wonderful experience that everyone should try at least once
Differing opinions about coffee are good (as long as it’s kept respectful)
What do you think? Do you see yourself (or someone you know) in the above descriptions?
Tell us about it on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FranklyGoodCoffee
Sipping Congo-Kivu is like having a world of flavor in your cup
Opinions are fairly uniform that this coffee has flavors that are both interesting and have depth.
Congo Kivu is described as having the following delicate flavors:
- Dark chocolate
- Brown spices
- Tart apple
Congo Kivu is described as having the following aromas:
- Intense spice
- Deep and brooding earth tones
PERSONALLY, I think it’s okay . . . .
. . . . I prefer darker roasts, and Glenn medium roasts this particular bean. So it lacks the richness and full velvety body that I love love LOVE to have in my coffee. That being said, there is a crispness and clean feel about it that is very good, probably from some of the fruity hints of flavor in the beans.
It’s a nice morning coffee because it has a bit of that “wake up” jump to it without going overboard. It’s definitely strong enough for my taste, again without going overboard. And, I have to say it does taste fairly “exotic.”
It tastes best as a medium roast . . .
. . . so we air roast it on an 6 out of 10 setting. This is the setting that brings out the most flavor. Any darker and it starts to taste too strong and burnt.
Congo Kivu coffee comes from the Kivu Region of Congo, in Africa.
If you enjoy medium roast coffee definitely give this one a try. It’s relatively rare to get a quality coffee out of the Congo region because of the volatile climate. So our supply may be limited. Here’s an article that highlights some of what it’s like in Congo right now.
Congo, the former Belgian colony of about 68 million people, is one of the most volatile in Africa. Violence has claimed the lives of 5 million people since a regional war that began in 1997 and displaced hundreds of thousands.
Click HERE to order Congo-Kivu
Sipping Monsooned Malabar Opens Up a New Level of Coffee Love (or Hate)
Opinions are sharply divided on how India Monsooned Malabar coffee tastes, because people seem to love it or hate it.
Malabar is described as:
Personally, I love it . . . .
. . . . because it invades the taste buds unapologetically (hence why people seem to either love it or hate it). Every batch we get tastes a bit different — but you can tell it’s Monsooned Malabar. My favorite version of Malabar is extremely rich and full bodied.
It’s strong and bold without being bitter or nasty. When you sip it mindfully, you can taste hints of earth (in a fresh, good way), wood (again in the best possible way), and, occasionally, dark chocolate.
It tastes best as a dark roast . . .
. . . so we air roast it on an 8 out of 10 setting. We also use it as one of three beans in our dark, rich wonderful Red Rock Blend. Many who don’t care for Malabar by itself have discovered they love it as part of a carefully crafted blend.
It smells different than other beans — it’s pungent. Something you instantly recognize.
Monsooned Malabar comes from the Malabar Coast of India.
If you’re a timid coffee drinker, I’d stay away from Malabar. If you’re adventurous and love to try new, “exotic” coffees, I’d get some as fast as you can. There’s not much to lose in trying it (it’s coffee after all) and if you don’t like it as a single origin, you can always combine it with something else to make a palatable blend.
To Order Malabar Click Here
We get this question a lot from curious customers.
The obvious answer to where green coffee beans come from is to look at one of our labels, like this one from a customer’s empty bag of Organic Nicaragua:
Organic Nicaragua is one of our more popular specialty coffees — we try to always keep it in stock. Obviously, the label tells you where it’s originally from.
But let’s dig a little deeper.
Coffee farmers grow and process coffee beans in the coffee belt
Coffee grows in a specific portion of the planet called the coffee belt, where conditions are ideal to grow and harvest it. Coffee is a fruit. It begins as a green cherry and turns red as it ripens. As with cherries we eat, there is a “pit” inside. That “pit” is the coffee bean.
A typical coffee plant will produce one pound of roasted coffee in a typical harvest year.
The farmer processes the coffee using one of two methods.
Once the cherries are picked, the farmer spreads them out to dry in the sunlight, where they are raked and turned for approximately 10 days until the outer shell turns brown and the moisture content goes down to 11%. At this point the pit (coffee bean) rattles around inside the brown outer shell. This is the dry method.
For the wet method, the farmer removes the outer shell (the pulp) from the pit (coffee bean), and puts the beans in fermentation tanks for 12-48 hours. The beans are then dried, using sunlight or mechanical dryers.
Once the beans are dry, any remaining pulp is removed, and the beans are sorted, by size and by density. It is then shipped, unroasted. This is called “green coffee.”
How does coffee get from the coffee belt to our farmers market table?
We’ll start with how we get it. Back before we started the business, we got into home roasting.
Google “home coffee roasting” and you’ll immediately see where clueless folks (like us, back then) who want to start home roasting need to go.
Sweet Marias tops the organic (non paid) search because it’s filled with articles and information about home roasting and green coffee. Sweet Maria’s is dedicated to educating the home roaster in everything that person needs to know to roast coffee at home.
When we shifted from home roasting into roasting coffee as a business, we had to find larger quantities and better pricing
We needed a coffee trader.
Enter Walking Trading Company.
Glenn orders the bulk of our coffee beans from Walker.
The process goes like this:
Glenn does research and decides which beans to order
He calls his contact at Walker Trading, who gives him availability and pricing
He learns which of Walker’s locations the beans will be shipped to
Walker ships the coffee
Glenn picks up the coffee
- Glenn stores the beans in our “warehouse”
Glenn transfers the green beans from storage to coffee cart on an as needed basis.
Glenn roasts the coffee to fill online orders, local cafe orders, and to sell at the local farmers markets
Happy customers receive the freshly roasted coffee
And that is the basic answer to “where do green coffee beans come from.”
Questions? Email us at coffee roaster (at) franklygoodcoffee.com!
Glenn and I think coffee is cool. So cool, in fact, we’ve built a business around it. And YOU must think it’s cool — otherwise why would you be here? Ah! You’re curious about some unconventional ways coffee is cool. Let’s get to it then!
Reason #1 — It’s More Than Just a Vehicle for Caffeine!
According to experts at Harvard:
People think of coffee simply as a vehicle for caffeine but it’s actually made up of a number of different compounds which may even have positive impacts on your health.
This article on Discovery Fit & Health emphasizes things you can do to make sure your coffee habit is healthy. Their tips include a lot of what we recommend for our customers:
Cut the sweet. When you buy freshly roasted coffee from a vendor you trust, you may be surprised by how great it tastes on it’s own (especially if you grind it as you use it). We’ve had many customers tell us they have either cut down or cut out the sweetener after drinking our coffee.
Consider espresso. While it seems counterintuitive given its “strong” taste, from a “beverage perspective,” espresso actually has less caffeine than a cup of drip coffee (the “beverage perspective” compares an 8oz cup of drip to a 1 oz shot of espresso. From a “volume perspective” the results are different. For more on this read this article on coffeechemistry.com) Guess Glenn was onto something when he added the espresso machine to the coffee cart a few months ago.
Roast your own beans. This is how we got started in the business — we’d been home roasting for a couple of years. Although I nearly burned the house down when I first tried to roast beans (don’t recommend that), we vowed to never go back. It just tasted too good. If you don’t have the time or desire to home roast, the next best thing is to buy as fresh as you can find. A roast date more than four weeks out is not fresh.
While this doesn’t give licence to drink gallons a day (we don’t recommend that anyway), it’s nice to see a shift in the way coffee is perceived, particularly when you pay attention to things like freshness and brew method.
Reason #2 — The Beans! The Beans!
Some of our customers are coffee nerds (like we are) and enjoy learning about the origin and flavor of different beans. This photo illustrates the difference in size and roast of beans from all over the world.
Reason #3 — Natural Beauty Products!
When I discovered I could use organic coconut oil as a moisturizer I thought I had discovered true nirvana.
Until a friend shared this Vanilla Latte Sugar Scrub recipe from Wellness Mama. It’s seriously cheap and pure heaven!
Reason #4 — Latte Art!
Barista competitions are wildly popular in a segment of the coffee industry. What most fascinates us is the creative ways baristas express themselves through the foam.
As one of our customers who has been to a competition or two also shared:
“If I get to taste test, then they are fabulous! Foam art can be amazing.” Mary H.
Reason #5 — Get a Bigger Mental Boost!
This article on Lifehacker lays out why:
Coffee (or caffeine) is a wonderful tool to combat our natural energy swings during the day.
The article suggests ways of timing coffee consumption with naps — a great way to stay creative and generate ideas. If you write a lot for your job or business, this is worth checking out.
Reason #6 — Forbes.com Says So!
This article on Forbes.com urges leaders to “coffee up in the face of adversity,” through telling The Carrots, Eggs, or Coffee parable.
A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one would pop up.
Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire, and soon the pots came to boil. In the first pot she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.
Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see.”
“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied. Her grandmother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The grandmother then asked the granddaughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, the grandmother asked the granddaughter to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma then asked:
“What does it mean, grandmother?”
Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
“Which are you?” she asked her granddaughter.
It’s such a powerful story because it applies to any area of life, work or business where you’re struggling. You don’t have to be perfect. You can be creative and resilient, and in so doing change your “water.”
And the MOST Important Reason of all:
This one speaks for itself. Enjoy the belly laugh. Thank you Chicken Chick!