cupping consulting with Aurelio

All have been covered by freelance reporter Angela Sun. Going from being a sponsored surfer and snowboarder she began covering these same events and developing quite a career reporting on whatever she’s taken an interest in. Her involvement with Al Gore’s Current TV project connected her with producer Adam Yamaguchi who joined her on a trip to the highlands of Huehuetenango for a story. As our coffee is indefinitely sold out, we’ve begun working with a family co-op that has received more recognition internationally and domestically (in Guatemala) than our coffee has. We are now their exclusive exporter to U.S. and are looking for the right match that may possibly commit to their entire crop that is U.S. bound. I will inevitably share more about them in 2007, but for now consider this coverage from someone outside of the coffee industry a preview of what is one of the finest coffees in Guatemala. The proof is in the cup. As Angela and I were not able to line up our schedules it dawned on me this was a priceless opportunity to help out our friends and neighbors Julian and Aurelio Villatoro. They are past CoE winners, and have been awarded #1 and #2 coffee in Guatemala by Dr Ernesto Illy and Starbucks. THIS FOOTAGE IS PART 1. Part 2 is coming soon.

I’m looking to bring Aurelio up sometime this fall. Please contact me if you have interest in partnering with them. The quantity they’d like to send to U.S. is 2-3 CTRS.

Angela and Adam hired Chino, one of my cousins, as a professional guide to tour Guatemala and take care of safety, logistics, and interpretation. For a non coffee highlight in Antigua, Guatemala, Chino couldn’t let Angela leave with out covering holy week. CHECK OUT THIS CLIP!!!

Fresh off the Press –

September 14, 2006

I’m sure most of you have been offered a free trial subscription to a magazine at some point… Well my wife hooked us up with a few issues of House and Garden where I found a deal on “Baccarat’s cut-crystal” chandelier for just $23,990.00. The shades are $448 each, 12 are required. However for a real find look at page 84 in the October 2006 issue. Lora Zarubin did a full page write up on 7 quality coffees from INTELLIGENTSIA, VICTROLA, SWEET MARIA’S, BATDORF & BRONSON, DOMA, TERROIR and BLUE BOTTLE. I tried to find it online and couldn’t… if you find it please let me know and I’ll link to it. Anyway the pictures are so clear you can even see roast dates on a few bags!!

Last year on a visit to London I went on a day trip with my dad to see the museum of coffee and tea and were quite disappointed. On our way back to meet up with my mom and wife we stumbled across Monmouth Coffee a first class act. Lora’s Blog “Eating Around – diary of a passionate eater” shares a similar experience.

Below mi papa in the blue sweater is ordering a cup of pour over “La Perla-Guatemala”. In the second pic… where’s Waldo(Edwin)? hint he’s holding 2cups.

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And speaking of food to write about, check out this COFFEE RUB created by some friends of Victrola.

Bellatazza’s humble origins

September 11, 2006

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Stewart and Kim owners of Bellatazza standing where they’ll build their new retail/roastery in Tumalo, OR. Upon first meeting Stewart your impression may be that aside from being fanatical about great coffee, he’s the kind of guy a young entrepreneur wants to be mentored by. Or at least that’s the way I felt after spending a week with him in our home in Guatemala and then a weekend in his home in Bend. Back in the day… Stewart parted from his band Nero’s Rome, started what must have been one of the first espresso carts in Portland, and married his wonderfull wife Kim and had three kids. When he visitited Guatemala I asked him what he likes to do for fun, or with his freetime back home….he said “I like to be with my wife and play with my kids.” They now have a roasting company, a retail location in Bend, OR and in SunRiver, OR. Stewart also does consulting in the retail industry and has currently volunteered his time to help me with a project working with growers in our area to survey and collect data, develope some standardized terms and market the coffees for what they are. A great model for furthering transparency and promoting what Stewart calls ECOSUSTAINABILITY. This term is a great match for farms like ours that are not certified organic that are organic, or that are using chemicals minimaly and responsibly. Although Stewart is a marketing genius commited to quality, I believe his success comes more from striving to improve the lives of those he comes across.

dscf0018.JPGStewart and his roasters Diedrich and Brendan