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Volcan Azul: 2020 Cup of Excellence Winner

    With over 140 coffees and after three stages of rigorous evaluation, only 26 farm-lots were chosen as 2020 Cup of Excellence winners. Our friends at F.C.J. Volcan Azul submitted 4 coffees to this year’s Cup of Excellence competition, with all 4 placing inside the top 26 international winners. Volcan Azul won the 4th, 12th, 23rd, and 26th positions, the farm with the most international awards.   We congratulate the workers of Volcan Azul farm for their much-deserved awards. Every picker, grower, processor, transporter, and owners, including Mr. Alejo Castro have contributed to this achievement. We are very proud to represent their efforts and their name by roasting their phenomenal coffees.   View our current Volcan Azul offering About...

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Let's Get High: The Impact of Elevation on Coffee

There are a multitude of conditions, such as high elevation, the presence of shade, and levels of soil drainage, that can slow down the growth process of coffee plants. In turn this causes various sugars in the coffee cherry to develop over time, and subsequently impacts the flavor as it sundries into the coffee beans. Additionally, slower growing processes can alter the density of the coffee beans. High bean density leads to higher heat resistance, which is an indicator for the roastermaster to consider when conducting Split Bean Analysis as part of roasting procedure. (Split Bean Analysis literally means cutting a sample of coffee beans in half, and assessing its density as compared with other beans and other roasts.) Generally, lower grown coffees  have a different solid bean structure than higher grown...

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The Dark Shadows of Coffee

Slaves at a coffee yard in a farm. Vale do Paraiba, Sao Paulo, 1882. / Marc Ferrez/Moreira Salles Institute Archive    In America and at Cortez, all of us are immigrants who came from all ends of the earth for a better life for our families and us. Two exceptions exist: the Native people of the land, and the enslaved who were brought here in chains. Our society is built on their labor and their genocides. Colonial imperialists enslaved Natives and Africans to profit from coffee production for many generations. Slavery and indentured servitude through coercion, and inhumane labor practices still exist today. Corruption along the coffee network that cares about profit margins, but neglects human life has deep roots. Today, this could be explained by the distribution...

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