Monday, May 26, 2008

Finca la Paz

I was talking with some Dominican friends this weekend about the name of my farm. We think we should update the name a little. A very close friend of mine said, "People don't give enough credit to drafts". True. I see business and life a constant evolution and progression.

When I shared my two name ideas: Finca de Paz and Finca la Paz with my Dominican friends they told me that Finca la Paz translates better. Done. The English translation would be 'Farm the Peace', but direct translation usually misses the point. So 'Farm of Peace' would be the best English translation.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Le doy su nombre

Young Tree Coffee is a company. The actual farm didn't have a name. When I talk to my farm manager, Antonio, we refer to parts of the farm by the prior owners' names. Nobody where I live in the DR actually names their farms. Farms are known by the owners names'. Everyone knows Julian has one of the best farms Monte Bonito and Juan Nila has one of the most beautiful, but the Farms are known as Finca de Julian (Julian's farm) and Finca de Juan Nila.

In Los Frios, my farm is known as Finca de Bairo. Your farm is a direct representative of yourself. Is it well maintained? Is it productive? I have spent many an hour pondering names, but none actually represented the farm. I even asked Antonio about what I should call the farm (because that is what Americans do, we give everything a name). Antonio being a respectful and humble man said, "Anything you want to call it is fine by us".

My coffee journey started with Peace Corps (Cuerpo de Paz) and that won't change. My coffee farm is much larger than just me. I don't live there full time and another name makes sense because it is not just mine, it is a model farm for the community. So I've decided on Finca de Paz (Farm of Peace). It is a beautiful, peaceful place and the name is short. Furthermore, both Dominicans and Americans can say it without feeling silly. There you have it.

Friday, May 9, 2008

overheard at SCAA

With a disgusted look on his face, "We are living in the 1960's of coffee technology." - Phillip Search, 49th Parallel. This is a common theme in the quality coffee industry. "We can send people into space and we can't pull quality shots all the time!" - Me

With his big smile "I'm changing the world". - George Howell, Terroir Coffee. When he says it he means it; most of us just try to change the world for the better.

Everyone said, "the level of the barista competitors has raised so drastically that a flawless performance might not make the semi-finals. "

"Most Kenya AA is blended with UG1 or UG2 (Un Graded - less dense Kenyan Coffee) and sold as AA, but if people actually cupped some of the UG1's and UG2's they would find some gems" - Kenyan Importer.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I will be a SCAA in Minneapolis MN from May 2-5. If you guys want to find me call my cell and lets meet up 678.431.3341.

I don't have a booth, but will be on the floor. So many coffee people have given me detailed how-to-process coffee information, and I want to thank them personally as I haven't met them yet. This industry tends to be open book with sharing information, which is yet another reason I love coffee so much. The whole quality coffee community is quiet small and I have felt amazing support as a newbie, grower, importer, and barista.