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Q-Grading Coffee: Part 1 of 5 on Coffee's "sommelier status"

Flavor preference is subjective. Tons of factors can influence how and what you taste and smell. The place you grew up, your genetics, what foods you had access to -  even allergies. When we focus on assessing a coffee and pointing out flavors and attributes, we don’t focus on “right” or “wrong,” but rather on creating a common language and breaking down barriers of communication to reach a consensus. Focusing on quality is paramount, but encouraging the fun behind tasting and continuing to grow together are also integral to building a coffee community that lifts up and supports all people in the supply chain. So how do we learn that common language, especially in an industry where we are miles or oceans apart? This...

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discourse + dissent ---> patriotism. our rotating box set of contrasting coffees.

I have some of my clearest thoughts as I wake up. Our new coffee series Discourse & Dissent came in a waking dream, thoughts surfacing on what patriotism means and freedom as something that needs to be asserted in order to keep its significance. As I awoke I was thinking that it is up to societies to decide, again and again, defining and asserting what Freedom means. For me, the 4th of July is a mark each year to consider this question. Being informed and engaging in vigorous discourse and dissent when one deems it is necessary is what the 4th of July is about. Examples:  https://www.nps.gov/articles/sojourner-truth.htm https://time.com/5614930/frederick-douglass-fourth-of-july/ https://rbscp.lib.rochester.edu/2945 . . Our first two choices in this rotating series of contrasting...

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Extra-Ordinary Change

Dear Cocoa Cinnamon and Little Waves Coffee Community, In this time of intense grief and reckoning, we are feeling for black people in our community, on our team, and across our nation. We are in awe of the movement to demand reform and equality for black people. Our team has worked to keep their heads high, supporting each other, contributing to the movement, and also spending the last few days feeling while being diligent to keep safe and our company afloat. As a group we are connecting, considering, working to take care of each other, giving space and voice to our team, most importantly the people of color who are most directly affected and together take direct productive action now, while...

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A note from Leon on the name of our Father's Day coffee, Father's Day, Mom and Grandpa Andy.

Cigars, Newspapers, and Rings is a coffee blend we created in honor of Leon's Grandpa Andrew Fontana for Father's Day. A man who enjoyed the simple pleasures in life, was a dedicated worker, and a nurturing father with an upbeat attitude no matter what. This blend is a celebration of all nurturing and tender fathers and father figures in this world. We want to also take a moment to celebrate black fathers and black mothers taking on double roles and the hard work they have to protect their children from a system that time and time again has told them they do not matter. We love you and see you.    Grandpa Fontana is the youngest boy on the bottom...

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Our Black Community. Love and Respect.

. My dearest black community, You are worthy of love, respect, joy, flourishing, abundance, celebrating, and accomplishing your dreams. You are worthy of living and breathing and existing.  I cannot even begin to imagine the weight, trauma, and suffering that you are feeling. This includes the folks on our team and in our family. As a Latina, this hurt weighs heavy on my heart because our people also suffer from systemic oppression. And yet as non-black Latinx people, we must face our own anti-blackness and thoughts that have been ingrained in us by just existing in this world. We can do so much better as a human race to treat each other with kindness, compassion, consent, and respect. And we...

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