Monthly Archives: September 2009

Best of Dallas – Best Cup of Coffee!

The Dallas Observer just released their Best of Dallas awards, and they announced that the ‘Best Cup of Coffee’ in Dallas is right here in the Cliff (of course, we already knew this!).  The award went specifically to the blend we created exclusively for Bolsa, ‘the Bolsa Blend’. 

We’re happy to be supported by a great local restaurant like Bolsa, and we’re thrilled about the award.  Thanks Dallas Observer!


Yirgacheffe Extravaganza – Sold Out!

We sold out of our limited Yirgacheffe Offering in about 17 hours!  It went quickly… We just roasted it this morning and it will be delivered tomorrow.  Keep your eye on our blog for future limited offerings.  Continue reading

Yirgacheffe Extravaganza – Limited Offering!

Yirgacheffe is a region in Ethiopia that is known for some of the best coffees in the world.  For those that don’t know, Ethiopia is the motherland of all coffee plants.  Every coffee plant in the world today, from Indonesia to Guatemala, can trace its roots back to Ethiopia. 

Since there is an extra Tuesday between our subscription deliveries this month (September is a 5-Tuesday month), we thought it would be a great time for another limited offering.

This is a special offer of two very different and very good Ethiopia Yirgacheffe coffees.  One is a “Washed” Ethiopia Yirgacheffe from the Oromia Co-op, and the second is a “Natural” Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Worka.  What we want to do is give our customers a chance to taste different processing methods of two excellent coffees from the same region.

Processing is what is done immediately after harvesting to prepare the coffee to be shipped and roasted.  The “washed method” is the most common and it involves using water to immediately remove the fruit mucilage from the coffee seed.  The “natural (or dry) method” leaves the fruit mucilage on the seed for a short time while the coffee is being dried; this allows for the seed to absorb more of the fruity sweetness from the surrounding coffee cherry.  When it is done well, it typically results in various loud fruit flavors in the cup of coffee. 

The ‘Washed Yirg’ is a bright cup with lemon tea and spice notes, while the ‘Natural Yirg’ is heavily fruity, with peach, coconut and berry notes.  The washed and the natural have medium-good bodies with clean aftertastes.  They are both excellent beans in their own regards. 

Because we want you to taste the different processing methods we’re offering a special if you purchase them together.  A half pound of both beans is $18.  If you would just like to try one or the other the cost is $10 for a half pound of either bean. 

We will take orders until midnight, Wednesday September 23rd, and we will roast this coffee on Thursday for delivery (or pick-up available) on Friday morning.  It is first come, first served, and if you send payment after we have already sold out, you will be fully refunded.  Remember, last time we sold out of our Panama offering in 25 hours!

If you would like to pay with check or cash, just send me an email:

For Oak Cliff Delivery:

Yirgacheffe Double Pack – ½ lb. of Washed, ½ lb. of Natural – $18

Ethiopian Washed Yirgacheffe Oromia, ½ lb. – $10

Ethiopian Natural Yirgacheffe Worka, ½ lb. – $10

For Shipping outside of Oak Cliff:

Yirgacheffe Double Pack – ½ lb. of Washed, ½ lb. of Natural – $23 (shipping included)

Celebration Farmer’s Market

We will be back to work this Saturday and you can find us at Celebration Farmer’s Market.  The market is located in the parking lot of Celebration Restaurant (4503 W. Lovers Lane) and will last from 8 am until noon.  Last time we participated we sold out of coffee around 11 am!  Come early if you want to enjoy a free sample or to buy a bag ($10).  We will be offering our El Salvador and Rwanda coffees.  We hope to see you tomorrow.

Labor Day in Austin – Local Coffee and Starbucks

From time to time, Jenni and I receive an envelope in the mail with a short note and newspaper clipping from the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.  Her parents reside in Lubbock, and whenever her dad sees anything that might be of interest to us, he mails it our way.  Typically it’s a photo or story about someone we know, but most recently he sent us an article, by Jim Hightower, on a new concept that Starbucks is rolling out in attempt to ‘be local’.  This is just one of many ‘throw-it-atthe-wall-andsee-what-sticks’ corporate strategies they have executed in the past few years. 

Let me go ahead and say, I know many Starbucks’ bashers in the coffee industry, and I do not consider myself one of them.  Firstly, because I do not view them as direct competition to our business, as Starbucks competes more with the likes of McDonald’s than local high-quality roasters.  And secondly, because they helped to start the specialty coffee trend (before they diverted) that local roasters, like myself, are trying to implant and turn into something that is more than a trend. 

Now back to Mr. Hightower’s article, he explains that Starbucks, with their latest maneuver, is trying to fake authentic ‘local feels’ that many independent coffee shops create.  He asserts that it will fail because you cannot fake local.  According to Mr. Hightower, Starbucks hired market researchers to investigate and steal ‘community personality’ in other local coffee shops. 

He ends the article by contrasting Starbucks’ local approach with his nearby Starbucks, in Austin, that is adjacent to a Jiffy Lube.  He quips that it is seemingly functioning in a ‘symbiotic partnership’, which he calls a ‘poetic juxtaposition’.  The article is good and it poses an interesting question about the local movement, “Can you fake it?”  I am not sure I agree with the assertion that it is doomed to fail.  I have witnessed and read of uncountable ‘successful’ corporate deceptions in the coffee industry, and if anyone can pull it off, it is Starbucks.

Stay with me… this ties into my Labor Day trip, I promise.  This past weekend, Jenni, Blaise and I went to the Hill Country for a friend’s wedding, and we decided to extend it by a day or two and take our first mini-vacation since going to Panama last June (on a work-induced vacation).  You can imagine my excitement when, after blowing past our hotel’s exit, I hit a quick u-turn right in front of this poetic juxtaposition:


Jenni and Jiffybucks

Jenni and Jiffybucks

While in Austin, we were able to break away from the local Jiffybucks to visit some authentic coffee shops (which everyone should do when in Austin), so I’ll leave Starbucks alone for now… 

In Austin, many people know of Caffe Medici (which was good), but I had my first taste of two other shops that I really enjoyed, in particular.  Little City is on Congress near the Capital and Once Over Coffee Bar is on South 1st Street.  Rob, the owner of Once Over, was buzzing behind the bar, and he showed a much-appreciated intentional and methodical approach to his coffee brewing. 

Little City roasts their own beans (which will always get points in my book) and Once Over uses Cuvee Coffee (as does Caffe Medici and seemingly half of Austin’s coffee shops).  These two shops are definitely worth checking out if you find yourself in Austin.

Labor Day Weekend

Because of the Labor Day Holiday we will be spending time with our family and friends this weekend.  This means that we will not be participating in any of the farmer’s market that we are typically involved in.  The markets that are happening this weekend are Celebration Farmer’s Market (Sat. 8-12) and Bolsa Farmer’s Market (Sun. 11-4); you just won’t be able to get any OCCR coffee while shopping at them.