Sunday, December 28, 2008

A picture's worth a thousand words...

Happy Holidays....

Monday, December 22, 2008

Order by Tuesday for Delivery before Christmas!

Just a heads up to our web clients, if you order UPS Next Day Air by tomorrow, we can get your package where it needs to go before Christmas. I recommend dropping us a line first to make sure that we have the coffees you're ordering available for same day shipping.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Coffee Gift Ideas

It's almost time for last minute holiday shopping, people. Soon enough our website will be overrun with customers looking for last minute deals, and trying to figure out whether they need to use Next Day Air, or if 2nd Day will cut the mustard. I know this from experience as I will soon be doing the same thing!!

This year I have 2 great ideas for coffee gifts.

The first is our Organic Coffee Club Auto-Ship program. This sends 2 to 4 pounds of coffee to a recipient, for 3, 6 or 12 months. It's a reoccurring gift that will remind your loved ones that you're thinking of them year round! We mail fresh coffee out at the middle of each month, and change it up each month with different coffees, both single-origins and blends. For more info on this product click here! (ps I just remembered we throw in a free French Press when you order the coffee club!)

The 2nd idea is the Organic/Fair Trade Gift Package. This is 4 pounds of coffee, in a nice wicker gift basket with a personalized card. We select 4 of our freshest coffees and send them right out! This has become our most popular present online. To learn more about this package click here!

One thing that is really nice about both of these gift ideas, besides their affordability, is the fact that all of the coffee is organic and Fair Trade. Sending a sustainable, and socially-conscious gift in 2008 is more important than ever. People from all over the world are aware of the green movement, and also of the importance of Fair Trade products. For more info on Fair Trade, read this article from last year. For more info on Organics, read this article.

Let me know if you need any help with your holiday shopping. We're around the office a lot at this time of year, and always ready to assist in any way we can.



Monday, December 8, 2008

New French Presses have arrived!

Just a heads up, we've added the Chambord French press, by Bodum, to our accessories page. It labeled as a "4-cup press," which is about a mug and a half, or to coffee drinkers like us "enough for one person." This is the orginal French Press, designed in Normandy, France in 1924. Constructed from glass and chrome-plated brass, it's one of their most beautiful preses. The Chambord might make a perfect stocking stuffer!! Click here to check it out.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Weekend Coffee Break

Next week Fresh Coffee Now selling coffee at two great spots in New York:

Scribner Hollow Lodge, in Hunter, Ny, is an awesome ski lodge/hotel a few feet from Hunter Mountain. It's a beautiful stucture that literally wins architecutural awards, and is also reknowned for their food and wine. We think FCN will be a great fit there for sure!

The 2nd spot is The Jonesville Store in Clifton Park, NY. The Jonesville is a gourmet deli and specialty food store, that also doubles as a restaurant and gift shop. We will be selling the coffee in bags, at the deli counter and in the restaurant, and soon hope to have it in bulk bins as well.

If you live in the upstate New York (Catskills or Capital Region) these are great places to stay and shop. Let us know if you get to try any of our coffee there!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Don't Call it a Comeback!!

Well at least not THAT kind of comeback! --->

It has been 5 long months of no FCN blog posts. I'm posting today to let everyone know that we're officially back! I apologize for my lack of attention to the blog for the past season, but I have a great excuse, I promise: I got married. In October, months of planning (and perhaps years of anticipation) came together and my wife and I tied the knot. Now, after a brief respite, it's time to return to work full time, and get back to updating our customers and friends as to what's been going on in our warehouse.

Over the next few weeks I'll be making a lot of posts, catching people up on what we've been up to. We have some new coffees, and some old faves are back in stock. We also serve our coffees in about 15 new locations, so I'll be updating the map and letting everyone know where they can get a cup o' Joe. In the meantime, for any of our Jamaican fans, we have put Moy Hall on sale for $39.99 until Friday evening. This is the beginning of our Holiday sales run, where we feature discounts on different coffees or gift packages until the new year, allowing our customers to send something to that special someone far away.

Enjoy the Jamaican, and cya soon...


Monday, June 30, 2008

Stealth Sale

Things have been hectic around here lately, but I wanted to make a quick post alerting folks to some stealth sales. As many of you know I'm trying convert our coffees from conventional to Fair Trade as much as possible (see post below) and with that in mind I'm going to discontinue our Sumatra Grade-1 and El Salvador coffees, and only sell their organic/Fair Trade counter parts. I'm also going to discontinue the Panama Berlina. All three of these coffees are amazing and we drink them daily around here, but now that I'm able to get more Fair Trades, I would like to focus on that.

So these coffees are on sale for a few $ off each, until we get rid of the remaining supply (for the Sumatra that is not much, but I think there's a bunch of the El Salv and Panama). So, get some cheap coffee while you can, and enjoy!


Ps, the Kona is on sale for a couple more days too!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Kona's on sale!

In honor of July 4th, the anniversary of American Independence, we have decided to put the lone American coffee that we offer on sale. The good news for coffee lovers is that the lone coffee happens to be Hawaiian Kona!

Our Kona coffee comes from a wonderful estate called Greenwell Farms. The estate has been growing and exporting coffee since 1850, so suffice to say they know what they're doing. We buy "extra-fancy" beans, which defines about 20% of the crop. The "extra-fancies" are a larger and rarer bean.

Kona coffee gets its name from the region it's grown in "Kona," on the big island of Hawaii. It is known for it's smooth flavor, while retaining a full body. It doesn't have any bite or bitterness to it whatsoever. The plants in Kona are nurtured by rich, volcanic soil, and the clean air at extremely high elevevation helps yeild the smoothest of coffee beans.

Our Kona is on sale 15% off for the next week, starting Tuesday AM, so give it a try and let me know what you think.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Fair Trade at a glance...

I've been doing a bunch of in-store demos lately, where I basically meet customers at supermarkets, IGA's and co-ops, and give info about and sample of our coffee away. One of the most common questions I get relates to Fair Trade coffee. People want to know what it's all about.

I'm going to post a link to a blog post from last year, that is something all of our customers need to read. The Fair Trade movement is a big deal, not just in coffee but for all products that offer it, and I encourage everyone that reads this blog to learn more about Fair Trade, pass on the info to friends and family, and act upon what you read.

Here's the link to the old blog post entitled Fair Trade 101.

There is a video under the "About Us" section of the Fresh Coffee Now website that discusses Fair Trade. Click here, and then scroll down and look to the right, to view it.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

A plug for cold brew ice coffee

My calendar says summer is officially here, and the time for Iced Coffee is surely upon us. I've been a fan of cold-brewing iced coffee for a long time. Several stores in Vermont are serving their coffee this way, and people are loving it (our record so far was 7 gallons of iced coffee in one lunch rush, at City Market in downtown Burlington!!)

So here is an article I read last summer in the Times, describing ice coffee and the cold brew. Beneath it is a great recipe. Don't forget to make coffee ice cubes, so the melting ice won't dilute your drink. We recommend our Organic Nicaragua or Organic Mexico coffees for the cold brew method. Enjoy!

Iced Coffee? No Sweat

BEFORE I go telling everybody that the secret to great iced coffee is already in the kitchen, my friend Keller wants me to confess: I didn’t know iced coffee from iced coffee until he showed me the light.

It’s important to cop to this now, because not a summer goes by that he does not painstakingly remind me, a rabid iced-coffee drinker, that he’s the one who introduced me to the wonders of cold-brewed iced coffee. The funny thing is, when the subject came up we were holed up in a summer rental with three friends off the coast of Puerto Rico, on a tiny island not exactly swimming in upmarket coffee houses.

Our first morning there I brewed a blend from the local grocery in the coffeepot, laced it with a little half-and-half and sugar, then let it cool. Classy, I thought, carrying the pitcher to the table. “I’ll just take it hot,” he mumbled, while I blinked in disbelief.

Clearly, this boy didn’t know any better. A drink has a time and place. Surely he didn’t subscribe to drinking hot coffee in summer?

“No, I only drink iced coffee if it’s cold-brewed,” he said.

For five days we watched him sullenly sip his hot coffee on a broiling Caribbean island in the dead of summer. We chided him for his pretensions, ridiculed him, tried valiantly to break him, but he patiently waited us out. Once we tried it we would understand, he explained. Like friends disputing a baseball stat in a bar with no access to Google, we had no way to settle the argument.

Two weeks later, back in Brooklyn, I saw a sign: “Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee Served Here.” Fine, then. I threw down two bucks and took a sip. Though it pains me to admit, the difference was considerable. Without the bitterness produced by hot water, the cold-brewed coffee had hints of chocolate, even caramel. I dropped my sugar packet — no need for it. The best brews hardly need cream. It really is the kind of thing a gentleman might spend five days in hot-coffee solitary confinement for.

Most days I’m too lazy to hunt down the elusive cold-brewed cup. But recently I discovered an interesting little fact. Cold-brewed coffee is actually dirt simple to make at home. Online, you’ll find a wealth of forums arguing for this bean or that, bottled water over tap, the 24-hour versus the 12-hour soak. You can even buy the Toddy cold-brew coffee system for about $30.

But you can also bang it out with a Mason jar and a sieve. You just add water to coffee, stir, cover it and leave it out on the counter overnight. A quick two-step filtering the next day (strain the grounds through a sieve, and use a coffee filter to pick up silt), a dilution of the brew one-to-one with water, and you’re done. Except for the time it sits on the kitchen counter, the whole process takes about five minutes.

I was curious to see how it would taste without all the trappings. The answer is, Fantastic. My friend Carter, something of a cold-brewing savant, turned me onto another homegrown trick: freeze some of the concentrate into cubes. Matched with regular ice cubes, they melt into the same ratio as the final blend.

Very fancy. Can’t wait to tell Keller.

Recipe: Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee

Time: 5 minutes, plus 12 hours’ resting

1/3 cup ground coffee (medium-coarse grind is best)
Milk (optional).

1. In a jar, stir together coffee and 1 1/2 cups water. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight or 12 hours.

2. Strain twice through a coffee filter, a fine-mesh sieve or a sieve lined with cheesecloth. In a tall glass filled with ice, mix equal parts coffee concentrate and water, or to taste. If desired, add milk.

Yield: Two drinks.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Coffee cupping for beginners..

Last Friday, Joe and I, and the new intern, Ben, began cupping coffees together around 10am. We are going to make this a weekly habit if possible, and Ben and I are going to post some of our tasting notes to the blog. Please keep in mind that we're new at this, so we'll get better at describing what we're learning as we go...

The process of cupping coffee is a technique used to evaluate the aroma and flavor profile of coffees. It also is a great way to taste differences in different coffees by trying them side by side. Subtle nuances in each coffee, that might not be noticed or remembered if you waited a few days to try against a different coffee and compare them, are more easily recognized during a cupping. You can cup just to learn about new or different coffees, or you can use it as a tool to detect defects in the coffee, or to help in the creation of new blends of two or more coffees.

The first thing you do in a coffee cupping is grind a small amount of each coffee and put them into a small glass. You usually want a few glasses with each coffee in it, in case you get one cup of grinds that has bad beans in it (from being burnt or just defective). We chose to cup 4 coffees on Friday, our Organic Mexico, Organic Nicaragua, Organic Guatemala and Organic Colombia Reserva. You can see in this picture the 3 glasses of each of the 4 coffees.

We first smelled the coffee grinds in each glass. This is the "fragrance" of the coffee. I couldn't tell too much of a difference with most of them, although I thought the Guatemala smelled a bit more flowery. The next step was to boil water and fill each cup up 1/2 way, and smell them all again. By the way, each cupper smells all 3 of each coffee, as the quality control I mentioned above in case one of the cups contains defective beans. The fragrance is much more pronounced after adding the water, and even beginners like me can start noticing large differences.

The next step is to fill the cups up with water and let them sit for a minute or two. The coffee hardens a bit at the top of the cup, forming a "crust" of part coffee part water. You then "break the crust" with a spoon, holding your nose right above the spoon and cup, and take a big whiff. This allows you to taste the aroma of the coffee. It is pretty potent compared with the previous smells you've gotten up until then.

The final part of the cupping is tasting for flavor. Here you place some of each coffee in the spoon and slurp it into your mouth, attempting to get the coffee to hit every taste bud on your tongue. This should allow you to detect all sorts of different qualities that the coffees possess, the most important being taste, acidity, body and aftertaste. Joe gave us up a flavor profile wheel for the occasion since Ben and I are inexperienced at this and were having trouble identifying the flavors that were coming through. We took notes of most of this, although mine at first were more about the process than the actual profiles of the coffees. In the end, I did learn a LOT about what kind of coffees I like and dislike.

Here are my notes from the final flavor cupping:

Organic Mexico:
Harsh, dirty first taste. Full body, medium acidity and smooth aftertaste (compared with the original, harsh taste).

Organic Nicaragua:
Clean taste. Light/medium body, chocolatey aftertaste.

Organic Guatemala:
Flowery taste, light body, high acid, winey aftertaste.

Organic Colombia Reserva:Clean, balanced flavor, medium body. Medium acidity with a sweet finish.

No surprise that the Colombia Reserva was my favorite here. The fact that I did not enjoy the Guatemala at all (keep in mind that I DO like this coffee when brewed normally) was a surprise, as was the harshness of the first sip of Mexico, which is another one of my favorite coffees. I found from this tasting that I enjoy medium to full-bodied coffees, and tend to want more from a low-bodied brew.

Overall, this was a really informative process. I'll be taking better notes next time, as I won't be so wrapped up in the actual cupping process, and hope to pass on some good info to you the reader!


Friday, June 6, 2008

Roasting Jamaican Coffee (on Video!)

As I mentioned in my last blog post, and as some of you might have seen on our mailing list, we are doing a promotion on Jamaican coffee for Father's Day. As expected, we're selling quite a bit of the coffee, so Joe roasted a couple batches this morning, and began teaching our new intern Ben about the coffee profiling process. I shot the video of the beans coming out of the drum and into the agitator and then panned over to show the roast profile on the roasting control unit. If you ordered Jamaican Moy Hall from us yesterday or through this weekend, this is most likely the batch of coffee you'll be getting.

If you're interested in learning more about Jamaican coffee, and why it is so expensive and hard to find, please check out these posts from last year:

The Price of Excellence, Part I

The Price of Excellence, Part II


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Father's Day Specials and New Coffee!!

Joe and I have been working away for the past week and I suddenly realized this morning that I haven't posted on here to let everyone know what the heck we've been up to.

First off, we're going to do some nice sales for Father's Day. Dad's are cool, and they deserve something nice for "their day." Our best coffee, Jamaican Moy Hall, is going on 15% sale, and we're also going to put the Organic Gift Pack 20% off, until the Sunday of Father's Day. Order now and we'll make sure your dad gets it before the holiday!!

We also have a new coffee that we're excited to announce: the Organic El Salvador. This is a great coffee that we haven't had in 2 years, and this time it's Fair Trade, too. It was one of our best sellers, and it was replaced by the "El Salvador" minus the organic. Finally we've got it back and we're releasing it for sale today. In the next few weeks we'll be putting the old El Salv on sale while we move on to only sell the organic/Fair Trade version. Check it out!

Lastly, I'll be @ Fresh Market/Cheese Traders in Burlington Friday afternoon, and Natural Provisions in Williston giving away coffee. Julie will be @ L.A.C.E in Barre on Sunday doing the same. Come say hi and drink some coffee with us if you're in the area!


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Long Weekends Rule!

Life in the northeast revolves around weather. The weather becomes good right around May 1st, and stays that way until say November-ish. As the nasty weather fades into "mud season" and then into Spring/Summer, everyone around town becomes a little bit happier. Business picks up, people actually get tan, and that ghost-like "vermonter-ness" fades for a few months, as being outdoors becomes more realistic (and doesn't require 8 layers of clothes).

The many long weekends of the Summer are some of the best times we get up here, and Memorial Day seems to really kick it all off. This weekend, I drove down to the Poconos, in Pennsylvania, and have been working in the garden, and fly-fishing for a couple hours a day. Joe stayed up in Vermont, and my guess is that he's been riding his motorcycle around at 80 MPH, enjoying the amazing weather and causing local police everywhere to wonder what that brown cruise missile driving down the street could be?

So, I don't have much to say about coffee today, other than we have 2 new organic coffees that we just got in. I'll write about them next week, as we roast and cup 'em. I hope everyone enjoys the long weekend, as we are in Pennsylvania and Vermont respectively.


ps. here's a couple pics: one of Joe mocking my espresso-making ability, and the other of the FCN mascot, Seven, holding court around a barrel of Jamaica Moy Hall!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Summer Reading

Hey, for those of you wondering what you're going to do with your summer vacation time, here's a great a book! Not just any boring book, but a book about coffee!!! To help you choose a great book about coffee for the summer, I've put together a few reviews of coffee themed books. first off is a great book called "The Devil's Cup" by Stewart Lee Allen (author of The Devil's Garden). The Devil's Cup is a perfect Summer read because it is an interesting and light story about the author's voyage to find the beginning of coffee. He travels the world in search of coffee's history. However, to add some humor to the book, Allen also decides to sample coffee everywhere and to determine which is the worst cup of coffee he tries and which is the best coffee. This book is perfect for a light yet factual read, great for a lazy summer day.
If you are looking for a more serious read, pick up Coffee A Dark History by Anthony Wild. While this book has a similar premise to the Devil's Cup, it is a lot heavier. Wild, another coffee enthusiast searching for the history of coffee, relates the history to modern day world issues, politics, and corruption. This book is more history based and less of a story. However, A Dark History raises some very good points that will make you think.
Finally, for more active people, there is Coffee: A Guide to Buying Brewing and Enjoying by Kenneth Davids. This book gives tips, hints, and offers advice on picking out coffees and methods of brewing. this book is a great companion to those who want to start a new coffee brewing hobby over the Summer. Davids offers solutions and answers to common problems or misconceptions about coffee as he shares his vast knowledge with the reader.

You can get any of the books (or all of them) at your local bookstore or Hope you enjoy them and feel free to leave comments containing your Summer reading reviews!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A new espresso machine, Part 2

Late last week I came home with a new present for Joe: a 3 group La Marzocco espresso machine. Joe has been raving about this machine for as long as I've known him, claiming that the La Marzocco is the "Ferrari of espresso machines." I believed him, of course, that this machine was great, but until I had my first shot from it the other day I must say I had no idea how good espresso could taste. Our espresso blend is pretty amazing in it's own right, but coupled with a machine like that, you really can't get much better. Good call Joe!

So yeah, now we have three espresso machines: the La Marzocco, a La Cimballi M30, and our old faithful 2 group Gensaco. I think for space reasons alone, I'm going to have to put a couple of 'em on Craigslist or Ebay, so let me know if anyone needs a machine for your restaurant, office or home!

Speaking of espresso, we cupped coffee with Kevin out at Village Wine and Coffee in Shelburne, VT today. Okay, Joe cupped coffee with with Kevin, and I cupped Burgundy wines with him, but what's the difference? Kevin has a GREAT store, and knows a ton about coffee and wine. I'm pleased to report that he is going to start selling our Organic Sumatra coffee next week, and we're hoping to get a few more coffees out there soon.

Tomorrow Julia and I will be giving away coffee @ City Market in Burlington from 10 - 2pm. On Friday Julia will be out in Richmond, at the Richmond Corner Market from 2pm - 5pm, with our Nicaragua and Peru Decaf organics, and she'll also be in Barre @ L.A.C.E. for their brunch service, sampling our Mexico and Nicaragua organics. Come say hi if you're in the neighborhood!


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

FCN blasts off @ Outer Space!!

Today we debuted our coffee at Outer Space, the cafe across the street from our office on Flynn Avenue in Burlington. Outer Space is a great little cafe! It is inside a quirky brick building called the Flynn Dog, which also doubles as an art gallery and houses a pilates center, and an engineering firm among other things. Everyone we met was really nice, and seemed excited about getting easier access to "the coffee from across the street." Select Design and Burton both have offices near by, and I know a bunch of people that work at both of those places, so it was nice to run into some of them!

The rest of the week is going to be busy, as we're starting a new online ad campaign on the FCN website. Every two weeks for the next few months we are going to put at least one great coffee or gift pack on sale, and also see if we can get more people to sign up for our Jamaican and Organic coffee clubs!

Julia is doing some demos somewhere this weekend, and as soon as I find out where they are I will post it, so any coffee lovers nearby can come geek out with us.


Monday, May 12, 2008

New website is live!

Big news: Our new website is live, with some new graphics and a little easier to use navigation on the home page. Check it out here!

We'll be announcing some specials on a bunch of coffees in the next few weeks, to help promote the website launch, so keep your eyes on the monthly mailer for details.

In other news, Bistro Sauce started serving our Organic Mexico as their drip coffee this evening, and they will be French Pressing our Organic Nicaragua!

If anyone is reading this from Burlington tonight, come say hi at Outer Space, on Flynn Ave inside the Flynn Dog Art Gallery. I'll be there from 7am-10am.

Cya soon

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Just a little sip?

Yesterday, Julia and I did a coffee demo @ Middlebury Natural Food Co-Op, which might be my new favorite place to hang out. Everyone there, from the staff to the clients, were really friendly, and most of them really liked our coffee. Even the lunch we had was awesome!

Throughout the day, we met some extraordinary people! Bill Eichner, coffee plantation owner and husband of author Julia Alvarez, was the first. After that, Bud from Bud's Beans, a local Middlebury coffee roaster / legend stopped by. He "approved" of our Organic Mexico coffee, and brought the deli manager over to tell him in person (thanks, Bud!). But our best guest was a nameless 5 year old girl, who ran up to Julia and demanded a cup of coffee!

This girl was so outrageous and cute from the get-go that I immediately wished I had a video camera to record her in action. She literally ran right up and screamed "I drink coffee at home gimme some gimme some gimme some!" When we told her she might be a little bit too young for coffee, she pouted, until she saw me taking pictures and she started to pose for the camera. Finally her dad came over and gave her a little sip of coffee, at which point she ran off at full speed and we never saw her again. This was probably over the course of 5 or 6 minutes, which were the most hilarious minutes of an overall very funny day!

Now it's time to take a moment to thank all the Mom's out there for doing what you do. Happy Mother's Day!


Friday, May 9, 2008

Upcoming Happenings

Hello blog-world!

Tomorrow Julia and I will be traveling to the Middlebury Natural Food Co-Op, in Middlebury, VT to do a demo from 10Am-2pm. I've never been there, but I've heard great things, and they have been selling our Mexico coffee for about a month so it's high time we payed them a visit. If any readers are in that area please stop by and say hi!

On the way down, we'll be swinging by The Inn at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, and Three Squares in Vergennes, two restaurants I can't really say enough great things about, to cup some coffee and see what they're up to during the weekend!

Next Tuesday, I'll be at a new account, Outer Space in the Flynn Dog Gallery, across the street from our office, from 7am-10am. I'm going to meet their morning customers and introduce some new coffees to them. Should be fun!

Only other real news is our new website, which will go live next week. I should have a preview of it before then, to post on here. And our specials, which include discounted El Salvador, as well as our Peaberry Sampler Package.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Mother's Day Coffee Sales!

It's almost Mother's Day and FCN has unveiled a new Mother's Day gift package. The package includes a pound each of Jamaica Blue Mountain: Moy Hall, Organic Colombia Reserva and Organic Sumatra. Three of our best coffees for Mom! You can check it out here!

We also took 20% off of the El Salvador, another one of our popular premium coffees.

Good news ahead: we have a new website design that will launch in about a week. We've been working on it for the past couple weeks, and it's ALMOST ready to launch. It's pretty exciting for us, and I'm hoping to have a sneak peak posted to the blog at the end of the week.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Perfect Shot?

Chances are you love coffee. Unfortunately, you will sometimes get a badly prepared cup of coffee at restaurants and gas stations. Even nice bistros with great food and wine skimp out on the coffee! Cafes are touchy. I have to sniff around for a while before I'm convinced it's worth going in. Sometimes, I find a café with pictures of beautiful cappuccinos with “rosetta” designs in the foam: that’s a start! It's hard to be sure without pictures unless you personally know a barista, and know for a fact that he or she kicks ass!

Hollandaise sauce is eggs and butter. Well a cappuccino is coffee and milk! I bet you mucho dinero that if I took a bunch of eggs and some butter and put them together without knowing what I was doing I would end up with something distinctly not hollandaise sauce. It’s the same when making a cappuccino, for the untrained. I enjoy drinking lattes and cappuccinos, but I also love making people the most delicious creations with coffee.

Everything in the coffee world is timing and ratios. Subtleties keep people searching for the perfect cup. The elusive “perfect shot” of espresso should taste like this: melted chocolate pouring as molasses, caramel velvet cream, and a luscious butter finish. All of this is possible, my friends! I can see it, smell it and watch the color as it pulls. I can taste it with my nose! When the blanket of flavor coats my tongue its viscosity is present and warming. Disappointment after disappointment is what keeps me going all day I suppose. When the planets line up, meaning you get the right day, the right weather, a quality roast, a clean machine, proper tamp, good water temperature, a hot group head, (not too hot, just right!), there you have it: your perfect shot of espresso! How often does that happen you might wonder? Infrequently, of course, but one can only hope....

The rich diversities of coffee tastes and aromas, from Bolivia to Papua New Guinea to Ethiopia and beyond make for a world of possible combinations for an espresso blend. We try to keep our secrets in this little world of coffee, but I will tell you that ours is a blend of organic, Fair Trade coffees formulated for rich deep flavors, an intoxicating aroma, and a full body. This blend will also make a great everyday coffee for French press or other means of preparation as well.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

New Espresso Machine for the Summer

As summer quickly approaches, Joe and I thought it would be nice to get an espresso machine plumbed into our office, so that we can enjoy the fruit of our labors more easily (and maybe show off a little bit too!). I dug around in my shed, and found a 10-foot chunk of the old bar from Higher Ground's "good ole days" and Joe went to work fitting it up for our new warehouse.

We traded some equipment with Matt from Three Squares Cafe in Vergennes, one of my good friends that happens to also serve some of the best damn food (and coffee!) in Vermont, and wound up with his 2-group La Cimballi espresso machine. As of today, the bar is built and the electricity is wired, all we need is to get the machine plumbed in.

I will let everyone know when we get it up and running, so that anyone in the area can swing by the warehouse and have an espresso or iced latte with us.

Speaking of our espresso, we just found out that both The Inn at Shelburne Farms, and Hunger Mountain Co-Op will begin serving our Organic Espresso Blend in their cafes in a few weeks. That is pretty exciting, as it's something we don't sell to often. I think that might change as summer becomes a reality. If you are a "foodie" take a peek @ Shelburne Farm's 07 menu: reading it alone could cause you to salivate!

'Till next time,

Saturday, April 19, 2008


There is a new addition to the Fresh Coffee Now family! His name is VII (Seven!) and he is an English Bulldog. Joe got him about a week ago, and he has since move into our office, and spends much of his life curled up, sleeping under my desk. My fiance has been trying to convince me to get a puppy, and I've held out until now. VII might just put me over the edge, however, as he is pretty much the cutest and coolest thing I've seen in a long time.

It's looking like it will be a good spring and summer here. We've got a new employee (Julia) and a puppy, and finally it's warm and sunny. I can't complain one bit!

In coffee news: we're looking forward to doing some major advertising on the FCN website starting in May. We might put Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee on sale for a couple weeks, and do some discounts on select gift packages.

Locally, City Market and Hunger Mtn. Coop are both serving our Mexico coffee as their Ice Coffee in their deli section. We will begin selling coffee in bulk bins at Fresh Market on Pine Street this Monday, and Outer Space, across the street from our warehouse, is now serving a couple coffees by the pump pot. I will post more about them next week...

Enjoy the weekend!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Happy Tax Day!

Hooray for Tax Day!

To help keep everyone's mind off of taxes, here's a couple pictures of our Organic Mexico coffee, first in green bean state, and then cooling off in the roaster's agitator. Now all you need to do is brew some and drink it!!

It looks like spring is here today, and supposedly for the rest of the week (and month?). We were able to open the doors of the warehouse today, and let the sun in!

Have a great week...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Free coffee for the masses!

For the past few weeks I've been training a new demo co-ordinator, and I'm now happy to report that Julia Cerbone (of Pure Pop fame) is going to be our newest employee. Julia and I gave out coffee samples to a bunch of nice people at City Market and Hunger Mountain for past few weekends. Next week we have demos at the same places, Friday and Saturday respectively, and I'm going to go to North Country Coop in Plattsburgh Saturday as well.

In other news, Bodum products are on sale for 15% off, as promised, on the website. People, if you buy ground coffee from us, please think about picking up an Antigua Grinder and switching to whole bean coffee!

City Market has started serving our Mexico and Peru Decaf coffees in their Deli as Ice Coffee. Make sure and have a cup if you shop there! The Mexico will also be at Taste of Burlington, by the cup and the French Press, starting this week.

And last but not least, Joe has turned 1/2 of my office in to a motorcycle repair shop. Here's his bike, out front of the shop during a nice 70 degree day last week. After his finishes his newest moped project he'll be revamping a couple espresso machines we have on hand, one of which is going to be plumbed into the shop so we can pull espresso shots ALL DAY LONG!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A new season for Fresh Coffee Now!

As time goes on, we take for granted the gifts we have and lose the enthusiasm we once had at the goodness we’re blessed with everyday. I've been listening to the positive messages in my life and have looked at my gifts. Indeed, the darkness of routine masks the excitement we once had when things were new. It's not easy to realize what we live for every day.

When I started working with coffee, I remember how beautiful the aroma was and how to use the shiny espresso machine was a goal for me. As I continued my quest for knowledge through effort and interest, I conquered my goal, became an expert in my craft, and began to make people happy. The gift I have wasn't so I could make myself the most beautiful cappuccino, it was the knowledge I had of my craft that made me able to give people the best I could.
At some point, I got interested in roasting coffee. I took advantage of the opportunity I had to improve my knowledge and had to take gradual steps through time, bit by bit, and eventually I was able to do it myself. I had several teachers over the years and assembled a body of understanding that helped me do the best I can now. I have been blessed with the opportunity to put to work all the knowledge I've amassed and enjoy the rewards. I don't have to search out the best coffee roaster or the most skilled barista around to show the people I love what is available. I can make the work I have done available to people every day. I am thankful for that!

As the seasons change, so do our aspirations, and sometimes it seems we have to move on and start a new chapter. Our roasting company was at home in the basement of a café/restaurant for nearly two years and, with all the focus on the café, it was difficult at times to stay excited. It made me want to so something drastic to change the reality of the situation. I did my best to work through and now have the opportunity to reinvigorate my interest in coffee with a change for the better. I wouldn't want to give up my life's passion for a break from hardship.

Fresh Coffee Now has turned to a new chapter in its development, starting with our move to a more user-friendly venue. Gone are the days of huffing burlap sacks of coffee down stairs. Our commitment to quality is growing stronger daily, and with this our standards are growing also. We will be offering more organic, fair trade coffees then ever before, as well as our Jamaican coffee that stands alone in quality. Delicious standards like Guatemala Antigua, Yemen Mocha, and Indian Malabar, among others, will remain great sellers. I hope our loyal customers will spread the word among friends. Tell them how to get Fresh Coffee Now!


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A lot going on @ FCN!

I've been slacking with posting to the blog while Joe has been away. There's been a lot going on and not a lot of time to do it...

Here's some FCN news: We had a fun demo @ Shelburne Supermarket last weekend. As usual both the staff and the customers I met were very nice, and a lot of people were really into the coffee. Our Colombia Reserva is slowly taking over as our biggest seller there, which is nice as it's "the best."

I'm proud to report that Stone Soup in downtown Burlington will be serving our coffee starting Friday morning. We are being served in a lot of restaurants now, but Stone Soup is special to me as it's my favorite lunch place in town, and has been for years. Hopefully you will all get a chance to get in and try some of their great food, and coffee soon!

In other news, we have a huge shipment of Bodum products coming in, so I'm going to try and kick April off with a little sale, and sell some grinders to all you people that order ground coffee!! Also, we have a new demo team training this week. There are many demos coming up, including 6 at City Market, a few at Hunger Mountain, and several at Healthy Living. The first one is this Saturday at City Market, from 10:30 Am through 2pm. Come down and say hi if you're around!

Until the weekend, stay warm!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Shelburne Supermarket demo this weekend

Ahh back to the cold Vermont winter. Isn't spring right around the corner? Hopefully so!

Joe is in Mexico riding around on a giant power boat, so now it's my turn to watch the shop while he's gone.

We have a bunch of demos coming up in the next few weeks, the first of which is this Saturday, 10am, at Shelburne Supermarket in Shelburne, VT. I'll be giving out samples of our Organic French Roast, and Organic Colombia Reserva for about 4 hours or so. Please come down and say hi! After that I'll be moving in to City Market for 4 weeks in a row, and also doing demos at Hunger Mountain Co-Op, Rutland Area Food Co-Op, Middlebury Natural Food Co-Op and the North Country Co-Op over in Plattsburgh, NY.

In other news, the Customer Favorites gift package is 20% off on the store, here. That's a pretty good deal so if you need to send someone some fresh Vermont coffee, you know where to click!

Hope to see some of you at the demo....


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Where do you find coffee in the Bahamas?

There comes a point in January or February where everyone in Vermont freaks out and starts buying plane tickets to "anywhere that's not so damn cold." In my case, I bought a ticket to the island of Eleuthera, in the Bahamas, to join my fiance and her family for their yearly winter vacay.

The Bahamas are beautiful, especially Eleuthera which is not built up and developed like so many of the bigger islands. We have an old, fun house, right on the beach!

Here is the view out of our bedroom:

So the one problem the family, who arrived a few days before us, ran into was "where do get coffee in the Bahamas?" Most of the stores around here have Maxwell House, and Foldgers and that is about it. This does NOT do the trick for the fam, who are all tried and true coffee addicts, since shortly after birth. So, I got the phone call: "Matt, help!"

Now, we are all set to go with 10 pounds of Organic Colombia Reserva, a bodum grinder, and a French press to boot. Waking up here this morning with a fresh French press was about the best thing I could ask for. I want to give a special shout out to Joe for roasting such awesome coffee, and for watching the shop while I'm gone. Thanks mon frere! (Readers: don't feel TOO bad for him: he is going to Mexico the day I get back!)

The moral of this story: next time you are in the Bahamas and need to find coffee, call us up and we'll mail some down to ya!

Have a great week, to anyone that's reading this. Joe is going to take over for a couple days on the blog front, and I'll cya when we're back in town.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

New Places to get Fresh Coffee Now!

Today we started selling coffee at some new places, and I wanted to let people know where they can get our coffee:

Middlebury Natural Food Co-Op in Middlebury, VT: offering our Organic Mexico.

Rutland Area Food Co-Op in Rutland, VT: offering our Organic Colombia Reserva, Organic Nicaragua and Organic Peru.

Coffee Gourmet Cafe in Kennebunk, ME: offering our Organic French Roast, Organic Peru and Organic Nicaragua.

Big Chile Republic, the Tex/Mex fusion restaurant in Colchester, VT: offering our Organic French Roast, Organic Nicaragua, and Organic Peru Decaf.

We will also be serving 6 organic coffees by the cup, and selling them in bulk and by the retail bag at Fresh Market/Cheese Outlet on Pine Street in Burlington, VT.

If there is anywhere that you would like to see our coffee, please let me know, and thanks for your support!