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.