John in Guatemala

John made his way from Atlanta to Guatemala city this past week in preparation to take an "origin" tour of different beneficios (coffee mills) and fincas around Guatemala with the Roaster's Guild.

Before his official tour John spent the weekend with Les, Jamie and the farmers of Santa Maria de Jesus. These are pictures of John depulping 250 pounds of coffee! Now that's a lot of coffee!

In the first picture Julio, Les and John are picking out the green (unripe) cherries before they go through the depulper. These exact beans were picked by some new farmers who have decided to join the co-op. We are excited to have them because they had some of the best picked coffee we've seen. "Solo rojo."

The second picture is of John actually cranking the depulper. The cherries go from the top and get squished along the copper grate which pushes the beans out of the cherry pulp. This is some tiring work. The stuff coming out at the bottom of the depulper is only the pulp that is later composted back into the soil.

The third picture is the beans coming out of the depulper. There are a few of the cherries left with the beans, but those will be sorted out in the washing process.

More updates from the field coming soon...

Interesting Coffee Fact

"When yellow fever struck Philadelphia in August of 1793 the blame for the epidemic was initially (and incorrectly) placed by Dr. Benjamin Bush on coffee beans that had been rotting on the wharfs. It is now known to be caused by a mosquito borne-virus."
- taken from The Coffee Calender by Ricardo Levins Morales.

So don't worry, you won't be getting any yellow fever from rotting coffee. In fact you won't even come in contact with rotting coffee at VCC. We batch roast our coffees in small batches and keep our stock constantly fresh to give you the best quality coffee available.

WEEKLY DEAL: Most expensive coffee

This week's deal is a little harder than last week, but is an interesting fact...

The most expensive coffee in the world is produced with the help of what creature?

This cat-like creature, native to Indonesia, Mayasia among other countries in the region, selects and swallows the highest quality coffee beans. It only digest the outer coating, leaving the seed to be collected from its droppings. Digestive enzymes in the ______ are thought to alter the flavor, producing "deep, chocolaty undertones" that are highly prized.

Correctly name this creature when you go into the roastery and receive a 2oz bag of Vienna Coffee Company's coffee.

WEEKLY DEAL: Guatemala

Our direct trade provider and friend Les Stoneham is currently in Guatemala working and living with the coffee farmers of La Armonia Hermosa. This year's crop is coming along swimmingly. All that needs to be accomplished now is have parchment removed, sorted and bagged for export. We can't wait. This coffee has become a huge hit, and rightfully so.

This week's deal involves the agriculture side of coffee. Answer the question correctly and receive a free 2oz bag of Vienna coffee.

What color is coffee after the fruit is removed off the bean and the parchment paper is removed but before it is roasted?