Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Catalyst Foundation

As many of our customers know, we support an organization that works to provide real guidance and career opportunities for at-risk children in Vietnam to help combat human trafficking. If this is an issue that is near and dear to your heart, you might want to support their new drive for funds at this URL. You can donate any amount, even $1.

They are partnering with OneVietnam, a new fundraising group that works to help a number of Vietnamese causes.

We will also be offering some branded merchandise and coffee packages for sale through the Holiday Season which have a built-in donation to this good cause. Thank you!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Organic Philippine Robusta

One of our favorite coffees over the last few years is the humble yet elegant Bantai Robusta.

Julia Campbell Park
With a fascinating story that spans several years of effort by Forest Blends and friends to help establish a Memorial Park for Julia Campbell (former Peace Corps worker), a civet preserve, and many working acres of cultivated, organic high-altitude, shade-grown Philippine Robusta, this is a coffee that is so superb that when we first handled some of the green, unripe beans, they looked to me like a Hollywood prop. They were just too perfect and sweet-smelling to be real!

This coffee is the darling of our Fall/Winter Brewology Seminars, in which we feature the Kopi Luwak (Civet) version of the coffee as not only a superb example of Kopi Luwak but a prime example of just how wonderful Robusta can be when it is grown under the same prime conditions usually reserved for Arabicas like Kona and Blue Mountain.

Grown on the volcanic soil of Asipulo, and meticulously dried and handled by indigenous residents of the area, the coffee provides a livelihood for hundreds of people who have been completely "underserved" by the Philippine government and who would otherwise lack much opportunity to provide for their families.

We also serve the original (non-civet) Bantai Robusta as our example of perfect Robusta coffee in the Summer Iced Coffee seminar. In our final seminar of the season, it was not surprising to us that 100% of attendees chose the Bantai Robusta as their take-home coffee.

Robusta appeals to the back of the palate, and is low in acid and high in body and crema. It has compelling recall and persistence. It is a huge surprise to people who have been vaguely dissatisfied with all coffee recently and discover that they, like half of the people in the world, actually have a "Robusta" palate and might never really be happy with an Arabica, particularly if that Arabica is from the Typica side and not the Bourbon side, which strays to the middle of the palate more.

If you love Vietnamese coffee, chances are you are not a front-palate Arabica Typica person. And you just might discover your new favorite coffee by trying the Bantai organic, high-altitude, shade-grown Robusta. And every purchase really does put sandals on a child's feet or a book in a fledgling library for hungry young readers. It's a gourmet cheap thrill with the power to do a lot of good!.