After working as a barista and shift lead for a year, Maddie found herself wanting to get involved with CREMA in new and varied ways. This led to the perfect match with her taking on the role of our new Community Educator!
There is so much taking we do on a daily basis. We take in the atmosphere around us, take what is being offered us, and even take from limited resources that can’t afford to be taken from. It’s wired into our everyday culture. But what if we gave more than we took? What if we opened our eyes to what’s going on around us and looked for needs to fill, hoping that we could someday wire into our everyday culture the act of giving.
It’s inevitable, coffee has to go in cups. Too often in paper cups. Those cups need lids. And those doughnut-smudged faces must be wiped clean with paper napkins, so many, many napkins. When our cargo pockets bulge with croissants and our fanny packs bemoan another muffin we must carry our secret joys in a more conspicuous paper container, our happy box. Our joys add up and all those gleefully soiled papery and used plastic thingys become something. A big something. To be exact, it’s 28 tons of something… each and every year at CREMA. We checked, and it turns out that’s a rather MASSIVE pile.
So maybe you’re not one of those people who really. loves. fall. Maybe you don’t break out your caramel scented candles right after Labor Day, or plan your Halloween costume months in advance or Instagram every phase of the changing foliage. That’s OK; we don’t all look good in flannel. But here’s one autumn staple you can reclaim: the pumpkin spice latte.
Yemeni coffee exporters Mokhtar Alkhanshali and Andrew Nicholson couldn’t have known what would befall them on their voyage to Seattle for the SCAA Expo in April of last year. Upon attempting to leave Yemen’s capitol city of Sana’a, the two friends found themselves in the midst of an airstrike, unable to fly anywhere. Determined to present their coffees on the industry’s largest stage, Alkhanshali and Nicholson committed to drive seven hours to the city of Mokka, where they then convinced a fishing boat captain to tote them and 100 kilos of coffee across the Red Sea; all this, only to be detained by the Djibouti national coast guard. After Djibouti Port Authorities contacted the U.S. Embassy, the travelers received the go-ahead and were able to catch a 3 A.M. flight from Kenya to the U.S.
People are always asking us how much coffee we drink per day: "Workin' here, you guys must slurp it right up!" Most people, it seems, assume we slug enough coffee each day to power a fleet of commercial jets.
The real answer is: much less than you'd think. A cup or two a day, with maybe an espresso thrown in there for good measure.
If you’re like us, the word “grading” left a bad taste in your mouth. Years of pop quizzes, red-marked papers, and grammar-crazed English teachers have left most of us pretty scarred by the grading process.
But at CREMA, grading just got a whole lot tastier.
In December, our roaster and green buyer Winston Harrison earned his Q Grading certification from the Coffee Quality Institute.
Our hammies are sore from the stair-stepper, the gluten is in the garbage, and we’re well on our way to our goal writing in our journals more in 2015.
At CREMA, we’ve made a lot of resolutions for the New Year. We’re outfitting our training lab with more room and more tools for training and classes. We’re redesigning our cafe with an eye towards improved service, comfortability, and flow (comflowtability?). We’ll be going on even more sourcing trips this year, and for the first time, we’re bringing our baristas along.