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The C Market November 13 2015

C Market Overview

For many many years coffee has been bought and sold in the form of futures contracts on what is called the C market.  Here a company or individual can purchase a contract to accept a certain amount of coffee at a specific time in the future, hence the term 'future'. This type of trading is also known as commodity trading.  It gives market speculators a chance to buy coffee contracts (not actual coffee) at low or high price and then sell the contract later in the form of a short or in a simple sale in order to turn a profit. This system has worked well for a long time. It has its draw backs though. Speculation can increase the level and speed of price fluctuations and the price of green coffee is not always stable.  This can cause problems for coffee roasters and for growers especially, since many of them earn their livings entirely on coffee harvests.  Low prices are bad because people opt out of growing coffee in favor of more profitable and stable crops. This phenomena can lead to even more fluctuation over time.  Younger generations opt out of agriculture all together and instead move into cities in developing countries looking for higher paying work.  All in all there are certain aspects of the C market that may have negative impacts on the coffee industry as a whole going forward.

This is all besides the fact that the coffee available on the C Market is generally of low quality and much of it ends up in the hands of macro-roasters and sold as cheap dark roasted and often canned coffee.

The Alternative

Fortunately there is a new trend emerging in the specialty coffee industry.  High quality coffee is being sold on a fixed price per pound basis and these prices are not tied to the C market whatsoever.  Better quality coffee fetches higher prices among consumers and is therefore worth more to all of the middle men in between (roasters included).  What is most essential though is that with higher quality coffees FARMERS get paid more. Ensuring a reasonable expectation for the value of a coffee crop can mean the world not only to individual farmers but to the industry as a whole. Sustainable farming practices ensured by paying higher prices to farmers is paramount to specialty coffees future. 

Centri is proud to say that nothing we buy is from the C Market and that on average we pay up to three times what the C market price is for our coffees.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/be2baa3c-83a6-11e5-8e80-1574112844fd.html#axzz3rgN50m7t

 


Millennials, Nostalgia & Quality February 24 2015

Today I stumbled upon this interesting article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/02/24/its-true-americans-like-to-drink-bad-coffee/

..and ultimately ended up here:

I'm not such a big fan of the coffee but the ad itself is great. The simple and playful approach is refreshing.  It's really hard to self reflect, but this ad got me thinking; "do we as quality roasters take ourselves too seriously?" 

I personally am a HUGE fan of all things quality but I have a hard time with novelty, and I feel like I see more and more novelty in the specialty coffee industry. Especially when it comes to products that fall into the hipster genera. 

I am a millennial.  I graduated high school in 2006 and began roasting coffee shortly there after.  In 2008 the housing bubble burst in the U.S. and took down the rest of the economy with it.  So for myself and most of my compatriot millennials the few years after finishing high school were not looking too promising.  Even if we were lucky enough to be college students, the employment prospects that we faced were pretty dismal looking after we graduated. 

I recently read a study that suggested that my generation was the 1st in 100 years to be worse off on average than our parents were.  Pretty scary!

So what about novelty and quality?

It seems to me that novelty and nostalgia are very closely related.  The hipster trend cherishes every decade from the 20's through the 70's and appears to be tied to a pervasive idea that living in these times must have been better than what we face today.  Sure in some senses that might be true. I worry about what world we are creating for our children and whether or not will we have breathable air, food and water in 100+ years, but these concerns are nothing new.  Life is hard, it always has been and always will be, but by many standards we are much better off today than our grandparents were.  I think its just somehow romantic to imagine that there was a better time and we try to live vicariously through objects and products that fulfill that nostalgic craving. 

I think Owen Wilson's character Gill in "Midnight in Paris" was spot on.

Quality then is where I personally connect.  I feel that if something is worth doing then its worth doing right, and while the definition of right is sometimes transient and hard to pin down in general we often know when we experience it in our own lives.  If I cannot find a good cafe I would rather opt out of coffee than settle for Starbucks.  For me coffee is something special that should be consumed in the right way at the right time.  Quality and consistency are the hallmarks of a good roaster and that's what you can expect from us. Quality coffee, clear and concise presentation, no frills, no pretension and maybe a bit of playfulness if we can squeeze it in. 


Coffee Week by Fast Company November 21 2014


just discovered this great series by fastcompany.com on coffee!

 

http://www.fastcompany.com/section/coffee-week

The coffee industry has evolved substantially in the last 10 years, and we honestly have Starbucks to thank for that!  These articles a good survey of specific areas within the coffee industry as a whole that are likely to see significant movement in the next 10 years.  Cheers to another decade of innovation in coffee!


Conan Takes Jordan Schlansky Coffee Tasting November 20 2014

In case you haven't seen it yet... Meet the biggest coffee snob in the world :)


The Best Coffee Brewing Method November 19 2014

"What is the best way to brew coffee?"

We get asked this question all the time and to be honest (as with most things in life) there is no simple answer.

Coffee is fickle and no two cups of coffee are exactly alike, let alone two beans, two crops or especially two origins.  The latter being the easiest to determine by taste.  Historically coffee has been about homogenization.  The question coffee roasters, blenders and tasters asked for the better part of the last century was; "how do we create consistency? How can we make coffee taste the same, every day, every batch all year long?".  This wasn't easy necessarily easy to do with a produce product (coffee is best thought of as produce because every single bean is slightly different).  Crops change, harvests are not always identical, different coffee growing regions are harvesting at different times of the year, and when a company is roasting millions of pounds a year this task is even more difficult.  Enter the dark roast. Probably one of the best tools at a coffee company's disposal for maintaining consistency.  The darker the roast the more you taste the roast profile rather than the individual origin characteristics.  Fast forward to today and we are at the exact polar opposite of the spectrum.  Third wave roasters like Intelligentsia, Blue Bottle, Stumptown, and us, are light roasting coffee to bring out the characteristics that make each individual coffee special.  This variety and uniqueness is exactly what makes Third Wave coffee so difficult to brew.  Different coffees show best in different brewing methods.

Here is a list of our favorites and what we tend to find each is best for.

It's important to remember that there is a major distinction between immersion (e.g. french press) and filtered (e.g. pour-over) methods.

Chemex

Known for its beautiful curves and its incredibly thick filters that capture lots of oil in the brewing process and produces a very clean cup.  Great for coffees that are light on body and heavy on flavor.

French Press

This is probably the most ubiquitous manual brewing method and is usually the brewing method that most of us are familiar with.  It's also a great starting point.  French Press is best with full bodied coffees.  Since it is a full immersion method that leaves many of the oils in the coffee intact and doesn't filter out as much sediment, it tends to produce a dirty cup while preserving a lot of the 'coffee' taste that most are looking for.  French Press and cream are a great combo.

Aeropress

This method is great for producing a super concentrated drip coffee with the consistency of espresso.  It is sort of siphon like in the sense that you can control the extraction time, but the press actually forces the coffee through a filter under pressure.  The end result is usually very sweet and naturally we recommend this method with the sweetest coffees.

Pour-over

Pour-over is an excellent choice for light coffees with delicate flavor notes that become more clear and distinguishable after passing through the filter.

Cold Brew

The brightest drip coffees always make the most interesting cold brews.  The full immersion process combined with the room temperature water actually cuts back substantially on the acidity of the brew. 

 


Coffee and Carbon June 19 2014

Centri Coffee is committed to environmentally sustainable practices.  One of the things that scares us the most is the impact that our way of life has on the planet that we call home.  Carbon emissions have a direct effect on climate change and ultimately result in global warming.  The process of growing, processing, shipping, roasting and brewing coffee results in the emission of a considerable amount of CO2.  We aim to do our part be reducing the total amount of carbon that we emit in our business practices and to offset what we can't. 

We are proud to announce our partnership with terrapass.com a industry leader in CO2 capture programs and carbon credits.  Our partnership will allow Centri to offset our carbon emissions by investing in methane capture programs and by promoting the replanting and protection of forests around the world. 


Welcome to centricoffee.com February 08 2014

If you are reading this post, then you are one of the first to come across our newly redesigned storefront!  We hope you appreciate the new cleaner look and easy navigation as much as we do :)

Upcoming this summer:

  • A brew guide in .pdf and HTML format for use in learning the basics of how to brew that perfect cup of coffee.
  • New coffees as crops come into season. Central and south Americas are due in soon.