About this site
I’ve been writing about coffee since 2011. A vast majority of my writing has been in a blog format, which is simply a collection of discrete articles organized by date, category, tags, etc. As of this writing, I have over 100 articles about different aspects of coffee.
What I hope to accomplish with the information presented on this site is to help others to make sense of the complicated world of coffee. Because a majority of coffee is produced by smallholder farmers who farm roughly 2 hectares, coffee production has socioeconomic importance that makes it unique from other commodities such as oil or wheat, which are largely produced by wealthy companies, global conglomerates, or industrial-sized farms—not a subsistance farmer with a family of five.
Because of the socioeconomic impact of coffee, it is important to have a true and honest understanding of what the coffee industry is and how it functions; how the money flows, what the various stages of production are, how the product flows, etc. All of that affects how we perceive, react to, and ultimately support the system.
Getting coffee to your cup is a very complicated process that involves several production phases that physically transform the fruit of a coffee tree into coffee beans. That process often takes a lot of intermediaries and all of those intermediaries add value that must be compensated and that compensation is ultimately borne by the end consumer: the coffee drinker. I call this idea the central dogma of coffee.
Improving operations is one of the most effective ways a smallholder coffee farmer can improve their performance in the industry. This means treating the family farm as a family business; tracking profits and loss, tracking the cost of production, formalizing production processes, and so on. The ability to produce a consistent product, at a profit, year after year is foundational. Producing an exceptional product without that foundation is luck.
About the author
I got serious about coffee in 2011 when I bought my first roaster; an electric HotTop roaster designed for home use. That same year my wife bought me classes from Willem Boot as a birthday gift and the learning journey had begun. One never finishes learning about coffee—it’s such a complex product and that is certainly the case for me. My journey to learn as much as I can about coffee may have started with roasting but has since progressed through brewing, cupping, and now producing and processing. Living in SE Asia inspired me to learn as much as possible about the supply-side of the industry, learning from the individuals directly involved in the production of coffee.
Along with broad experience in the industry, I have a number of coffee certifications:
- First and foremost I am an Authorised Specialty Coffee Trainer (AST), licensed to train barista, roasting, and sensory modules.
- Q-Processor, Pro
In addition to coffee-specific certifications, I recently completed a bachelor’s degree in horticulture, with a concentration in horticultural business management. I chose the path of a degree in science with a concentration in business specifically to be able to help coffee producers navigate not only the science of coffee production but also the business of coffee production. I believe that to be a winning combination that can empower smallholders to successfully participate in coffee markets.