Sunday, February 3, 2013

Hartmann Dubbel

This week the DoubleShot is set to release the second in a two-coffee series from Finca Hartmann in Panama.  Both coffees are from micro-lots, exclusive to the DoubleShot.  The first release was the Hartmann Honey, and the second, set to hit the shelves on Tuesday, February 5, is the Hartmann Natural. 

The Coffee Illuminati will be having an event at the DoubleShot on Saturday, February 16 to taste these two coffees side-by-side.  The event will start at 10a in the side room near where the kitchen is located.

I'll have just returned from a 6-day trip to Panama, including a couple of days at the two Hartmann farms: Palo Verde and Ojo de Agua.  At the Hartmann Dubbel event, I'll spend a few minutes sharing my experiences there, and I'll tell you all about the two coffees we are about to taste, and then we'll commence sipping these coffees.

As always, we have two goals in putting on these events.  One is to educate coffee drinkers more about different aspects of coffee, so that consumers like yourselves will understand what and how much goes into producing quality coffee and the hands that must toil in order to get the coffee from the nursery all the way to the sweet nectar we enjoy every day.  The second goal of the Coffee Illuminati is to align ourselves with the farmers in a way where we can try to give back to those who produce our coffees.  We can't affect the whole world.  And we're a very small company, so we can't even affect a large swath of coffee producers.  But we want to do what we can, and your donations help us do that.  Each time we have an event, all the money we raise goes toward a charitable cause that helps children and families in coffee-growing areas where we buy coffee.  So at each event, we request a $10 donation to the Coffee Illuminati to help us make these projects happen.

This trip to Panama, we'll be taking as many soccer balls as we can fit in our luggage, and at the farms we will inflate them and give them to the kids whose parents pick your coffee.  I'll get some pictures for you.  The other mission I have while at Ninety Plus Gesha Estates is to see about using our funds to build a swingset for the Ngöbe-Buglé children, whose families live on the farm and pick all of the Ninety Plus Gesha coffees.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Your donation for food

At the last event we held here at the DoubleShot, before things got busy during the holidays, we raised money for a scholarship fund that we've given to in the past.  But the money raised at the event wasn't enough to help a student pay for housing and tuition for a semester, as is our usual donation, so we decided to help a different cause.
Hogares Juveniles Campesinos is a house in Concordia, Colombia that hosts students from the rural areas of Concordia that go to school in town but have no relatives or a place to stay during the weekdays.  The house gets support from the Colombian government, but the money comes too little and too late, so they struggle to survive.  This service is so important because it serves the children of low-wage coffee pickers, allowing them to go to school and get an education.  So we gave your donations of $200 to Hogares Juveniles Campesinos (Farmers' Kids' Home) to help them buy groceries.  I thank you and they send their thanks to you.  Below are some pictures from the home.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Coffee Contrasting Event

On Thursday, August 2 at 7p at the DoubleShot we will have another coffee tasting event.  We will brew 12 of our most delicious coffees for you to taste, compare, and contrast side-by-side.  This will be another informal tasting.  We will explain the format at the beginning and set everyone loose to sip the brews, and a few of us will be on-hand to answer questions during the event.  The coffees will be set up so you can either blind taste everything or you can look online at each one to see what it is and what we thought of it.  We strongly suggest, if you don't have one, that you download a QR Code Reader app before the event.

We will be taking $10 donations again for this event, and even if you can't make it you're still welcome to make a donation to the Coffee Illuminati.  Please let us know if you plan to come, either by telling your barista at the DoubleShot or by emailing:
You can make donations by cash or check (made out to Coffee Illuminati) or online by clicking the donate button at the bottom of this page:

Proceeds from this event will be used to give a $1000 scholarship to a needy teenager in Concordia, Colombia who wants to go to university in Medellin.  The scholarship will pay for the student's tuition for a semester.  We have done this a couple of times in the past and the students really need and appreciate the help.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

brewing forum June 28

We're having a brewing forum on June 28 at 7p at the DoubleShot featuring Alfredo Correa's Colombia San Rafael.  Register at the store or shoot an email to  Credit card donations can now be made online: 


Saturday, October 9, 2010

More space, more time

So, we've expanded. You probably know that.

Along with the needed space, it's given me a bit more time- mostly, I think, because I've given away some more of my bar hours to Garth and Michael in exchange for a bit more sleep, roasting during the daytime, and getting things done that seem to be neglected.
Including the Coffee Illuminati.

I want to have a coffee tasting soon. But, of course, there are things coming up we need to steer clear of. I'm hoping to go on vacation to Sedona next week. Hoping.
Garth and I are headed to Rio Negro in Costa Rica in November.
And much more.

For now, I wanted to post links to some stuff I've been reading that is interesting:

I asked Cristina about this last article and here's what she said:
"My opinion is divided on this matter.
I was very sad when I found out many growers from Concordia are changing to
Variedad Castillo, you know obviously my reasons, but when I heard everyones
story, I agree that unfortunately that is the reality these days and they
have to make their living. Coffee rust has been so dramatic in the last 2
years, that people who had Caturra lost their crop. There was nothing that
could stopped it, besides pesticides are very expensive and some people used
them 6 to 8 times a year and did not work either.
Coffee rust make the folliage to fall, so the beans do not mature and the
tree finally takes 2 years to recover.
I understand the FNC wants to increase production and protect the grower but
what I do not like and disagree is that they lie about the variety. We all
understand and the growers as well, that the variedad castillo is more
resistant and more productive but lower quality. That is the reality.
P.d. Lets hope nature gives us back the good weather to be able to keep
Caturra in our farms."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Change change change

I haven't blogged in a while. Sorry about that.
I may have mentioned before that we're working on re-structuring the Coffee Illuminati, and I may need your help.
And patience.

Part of what is taking up so much time is the impending expansion into the space next door, where Chrome was. That new space will be our main counter and seating area, with some seating still in the old space. There is a door between the two, which has been hidden behind the lockers. You may have seen us walking behind the lockers and disappearing lately. Not Narnia.

The story about us and El Boton Natural finally came out in Wine Specator. It's in the current issue, which may or may not yet be on the shelves, but subscribers are receiving the issue now. This is exciting for us. For one, it's a huge magazine- it has the biggest readership in the world. It's well-respected and read by people who, theoretically, can appreciate what we do. And hopefully it will mean a large, sustained increase in online sales. So far so good.
I'm trying to remind myself that, even if we didn't get a jump in sales, it's still a big deal.

Last night I roasted 20 new samples. Some are from Cafe Imports and some are from a new broker I haven't used before, called Mercanta. I'll be tasting them over the next couple days. Hopefully we'll find some gems.

I also have been working hard to try and make new contacts in various countries for coffees. I met a girl named Rouki at SCAA who lives in Guatemala City and has a lot of contacts with producers around the world. She has been connecting me with people in Guatemala (she says there are farmers producing some Geisha), Honduras, Nicaragua, and Kenya. I'm also trying to work out trips to these places if the contacts play out and I am able to acquire some unique and delicious coffees.

Kari and I have been trying to find time to plan for the DoubleShot Duathlon this year. It's going to be October 2 at Osage Hills State Park. Just one race this year. The proceeds from the races we put on go to help out various projects for coffee producing families. Check out the (very minimal) webpage:

We've been talking about having a tasting of all our coffees, but time keeps getting away. We may wait and do it in the new space. That should be cool.

One last thing. I did buy another coffee from Ninety Plus, the people who brought us the Aricha and Beloya. It's called Nekisse. I think it's even better than the coffees from them before. Which is saying a lot. I suspect it won't be long until I roast it. Burning a hole in my pocket.

If you come to the DS, today there are two coffees sitting out on the cupping table. They are supposed to be the same coffee. The one on your right is the high-quality coffee we're used to seeing in this coffee and the one on the left is what we were sent this time. What a problem. You can see that there can be extreme variations in quality, and if I'm not careful and attentive, we can end up drinking crappy coffee. I guess I'm going to have to probe each bag that comes in and make sure it is what it's supposed to be. One more thing to add to the list.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I've been contemplating another trip soon and Guatemala keeps coming to mind, despite the trouble I had last time and the events of the past year or two.

If you haven't been keeping up, you should read these stories. It's a sad situation.

Probably a bad time to go. Also a bad time to turn our backs on Guatemalan coffee farmers.