Peace Spokes - Peace Coffee
s July 2008
  1| Observations from Chiapas by Joe Moskowitz, Peace Coffee Controller

  2| Around Town Fun!

  3| Energized at MREA

  4| Fair Trade News

  5| Roaster's Corner by Keith Tomlinson, Peace Coffee Head Roaster

  6| Show Your Peace Pride!

  7| Quote of the Month

Fair Trade Travels
The Peace Coffee crew has been traveling again, spreading the word about the right beans and learning a lot along the way. In this issue of Peace Spokes, Joe Moskowitz gives a detailed account of his visits to coffee farmers, Zapatista communities and NGOs in Chiapas, Mexico. In Energized at MREA, Brian, Meagan and Liz share what they learned on their trip to Custer, WI, for the MREA Energy Fair. We've also got some Around Town Fun — discount tickets for Peace Coffee drinkers to the Guthrie Theater's current production — as well as some Fair Trade News about our friend Monika Firl's recent radio interview. And Keith talks about the return of an old friend, Mexican Full City Roast, in the Roaster's Corner. Ice up a mug of Peace Coffee, settle back and read on...

Observations from Chiapas
by Joe Moskowitz, Peace Coffee Controller

The Smoking RoasterThe roaster is starting to smoke. What's worse is no one in the café seems to notice or care. I nervously ask the barista, in my broken Spanish, how long they have been roasting this batch. "Un hora" she replies. I can't help but wince at this length of time, thinking of our 15 minute batches in the roastery at home. Luckily she doesn't notice. If only our roasters could see this, I think to myself: Smoking roaster, starless-midnight colored beans and a peculiar smell wafting across the café.

As quickly as I started thinking, critically I stop. I could not be severe for two reasons: 1) I couldn't roast much better myself, and 2) Does it matter that much if your coffee bean is a little burnt when you have a revolution going on outside your café?!

Read on...

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Try our seasonal Mexican Full City Roast

Around Town Fun!
The Government InspectorIf you live in Minnesota or are visiting our great state this month, the Guthrie Theatre, which exclusively serves our coffee, is offering a special ticket price for Peace Coffee drinkers!

A SPECIAL OFFER from the Guthrie! Peace Coffee drinkers enjoy $20 tickets to the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday performances of The Government Inspector in July! Call the Guthrie Box Office at 612.377.2224 and quote price code "AI" to receive this discount. Offer not valid online, with other offers or on previously purchased tickets.

Adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher from the original by Nikolai Gogol and directed by Joe Dowling, the play centers on locals in a small town in Russia, who learn that an undercover government inspector is coming for a surprise visit. The result is an unfortunate case of mistaken identity that sends the village spiraling into a world of panic and greed. Witty, smart and wildly satirical, The Government Inspector exposes the corruption of a provincial town with biting hilarity. This timely and spirited world premiere is a new adaptation by famed playwright and screenwriter (and frequent Guthrie collaborator) Jeffrey Hatcher (The Falls; Tuesdays with Morrie, with Mitch Albom).

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Energized at MREA
Peace Coffee booth at MREAThis June, Biodiesel Van Driver Brian Steehler, Roaster Meagan O'Brien and Events & Outreach Coordinator Liz Wawrzonek attended the MREA Energy Fair in Custer, WI. Many people remembered us from previous years, but the overwhelming majority came to our booth to learn more and cool off with some frosty Yeti Cold Press. Many were from the area and shopped at the Stevens Point Area Co-op, or were from Madison and Milwaukee. We also met some great people from all over the country, including a student-run Biodiesel Manufacturer at Nashville's Vanderbilt University, some ladies from the heart of Mississippi who absolutely cooed over our burlap tote bags, and a coffee-loving wind energy expert from France who relayed the history of the windmill.

Liz attended a workshop on socially responsible investing and talked with several people about various energy harnessing systems: wind turbines, degasifying and woodburning furnaces, and photovoltaic systems. One guy told us about the most recent business his wind turbine country had experienced: a large amount of installation in areas of Kenya that never have been on the grid, that are starting to run cell phone power from wind — possibly eliminating the need for them to ever be wired for phone or for electricity.

Read on...

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Fair Trade News
Monika Firl being interviewed on the radioMonika Firl of Cooperative Coffees was recently featured on Redeye Radio! In the interview, she talks about how the Fair Trade coffee movement has brought improved working conditions and better pay to people in coffee-producing areas. But now that large corporations like Walmart are starting to sell Fair Trade coffee, Monika says that the Fair Trade coffee available in mega-stores will not necessarily be the same product, nor will it bring coffee producers the same benefits.

Listen to Monika's interview.

About Redeye Radio: On the issues of the day - political, social and cultural - Redeye digs deeper. Open your ears to alternative voices. Hear incisive and challenging interviews with activists and progressive thinkers. Produced by an independent media collective, broadcasting over 25 years on Vancouver Cooperative Radio.

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Roaster's Corner
by Keith Tomlinson, Peace Coffee Head Roaster

Michiza farmer Hilaria Ramos HernandezLast year, Cooperative Coffees started getting Mexican coffee from a new cooperative, Yeni Navan Michiza. Cooperative Yeni Navan Michiza is in Oaxaca, Mexico. Their name, Michiza, is an abbreviation of a collection of the five various organic coffee producing ethnic groups: Mixtecos, Chinantecos, Chatinos, Cuicatecos and Zapotecos. By grouping together, the farmers were able to stop the local intermediary coffee purchasers ("coyotes") from controlling the price. Instead, in 1991 they began exporting coffee independently and were able to set their own contracts and thereby their own price. MICHIZA offers technical support to its members to improve their capacity in organic agriculture and overall coffee quality and yields. MICHIZA is also responsible for marketing and the direct export of their members` coffee. In addition, they are in a constant process of promoting women's participation in their decision-making, the impact of which is noted in the number of women who are members. In their general assembly held on the 15th of January 2008, they discussed the formation of a Women's Committee in order to develop projects that would be well adapted to their needs.

Recently Derek mentioned that he thought that the Michiza beans would make an excellent Full City roast. So, for the next couple of months we present to you Mexican Full City, the return of an old friend, with a new flavor.

Roast Level: Full City
Acidity: Crisp, lively, bright, and prominent.
Body: Creamy, buttery, medium.
Aroma: Roasted Almond, cocoa, carmel, brown sugar, spice.
Flavor: Almond, chocolate ganache, honey, coriander, vanilla, roasted hazelnut, milk chocolate sweetness with a full lingering finish.
Overall: Sweet, smooth, bright, complex cup.

For some variation try this as an iced coffee. It is delicious.


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Show Your Peace Pride
We have two Peace Coffee Pride winners this month. The first is Brian Scott Norris of Arlington, Virginia, who submitted these two great Peace Coffee odes:

Something so simple
Two wheels and some beans
Nirvana is near

Pure magical beans
Carried by bike and by heart
Why complicate it?

Dan enjoying Peace CoffeeThe second winner is
Dan Heflin of Long Beach, California, who submitted this photo and wrote "I love Peace Coffee because you promote lower fuel emissions by biking your coffee when you can and support the local farmers where the coffee is produced." Cheers to both Brian and Dan for their inspiring Peace Coffee Pride contributions!

If you're passionate about Peace Coffee, show it! Send us:

— a photo showing your "Peace Coffee Pride"

— a short written testimonial about how much you love us

— an original coffee poem or haiku (three lines, 5 syllables in the first, 7 in the second, 5 in the last)

Each month, we’ll choose one entry to appear in the following Fair Grounds newsletter. If we choose yours, you’ll win a pound of your favorite Peace Coffee coffee. Please send your entry to

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Quote of the Month
"When we tug at a single thing in nature, we find it attached to the rest of the world."

~ John Muir

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Peace Spokes is a monthly publication from the crew at Peace Coffee.
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fax 612-677-3989