Peace Spokes - Peace Coffee
s July 2008
  1| A New Path In Peru

  2| Fun at Gorilla Coffee

  3| 2nd Annual PC Grind

  4| Around Town

  5| Roaster's Corner

  6| Peace Pride!

  7| Why We Ride Contest

  8| Quote of the Month

At Peace Coffee, summer is often about adventure -- adventures we share with our colleagues and those we experience solo and return with tales to share with others. And, as always, we promote Fair Trade along the way. In this issue of Peace Spokes, Keith offers the first of a two-part story about his recent trip to meet with farmers in Peru (that's him on the left in the photo above). Melanee reports on her visit to Brooklyn, NY, coffee entrepreneurs Carol and Darleen at Gorilla Coffee. We've got news about a few upcoming events -- the 2nd Annual Peace Coffee Grind at the Velodrome and Peace Coffee's participation in the Minnesota State Fair. We also share a quote and haiku (from the last winner of our Peace Pride contest) and start a new monthly contest called Why We Ride. And in the Roaster's Corner, Keith encourages us to participate in Peace Coffee's Drink Local Challenge. Summer's in full swing! Grab an iced Peace Coffee, kick back and read on...

A New Path In Peru
by Keith Tomlinson, Peace Coffee Head Roaster

First Part of a Two-Part Series

At CenfrocafeDuring the end of May and the beginning of June, I traveled around northern Peru with a group of seven people (myself included) to meet with two organizations from which Peace Coffee sources coffee through Cooperative Coffees. Our first stop was the cooperative Cenfrocafe. They formed in 1999 when 8 associations representing 220 coffee producers joined together. This action was a result of a program initiated in 1995 by then Peruvian President Alberto Fujimoro's government that successfully reduced overall coca production in Peru by 60 percent. This left an overall gap in the use of farmland that the original associations saw as an opportunity. The initial main objectives of Cenfrocafe were to increase the quality and yields of coffee and to provide access to credit while increasing the strength of the organization. In 2003, Cenfrocafe began exporting its first containers of Fair Trade coffee. They now have more than 2000 members, separated into eight regional networks. There are twenty-six people on their technical team including four agronomists. They have a strategic plan up through 2015 that focuses most broadly on developing organizations and communities in accordance with their mission of harmony with the environment and quality products.

My trip to Peru truly begins with the coffee farmer, Lucia Zurita Zurita, a member of Cenfrocafe. She is part of the Chinchiquilla community in the San Ignacio region of Peru. On a map, this is the region that borders the southern most portion of Ecuador. Of her six children, two of them, Jesus Pina Zurita and his sister, live on the farm with her. The other children, the youngest of which is seven, are in school. The Chinchiquilla community is located at 1800 meters in the Andes. In this part of the Andes, a thirty-mile drive ends up taking about an hour and a half. Given that the highest point of the Andes is 7000 meters and the average elevation is 4000 meters, for the Andes these are the foothills. But in the world of coffee, 1800 meters is a very high elevation for growing, as specialty coffee is usually grown between 800 and 1500 meters. There tends to be a direct relationship between elevation and quality of coffee. Extrapolating this, the Chinchiquilla community has the potential for some of the best coffee in the world.

Read on...

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Try our seasonal Mexican Full City Roast

Fun at Gorilla Coffee
by Melanee Meegan, Peace Coffee Marketing Manager

Carol and Darleen, owners of Gorilla CoffeeOn a recent trip to New York City, I had the chance to visit Gorilla Coffee's roastery. Darleen and Carol, the incredible duo who own Gorilla Coffee, were gracious hosts. Gorilla Coffee started five years ago. They began roasting out of their café location on Fifth Avenue in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. Having been in the café on a busy day, which is everyday, I couldn't imagine how they could operate a roaster and provide space for all the folks looking to for a place to sit and enjoy their delicious cappuccino. They, too, quickly realized their need for more production space and found a great spot in an industrial area in Sunset Park, only a twenty-minute subway ride from the café.

Mel excited to find Gorilla CoffeeI immediately spotted their roastery when I saw their trademark red Vespas parked out front. (Gorilla Coffee, if you remember from a newsletter story from last year, rode matching red Vespa scooters all the way from Brooklyn to Minnesota to attend the Annual Roasters Guild Retreat.) I was lucky to get the best tour of NYC at night, on the back of Darleen's Vespa! The roastery was in the midst of some cool renovations. They just installed a floor area out of old basketball court flooring in a soon to be completed espresso training section. They were also in the midst of building a cupping room with an office loft on top of it out of old farmhouse wooden boards. The 30-pound red Diedrich roaster was humming away while they made me a French press of their Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. All of Gorilla's coffees are 100% Fair Trade & Organic. They've been that way since the start and plan on sticking it to it!

Gorilla Coffee in Park Slope, Brooklyn, NYAs we sipped coffee together on some milk crates on the floor, they shared with me their admiration for the folks who deliver Peace Coffee by bike and how much they want to hire a bike deliverer to cart their beans around town to customers. So if you believe you have the stamina to battle NYC traffic with a bike and trailer, let the folks at Gorilla Coffee know who you are! In the meantime, there plan is do some bike shopping in Minneapolis with the Peace Crew, and have a bike shipped back to them so that maybe they can start delivering by bike themselves. The fact that they'd take on the biking themselves is an example of their overall business strategy: they want to do all that is humanly possible to build a sustainable and fun coffee company. They work with lots of love, dedication and muscle to achieve this. Having hung out, drank the coffee, rode on the vespas, I would recommend nothing else then Gorilla Coffee for your coffee fix if you're living near or passing through Brooklyn.

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2nd Annual PC Grind
The National Sports Center Velodrome will host the 2nd Annual Peace Coffee 2-Day Grind – showcasing team cycling from the Golden Age of Cycling. "Minnesota has a rich tradition of multi-day team cycling. Minneapolis was home to the first continuous six-day bicycle race in the United States in 1896," noted Bob Williams, NSC Velodrome Director. "We are reviving this thrilling sport with the Peace Coffee 2-Day Grind."

Racers on the track at the National Sports Center VelodromeThe NSC Velodrome has hosted world-class track cycling for nearly 20 years. World and Olympic champions have raced at this acclaimed venue, setting multiple state, national and world records. In June, the inaugural MN Fixed Gear Classic drew the largest, most celebrated field in Minnesota cycling history, including 3-time World and 41-time Italian National Champion, Roberto Chiappa. "Six-Day racing has been popular in Europe for years," said Williams. "Europeans adopted the sport from the US. We're bringing it back with the Peace Coffee 2-Day Grind. This is a great family sporting event."

The Peace Coffee 2-Day Grind combines strength, agility and teamwork in an exciting series of races pitting 2-person teams in sprints, endurance races and the popular Madison - named for its birthplace, Madison Square Garden. During Madison races, both members of the team circle the track, one member racing and one member riding slowly – resting at the top of the track. When the first rider tires, the second rider swoops down and is thrown into the race by his teammate.

The Peace Coffee 2-Day Grind begins on Friday, August 29, at 7:00 PM and continues through Saturday evening, August 30. Admission is free to all sessions. Come for the cycling and the coffee! For directions out to the track, visit the Velodrome's map and directions page.

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Around Town
Minnesota State FairVisit us at the Minnesota State Fair, August 21 - Sept 1! This year, you can find Peace Coffee at the Healthy Local Food Exhibit in the Eco Experience Building every day during the Great MN Get-Together. We'll be in good company, sampling delicious bits alongside Organic Valley, the Wedge, and other local, organic companies. While you're there, you'll also be able to visit with other Minnesota organizations and businesses working on sustainable energy, alternative transportation and other green-minded issues.

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

During the next month in conjunction with the Eat Local Challenge, August 15th through September 15th, Peace Coffee is launching a Drink Local Challenge. During the challenge, Peace Coffee will donate 10% of sales from the Sow the Seeds Blend to the Sow the Seeds Fund, specifically to assist the Local Longer Program, bringing a local harvest to our table throughout the fall!

We've created a new version of the Sow the Seeds Blend. This blend includes the most local bean we have available to us from the Dominican Republic, as well as Peruvian and Guatemalan beans. It's a cup full of character. From its up-front acidity, long aftertaste to its creamy body. Catch hints of floral, lemon, and sweet spice in the aroma and much chocolate in the taste, but most important notice the sweetness of the Peru as it comes through start to finish, it is in wonderful form.

It's true. Coffee Arabica is a tropical plant and will not grow in our Zone Four conditions. But there are many great reasons to choose a local roaster. First off, our roast-to-order scheduling keeps us on our toes but it means you get fresher coffee. Further, all of our staff lives in the community, supporting our local economy. Finally, we sponsor many local events every month, making this a vibrant place to live. For more on this topic, check out this great post on the Wedge Coop's Eat Local Challenge Blog: Why Coffee is Local.

Also don't forget about the local breweries. Surly, Flat Earth, and Summit are all fantastic breweries right here in our backyard. And we can't fail to mention the atmospheric Town Hall Brewery that still has Cara Java Brown, a limited-time beer brewed using a special, one-time-only Peace Coffee Blend developed by roaster extraordinaire Derek.

With all these local ways to stay caffeinated, hydrated, and inebriated, the Eat Local and Drink Local Challenges inspire us all to think about the many ways we can live more locally.


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Peace Pride
Our Peace Coffee Pride winner this month is Janet E. Johnson of Minneapolis. Here's what she had to say:

"Hi Peace Coffee! I'm not a coffee drinker, but I know who you are. You are the winners who support the people, the supporters who lift other communities, our sisters & brothers in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, Columbia, Peru, Sumatra and there are more, they are right next door. Peace Coffee is often the door for people to understand Fair Trade. Now I see it in bananas, pottery, clothing and more. Go out people and let your dollars speak your values. (Don't forget to support the artists too!). Enjoy summer."

She also sent us this haiku:

I don't drink the stuff
But I sell it all the time
Support the community

Congratulations, Janet! Because your entry was chosen this month, you win a pound of your favorite Peace Coffee. This is the last Peace Pride contest. This month, we start a new contest --
Why We Ride. Check it out!

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Why We Ride Contest
Beginning with this issue of Peace Spokes, we're starting a new monthly contest called Why We Ride. What makes you ride? Can you express it in words and/or pictures? To show you what we're looking for, Natalie Ryno, Peace Coffee Shipping and Receiving Coordinator, shares her photos and offers this quote about her experience at RAGBRAI:

"Riding RAGBRAI, Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, for the first time was amazing. How cool is it that they close the entire highway down for bikers? I can't wait to do it again next year. Everyone should come join me for it!"

Natalie Riding RAGBRAI Sign at the start of RAGBRAI Tom and Natalie on RAGBRAI

So now it's your turn. Tell us why you ride. Send us a photo, too! Everyone who responds will be entered into a drawing to win a Peace Coffee Bike Team Jersey like the one Natalie is wearing in the picture! Email us your reason(s) and photo(s) to

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Quote of the Month
"Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living."

~ Miriam Beard

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Peace Spokes is a monthly publication from the crew at Peace Coffee.
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