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Kuzma Khokhlov
Kuzma Khokhlov

Where To Buy Thanksgiving Coffee

We are an artisan family-owned-and-operated coffee roaster on the Northern coast of California. We partner with Fair Trade coffee cooperatives and family farms on five continents. Through coffee, we support justice for our growers, our communities, and the environment. As an activist business, our work is to engage every coffee drinker on big social, economic and environmental issues.

where to buy thanksgiving coffee

Despite the many differences between the Fortune 500 coffee retailer and the family-owned artisan roaster based in Mendocino, Calif., the two companies are committed to working with growers to source coffee beans as sustainably and ethically as possible.

Seattle-based Starbucks is a FORTUNE 500 company (2011 revenues: $11.7 billion) that sells its brews all over the world, pursues global dominance (its latest outpost is Helsinki) and owns an iconic brand. The company bought about 428 million pounds of coffee last year.

Thanksgiving Coffee is a family-owned, artisan roaster that sells most of its coffee to grocers, specialty stores and restaurants near its home base in Mendocino County, CA, where the other popular crop is often smoked. Thanksgiving bought about 500,000 pounds of coffee last year.

First, they want to win the trust of their customers and, of course, their own employees. One way to do that is by showing them that their coffee is ethically sourced. Starbucks talks about responsibly grown coffee, citing its Coffee and Farmer Equity (CAFE) Practices, a set of social, economic, environmental and quality guidelines. Thanksgiving's slogan is "Not Just a Cup, but a Just Cup." Reputation matters, whether you are big or small.

But, even if reputation didn't matter (and to most customers, it probably doesn't), Starbucks and Thanksgiving need to devote their attention to the social and environmental practices of their growers, upon whom they depend for a reliable supply of high-quality coffee. If their coffee farmers run into trouble -- because of low coffee prices, poor environmental practices or climate change -- Starbucks and Thanksgiving will struggle, too.

The other day, I wrote about the Fair Trade movement and its efforts to improve the lives of coffee growers. (See my blog post, A Schism over Fair Trade.) About 9 percent of the coffee sold by Starbucks in the U.S. is certified as Fair Trade; all of Thanksgiving's coffee is Fair Trade certified. Today, I'll dig a bit deeper into the ways Starbucks and Thanksgiving work with growers.

By way of background, coffee, as you may know, is the most widely traded agricultural commodity in the tropics, providing a livelihood to tends of millions of farmers. (Brazil and Vietnam are the largest exporters, followed by Colombia, Ethiopia and Indonesia.) Historically, the relationship between buyers and growers has been transactional; prices paid to farmers sometimes didn't cover their costs, forcing them into cycles of debt and poverty. Cheap, low-grade coffee known as robusta is still traded as global commodity, with wildly fluctuating prices, sometimes less than $1 a pound.

At Starbucks, I spoke by phone with Ben Packard, vice president of global responsibility, and Kelly Goodejohn, director of ethical sourcing. (Disclosure: Ben is a friend, and we're both members of the board of Net Impact.) They told me that Starbucks has worked with Conservation International, a global nonprofit, since 1998 on coffee buying; together they launched CAFE practices in 2004. Their relationship isn't arms-length; Starbucks pays CI for its advice and consulting services. Starbucks has pledged to have 100 percent of its coffee "ethically sourced," either by meeting the CAFE practices standards, or by being certified as Fair Trade or Organic, by 2015. In 2011, about 86 percent was certified.

Farmers that perform well enough to enter the program are rewarded with higher prices, technical support and, in some cases, loans. Starbucks paid an average price of $1.56 per pound for our premium green (unroasted) coffee in 2010.

At Thanksgiving Coffee, I spoke over Skype with Ben Corey-Moran, the president and director of coffee, about the company's work helping farmers in Rwanda adapt to climate change. Climate change is a worry for growers: A peer-reviewed study reports that higher temperatures are already allowing a pest known as coffee borer beetle to spread further in East Africa, threatening livelihoods, and a coffee journal, Fresh Cup, devoted a recent issue to climate change threats and adaptation.

Ben told me that Thanksgiving is very focused on its growers. "We envision ourselves as the bridge that connects coffee lovers with farmers on the other side of the world," he said. "How can every transaction, how can every pound of coffee we buy and sell be sourced in a way that restores the environment and benefits the farmers?"

Thanksgiving Coffee was invited to work in Rwanda in 2004 by USAID, which was helping rebuild the Rwandan coffee industry. The company, to its surprise, found fruit that was literally dying on the vine. "I'd never seen a crop fail before it had actually been harvested," Ben said. Farmers told him that summers were drier than they had been. "We've always know that weather affects our business. Climate change makes that weather more extreme," he said.

Together they financed the construction of seedling nurseries, hired agronomists and brought information technology to the Dukunde Kawa cooperative, which has about 1,800 farmer-owners. Tree planting does more than cool the coffee as it ripens; it helps protect topsoil, buffers the impact of rain and allows the soil to retain more moisture during dry periods. "We can't change the weather, but maybe we can change the way the farms withstand the weather," Ben said. For an investment of less than $40,000, the farmers and their allies planted about 300,000 trees.

Neither Starbucks' CAFE practices nor Thanksgiving's Rwanda work (which just won an award from the specialty coffee association) are charity projects. But they're not business as usual either. They require a long-term horizon and an expansive view of the firm's responsibility. They aim to turn what had been transactions between the buyers and growers of coffee into durable, win-win relationships.

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These Fall coffee drinks and cocktails are delicious served with dessert or on their own. Whether you whip up a delicious Thanksgiving cocktail or go all out with an Autumn-inspired coffee bar for your guests, our favorite warm and cozy after-dinner coffee drinks are the perfect way to ring in the holiday season!

Add your spices and maple syrup to a big, beautiful coffee mug. Stir in the coffee/espresso until everything is well combined and there are no more clumps. Now, heat and froth your milk and add it to the mug. Top it off with a sprinkle of spice for a lovely finishing touch.

What if your favorite Thanksgiving coffee cocktail was dessert, too? Our Irish Cream Affogato is the perfect after dinner dessert and beverage for the adults who want to get a little buzz on after dinner! (P.S. Your guests will need a spoon for this one.)

Heat and froth your milk and make your hot coffee or espresso. Add the apple cider syrup and coffee to your coffee mug and stir until combined. Top with the frothed milk and serve with a drizzle of caramel sauce, if desired.

Add the coffee, orange juice, and bourbon to your cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice and shake to combine. Strain and pour into a stemless wine glass. Toast your marshmallow with one of these handy little kitchen torches (or over the open fire), add a cocktail pick, put it on top of the drink and serve.

Heat and froth your milk. Place your spices, cocoa powder, and sugar in a Fall-themed coffee mug. Add the hot coffee or espresso and stir until completely combined. Top with your frothed milk and a dash of cinnamon. Serve.

Welcome to our collection of Thanksgiving coffee mugs by ZBUP! Our collection of mugs are perfect for the holiday season and for expressing gratitude. Whether you're looking for a special gift or want to add a touch of Thanksgiving spirit to your morning routine, we have a wide range of designs to choose from.Our collection of Thanksgiving coffee mugs includes mugs that are perfect for expressing gratitude and for motivating yourself and loved ones during the holiday season. Our motivational mugs feature designs and messages that are sure to inspire and motivate you throughout the day. These mugs are perfect for those who want to start their day with a dose of inspiration and motivation.In addition to our motivational mugs, we also have a collection of motivational coffee mugs which are perfect for a morning pick-me-up. These mugs feature uplifting designs and messages that will start your day on the right foot. Whether you're looking for a mug to help you through a tough time or one that reminds you of your accomplishments, our collection of motivational coffee mugs has something for everyone.We also have a collection of inspirational coffee mugs perfect for anyone looking to start their day with a positive mindset. These mugs feature designs and messages that are sure to inspire and uplift you. Whether you're looking for a mug that reminds you of your goals and dreams or one that encourages you to take on the day.All of our mugs are made from high-quality materials, ensuring that they are sturdy, dishwasher-safe, and microwave-safe, making them perfect for everyday use. So whether you're looking for a special gift for a loved one or want to add a touch of Thanksgiving spirit to your morning routine, our collection of Thanksgiving coffee mugs has something for everyone. Browse our collection today and find the perfect mug for you. 041b061a72


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