Harvest in the Square is Upon Us!

Getting ready for Harvest in the Square!

Getting ready for Harvest in the Square!

 

It’s that time again! Irving Farm is once again an excited part of Harvest in the Square, one of New York City’s most esteemed food events, and an integral part of supporting our Union Square community.

This will be the eighteenth year of this memorable evening that celebrates the finest chefs and foods surrounding Union Square Park, the neighborhood where Irving Farm began. Welcome in New York’s most beautiful season, fall, with this evening of exquisite food and drink pairings, music, and celebration.

Harvest in the Square
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Enter from the South Plaza at 14th Street
Union Square Park, Manhattan

Nice is Nice, and so are Coffee People

The French Riviera beckons. Photo by Dan Streetman.

The French Riviera beckons. Photo by Dan Streetman.

Our Coffee Director, Dan Streetman, recently traveled to Nice, France, for the 2013 Specialty Coffee Association of Europe conference. While he wasn’t tanning on the beach, he took the time to meet with some coffee colleagues and producers and to judge some rigorous competitions. Here is his recap of the week.

The South of France might be one of the most universally exciting travel destinations in the world, especially in June. When I was invited to attend this year’s Specialty Coffee Association of Europe show, I jumped at the chance. Spending a week in the Riviera was just too enticing, even if it meant a week of trade show activities.

Arriving in France, the plane took a sweep off the coast of the city. Nothing but crystal azure water and terracotta roofs extending from the beach to the foothills in the distance. Even a view of the distant Alps made for quite the introduction. After dropping bags at the hotel and a quick breakfast, I headed over to the convention center for judges’ calibration for the World Latte Art and World Coffee in Good Spirits competitions. We do not conduct national competitions for these events in the United States, so I was especially interested to participate.

The next few days would prove to be a whirlwind of activity, just like every other trade show. I was observing SCAE education classes, judging Coffee in Good Spirits as a sensory judge and walking the show floor in between. I was a little skeptical about Coffee in Good Spirits—a contest involving signature drinks combining coffee and alcohol—because as a coffee purist I have never been a fan of people putting things in my coffee. However the drinks in the competition made me a believer, as all of them were far superior to anything I had tried before in the way of coffee cocktails. This was especially true of the drinks in the final round, with some especially delicious drinks.  France took home the crown with their competitor making a drink that included coffee, Cognac, and a cigar whose smoke was trapped under a cloche and released just before drinking.

Working with SCAE Education folks was equally rewarding, as being so heavily involved with the Barista Guild and SCAA espresso curriculum it is always nice to share war stories with another group that faces similar challenges.

The best surprise of the show however was running into a few of our friends from producing countries. Andres Salaverria, whose family owns the farms of Guadalupe and El Molino in El Salvador was in attendance to facilitate some cuppings at the show with their European clients Nordic Approach. It is always great to see Andres, and especially so when it is unexpected. He informed me that the farms are doing very well, and they have almost defeated the leaf rust scare, reducing the infection from 40% of the farms to 1%. This news came as quite a surprise to me, as there has not been any news like this out of Central America in regards to the leaf rust epidemic.  Andres explained however that careful pruning and a lot of management had been the secret to their success—along with favorable weather.

I was also lucky enough to see Omar Rodriguez, who is President of the Capucas Co-op. He was excited to hear that we had just received our coffees, and that we were looking forward to releasing them (our fresh crop of Capucas is now available). Omar also had surprisingly good reports in regards to leaf rust in regards to our other producers from Capucas: Jose Francisco and Jose Luis who own Los Plantanares and Los Lirios.

My third encounter was with Tsion Taye who was my guide in Ethiopia this year.  We chatted business briefly, and talked about the complexities of Ethiopia. I also got some advice on how to get some very exciting coffees for next year.

Judge Streetman rigging another contest...

Judge Streetman rigging another contest…

After the event, I was energized by the interactions of the show. Volunteering at these events always drives home that coffee is about people—particularly those people who  you may not even expect to run into but who make all the difference. Working and collaborating with these people is my favorite part of working in coffee.

 

Irving Farm at United States Barista Championship!

Liz Dean and Teresa Von Fuchs keep Tamara Vigil upright and upside-down at the Northeast Regional Barista Competition.

Liz Dean and Teresa Von Fuchs keep Tamara Vigil upright and upside-down at the Northeast Regional Barista Competition.

 

If you know the Irving Farm family well, you may be lucky enough to know Tamara Vigil, our Director of Education. In between stints enlightening our own baristas with coffee science, and the wonderful cafes and restaurants that use our coffee, Tamara’s spent the last several months training for barista competitions in the Northeast, and now this week, at the national level.

Tam’s training time took a little longer than usual if you add in the consideration that the original Northeast Regional Barista Competition was derailed in November by Hurricane Sandy—but after making the regional finals in February, Tamara’s excited to go on to compete in Boston, Mass. this week against the best of the best in the industry in the United States Barista Championship. (And knowing a good thing when they see it, Tamara was also recently profiled by the Barista Guild of America in their Five Questions interview series.)

At the Northeast, Tamara competed using our Willer Rivera coffee from Colombia, a beautiful one-bag microlot sourced by our coffee director Dan Streetman. Señor Rivera’s coffee is long gone, but Tamara’s using another incredible Single Origin Colombian coffee, this one from coffee producer Orlando Osa, instead. Orlando’s farm is only a day’s walk from Willer Rivera’s, and we’re so excited to watch Tamara compete with this special coffee we’re even sending our roastmaster, Clyde Miller, along with two other team members, to help cheer and support Tam in person.

Tune in to all the weekend’s festivities live-streaming at usbaristachampionship.org Tam will be competing on Thursday, and we’ll announce the time on our Twitter feed. Go team Irving Farm, and go team Tam!

SCAA Special Recognition Awarded to Dan Streetman!

Irving Farm Coffee Green Buyer and SCAA Special Recognition Award Winner Dan Streetman
Congratulations to Dan Streetman, winner of a 2013 SCAA Special Recognition award!

We at Irving Farm Coffee Roasters have recognized Dan Streetman, our Green Coffee Buyer and Vice President of Wholesale, as special for some time. His career path and dedication to specialty coffee speak for themselves: for ten years, Dan has applied himself to constantly bettering his understanding of coffee and, in turn, helping coffee get better alongside it. As a seasoned coffee professional, Dan’s had a chance to work for such venerated companies as Cuvee Coffee Roasting Company, in his home state of Texas, and historic Dallis Bros. Coffee here in New York City.

All the while, Dan’s been seen on the scene: whether it’s his worth with the Barista Guild of America, helping baristas further themselves along with the craft of coffee preparation, or his countless hours volunteering as a Certified Head Judge at barista competitions nationwide since 2008. As a member of Team Irving Farm, we’ve been honored to have his guidance and expertise in the continued improvement of our green coffee sourcing operations, among countless other contributions he makes to our wholesale and day to day operations.

We’re thrilled, then, to see him receive this unique Special Recognition Award from the Specialty Coffee Association of America for 2013, to be formally awarded at the SCAA annual conference in Boston, this coming April. From the SCAA website: “These leaders have made contributions to the industry, resulting in the development and promotion of coffee excellence and sustainability.”

We couldn’t agree more. Congratulations, Dan!

New Year, New Website!

With the New Year, we have a new IrvingFarm.com!

To welcome you to our new website, we’re offering 20% off all coffees now through January 17, 2013*!

GET 20% OFF >

We think the new site is beautiful and simpler than ever to use. We hope you will, too. Here are a few changes we’re especially excited to share:

  • New ways to explore our coffees, including Coffee Subscriptions
  • Faster, easier checkout
  • More ways to manage your account

If you have an online account with us:

We’ll be emailing you shortly with details about the transfer to our new website. If you’re eager to get started, though, all you’ll need to do to access your new account is reset your password using the email address associated with your account. You can also checkout quickly as a guest.

We’d love to know what you think of the new website!

Leave a comment below, talk to us on social media or email us: web@irvingfarm.com.

Happy New Year!

from all of us at Irving Farm Coffee Roasters

Harvest in the Square: This Week

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Irving Farm Coffee Roasters is delighted to be a part of the 2012 Harvest in the Square fest in NYC, now in its 17th season.

We’ve been part of this wonderful event since our 1996, our first year in coffee, back when we were a wee coffee company serving out of 52 Irving Place, just minutes from Union Square. Our table that first year was shared with our friends at New York roaster Dallis Bros. Coffee, but since then we’ve had our own space each year at this event that is so important to Union Square Park.

For those who don’t know, Harvest in the Square is key each year to raising funds for infrastructure and beautification of Union Square Park. Last year’s event raised $326,000 in funds to make this this vital meeting and gathering space in the city even more beautiful and comfortable for all. We’re honored to be a continuing part of this Union Square Partnership event, and to continue our connection to the neighborhood where we truly began, and where we pass through each day on our way to our headquarters and 71 Irving Place Cafe.

Please join us at this delicious celebration of the neighborhood.

2012 Harvest in the Square

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Enter from the South Plaza at 14th Street

Union Square Park, Manhattan

Harvest in the Square Homepage

What’s on the Menu?

Good morning to everyone at the inaugural BioCities event, How Food Systems Shape Cities: Ecological and Economic Perspectives!

The panel discussions at this event focus on issues affecting only more of us each day, as people across the world push further into urban environments. More than half of the human population now live in cities.

We’re happy to be on today’s menu put together by our friends at Whole Foods MarketNeuman’s!

Help Support the Rainforest Foundation

Stop by either Canvas™ location this Saturday afternoon and enjoy a free cup of Irving Farm’s Rainforest Foundation Project Blend , as well as special discounts on Canvas™ ceramics, all in support of The Rainforest Foundation!

For each bag of coffee purchased, Irving Farm will donate $1 to the Rainforest Foundation. This enables 9000 square feet of Rainforest to be defended, which equals 60 trees in the rainforest to be protected.

Canvas SOHO: 199 Lafayette, 12-3pm &
Canvas Chelsea: 123 West 17th street, 2-4pm

Happy Earth Day!

David of Irving Farm backstage
 

Trudie & David of Irving Farm
 

Bill Clinton being a rock star!
 

Each guest took home a bag!
 

Happy Earth Day!

Earlier this month, Irving Farm launched a special-edition charity coffee offering at the 2012 Benefit Concert for The Rainforest Foundation700 guests including Bill Clinton, Elton John, Meryl Streep, Bryn Terfel, Rita Wilson and others joined founders Trudie Styler and Sting to raise funds and celebrate the ongoing work of the foundation. You can see pictures from this event at our blog.

But the work and the celebration didn’t end at the concert. As Earth Day approaches, we want everyone to join in. For each bag of this coffee sold, we’re giving a dollar to The Rainforest Foundation. Each dollar enables the foundation to protect 60 trees and 9000 square feet of forestland. Please read more about this project here and consider joining us in our efforts.

Starting on Earth Day (this Sunday, April 22nd!) our cafes, 71 Irving Place and 56 Seventh Avenue, will be brewing only the Rainforest Foundation Project coffee blend for one whole week. So stop by for a cup!

Please also support the cafes and markets that are partnering with us in our Rainforest Foundation Project:

If you are around on/after Earth Day, definitely stop by one of our partners to grab a cup and buy a bag to champion this cause!

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