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

Colombia Farm Visits


Irving Farm green coffee buyer Dan Streetman just returned from a whirlwind trip to Colombia to visit farms and taste wonderful coffees. He visited Bogota, Garcon, Monserrate, and La Plata, cupping dozens of coffees a day in search for the right flavors — and relationships — to bring back to our roastery in New York State.


Day 1

Just a brief update on what is going on here in Colombia. So far the trip has been really good… we have a diverse group of folks with three coffee buyers (myself, Kaldi’s and Batdorf & Bronson), one cafe manager from Kaldi’s, two folks from Atlas, and a coffee producer from El Salvador. We’ve been having a healthy range of discussions about the biz.

Monserrate was AMAZING.  We went up to Monserrate early this morning, it is about an hour up from La Plata where we are staying even though it is only 30km. I had forgotten how rough the road is, and it was a little worrisome when we came up to a bulldozer pushing giant boulders into the road.  We waited for a bit, and he cleared it for us.  It is great to see them paving the road however, and was much improved from last year.  We started with a calibration cupping, and then had 2 rounds of actual cupping.  We saw some really nice coffees: the highest I scored was an 88.5 which was very Kenya-like…  Also some very nice classic Colombian profiles with refined acidity, and very sweet.

We also had schoolkids around the whole day while we were cupping, as we were using one of the school classrooms for our cupping lab.  There were also some kids who were enrolled in a coffee education program at their high school who came and cupped with us. The kids were very shy at first, but got super excited and began tasting the coffees with us after the last round was finished.  We ended up chatting a lot with them, and they were asking us all kinds of questions.  Where we were from, did we speak Spanish etc, etc, etc.  Then they all started asking for us to take photos with them.

After the cupping wrapped up we walked the length of the Monserrate village, and gathered a new following of 8-10 year old girls.  They were very amusing, and it helped keep the farm visits light-hearted. Having Emilio Lopez here (farmer from El Salvador) is also especially exciting, as listening to him chat with the farmers, and hearing his thoughts on the coffee production here is very enlightening.  Overall a very rewarding day.

Tomorrow we’re having breakfast at 7:30 at the local bakery Pan Superpan, whose owner today insisted on taking her photo with all of us to put on Facebook. Then we’ll head back up to Monserrate, and we have another 3 rounds of cupping.  I also am excited, as they told me I’ll get to meet Dario Anaya tomorrow, even though we can’t visit his farm, El Jigual. Alto Patico is on another ridge, and apparently very difficult to get to.

Day 2

Back in Bogota tonight, it is really nice to take a hot shower, and relax a little. Yesterday we finished the cupping.  There was an impressive lot of coffees, I scored all of the top 5 very high. We’re buying two lots from the competition, a ~115lb lot from Willer Rivera, which I scored 89.25, and a ~150lb lot from Orlando Osa.  After the cupping we had a meeting with a big group of folks from the village and explained to them how each of our companies was using the coffee and how much we had enjoyed it over the past year. It was really cool to see the community come out and be interested.

Unfortunately it rained most of the day Saturday and it prevented Dario from coming over to Monserrate from Alto Patico. Last year was our first year buying from El Jigual. I loved it’s classic Colombian structure, with flavors of fresh blackberry, wrapped in heavy chocolate body.  It is rich and robust, making it a perfect winter-spring coffee. The good news is Dario has been submitting coffee to our exporter partner here RaCafe, and we should see a sample soon. Our love for El Jigual will hopefully continue into the coming seasons!

Good Things Come…in Crow Packages

By now, you’ve noticed the crow. Fans of our cafes have been witnessing slow changes in recent months. More pourover offerings. More attention to small detail. A slow, gradual infestation of handsome black crows gathering on the landscape. Our newest improvement is secretly one of our proudest: these beautiful, more ecologically produced coffee bags.

We wanted to uprgrade our packaging to be both better for the coffee and better for the earth, and started with our Rainforest Foundation Project Blend, which we sell in compostable, paper-based bags and share profits from each sale with our partners, sustainability advocates The Rainforest Foundation.

For our every day coffee bags, we wanted something similar but which would allow the freshness of each bean to preserve the utmost flavor—and landed on these beautiful, paper-based bags with foil lining. We loved paper for the bags because we wanted the packaging to have a real textural element, as well as being reminiscent of vintage packaging, something handcrafted and special—like hand cut meat in butcher paper, or beautiful flowers wrapped for giving.

The design of the bags is in line with our effort to marry the simplicity of the country, where we keep the heart and soul of our roasting operations in the Hudson Valley, with the clean, direct nature of city living. The crow is our true messenger of both sensibilities: hard and brave, but free and soaring. We’re a little bit in love with him, as well as the wonderful coffees he’s representing.

And to that end, one last note—you’ll notice a few of our coffees changing, not only seasonally, but in attitude. We’ve revamped our Flying Donkey espresso blend and are transitioning to the name Blackstrap: a sleeker, more immediate reference to the sweet-viscous depth we strive for in our favorite espresso blend. You’ll see fresh bags of Flying Donkey and Blackstrap on the shelves in coming months, but by fall you can expect Blackstrap blend to have won your heart—and be something to crow about.

welcome (back) to millerton

Often in life, things come back around. On that note, we couldn’t be happier to announce that the original Irving Farm Coffee House we opened in 2003 in Millerton, New York—the beautiful village where our roasting headquarters is also locatedhas come back under our management.

How did that happen? After running the upstate coffee shop, along with our 71 Irving Place cafe, from Manhattan,  we found the logistics of managing long-distance didn’t serve the needs of the cafe well. It was decided that a local owner could care for it better, while still carrying our coffee and being an extended part of the Irving Farm family, and so we sold. Years later, when the owner wanted to move in a new direction, we offered to buy it back—this time, putting a local in place to manage this wonderful Hudson Valley location for us, and bring it back into the fold. Now we’re proud to truly call it one of our own again, along with the cafes that have joined 71 Irving Place in recent years at 56 7th Avenue and 224 West 79th Street.

If you’ve never been to Millerton, you’ll find a beautiful, quintessentially New York State small town full of all the charms and warmth the Hudson Valley has to offer, including a downtown Main Street you can see end to end of (or you could, if it didn’t wind up the hill). The town already has a rich history in coffee and tea—world-famous artisan tea importers Harney and Sons were founded here, and the area offers everything from cuisine to the arts to fine and eclectic shopping—and, of course, serenity.

We couldn’t have more love for our farmhouse roastery and hometown-away-from-home in Millerton, and hope that if you have the chance to visit beautiful Dutchess County you’ll pay a visit to our old, and now new again, cafe at 44 Main. And if you’re already familiar with it, you’ll find the same wonderful selection of homemade foods and carefully crafted beverages in the Irving Farm Coffee House—but you’ll also find a better espresso machine, a continually improving coffee program, and a fresh coat of paint to go with it.

Won’t you stop by? We’ll get the welcome mat ready for you.

Did you know Millerton is “totes adorbs”?

Link: Did you know Millerton is “totes adorbs”?

We’d say it’s “super swell.” But you know: tomatoes, toma…

Just come see for yourself!

A day in the valley Feel like taking more than your usual bike ride around Prospect Park? Grab your wheels (your bike permit, too) and hop on board Metro-North’s Harlem Line, which winds its way from the city up into the bucolic Harlem Valley in about two hours; from the last station at Wassaic, you hop on the station-adjacent Harlem Valley Rail Trail and pedal up to the totes adorbs village of Millerton, home to classy caffeine pushers Irving Farm (coffee) and Harney & Sons (tea). Both outfits have smart cafes in the village, which means you’ll have enough energy to push through to the northern end of the trail (hvrt.org).

via nypost.com

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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