Tag Archives: Coffee History

S2 Episode 11: Coffee Production

S2 E11 Cover

Before coffee is brewed and ground, before it is roasted, sold, or traded, and before it’s processed and picked, it must first be grown. Coffee, like most commodities, is a plant. At one time it was wild, and now it’s cultivated. In previous episodes I’ve covered the history of coffee, showing that individual people were key to coffee’s spread through Africa to Europe and eventually to the Americas. The historical narrative of coffee from the time of African legends to the time of Starbucks may seem like a relatively straight trajectory, but it’s actually not. There were people ahead of their time who saw coffee for being more than simply a way to get a caffeine buzz. There were people who jumped history and made a name for themselves in coffee long before Dunkin Donuts graced the city streets of the East.

In this episode I talk about coffee production. The episode is divided in two sections. In the first section, I use the story of early specialty coffee pioneers as a lens through which to view the importance of production. In the second section I discuss coffee production, and how a bean gets from the soil to your cup.

Sources for this episode include The World Atlas of Coffee and this Smithsonian Magazine article. Thanks for listening!


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S2 Episode 9: The Chemex – A Synthesis of Logic and Madness

IMG_0516Peter Schlumbohm was a larger-than-life inventor, marketer, and idea-man. At over 6 ft tall and around 300lbs, he was a hard man to miss. He loved food, women, and coming up with new ways of streamlining and solving old problems.

Schlumbohm filed a patent for a brand-new coffee brewing device on April 13, 1939. By 1944 it was featured in the Museum of Modern Art as one of the best designed products. It’s simple, yet elegant – utilitarian, yet beautiful. It’s called The Chemex, and as its inventor put it, “with the Chemex, even a moron can make good coffee.”

The Coffee Guy

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S2 Episode 6: Loyalty Programs and Coffee

Loyalty Programs and Coffee

The Pareto principle states that for many events, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. For a business, this means that 80% of sales comes from 20% of customers. One of the keys to having a successful company, then, is to find those 20% of customers and keep them coming back for more.

For a coffee company to be successful, they need to establish loyalty with their customers. In this episode of The Boise Coffee Podcast I discuss the history of loyalty programs over the past two centuries, and why I think it’s important that we support our local coffee shop with our wallet.

The reality is that small, local coffee shops rely more heavily on regular customers than you could ever know. Don’t waste your loyalty on chains that want to squeeze money out of you to stay on top.

The Coffee Guy