Perspective Immemorial

Smalltown, USA. I graduated high school in a small town in Southwest Michigan. It was rural compared to my upbringing outside of Chicago, but it had charm. I would often walk out to the Lakeshore where we had a beautiful red lighthouse, and I remember feeling like I was on the edge of the world….

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Wanderlust by the numbers

Wanderlust Someday when I write the story of my life, I think I’ll call this chapter “The Wanderlust Years“.  Compared to the first 28 years , these past few have included more miles traveled than the rest combined. And I can prove it! It may not surprise many of you that, like any good nerd,…

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When Mice Live in Trees

When Mice Live in Trees (My first attempt at a Thurber-esque fable) In a remote corner of the Black Forest, not long ago, a family of field mice was discussing the finer issues of the days’ newspaper headlines, when the youngest, Jonathan, came into the room. “What’s all the racket about, Pa?” he asked, having heard…

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Understanding the Basics of Coffee Roasts

The process of roasting coffee is a fundamental step in the chain of events from farm to cup. It’s part science, and part art, and like any craft, it takes a lot of practice to perfect. Different roasters, and different machines, can produce wildly different flavors despite only really having control over 3 variables: time,…

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The Contrarian Epidemic

Facebook is an excellent social engine that enables us to interact with each other on both individual and societal scales. The funny thing about that though, is that the communication happens within the controlled hierarchy of facebook — likes, pokes, comments, status updates, etc. And I’ve noticed over the past few weeks, as everyone’s posts get…

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An Abridged Master’s Thesis

Collaborative International Expansion of Smallholder Coffee Farms: A Business Model for Partnerships in Consuming Markets   INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND In a word, the goal of this thesis is disintermediation, or in a bigger sense, the empowerment that comes to small businesses by removing intermediaries that are unnecessary to them.   Coffee commodity markets are notoriously…

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Why is Cold Brew different than Iced Coffee?

Summer’s coming to a close, and you’ve got one last burning question before picking up the Pumpkin Spice Lattes of Fall. Why is there a difference between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee? Well, first, the similarities: Both are served cold Both are caffeinated Both are now available everywhere decent coffee is sold But they don’t…

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A Heavy Dose of Brewology: RESULTS

The thesis selection results are in. And the winner is… Fortunately, you all agreed with my gut instinct here, so it’s official, I’m writing about the equity plan behind door #2! And as a little teaser, here’s the working title and abstract I submitted to Illy:   “International Expansion of Professional Smallholder Coffee Farms: A Dynamic…

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Harvesting the Value of Processing

Harvesting the Value of Processing: A case for product differentiation based on coffee processing methods.   The craft world of coffee in the United States is booming, at least for my generation of millennials. “Trendy” only begins to describe it, as fellow millennials form Meetup groups around the idea and swap stories about their local…

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Farming Up

Farming Up: A study of the merits and conditions for a laboratory coffee farm  I. INTRODUCTION The economics of commodity coffee have a special personality. It is one of the most traded commodities in the world, but it’s almost exclusively produced in developing countries, and consumed in developed ones. This is predominantly due to climatic…

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