Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cafe Rebellion aka The Human Bean Company

The founder and owner of Cafe Rebellion, Kerry Appel, is retiring and will no longer be roasting coffee in Colorado for the Coop. I always enjoyed calling Kerry and hearing his cheerful greeting The Human Bean company! It was often difficult for him to hear our order over the clatter of the roaster.

Kerry went to the Chiapas region of Mexico in 1994 to document how the Fair Trade Agreement between the U.S. and Mexico was affecting the indigenous people of Chiapas. After making several documentaries, he was asked to leave by both the U.S. and the Mexican government. So he decided to return as a businessman and establish direct trade between the citizens of Chiapas and the U.S.

According to Kerry, his coffee was grown in cooperatives under the Organic and Fair Trade standards in Mexico, but was not certified in the U.S. as that would have entailed paying the certification fees in both countries. He also sold us the honey bees made from coffee flowers--Zapatista honey.

Please appreciate all the labor that it takes to make a cup of coffee. -Click here for photos on Kerry's website taken in 2006 that detail the backbreaking work of harvesting, cleaning and transporting coffee beans.-

Ron, the bulk guy, plans to replace Cafe Rebellion with other high quality, fair trade coffees.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Seltzer makers

Soda Stream selzter makers are finally here--sold in Aisle 2A, top, next to the Vintage seltzer--which we hope we will sell less and less of. The Soda Stream chargers are superior to the Isi siphons, which we are no longer selling.

-Click here for more info-

The company is a little difficult to do business with--they don't return calls and lose orders. Right now we have lots of seltzer makers but we are waiting on a back order of chargers. We expect the chargers will arrive soon. Used chargers should be returned to desk on the second floor of the Coop and you will receive a deposit refund of $9.99.

Green Clothing

Interesting article in the Christian Science Monitor on how to determine which is the most ecological clothing. Surprise: organic may not be the winner. Of course, as the article points out, the greenest of all is the shirt you leave hanging in the store. Next: used clothing, then clothing made of recycled fabric, then maybe organic. But what about those toxic dyes on your t-shirt? And where was that organic cotton grown? The latest craze--bamboo--grows faster than weeds but it takes a lot of processing to become silky fabric.

There will be an followup article in the CSM on the environmental costs of keeping your clothes clean.

-Read all about it-

Friday, September 19, 2008

Oktoberfest and Pumpkin seasonals

...more than you can shake a stick at. It seems everyone is making an Oktoberfest and a pumpkin beer these days and we seem to have most of them. Dogfish Head, Weyerbacher, Wolaver’s, Blue Point, Stoudt’s, Smuttynose, Brooklyn, and Southern Tier are some of the local varieties. I’m trying to squeeze in a couple German Oktoberfests like the Ayinger and Hacker Pschorr. Let me know which ones you like and which are seasonal dogs.


Christmas comes early in beer aisle

Or that’s how I felt when I took home a PSFC Variety pack. If you haven’t noticed these little gems on the bottom of the display rack, they are cases made up special for us at a shockingly low price ($19.99). Little secret, any of the beers inside would retail for at least $30/case and my case had two Chimays which go for around $95/case. You have to buy the whole case and it's a little mystery as to what's inside but, well worth the adventure.

Schmanyway, so far we’re the only store that has ‘em and I plan on keeping them stocked as a regular item.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

These beers don't come around everyday

Aecht Schlenkerla Ur-bock (1678)
The uber-smoke beer is Schlenkerla. This German brewery uses local, aged beechwood logs to smoke the malts that give this rauchbier it’s distinctive, um, smoky flavor. The Ur-bock is full-bodied with a good malty sweetness and yes, lots of smoke from start to finish. 6.5 ABV Great with smoked meats, dark bread, and I liked it with grilled lamb too. If you like Lagavulin you might like this. I’m thinking a good smoked gouda might do it proud.

Leipziger Gose (1738)
This beer survived the Iron Curtain! This un-filtered, un-pasteurized brew from the Saxon town of Goslar is a lemony, refreshing wheat beer (60% wheat, 40% barley) with salt and coriander added to the mix – off course in delicate quantities. 4.5 ABV. This beer has a nice acidity that makes it a good match for I think, milder, creamier cheeses. Yuri and I will get back to you on that… Some (Germans) think it’s a good match for potato soup, schnitzel, cucumber salad, and fried calamari. Anyway, it’s refreshing.

Regenboog Vuuve
Vuuve is a Belgian Wit (60% barley and 40% wheat malt) with coriander and fresh organic orange peel. This wit is classically fruity, spicy, and citrusy on the palate with a long lingering finish of the aforementioned coriander and orange peel. 5.0 ABV The brewer, Johan Brandt is an artisan and doesn't use any chemical products; every brew may be slightly different. (Info courtesy B. United)

Regenboog Wostyntje
This mustard ale from Johan Brandt released first in 1999 is a tribute to the then 130-year-old Wostyn mustard factory. 7.0 ABV A strange brew, this has a little sweetness and then a bit of astringent mustard at the end. I have to try this beer again but it brings to mind memories of good medium-bodied cheese, pate, mustard, and cornichon; don’t quote me on that.

Cheers, Anngel