Category Archives: General

Misc. stuff

Over 2000 Roasts on the Solar Roaster

After filling out my production records today I realized that I have completed over 2000 roasts on my little efficient Solar Roaster. When I bought the roaster in 2012 I didn’t really think I would be using it this long. Sure, I have had a couple of problems with electric coils but that was mostly because of a poorly designed ventilation system….and operator error. Just another reason to celebrate this year, 10 years roasting in Eastern Ontario and 5 years of roasting with my efficient electric Solar Roaster.

I know this sounds like an ad for the company that makes the Solar Roaster but you have to give credit where credit is due.

Once again it is farmers’ market season and we are attending 3 different markets this year. It has not been particularly pleasant weather wise but people depend on me to provide fresh roasted coffee and fresh brewed cuppas. I will brave the weather to do my duty to the vendors and community and continue educating the public at large about the healthy benefits of fresh locally roasted coffee as well as the delicious flavour.

One thing I am looking forward to is trying out my new Barbecue roaster as soon as it gets warm and dry enough to spend an afternoon outside. I think it should provide an interesting smoky flavour. I’ll let you know how my trials work out.

Not my roaster but you get the idea.

 

Benefits of Coffee Recognized by US Government

Coffee and Chicken 1

Well if the United States Government says it’s true it must be, right? After all the research done into the benefits of moderate coffee consumption, the US has decided that it must be true. It seems that even pregnant women can indulge in a little caffeine now rather than abstain all the way through their pregnancy.

Benefits of Coffee

Spring has sprung and we are entering into the “Market Season”. The first official event of the spring is the Small Business Spring Showcase this coming weekend at the South Stormont Town Hall. I’ll be there with a hot cup of coffee ready for anyone who wants to be healthy.

On the coffee front, I have had to de-list the Ethiopian Harrar because of a lack of supply. I will not be carrying the Jamaica Blue Mountain as well this year because the price has just about doubled because of a poor crop. It always puzzles me that when there is a poor crop the price goes up. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? I guess that’s why I’m a coffee roaster and not an economist.

Growing Coffee Trees

Growing Coffee Trees

 

Post Halloween Doldrums

Coffee Spoon Message

Halloween is over, Thanksgiving is way past and now we are waiting for the pre-Christmas markets to begin so we can get all excited about selling coffee again. There seems to be bad news everywhere with a bad crop in Brazil giving Tim Hortons a reason to raise the price of their coffee like substance. There is even talk of computers or robots taking over Baristas’ place in society because the majority of coffee drinkers just don’t care about the quality of their liquid caffeine beverage. This video is not just about coffee but if you watch it around the 3:00 mark you will see what I mean.

OK, that’s depressing, I think I am suffering from SAD and need to take more Vitamin D. Maybe I should be pushing more Hot Chocolate. That seems to be the growth area right now. Tea also seems to be a hot commodity. I carry both of them but just haven’t been marketing them. It’s only 10 days to the next trade/craft show where I can sell a lot of cups of coffee and simply talk to a lot of people about the great qualities of fresh roasted, fresh ground and fresh brewed coffee. That always makes me happy.

Christmas Coffee Elf

Christmas Coffee Elf

New Market in Manotick for Coffey’s Coffee

Manotik 19Jul14 Market 2

 

It’s always gratifying when someone recognizes your business as a benefit for the community. A couple of weeks ago I got an email from the manager of the Manotick Farmer’s Market, Jack Williams, asking me if I wanted to be a vendor. I know Jack from other events that I have attended as a vendor and obviously he recognizes how great my coffee is and that it would add value to his market.

I drove up to see the market on one weekend. It is in a great scenic spot in Manotick and the people walking through the market were really positive and appreciative to have the market there. The next week I showed up as a vendor. I wasn’t the only new vendor either. The market had grown from 6 vendors to 15. The third week I went to the market there were still 15 vendors and the number of people shopping were at least double. …as were my sales. I even sold a number of espressos and cappuccinos. It appears that there is a much more sophisticated coffee consuming public up there near Ottawa.

There were a lot more tourists there visiting the Watson’s Mill and Dickinson’s House Museum who wandered over to enjoy a great cup of coffee.

Watson's Mill 1

 

Dickinson's House Museum

Dickinson’s House Museum

 

It is over an hour drive to Manotick but how can I not go where I am so appreciated. It feels good to be wanted.

Morning Ritual

 

The Morning Ritual

Summer is Peaking around the Corner

Market Sign

 

At long last we are getting some warmer weather. Last week it hit 29°C with a humidex of 35 then the next night we had frost warnings. My wife is chomping at the bit wanting to get her garden planted but we still have to shuttle the seedlings in and out of the house when the temperature drops too low at night. I did however take a leap of faith and put my snow blower away.

Now that we have a promise of summer, the planning for the summer events and markets has started. Once again Coffey’s Coffee will be at the Long Sault Market. Other local events that are being considered to set up my little portable shop at are Food Lovers’ Field Days at Upper Canada Village (Aug 16 & 17) and the Stormont County Fair (Aug 29 to Sept 1). I have been invited to other markets and events but I haven’t committed to them, neither verbally nor conceptually. I may change my mind as the summer progresses but I’m still trying to find time for more golf.

On the coffee stock side of things, I have delisted the Australia Skybury. I still think it is a great coffee but it’s just not selling that well. Most of my Australian coffee buyers seem to have either moved out of the area or switch to the Galapagos coffee. You can only keep green beans in stock for so long before they start losing quality.

Always remember, if you are going to drink, drink good stuff.

Coffee Prescription

Closing Day for the Long Sault Market 2011

That wraps up another season of the Long Sault Farmer’s Market. It was another beautiful day in Long Sault and as you can see from the pictures there still was a lot of fresh produce available as well as some great Thai food, pastries and, of course, fantastic coffee. There even was a bake sale to help raise money for the local minor hockey league. What a great way to end the season. I am going to look forward to next year.

Toi's Thai Food

On the coffee roasting side of things I am in the process of rationalising the number of coffees that I stock. I think I am going to delist a couple of organic coffees (Colombian and Papua New Guinea) and probably the Ethiopian Sidamo as well. There is no sense in keeping the unpopular coffees on my shelf if no one is ordering them. I am also going to relegate the decaf espresso to the compost bin. I only sold about 2 kg of that stuff over 3 years and now it’s just stale. So, before you order anything check out my price list to see if the coffee you want is still for sale. I’ll apologize in advance if your favourite is gone but if you would have ordered more often……

Coffey's Coffee Customers

I do have a new coffee that I have just roasted. It is Dominican Republic Ocoa Carmen. I haven’t packaged any for sale yet but I did make a couple of pots at the Market and it is very well received. I’m told by my supplier that it will be good as a dark roast but I haven’t tried it yet. I think it should be a good addition to my list of coffees.

Minor Hockey Bake Sale

Mancession or Women's Lib Realized?

I have just read a few recent articles which refer to the recession last year as a “man-cession“.

Statistics Canada reports that over the previous year a total of 249,000 men lost their jobs, particularly in the manufacturing sector. This compares to a decline of 28,000 for women. Even the rise of dual-income families has meant an erosion of the male’s economic power and control.

I am not too proud to admit that I am one of the men who are being supported by his wife’s income. When we relocated to Ingleside, it was because of a great job offer that my wife received and it coincided (although a little premature) with our plans on returning to the SD&G area when we retired. The idea was to relocate and then I would look for suitable employment. Well, I’ve been fishing for a job but no one was biting so I had to create my own business. It seems that my chosen profession, that of a Quality Assurance Manager, has been identified as a female only applicant jobs. More and more women are reaching the senior levels of management in the food industry and women like to hire women. Women managers don’t know how to handle men as employees. At least that is in my experience…. or maybe the women managers didn’t know how to handle me in particular. I guess I expected too much from them.

So, the point of all of the articles that I have read today is that women are increasingly becoming the main income earner in family units. This was one of the main goals of the women’s lib movement in the 1970’s. Now that the gender equality pendulum is swinging in the females favour, all you hear about is how stressful it is for them. One article points out that a double income family these days have less disposable income than a single income family did in the 1970’s. I guess my point is that the result of the women’s lib movement is not only more employment opportunity but more stress and less disposable income. Thank God women still need man’s sperm to reproduce otherwise they would totally eradicate the male half of the human species.

OK, now I’m worried. I forgot about cloning……..

To all those who want to change natures plan, be careful of what you wish for because you just may get it.

Complaint City

I just opened up the Island Ink-jet Store and started to brew some coffee. A lady was sitting in a van (which is in much need of a new muffler) outside the store. When she sees me turn the open sign on she jumps out of the store and comes in and demands a hot cup of water. To start with my coffee machine wasn’t hot yet, and she was a little rude, so I told her it would take 15 or twenty minutes for the water to be ready. To be honest I couldn’t easily get hot water out of my coffee brewer but I do have a kettle in the back and if she had been a little pleasanter I would have heated some water for her, but I didn’t. There are just too damn many people in this one horse town who feel entitled to free stuff from vendors without even considering the cost.

It was a bad way to start the day off and now I’m in a very negative mood. I have come to observe that generally the people of the SD&G area complain constantly about not having access to better quality goods and service but are unwilling to pay for them. I have seen so many small businesses start up offering what they think the general population want, only to close after a year because of lack of sales. The Chamber of Commerce touts the organizations goal of increasing business for the city, but in reality the old boys like things the way they are. If new successful businesses move in to the area then they might loose status and possibly income. Team Cornwall should coin the phrase “Unless you can sell it cheap, cheap, cheap, you will fail. Come to Cornwall to sell your crap.”

OK, I feel better now. Nothing like a good rant to start the day off.

Saturday News And Views

Here we are again. It’s another Saturday afternoon at the store in Downtown Cornwall and I’m waiting for 4 oclock to come so I can go home. There was a heavy snowfall this morning and by heavy I mean wet not necessarily a large quantity. The sun is shining now and I hope that all that slushy stuff will be gone by the time I get home.

BIG NEWS….. I seem to have started another carreer, that of a journalist. I have now had one whole story published. If you check out the story at the other end of this link you will see what I mean. It helps that I own a small interest in the digital newspaper and there was no real journalist available.

Not such big news……..

I would like to mention that, once again, I did not win the big lottery last night. If I had you wouldn’t be reading anything from me for quite a while. I would be on my way to the happiest place in Canada, the OLG office on Bloor St in Toronto. Ahh, now that is where dreams are really made.

Oh, a quick observation from the front of the store, a couple of senior ladies just walked by and one of them had her tongue sticking out while she walked. I don’t mean she stuck her tongue out but she was walking with her tongue out. It seemed a little strange…and it wasn’t a pretty tongue….kind of old and wrinkled….it was a little freaky! After she walked by the wind suddenly picked up and my spinning sign suddenly went into overdrive. It is bouncing down the sidewalk after her. I better go catch it.

OK, I’m back. There are a lot of weird things in Cornwall but then maybe it’s just me. I have been told I am weird, among other adjectives. Some of the stories that I’ve written have caused some people to ask what I have been smoking to which I reply the only smoke I inhale is from my coffee roaster. I have sold some coffee just on that statement alone.

Now it’s raining outside and my sign is starting to dance again. I’ll finish off this post now and go chase it down.

Hello world!

Hello there everyone! This is Reg Coffey writing his first blog. I have just come back from a “Breakfast Connections” meeting here in Cornwall and the topic of discussion was blogging using WordPress. Alyssa Blais was the presenter and she did such a good job that I was inspired.

Being an investor in the Cornwall Free News, I should be familiar with the program and process since the paper is probably one of the biggest users of WordPress in the area. However my participation in the business has been more of an investor than journalist or administrator, but my goal here is to change that.

My main topic of discussion is going to be, of coarse, coffee. I will try to stay away from shamless self-promotion but my topics will cover the area of coffee culture, that is drinking coffee, coffee beans, coffee growing, coffee culture, the politics of coffee, coffee promotion, the statistics of coffee drinking, etc. This is my chosen profession and my passion. I may have started this career later in life but I have jumped in with both feet.

I will also include some of my weekly observations on what is happening in the Cornwall DBIA. I am fortunate to have an outlet on Pitt St, just two stores north of Riley’s Bakery. There is always something interesting happening on the street even if it is just another great soup from Rileys.

So, here it is, my first blog. I will be adding to it on (hopefully) a weekly basis, that is if Jamie lets me.