AS THEFLIES


Banka, China

In celebration of both the Lunar New Year and coffee itself, today we're most excited about a truly unique coffee offering from the Banka Village Cooperative in Yunnan, China. It's not often you see a Chinese coffee on cafe shelves, and it's a delight for us to be among the first to share a coffee like this with our customers and friends in New York City, the Hudson Valley, and beyond.

China has a long, awe-inspiring history of tea production, but within the last ten years they’ve been growing more coffee, especially in Pu’er, an area in the Yunnan province in southern China very close to the borders with Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam.



We’ve had the pleasure of working with Esther Shaw, an intrepid coffee expert, who has been forming relationships with local farmers through SCAA connections and recently introduced us to the Banka Village Cooperative, which represents 40 homes of the Aini minority group. Over the past couple of years the crop quality has been steadily increasing and we’re now thrilled to offer Irving Farm’s very first coffee from this emerging market!

You can expect a clean, sweet and consistent cup with a mellow elegance and a refined herbal character. It’s a crowd-pleaser as well as a conversation starter.

Celebrate wth us over a cup today, or any day while we've still got this special offering on our shelves.

The Crow Has Landed at Fulton Center


This January, Irving Farm Coffee Roasters opened its doors to the thirsty commuting crowds at New York's Fulton Center, and we joined them as their eyes drifted upwards to the hopeful post-solstice sun streaming in from the city's most unique atrium.



Our sixth cafe, Fulton Center continues the Irving Farm tradition of a focus on quality coffee preparation, sustainable sourcing, and of course, delicious treats.



Join us on the street level of Fulton Center, where we're among the first of several exciting vendors—Pop Karma, Shake Shack, and even Moleskine. We can't wait to eat popcorn while drinking coffee and writing in our miniature notebooks, and then chase it all down with a burger. Luckily we offer "indoor sidewalk seating"—there's even plenty of room for strollers.



Inside the cafe, you'll find our ever-rotating selection of seasonal single-origin coffees, like our favorite Colombia Willer Rivera, exclusive to the Fulton Center Cafe. They're joined by classic Irving Farm blends, and you can enjoy them as espresso or prepared on one of surely the world's largest batch coffee brewers.



Whether you're coming or going, uptown or downtown, to or fro, surely your path will take you through or past Fulton Center someday soon. Come in and see us, won't you?

Irving Farm Holiday Gift Guide & Take $10 off $100

9 Things We Learned in Nicaragua

One of the most rewarding things about being a coffee roasting company is visiting the farms we work directly with to purchase our coffees. What's even more fun? Sending city folk, like our cafe managers and head office staff, down to these farms to have their minds blown. Here are nine things about visiting coffee farms we learned in Nicaragua, the native home of our La Bendicion, La Peña, and La Pradera coffees, earlier this year.  

irving farm nicaragua origin trip la pradera bendicion platanares

1. Your ride into the fields is a little more exciting than your usual commute into the city. "The hills of La Peña are not only one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen, but they're surely not for the faint of heart. In many spots the hills are around 75 degrees steep, made even more treacherous by the constant winds and misty clouds that rush through the surrounding mountains. If you slip there's not much stopping you from a 100+ foot tumble to the bottom." — Josh Littlefield, Director of Education.

irving farm nicaragua origin trip la pradera bendicion platanares   

2. Picking coffee is a LOT harder than it looks. "Josh and Amarys insisted that we pick coffee, so out came the baskets. We only had about 1 hour to pick before we needed to head over to the wet mill to watch the processing. The trees were quite difficult to pick as you had to wander in search of ripe cherry, and even then you may only find a handful of beans to pick from one tree. We were only able to pick about 30 lbs between the 3 of us." — Dan Streetman, Green Coffee Buyer.

irving farm nicaragua origin trip la pradera bendicion platanares

 

3. And you have to only pick the good ones. "Being able to pick our own coffee was life changing and actually pretty difficult! It was tough trying to find the perfectly ripe and purple (like jamaica iced tea) colored cherries. We picked for an hour but didn't get too many baskets filled, maybe like 1 and 1/2 (if that)." — Amarys Serrano, Manager, Irving Farm Grand Central Terminal  

irving farm nicaragua origin trip la pradera bendicion platanares

 

4. De-Pulping machines are a lot like Taylor Swift. "We visited the brand new wet mill that Luis Alberto started building in November of last year. He showed us the machinery that de-pulps the coffee. It was all pretty advanced, although the machines were just 'shaking it off'". —Amarys  

irving farm nicaragua origin trip la pradera bendicion platanares

 

5. The professionals work way faster than us city folk. And they have to. "We watched as all the coffee picked by the workers today, about 1600 lbs, was sent through the wet mill. Afterwards we raced the 2 hours back to the dry mill so that we could spread out our coffee on the raised beds before it would ferment." — Dan

irving farm nicaragua origin trip la pradera bendicion platanares

 

6. Coffee processing can be a Zen-like experience. "We chose to have our coffee as honey processed so we took the coffee to the raised beds and spread them out with a rake and our hands. It was so sticky, just like honey! We spread them out as much as we could and I went to work with Dan trying to take out the leftover pulp in our green coffee. It was actually kind of relaxing and I was determined to save all the beans stuck to the pulp!" —Amarys  

irving farm nicaragua origin trip la pradera bendicion platanares

 

7. Nevermind.  

irving farm nicaragua origin trip la pradera bendicion platanares

 

8. Being actually there really makes you appreciate something.

"Today has shown me the beginning stage of coffee productions and it has made me appreciate it so much more. These men are on a MOUNTAIN SIDE picking coffee for 8 hrs. They risk their lives all to provide us with the delicious product that many many people might  take advantage of. I will be a hawk on my staff for how much coffee they waste from now on!" — Amarys

irving farm nicaragua origin trip la pradera bendicion platanares

 

9. At the end of the day, every part of the coffee chain matters. "La Peña was the coffee I competed with for Big Eastern, so just the mention of having the chance to see this plot in person was already surreal. When we tasted the ripe yellow catuai off the branches (which are actually more orange when fully ripe) they were noticeably sweeter than the varietals we had tried previously. What was also really interesting for me is that coffee thrived in this climate. The hills are constantly cool, moist and shadowed by cloud cover. In this pretty harsh environment the trees were full, healthy and lush. So cool!" —Josh

The Great Pumpkin (Seed Milk) Has Landed!

Juana Organics Pumpkin Seed Milk

There's no reason to keep it a secret: Fall is our favorite season here at Irving Farm. It's the time of year when lattes taste richer, the tang of hot local cider warms your tongue, and the leaves just look that much brighter with a side of spicy chai. It's natural, then, that it's during our favorite season that we're proudly launching our new Organic Pumpkin Seed Milk, made locally by Jnana Organics in Mt. Kisco, New York. This milk alternative is packed with antioxidants, vitamin E, zinc, iron, copper and manganese. It's lactose-free, cholesterol-free and an excellent plant-based protein. It's also more sustainable than almond milk, and it's completely delicious. We sat down with Jnana's Patricia Trongone to talk superfoods, emotional eating, and how the right food can balance your chakras. 

Fresh Pumpkin Seed Milk

IFCR: Can you give us some personal details about your journey and how you arrived at this moment in your life, producing organic seed milks in Mt. Kisco? Where did you grow up? When did you first discover yoga and healthy eating?

Patricia Trongone: My journey into yoga and nutrition started as a young teenager. I studied yoga and meditation long before it was popular. I was later drawn to the Buddhist teachings and deepened my yoga practice at the same time, both in NYC and Japan. All lead me to self-publish The Chakra Mantra Cookbook (2000) which is a vegan, spiritually-inspired, color-coded book consisting of meditations, prayers, mantras and recipes that support the Chakra energy centers in the body. Healthy food has always been a passion growing up in New Jersey. I further enhanced my learning at both Integrative Nutrition and the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC. After moving to Westchester and wanting to create a healthy lifestyle for my family, I put my background to work by launching Jnana Organics—Nourishment for Body, Mind and Spirit. Jnana is a Sanskrit word that is pronounced Yah-nah and means "self-knowledge". How did your relationship with Irving Farm begin? My business partner Gil Kernan, suggested we add organic coffees to our menu to address the many requests from our customers. We spent many months testing and researching brands and roasters. We concluded that Irving Farm best aligns with our fundamental principles on sustainability and on utilizing the highest integrity ingredients. Plus, we love the team!

Organic pumpkin seed milk

Pumpkin seed milk is not included in your product list on the Jnana website. Is this something that you're producing exclusively for Irving Farm, or is it a new venture? Our small factory is an ongoing food laboratory where we work on recipes and develop interesting tastes. Around the time we began talking to IFCR, we discovered that the health benefits and taste of the pumpkin seed milk were compelling. Pumpkin seeds also stack up better than the nut milks in terms of sustainability. Today, it is made exclusively for IFCR, but we plan to roll it out in other venues. How do you see coffee fitting into your mission of creating healthy, affirming, mindful, and stimulating food options? Although at Jnana Organics we are offering Vegan, Organic, Non-GMO, Sustainable Green Juice Detox Programs, our customers regulate the pace of their cleanse. We don’t suggest that you go “cold turkey,” because giving up too much all at once may cause unwanted symptoms, such as fatigue or headaches etc. (Most of our customers are coffee drinkers.) We recommend [they drink] cold-brewed Organic Farm Brew Irving Farm coffee, which we soak overnight and add to our vegan milks to make it more alkaline. It's a big hit at the local Farmers' Markets. Lots of customers will have their coffee first, followed by a green juice. We also have experimented with ground coffee in our chocolate truffles. Made with superfoods and the highest quality ingredients, these truffles are healthy enough for breakfast! Everything in moderation, rotating your intake with the seasons and relying on your intuition are key principles. We generally eat to satisfy a corresponding emotional need and/or have trigger foods when under stress. Knowing intuitively what your body needs at any given moment helps to create balance. 

Irving Farm Pumpkin Seed Latte

Most coffee lovers are new to pumpkin seed milk. What do they need to know? Pumpkin seeds are a healthy, superfood non-dairy alternative with a smooth and creamy texture, that doesn’t curdle or separate in a coffee beverage. Pumpkin seeds are packed with antioxidants and provide a great source of all the different types of Vitamin E as well as Zinc, Iron, copper, manganese, and it’s a good plant-based protein. It is lactose-free, cholesterol-free and supplies the body with a good source of fatty acids needed to burn fat. It's easier to digest and more sustainable than nuts. The health benefits are truly endless. Thank you so much, Patricia! Try Jnana's Organic Pumpkin Seed Milk as a dairy alternative in our cafes and tell us what you think via Twitter and Facebook!