AS THEFLIES


20 Years of Irving Farm

Please join us on Tuesday, April 19, 2016—our 20th anniversary!—at all of our cafes for a 52-cent cup of drip coffee and a look at how far we've come!

Twenty short years ago, college friends Stephen Leven and David Elwell took a leap of faith in opening a neighborhood cafe on Irving Place in Gramercy Park. The 52 Irving Place (which you now know as 71) cafe became a community centerpoint, and as their popularity grew, so did their coffee dreams.

 

Soon the duo had tracked down a historic farmhouse in upstate Dutchess County, New York, in the Coleman Station district that was once the preeminent supplier of milk from the Hudson Valley to New York City. The two began roasting in the farm's carriage house, and suddenly twenty years had gone by in a New York minute. 

To celebrate our twenty-year anniversary on Tuesday, April 19, 2016, we're offering a cup of today's Irving Farm coffee—arguably even better and more delicious than that we brewed up two decades ago—at the throwback price of 52 cents per cup.  

Today, Irving Farm has grown into one of New York's most beloved hometown roasters with six (and soon to be seven) cafés, a bustling wholesale business, a state-of-the-art SCAA Certified Training & Education Loft, a brand new Roastery & Tasting Room upstate, and a green coffee buying program that focuses on direct relationships with farmers, sustainable practices and a philosophy of quality over quantity.

Please join us on Tuesday, April 19, 2016our 20th anniversary!—at all of our cafes for a 52-cent cup of drip coffee and a look at how far we've come!

 

Higher Learning with Irving Farm & the SCAA

It's been almost a year since we opened our new education & training space in Manhattan, affectionately known as The Loft. Last autumn, we proudly became the first Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Certified Lab in New York City and began offering a range of SCAA certification courses that are among the most advanced in the nation. Our next workshop is the Barista Pathway Level 2 Workshop on March 25 & 26, and below you'll find a list of all our currently scheduled SCAA classes for 2016. Take a moment to learn more about SCAA curriculum and how it has an important impact on the life of anyone looking to build a career in the coffee industry.


Certificate Basics

The SCAA Certificate programs are divided into Pathways: Foundations of CoffeeBarista, Roaster, Coffee Taster and Coffee Buyer. There are also Stewardship Programs like Gold Cup Technician and SCAA Lead Instructor.


What makes SCAA workshops different from other Irving Farm classes and training opportunities?

SCAA coursework teaches industry best practices without bias to any coffee company, equipment manufacturer, or personal preference. The courses are geared toward setting the industry standard and applying different techniques within the standard. SCAA coursework lays the foundation for any company-specific training.

Irving Farm offers intensive training for our retail staff and wholesale partners, as well as a range of classes that are open to the public. These classes, like most coffee classes you’ll find, give specific information and standards tailored to our coffees, equipment and policies. What we teach in these classes is adapted from the SCAA best practices to meet our specific needs.



What does an SCAA certificate do for you?


SCAA Educational Pathway programs are internationally recognized and respected as the premier source of industry knowledge, and the foundation of any great coffee professional's craft. Many companies state that they seek out and show hiring preference to professionals who are Pathway graduates. If you’re serious about a career in coffee, SCAA Pathways can prepare you for success!

Hot Tips
Did you know that Certified Baristas:

- Make $4,620 more annually according to the SCAA Compensation Report, and they're more likely to be salaried rather than paid hourly

- Receive more tips (and are less likely to rely on tips for compensation)

- Are more likely to receive paid time off—and get more of it!

- Are more likely to receive benefits like health insurance and access to professional development & events

- Are more likely to be managers or supervisors

 

     

    Why does it cost so much?

    The classes are definitely an investment—one that will pay for itself in less than 1 year of compensation increase—so even if we can all agree that the classes are a good value, they still cost quite a bit upfront.

    Consider this—if you took the entire Foundations + Barista Level 1 Pathway at SCAA Expo, the cost would be $1830 for non-members (or $1035 for members), not including the $195 fee for your Expo badge.

    We are offering the same group of classes at a significant discount: $1050 for non-members and $950 for members. We also provide breakfast and lunch each day for our students. And... it's a good excuse to immerse yourself in the rich coffee culture of NYC (not to mention all that other cultural stuff the city has to offer).

    - Class size is limited to 6 students per instruction

    - Each class has dedicated hands-on time with the instructors

    - Students use a variety of equipment in an independent setting

    - Students receive individual feedback based on their skill level

    - Students receive access to class materials and handouts

     

     

    I’ve already taken some classes for this bundle? Can I still attend?

    Yes! Just email education@irvingfarm.com and tell us which classes you need to take. We’ll get back to you with an adjusted registration fee based on the number of classes you want to attend.

    Who created the classes?

    The class content for all the Pathways has been developed by Subject Matter Experts over many years. Each Pathway is managed by a committee of dedicated volunteers who are leaders in their field. These SMEs work for all different types of member companies all over the United States and across the globe. Their shared experience spans many lifetimes in the coffee industry, and their knowledge base is vast. Classes are developed over decades and kept up-to-date by the Pathways committees.



    Who teaches these classes?

    All classes are taught by SCAA Lead Instructors under the guidance of an SCAA Specialized Instructor. At Irving Farm we have two SCAA Specialized Instructors and three SCAA Lead Instructors on staff.

    Dan Streetman, SCAA Specialized Instructor and Irving Farm VP of Green Buying
    Dan Streetman is the Vice President and Green Coffee Buyer of Irving Farm Coffee Roasters. He is a certified barista, roaster, cupper and coffee educator. Dan sits on the SCAA Barista Pathways Committee, Coffee Tasters' Pathways Committee and WCE Advisory Board. Dan's favorite part of working in coffee is facilitating learning. For fun, he likes to taste things.

    Sarah Leslie, SCAA Specialized Instructor and Irving Farm Wholesale Educator
    Sarah has nearly a decade of coffee experience. She holds the SCAA Specialized Instructor and Lead Examiner credential. She is a Level 1 and Level 2 Certificate Barista and a Gold Cup Technician. In addition to leading SCAA classes at Irving Farm and events around the country, Sarah leads Irving Farm’s wholesale and public education program. She serves as Vice Chair of the Barista Pathway Committee and is a member of the BGA Executive Council.

    Teresa von Fuchs, SCAA Lead Instructor and Irving Farm Director of Wholesale
    Teresa started as a barista back in 1994 and has over 20 years experience in the food and beverage industry. Since 2008, she has been nose deep in Specialty Coffee—working with the SCAA and the BGA on curriculum development and their growing certification program. She's judged many Barista Competitions and worked with some of the best cafes and restaurants in NYC in helping them make coffee as beautiful as the rest of their food and beverage programs. She's BGA Level 1 and 2 Certified, a Certified World Barista and Brewers Cup Judge, and an SCAA Lead Instructor. What gets her out of bed and to work everyday is her confidence that there's always something new for her to learn and share with others.  

    Bill McAllister, SCAA Lead Instructor and Irving Farm Director of Service
    Bill McAllister started moonlighting as a barista in 2010 while going to school for electrical engineering. He is BGA Level 1 Certified and an SCAA Lead Instructor. At Irving Farm he runs the Service Department and also regularly leads cuppings and wholesale training sessions. Much of his free time is spent playing with microbes, working as an assistant fabricator at a metal shop, and riding his bike. He has a dog named Cheddar.


    To learn more about all of our class offerings, simply visit our Eventbrite page where you'll find dates, descriptions and more. Also be sure to follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook! We'll see you in class.

    In Conversation: The Coffeewoman

    Teresa von Fuchs, our Director of Wholesale and all-around awesome coffee ambassador, takes the reins of the Irving Farm blog to talk about her experience at #thecoffeewoman, a first of its kind conversation about women, sexism, harassment, and gender roles in our growing industry. Watch the video below, read what Teresa has to say, and continue the conversation yourselves!

     I had the honor of participating in the first ever #thecoffeewoman event in Kansas City as part of the US Coffee Championship qualifying event this February. The idea, as event creator Laila Ghambari Willbur explained it to Sprudge, was to “unify women. To encourage them to find and strengthen their voices.” No small order.

    I sat on the Professional panel with a strong group of women from different professional and personal backgrounds. (You can watch that panel and the following one about competitions in the video linked above.) We talked about everything from taking risks professionally to dealing with sexual harassment.

    Overall the evening was thoughtful and fostered very serious and meaningful conversations between the folks that came, as well as after the actual event in dialogues with those who couldn’t make it.

    Some takeaways I’d love to share:

    Most importantly, so many of the issues that we discussed on stage and later that evening are not gender-specific—though many affect women disproportionately more than men.

    We are an industry of young, passionate people and young, scrappy companies. There’s not always a clear path for professional growth — organizations with recognizable corporate ladders are few and far between. When it’s unclear how to go from one role to another role, it can leave dissatisfaction among team members. As leaders in our respective organizations, it’s important to try and clearly define the qualifications and skill sets required for each role within our companies. As a small industry full of mostly small organizations, hiring practices can often feel cliquey to someone on the “outside.” I don’t have a clear way to make all hiring and promotions fair in all situations, but there’s ways leadership can work to make processes more transparent in order to not neglect the quiet, hard workers on our teams--who are most often women--who might not always put themselves in front of every opportunity.

    On the topic of sexual harassment, I heard stories from men as well as women about being made to feel uncomfortable in workplace situations and at coffee-related events. There is no excuse for harassment in any setting, period. What struck me was how often the people who felt uncomfortable didn’t even feel confident in asserting that they were harassed. Again, as an industry full of young, passionate people, how can we support each other to make sure harassment isn’t going on around us unnoticed? I kept thinking about a sexual assault PSA campaign I caught on TV sometime last year, similar to this one here. It highlighted the role bystanders can play in preventing assault, and reminded us all that the responsibility is shared by the community.

    thecoffeewoman coffeewoman irving farm coffee roasters new york city

    Our community gatherings and many of our workplaces can be very casual environments, and while most of us don’t want that to change, we can and should be more aware of those around us, and how they might be feeling. We can also make sure our companies have clear and specific harassment policies and structures in place for reporting incidents. And as leaders, we can make sure we enforce those standards equally so that men and women both feel comfortable reporting things that make them uncomfortable. I think as an industry, we pride ourselves on being inclusive and caring. So let’s make sure we’re putting that into effect everywhere we can.

    So many of the conversations I had after our panel got me thinking that we don’t have very many avenues for general professional development as an industry. Sure we have conferences, competitions, community meet-ups, and educational opportunities around coffee, but I left the #coffeewoman event realizing we could use more opportunities for conversations about what it means to work together, and to grow in our companies and as leaders.

    Huge ups to Laila for taking this conversation out of the usual media—so often these debates are had on Twitter and Facebook, she pointed out—and bringing them to an in-person, face to face space for conversation and growth, both for our industry and for the women and men within it.

    Stay tuned to @thecoffeewoman on Twitter for news about more events coming soon.

    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!