STORIES


How To Brew: French Press

Things you need:
French Press
Digital scale
 (We recommend this for best results)
Gooseneck Kettle
Stirring Instrument
Burr Grinder (Also for best results)
Filtered water
Timer
Cups to serve
Pot to keep your coffee warm

Recipe:
60 Grams of coffee or 12 level tablespoons
850 grams of water or 30 fl oz
4-5 minutes

1. Preheat your French Press

2. Look for a medium grind, the size of sand



3. 60 grams (12 level tablespoons) of coffee


4. Fill press to the top with filtered water.

5. After filling the press with water, stir to ensure that all coffee is fully saturated.



6. Carefully skim the floating grounds off the top for a cleaner cup.



7. Let steep for approximately 4-5 minutes and then depress the plunger slowly, being sure to minimize the agitation of the grounds.

8. Serve directly into cup before decanting the coffee in another vessel for freshness of leftovers

9. Enjoy!

How To Brew: Espresso & Cappuccino

 

Things you need:

1. Traditional Espresso Machine
2. Digital scale
3. Burr Grinder with precise adjustments designed for espresso
4. Tamper
5. Knock Box/Trash can
6. Digital Timer
7. For Cappuccino: 8 oz cup
8. For Cappuccino: 12 oz milk pitcher
9. For Cappuccino: High quality milk

Espresso Recipe:

17-18 grams of ground coffee
35-40 grams beverage weight/pulled espresso (1.5oz~)
27-30 seconds
200 degree water
9 bars of pressure (machine)

For Cappuccino

~4oz high quality milk of YOUR CHOICE

1. Tare the Portafilter on the scale.

 
2. Make sure you’re using the amount of coffee recommended for your basket size. 
At Irving Farm we use 17-18 grams of ground coffee in the portafilter basket.



3. Using your finger or tapping the portafilter with your palm, create a level surface before tamping.


4. Keep your wrist straight and apply firm even pressure across the coffee bed as you tamp to ensure an even extraction.


5. Rinse the grouphead of your espresso machine, then carefully insert your portafilter into the Grouphead and start your espresso pull immediately.


6. Signs to look for in quality espresso:

a. The streams should drop down at approximately 5 seconds.
b. Both streams should flow evenly.
c. Espresso should be have a deep caramel color that lightens as the extraction nears finish.
d. You should see 35-40 grams of beverage weight in approximately 30 seconds. 

 


7. If you're continuing on to make a Cappuccino, aerate your milk of choice carefully for a few seconds.

Position the steam pitcher so the milk can move in a whirlpool like motion. Hold the position and continue until the milk reaches your ideal temperature. At Irving Farm we steam milk to approximately 145 degrees for cappuccinos.


8. Finish with a beautiful pour. 

Be sure to hold your cup by the handle and keep it tilted at a steep angle. Start off approximately 6 inches away from the surface of the espresso, filling the first halve of the cup and then slowly lowering your pitcher.
For best results when pouring, the tip of the pitcher should nearly touch the surface of the espresso.

Blue Hill + Irving Farm | Coffee Partnership

We are proud to work with both Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns as their exclusive coffee partner. This season they're serving coffee from Nora Pillimue. Her coffee from the Huila region of Colombia is available only at Blue Hill's restaurants and Grain Bar.

Tasting Notes: 
Red Currant/ Sugar Cane/ Clove

Blue Hill at Stone Barns' world class restaurant is located on the grounds of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. In addition to the restaurant, they operate the Grain Bar where center visitors can pick up whole grain baked goods, flip through a copy of Chef Dan Barber's The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food, and have our coffee. 

Our partnership with Blue Hill offers us the unique privilege of sharing our producer's stories with their staff. Mayita, from our coffee team, led a training session to pass along Nora Pillimue's story.

Nora has been a member of the Monserrate cooperative in Colombia since December 2015. She loves working with coffee, and picks and washes all of her farm's coffee with her husband and two children. When Mayita tasted Nora’s coffee during the cooperative’s seasonal competition, its delicacy and elegance paid tribute to the hard work the family puts into it and secured top honors. ⠀

We have been buying Nora’s coffee since 2016. ⠀

Fuyan, China | Partner Spotlight

The Pu’er district in Southern China has long been known for its high quality of tea production. In the last 10 years, the area’s coffee production has grown exponentially. Tea production has only three harvests per year, so introducing coffee into the agricultural equation leads to more stability.

The Fuyan Village Cooperative which produces this coffee represents 40 families of the Lahu minority group. Though there is no long history of coffee production in China, the Fuyan Cooperative pushes the envelope while pursuing excellence in their agriculture. They experiment with varieties and processes, making them true leaders in Chinese coffee growing.

The high altitude and quickly varying temperatures throughout the course of a day results in a slower ripening process for the coffees. Because of the time this takes, the Fuyan coffees are much sweeter than their slower ripened counterparts in other countries.

Irving Farm loves working with producers who pursue improvement and sustainability in their communities. Fuyan hosts medical clinics for the children of their co-op, ensuring access to healthcare and healthcare education. Because water scarcity is an issue in the area, the co-operative also builds water-holding tanks and educates farmers about shade-grown coffee.

We have been buying from Fuyan since 2016

Local Roots | Local Farm Share Pick-Up

Live in New York City and sad about the lack of accessible farm stands? Cry no more, because you can get fresh, hyper-local, seasonal produce and meats in your own neighborhood.

Local Roots offers the option of subscribing to a season's worth of the goods along with information about the farmers you'll be buying from. A home delivery option is also available for the anti-social or over-scheduled.

Hosting a farm share pickup in our cafes offers us one more way to bring our philosophy into practice of committed partnerships with farmers producing the best products.

Local Roots hosts a happy hour every first Tuesday in our Upper East Side cafe. Chef Alejandro creates a recipe utilizing seasonal items available that day for everyone picking up to try and take a recipe card home.

Come to Happy Hour every first Tuesday
1424 3rd Ave

(Irving Farm recipe collaboration for happy hour using Local Roots produce)

Schedule your pickups here:

UES

Irving Farm Coffee Roasters
1424 3rd Ave
Tuesday 5-7pm

Gramercy
Irving Farm Coffee Roasters
71 Irving Place
Wednesday 5-7pm

Greenwich Village
Irving Farm Coffee Roasters
78 W. 3rd St
Wednesday 5:30-7:30pm

 

Natamaya, El Salvador | Partner Spotlight

Committed, long-term partnerships are important to us, and our partnership with Natamaya is a great example of one.

In 2012, Nena Mendez, a 5th generation El Salvadoran coffee producer, walked into our 79th st cafe and noticed a mural from the farm next to her family farm, Finca Talnamica. She invited our green buyer, Dan Streetman, to visit the farm she owns with her husband Hermann, Natamaya, on his next trip to El Salvador.

In addition to the farm, Dan also got to see the Mendez family’s passion; a place in Juayua called Canton Ojo de Agua, where they have worked with the non-profit SQ Foundation to establish a school, living accomodations, soccer fields and a medical clinic.

Natamaya is named for Nena and Hermann’s daughters, Mayita and Natalia. In the 1950s their grandparents, Alfredo and Bessita Ortiz Mancia, purchased Natamaya’s sister farm, Finca Talnamica. Mayita started with Irving Farm as a barista at the shop that Nena originally visited and now is our Strategic Partnership manager and an integral part of our coffee team. All photos in this post are from her archives.

We donate $1 from each bag of Natamaya sold to support the SQ Foundation and their work in Canton Ojo de Agua. Donate here.

 

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Platanares, Honduras | Partner Spotlight

Platanares, named for the plantain trees that shade the coffee plants, is a farm in Copan, Honduras. It is owned by Jose Francisco Villeda Torres--known affectionately as Panchito--who is one of the founding members of Cooperativa Cafetalera Capucas Limitada (COCAFCAL), one of the most tightly organized co-ops in Central America.

Panchito lives on the Platanares farm, which he bought over 25 years ago, with his wife, his 4 daughters, and 3 grandchildren. He has slowly increased the size of his land from .5 manzanas to 3 manzanas (A manzana is roughly 1.7 acres). 

The autonomy of the farm and its journey from being a co-op member to trading directly is a cooperative success story. In 2011, Panchito entered a bag of coffee in the co-op’s competition and won first place. His coffee had improved 1 place per year in the competition until that year.

Since then he has grown to producing up to 30 bags a year and slowly built his micro-mill, improving it incrementally. We have bought his coffee every year since. In 2012, his trees were hit hard by leaf rust, but our green buyer committed to paying him a premium so that he could fight the rust and save his farm. The farm has made a full recovery and the quality is even better than before.

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Los Niños Process Experiments | Nena & Hermann tell the Talnamica story

The Los Niños Experiments from the Talnamica farm are an in-depth examination of the effect processing methods have on the flavor of a coffee. In coffee terminology a "process" describes the handling and removing of the fruit from the coffee bean (seed). Differences in processes affect the resulting flavor profile. In this experiment, we keep all other factors consistent and controlled to highlight the processes. Same variety, same farm, same mill, same-day harvest, five different processes. Our ability to produce these experiments is a testament to a committed partnership between farmer and roaster

Mayita Mendez, from our coffee team, sat down with producers Nena and Hermann (who are also her parents) to chat about the experiments and our partnership. Nena's family, the Ortiz siblings has owned the Talnamica farm for 4 generations.

 

 

When did you first start working with Irving Farm?

Nena- I was walking by Irving Place after a big birthday celebration in 2011. I saw the charming Irving Farm coffee and went inside, saw a photo from El Salvador and recognized the farm. I asked who the coffee buyer was and was put in touch with Dan Streetman. Soon we visited the roastery in Millerton and a couple of months later Dan came to El Salvador and started buying our coffee!


What has been unique or special for you about working with Irving Farm?

Nena- As a New Yorker AND a Salvadoran, what makes it special for me is that our coffees are sold in Irving Farms shops in New York! Irving Farm is part of the exciting coffee scene in this amazing city and it’s such a pleasure to see how much it’s grown.

What’s special about the experiments for me is our participation with teaching material for Irving Farm. We feel honored and very excited to be part of the education of staff and the general public. It is rewarding to know that people are learning about coffee with our beans.

Herman-
Our relationship with Irving Coffee has been unique thanks to Dan Streetman's (Irving Farm's green buyer) commitment to create and foster deep, strong bonds with us coupled with a continuous effort to improve that relationship. Every year he visits and tours the farms, looks at our new projects and how they affect the people of the community and the environment, visits the mills we work with and develop projects to understand quality and improve it, he tastes our best coffees and chooses the ones he wants for Irving's New York metropolitan clientele. We have gone so far as to experiment with the effects of processing on coffee flavor and quality. Our experiments are facilitated by our farm’s availability of abundant fruits ripening at the same time in the same lot. An outstanding testimony to our special relationship is that our daughter works with Irving Farm in NYC! We, as farmers of quality coffee fully feel that we are participants in this work.

 

 

What does it mean to you to be able to do these experiments every year?

Herman- It’s a lot of work and a lot of fun, it takes us from our daily harvesting routines into a special gala day. Guided by our farm manager, Miguel Angel, our best harvesters collect perfectly ripened fruits all at once, enough of them to run five separate mill processing methods.We wash the truck, we use only new immaculate white bags for the fresh coffee cherries. On that day the truck leaves the farm as early possible to arrive first to a mill that has also been cleaned to remove residue of all other coffees. 

As a producer what have you learned about your farm?

Herman- The lesson farming has taught us is that fruit ripening is directly correlated with quality.
With these experiments, I’ve learned that processes have a substantial effect on flavor that, coupled with perfect ripening, create a wider variety of notes, flavors, depth, sweetness and acidity. In the quest for quality, as a farmer I have been educated and enlightened by these results.
I’ve learned a lot about our field team and leadership, their commitment to excellence in producing and obtaining the best coffees. I have learned of the abilities, hard work, dedication, attitude, goodwill, and pride of our collaborators.
I have also been able to assess and compare the impact each type of process may have on the environment.

 

 

What are some of the challenges that you are facing?

Herman- We face great challenges that include price, pests, aging of the plantations, climate change, protection of the environment and the community. However, our work with Irving Farm helps us alleviate some of these challenges and move forward.

The single most important adversity that afflicts coffee growers worldwide is the international price of it. Coffee is being produced at a cost greater than the price. If we want to continue drinking our favorite beverage, the need to value the coffee at better prices is urgent. This affects all other challenges like combating the Roya disease and the Coffee Fruit Borer, renovating plantations so as to yield quality coffee and resist pests and climate change, maintaining shade trees and forests, protecting water sources, generating employment and providing a guarantee to new generations that coffee farming is a good and decent occupation.
The higher prices that Irving Farm pays for our specialty coffee help us balance the horrible prices paid by the international coffee market. There is a desire on our part to try to maximize the quality of the coffee to continue taking advantage of the better prices.

Agriculture is expensive, labor is expensive and our people and land are so dear. Without relationships like the one with Irving Farm we could not afford to do this.

 

 

How do you feel about continuing your parents legacy as a farmer?

Nena- I grew up going to Talnamica, we would spend the weekends there with my father, visiting the homes of the farm residents and workers. My father knew everyone by name, he had Christmas presents every year for everyone. We have people living on the farm that worked with my father and are now elderly and still remember him dearly.
We have a strong emotional attachment to the farm, we are so happy to continue my father's legacy. Hermann and I got married 47 years ago and he became enamoured with coffee and is now a crucial part of running our coffee business.
The volcanic lands of El Salvador yield spectacular coffee and I am proud to participate in that.

 


This year, with the partnership of the Talnamica farm, we are excited to offer 5 different process offerings in 4oz packages. You can buy all 5 for $25, or mix and match individual 4oz packs.  

Washed - Dried Cherry / Milk Chocolate / Plum
Washed Process coffee is depulped, fermented overnight, washed and then dried in raised beds.

Wild Honey - Pineapple / Cream Soda /Pilsner
Wild Honey Processed coffee is depulped, fermented overnight, and then dried in raised beds.

Honey - Granola / Maple / Marzipan
Honey Process coffee is depulped and then dried in raised beds.

Pulp Natural - Honey / Strawberry / Butter
Pulp Natural Process coffee is dried first as the whole cherry, then depulped and then dried a second time in raised beds.

Natural - Blueberry / Dark Chocolate / Coriander
Natural Process coffee is dried on raised beds as a whole cherry before being sent to the dry mill.

 

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