Recommended Reading: A Conversation On Gender Inequality in the Coffee Industry

Liz Dean, the Director of Retail here at Irving Farm, recently participated in a meaningful conversation about gender inequality and sexism in the coffee industry along with fellow coffee professionals Becky Reeves, Ashley Rodriguez, and Jesse Raub. The full transcript of their discussion can be found here, but some highlights include:

Why fewer women hold leadership & ownership positions than men

"Open applications for every position [would ensure more diversity in leadership roles]. I see so many men be 'promoted' for jobs that have never been advertised." -Ashley

"People select for specific leadership skills. Often, stereotypically masculine leadership skills." -Liz

"It’s easier for men to get the backing, the investors, and the loans to become an owner. I’ve seen my female and male friends try to open business and it seems easier for men to be approached to start a business, when women have to work hard to prove that they can own a business." -Becky

The idea that passion is a privilege

"I just hired an amazing woman who initially turned down a job with us because she had a kid to support and couldn’t leave a stable, salaried job to work an hourly one, even though she REALLY wanted to work for a serious coffee company. Whereas I’ve had like, two young, white dudes give up their lives to move to NYC and work for us. Because they could." -Liz

How men are often taken more seriously than women

"There’s an article [about how] women talking about diversity are taken less seriously because it’s 'expected' that’s what they’ll care about." -Ashley

"My advice isn’t valid until my male coworker is like 'Yup! She’s right.'” -Becky

"Yes, when I was a manager that would happen all the time. Customers would ask me a question, then go to my white male employee and ask him the same one, and THEN be satisfied when he agreed with me." -Liz


Irving Farm's Tips for Brewing Great Coffee at Home

home brew coffee

1. Grind fresh!
As soon as coffee is ground it starts to lose its more delicate, memorable flavors. Ideally, it’s best to grind coffee right before you brew. If not, store your ground coffee in an airtight container to extend its life.

2. Get your water hot!
Many of the delicious components of coffee only dissolve and release at temperatures around 200F. Bring water to a boil, then let it cool about 20 seconds off the boil. We aim to add water to the coffee when it’s around 205F.

3. Contact time
This varies for each brew method. A general rule is the larger the grind, the longer it should be in contact with water, and vice versa for smaller grinds.

4. Coffee to water ratio
Coffee brewing is all about ratios. The ratio that many people find enjoyable is 1 part coffee to 16 parts water.

5. Great tasting water = Great tasting coffee
Around 98% of brewed coffee is actually pure water. Filtered water is ideal.

6. Coffee, like all agricultural products, is seasonal.
Coffee is only harvested once, sometimes twice, per year depending on where it’s grown. Though it can be stored in its raw, dried state for up to a year we find it most delicious when consumed under 9 months.

Joshua Littlefield, former Irving Farm Director of Education, founder of the Great American Coffee Tour 


Learn more about our coffee education program, aimed at seasoned professionals and curious coffee enthusiasts alike!

Gold Cup Technician Program at Irving Farm

Irving Farm is proud to be offering the Gold Cup Technician + Foundations Program on September 8, 9, and 10th at our SCAA Campus in NYC. This program offers lead baristas, retail managers, café owners, wholesale representatives, and service technicians the opportunity to learn both basic and intermediate tasting and brewing methods. The three-day program includes:

- CP151 & CP152 Brewing & Extraction Principles & Application (9/8)

- GE103 Orientation to SCAA Cupping (9/8)

- CP158 Gold Cup Brewing (9/9)

- CP225 Brewing Approaches & Variation (9/9)

- EXM_GP1 Gold Cup Technician Practical Exam (9/10)

Students can expect to learn the basics of cupping, including evaluating the flavor and aroma of different coffees, how to use a refractometer to measure coffee, and how to dial-in a batch brew that's in alignment with SCAA Gold Cup guidelines (and tastes delicious!). We will also be teaching intermediate brewing techniques, such as bypass brewing.

*All students must also finish CP103, CB100, and EXM_GW1 online through the SCAA in order to receive their certificate of completion.

Reserve your spot here!


Harlem's Monkey Cup Celebrates Their 1st Birthday!

In the year since husband-and-wife team Alfredo Tinozo and Laura Leonardi opened the doors of the Monkey Cup, the little café has become a pillar of the Hamilton Heights neighborhood in Harlem. It’s a community gathering spot, a haven for people seeking great coffee, and an unpretentious learning ground for anyone curious about what makes a quality cup. When the shop celebrated its first birthday just a couple of weeks ago, the store was teeming with people stopping by to congratulate the owners. Many brought flowers.“It was so overwhelming seeing that people really care about the café,” Laura said. But she wasn’t surprised. “We’re pretty much a sensation around here. I think if you do something with love, you receive love back."

A photo posted by @themonkeycup on


And it shows. From the handmade chalkboard that customers brought Laura and Alfredo when their original one broke, to the number of passersby who stop to talk to them when they're sitting outside, there’s no doubt that the Monkey Cup is beloved by the community.

Opening their own café wasn’t always the plan for Laura and Alfredo. In fact, it happened almost spontaneously. They moved to Harlem six years ago from Miami when Alfredo, an opera singer, received a scholarship to attend CUNY. The couple loved their new neighborhood, but they were frustrated at the unavailability of a good cup of coffee. Both originally from Venezuela, they grew up on the stuff: “I was drinking coffee since I was five, six years old. Not even early in the morning: at dinner!” Laura laughs. “It’s normal there. So we really know our good coffee from bad coffee.”

Troops of children pass the café on their way to and from school, and for this reason Laura and Alfredo were inspired to brighten up the outside of their storefront. They built a small wooden fence around the tree on the sidewalk in front of the Monkey Cup and planted sunflowers.

A photo posted by @themonkeycup on


Noticing the effort Laura and Alfredo were making to dress up their sliver of the sidewalk, the Audubon Project approached them and asked if they would be open to having a mural of birds painted on their roll-down metal security gate—so that when children passed by early in the morning, before they opened, that’s what they would see. “But we don’t have a gate—so we convinced the whole block to get their gates painted by Audubon,” Laura says.

A photo posted by @themonkeycup on


A photo posted by @themonkeycup on


She and Alfredo have the same priorities that the founders of Irving Farm, Steve and David, had when they opened their first coffee shop twenty years ago: providing quality products and fostering community in the neighborhood. But another big part of their operation is their dedication to demystifying the brewing techniques they use. Kyoto drip cold brew coffee makers are on display in wooden frames, and the rest of their brewing equipment faces outward from behind the counter. Curious customers can watch the barista prepare their drinks and ask questions—which they often do. The customers at the Monkey Cup are highly inquisitive, which Laura and Alfredo love, even if it means learning to have extra patience when the café is busy. “It’s about sharing the knowledge and the love of coffee,” she says.

Cupping at the Irving Farm Loft! 

Now Hiring: Lead Barista

barista irving farm

Read below to see if this person might be you or someone you know, and direct all inquiries and applications to

Lead Barista Job Description

The lead barista is expected to be a leader, role model, and standard-bearer for café employees—not only for their store but for the company at large. This position is intended to be a stepping stone for a career within the coffee industry, especially in education.

In addition to being an exemplary barista, the ideal candidate for this position is someone who is organized, responsible, punctual, self-motivated, and has excellent interpersonal and leadership skills. They should be able to relate to people of all backgrounds and abilities, and have a demonstrable interest and passion for coffee and the coffee industry.



● At least 12 months experience as barista, preferably at a high volume café

● Outstanding customer service skills

● Preference will be given to those with a NYS Food Handler's license; obtaining a license within 30 days of hire will be a requirement of the position


General Responsibilities:

● Report directly to the Store Manager and Director of Education

● Work 3 - 4 shifts in the store per week, with 1 - 2 additional days for professional development, teaching classes, and/or giving 1-on-1 support to baristas at the store

● Work closely with the retail staff to improve coffee quality and knowledge, including observing and reviewing bar-certified staff and documenting feedback to share with managers and the education team

● Help maintain up-to-date logs and tracking of staff training progress

● Assist store managers with scheduling staff for training opportunities, including classes at the lab and individual sessions with staff members who are preparing for tests

● Assist in quality control at the store, including maintaining a log of weekly tasting/dial-in of batch brew, pour-overs, and espresso

● Enforce proper cleaning and preventative maintenance protocol for espresso and brewing equipment

● Be knowledgeable of new coffee offerings and hold tastings for staff of new coffees

● Lead at least one regularly scheduled class or cupping each week

● Perform service duties of cleaning grinders, changing water filters, pump pressure, screens and gaskets, and report any broken or malfunctioning equipment to the service department and the Store Manager

● Assist with teaching classes and assessing barista certifications at the lab, including assisting with SCAA classes and exams


Monthly Preventative Maintenance Duties:

● Changing water filters

● Cleaning grinders

● Changing gaskets & screens

● Checking pump pressure on espresso machine & adjusting if necessary



● Salaried position, also eligible for tips and profit share for any shifts worked

● Opportunities to participate in company health insurance and 401K plans in accordance with company policy

● Paid time off: 5 sick days and 5 personal days each year

● Opportunity to take SCAA classes and earn SCAA barista certification either through our training lab or by attending barista camp, as well as assisting with teaching SCAA classes

● Other professional development opportunities including and not limited to: MANE, SCAA Expo, Barista and/or Brewer’s Cup competition(s), etc.

Now Hiring! Brooklyn Sales Rep

irving farm now hiring
Irving Farm Coffee Roasters is now hiring for the position of Sales Representative, based out of our Education and Training Loft in Lower Manhattan, New York City. We're looking for a knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and like-minded Farmer to join our Sales Team and cover our Brooklyn territory.

Read below to see if this person might be you or someone you know, and direct all inquiries and applications to



Responsibilities include:

-Maintain positive relationships between IFCR and existing wholesale partners

-Identify and engage new wholesale partners Troubleshoot and diagnose partner issues, and facilitate solutions, including coffee preparation and equipment knowledge

-Be a positive and knowledgeable representative of IFCR in the craft food and beverage community


-Team Player. We are a small business and operate like one, just about everyone still answers the phone and does the dishes some days, it's important that you work well with others and are interested in prioritizing the team's success.

-Self Starter. Come with Ideas, Enthusiasm for Great Coffee and Customer Service, and organizational skills.

-Previous coffee experience.

-Professional work experience preferred.

Salary and Position Details:

-As much delicious coffee as you can drink

-Salary dependent on experience

-Commissions after initial 90 day training period

-Access to company Health plan after first 90 days with employer contribution

-Access to company 401k plan with employer matching after 1 year

-Professional Development and educational opportunities throughout the year

-This is a full time position.

Irving Farm is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We strongly encourage applicants of all races, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations to apply; we are committed to a diverse workplace and world.


This position is PAID: salaried, dependent on experience.

    Ask Your Barista: What Are You Drinking This Summer?


    ♥ Find their picks here ♥

    Made With Love: Talking Coffee, Clothes and Community with Jill Lindsey

    Words and Photos by Sophia Pizzo
    jill lindsey, coffee, irving farm, fort greene, boutique, community


    In Jill Lindsey’s eponymous store, her personal touch is immediately evident. From her own clothes adorning the racks, to the furniture she designed herself, everything is made with love and an attention to detail. The store sells apparel, gifts and jewelry, features a café and “secret garden” in the back, and includes a lower floor dedicated to wellness treatments.

    A fashion designer by trade, Jill opened her Fort Greene store in 2014 as a way to sell her clothes, as well as to enrich the community.

    “I’ve lived in this neighborhood for many years, and there weren’t a lot of options for stores or coffee," says Jill. “I thought it would be the best option to open my own store so I could sell whatever I wanted, make whatever I wanted, and I could promote my friends and other independent designers.”


    jill lindsey, coffee, irving farm, fort greene, boutique, community


    Jill aspires to find a happy medium between high fashion and what her customers want. “My inspiration comes from a lot of places,” says Jill. “There’s the very haute couture, luxury gowns and embellished dresses, which is always my first love. Then it came down to, ‘What do people need?’ We need quality clothes at affordable prices, we need them made with love, and we need them to be universal…I’m basically inspired by the people.”


    jill lindsey, coffee, irving farm, fort greene, boutique, community


    Jill has a passion for working with people and growing with the community. “A majority of the products in the store are from the neighborhood, which is amazing. Local designers and artisans will come here and we’ll meet with them and try to support them growing with us, as we continue to grow ourselves.”

    Jill Lindsey also sells sandals made by artisans in Nicaragua, with whom she collaborates. “The sandals have been one of our top-selling products,” says Jill. “It’s amazing because we started out with just a few people making them, and now we just keep giving them business and growing with them, which is really special.”


    jill lindsey, coffee, irving farm, fort greene, boutique, community


    Collaboration and growth extends to every aspect of Jill’s store, including the café where she proudly serves Irving Farm’s Blackstrap Espresso. “It’s delicious! We’ve been serving it since we opened. We love Irving Farm,” raves Jill. “It is one of the most incredible companies that I have ever done business with, and I feel very fortunate. I really wanted to have a coffee that was stand-out and awesome, sustainable, and all that goodness."


    jill lindsey, coffee, irving farm, fort greene, boutique, community


    The store also boasts a calendar chock full of events, which range from kid’s sing-alongs to crafting workshops and beauty bars. “I don’t know if there’s one that’s my favorite, because every single one is so special,” says Jill. The event calendar, like many of Jill’s endeavors, grew out of a passion for the Fort Greene community. “I wanted to be able to give this street some love…it’s just nice to give this community something to do, something that’s going to enrich their lives and give them an experience. And for the people that I’m working on the events with, it gives them the opportunity to make a dream come true, or do something they’ve always wanted to do.”


    jill lindsey, coffee, irving farm, fort greene, boutique, community


    Jill Lindsey has continued to grow with the community, and will be growing even further to include a new location in Malibu, California at the end of June. “I think it’s been a true testament to following your dreams and doing something with passion and love, so we’re just gonna keep doing it!”


    jill lindsey, coffee, irving farm, fort greene, boutique, community


    Jill Lindsey

    370 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205




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