Gender Etiquette in the Workplace

Now Open on the Upper East Side!

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We've got big news, and you're all invited! Irving Farm's newest (and largest, and dare we say most beauteous?) café is now open on the Upper East Side at 1424 Third Avenue at 81st Street. This 1,700-square-foot space boasts Irving Farm's largest seating area and also its largest kitchen, where we focus on creating fresh, delicious modern comfort offerings to complement our seasonal coffees and favorite year-round blends. We're proud to showcase espresso, filter brew coffee, and by-the-cup Kalita pour-over brews of our Hudson-Valley-roasted coffee at the spacious front bar. From the white oak floors to the Brendan Ravenhill lamps above, we've dressed this coffee shop to the nines from bottom to top. We couldn't be happier to be a part of this busy and taste-savvy community.

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Join us for the official opening celebration on Friday, May 27 at 7am for free hot and iced coffee all day, and take in the new surroundings with all your favorite coffees, baked goods, and fresh, housemade foods.


It's Earth Day!

We're green with glee over Earth Day today, a day to celebrate our planet and take pride in the work we do this day and every day at Irving Farm to contribute to a more sustainable planet. From working directly with farms to encourage agriculture that's both conscientiously grown and delicious to drink to reducing our own roasting emissions and working to offset deforestation locally and globally, we've got our eye on the earth and our feet on the green grassy ground.

Globally, we seek out coffees that are not only farmed with quality in mind but sustainability. 85% of the coffee we buy is grown under shade, which contributes to carbon sequestration and prevents deforestation for coffee cultivation. We buy coffee from cooperatives like the Capucas co-op in Honduras which supports not only clinics and schools, but community initiatives like composting and harvesting honey to stimulate the bee population.

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Locally, we focus on lessening our negative impact on the earth every day, from compostable iced coffee cups and biodegradeable to-go utensils in all our stores to operating a brand new, high-efficiency Loring coffee roaster that uses 90% less gas than other roasters and planting native grasses on the lands at our new roasting space. The ingredients we serve in our cafes are locally sourced whenever possible, with all our milk coming from pasture-raised, New York State cows. Last year, we introduced New-York-made Pumpkin Seed Milk as an alternative to almond milk, which had a much higher environmental cost. We compost all our organic matter, and, of course, encourage our customers to bring their own reusable mugs by offering a discount whenever they do.

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And if you'd like to make it even more local, like in your own kitchen? Order a bag of our Rainforest Foundation Project coffee, a fully organic blend whose proceeds benefit the Rainforest Foundation, founded in 1989 by Sting and Trudie Styler. We donate $1 per each bag sold directly to the Foundation. We've donated $4,900 to the foundation since last Earth Day, enough to protect 1010 acres of rainforest, or the size Central Park. To date, we've donated more than $16,000 to the Rainforest Foundation, protecting more than three Central Parks worth of trees. 

As lovers of coffee, we can't but love the earth that gives it to us. Celebrate with us today with your conscious choices—and of course, a delicious cup of sustainably grown coffee.

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 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?



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