Founded in 2003, and roasting since 2013, Joe Coffee of New York brings a strong focus on community to their coffee shops and their coffees. They also just won a Good Food Award for their excellent Ethiopia Guji Yabitu Kobe.
Ray: So today we’re tasting Joe Coffee, out of ah, New York.
Ray: I’m Ray.
Kandace: I’m Kandace.
Ray: Welcome to the show.
Kandace: This is, Unpacking Coffee.
Ray: It is. Today we’re trying…
Ray: This is take three.
Kandace: Take three.
Ray: I’m Ray.
Kandace: I’m Kandace.
Ray: Unpacking Coffee this week: Joe, New York. Founded in 2003. Originally, for the first decade really, they just sold other people’s coffee. Originally it was from Echo. It was…
Ray: Andrew Barnett’s gig who is now with Linea, a friend of the show. Starting in I think 2013, they’ve been roasting their own coffee. Started slowly, worked their way up…
Kandace: Yeah so it’s interesting. So they had revolving coffees in the beginning right? And then now they have Joe Pro New York in their headquarters who still does the guest coffee roasters.
Ray: So they still do some guest coffees in the one location but the rest…
Kandace: NO guests.
Ray: Right. It’s all one-hundred percent Joe.
Kandace: All Joe.
Ray: There’s probably a lot of jokes you could make about the fact that they’re called Joe.
Kandace: Like that ah, that Jimmy Hendrix song?
Ray: Heyyy Joe…Right?
The gentlemen who was hired to head up The Green Coffee Program is Edward Kaufman, who I spoke with. He told us about some of the struggles of going online with The Green Coffee Program nowadays, especially when it comes to Ethiopia.
Edward Kaufman: My title is Director of Roasting. Technically we’ve been roasting our coffee for a little over three years. A hundred percent for the last 2 years—two and a half.
For our coffees that we purchase, Ethiopia is definitely the most challenging because of the government mandated auction system—the Commodities Exchange. That’s changing.
There’s some traceability, information is going to be available for this harvest. But for the last seven…..eight years now I think that the government has, basically made coffee run through this Commodities Exchange so it kind of erases all the traceability. So we’ll get a coffee that is, you know, it’s basically labeled as a region, and, thousands of farmers could have contributed to it and there’s really no…
Ray: You have no idea which farmer grew it. Basically, yeah.
Edward: Exactly. Exactly.
As time passes we get to, we learn a little bit more how to navigate the system, and at the same time, Ethiopia is listening to us. Like us bitchy coffee buyers are like we wanna know where this delicious coffee came from so we can shake some hands and get it again next year. So they’re easing up on the laws a little bit and providing some opportunities for us to have some information starting actually this harvest. It’s happening right now so that’s exciting.
Ray: So what else do we know about Joe?
Kandace: Well, they’re part of the collective.
Ray: Is it the Pulley Collective?
Kandace: Yes! Awesome. They’re part of the Pulley Collective and so, that is a group that shares roasting equipment in New York. And so, it seems like they’re great support of other roasters…
Ray: Also, I do wanna talk about their fantastic packaging and identity. I’m a huge fan of this. It’s a cup, in the middle of “Joe” but what I love about it is the way that, it’s not just flat it has like a texture and it’s like a screen printed texture.
Kandace: It’s cup of joe!
Ray: Oh right! Hey Joe….
Kandace: Oh my god, seriously? Again?!
Ray: It’s like that Hendrix song!
Kandace: Oh my god.
Ray: It’s almost like they’re playing with a little bit of the texture which you can do on these bags. It’s flat-bottom, which is you know what we here at Needmore are huge fans of the flat-bottom bag.
Kandace: You just like to say it.
Ray: And lots of little details on here. Just a sticker so they can use the same bag design on all of them. And even just the little playfulness of the side here. The um, the little bench. It’s a bus bench.
Kandace: You’re really into little things. The Good Food Awards were just announced.
Kandace: On the fifteenth.
Kandace: On Friday…Congratulations guys! So what’s cool about The Good Food Awards is that they’re a blind taste test that happens in San Francisco.
Ray: Who runs that? Do you know?
Kandace: Every time!
Ray: Every time.
Kandace: I don’t.
Ray: I think it’s Gourmet Magazine.
Kandace: I think it’s The Good Food Awards people….who run in it. I would also say that they sent us some really nice material. When we got our coffees.
Ray: Joe, New York.
Kandace: I got my thumbs up first this time.
Ray: You did.
Kandace: I never do.