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8 03, 2015

Convenience versus Consciousness – The K-Cup Question

As we move forward in our planning for developing a Decaf roast and packaging for single serving cups, we continue to research the issue of being environmentally conscious, which is not only important for us as a family but as a local small business too. Assuming that most of us want to protect our planet and avoid behavior that damages it, the truth is also that life is busy and some of us end up doing things driven more by the need for convenience Here at home we recycle, every week we deal with the three large trash bins, blue, green and gray, and separate things carefully, we [...]

8 03, 2015

Our thoughts are back…

One of the advantages of having a small business where most of your customers are also your friends and family is that you communicate with them on a regular basis often without using FB, your website or other social media; and that is probably the reason why we haven’t posted here for a while. But the year has started strong, weather has been beautiful here in Seattle and we want to get going with keeping you updated on Zapata Coffee and how we move forward, with lots of exciting news! First of all, thanks to all of you for your continued support, “Maria” and “Zapata Dark” continue to [...]

30 07, 2013

Order Confirmation!

It is done; in about five weeks our brand new Diedrich IR-2.5 will arrive from the factory; I believe that the roasting quality and the lower emissions of the Diedrich IR roasters will give us the best quality coffee and the best relationship with the environment. I am also grateful to have met our local importers; this month I had the opportunity to visit with them and participate in a cupping session at their headquarters; they do an excellent job in importing high quality coffee beans from around the world and they may one day bring coffee straight from my dad’s and my uncles’ farms; very excited because [...]

15 06, 2013

This is what I want to do, period.

My head may still be spinning, but my heart is not, it is set and set in the direction it may have been for years, I want to work in coffee, I want to roast coffee; three days in Idaho told me that; every time I stepped in front of the roaster, every time I pushed a button, every smell, every little slurp is telling me I want to and will roast great coffee. It was incredible, what I enjoyed the most was meeting people with such passion like mine, Bill, Mike, Mark, Francisco, Frank, Jeb… all coming from different areas of the country; they shared their experiences, [...]

7 06, 2013

Maria V’s Coffee

Today is Malu’s 11th birthday, 11 years since I got sick one month before my scheduled due date; the news of my husband, my dad and my brother being attacked at the farm made me sick to the point my blood pressure went up and my little one had to come out early… Today she is a happy child, a kid who grows safe in this wonderful community of the Pacific Northwest, we live in Bothell, she plays piano, plays softball, and mostly, she plays with Veronica, her little sister. We now have a powerpoint presentation with my actual name, a draft marketing plan to present the idea [...]

29 05, 2013

Nena’s Coffee Roaster v1

Okay, done! I haven’t work on a business plan before, I did something close like project plans, but life today helps us get knowledge so quick, at least to start getting some knowledge, so I looked up this template for a business plan online, and I shared it with Jorge, “Martincito”, my husband; he is a business guy so he guided me through the first version of a business plan for what I want to make our small batch coffee roasting business. “Nena”, in Spanish means baby girl, and it is the nickname I carry inside my family, since I still don’t have a name for my little [...]

18 05, 2013

Way to go, to Idaho!

I have just secured my registration for my second and most demanding coffee roasting training, I will be traveling to Ponderay, Idaho, for three days of intensive training at Diedrich Manufacturing Co.; they build some of the most respected coffee roasters in the world, and they offer classes for aspiring roasters. Not only this will be a whole new experience, but it will also probably be the first time I travel by myself and out of the state, since the girls will still be at school and Jorge at work. The agenda looks impressive, I will learn a lot more about cupping too! I just hope I get [...]

29 04, 2013

Too much to tell!

My first coffee roasting experience was surreal; from the moment I walked in I felt the casual and kind environment of our expert teachers and my classmates in a setting that could not be better, a coffee shop built inside what once was probably a warehouse, with a roaster in the back where we could work while seeing the daily activity of people coming to enjoy coffee, our reason for being there. We roasted coffee from many distinct and unique origins, from Colombian to El Salvadorian, from Ethiopian to Mexican, we had this different and fascinating Mexican beans with a flavor so hard to identify, that Brandon Smyth [...]

23 03, 2013

Destination Portland

If you live in the Pacific Northwest you know about the many similarities and differences between Portland and Seattle, we are like siblings who share the pride of being so similar and the annoyance of being so similar, : ) It turns out that, living in Seattle, Portland happens to be the place where I am taking my first roasting class; the place is right, their craft is right, I want to learn from them, so on April 27th we will all be heading to the City of Roses for my training at Water Avenue Coffee. I can’t wait!

3 03, 2013

And so, it begins

I am a Zapata, I am proud of my heritage, of being part of a family that has grown coffee for four generations; my great grandfather was one of the early settlers in the lands of what today is called the town of Sevilla and its surroundings; my grandpa was a coffee man, from him I learned the passion, for him I entered college and graduated from agricultural engineering; I wanted to continue his tradition. My dad certainly did, and in our little farm I learned the enormous joy of growing and collecting coffee beans, of manually and carefully selecting, pulping, and drying it. But in my country [...]

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