Ground to Grounds: DC Day of Coffee Saturday March 15

Sat March 15 9am-8pm, Busboys & Poets 5th and K St NW DC!
Sat March 15 9am-8pm, Busboys & Poets 5th and K St NW DC!

“FROM GROUND TO GROUNDS”

DAYLONG CELEBRATION OF COFFEE

INCLUDES BUSBOYS & POETS NEW COFFEE LAUNCH, TASTING, PRESENTATIONS, AND BOOK SIGNING

AT BUSBOYS AND POETS CAFE/BOOKSTORE, 5TH & K NW

Saturday, MARCH 15, 2014

FREE and open to the public

WASHINGTON, DC—Busboys & Poets will present “From Ground to Grounds” on Saturday, March 15, starting with a public coffee tasting of Busboys & Poets’ new coffee from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., followed by a presentation moderated by WRC-TV/NBC news anchor Wendy Rieger on everything you never knew about coffee according to Costa Rica coffee farmer Michael Pannell and Jeff Taylor, founding CEO of PT’s Coffee Roasting Company, Topeka, KS, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., and then a presentation and signing of the new book, “When Coffee Speaks: Stories from and of Latin American Coffeepeople” by Rachel Northrop, who will be introduced by Pannell, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Jeff Taylor, co-founder, CEO and Director of Coffee Operations for PT’s Coffee Roasting Co., founded the company in 1993 as a single coffee shop in Topeka, KS. Today PT’s is among the leading roasters reviewed by industry resource, Coffee Review, with over 15 scores of 94 and above. Currently they roast over 100 tons of premium, specialty coffee annually for customers around the world, including Busboys & Poets. Taylor travels to meet with PT’s coffee-producing partners in Central and South America and Africa, to experiment, source and evaluate the harvests from each farm, and develop a strategy of partnering on social projects. The direct relationship with the producer guarantees that the price paid for the coffee goes straight to the farmer and not through a third-party middleman. Jeff will talk about the processes of building relationships with coffee producers and of roasting award-winning coffee.

Picking coffee on Finca Elida in Panama, one of the farms PT's sources from. Photo credit: Marc Peterson
Picking coffee on Finca Elida in Panama, one of the farms PT’s sources from. Photo credit: Marc Peterson

Michael Pannell, Co-Owner of Potenciana Sustainability Enterprises, which includes Potenciana Café, grown in Costa Rica, brings a unique blend of knowledge and experience to growing coffee. He currently works as an industrial hygienist with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in Washington, DC. Since 2006, he and his business partner Bill Bayer, who had no prior knowledge about producing coffee, have been growing coffee sustainably in the rural mountain region of Potenciana, Costa Rica, while working full-time careers. They are the only employer in the area andstarted a nonprofit organization, Saplings, to provide scholarships to enable young women to go to school past the sixth grade and to support local educational and environmental endeavors. Pannell will discuss what it takes to grow quality coffee and how that is determined. He will share his experiences with the coffee community of Potenciana and his insights as to why coffee growing is so challenging, but rewarding. Visit the Saplings Facebook page for more information.

Saplings board members and scholarship recipients in La Potenciana, Costa Rica
Saplings board members and scholarship recipients in La Potenciana, Costa Rica

Rachel Northrop author of the book When Coffee Speaks: Stories from and of Latin American Coffeepeople, is a former NYC high school teacher who now writes monthly field reports and articles on organics, certification, and coffee origins for Tea & Coffee Trade Journal. She will discuss the trend toward consumer interest in food sourcing that prompted her to begin her “coffee odyssey” through Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia, a nine-month journey that became her book. She will explain how she began the process from a literary and humanistic perspective, hoping to understand the lives of the people who make coffee possible through the sharing of stories, but found that the crux of their stories rested on the practical realities of things like agronomical practices and commodity market mechanisms. She will discuss the ways in which coffee is a lens for looking at greater questions surrounding environment and climate change, economic justice, and global trade, all the while being rooted in the realities of individuals and their stories. To learn more, read through past posts. Can’t make the event? Buy the book here.

Susy (p. 165), Daniel, Rachel, and Miguel (p. 151) at Coopedota in Santa Maria, Costa Rica
Susy (p. 165), Daniel, Rachel, and Miguel (p. 151) at Coopedota in Santa Maria, Costa Rica
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