A Matter of Leadership — Special Coffee or Special People or Both!

It has been a while since posting on this website. I have decided to start sharing on a regular basis our balance between coffee and people. You see Furnace Hills Coffee was started to provide jobs for people with developmental disabilities. Today we employ three people with developmental disabilities:

  • Erin has Down syndrome
  • Jason has Cerebral Palsy
  • Chris is Autistic

Our challenge to ourselves has been to roast the best coffees available showing the world that these disabilities don’t slow down our employees and in fact we can compete with anyone in the marketplace. I believe we are proving that challenge true! I truly believe that these three individuals roast and package some of the best specialty coffee you can drink in the USA. First let’s talk about what makes these three so special then later this week we’ll talk about why the coffee they roast is so special.

Special People:

  • Erin: She has a passion for roasting special coffee. She calls our roastery her shop. When she can’t go into work she cries and tells me, “I have to work, that’s my job.” How many people do you know cry when they can’t go to work? How many people do you know call where they work their company? If we don’t get at least ten orders overnight she us upset and is concerned that there may be nothing for her to do that day. She loves the coffee named after her, Erin’s Breakfast Blend. In fact she calls it, “My Breakfast Blend.” Do you know of anyone who approaches there work like Erin does?
  • Jason: He loves working at Furnace Hills Coffee. He has a passion to see us succeed. He calls on organizations and companies who may be able to use our coffee in his spare time. He wants to be a part of ever special event we do. He comes to work happy and puts his full energy into all he does. Jason has Cerebral Palsy. Yet that has not stopped him from doing everything in the shop. He has learned work arounds when it comes to the tasks he’s been asked to perform. And he does it with joy! When did you know of an employee who worked on his/her own time to make the company a success?
  • Chris: Do your employees or co-workers include a secret ingredient in their work? Chris does. He includes a pinch of love. Wouldn’t it be great if our co-workers said something like this, “I have the presentation done all it needs now is a pinch of love.” That’s Chris for you. He’s another one who cries when he can’t come to work. Did you ever cry when you couldn’t come to work?

I will measure our special people against your people any day and I do believe we will come out on top.

Check out our story here: Furnace Hills Story

Thursday we’ll discuss the rest of the team and what makes them so special. Don’t worry we’ll get around to this special coffee we roast. The best in the world! It is a matter of leadership!

 

Where is Coffee Grown in the US?

Where is Coffee Grown in the US?

At least once a week we get this question. Many people think that coffee is grown in the United States and we ship if from Alabama or Mississippi to our Furnace Hills Coffee roastery in Westminster, MD to roast and then make available to you. Well coffee is grown in the United States, but just in one place. That place is Hawaii. You see, coffee is grown between the 25’s. More directly between 25 degrees south and 25 degrees north. Outside of that band around the world, good coffee cannot be grown. As you can tell from the map below Miami, FL is outside of this coffee growing belt that encircles our planet. 

So do you have a special liking to the coffees from these countries? Do you know about the coffees that come from these countries to make an informed choice? Some of you do others don’t. Our list of single origin coffees are as follows:

  • Bolivian Superior
  • Honduran
  • Aquas de Marco — Brazil
  • Espirito Santo — Costa Rica
  • Ethiopian
  • Sumatran
  • Monsoon Myst — India
  • Colombian

We are considering a virtual tour of the world. We are thinking of offering a coffee travel club that features twelve single origin coffees a year. We would give those who subscribe information on the country and farm the coffee comes from.

What countries would you like to drink coffee from?

What should we title this coffee travel club?

Furnace Hills Coffee Shop:

When we reach 400 pounds of roasting/selling each week we’re going to move our coffee roasters to the back and build out a coffee bar in front. We are less than 100/week away from that milestone. Here’s what we think our shop will look like:

Furnace Hills Coffee Shop

Furnace Hills Coffee Shop

So what do you think? Is it a place you would visit? Besides our famous Furnace Hills Coffees, what else should we offer? Should we be a Third Wave shop and forego all the expensive brewing equipment and do pour overs? What should our hours be? Should we be open on Sunday?

Although the coffee shop in the picture is in London I think we’ll be able to copy most of what they have done inside as well.

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Creating Green Coffee Extract At Home:

There has been much written and studied about green coffee extract and it’s many health benefits including weight loss with no dieting. It seems to speed up your metabolism. Kate Redwine in her book, Pure Green Coffee Bean Extract, gives us a recipe for making it ourselves. Below you’ll find the recipe.

Step One: Sourcing Out Quality Coffee Beans.

You need to source good green coffee beans. Now you can go to our website and find good beans (www.furnacehillscoffee.com). We’ll send you some Brazilian beans which Kate says are some of the best.

Green coffee beans, "washed"

Green coffee beans, “washed” (Photo credit: ahemler)

Step Two: Preparation of how to make coffee extract.

Put 2 oz. of coffee beans in a teapot with 12 oz. of distilled water. Put it into boil and then turn down the heat. Let the brewed beans simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes (be careful not to overcook it to maintain the integrity of the taste of the beans.). Take it from direct heat and let it cool for an hour.

Step Three: Enjoying Your Green Coffee Extract.

Put it in the refrigerator. It is good to drink for the next two days. To maximize the benefits Redwine writes that you should drink it twice a day.

So what do you think? Is it worth a try? I think I’m going to try it this week.

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