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!



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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Why Coffee is sometimes called “Joe”.

I ran across this article about the origin of the phrase, “cup of joe.”

Say hello to Josephus Daniels, former secretary of the US Navy and namesake of the proverbial cup of joe.

Joe is, of course, short for Joseph. And in American English, “joe” can refer to an average guy, a soldier, or—somewhat strangely—coffee. A popular chain in New York, for instance, is called Joe the Art of Coffee.

Josephus Daniels, the principal shaper of The ...

As it turns out, the use of joe as slang for coffee dates to the World War I era. It was then that Daniels, who started his career as a newspaper publisher in North Carolina, became secretary of the Navy under president Woodrow Wilson. As recounted in a new biography, Daniels tried to imbue the navy with a strict morality. He increased the number of chaplains, discouraged prostitution at naval bases, and, most controversially, banned the consumption of alcohol.

“As a substitute, stewards increased their purchases of coffee, among other beverages,” writes Lee Craig in the new book, “and Daniels’s name became linked to the daily drink of millions around the world. A cup of coffee became disparagingly known as ‘a cup of Joseph Daniels,’ and as legend has it, this was soon shortened to a ‘cup of Joe.’”

Article Link: http://qz.com/88453/why-coffee-is-called-joe/

If you could change the name of coffee what would you call it?

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Coffee Special:

Good Morning Everyone,

In honor of hurricane Sandy we are holding a bit of a sale. We can’t be at the roastery today so we thought we’d try something like this. Go to our website (www.furnacehillscoffee.com) and look

English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto...

through our offerings of coffee. Then send us an email at davidmbaldwin@gmail.com with your order. We’ll take 10% off the order and anything of 4 pounds or more will get free shipping. We’ll bill you through PayPal. This offer is good through Halloween Night Midnight October 31st.

Share with us what coffee you are drinking today!

Thank you in advance for buying some coffee from us!


Dave, Erin, Lia, Regina & Kesha

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Coffee Consumption Rises Worldwide!

Good news for Furnace Hills Coffee Company. Yes worldwide coffee consumption is at an all time high in 2011. Below you’ll see the reports that are out re: coffee consumption and the new & emerging markets.

Here’s a question for you: Are you drinking more coffee this year than you did last? Is your personal coffee consumption up?

Worldwide coffee consumption increased by 1.3% to 139 million bags (of 60 kg each) in 2011 compared to 137.2 million bags in 2010 driven by growing demand in Brazil, Vietnam, Mexico, India, Venezuela and other countries, according to International Coffee Organization (ICO) .

As per the ICO data, exporting countries consumed 42.4 million bags of coffee in 2011 compared to 41 million bags in the prior year period.

Roasted coffee beans Español: Granos de café t...

Roasted coffee beans Español: Granos de café tostado (natural). Bahasa Indonesia: Biji kopi alami yang telah disangrai. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In its latest report the organization said: “The highest rates of growth (consumption) have been found mostly in exporting countries, which have increased their share of the total from 25 per cent in 2000 to 30.5 per cent in 2011,” reported The Economic Times.

The consumption in importing countries, including the US, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, the UK and Spain, was 96.6 million bags in 2011 compared to 96.1 million bags in the year ago period.

The importing countries, including the US, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, the UK and Spain, consumed 96.6 million bags in 2011 compared to 96.1 million bags in 2010.

In emerging markets like Russia, Korea, Ukraine, Australia, Algeria, etc, coffee consumption increased marginally to 25.8 million bags from 25.2 million bags in the previous crop year.

The global coffee production has been estimated flat at 134.3 million bags in the 2011-12 crop year, which runs from October to September, compared to 2010-11 as the shortfall in production in Brazil was compensated by increased production in other countries, particularly Vietnam, Peru and Honduras, ICO was cited by the news paper. (Taken from Hot Drinks Business Review, October 22, 2012) (http://hotdrinks.drinks-business-review.com/)

What Furnace Hills Coffees may you drink more of this next year? Check out our coffee offerings at http://furnacehillscoffee.com.

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Sonofresco Our Work Horse:

I shared with you all a couple of posts ago how we grew in roasting coffee. What has grown with us is our use of Sonofresco Roasters. There are four reasons why we use Sonofrescos.

  1. We needed something simple.Erin isn’t going to be able to watch a roast in a conventional drum roaster and know when to dump the beans with precision every time. Sonofresco has ten settings and provides a consistent roast at those settings from light to

    Erin with the Sonofresco

    dark. Some of our roasts we stop in the middle of one of the setting cycles, but that’s fine. We have a timer & when it goes off, Erin turns the gas off. This has worked so well when we needed to expand our capacity we just ordered another machine.

  2. We needed something affordable. Among roasters of this type and size Sonofresco is the most affordable. These are gas fired machines that work well. Other machines that roast the same amount of coffee you’d pay twice as much in some cases.
  3. Fluid Bed Roasters produce a brighter tasting coffee. We learned this from our experience at CoffeeCon12. Many people said our coffee was the brightest smoothest there. We were the only fluid bed roasting company at the Expo. It was something that was a epiphany to us. It’s something we’ve shared with people ever since our time in Chicago last February.
  4. Reliable and Easily repairable. The machine is very simple and basic with few moving parts. We’ve only had two issues. A heat sensor failed and so did a fan. The fan was under warranty and it was shipped to us within days. The heat sensor was not, but it was affordable and came quickly. My wife (Louise) stated that this must be a God thing — talking about our coffee business — because I was able to personally swap out both parts. If you knew my proclivity to not be a fixer/repair guy you would call it close to being a miracle.

    So there you have it. We love our Sonofrescos. Erin can operate them from start to finish & also cleans them. It’s the perfect machine for Furnace Hills Coffee Company.Go to our website (http://furnacehillscoffee.com) and check out that fantastic coffees Erin roasts. What’s your favorite blend/roast of Furnace Hills Coffee?