Jaded Millennial Doesn’t Buy Local Anymore

I love local stuff. But it is expensive and often over indulgent. For example: Coffee. I love it so much. It’s how you know that a place is being gentrified and thrives on an upper middle class economy. Just look for the fancy beer bars and coffee. People tout this local stuff and everyone who is a millennial and can afford it, buys it. Continue reading “Jaded Millennial Doesn’t Buy Local Anymore”

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From Specialty Coffee to Roasting

img_4464Where to begin? I’ve been roasting coffee for about three years now. Why roast, Paige? It started as a money saving, good stewardship thing. Coffee is grown in the poorest parts of the world, and buying good coffee can help sustain good communities. But for every exchange of hands: from farmers, to green, to roaster, to shop, to your cup, the price goes up linearly 3x-4x.

$1 per pound –> $3 green –> $9 roasted –> to like a million dollars for a Frappaccino

$1 per pound is not a fair trade price. The same way I shop at local businesses, buy second hand clothes, and since I drink coffee everyday, I wanted to make good coffee decisions.

In Boston, I investigated all the specialty coffee places (new and old ones were popping up like every week), stumptown, intelligentsia, blue state, fuel, and George Howell. George Howell is the man, and he schooled me on this whole “fair trade” “organic” business. Buying fair trade and organic is a good way to insure good coffee, but it’s at a cost to the growers for the label. THE LABEL. You might be fair trade, i.e. buying coffee for a very fair price, and/or organic, i.e. not using certain pesticides, etc., but until you buy that label…Nobody cares. Well, some buyers do, and if you buy from a specialty store claiming “direct trade” – no middle fair trade person, then it’s probably pretty great. Though, I’m pretty sure even that term is Trade Marked now… At Sweet Maria’s they call their direct trade program “Farm Gate” and you can read about it here.

Most, if not all, specialty coffee is going to be bought at a fair price and not using pesticides because they care about the cup.

So, I’m buying my two weeks worth of roasted coffee at like, $15-20 per pound (really like 12oz) from a local roaster in Florida who gets his beans directly from a coffee farmer in a coffee shop that is half a pentecostal church, and I feel good about it. Yeah, it’s still cheaper than buying out, but it’s still too expensive. I make a quick jump from buying fancy coffee to roasting my own fancy coffee.

I started roasting, and I was amazed at how insanely easy and cost efficient it is to make an outstanding cup of coffee. And I will write about that in the next post.

If you want to learn (and buy) more about roasting your own coffee, pretty much anything and everything about coffee, you should check out Sweet Maria’s. They are a business based in San Francisco and all their green coffee and gear is outstanding.

Also, I love all the Seattle Coffee Gear videos if you want to learn about all coffee gadgets.

No Longer Locavore Guilt

I’ve been putting off writing this post…  Because it makes me feel guilty.

Being a Lenten Locavore was awesome.

Breaking fast was also awesome.

But since breaking, I just don’t feel as good.  I’m not sure if this is guilt.  Let me explain… Continue reading “No Longer Locavore Guilt”

Lenten Locavore Learning: What is not local?

NOT LOCAL
NOT LOCAL

Well, at this point, technically, your lenten fast is over, and we are all mid-Triduum fast (which may or may not be the same thing you gave up for lent, it usually is).  As I have become better at eating local, it seems like there has been less to write about.  I eat a lot of veggies, meat, cheese, eggs, and that’s about it.

But at the beginning of this week, like with any good lenten faster, I started to fantasize about all the things I want to buy that are not local.  I began to make a list of what is tough (for me) to really live without… forever.  IF I were to be a “true” locavore.

Granted, I already have made an exception for coffee and coconut oil… What other things are tough.  What’s NOT local? Continue reading “Lenten Locavore Learning: What is not local?”

Locavore = Brave

Look it's me!Explaining this whole “Lenten Locavore” thing to people has been a real challenge.  They basically look at me like I’m insane, and I’m pretty sure I am.  This is winter.  This is New England.  This is impossible.  And no, it is not easy.  It is not cheap. There is tons of cooking!  It takes serious planning and time.  But what came to my attention yesterday, is that it really takes some courage to be a locavore. It takes bravery… Continue reading “Locavore = Brave”

Buying Direct Trade Coffee?

The day has finally come.  My pre-Lent-bought Trader Joe’s cuppa fair trade joe has run out, and I need to find a coffee source.  I’m not embargoing the world here!  I mentioned in the comments of this blog that I plan to buy fair trade for some of my non-New-England staples (coffee and coconut oil).  BUT I don’t really know anything about fair trade, and if you do a little searching on the interwebs, there is some understandable skepticism about it.  Coffee, in particular, is super complicated… Continue reading “Buying Direct Trade Coffee?”

Butchers & BBQ: So Happy I’m not a Vegetarian

My dream.

Otherwise I would STARVE in locavore challenge winter wonderland.  I just thought I would share a genuine exchange that just occurred:

  1. Steve to Paige: “If by some miracle Damien has tickets to this, tell him we’ll give him our firstborn child for them: http://amusecochon.com/2013/boston/
  2. Paige to Damien: “Damien, Just FYI, see message below [or above in this case].  Also, have a nice hump day. Paige. p.s. Mmmmmm Piggggg.”
  3. Damien to Paige: “of course I have tickets.  stay tuned, first born at the ready.”

COCHON555 looks incredible: 5 Chefs, 5 Pigs, 5 Winemakers.  Besides the shear awesomeness that this event appears to be, it opened up another world of possibilities in my locavore pursuits–local butcher and BBQ?!?!

  1. Hoping to check out this sweet (sweet?) looking butcher in Somerville (Why is Somerville so true to hippy living?!?!).
  2. And this sweet looking Boston BBQ place that sources locally: Sweet Cheeks Q.  (Only on Sunday during Lent, like the good Lord would want it.)

In the meantime, I’m going to contemplate the deal I just made involving my kin for bacon…