HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Alto Grande - Expensive Puerto Rican Coffee (4 msgs / 119 lines)
1) From: Steve Bookman
This is to address the issue Alex McGregor raised
Mon, 12 Feb 2001 15:28:13 -0800 on this list.
Alto Grande and a handful of other brands are essentially
MBA-Proctor/Gamble-type marketing concoctions which perform the 
worthy mission of raising the quality standards in Puerto
Rico but also lead to near-shameless overcharging for what you get.
I agree with Huffaker and Knox:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0471136174/qid˜2087992/sr=1-2/ref=sc_b_2/105-8439851-0135134re "island coffees" generally not
being top of the line although often agreeable - - principally
because altitude is not very high (compared with the best
Guatemalans, etc.).
To pay a reasonable price for a somewhat less refined PR
coffee:http://store.yahoo.com/prcoffee/cafzrico.htmlThe two items to look for are the two pound and five pound bags
of whole beans.
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2) From: Bearhair
On Tue, 13 Feb 2001, "Steven Dover"  wrote:
<Snip>
On Tue, 13 Feb 2001, Paul Jolly  wrote:
<Snip>
   Whoa, various people have made this same mistake in the past, and
we didn't get attacked and called disrespectful, rude, and a "clown".
What the heck?
   What ever happened to "Hey, Bookman, we don't give out URLs other
than for Sweet Maria's"? Besides, the site was for roasted coffee -
hardly Tom's competitor! 
   Having a tough day?
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3) From: Simpson
Steve said:
<Snip>
and then went on to mention a source of coffee other than our host.
FWIW, and this is from someone who is on record as encouraging a rigid
adherence to the list rules in this regard, Steve's post was on-topic and
pretty well reasoned... erudite, even. I'm sure he'll take the remonstrance
to heart but it would be a shame for the list to lose someone who is this
thoughtful about their coffee.
So back to the topic: Does Alto Grande have any connection to the Yauco
Selecto estate coffee initiative?
Ted
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4) From: Tom & Maria
<Snip>
Hi all,
I am with you all on the moderate response to list rules. There needs to be
people who remember the rules and remind someone when they exceed the
limit, as has happened here, but the spirit of the rules is just to keep
things on topic and not turn this into a shopping comparison list. (Only
twice do I remember a sort of hostile rule breaking post. I dont ever bump
anyone off the list. I just email them and we discuss it. One person chose
to leave the list after dicussing it, but the point is to discuss it
because thats what we do here anyway!) We are trying to compare coffees and
quality, and discuss differences too ... I think the person who posts the
link knows a bit about PR and so I dont want to discourage anyone from
sharing their knowledge. But I really dont learn anything from going to a
linked Yahoo store that has little information and lots of cheap
roasted/ground coffee from PR. There definitely is a high road and a low
road in terms of PR coffee. PR coffee has had a huge uphill struggle and I
have wanted to support Yauco Selecto project based on the quality of their
coffee. The problem is, the last 2 years have been very poor. I always try
to keep in touch with a coffee that is "off" though to see if/when it comes
back to the level of quality it was formerly at ...and this the Yauco that
represents it, so here it is!
I still have some problems with non-estate oriented PR coffees. They create
all these confusing brand names for roasted coffee and you just dont know
whats in the bag. Any origin produces low grade coffee, even Kona! In fact
consider that XF 19 screen Kona or AA Yauco is a screening of probably 20%
of the coffee. I am not sure exactly how the percentages break down but you
probably have 20% XF, 20% F, 5% Peaberry or less, 20% Prime -mixed, 10% off
grade/defect, and 5% broken Triage coffee. All that coffee gets sold,
roasted and distributed as Kona! The low grades sell at C market level
price, while the higher grades are 10-12x that. So origin can count for
little. Then consider that of coffee farming pays, people will plant well
beyond the optimal hillsades that have good altitude and sun exposure, down
into low areas. And on an island that is not much land. So the coffee a
broker and I jokingly call "tidepool Kona" is still "Estate Kona" on the
package.
There's a lot put into the top grades, and by buying it, you support it.
The fact is, Triage and off-grades should be mulched into the ground. The
problem is, its not. So there is a lot of coffee coming from PR that is not
great stuff, in fact there is an outfit in NY (cant remember the name) that
only sells PR ...mostly medium to low grown.
The fact is, PR has pretty good altitude and the yauco reflects that in its
acidity. The body is the main story though.
                  "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters"
           Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting  -  Tom & Maria
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