HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Houston is new Green Coffee port (16 msgs / 405 lines)
1) From: Jack Berry
The port of Houston has been named the nations newest port for importing
green coffee. The expectation is that a number of businesses will be spun
off this new import - roasting, marketing, distribution, etc.
Tom, any comment on what this might mean to specialty coffee? Is it good,
bad, no difference?
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2) From: John Abbott
HEY!! Tom, you going to open a Texas branch now, I hope!  Of course Houston
is further than I can drive in a day so it really doesn't matter.

3) From: Mike McGinness
From: "John Abbott" 
<Snip>
Houston
<Snip>
Drink more coffee, drive faster!
MM;-) aka Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
Frankenformer Rosto Roasting
Rocky grindin' - Miss Silvia brewin'
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4) From: John Abbott
Mike,
That doesn't work either - being a diabetic, there is a direct ration to
fluids in and stops made.  There is a happy medium there somewhere - I've
just never found it.  I don't think the additional port in Houston is going
to effect us in any way that our checkbooks will notice.  Tom is situated
pretty close now to a MAJOR importer so its not going to help him all that
much either.  But I'm for any additional ways to get coffee into Texas :)
John

5) From: Oaxaca Charlie
 Since Tom is probably occupied somewhere else for the moment,
I'll make a guess that this means a monster warehouse for
comodity grade futures market coffee, a monster 1,000lb per hour
continuous roaster nearby, and extra customs officials that can
check container loads for drugs etc. Not necessarily any
difference to specialty coffee. Just a guess.
Charlie
--- Jack Berry  wrote:
<Snip>
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6) From: Ben Treichel
I worked in Houston 15+ years ago and Maxwell House had a big roaster 
plant near the ship canal.
Possibly a tie in there.
Oaxaca Charlie wrote:
<Snip>
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7) From: joe frabosilio
I'm in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and the way I've been buying greens is, 
the money goes to Houston and the beans are shipped out of New Orleans.
Home Roasting is starting to hit very slowly here.  "The Great Indoors" is 
started to sell small roasters with green beans.  The green beans are going 
for $6.95 a pound and don't look healthy.
I think the price of coffee will have sharp rises in the near 
future.  Looking at 6-9 months from now.
Joe Frabosilio
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8) From: Jack Berry
Question is John; "Will it be real coffee or that
stuff from the Dark Side?" Actuall, I think Tom should
add a branch here and hire me to roast sample & taste.
Once I retire from my current job, I'd work for beans!
--- John Abbott  wrote:
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9) From: Oaxaca Charlie
--- joe frabosilio  wrote:
<Snip>
near 
<Snip>
 Why do you think so, Joe? There were huge crops in most
producing countries, and enough has been warehoused the last 2
years to keep comodity prices low. Even the specialty suppliers
are selling most coffees for around $1 lb. On the other hand,
many growers didn't pick at all this year and Central America is
full of abandoned farms. Insect damage is increasing rapidly due
to all the unpicked cherry and the labor force has moved to the
cities to try and stay alive somehow. That's why I think that
specialty coffee should go up in price sometime in the next 2
years. A US war in Colombia could complicate things, I suppose.
Do you just have a hunch, or some inside info you'd like to
share?
Charlie
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10) From: David Westebbe
<Snip>
 Even the specialty suppliers
<Snip>
What kind of quantities are we talking about here?  And what kind of
suppliers?
Is that what the green bean sellers pay when they buy several sacks, or is
it what they get for mass quantities FOB a silo in Kenya?
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11) From: Oaxaca Charlie
I'm talking about what anyone would pay for 150 lb sacks of most
Centrals, S.American and various African coffee from Specialty
Importers and sellers like Royal Coffee in San Fransisco, as
just one example. Freight to where you live is extra and varies.
Indonesians are a little more expensive, Cert. organic,and FT a
bit more, and exotics like Yemens and of course Konas and JBM
can cost a lot more. The very best lots from anywhere, cupped
with great care the way Tom does will always cost more and
involve great contacts and much work just to find and have a
chance to try. Mass quantities FOB in Kenya, if specialty
quality, don't really cost that much less than from an importer
in New York because the cost per lb of shipping by container is
low and the competition amongst importers here is fierce. Mass
quantities of comodity grade coffee can be as low as 40 cents
per lb, if arabica and less for Robusta. Growers get much less.
Charlie
--- David Westebbe  wrote:
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12) From: John Abbott
Jack,
Cracked me up .... I could just see you standing on a corner holding a
cardboard sign saying "Will work for beans" :O) The operative word though is
WORK - as often as I fanaticize about going into some level of coffee
business - my mind keeps yelling - YES BUT ITS WORK!!   I'll just wait for
Mike to send my ski mask back.

13) From: joe frabosilio
Hi Charlie,
         In your response was my answer.  With Supply and Demand, Supply: 
Insec damage, unpicked cherry, abandoned farms, etc.  The time factor is 
that Demand will be greater than Supply which drive up prices.  A lot of 
futures traders are trading ahead by 6 months to 1 year contracts.
         I don't think the US will goto war with Colombia.  The US has way 
too many problems, the plate is overloaded.
The econonmic problems in Brazil have been heating up for the past 1-1 1/2 
years and that may explode.  All we need is a ripple effect in Central 
America and coffee players (traders) will come to the plate.  Brazil has 
asked for more money from the IMF.  Brazil should run out of money between 
March and June of this year.  Unless they the IMF gave them more and didn't 
report it.
If anyone gets a chance look at todays 2/24/03 Wall Street Journal page 
A13.  Title "The Andean Arc of Instability"
Its an interesting article, talking about Peru, Ecuador ,Columbia and 
Venezuala, with Inflation, GDP, and Foreign debt.
Trust me I do love to buy SHB, SPOT prices off of the KCH3,K3,N3, & U3 
contracts.  which had another day of mass selling.
Joe Frabosilio
At 02:28 PM 2/24/2003 -0600, you wrote:
<Snip>
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14) From: Oaxaca Charlie
 Hi Joe. Where to begin? With the low "C" price for coffee the
big players have stocked up and filled all the warehouses
because this commodity has been selling for way below the cost
of production. What a deal, if someone has zero empathy for the
producers of the coffee. Many, maybe most, who did pick and
process their coffee this year dd so only by getting loans
against next year's crop, set at another below cost rate plus
interest. I've heard that many Vietnamese growers are bankrupt,
I know that many Mexican and Central American growers are, but
money laundering drug suppliers and corrupt politicos are buying
up a lot of those places. How will all this affect the prices 6
to 9 months from now? I only ask so I can advize the growers I
buy from whether or not they should hold on to some of their
crop. I buy cash in advance for a price the growers and I can
agree on that is above cost of production, and I also buy "spot"
from US Specialty suppliers when I run low before the next
Oaxaca harvest. Kch3,k3, n3 and u3? I have no idea what they
are.
 I certainly do trust you to know more than me about that kind
of business since it's all over my head.  Have the futures
prices for 6 months to a year from now gone up sharply? Or does
the fact that people are buying so far in advance now indicate
that the real money players expect the price to rise? Brazil and
the rest of South and Central America going bankrupt means that
coffee prices will rise?  The IMF can use coffee as collateral
at whatever price they want, no?(I don't know)The US is already
so deep into Colombia now with military aid and CIA hostages
etc. they pretty much are already at war there, full plate or
not.  How will this all affect homeroasters?;o)
Charlie
--- joe frabosilio  wrote:
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15) From: Tom & Maria
<Snip>
Houston has been pushing this for a long time. It definitely has 
picked up some business, but in general this is the way people see it:
New Orleans: Commodity grade coffees
New York/NJ: Restaurant  grade coffees
SF/Oakland: Specialty coffees
....well... these are just roughly accurate since theres lots of very 
good Specialty that come through N.O., and there's crap that comes 
through Oakland ... but on the whole, I could never do business 
exclusively through NY or NO ... never! We trucked a LOT of coffee 
from Oakland when we were in OH. From NO we would only get Zimbabwe 
and Zambian, and only when I knew the coffee had just arrived there 
and had not sat down at the DePue warehouse. Hey, I roasted coffee in 
NO and used to go pick it up at DePue. That is the warehouse where 
the coffee is so scarey that a grader (someone who checks on old 
commodity lots to note their degradation over time as traders 
ping-pong the contract on it for years and years) found a severed 
finger in a bag of coffee! (sure it could be one of those myths, but 
I have heard it from a lot of roasters so of course it must be true!)
I think Houston will want to have specialty and serve both coasts but 
people like me get really worried about coffee sitting in containers 
and warehouses at extreme temperatures and humidity. I know some La 
Minita comes through there, but not the stuff we get. I wouldn't 
trust Houston for that, because improper handling of the best coffees 
will make them worthless, and CR's really turn when they are 
mishandled. _tom
--
                   "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters"
            Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting  -  Tom & Maria
		1455 64th Street Emeryville CA 94608
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16) From: Jack Berry
Extreme humidity? Extreme temperature? Houston?
Twenty four seven, & I can't wait for its return! It's a great place to
spend the spring (it's here now), summer & fall. (I've never seen a good
winter, anywhere.) But Houston is probably not the best place to store
coffee in non air conditioned warehouses.


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