Exploring the Coffee World

Beginning in the mid-1990s we began to offer a “Coffee of the Month” from the most exotic, paranormal location we could find. Along with the coffee we began to write and publish an entertaining if not entirely factual description of the origin and taste under the by-line “The Coffee Scout”. As far as we know, no one else had ever written under that by-line.

We continued writing and publishing The Coffee Scout reports for a few years, which appeared increasingly less regular over time. One reason for this was the difficulty we had in acquiring more of the coffees once we had published our description of them online. Since they were truly unique and scarce coffees it didn’t take much to make them disappear entirely. All bought up by somebody we never heard from. Another reason was lack of time and energy we had to devote to it.

This page is an index to those coffees and reports for those who want to look back on a fun and wacky chapter in the history of our insanely unsuccessful marketing program.

Hope you get a chuckle out of them.

A typical morning at Sacramento’s oldest specialty roaster

It’s a typical morning at Coffee Works, Sacramento’s oldest specialty roaster that has been serving its house-made blends to East Sacramento and beyond since 1982. Back in those days, recalls owner John Shahabian, there were no specialty…

Sacramento French Film Festival Starts on Father's Day Weekend

Coffee Works has teamed up with Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission to produce 2017's Sacramento French Film Festival. Opening night was last Friday at Sacramento's Crest Theater. The festival will close this coming Sunday with HEAL…

Uganda AA "Bugisu"

The Pearl of Africa Is it possible to overstate the importance of the East Africa Rift System to coffee-lovers? On that distant ridge of tropical peaks and highlands, zig-zagging from Sinai to Zimbabwe, the coffee plant made its botanical…

Myanmar Natural "Golden Triangle"

The British introduced coffee trees to Burma (now Myanmar) circa 1900. There was a flirt with development in the fifties and sixties, but regional and internal political and economic turmoil left the Myanmar coffee plantations in the stone…

Colombia "San Agustin"

Coffee has been king in Colombia more than a century. Colombia is the world's largest producer of "mild" arabica coffee, and, next to Brazil, the second largest producer of all coffee. In 1998 it made $565 million as America's No. 1 supplier. Call…

Ethiopia Natural Sidamo

Call me Mr. Natural If coffee drinking were a religion, Ethiopia would be the Holy Land. The coffee faithful would trek there, like the annual hadj of Mohammedans to Mecca. In the Sidamo province of southern Ethiopia, where the Great…

Guatemala Huehuetenango

Way, Way Tasty As in other parts of the Americas, coffee was introduced to Guatemala by the Spanish, looking to profitably exploit the labor of their Mayan subjects. After independence in 1838, coffee cultivation was neglected until the 1870's,…

Nicaragua "Sabor de Segovia"

Cooperatively Organic In Northwestern Nicaragua, where the Coco river runs through the mountainous Segovia district, several hundred small coffee growers form a coffee growing cooperative known as the Prode Co-Op. Prode was organized…

Timor Maubesse (Cert. Organic)

We come again to the familiar coffee-producing neighborhood of the Malay Archipelago, the once (Dutch) East Indies. The archipelago stretches some 3300 miles wide by 1500 miles, and embraces over 4000 islands. Among these are some of the…

Papua New Guinea "Peaberry"

On the eastern half of New Guinea Island lies the unspoiled republic of Papua New Guinea; Former British colony and UN Trust administered by Australia. Although granted independence in 1974, the economy of PNG remains firmly in the hands…

Yemen Mocha "Rimy"

"Smooth and Delicious" Legend Long ago and far away, coffee seedlings were taken by boat from their native Abysinian highlands (today’s Ethiopia), across the Red Sea and planted in the high arid mountains of the southern Arabian peninsula,…

Honduras H.G.

MUCHO GUSTO Mention Honduras and the mind conjures up a jumble of non-coffee associations: Tropical rain forests, Sandy beaches, Mayan ruins, Bananas, Panthers, Contras, Crocodiles, Cigars, and, as one tourist brochure poetically puts it,…

Puerto Rico "Yauco Selecto"

Historians credit the Boston Tea Party in 1773 for creating a nation of coffee drinkers overnight, and coffee has been allied with democracy ever since. After the Sons of Liberty dumped King George's tea into Boston's harbor our founders…
Map of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe AA+ "La Lucie Estate"

Last year we introduced a premium "flagship" coffee from Zimbabwe, trade-named "Pinnacle", whose distinction was owed in part to being produced on only 8 select farms. One of those farms, La Lucie Estate, stands out for its near fanatical…

Tanzania Peaberry

We begin our 1998 Coffee of the Month series with the perenial favorite, Tanzania Peaberry. There are two good reasons for this: First, it will provide a fine comparison with our delicious December COM, Congo Kivu. Produced at the same altitude…

Kenya AA "Karindundu Estate"

Equatorial Kebab On the map, the Equator skewers Kenya like a tasty bit of shish kebab. This maximal solar exposure is modulated by monsoons and Indian Ocean tradewinds. The Great Rift Valley, which runs from Syria to South Africa dominates…

Ethiopia "Yirgacheff"

This month we revisit our old friend, Ethiopia Yirgacheff. Ethiopian of course is the Alpha coffee, the evolutionary womb of the botanic species, and thus, the place where the adventure begins. Coffee occupies a central place in the economic…

Congo "Kivu"

A Rediscovered Name In May of this year rebels ousted Zairian President Mobutu Sese Seko, after nearly 32 years of increasingly corupt and despotic rule. Mobutu, who died in September in exile, is said to have amassed a personal fortune…

Kona Estate "Holualoa"

In Fall 1982 Coffee Works fired up its fluidized-bed roaster and poured out the first batch of our fresh-roasted specialty coffee to what was then a decidedly-sleepier Sacramento. To celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of this company and…

Brazil Sao Laurenzo

Brazil is the largest tropical country on earth, containing one third of the world's rain forests. It is also the monarch of the coffee world, with export production between two to three times that of Colombia, the world's second largest…

Panama Boquete "La Berlina Estate"

With the media buzzing like summer bees over price gyrations on New York's Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange, it is useful to remember that your intrepid independent roaster does not trade in commodity coffees. Indeed, for the many reasons…

India Mysore "Nuggets"

Cauvery Peak Estate Owing to their northern tropical latitude and the tempering influence of the Arabian Ocean, the Western slopes of Southern India’s Western Ghat Mountains supply near-ideal coffee-growing conditions to the region centered…
Map of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe "Pinnacle"

Coffee growers of Southern Africa have overcome many obstacles in the hundred years since the members of the Moodie Trek first brought this new crop to the Eastern Border region of what was then known as Southern Rhodesia. Although blessed…