Howzit! Remembering our time in Hawaii on a chilly Montana day.
When living/working at Kauai Coffee Company on the island of Kauai, the question was always, I wahi kope nau? Hawaiian for "Will you have some coffee?"
If the food and the coffee was made with Aloha, we like say 'Ono- Delicious! and “e ma‘ona ka ‘opu — may your stomach be satisfied,”
The language in Montana is different, but the sentiment is the same. Join us for a cup! www.morningglorycoffee.net
This is a great video trip starting from our little town of West Yellowstone, Montana, moving along the Firehole River to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. This is our home....
Morning Glory Coffee & Tea, Inc. ~ Freshly roasted coffees from the edge of Yellowstone National Park.
Customers to our store in West Yellowstone, Montana often ask where our coffees and other products come from. Many are amazed that our raw ingredients and finished products come from long distances. The fact of the matter is that everything that we use in our business and daily lives originates from far away places, throughout the United States and, in the case of our coffees, remote regions throughout the world. The video above illustrates just how interdependent the world is on trade and transport of goods. Somewhere in this stream of green lines, taken from one week of transport in 2012, there is un-roasted coffee and other goods destined for Morning Glory Coffee, Yellowstone Park and Montana. The world is indeed a very small place.
VIdeo Published on Feb 24, 2016 A week of ship traffic on the seven seas, seen from space. Get a glimpse of the vibrant lanes of goods transport that link the continents.
The vessel movements were captured using newest terrestrial and space-borne AIS technology from FleetMon and its partner Luxspace. The records cover the world's merchant fleet with some 100.000s of cargo ships, tankers, ferries, cruise ships, yachts and tugs. FleetMon provides advanced fleet monitoring services, software APIs, reports and analyses of maritime traffic data. The inset shows live monitoring with the FleetMon Explorer software.
More information: https://www.fleetmon.com/services/sat...
During a recent conversation with an investment banker, I was confronted with a challenge. It went like this; "Chris I really like what you are doing with your business. I think you can really grow your company and I would like to help you, but the only way I am willing to do that is if you move your business to a more populated and appropriate location (over 100 miles away). I really do not understand why you would live where you do. There is no future there. I understand that you are a community guy, and you want to do the right thing, but you are in the wrong place. You can keep on doing what your doing, but you will get nowhere continuing to do business where you are." Keep in mind, I live and do business on the western entrance to Yellowstone National Park. My choice to live where I do has more to do with lifestyle than potential profits. My inspiration was to be able to make a living in a beautiful place, while producing something that made people happy. I was fortunate to work in the coffee industry for ten years from tree to cup before moving back to Montana. My choice of business was based on passion and experience and was not motivated by quick return.
Creating, sustaining and growing a small business in a rural community brings with it a special set of challenges. When a community is a dependent on seasonal tourism as the base of it's economy, it is even more challenging. The chances for success and growth are slim, under the best of circumstances. When you add small town politics, antiquated policies toward new business, massive swings in seasonal visitation and a remote location, the odds of survival are questionable at best. There have been many days over the last ten years of business that I have questioned whether I am in the right place. But it is my love for Montana, Yellowstone, and my belief that we need strong rural communities that tells me that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
Our rural communities, especially those dependent upon travel and tourism are in need of an economic boost and innovative ideas to sustain and build on their seasonal economies. Efforts need to be made to soften the blow of off seasons. We need to support year round businesses that make products, that can take advantage of year round sales, via wholesale distribution and online opportunities. Businesses need to work more closely with each other, purchasing from and supporting each other with local dollars where they can.
Local governments need to step up and create incentives to attract new business while growing and maintaining existing business. These efforts need to be local in focus with long term goals and planning.
Small business, in a town like West Yellowstone, Montana, is a long term bet that banks will not fully embrace. Banks and investors are very keen on startups and small business at the moment, but the game they are playing is for short term gains. I have been told that rural business is too big of a risk and too slow of a return in the current economy. I would argue that to abandon investment in small towns is to lose sight of an important piece of the overall economic puzzle. Rural communities can and should be examples for innovative and efficient growth. Local government policy along with private investment, focused on long term outcomes can help create an environment for rural America to flourish. The need for communities outside of urban and suburban areas to provide manufactured products, high tech operations, and services for tourism and travel should not be underestimated. Rural communities can do these things just as well as larger communities. They can do it efficiently and in environmentally friendly and innovative ways. We are doing it with our company, but we need more businesses to see the advantage of working in our small community, if we are going to see growth of our local economy into the future.
Our business has survived and grown during ten years of a very seasonal economy, a government shutdown that closed Yellowstone, record raw coffee prices, a terrible recession, and a cancer diagnosis with multiple health issues for my wife and business partner. All of these things resulted in great achievements and huge challenges at the same time. Hopefully in the process, our little mom and pop business has contributed to making our small rural community on the edge of Yellowstone National Park a better place. Every day is still an inspiration to innovate, improve and grow our business. I would much rather contribute to a rural community, with all of it's challenges than to move and become another cog in the urban wheel. There are no achievements without challenges and I am proud to live and do business in rural America.
Many of us have become accustomed to ordering our "double, non-fat, caramel, vanilla latte's" at our local coffee shops or possibly we are making specialty espresso drinks at home. It has become part of our culture, language and every day pattern, expanding the definition of specialty coffee and coffee in general. We have seen enormous growth of independent coffee houses and coffee roasters as well as new and improved products from the large commercial coffee companies that have joined in on the trend of better quality and diversified coffee products. High quality Coffee has never been more popular in the United States and around the world, but what is it that started this phenomena? In 1822, the first espresso machine was made in France. In 1933, Dr. Ernest Illy invented the first automatic espresso machine. However, the modern-day espresso machine was created by Italian Achilles Gaggia in 1946. Gaggia invented a high pressure espresso machine by using a spring powered lever system. The first pump driven espresso machine was produced in 1960 by the Faema Company. Both the spring powered lever machine and the pump driven machines are still in use today. These machines offer a fast way to brew coffee or "Espresso" which means fast in Italian. This fast method produces a small concentrated beverage that, because of its strength, was married with milk. The milk is heated with excess steam from the machines boiler. When added to the espresso in varied amounts it adds to the beverage without cooling the coffee. The result of the espresso method of brewing is what we of course call espresso.
Espresso is from 1 to 1 1/2 ounces of dark, heavy-bodied, bitter-sweet coffee topped with a reddish-brown mantle of crema. This crema is actually the emulsified coffee oils, which are forced out under high pressure (8-10 bar) generated by commercial and high-quality home espresso machines. These oils normally don't mix with water as coffee does, and this emulsification under pressure is what distinguishes espresso from strong coffee. In the espresso extraction process, water-soluble substances are dissolved from the ground coffee, the same as in regular coffee brewing. The extraction of espresso transforms the properties of the bean in terms of its mouth feel, density, viscosity, aroma and taste.
The more finely the coffee is ground, the slower the espresso comes out. Generally, for the best shot of espresso, it should take about 25 to 30 seconds for the water to pass through the coffee. It is important not to over-extract. The consistency of the grind is adjusted to control the brewing time based on humidity and barometric pressure. Those of us that bake will know that the weather can play a key roll in how the ingredients interact with each other and espresso is a great example of this.
There certainly is a big difference between a good espresso and a not-so-good one. How much we spend in terms of money or energy in seeking out the best bean is one of those lifestyle choices we all make for ourselves or our business. Espresso is the foundation of cappuccino and café latte. A good espresso is less obvious under a head of frothed milk, but the quality of the espresso underneath is still the most important factor.
There is an infinite amount of espresso blends and roasts on the market and with the advent of organizations such as the Specialty Coffee Association of America, The Roasters Guild of America and the Baristas Guild of America we have seen many innovations and variations on the basic theme. It is common to see a variety of espresso blends, signature drinks, roast styles, preparations and latte' art all in one retailer. This new awareness has raised espresso and origin coffees to new heights in our culture. It is the basic standard however that creates a consistency of quality.
In conclusion, it will always be our own taste that counts the most, but basic standards must be met to create a quality beverage. From a single shot of espresso to the specialty café latte or cappuccino with a beautiful rosette of latte art... The truth will always be in the cup.