Tweat for a Treat - Free Coffee Competition

RogersEstateCoffees

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Mar 11, 2009
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Rogers Estate Coffees is launching a Twitter contest that gives UK coffee enthusiasts the chance to win free flavoured coffee. The competition starts tomorrow when the first coffee-related question will be published on the http://twitter.com/RogersCoffees. ‘Tweet for a Treat’ aims to further promote flavoured coffee in the UK and establish Rogers Estate Coffees as one of the leading coffee roasters in the UK market.

How to enter

To enter the competition, simply sign up to Twitter and follow us at http://twitter.com/RogersCoffees. A question will be posted between 9am and 1pm every day for 28 days. Each question will begin with the letters ‘TT’ (’Tweet for a Treat’). All you have to do is tweet your answer @RogersCoffees before 9am (UK time) the following day.
The first five people to answer the question correctly will win a special Café Flavors Pack; each pack contains four sachets of different flavoured coffee, and 25 runners up will receive one random sachet.
Should you need some help with any of the questions; most of the answers can be found here on the website. The five winners and 25 runners up will be notified via a direct message on Twitter, giving details on how to claim their free coffee. The winners will also be announced in regular tweets.

Café Flavors

Café Flavors is a flavoured coffee brand developed by the Rogers Family Company. The Café Flavors range is made up of four delicious flavours: Belgian Chocolate, Chocolate Raspberry, Irish Cream and Wild Hazelnut. To produce the different flavoured coffees, Rogers Estate Coffees source the highest quality shade grown Arabica beans, roast them to perfection, and then add natural flavour oils while the beans are still hot.

More about Rogers Estate Coffees

The ‘Tweet for a Treat’ competition is a follow up to the successful coffee giveaway in March when 1000s of coffee sachets were given away every day to celebrate the company’s successful UK launch of the online coffee shop.
Rogers Estate Coffees is the UK subsidiary of Rogers Family Coffee Co., one of the largest coffee roasters in the States. With a UK operation, the coffee is now roasted here and packaged within minutes, an efficient process that guarantees absolute freshness and quality.
The company prides itself on its Community Aid projects and the premium quality of its coffees. Their green coffee beans come from small coffee estates and farms as well as from their own farms in Panama.

http://www.rogersestatecoffees.co.uk/cremapress/2009/05/tweet-for-a-treat/
 

cafemakers

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Nov 3, 2004
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With the promise that the UK specialty coffee market has shown in recent years (London is even the host of the 2010 World Barista Championship), I find it disappointing that any self-proclaimed "gourmet" roaster in this century would be leading a sales promotion with artificially flavoured coffees.

Understanding that the definition of "premium quality" is subjective, companies like these are doing a disservice to consumers by perpetuating the myth that coffee is nothing more than a black, bitter drink which requires a hefty dose of chemical additives from some factory along the New Jersey turnpike in order to be palatable.

We do get a pretty good look at what Rogers' coffee buyers consider "premium" in the header image on their website -- a few ripe cherries mixed with green sour under-ripe cherries, black badly over-ripe rotten ones, twigs and whatever else they could grab from the "shade grown" forest floor in order to fill a bag as cheaply as possible. That's funny, I don't see anything from Yemen on the product list!

I recognise that there will always be the sort of consumer that considers Velveeta to be his or her favorite cheese, but even Kraft foods reasonably positions the chemical concoction as "distinctive," "creamy" and a "good value" for the price conscious yet taste-challenged consumer that requires something yellow and vaguely cheese-like on their food rather than some artisinal specialty food... which, of course, it is not.

Please do us all a favor and drop the "premium," "gourmet," "highest quality," and other similar claims. Those of us in the coffee industry know that you are stretching the truth beyond acceptable limits and it's only a matter of time until your customers know the same.
 

coffeesac

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Jun 3, 2009
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Well. I don’t know what we did to make Andrew mad, but…. I was disappointed to read his comments about our coffee and our company. As a fellow coffee industry tradesman, I would have expected more from Andrew than a snap judgment. And since this forum is moderated by the very person who lashed out at us, I don’t know if anyone will see this.

While I find his post brash and abrasive, I do appreciate the passionate undertones. Obviously, Andrew cares deeply about coffee. I wish he had taken the time to realize that we do, too. It was obvious that little research was done into our company and products.

There are numerous inaccuracies, and accusations made without the benefit of fact. I would like to comment on some of these statements:

My family has been in the coffee business for almost 30 years. 30 years ago, there were very few people roasting gourmet coffee, and even fewer making the effort to make the best coffee that they could. Our roasters were trained by Alfred Peet himself. Alfred Peet is widely recognized as the pioneer of gourmet coffee in the United States. We follow his philosophies and techniques to this day. All of our roasters have been trained in his technique.

So, we are hardly “self-proclaimed” when it comes to gourmet coffee.

Andrew also seems misinformed about our product line. He implies that our coffees have chemical additives, which are needed to be palatable. That is not the case. There are absolutely no additives, chemical or otherwise, in our line of regular coffees. NONE of our regular coffees have anything but 100% high grown, hand-picked Arabica beans of a quality spec that is so stringent that most roasters end up buying our rejects.

We do offer a line of flavoured coffees, which contain mostly natural and some artificial flavor. The reason for this is that natural flavors alone simply do not taste very good – they are not highly enough concentrated to enable us to use them in small amounts, so you end up with a soggy mess. This is a very specific line of coffees for people who like such flavoured coffees as Hazelnut Crème, etc. It is a very small part of the business.

And we don’t buy anything from along the New Jersey Turnpike.

Andrew’s next disparaging comment refers to the picture of coffee cherries. This picture does not depict green coffee, as anyone can see. What this picture shows is what freshly harvested coffee cherries look like, taken right out of the picker’s basket. It has nothing to do with the final product, any more than a handful of strippings from the Macadamia tree resemble a handful of roasted Grade I fancy nuts.

During harvest season, gourmet Arabica trees of all varieties will have cherries in various stages of ripeness on each branch. The picker of course tries to pick only the ripe ones – usually red on most trees, but yellow on some such as the Yellow Catui variety. The coffee trees are usually heavily laden.


When picking cherries with the basket underneath the branch, greens and overripes will invariably fall into the basket. This picture on the web site merely depicts what happens in the field. Our artist liked it because of the colors, and the picker’s hands.

You might also note that, in this picture, the ripe cherries are about 85% or 90%. That is much more than the “few” you reference.

After harvesting, the cherries are pulped, and sorted by weight and size. All defects are removed through several rounds of selection, by machine, by hand, or both. The resulting green coffee is graded, usually by bean size, density, and % defect. What use exclusively is of uniform color and size, for consistent roast and cup quality.


Our green quality standards are the most stringent in the business – many coffee areas have a special grade that is their highest grade – larger screen size, more uniform density, and ZERO defect. That grade goes only to us and is frequently called “JBR Prep”, after my father’s initials.

Andrew does have one good point, however – this web site picture may be misleading to those unfamiliar with the process. I will have it replaced.

Next, Andrew puts “shade grown” in quotations, either trivializing the growing method – which is one of the most important farming methods in the world – or implying that our coffees are not, in fact, shade grown. Either way, this is a grave mistake. The fact is that all of our coffees are shade grown. Indeed, we insist on this, and also help farmers restore their coffee farms to canopied farms. Not only is it better for the environment, but it usually males for better coffee.

In the same paragraph, you mention Yemen, a fine coffee indeed and obviously a personal favourite of yours. I must ask if shade grown coffee is important to you – because almost no coffee from Yemen is shade grown. It has grown under full-sun coffee fields for over four hundred years. (We use some Yemen Mocha form some of our specialty customers, but do not have it in the UK yet.)

We all have personal favourites. Some of mine are from small farms in the Lake Atitlan and Mataquesquintla regions of Guatemala.

Now, I do take exception to being compared to Kraft’s Velveeta cheese. But I guess it’s better than comparing us to Kraft’s Maxwell House coffee!

Now, we are not blowing smoke. We really do take great pains to make the best coffee we possibly can. And we have been doing so for a long, long time.

All of our coffees are sourced by my brother, Peter, who spends many months per year visiting farms, buying coffee, and teaching farmers about organic and sustainable practices.

We also dedicate one-third to one-half of our profits to improving farming practices, sustainability and quality of life in the coffee lands. Andrew, do you donate a minimum 30% to 50% profits the betterment of the environment and the improvement of quality of life?

We have built schools and housing units too numerous to mention. We have built kitchens and medical / dental clinics. We pay for ongoing teachers, doctors, food, and supplies for all of our coffee farmers, their pickers, and all of their families. We have established adult education, sports teams, and college scholarships. We work toward making all of the farmers with whom we do business organic, shade grown, and sustainable.

The last 10 years, we have spent more than US$ 5 million dollars on these programs.

Here are a few very important facts about coffee: first, coffee is the second largest commodity in the world, behind oil. Thus farming practices have a huge impact on environmental health planet wide. The fact that coffee grows rain forests magnifies this importance.

Next, to paraphrase a World Bank report from April 2002, “Coffee, when grown properly, is one of the rare human industries that can actually restore the earth’s health.” Thus it is to all of our benefit to make sure we are doing it properly. And properly means “shade grown”.

Third, did you all know that, acre for acre, a canopied, shade grown coffee farm can sequester more than THREE TIMES the amount of Carbon Dioxide that a sun grown coffee plantation can? And that a canopied, shade grown coffee farm sequesters TEN TIMES more Carbon Dioxide than a rain forest? This is another reason why shade grown coffee is important to us.

In fact, we are one of the few Carbon-Negative coffee roasters in the world – sequestering almost TWICE as much carbon as we produce. (This is by virtue of the coffee farms that we own. We converted many of these properties from clear-cut pastures and farmlands to shade-grown canopied coffee farms).

Our Organic Coffees are probably the most organic and sustainable coffees on the planet, as they consist largely of coffees grown on our own farms, under our standards, which are far more stringent that those of certification agencies. We use such innovations as worm farms, composting, water purification, and biogas. We actually designed these programs, specifically so that we could teach other farmers sustainable practices.

Sorry to run on, but this post bothered me. It was vicious and unfounded, and almost completely inaccurate. Not to mention plain rude.

Which leads me to wonder -- why so abrasive? Are there ulterior motives? Is Andrew “bitter” because we do not use his coffee consulting company? If so, this is not a very effective way of attracting potential customers.

I would have had a lot more respect for Andrew’s comments if he had taken even a token swipe at a little research and preparation. A simple email or phone call, and I would have been happy to clear up his lack of information.

And I am wondering if he even bothered to try any of our coffees? I’d be happy to send him some samples.

Should Andrew like to tour our facility, or learn more about coffee, I would be happy to help. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

So, Andrew, do US a favor and do a little homework before disparaging someone who could easily have been a friend and partner.

For the rest of you, PLEASE don’t go by the biased and ill-informed opinions of one person.

If any of you have read this and, as a result, have doubts about our coffee, please feel free to contact me directly. We will send you a free sample, and you can decide for yourself. I might have to limit this offer if this gets too big, so we don’t go bankrupt. But kindly contact me through this forum and I will make it happen for the near future.

No tricks – try it, and decide for yourself.

I am sure you will find it every bit as “highest quality”, “premium”, and “gourmet” as we claim.

And thanks for caring.

On behalf of my family,
I am,
Most Sincerely,

James Rogers
Vice President
Rogers Estate Coffees Ltd. UK
Rogers Family Company US
http://www.rogersestatecoffees.co.uk
 

cafemakers

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Nov 3, 2004
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coffeesac said:
Well. I don’t know what we did to make Andrew mad, but….

Not mad, just disturbed that anyone would think it is a good idea to advertise flavored coffees on a discussion group dedicated to those who love coffee or work in the trade. (You love the taste of coffee, so you'll really love coffee that tastes like something else.) The logic is lost on me.

coffeesac said:
And since this forum is moderated by the very person who lashed out at us, I don’t know if anyone will see this.

Yes, your comments will be deleted because I'm a coward and just can't face you to support my statements.

coffeesac said:
I wish he had taken the time to realize that we do, too. It was obvious that little research was done into our company and products.

Sorry; I've got a day job cupping coffees and designing roasting facilities that takes priority over goofing off online. All I had on hand was your advertisement pushing a free flavored coffee giveaway and the website with little strength meters that confuse customers into thinking there is some correlation between roast degree and soluble density.

coffeesac said:
My family has been in the coffee business for almost 30 years. ... So, we are hardly “self-proclaimed” when it comes to gourmet coffee.

Oh great, the seniority defense: "We've been doing it forever, therefore we must be good." If you're at SCAE in Cologne next month, I've got a funny joke to tell you involving seniority at a brothel.

coffeesac said:
Andrew also seems misinformed about our product line. He implies that our coffees have chemical additives, which are needed to be palatable.

Yes, flavoring additives (whether derived using a natural or artificial process) are chemicals.

coffeesac said:
And we don’t buy anything from along the New Jersey Turnpike.

Tell me who the manufacturer is and I'll tell you where they are made... chemical plants are probably not in the best neighborhood of town.

coffeesac said:
When picking cherries with the basket underneath the branch, greens and overripes will invariably fall into the basket. This picture on the web site merely depicts what happens in the field. Our artist liked it because of the colors, and the picker’s hands.

Admittedly, I was a little rough on that point. Maybe I've been spoiled by only seeing some of the best estates and cooperatives in the world, but I've never seen a picker bring back a basket at the end of the day that looked anything quite like that. Furthermore, if it were Yellow Catui (which we have here in Hawaii), wouldn't -all- of the ripe fruit be yellow? I can't imagine a picker jumping back and forth between different plants just to add color for the photo shoot.

coffeesac said:
Our green quality standards are the most stringent in the business – many coffee areas have a special grade that is their highest grade – larger screen size, more uniform density, and ZERO defect. That grade goes only to us and is frequently called “JBR Prep”, after my father’s initials.

That must look really nice on the brochure; you don't need to flavor-coat your description of your procedures here too! :)

Those of us in the industry know that you probably mean zero -primary- defects (black bean, sour, bunch of stones, etc.); secondary defects (minor bug damage, chip/breakage, floaters, etc.) are pretty common. Using the SCAA / CQI scoring standard, you can have up to 5 secondary defects in a 300g sample.

coffeesac said:
Next, Andrew puts “shade grown” in quotations, either trivializing the growing method

Whoa pardner! Hold 'yer horses. The phrase was in quotes because it appeared in the prior message... you're reading way too much into this. I'm very much in favor of shade growing.

coffeesac said:
Now, we are not blowing smoke. We really do take great pains to make the best coffee we possibly can. And we have been doing so for a long, long time.

I'm sure that you're putting a fresh coat of hazelnut on the Esmeralda Especiale right now...

coffeesac said:
Andrew, do you donate a minimum 30% to 50% profits the betterment of the environment and the improvement of quality of life?

Nope. I feel that I can do more good by working full time to raise beverage and roasted coffee quality standards in the industry than by throwing money at problems and trading carbon credits.

coffeesac said:
Sorry to run on, but this post bothered me. It was vicious and unfounded, and almost completely inaccurate. Not to mention plain rude.

Unfounded? Your company posted a commercial win free flavoured coffee message in front of a forum of coffee enthusiasts. Think about that for a second. There are only two possibilities: 1) this is what your company considers to be a lead product of acceptable quality in 2009 or 2) your people are not that swift.

coffeesac said:
Which leads me to wonder -- why so abrasive? Are there ulterior motives? Is Andrew “bitter” because we do not use his coffee consulting company? If so, this is not a very effective way of attracting potential customers.

Yes, ulterior motives... I'm thinking ahead because we'll be free to take on new projects sometime in 2011 after we complete the work in-house and our innovative sales method of insulting key potential targets takes at least one year to be effective.

coffeesac said:
And I am wondering if he even bothered to try any of our coffees? I’d be happy to send him some samples.

Um... I think that I will have to pass but you should send samples to CQI for grading because I think that you need a reality check. Maybe you should enter some of those coffees into one of the cupping contests at next year's SCAE conference in London or something like the Guatemalan Cup of Excellence.

coffeesac said:
So, Andrew, do US a favor and do a little homework before disparaging someone who could easily have been a friend and partner.

I've already done you a favor by creating an imbalance in your inherited expectation that your father's business is supplying a premium product. Maybe this will lead you to investigate what some of the younger and more innovative companies in London like Square Mile Coffee Roasters and Monmoth Coffee are doing today rather than what Alfred Peet considered gourmet when I was in kindergarten.

I admire your commitment to your family and business, but make sure that commitment doesn't blind you to the realities of a changing marketplace with ever increasing standards of quality. You'll need to get better just to stay the same.
 

cafemakers

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Nov 3, 2004
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Also, your response to my comment about Yemen just registered: my reference implied that the coffee in your photo looked like it had been prepared in Yemen; it was not a non sequitur meant to interject that your lack of carrying the origin implied poor product quality.

Even the best coffees that arrive from Yemen are usually horribly prepared: twigs, stones, animal teeth, bullet casings, you name it. Yemeni coffee has some interesting qualities, but is not exactly a favorite. ...just my attempt at being clever, gone wrong. Too obtuse.
 

coffeesac

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Jun 3, 2009
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I think we are understanding each other better. First off, I was not aware that we were offering only flavored coffees for that contest, and I apologize. I would have been miffed, too. I am not a flavoured coffee fan either, but some people are -- albeit a small percentage. That has been fixed and we are offering some of our organic coffees, of which I am pretty proud. Be glad to send you some if you'd like to try them.

And I understand the Yemen reference now..... it is pretty ugly stuff, but I've seen uglier in Brasil!

We don't do Q training because our principal cupper, my brother Pete, is pretty renowned in this area and we feel it unnecessary. However, I think he'll probably take the course to see what it like when he has some time.

Cheers,
Jim Rogers
 

coffeesac

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Jun 3, 2009
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No hard feelings here either -- and thanks for the insights. I agree -- and if we can help you at some time, please let me know. Or come by and see our roastery -- the small one in Caerphilly, Wales or the big one near Sacramento, ca.
 

cafemakers

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Nov 3, 2004
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coffeesac said:
Caerphilly, Wales or the big one near Sacramento, ca.

Interesting -- I'll actually be back in Sacramento next week before continuing on to Cologne, but not sure that I'll have time stop by. Will keep in in mind and let you know.
 

stevenson

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May 31, 2011
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we all have them, it’s that certain something that drives you up a friggin’ wall every time you encounter it.
 
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