Author Archives: paf12

Coffee Takes Down a Nobel!


I drafted this in June and since came to learn the ‘Nobel’ part is that the Business prize was put together by Nobel Peace Prize winners, so that’s why it’s not the same as the Nobel Peace Prize BUT still a big deal worthy of publicizing!


Coffee Takes Down a Nobel!

My coffee biz mentor had won a Nobel Business for Peace Prize I just read on the web!

Unless it’s just a goof (I’ll double check before publishing this elsewhere) that’s Way Cool.

It validates what all of us in the ‘Social Impact’ worlds of Coffee have been doing and will help inspire and inform as we continue!

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 26, 2013 in Uncategorized


Do you have a cause for which you’d like Red Barn to help raise revenue?

Red Barn’s Coffee Sales Fund Raising for Causes is a program we offer to non-profits and community groups. We have several in progress right now, including Alternatives Inc., a disability services agency in nearby Whitinsville and the Ashland LaCrosse Club.

If you have suggestions for who we might contact, leave us a comment. And feel free to share this with agencies or groups who might be Your Causes!

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 26, 2013 in coffee, News, Special Brew, Uncategorized


Kudos to this Red Barn Mexico Fair Trade Organic!

mex fto bag 81913Blog

Kudos to this Red Barn Mexico Fair Trade Organic we’ve roasted and been serially tasting to check out its baseline tasting profile BUT also its “Post Roast Development” behavior/s!

Today 4 days out from roasting, a Fab floral-perfume whole bean aroma from the about a half pound in the bag! Much more pronounced than even yesterday, not to mention the day after it was roasted on the 2nd and third days out.

And in the grinder before grinding, the 4 TBsp a nutty chocolate fragrance as well!
How much of all this great stuff will persist into the brewed outcome? Always a relevant question with checking out coffees’ various attributes in varying circumstances!

And yesyesyes! Held all that right into the brew! Viva PRD! Lemon tang with sweet edged nuttiness! A virtual pastry to die for if it could be concocted up by a Master Baker!

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 26, 2013 in Uncategorized




Word from Merchants of Green is that the container ship–38,500 lbs–arrived in Halifax and the green coffee is now in Toronto. More Soon!

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 26, 2013 in Uncategorized


Cafe Solar: using coffee to protect wildlife and forests!


This is the Honduras park, Pico Pijul, where Cafe Solar and its parent MesoAmerican Development Institute will become co-managers, with the intent of using coffee to protect wildlife and forests. Cool!

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 15, 2013 in Uncategorized


Coffee According to the New York Times

The Sunday Times magazine reports on a study by the National Cancer Institute that concluded “men who reported drinking 2 or 3 cups of coffee a day were 10 % less likely to have died than those who didn’t drink coffee, while women drinking the same amount had 13 % less risk of dying during the study.”

The study was of 400,000 volunteers, ages 50-71.

Leave a comment

Posted by on June 25, 2013 in Uncategorized


Coffee Talk Magazine Piece about Cafe Solar!

Here it is!

Introducing Café Solar!

A New Model of Sustainable Coffee Production from the “Direct Trade” partnership of Mesoamerican Development Institute at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, the COMISUYL coop in Yoro, Honduras, and Red Barn Coffee Roasters in Upton, Mass.

by Peter Friedland

Café Solar is an impor­tant new cof­fee devel­op­ment (even among the many oth­ers com­ing out of the Coffee Universe!)

First, as its brand name pro­claims, this Honduras cof­fee is being dried in the world’s first solar-powered green cof­fee pro­cess­ing mill.

Second, it’s the result of 17 years of devel­op­ment by the Mesoamerican Development Institute (MDI), a U.S. non-profit based on cam­pus at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and which is also a Honduras-based Non-Governmental Organization in part­ner­ships with three Central American uni­ver­si­ties in Honduras, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. (MDI’s motto is ‘If we don’t have it, we invent it.”)

And for the first time, Café Solar green cof­fee will be shipped in May directly from the Coöperative COMISUYL to Red Barn Coffee Roasters in Upton, Massachusetts, where it will be roasted for sale at Red Barn’s cafes, ecom­merce store sales and at the University of Massachusetts Lowell campus

The work­ing rela­tion­ship between Massachusetts-based Red Barn and UMass Lowell’s MDI, and the Honduras coop COMISUYL, is one of the inno­v­a­tive ways con­sum­ing coun­try roast­ers are pio­neer­ing “Direct Trade,” the alter­na­tive model gain­ing increas­ing attention.

The Yoro pro­cess­ing cen­ter is ‘off-grid’ in that it gen­er­ates its own elec­tric­ity, and allows local farm­ers through their coop to not only process but also to export their har­vest directly to the world spe­cialty cof­fee mar­ket. And not only to the U.S. but also to roast­ers in Canada, Sweden and Ireland, a first in 100 years of cof­fee pro­duc­tion in Yoro, Honduras.

The Yoro cen­ter is the only facil­ity able to indus­tri­ally dry cof­fee with­out burn­ing wood from threat­ened trop­i­cal forests, the fuel source for con­ven­tional dry­ers hav­ing resulted in vast defor­esta­tion in Honduras and other cof­fee­lands where mechan­i­cal dry­ing is done this way.

Most of the facil­ity is oper­ated by local youth of the com­mu­nity of Subirana trained in the use of renew­able energy tech­nol­ogy and qual­ity con­trol and prepa­ra­tion by MDI and COMISUYL.

Another sig­nif­i­cant aspect of Café Solar is that the coöper­a­tive and the pro­cess­ing cen­ter are both man­aged by women: the COMISUYL General Manager is Maira Manzanares, and the Yoro pro­cess­ing plant  Manager is Orbeli Manzanares Ulloa. Maira is a cof­fee farmer whose grand­fa­ther was one of the first to begin plant­ing cof­fee in the region and has been involved since a child in all aspects of cof­fee production.

Orbeli is also a cof­fee farmer whose knowl­edge of cof­fee prepa­ra­tion and qual­ity con­trol was enhanced through train­ing  funded by through Fair Trade International and Mesoamerican Development Institute.

Orbeli recently rep­re­sented MDI at a sem­i­nar with USAID in which USAID is hop­ing to gain from her expe­ri­ence in run­ning the world’s first off-grid pro­cess­ing center.

Also the Yoro solar energy plant is backed up with an addi­tional ‘renew­able energy’ ‘bio­fuel’ for the gen­er­a­tion of elec­tric­ity made from an indige­nous tree, Jatropha Curcas. A local farmer-owned com­pany, gen­er­at­ing addi­tional jobs and income, pro­duces the oil.

In a U.S.-based par­al­lel around con­tribut­ing to the local econ­omy, the Yoro solar and biofuel-powered green cof­fee pro­cess­ing cen­ter was man­u­fac­tured largely in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, ben­e­fit­ting New England’s econ­omy as well Honduras’.

Another unusual and inno­v­a­tive aspect of Café Solar is that  it has been des­ig­nated the “offi­cial sus­tain­able cof­fee” of the UMass Lowell cam­pus, one of five in the over­all UMass statewide sys­tem. That’s because of Café Solar’s his­tory of serv­ing as a sort of ‘cof­fee cur­ricu­lum’ gen­er­at­ing many edu­ca­tional projects exam­in­ing “Sustainability” from mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary per­spec­tives, an approach neces­si­tated by the com­plex­ity of this increas­ingly used but still widely over­sim­pli­fied term.

These projects have ranged from engi­neer­ing of the solar and biofuel-powered green cof­fee pro­cess­ing mills to the busi­ness and social issues of cof­fee, as well as to con­sumer coun­try brand­ing and mar­ket­ing.
As a result, an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary fac­ulty group at UMass Lowell has begun meet­ing to develop an entire sem­i­nar focused on Café Solar.

Another crit­i­cal envi­ron­men­tal aspect of the Café Solar story is that the Coöperative COMISUYL is prepar­ing to tran­si­tion cof­fee farms to MDI’s trade­marked forest-friendly land man­age­ment sys­tem called “Integrated Open Canopy” (IOC), which MDI has been study­ing with grad­u­ate and doc­toral stu­dents from the University of Massachusetts and the US Forest Service for the past eight years.

In addi­tion to increas­ing crop yields, IOC has been found to pro­vide habi­tat for a mul­ti­tude of endan­gered migra­tory and res­i­dent bird species, as well as other forest-dependent wildlife not sup­ported by other cof­fee pro­duc­tion meth­ods, includ­ing the much more widely-known and cer­ti­fied prac­tice of ‘shade grown’, mak­ing it quite likely there’s more con­tro­versy to come around these issues.

The research mak­ing this case has just been pub­lished by the jour­nal Conservation Biology. The prin­ci­pal researchers include the two prin­ci­ple Café Solar devel­op­ers Raúl Raudales and Richard Trubey, along with Dr. Richard Chandler and Carlin Chandler (Department of Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst); Dr. David King (U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Amherst MA); and Victor Julio Arce (Mesoamerican Development Institute).

Café Solar® is avail­able at Red Barn Cafés includ­ing at Boston’s Historic Faneuil Hall.

And visit for more infor­ma­tion about solar and biofuel-powered green cof­fee pro­cess­ing, Integrated Open Canopy land man­age­ment, and how UMass Lowell and UMass Amherst fac­ulty and stu­dents have been involved with Café Solar and MDI.

Peter Friedland has been an envi­ron­men­tal jour­nal­ist and social ven­ture cof­fee com­pany devel­oper, includ­ing hav­ing roasted cof­fee over the past 14 years. Currently a Sustainable and Specialty Coffee con­sul­tant, he is proud to do Disclosure that yes, he is also a “sales rep” for Café Solar in the best spirit and prac­tice of com­bin­ing Social Change with Commerce.

Do you like this? Share it:

Mailing Address

CoffeeTalk Magazine
25525 77th Ave SW
Vashon, WA 98070

By Phone or Email

877 426 6410

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 6, 2013 in Uncategorized