Roast! - Kyle Rosa, Breakers Coffee & Wine, Bluetail Coffee Grove
Picking a degree in life.
Kyle Rosa - Bluetail Coffee Grove, Breakers Coffee & Wine
How big does a plot of land have to be, to be considered a farm? That is one of the questions this episode of the Roast! West Coast coffee podcast inspired me to ask. Turns out there are a lot of different answers.
Regardless of your definition there is no doubt that Kyle Rosa is getting his hands dirty in San Marcos, California. Like a lot of us, Kyle found himself on a career path that was going in the opposite direction of his intrinsic passions. He and his wife made a change, and he took on the challenge of Bluetail Coffee Grove (organic). The grove’s name inspired by the lizards that scatter when you walk between the coffee plants.
Bluetail Coffee Grove is actually part of the Frinj Coffee network of farms that buys their coffee plants from company, and receives support—technical, agricultural, marketing—from Frinj above. Earlier this season, I interviewed Jay Ruskey, the founder of Frinj, and I strongly recommend you check out that show after this one.
I can’t say that I really understood the connection between Bluetail and Frinj when I reached out to set up the interviews. I just thought it would be a cool perspective to talk to a local farmer about the challenges and opportunities of domestic coffee farming. I was hoping to get one farmer on the show this season, but am grateful both Jay and Kyle agreed to chat. Listening to their perspectives from different points in the chain makes for a more comprehensive understanding of the work, the branding and the motivations behind domestic coffee farming. Coffee growing is not for faint of heart, and a little stubborn persistence seems to help.
While the farm was the dream, Kyle saw the opportunity for a vertical business move, and along came Breakers Coffee & Wine which is only about a month away from opening, at which point Kyle will be juggling a lot of positions. He’ll be the head farmer, head coffee roaster and the guy overseeing both businesses.
Kyle and his Wife, also just welcomed a new son into their family. With both businesses and a growing family things are about to get pretty hectic in the Rosa house.
Breakers Coffee & Wine opens will have an e-mail membership or customer loyalty program with limited capacity. Having watched the other domestically grown coffees selling out, sometimes in a single day, you might want to sign up on breakersdelmar.com with your e-mail to save a spot, and follow their instagrams @bluetail_coffee_grove & @breakers_delmar for updates on the farm and the opening story at the cafe.
During the show, Kyle references the C-market (coffee market) price, as have a lot of other guests. The coffee being bought and sold at this price is not actually physical coffee yet. It may not even be growing yet. It is just an agreement to buy coffee, called a Futures contract, meaning the seller is agreeing to provide the coffee at specific price later, and the buyer, often a coffee broker is agreeing to buy it at a set rate. Similar to the stock market, buyers and sellers of these contracts are hedging their bets that the price will go up or down.
Today’s C-Market price is at about $1.50 per pound which is seems really low to me, but is actually much higher than it was one year ago when it bottomed out at about 93 cents. On the commodities market you can essentially bet on what the C-market price will be.
Seeing those numbers makes me appreciate the craft and care that goes into the roasted coffee I’m purchasing locally especially from roasters or cafe’s, like Coffee Cycle or Steady State, who make the effort to purchase coffee at fair prices, directly from the far when possible. They are likely paying more than the C-Market price, but they are not only getting a better product they are also creating a fair market alternative that we can feel good drinking in the morning.
We are in week 8 of 10! Only two interviews left to go this season. If you’ve been enjoying the podcast and newsletter, consider becoming a paid subscriber. Subscriptions go towards the creation and expansion of this show, and are greatly appreciated as we start planning for Season 3. An annual paid subscription ends up being only $2.50 per month!
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