Hello again, everyone. We’ve had a bit of a busy month since our last letter. To start we’ve received and roasted several new beans from around the world. With the spring 2022 harvest in season you can expect to see a new collection of coffee bags in our shop with a fresh new look. Last month also saw members of our team take a trip out to Chiapas, Mexico, to visit our friends at Cafélogia and participate in a 3-day course on coffee harvesting. My fellow newsletter contributor Hope went on the trip and she’ll be telling us more about it in the Learning Lab section. In keeping with tradition, we are continuing to highlight members of our community that are making a difference. This month we’re talking to former Frisco ISD superintendent Rick Reedy about his remarkable career in Frisco Public education and the work that he is continuing to do. You’ll find this in the community table section. I also shouldn’t close out this introduction without letting you know that we have a few exciting dates to look out for in the month of April, all of which be listed in the Latest Blend section. Once again as a company we would like to thank you for making La Finca a part of your daily routine. Whether it be visible changes in the shop or work we’re doing behind the scenes, our relationship with our community is always on our minds. Thanks again.
– Daniel G
The Latest Blend
We are now looking for ambitious and personable people for our front of the house positions, if you or anyone you know is interested in a job with a lot of growth opportunities, we are now hiring
- Happy Easter! We will be closed on Easter, Sunday, April 17th for our employees to spend the day with their families.
- Tax Day is coming up… come in on April 18th for a free drip coffee or shot of spro to give you a boost to get those taxes done.
- If you love homestyle Mexican food as much as we do, you won’t want to miss this! Enchiladas Verdes will be our featured menu item of the month and will only be served on April 23rd and 24th (Saturday/Sunday)
- Did someone say empandas?! Come in and celebrate National Empanada Day with us on Friday, April 8th and try our brand-new savory empanadas.
- Zucchini muffins will be featured on Monday, April 25th.
- Come in and try our Oatmeal cookies on National Oatmeal Cookie Day, Saturday April 30th.
Relational Coffee – Buy coffee from and partner with individuals/groups in producing countries that are impacting the industry through (1) Innovation (2) Preservation, and (3) Fair compensation for all involved in the coffee process
Oftentimes, it’s so easy to get caught up in the rush of everyday life that imagining life and cultures beyond what is right in front of us seems impossible. I had no idea what to expect going into our harvest trip to Chiapas, but I imagined whatever we were doing wouldn’t look much different than life here at La Finca. Boy was I wrong.
Bright pastel-colored colonial-style townhomes. Cobblestone streets. Mountains for miles in every horizon. The beauty and culture of this southern Mexican city will sweep you off your feet, but what lies beyond the valley is what was especially captivating (in regards to coffee, at least). A short drive 30 miles east brought us to the Tenejapa Valley, where we met with two coffee farmers, Lorenzo and Samaria. I expected to see rows of coffee crops, like when you see a field of corn or grapes but was met with natural mountainside full of a wide variety of trees and plants that we had to literally hike in order to see the entirety of the farm, or parcel (in this region, farms are known as parcels). On our path up the mountain on these parcels, we saw people hand-picking the coffee cherries and even had the opportunity to pick some cherries ourselves. To put it in perspective, think about your cup of coffee being the result of several kilos of hand-picked red cherries and countless hours of work put in by these farmers and their families.
After being picked, these cherries make their way to drying beds, which most are dried on the roofs of the homes in which these farmers live. (Side note: speaking of homes, we had the honor of eating lunch with Samaria and her sisters at her home. It was humbling, to say the least, that even though we were from two very different worlds, we were welcomed with open arms. Kindness is universal!!)
As if the coffee plant picking and drying wasn’t fascinating on its own, the next steps of the coffee plant to bean process are a true testament to how intricate the coffee process is. Once picked and dried, the coffee then goes to the milling station, where each bean is depulped by a machine then sorted by hand. Again, BY HAND!
Like anything in life, there is far more complexity to coffee than what lies on the surface. Seeing the process firsthand and seeing real people with their own unique stories whose lives are so deeply rooted in the trade, put what we do at La Finca into perspective. As a barista, every espresso shot we pull for a drink has the traces of the hard work and dedication that each farmer puts into their crop. What was once a regular task has suddenly become the commitment to honor the people who came before me in the relational coffee process, and to uphold each characteristic of the bean that the farmers so intentionally cultivated. Real people with real stories make up the primary layer of what we do here at La Finca. From our staff to you, our valued friend, and all the way to the farmers that supply our coffee beans, our hope is to enable connections that extend far beyond our own neighborhood. We thank you for being a part of our community, and in turn supporting the communities of those who have come before us in the relational coffee process. Stay on the lookout for updates on our next adventure, which will be in Oaxaca, MEX!
Here at La Finca, we consider ourselves to be the final point of contact in the long process that is coffee production and harvesting. The hard work and talent of the producers, farmers, and exporters reach their natural conclusion when we serve their coffee to our guests (or you serve it at home). Regardless of how you order your drink, the barista’s goal is to capture the flavors that the producers painstakingly worked to cultivate. Doing so with coffee beans from around the world creates a lot of opportunities for us to explore a wide array of different flavors together. As some harvesting seasons come to a close, certain beans end up leaving our circulation. And while we are sad to see them go, the inclusion of new beans comes with an opportunity for all of us to explore different flavors.
Part of why we love working in a coffee shop is that fact that every so often we get to sample all kinds of coffee beans. With that we will order samples from our importing partners and decide which beans we want to serve in our shop. Under the recommendation of our partners at Osito Coffee, we took a shot in the dark and ordered a Papua New Guinea beans without having sampled them. We were fairly unfamiliar coffee from this region but to our surprise, it has become a bit of a crew favorite.
As for the other beans in the batch, they mostly sit on the fruity side. However, they truly are some of the most diverse beans that we’ve had here at La Finca. Needless to say, we have never been more excited to make Pour-Overs. Below we’ve compiled a list of our new beans along with the flavor notes that we found while tasting.
Sidamo (Ethiopia, Africa)
- Chocolate, Strawberry, Blueberry
- Elevation: 1,900 – 2,300m
- Process: Natural
Gatuyaini Factory (Kenya, Africa)
- Apricot, Starfruit, Grapefruit Acidity
- Elevation: 1,981m
- Process: Washed
Kuta Kofi Mill (Papua New Guinea, Oceania)
- Chocolate, Papaya, Toffee
- Elevation: 1,600m
- Process: Washed
Bolívar (Antioquia, Colombia)
- Raisin, Melon, Pez Candy
- Elevation: 1,600 – 2,000m
- Process: Natural
Entre-Rios (Turrialba, Costa Rica)
- Banana, Plum, Peach, Wine, Stone Fruit
- Elevation: 1,200 – 1,400m
- Process: Washed
Decaf Siprocafe (Chiapas, Mexico)
- Milk Chocolate, Cherry, Creamy
- Elevation: 1,200 – 1,400m
- Process: Washed
With the start of the 2022 harvesting season, we’re happy to be hosting this assortment of beans. And we hope that you come in and pick up a bag or even get yourself a pour over and experience these wonderful new flavors. Whenever you’re in our shop, feel free to ask your barista more about our different beans, and they’ll be happy to help you find what you’re looking for. And as seasons come and go, be sure to check out this section to find out what we have roasting here at La Finca.
At one point in his life, a career in public education seemed out of the cards for Rick Reedy. As a young man, education that he got about as far away from it as he possibly could. However, after two years with Texas Instruments, he began considering a career change that would let him interact closer with people, which he preferred over working with electronic components. As fate would have it, Reedy received a call from Whitewright ISD’s superintendent at the time with news that they were looking for a high school math teacher to replace one that had stepped down from their position mid-year. Despite past reservations, Reedy bounced on the opportunity and began what would be an over four decades career as an educator.
He remembers high school as a fulfilling period in his life and this feeling was rekindled when he began teaching. That fondness makes it easy to understand why he fell in love with his work as an educator. Being around young people made him able to relive his own high school experience through their eyes. Rick Reedy felt he had found his place.
In 1976, Reedy would follow in a friend’s footsteps after a position opened in Frisco ISD. Here Reedy taught and couched for Frisco High School. He rose through the ranks as a principal, assistant superintendent, and finally superintendent for Frisco ISD.
During this time, Frisco became one of the fastest-growing ISDs in the nation. That growth didn’t change Reedy’s core belief that students should have the opportunity to make meaningful connections with their peers and faculty members. He believes schools can accomplish this by making campus’ sized adequately enough so that students can connect with each and have at least one activity that they can participate in. He cites data saying that extracurricular activities give students a better chance of succeeding in higher education.
After a highly accomplished career, Rick Reedy retired as Superintendent for Frisco ISD. That retirement, he says lasted for a day. Reedy knew that his place was still in education. Much of his work centers around securing funding for education programs and school districts using the connections he built with others throughout his career. Despite the change in roles, Rick Reedy is still as passionate as ever about the education of students.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway folks will have when talking to Rick Reedy about education is that he cares. He cares about students and the quality of education and activities that they have access to; he cares about his colleagues and cares about his community. Therefore Reedy has dedicated his life to building up future generations of young people who will lead us into the future.