On the importance of coffee on a farm

Posted by & filed under inthekitchen, kitchen, livestock.

I had never been a coffee person until I moved to New York City. The coffee there is just a different animal. With all of the small roasters around the city it’s easy to get a cup that stands far above the standard gas station watery brew that are pretty much par for the course outside of larger cities. Once I had a taste of the real deal I was hooked. Powerful, toasty, rich. It was easy to love. You don’t usually get the same level of commitment to a good cup outside of New York City. (with the exception of perhaps Seattle or Portland) I think one of the tenets of being a good new yorker is that you can recognize a good cup of coffee and can handle drinking several strong cups a day without having a meltdown. It took me a while but I finally got there….and let me tell you, it feels alright.

Mornings around here at Seven Arrows have been impossible without some rocket fuel to get our collective motors running. We’ve been hustling to get outbuildings finished enough to be inhabitable for the chickens and goats (which arrive tomorrow!!) while still tending to our jobs and responsibilities. It’s also been chilly here on the shore, and getting out from under our cozy wool blankets only happens with promise of a mug of piping hot black lightening. We need this stuff. Our farm runs on it. It’s reminiscent of donut chain slogans, but it’s the truth.

My friends over at Cafe Grumpy have been hooking this farm up in a big way. Every two weeks I go out to the mailbox to find a couple of bags of their most recently roasted beans, some just a two or 3 days out of the roaster. The first time I received a package from Caroline Bell, cofounder of “Grumps” as Neil and I so lovingly refer to it, I was touched. I don’t know that the importance of such a gift is obvious to anyone who hasn’t embarked on a path that pretty much guarantees hardship. It’s a little luxury, but it helps a ton.

Cafe Grumpy was a big part of our life in Brooklyn. We were located just a block from our old place in Brooklyn so we spent 95% of our coffee budget with them. Our loyalty was rewarded with all of the coffee chaff out chickens could shit upon, saving us money on bedding. We still pick up sacks of chaff when we are in the neighborhood. It’s nice that we get to enjoy a little bit of our old life here in New Jersey.


Each morning we grind up some beans and load up the percolator that was given to me by my grandmother. A few minutes later, with hands cupped around warm mugs, we traipse out onto the farm to feed the dogs, chickens and rabbits, who seem to appreciate the added pep to our step.


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