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Join us on our 2013 delegation to meet Las Diosas at La FEM women’s cooperatives in Esteli, Nicaragua!
January 28th-February 4th, 2013 Cost: $900
(Cost includes all in country transportation, two meals a day, lodging, translation and interpretation services, guides and other activities. Price does not include airfare)
Posted by Matt Earley at about 4pm on Tuesday March 5, 2013
Back in 2001 we were "reluctant entrepreneurs" trying to organize JC as people who had absolutely no business training at all. What's more, not only did we not have any training, we thumbed our noses at anything that smelled of standard business practices. This even as we tried to find support for our plan. The approach did not always work well.
When I walked into the UW Small Business center for help on our business plan, I expected that our ideas might not be totally familiar or smiled upon by the retired businessmen who volunteered to help startups in need. I sat down in a chair across from Bill-- my volunteer business expert-- and waited for some feedback. I had sent the plan to him a few days before so that he could get an idea of what we wanted to do. Bill put the plan on the table and pushed himself back in his chair. He slid his glasses down his nose and peered at me over the frames.
"You said you guys want to start a "for profit" business, right?" he asked me a little dubiously.
"Yes, that's right." I replied already starting to feel like a misbehaving second grader in the principal's office.
"Right. Well, there is a major problem with this. You want to be a "for profit", but you have a plan that-- at it's core-- will limit your profits."
"Well, we think that we can pay more for our coffee, make a little less money, and really show how trade can work for all involved."
There was silence. He looked at me with a mix of pity and fatigue. After a moment he spoke up.
Posted by Caitlin Knudsen at about 3pm on Tuesday March 5, 2013
At our monthly cuppings, we like to begin with a coffee-related icebreaker. This
month, we asked participants what food they felt paired the best (or the worst)
with coffee. Sometimes we use these questions to gauge whether people are
inherently optimistic or pessimistic (Side note: the first cupping we asked if people
could remember their best or worst cup of coffee and the vast majority of people
recounted the worst cup of coffee they ever had. It’s interesting to hear the worst
cup of coffee was more memorable than the best). The responses varied, but
included some classic combinations: coffee and chocolate, coffee and pastries, just
coffee (har har). There were a few unusual responses as well, including soft cheese
and pretzels. The cupping was definitely enjoyable, but afterwards I could not get
the idea of pairing coffee and food out of my head. I wanted to explore it more.
Posted by dmhughes at about 5pm on Friday February 1, 2013
We’ve all heard it. “I drank coffee at 5:00 p.m. I’m NEVER going to sleep tonight.” Most of us have made those evening coffee missteps. We were out for dinner with friends or family. It was time for dessert. Yes, why, yes a coffee sounds lovely with my dessert. Then, two hours later, mind racing, lying in bed, that cup of coffee is no longer so lovely. However, is this a psychosomatic effect or does that late day caffeine impact our sleep as much as we think it does?
I don’t need to tell you about the physiological effects caffeine has on the body and mind. If you have ever consumed a cup of coffee, you know. We are all on a first name basis with the jittery hands, frequent bathroom trips, nausea, anxiety and sleeplessness that come in varying degrees depending on the quantity of caffeine consumed. However, the extent to which coffee causes these symptoms in people varies and it differs from person to person. In fact, new research found that whether you are a morning person or “night owl” changes the way in which caffeine affects your sleep schedule (Rettner, 2012). The aforementioned study suggested college students who are naturally “night owls” would be less likely to have their sleep schedule negatively impacted by drinking coffee in the afternoon or evening than somebody who is a morning person (Rettner, 2012). Granted this study evaluated sleep habits and caffeine consumption in college students, a group with admittedly abnormal sleep habits to begin with. Although there is a lot we still do not know about coffee and what it does or does not do to our bodies, there are a lot of studies and papers published regarding caffeine and its potential effect on our sleep schedule.
One article I read compiled the results of various studies. I found the conclusions to summarize much of what I read over the course of a week or two. Basically, caffeine intake in the late afternoon or evening increases sleep latency, or, the amount of time it takes for an individual to fall asleep (Smith, 2002). Interestingly, and perhaps obviously, those who are habitual caffeine consumers tend to be less effected in terms of sleep habits than those who drink caffeinated