The roasting company is donating their limited-edition newspaper sales to young Kenyan farmers taking SCA-certified courses.
BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of Rich Gilligan; cover photo by Kendall Mills
One of the many things that coffee people love is tactility—so, a newspaper format made perfect sense for the team at NYC-based roasting company Parlor Coffee when they released Parchment this past August. “I’ve always had a penchant for the tactile over the digital,” confirms Dillon Edwards, co-founder of Parlor. “When I first moved to New York City, there were so many little corner bodegas stacked with magazines and newspapers from all over the world. Before I founded Parlor, I used to find myself lingering around in them, just passing the time and absorbing the whole vibe.”
The title of Parchment came from the double entendre of the name, as parchment is the innermost layer of the green coffee bean. For Dillon, it was a spark of inspiration to connect this to parchment as ancient paper. “In many coffee-producing countries, it’s often the final product the farmer sells and represents a finished product in that regard,” he adds. Therefore, this “parchment publication” is dedicated to coffee producer-related content, and is written by the core members of the team at Parlor, including Dillon and co-founder AJ Walzer. In a well-constructed DIY approach, the articles in Volumes 001 and 002 feature producer interviews with Parlor’s partners in Kenya and Colombia, along with pieces on the importance of producer relationships and partnerships. Future issues of Parchment will release on a yearly basis, with an origin partner to be featured with each installment.
For the writers behind Parchment, the process was a learning experience, and a meaningful way for the team members to express their love for the work they do other than through the day-to-day tasks. “In all honesty, I think most of us on the team have had an itch that Parchment helped to scratch,” explains Dillon. “Everyone at Parlor brings a unique perspective to our role in the greater industry, and yet, we share common interest in illuminating the intricacies which lie behind farm names, elevations, and coffee varieties.”
Although Parchment is a paper publication, it is also available to read for free online. The design for both formats is thoughtful and elegant, with a type font that reflects a classic style found in most newspapers. The team at Parlor worked with longtime partners, the Brooklyn-based design studio Franklyn Co., who did all of the illustrations and design assembly for the piece. Every writer is given a tasteful illustration under their byline, and photos for both volumes were supplied by Rich Gilligan, a photographer whose work is also featured in the postcard that comes with the first 500 issues.
The latest issue, 002, is dedicated to Kenya and features an interview with Wycliffe Murwayi, a field agronomist and managing director with green coffee company Sucafina. It also showcases an essay on the future of sustainable relationships by Sucafina’s Kenya Country Manager Mie Hansen. The issue is available as a paper copy that you can order here for $10. This month, all sales from Parchment go to sponsoring young Kenyan farmers, who will be participating in an SCA-certified program hosted by Sucastainability, a subsidiary of Sucafina. The course will focus on coffee skills training, covering topics like soil quality assessment, specialty-coffee processing techniques, basic barista skills, and sensory development.