Fresh Pressed News

You very well may have celebrated our Nations birthday with apple pie, hot dogs and BBQ but if you really wanted to fly the patriotic colors in historically accurate fashion you would’ve been quaffing cups of coffee.

Many of us know the important role that tea played in the American Revolution but what many of us don’t realize is how important coffee was. Following the events of the Boston Tea Party, when gangs of colonists dumped a full cargo of over-taxed tea into the Boston Harbor, coffee became not only the preferred drink but the patriotic one as well.

As the Revolutionary War picked up steam, so did coffee houses. They quickly became the preferred meeting place of the newly formed Continental Congress. The most famous  was the Merchant’s Coffee House in Philadelphia, it was there that the Declaration of Independence was first read aloud to the public.

America is defined by its connection with coffee. There’s a good reason we arrange to meet friends for a cup of coffee not afternoon tea, we are expressing our independence and autonomy. So, carry on America, fly the colors and have a latte!

Want a chance to win a bag of your very own patriotic beans? Then please leave a comment here, retweet or repost this blog on facebook and we’ll enter your name in our monthly drawing.

photocredit: Our Flag


The Purple Princess has arrived at Hudson Coffee Traders. Straight from her home in the La Paz region of Honduras she brings with  her a luscious, bright crispness and fruity notes of dried plum and pear.

No, we haven’t started selling  fruity smelling dolls for the Pre-K set. We’re talking about our new micro-lot coffee from Counter Culture, Finca El Puente.

The brain child of  husband and wife team of Marysabel Caballero and Moises Herrera, Finca El Puente earned the nickname Purple Princess when Peter Guiliano, co-owner of Counter Culture Coffee, first met her in the cupping room of a contest. The name stuck.

This prize winning coffee has placed at the top of every coffee contest it has ever entered and enjoys an unrivaled winning streak. Revered for its silky body with well balanced notes of blackberry, blackcurrent, dried plums, white grape and pear the juicy body of this coffee will have you at Hello.

The Purple Princess owes her sultry sweetness to many factors. Grown at a high elevation in a dry and dusty region amidst pine trees ( a rarity in a tropical climate) the beans are fed by pristine natural springs.  The beans are then exposed to an experimental post-fermentation soak  developed by Moises. They rest underwater for 24 hours following fermentation and washing in a special tank. In side by side tastings, every coffee produced in this manner had overwhelmingly better response than those that were not. The contribution of Marysabel’s warm and funny nature can’t be downplayed in the development of this wonderful coffee either.

Bright, fruity and seductive, the Purple Princess just may heat your summer up a bit more.

Want a chance to win a bag of HCT coffee? All you have to do is leave a comment here, retweet or re-post this blog to Facebook and your name will be entered in the monthly drawing. Winners are announced at the beginning of the month.

Summer officially arrives today at 1:16pm EST. Hooray! We’re not sure what we’ll be doing at the exact moment that the Earth’s “axial tilt is most inclined towards the sun  at its maximum of 23° 26′” (thanks Wikipedia) but we do know we might have to drink an extra cup or two tomorrow to get through the longest day of the year.

Civilizations have long celebrated the summer solstice for both practical and spiritual reasons. The arrival of Midsummer signaled that the long, cold winter was finally over and the season of fertility had begun.

The Pagans called the Midsummer moon the “Honey Moon” for the ceremonial wedding mead made from fermented honey. It’s still believed that Midsummer is the best time to cultivate honey. It was also thought to be a time of magic when evil spirits appeared. The Pagans wore garlands of flowers and herbs chief among them was “chase-devil” which is known to us as Sy. John’s Wort and is often used as a natural alternative to antidepresents.

The ancient Chinese celebrated the earth, the feminine and the forces of Yin during their summer solstice celebrations. In contrast their winter solstice celebrated the heavens, the masculine and yang energy.

In ancient Rome this time of year brought the festival of Vestalia. The festival honored the Roman Goddess of the hearth, Vesta. Married women were able to enter the shrine of Vesta during the festival. At other times of the year, only the vestal virgins were permitted inside.

The ancient Gaul’s celebrate the Feast of Epona at Midsummer, named after a mare goddess who personified fertility, sovereignty and agriculture. She was portrayed as a woman riding a mare.

Salsbury Plain in Wiltshire England is home to the most famous pre-historic megalith on earth, Stonehenge. While scientists and archeologists have been studying it for decades, we can only speculate about the significance of the summer solstice to those who built it. However it must have been incredibly meaningful to the civilization that built it as it took close to 1500 years for the henge to be completed.   “The circular bank and ditch, double circle of ‘bluestones’ , and circle of sarsen stones, are concentric, and the main axis is aligned on the midsummer sunrise–an orientation that was probably for ritual rather than scientific purposes. 

However you choose to celebrate Midsummer, we here at Hudson Coffee Traders wish you a fruitful and happy summer!

PS. Did you know that at the end of every month we pull a name out of a hat and give a free bag of coffee to the winner? Well, it’s true. Do you want a shot at getting your name in that hat? All you have to do is leave a comment here, retweet or re-post a link to Facebook and leave the rest to fate and the hand that pulls the names out of the hat.


Mind your Grinds

Everywhere we turned today we saw articles, posts and tweets about coffee. Don’t ask why, we don’t remember getting any memos about today being National Discuss Coffee Day or Mr. Coffee’s birthday but discussions about coffee abounded today on the web. So… we thought that we’d distill some of the best, most interesting bits we read and share them with you.

According to Yahoo Green you can use old grounds to:

  • Touch up scratches in wood furniture
  • Mix with soil as a natural fertilizer for plants (tomatoes especially love them some java!) Grounds add nitrogen and attract earth worms and can be a pathogen free alternative to manure.
  • Make like a Colonial Re-enacter and dye dye cloth or paper
  • Rub into your dog as an organic flea dip.
  • Place in cheese cloth and hang in your closet or fridge to repel odors.
  • Scrub away grease and grime from pots and pans.
  • Throw on ashes before cleaning out the fireplace to reduce dust from spreading.
  • Mix ¼ grinds with one egg white for a revitalizing face mask.

The Harvard School of Public Health recently came out to join the chorus of researchers who suggesting that moderate consumption of coffee may reduce the risk of contracting some diseases such as Gall Stones, Parkinson’s Disease, Cirrhosis of the Liver, and Heart Disease.

Some old wives promised us that Ants don’t like coffee, so you can sprinkle unused grounds around the perimeter of an area they are invading. We’re not sure if it’s the fine texture or the caffeine but if you give it a try let us know how it works.

Then there was an interesting piece of news out of Oregon, a state where they are known to drink a bit of coffee. The Oregon State University Extension began   a grounds composting co-operative. The extension set up a trial program to check the efficacy of grounds in composting. It turned out that coffee grounds helped sustain high temperatures in compost piles, reducing potentially dangerous pathogens as well as seeds from weeds and vegetables. “In the trials, when coffee grounds made up 25 percent of the volume of the compost pile, temperatures were sustained between 135 degrees and 155 degrees for at least two weeks, enough time to have killed a “significant portion” of the pathogens and seeds. In contrast, the manure in the trials didn’t sustain the heat as long.”

Finally, we saw this quote and while we love it are not entirely sure it can be said of our post here today: “Coffee: Induces Wit” — Gustave Flaubert.

Want a chance at winning your very own wit inducing bag of Hudson Coffee Traders Coffee? Then please leave a comment here or re-post us to facebook or retweet on Twitter. Monthly winner announced at the end of the month!

Photo credit: Suzettesuzette

We could think of no better way to let our across the street neighbor Gillian Harper of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage know how much we love her than subjecting her to our 10 Questions.

What’s your HCT regular order?
Regular medium coffee with room for cream.

What age would you be if you didn’t know your age?

Time or money? Why?
Time….because I’m 45 years old and feel like I’ve only just gotten started.  

What would you do differently if you know no one would judge you?

Sing….in public….in front of lots of people…..often. 

If you could have coffee with anyone throughout history who would it be?
Shakespeare, and it would be tea, not coffee. That’s the non living choice. Still alive? I would pick Maya Angelou.

If you had a family crest what would be on it?

A heart, representing courage of the highest order.

What’s your favorite daily ritual?

Leaving the office at the end of the day…haha, just kidding. Taking my dog for a hike off leash in the morning…early.

How has your life been different than you imagined it would be when you were a teenager?

I never imagined when I was a teenager living in England that I would spend most of my adult life in America. I thought I would have children….I do not.

What can you do today that you were not capable of a year ago?
Laugh at myself. Working on that one.  

Who was the most important person in your life? Why?
My Mum. Has to be my Mum. She gave me strength and always encouraged adventure.   

Who would you most like to be stuck in an elevator with? Least like?

Most like? Elvis in his younger days, in black leather…just sayin. Least like? Myself…stuck alone…scary.

An abiding sense of history and continuity was one of the many things that originally attracted us to the Uptown Kingston neighborhood. Wall Street is steeped in history and we felt honored to become a part of the area’s next chapter when we moved into the landmark Leventhal Building.

Built in 1888, 288 Wall Street was originally home to Leventhal’s Furs. A family owned business, Leventhal’s specialized in high end furs and custom design. Hyman and his son Reuben worked side by side providing the very best quality furs to their customers. Yet, as the times changed so did the shop. In time the inventory was expanded to include high end fashions and the name of the shop was changed to Leventhal’s Furs and Fashions. 

Reuben married Sylvia, a beautiful and sophisticated native New Yorker who brought her unique and timeless sense of fashion  with her to her new home up the Hudson. In the 1950’s, once their children were off to college, Sylvia became more involved with the family business.   She was the face and very embodiment of high fashion in Kingston. The shop quickly became an Uptown Kingston institution with Sylvia at the helm. Her love of and  dedication to the store was matched only by her customers allegiance to her and the fashions she brought in to the shop.The shop remained open up until the mid-1990’s when Sylvia finally retired in her mid-80’s.

We were so honored and thrilled to meet Sylvia one day two years ago when her daughter, Barbara Dubin, brought her by the shop to see what we had done with the place. As we walked through the shop Sylvia took us on a tour back through time explaining how her shop was laid out. It was wonderful to see the place through her eyes and to get a taste of what the space had once been.

Even though the cold storage vault in the back now shares space with the restroom and the windows no longer are home to fashionable mannequins modeling the latest designs we hope that Sylvia recognized that her undying spirit of dedication to the residents and visitors to Uptown Kingston has not changed under our stewardship.

Sylvia lived a long and wonderful life — we are honored to have met her and to carry on in the shop she nurtured so well.

* Want a shot at winning a bag of HCT coffee? All you have to do is leave a comment here, retweet or repost this blog to Facebook and you”ll be entered. Easy as pie!

You know that we here at HCT are always ahead of the bell curve and we like it that way. And, we rarely brag about it. Until today that is.

You may remember our blog post BACK TO IT waaaay back in January when we talked about the health benefits coffee has to offer. Well, it seems the mainstream media is just catching up to us now. There’s been a veritable rash of articles lately extolling the benefits of coffee. Okay, well truth be told those articles are being written because a rash of new studies have just been released but allow us our little fantasy on this won’t you?

A few weeks ago brought news of a Swedish study linking coffee consumption with a reduction in the risk of developing a certain type of breast cancer. The researchers found that post-menopausal women who consumed more than 5 cups of the mighty bean juice were 50% less likely to develop Er negative (non-hormone responsive) type breast cancer than non- coffee drinkers.

More recently a group of Harvard researches announced in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute  that coffee consumption actually reduces a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer. Add this to the studies linking your daily joe with a “decreased risk of gallstones, type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease, as well as lower rates of disease progression in liver cancer and ” you’ve got enough ammo to keep the coffee haters at bay for a long, long time.

Now here’s a caveat: we’re not recommending that you start drinking five cups or more a day to keep disease at bay but just in case you’re like a lot of people and think of your coffee as a vice, keep these studies in mind and enjoy!

Want a shot at winning a bag of coffee of your very own? It’s as easy as leaving a comment, reposting this blog on facebook or retweeting us and we’ll enter your name into a drawing. Winner announced at the beginning of the next month!

photo credit: mattb4rd’s

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