Save the Date
June 12th 2014




















We got accepted into the Farmers Market!

This Farmers Market business has caused many late nights tossing and turning

– even an announcement from Steve – "You should make a mood board!"
Anyone who knows me will know making a mood board is right up my alley and
hours of fun can be spent collating everything that can be lovely about a coffee
stand : )

It’s not just me that has been obsessing – do you know how many
conversations can be had about wheels? – many, many I tell you. There have
been conversations about spokes, colour, mudguards, size, weight capabilities –
you name it… wheels are hot topic around here. – That Proud Mary song? It
gets sung a lot.

But you know what? Even though we might come across a little crazy, everyone
talked to (about wheels, welding, the market) has been so helpful and
encouraging and 
we are well on the way to making our own little gelato-cart
inspired coffee stand.

This is quite a big step for us as we continue to look at establishing this business
firmly in 
Gisborne and we know that this community of ours will join us as we
grow and change 
and develop.

We are hoping to offer something a little different alongside good ol’ espresso,
and as the seasons change we will introduce different drinking methods and
products – an ever changing menu of coffee love!

So, mark the date in your calendar – Saturday July 5th. Far East Coffee Co,

Gisborne Farmers Market 9.30am – 12pm. x

{FOOTNOTE: We are at the Farmers Market every Saturday, in the car park
opposite the Council Buildings, 9.30am - 12.30pm. Swing by and say Hi!}



World Fair Trade Day 
May 10th 2014




















It is World Fair Trade Day on May 10th. Fair Trade is something that is
important for us at Far East and something we try to adhere to in all
our transactions. Below is a snippet from Justin Purser's travel diary.

Justin is the Food Manager for Trade Aid and travels extensively to
better understand how the needs of coffee growers can be met.

This story, of Sebastiana Martinez (pictured above) has always stayed
with me.It shows the reality of coffee farming for some people and
the true benefits of Fair Trade. Through Far East's Green Bean purchases,
we are proud to be able to support farmers like Sebastiana to achieve
her goals and provide a future for her family.

It’s 4am. Up and down the forest-covered valley roosters are crowing,
but it’s pitch black outside, and it’s still at least two hours until
dawn will break.

Sebastiana Martinez pulls herself out of bed. In her remote corner of the region of
Guatemala there is no electricity, so in her house she starts her fire and begins
making food for the day ahead for herself and for her children.

When the cooking is out of the way, she walks to the nearby mill to
grind the corn will be used for making the day’s tortillas. She then
has breakfast, packs her lunch, and ventures out into her coffee
farm where she picks coffee from around 9am until 4pm.

Once back at home, she does more work processing her coffee while
her daughters prepare dinner. Her day is not yet done, however, and
after night has fallen there is still plenty of work to do.
"Because there is no electricity here, it’s good to have everything
prepared before it gets dark, so that in the evening I can just depulp
my coffee by candlelight" she explains. Depulping takes her
another hour or two; that, too, is hard work as she has to
continuously crank the handle of the tool  that separates her
coffee beans from the cherries in which they developed. Finally, she
will get to bed by 8 or 9pm.

"For us women, particularly, growing coffee is very challenging and hard work", 
she adds."The work is very hard for us physically, and if we can’t
carry any of our loads of coffee ourselves then we have to pay
someone else to do it. I have other work to do, too – I have two
young bulls that I need to lead out to pasture, and I have chickens
to look after as well. It’s a very hard struggle here to survive and
to meet the needs of my family just from growing coffee. During the
harvest season I do not get one single day of rest".

One of the reasons that Sebastiana is so busy is because she farms alone.
Her husband drowned while trying to cross the river at the bottom of
their valley; from her home, it is a long way to walk to reach the
nearest bridge and many people wanting to reach the opposite hillside
risk the rapids in order to save having to walk the considerable
extra distance.

As a result of this tragedy, Sebastiana was able to qualify as
a member of a special program run by the ASOBAGRI coffee co-operative,
named Cafe con Manos de Mujer (coffee grown by the hands of women).
The program provides support for women who are single, or widowed,
or who are wives of men who have left to live in the United States
and who are not expected back. As well as receiving the training
that all members of the co-op qualify for, she has also built better
coffee processing equipment using funds which are available for 
members of the program.

Standing next to a small enclosure that she has built to house several
hundred coffee seedlings which are growing in small plastic bags,
Sebastiana explains in more depth the value she has received from
her involvement in fair trade.

"This is what ASOBAGRI has taught us - They’ve shown us how to properly grow
new plants. I’ve also received training in composting, using shade trees to protect my coffee
better, how and when to cut down old trees, and how to clean away
foliage from under the trees. We get training in how to make terracing,
and how to use organic fertiliser.Everything we do here is hard –
nothing is easy. But I do it so that my children will see my example
of how to work hard, and so that I will be able to leave them something
when I’m gone"


- To find out more about Fair Trade here
- Read more of Justin's journal here
- Original photo from Trade Aid


The Long Bright Road
April 7th 2014

About 11 years ago when we were heavily entrenched in coffee (The Coffee Supreme
South Island office was in our house!), we looked long and hard at ways in which we, as a
couple, could give back to coffee growing regions. 

We were really conscious of the impact the coffee industry was having on the farmers and

we wanted to contribute positively. We chose to (and still do) sponsor a child in a coffee
growing region. To us, this was one small way in which we could make positive change, to
take care of someone and their community.

Steve recently attended a Flight Coffee seminar where the presenters talked about the

amazing work they are doing to help better the lives of their coffee farmers.

To be honest, Steve went to the seminar a bit afraid that these young guys would be talking

a new talk – that he would find himself out of touch with what is happening in the coffee

“I sat there, listening to these passionate young guys who are keen and enthusiastic and I
saw myself when I was their age – 10 to 15 years ago we were so entrenched in the
industry it is all we could see. The talk is the same talk, their walk is a little different to
ours, but at its essence the coffee world hasn’t changed. What has changed is my own
world. My children help me to see the needs that are closer to home.”

At Far East we are proud to have chosen to partner with a green bean supplier who works to

the 10 principals of the World Fair Trade Organisation. We know that our Farmers are
getting the best price and support possible.

But, for us it is no longer just about the farmers or the coffee. What really excites us is what we can

do to take care of our own people - our own Gisborne community. We talk about it
constantly. It is one of the measures we use when we are making business decisions.

Gisborne isn’t a stop-over for us. We are home. We dream big. In the future we would love

to be able to provide people with income, we would love to financially support local events.
But for now, our focus is on taking care of our customers and our suppliers, it is about
helping and supporting our commercial customers to do the best job that they can to
maintain viable and sustainable businesses. Through this, we hope to see Far East grow
and flourish.

As we deliver coffee throughout Gisborne and develop partnerships with like-minded

business people who are excited about what we are doing and are willing to ‘take a punt’ in
this new venture, it is not only us, but all of us who are contributing positively to our own
local community.

We are excited by these partnerships and relationships that are becoming more firmly

established. We are excited that we have been given the opportunity to be a part of this
community. We are excited that the future is becoming clearer and we can see that there is a long and
bright road ahead.

(original image is from



On a Journey
March 25th 2014.

I guess you could say we are complete hippies when it comes to life’s journey. 

Although we are focused and put in the hard yards, we believe that life is constantly

presenting opportunities. Who knows what will be presented as we wander around this life?
Some opportunities are scary and overwhelming and some (the ones we like the most) get
to the point where life is yelling so loudly the opportunity is hard to ignore. 

That’s how Far East started. 

If you had told us two years ago that this is what we would be doing we would of run for the

hills! Neither of us had any inclination to be involved in coffee. Ever. Again. {Insert life
laughing maniacally here} 

We have been living in this most glorious location for around 18 months. During that time

we have had numerous fingers in numerous pies… but what has been a constant is coffee. 

Steve has been doing maintenance on machinery for out of town roasters. Friends started

businesses that required coffee advice. Once word got out, the coffee requests grew
and grew – what machinery do you recommend? Are you able to train my staff? Can you
supply cups? We found ourselves saying yes, quite a lot! 

Then the big question came – 

“Can you provide the beans?” 
Our answer? 
“Ummm, no reason why not. Can you give us a couple of months?”

And here we are. After weeks of trialing bean combinations, a few days of feeling ill from

the coffee overload, here we are with a blend we couldn’t be happier with and a customer
base that is steadily tracking upward. 

Life really is a journey. It requires different vehicles and experiences. It provides challenges

and solutions. But what it does the most, is take you along a path that connects you to all
sorts of people doing all sorts of amazing and interesting things. 

If we could sit back and take a snap shot of the journey we are on now we reckon it would

look like a Wellingtonian on a sunny day (slightly surprised but very excited). The support we
are receiving is amazing. Gisborne is amazing. 

Happy much? Yep. Happy.