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  1. #1
    BarryG is offline Senior Member
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    Default La Colombe opening decaffeination plant, wants city to be biggest US coffee port

    Quote Originally Posted by Collin Flatt, Eater
    Carmichael recently locked down a 15,000 square foot warehouse in Port Richmond that will become home base for the new operation. Currently, there are no other privately owned decaffeination plants in the U.S...

    "Someday, I want Philadelphia to be the biggest coffee port in the U.S.," La Colombe founder Todd Carmichael told Eater. "And this decaffeination plant is the first step in that plan."

    Link: La Colombe Opening Decaffeination Plant in Philly - Decaffeination Nation - Eater Philly

  2. #2
    3rd&Brown is offline Senior Member
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    Good to see/hear.

    This is where future growth comes from. It's not from the 500 person office which moves for a subsidy, cuts employees, then leaves when the subsidy ends. It's from all of the little companies churning and growing organically.

    Thanks for the link.

  3. #3
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    Bob_Head is offline Immoderat0r
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    I like jobs ans growth and jobs as much as the next guy, but decaffeinating coffee is immoral and should not be tolerated anywhere.
    Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_Head View Post
    I like jobs ans growth and jobs as much as the next guy, but decaffeinating coffee is immoral and should not be tolerated anywhere.
    it's getting late. i thought it said defamation, then i thought it said deification.

    It is immoral but unfortunately there are enough people, like me, who can't drink high test anymore. sad but true so the better the decaf the happier i am. I trick myself into thinking it's caffeine. sure does feel the same when i drink it, but now i'm not climbing the walls... as much.
    "If you're going to tell people the truth, you better make them laugh; otherwise they'll kill you."
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  5. #5
    Bob_Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gladys View Post
    it's getting late. i thought it said defamation, then i thought it said deification.
    You need more caffine!
    Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3rd&Brown View Post
    This is where future growth comes from. It's not from the 500 person office which moves for a subsidy, cuts employees, then leaves when the subsidy ends. It's from all of the little companies churning and growing organically.
    I agree completely. The best way to create and keep jobs is with small locally companies making stuff. We used to have 1000s of such small companies all over the city, some of which quietly still exist. These tended to get sold off or closed in the 1950s to 1970s when a younger generation didn't want to continue the family business. Today's economic and technological environment make this a great time for the return of such businesses.

  7. #7
    Garret is offline Online Tool
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    I especially love that he is calling his modified process "The Philadelphia Water Process". I have (optimistic) visions of the world's leading coffee companies sending out press releases announcing that they are "modernizing to the new, improved Philadelphia Water Process".

  8. #8
    MtAiryMan is offline Member
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    Default Good News

    Like what has already been said it is small businesses that will turn things around in this city. I'm a fan of their regular coffee, don't care for decaf yet! Interesting that a plant to do such a process has not been set up before in the worlds largest consumer of coffee. Good luck on making Philadelphia a major coffee port.

  9. #9
    seand is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gladys View Post
    i thought it said defamation, then i thought it said deification.
    I love coffee as much as the next guy, but I do not worship it as a God. Or at least where anyone can see me.

  10. #10
    Bob_Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtAiryMan View Post
    Good luck on making Philadelphia a major coffee port.
    That's not such a far-fetched idea. Melitta has a huge roasting operation over in Cherry Hill. I don't know what port they come through, but since I haven't seen Juan Valdez driving a team of heavily laden burros up the Jersey Turnpike, I assume they come in through the port.
    Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine.

  11. #11
    phillyaggie is offline Senior Member
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    I like La Colombe and love how they're spreading their wings yet staying close to their "Made in Philly" brand.

    However, I'm not sure this is such a big deal, to be honest. The article made it seem as though all decaf coffee sold in America gets decaffeinated outside the country, and that's not true. There are at least a few really big decaf plants in America-- I know because I worked as a process engineer intern in one, the largest one in fact, owned by Maxwell House. And its feedstock came from the Port of Houston/Galveston. Before the hurricanes hit, New Orleans was the leading coffee port in America, and now Houston has taken on a load. New Orleans is still up there. That Maxwell House plant in fact added many packaging lines to its million sq ft area when Kraft decided to shut down its Hoboken roasting facility thanks to expensive utilities...

    May be the article tried to say that La Colombe wants to become a tolling operation, decaffeinating their beans but also others' beans, for a toll, and that such operations do not yet exist in America.


    The idea of Philly becoming a designated coffee port is very doable, but the labor, taxes, and infrastructure issues have to be sorted out to make it the top port... to see what Houston had to do, just read the first page of this:

    City of Coffee - Page 1 - News - Houston - Houston Press

    the Houston plant uses supercritical CO2 in a 100ft tall reactor vessel to extract caffeine out of beans at a really big scale. The "Swiss Water" process seems to be replicable at small scale, so if La Colombe does it, I wonder what stops others from doing it too. Meaning, if they're successful, coffee companies in other cities might copy the concept too due to low barriers to entry. Nothing wrong with that-- more localization of business is good for everyone, but something to keep in mind while dreaming about far-flung coffee roasters sending their beans to Philly to get decaffeinated. The Philly port could eventually become a green coffee import hub, though, and use the Mid-Atlantic location and rail and highway connections to serve a big chunk of North American population similar to how it does with grapes and bananas.
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  12. #12
    OffenseTaken is offline Junior Dilettante
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    I just hope that once this plant is up and running, I can order something half-decaf without the cashier looking at me like I just asked him to kiss my nuts.

  13. #13
    billy ross is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by phillyaggie View Post
    I like La Colombe and love how they're spreading their wings yet staying close to their "Made in Philly" brand.

    However, I'm not sure this is such a big deal, to be honest. The article made it seem as though all decaf coffee sold in America gets decaffeinated outside the country, and that's not true. There are at least a few really big decaf plants in America-- I know because I worked as a process engineer intern in one, the largest one in fact, owned by Maxwell House. And its feedstock came from the Port of Houston/Galveston. Before the hurricanes hit, New Orleans was the leading coffee port in America, and now Houston has taken on a load. New Orleans is still up there. That Maxwell House plant in fact added many packaging lines to its million sq ft area when Kraft decided to shut down its Hoboken roasting facility thanks to expensive utilities...

    May be the article tried to say that La Colombe wants to become a tolling operation, decaffeinating their beans but also others' beans, for a toll, and that such operations do not yet exist in America.


    The idea of Philly becoming a designated coffee port is very doable, but the labor, taxes, and infrastructure issues have to be sorted out to make it the top port... to see what Houston had to do, just read the first page of this:

    City of Coffee - Page 1 - News - Houston - Houston Press

    the Houston plant uses supercritical CO2 in a 100ft tall reactor vessel to extract caffeine out of beans at a really big scale. The "Swiss Water" process seems to be replicable at small scale, so if La Colombe does it, I wonder what stops others from doing it too. Meaning, if they're successful, coffee companies in other cities might copy the concept too due to low barriers to entry. Nothing wrong with that-- more localization of business is good for everyone, but something to keep in mind while dreaming about far-flung coffee roasters sending their beans to Philly to get decaffeinated. The Philly port could eventually become a green coffee import hub, though, and use the Mid-Atlantic location and rail and highway connections to serve a big chunk of North American population similar to how it does with grapes and bananas.
    You're leaving out the fact that Philly's port already has a particular specialty in breakbulk (noncontainerized) cargo. That's why we already do so much agricultural stuff, from cocoa beans to fruit. That's a comparative advantage, and we'll build upon that as we deepen our channel. This should just strengthen that - I can't imagine that there's too much difference between cofee and cocoa beans.
    Last edited by billy ross; 04-24-2012 at 06:13 PM.

  14. #14
    phillyaggie is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy ross View Post
    You're leaving out the fact that Philly's port already has a particular specialty in breakbulk (noncontainerized) cargo. That's why we already do so much agricultural stuff, from cocoa beans to fruit. That's a comparative advantage, and we'll build upon that as we deepen our channel. This should just strengthen that - I can't imagine that there's too much difference between cofee and cocoa beans.
    That's why I said Philly stands a good chance at becoming a leading port for green coffee though there is also established competition. Not sure about additionally becoming a processing hub too although as a chemical engineer I'd love to see that happen here.
    "The only difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is the velocities with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock on their door. That's the only difference."
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  15. #15
    billy ross is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by phillyaggie View Post
    That's why I said Philly stands a good chance at becoming a leading port for green coffee though there is also established competition. Not sure about additionally becoming a processing hub too although as a chemical engineer I'd love to see that happen here.
    Like everything else, if a dispassionate corporation looks at locating in Philly they'll most likely keep looking. However if a local entrepreneur wants to go into a new line of business such as this, Philly is a natural place for him to look because of our industrial and transportation infrastructure and its proximity to his base of operations. It'll be easier for him to keep an eye on his operation if it's located here. That's why it's so important that Philly continue to pack the 1%ers into Philly (and even Philly's surrounding suburbs, which is where I believe Mr. La Colombe lives), especially those with an entrepreneurial bent. We need the future Ralph Robertses of the world to take their chances here with their crazy ideas that may or may not work out, so that we can replace all that we lost. I see momentum in this department, by the way.

    My understanding with La Colombe is that it's run by a genius with a death wish. Hopefully he lives long enough to get this coffee roasting thing up and running. He seems to know the coffee industry in a world class way.

  16. #16
    LUCas is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_Head View Post
    That's not such a far-fetched idea. Melitta has a huge roasting operation over in Cherry Hill. I don't know what port they come through, but since I haven't seen Juan Valdez driving a team of heavily laden burros up the Jersey Turnpike, I assume they come in through the port.
    Sorry to dissapoint:
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