One Small Voice
by Laura McGaffey
Articles originally published in "The Voice in the Desert"

Coffee Robusta or Coffee Arabica?
March 2006

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I don't think I've ever met anyone who doesn't love the aroma and taste of freshly roasted or brewed coffee. But I've recently learned that once coffee beans have been roasted their freshness actually diminishes so rapidly that they should be ground and brewed within a couple of weeks. Yet when you purchase roasted beans at your typical grocery store you have no idea when those beans were delivered to the store much less when they were roasted at the factory. I don't drink coffee very often but my sister drinks fresh brewed, not instant, every day, so I bought a package of "the good stuff" and put it on the shelf, not even in the fridge, to sit between her yearly visits. Now I know that it was worthless not long after I bought it yet I'd had it on the shelf, well, forever, it seems!

Here in the Sulphur Springs Valley a new company is supplying our local retailers and the Internet with the freshest roasted beans you can get. Not only that, they use only Coffee Arabica beans instead of the lower quality Coffee Robusta beans used by most other suppliers of roasted beans.

Cochise Coffee has been a long term project and goal of the Parhams. Dena worked as a "barista" (espresso maker) for a year and a half at Fort Huachuca specifically in preparation for this business direction. Phillip's MBA project was a business plan for "Cochise Coffee" an Internet based roasted coffee sales business.

Their focus is threefold at this point:

Educating people about good coffee. The differences between Robusta and Arabica as well as how quickly roasted beans lose their freshness.

Making fresh roasted beans available through local retailers in the Sulphur Springs Valley for the best possible price.

Not roasting the beans until they're ordered and then delivering them the next day.

The other day I watched as Dena roasted approximately a pound of beans in their current roaster. It took about 22 minutes. It is a transportable roaster they can take on trips to festivals to help retailers promote their stores by offering fresh roasted coffee samples. They are currently shopping for a larger roaster that will roast about eleven pounds in approximately 15 minutes.

Phillip and Dena Parham moved into their new home in Cochise, Arizona on August 5, 2005. After 22 years in the Army, Phillip retired on September 1, 2005 as a Sgt Major in the Signal Corps. He's currently working for Oberon Associates as an education specialist at Fort Huachuca. Dena's mother and step-father, Susan and John Hellsten, have lived in the Pearce-Sunsites area for years, own Valley Appliance. Susan is also a well-known real estate associate with Arrowhead Realty.

Phillip and Dena have been married for four years and have five children between them. Amber, 22 is attending Cochise College, the twins, Christine and Samantha are 10, Cora is 8, and Nathan is 13. There are several photos of the family and their extensive menagerie of dogs and horses on the homestead on their website at

If you love great coffee then I encourage you to visit the Cochise Coffee website or drop by the Produce Wagon to purchase a bag of the freshest roasted coffee I know of.

"Cup of Joe"

I always find it interesting to discover the origin of peculiar phrases in our fascinating English language. Using Google to search the Internet for the phrase "cup of joe" I found a page on the U.S. Navy's website titled "Origins of Navy Terminology". Here is the listing for "Cup of Joe". "Josephus Daniels (18 May 1862-15 January 1948) was appointed Secretary of the Navy by President Woodrow Wilson in 1913. Among his reforms of the Navy was the abolishment of the officers' wine mess. From that time on, the strongest drink aboard Navy ships could only be coffee and over the years, a cup of coffee became known as "a cup of Joe". The direct address to the "Origins of Navy Terminology" page on the website is