Baskets Full Of Joy
As the holiday season approaches quickly, it is time to start seriously thinking about that something special to get for that special someone. Whether you need something for your teenager off in college, your parents or the coffee nerd friend of yours who seems to have everything, we are determined to help you get the perfect gift for your resident caffeine junkie. We've got a team of elves that have been working tirelessly to put together specially crafted gift boxes to suit all of your loved ones' coffee needs they didn't even realize they had! Of course, you are welcome to completely customize, pick and choose or do whatever you want to construct the perfect gift box if you know exactly what is required, but if you need some help with figuring out the formula we've got a few pre-fabbed examples ready to go!
For the college kid in your life, this gift box makes it easy for anyone living in a stuffy dorm room to make a perfectly brewed cup o' joe and take it on the run. It includes a bag of coffee (getting it preground can help save them some precious study time) a clever dripper, filters and a nifty glass and cork travel mug guaranteed to draw a few envious glances. The clever dripper is a fantastic easy brewer designed for easy and quick brewing and cleanup, all the student needs is to add hot water and coffee to the filter in the brewer, wait about 3 minutes and place it on top of their mug where it will drain - a perfect brew that's brainless to make will result every time. If you know somebody that craves caffeine and is short of time and space, this is the basket for them
This box is best for someone who always likes to keep company. This bundle includes a bag of coffee, two of our new camper style mugs and a beautiful Chemex brewer with filters. Whether it's for a new couple in a cozy loft or the friend known for throwing fantastic dinner parties, this gift is perfect for delivering multiple cups of coffee brewed in a stylish way. The Chemex can serve upwards of six cups at a time and it looks great doing so, and it's a perfect gift for that speial someone looking to impress their guests.
A great selection for a coffee aficionado on the run, this box includes a bag of coffee, a fabulous glass and cork Boxwood branded travel mug, a sleek Porlex hand grinder and the ever-efficient Aeropress. These items allow for a cup of coffee to be constructed anywhere you can get some hot water as they pack easily into any bag or suitcase - even a carry-on. The Aeropress is a genius way to brew a single delicious cup of coffee, just add water to coffee and press it directly into whatever vessel you choose to drink out of! It's easy to use, easy to clean and super light - perfect for someone on the go or forever in a rush.
The Coffee Enthusiast
Okay, now we're pulling out the big guns. You've got this one person in mind - they're the coffee nerd, the expert, the one that goes on and on about single origin coffees, experimental processing methods, and when they describe coffee flavors to you they use pretentious sounding words like 'mouthfeel' and 'tamarind'. You have no idea what to get them because they seem to have everything, but they don't know what we've got for them. The Enthusiast box include the usual supplies of coffee, a new sleek camper mug, a trusty Porlex grinder and of course, the siphon. The coffee siphon is one of the most beautiful and interesting ways to brew a super unique pot of coffee. Anything that involves an open flame and glass brewing vessels will attract lots of attention, and whatever lucky soul finds this wrapped up in paper will have a blast knowing they got a hold of something truly special and unique.
Again, these are are few suggestions that we've got ready to roll out, but the beauty of gift giving is that you can still construct the perfect box if you've got something specific in mind. We hope we can help you find the perfect something for someone special, and we wish you all a wonderful holiday season :)
About three years ago, Boxwood first opened its doors to the streets of downtown Summit. Since then, a lot of things have changed and all for the better. Originally a simple cafe, the business has become a full roastery, specialty tea house and even our kitchen offerings have skyrocketed in quantity and quality. We're opening a new store soon with more bells and whistles and opportunities to experiment, collaborate, and to better understand the beverages we create for our loving customers. Everyone on staff has been part of this learning experience as we adapt and accelerate forward down the coffee rabbit hole, and thankfully we have also led much of our community and customers down to this wonderfully caffeinated land with us. Learning and sharing all about coffee is what makes us happy, and each day we become better equipped to do so.
One things we've been trying to focus on is calibration. This is a term used greatly in the coffee industry. We calibrate our grinders, brewers, espresso machines and pretty much anything that has moving parts. This is an important step in creating good coffee, it ensures everything is operating properly and consistently so we can always count on everything tasting the way it should every single time.
We also calibrate people.
Not like we're robots or something weird and creepy like that, but sometimes our senses and thought processes need a little maintenance. When two people drink the same coffee, there is nothing different about the what they taste. What is different, however, is how each person tastes it. For most scenarios this is fine and fair, but in certain cases it can be a very powerful tool for everyone to not only be on the same page, but to be reading it in the same language. It can unify a staff serving the same products, and it can help us all inform and educate customers as one team on a mission to spread and serve delicious coffee.
Calibration is a very real term when it comes to coffee cupping, or coffee tasting in an objective setting. It refers to the act of a group of people cupping a coffee and discussing what it is they taste, how they describe it and how they score it. This discussion is critical, as it calibrates the group of people to the same scale and helps each person objectively taste a coffee similarly to a partner without having to discuss it in length. They all taste the same thing, but they need to align themselves to taste it with the same type of objectivity. As the Boxwood crew delves further and further into the realm of specialty coffee in an effort to provide quality products with top notch educated service, it became clear that staff calibration was to become a necessity.
So if you happen to stop in the shop during shift change some days throughout the work week, you may find a bunch of baristas standing around the sharing table, loudly slurping coffee as a frantic roaster wildly flails his hands and shouts at them about how cool coffee is. My goal with this is to make sure that every member of staff knows the product they're serving frontwards in back, that they know all the sensory analysis that goes into deciding what constitutes a coffee we deem able to serve in our shop, and that they get excited about the product their serving and show that excitement to our customers.
When a customer asks a question about the coffee served to them, they will get an educated and thorough answer about tasting notes and techniques from anyone working behind the bar. What is important is that each answer is backed by firsthand experience, not just a script they have been told to recite when a specific question pops up. This experience contributes to a larger discussion, it makes us ask each other questions and excited to find the answers. Not only are we calibrating a shop to taste coffee the same way, we are calibrating a shop to educate and be educated about coffee in a wonderful journey of discovery.
When it comes to offering a product and service, the first tribulation a staff will face is setting a standard of quality. What caliber of excellence will we take on in our product preparation and service? What will make us stand out? How can we make people excited over a cup of coffee or tea or a latte? These questions are one of the first stages in research and development when considering menu items and how we want our clientele to perceive us as a local business worth coming to. We ensure that everything we serve is set to a certain standard that makes us proud to serve it, and we are confident that our our effort to do so will make our service desirable to customers.
The next big question comes next; How do we do that again? How can we ensure that such a level of quality and control is replicable, and we can ensure the same quality and care goes into every cup we serve to a customer? How do we make what we do consistent?
In short; we taste a lot of coffee.
Keeping things consistent in a busy shop environment takes a lot of effort. We are relied upon to produce a product and service that will always be delicious
Profiling A Roast
Last week I talked about how we picked out a new coffee. We cupped a variety of Colombian coffees and chose the one that we liked the best - simple enough, right? Well now we start to get into the tricky bits - we just purchased an expensive and very large bag of this green coffee and now I have to figure out how to roast it to make it the best possible product to share with our customers. Preferably without wasting too much of it in test roasts.
How does a roaster go about doing that? Well, for me at least, it involves a lovely fusion of scientific theory and blind trial and error. Each new bean I deal with will behave differently, but there are general roasting theories and practices that usually carry through most coffees. This coffee we just got was well rounded and balanced with a very pleasant acidity when we cupped it at our supplier. It had great notes of green apple and juicy clementine with a dense sweetness like raw sugar to help give it a little bottom end to make it a very interesting cup while remaining accessible and easy to drink. Because it did not have any serious notes of heavy sugars or jammy fruits, I knew I would like to keep it a little bit on the lighter side and do what I could to accentuate the delicate fruit acidity. Still, I could push it a bit further than a coffee with fragile floral or herbal notes, so I could develop those sugars a bit to give the profile enough weight to keep the whole thing balanced. Overall, this would most likely not require an abstract or complicated roast, but I would need to make sure I payed close attention to it in the final stages to keep the temperature on target.
I haul the heavy bag into my warehouse and start warming up the roaster. I'll let it heat up for close to an hour - it's getting chilly and I want to make sure every part of the machine is at a consistent thermal capacity so I can replicate this roast in the future if it turns out the way I want it to. I weigh out my beans at a normal dose for the machine and I take it's moisture content. This information can be very useful as the releasing of moisture will effect how the temperature may fluctuate throughout the roast.
My beans are dosed, the roaster is hot, so I start a new program on my computer hooked up to the roaster that shows me a time over temperature graph. This will help me visually understand the roast development and control how the heat from the burners is being absorbed into the green beans. I load my beans into the hopper up top, start the program, and drop them into the machine. For the next ten and a half minutes, I watch the time over temperature curve tell me the way the beans are absorbing energy, and I tinker with gas control and airflow to keep control of the increase of heat. I keep decent control over the roast as it progresses, and when I drop the beans into the cooling tray I have finished a fairly simple, textbook roast - a good start to profiling a new coffee. I let it cool and I bag it, label and date it. It needs to rest now, freshly roasted coffee has a lot of gas inside that needs to dissipate before tasting begins, otherwise it may give off some uncharacteristic flavors.
The next day I open the bag and I grind up the new coffee, smell it, and pour hot water over it to begin a cupping of it. I let it brew and I taste it to evaluate what kind of roast I've given it. It's not bad, but it's not the same thing I tasted a few days ago when selecting it. The fruity notes have taken a bit of a back seat and the raw sugar notes are a bit too brown tasting - I've roasted it a bit too dark. I start the process over, but as I roast this batch I try to stretch it put a bit more in the second half to retain some acidity but keep the temperature a bit more mellow. I drop this batch a few degrees cooler than the previous one, and once again bag it and tag it. I taste it the next day and am welcomed with a spot on profile. I was fortunate that this coffee behaved fairly straightforward and only required two test roasts to nail down, it is not uncommon for a bean to take numerous educated test roasts to get down properly.
Satisfied, I saved the roast profile as is and began roasting for production, and I can't wait to see what the store staff and customers think about our new, special offering. If you're interested in trying a cup of the final product, pop into the shop for a pour over or fresh bag of the new Colombian Narino single origin, it's quickly becoming a personal favorite of mine.
Lots and Lots of Micro-Lots
.Last week we met up again with our good friends at Royal Coffee New York when they invited us to attend a cupping they were hosting. The event was to display eleven new micro-lots coming from the Narino region of Colombia, and we were educated on the farmers that offered each one.
Micro-lots are pretty simple but can be really exciting; small lots of coffee crops that are grown or processed in new or experimental ways are sold at a limited availability. It is often that the quality of these beans are generally unknown until they get unveiled at such an event, and it is common that some shining gems show themselves in places you might not be looking for them. It's a great opportunity to get your hands on something ephemeral and potentially magical - a cup of coffee that may never be replicated quite the same way ever again.
This was an interesting cupping because all of the coffees were from the same region and similar elevations with similar terroir. So, one would thing that they would all taste the same, right?
This is the part where farmer individuality really expresses itself. Whether it's the plant variety, growing and feeding practices or processing methods, each farmer puts their own fingerprint into the coffee they sell, and we get to taste them all back to back and see what impacts their decisions have on the final cup. Most of the coffees tasted during this cupping had some similar overarching characteristics on a base note, but these similarities make it easy to pick out subtler notes that might be overlooked in a more casual setting. Most of these coffees could have been described as "sweet", "bright" and a little "fruity", but specific tasting notes for each one of these categories varied greatly over the eleven coffees tasted. An of course there are always outliers - coffees that are totally unexpected or different from the rest of the group. It was interesting to see a flavor note of "buttered popcorn" written on the community tasting board.
We tasted all eleven coffees to see all these possibilities and to make some judgement calls. Personally, I always look for something with great balance - I like coffees that are interesting and vibrant, but don't necessarily require a whole lot of thought to consume. Simple things done well are surprisingly difficult to stumble upon, and when I do find something like that I really enjoy the beauty that can come with it. We were lucky enough to find a coffee that suited our needs to replace our Costa Rica single origin offering that is about to sell out (get it while you still can!). Something simple, sweat, and beautiful. We picked up a bag and drove it home that night, and now comes the fun part - dialing in the roast.
This week I will be taking this coffee and tossing it into the roaster to figure out how it behaves, and how best to roast it to display every trait it has to offer. If you would be so kind to tune in next week, I'll clue you in to how this process works! Until then, keep an eye out for the simply beautiful, you may not expect to find it where it pops up.
Building a Blend
Blends are interesting.
As a roaster, it is really fun to be able to take a bunch of different coffees and figure out how to fit them together to create a rounded and whole flavor profile. In many cases, or at least here at Boxwood, we tend to work backwards and construct something big from small pieces regarding what we want our final product to become. At the risk of sounding way too pretentious, it's not incredibly unlike an artist looking at a blank canvas or block of untouched wood - we have a vision of what we want the result of our efforts to be but we may not know 100% how it will truly turn out in the end.
When the air started to cool a bit and the grass stopped growing so quickly, we knew that we would need to break out a new seasonal blend in time for fall and to carry us through the holidays. I called up our coffee seller, Brittany at Royal Coffee NY to see what coffees she had that we could utilize for something savory for this year's chilly season. She asked me what we were trying to construct so they could help us find pieces to the puzzle. Now, I'm still kind of a rookie in the professional coffee world, and sometimes I come at things from an angle that isn't as clinical and straightforward as those I'm working with would appreciate. Brittany was asking for tasting notes; specific flavors that could be intertwined together that certain coffees could lend their strengths to. I asked for the finished painting.
I wanted something cozy, something rich, something that would go absolutely perfectly with Mom's pumpkin pie and ice cream at the end of Thanksgiving dinner as the plates were piled high and belts became loose and the air smelled of turkey and stuffing and crescent rolls and cranberry sauce and apple cider. Wasn't that obvious?
Brittany is a patient saint.
She calmed me down from my excitement and got me to focus on what the heck I meant by this extraneous and oddly specific picture that I had in my head. What were the flavors in my head that complimented these other flavors, and more importantly this feeling of comfort and warmth and fullness? What was seasonal and festive and relevant to the weather and all it brings?
Chocolate. Nuts. Dried fruits. Baked goods.
And just like that, we're on our way. We start looking at what coffees we already have in stock, and what Royal could provide us to fill in the gaps. Chocolate and nuts? That El Salvador we use in another blend has milk chocolate and toasted almond notes, I can roast it a bit dark so it can act as a sweet and dense base for the blend. We don't have anything with a dried fruit note, but this awesome Costa Rica just came into the warehouse that tastes like baking chocolate and dried cherries. We add that guy to the shopping list and keep it at a nice medium roast to add a pleasantly sharp cherry chocolate cordial profile to accent the creamy base. Oh, and we have this Congo on reserve that's spicy and earthy. Keeping it light will preserve some zippy baking spice notes and really make the whole blend pop to compliment a good pie crust.
And in one afternoon, we constructed something new and delicious. We made Bed Head. Something perfect for staying warm in body and soul, to wrap you up in it's silky brown sweetness and carry you lazily to that big comfy chair and just take a moment to be still and happy. When we deal with single origins it's really exciting to see where an individual coffee can take you, but when you get to create a blend from the bottom up, you get to plan your own trip.
The Deal With Dark Roast
Those two words cause a ruckus all too often in the coffee industry. A staple in the hard-working American's vocabulary for decades, this term has proved to be a standard unit of measurement for how tough you are and how much you need to get done in your day. Bitter, black, motor oil-like sludge that gives life in the wee hours of the morning. You like the harsh, burnt taste. It slaps you in the face, shouts at the neurons in your brain to start firing off faster and it gets the job done.
It is a topic of great stress for me.
Let's unpack, shall we?
When we talk about "roast" we are talking about the profile to which coffee is... well.. roasted. It refers to how the coffee is transformed from green, raw, byproduct of a plant into a more-or-less "cooked" product that we can then grind and brew and drink. It plays an incredible role in how the coffee you drink will taste. One coffee roasted three ways could taste light and grassy, citrusy and chocolaty, or burnt and ashy. If you asked most people, they would tell you a "dark roast" is generally synonymous with the latter of these flavor profiles. And while culturally we have associated a specific type of coffee, terms like "light," "medium" and "dark" are actually very loose terms of reference one coffee shop might use differently from one another. What one roaster may call their light roast might be another's medium - it generally comes down to the discernment of the individuals roasting the coffee and how those selling it want to market it.
When coffee is roasted hot enough to be burned and begin the process of transforming the beans to simple carbon ash, almost all discernible characteristics that coffee once had to distinguish itself from another origin of coffee has been lost. At this level of roast, it has been often described that what you are tasting is more the roast than the coffee itself. A Brazil will taste like a Guatemala will taste like a Rwanda. They will all taste dark, burnt, ashy and bitter. More often than not, this is what people mean when they ask for a cup of dark roast. It doesn't matter where the coffee came from.
If you ask me, it does matter.
If you ask me, coffee should not have any undesirable traits that include (but are not limited to) being bitter or burnt. A charged opinion for some, but without opinions like that I would not be working in the field I am, sharing my love for coffee with customers and nobody would be reading this blog right now. Coffee should be sweet and full of flavor. Flavors both simple and exotic, flavors that say more than just "coffee". A single origin coffee from one farm should shine brightly as a representation of a family's life work with whatever unique traits it has. A blend should tell a story of why its flavor profile was constructed the way it was - how was this flavor profile created and how was it meant to be consumed? When we take these coffees and throw them in for a dark roast, we eliminate the possibility for them to show us anything interesting. Any delicate acidity is taken away, sweet traits of fruit are turned acrid, and chocolate notes are scalded. Dark roasts have the possibility to turn an award-winning crop of coffee to something that tastes indistinguishable from the corner store coffee you can get for seventy cents.
But Hayden, you roast and sell a dark roast in Boxwood? Aren't you being kind of a jerk hypocrite right now?
As I mentioned earlier, the term "dark" is referential - it does not specifically have a distinguished definition other than what we accept as normal. By creating and selling our own version of a dark roast, we are attempting to change this idea of normal. We spent a lot of time and care to develop a blend with a roast profile that developed enough caramelized sugars and brown bits to show off some delicious chewy notes of good chocolate and molasses and toasted almonds. All of these we identify as "dark" flavors, but they still have enough voice to shine through in the cup we serve you. The coffee is not burnt, it is not bitter, it is not ashy. It is what we like to think of when we think about dark roast, and we hope that with time everyone will as well - rich and sweet and velvety.
Of course, this is my opinion as the roaster at Boxwood. There are many opinions about coffee and what it should taste like, and each one is valid. We have a mission to spread good coffee that speaks for itself, and for us that means roasting coffee that will best express what characteristics it has. Our dark roast has a voice, we think it deserves that.
Brooklyn, Coffee Talks, Community
A few weekends ago, NYC was buzzing a little more than usual as the annual New York Coffee Festival took over the floor of the Metropolitan Pavilion. Thousands of thirsty and caffeine craving attendees bombarded vendors looking for the coolest new grinders and gadgets and getting a taste for some stellar brews. Unfortunately, the Boxwood Gang wasn't able to take up a lot of time checking out this year's digs, as we've been having the time of our lives dealing with a water main break in our building and every hurdle that comes along with it (woo). Not to fret, however! We've busted our butts and pulled a lot of strings to ensure we delivered hot java to our lovely and patient customers, and we even found a few hours one night to catch a spin-off event of the festival!
On Friday evening we piled our tired and coffee-stained bodies into a few cars and trundled on over to Brooklyn where we found ourselves in the incredibly chic shop that is the Extraction Lab by Alpha Dominche. The crazy manufacturers of the Steampunk brewer and altogether mad team of coffee creators were hosting an event called Extracts! with the forces of Standart Magazine and Comandante pulling resources from Toby' Estate and Ally Coffee. We were welcomed to the floor with a selection of incredible African and South American coffees brewed on a super long and intimidating line of Steampunks, an overwhelming spread of charcuterie, cheese, and veggies waiting to be devoured, and some delicious complimentary wine to boot. After getting cozy and snapping a million pictures of every aesthetic of the shop, we huddled up to see what the night was really about.
It was an evening of community. We heard readings from the magazine, we listened to entrepreneurs share their stories of personal and professional growth in the industry, and we even partook in some friendly brewing competing. Folks from Comandante walked us through their story as a company and how through competitions they have tapped into a fantastic community of coffee lovers and competitors both professional and amateur. Displaying their own incredible product, a hand grinder that proves to be one of the easiest and most consistent in its current range, they pumped up the crowd and put on a pour over competition, the first ever Comandante Cup to be held in New York. Due to overwhelming peer pressure, yours truly as well as beloved Boxwood barista and shift leader Shiva Kiani stormed the floor to prove what we knew about pour overs. By some miraculous lining of the stars, I actually found myself brewing a pour over with professionals much more adequate than I in the final round of competition. I came in 4th overall, just shy of placing, but it was an incredibly fun and humbling experience to hang out with some amazing and talented coffee hotshots.
U.S Barista Champs Lem Butler and Kyle Ramage took to the mics and fed us even more coffee as they shared their own stories of struggle and success. Through a tangled web of stubbornness, trailblazing relationships and a lot of luck, the two barista celebrities have found themselves in a promising and energetic partnership in the form of Black & White Coffee Roasters, a venture that is allowing them to achieve much more than they ever expected when they first stepped into the coffee industry. Independence and experimentation are the freedoms most coffee folks dream of achieving, and these humble two have found themselves doing just that at an exceptional level of quality. The casual discussion and open Q&A was a great illustration at how accommodating, motivating and friendly the coffee community is. Even during competition, businesses urge each other to succeed, innovate and bring new ideas to customers and to the industry.
I usually count on customer interaction to give me gratification in my work, but it's moments like these that show me that a great deal of energy comes from my peers in industry that help me strive for success on a personal and professional level. Everyone is part of a big family, and there is a lot of love to go around. We ask questions, and when we find answers we share them with each other and the world. We love coffee, and our common goal is to spread that love for coffee, it's that simple.
Coffee Expo - Adventures In Seattle
This past weekend was rad.
Before we get to the cool stuff, though, I'd like to say that we thoroughly missed attending the kickoff of Summit's first farmers market of the season. We have so much fun handing out beverages and chatting with passersby underneath our tent, and we're looking forward to doing just that with every week moving forward! So why did we skip town this Sunday?
I'm glad you asked.
A bundle of the Boxwood Crew had some important work to attend to this weekend. Said work involved climbing into a big metal bird and hurdling across the county to the fantastic and wonderful city of Seattle Washington. It just so happened that the Global Specialty Coffee Expo 2017 was filling the convention hall to the brim, and we were fortunate enough to jump on the opportunity to attend. This was our first venture to such an involved convention, the goal was to soak up as much information as possible, network, play with new toys, and drink a lot of coffee. Suffice to say, it was a successful trip.
The floor of the center was like walking into a Willy Wonka's factory, and we were four kids with golden tickets. Vendors, idols, experiments, theories, machines, and new designs were everywhere we looked, it took us a few walk-throughs to even think about where to begin. The sensory overload was only calmed by the innumerable strange hands kindly offering samples of coffee. Even in a convention hall dedicated to the stuff, the familiar gesture of being offered a coffee is something to make the soul warm and cozy. Once our taste buds and minds were primed and buzzing we went to work investigating everything new and exciting about our industry. There were plenty of names we recognized and new ones that we were seeing for the first time, showing off brewers that triple rinsed coffee grounds or automated pour-over devices. As clever and new-wave a lot of these more incredulous looking machines were, our priorities were more focused on investigating those things that could more realistically impact our approach to create better coffee rather than simply touting a new shiny doo-dad to do something we already know how to accomplish.
We took tours on espresso machine factories including Synesso, Mavam, and Slayer, who showed us a variety of approaches on both espresso brewing and milk steaming. Getting to see these great machines being built and listen to the theories behind each companies' method of machine performance was inspiring and invigorating, and sampling the fruits of their labors was incredibly compelling. Using techniques that are far too boring to write about, these companies are transforming the way this industry thinks about espresso by pushing boundaries and thinking outside of the box. I wish I could show you what a Slayer shot tastes like through a webpage...
Lucky for me, the roasting world had an awesome presence at the expo as well. I stumbled around the stands of manufacturers, ogling sleek Lorings, badass Giesens and the forever trustworthy Diedrichs. Don't get me wrong, I adore my little Mill City 2 kilo “Ruby” roaster, but times are looking like a upgrade in size and tech will become more of a necessity than a luxury. Heat stability, moisture retention and built-in chaff collectors are a few of the things that are very boring to write about in a blog but a few things that excite me greatly as a roaster. Basically, these are things that would make my job much easier and allow me to produce better coffee with what it available. Also, the idea of being able to roast six times my current maximum capacity is top-tier daydream material. Well, I can at least dream for now...
Putting the Puzzle Together
It's been a whirlwind around here lately, but then again when isn't it?
As usual, the Boxwood crew has been busy with developing new ideas, trying them out, realizing they suck, going back to the drawing board because it sucked, and then finally hammering out something else we're proud to put our name on. Our efforts to develop a rocking espresso blend is taking longer than planned, but because we're constantly taking shot after shot of crappy test espresso, we aren't tired yet! A few new ideas and a lot of slurping later and we can feel success at our fingertips, so be ready for some rad shots pouring into your cup sooner rather than later.
While we taste-tested more coffees for shots, we've also found some really cool hidden gems for sipping java in a more relaxed setting. As it finally begins to warm up a bit, we change our wawrdrobe. Sweater Weather is getting hung up for the season, but we will make way for a beautiful new coffee from Central American that will be perfect for the cool mornings early Spring has begun to offer us. This Gutemalan Huehuetenango Adiesto is easy to drink, sweet, fruity, floral and just a little bit nutty like we are. It will also be sad to say goodbye to our beloved Burundi Bocomo as it will be running out of stock soon, but in it's place will arrive some sort of new and exciting blend! Why can't I describe it? Because I haven't figured out what's in it yet.
We've got a large stock of rad coffees, all of which have interesting qualities that cater themselves to be mixed and matched. So for the next two weeks I'll be pulling a Jackson Pollock and throwing coffee wildly together until something sticks and I'll call it art. We're all about transparency here, right? I've got a few ideas up my sleeve, just trust me on this one ;)
Hayden Kaye is our Master Roaster and head of the Say Interesting Stuff department.