Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mommy, where do coffee beans come from?

If you've taken a tour at Chazzano Coffee Roasters, you might have heard me talk about coffee cherries. You may have heard about my crazy hope that my coffee tree seedlings may produce coffee cherries. Above, you'll see the coffee cherries growing on Coast Three Coffee farm in El Salvador. There are two coffee beans in each cherry. The cherries are handpicked from the trees because it is highly impractical to machine pick coffee grown on mountainsides.

Then the coffee is milled and processed. Will it be dry processed or wet processed? How much water do you have around your farm? What is the preferred flavor profile for your particular coffee varietals? Below: The cherry and most of the outer layers of the coffee bean have been removed and the coffee beans are drying out in the sun.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Brewing Temperatures

Have you ever had an incredible cup of coffee at Chazzano Coffee Roasters, brought some beans home or to the office, opened the coffee bag, were astounded by the fantastic fragrance, ground it fresh, brewed it, wasn't as fantastic as the coffee that you had at the cafe? Well, it could be your brewing temperature.
French press, drip, pourover, and vacuum syphon must all be brewed within the sweet spot of coffee brewing, between 195-205 degrees fahrenheit. If it's below 195 degrees, you will experience an under-extracted brew, and above 205 (near boiling), you'll experience an over-extracted brew.
Here are some hints to brew the best cup of coffee. For french press coffee, boil water and wait 30 seconds for the temperature to reach 200-205 degrees. For the usual cheap drip brewers, use this secret method. After you place the ground coffee in the brew basket, fully wet the grounds in the basket with hot water. This trick will help the coffee "bloom" and begin the flavor extraction process. When you turn the machine on and brew the coffee, the grounds will already have a head start. This will mitigate the usual lower brewing temperatures that make drip brewers my least favorite method of coffee brewing. In addition, make sure that the coffee is finely ground for the drip brewer.
Finally, enjoy the process. Enjoy life. Drink fantastic coffee.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

La Nubes Andrea Costa Nicaragua Maragogype

You know that we have over 40 different single origin coffees available and another 15 blends. I look for the best specialty coffee available. Smart farmers sample different areas of their farms that may cup at a different level than the rest of the crop. Here's the problem: If a farmer has 50 hectares (2.471 acres) of coffee trees and discovers that 1/5th of the crop contains coffee that has a superior flavor profile, should the farmer seek to sell the portion of the crop at a higher price and possibly lower the quality of the entire crop? That's a tough question.

You've enjoyed some of our awesome microlots like Brazil Moreninha Formosa, Honduras Cup of Excellence, Yemen Mocca Sanani, and Honduras Finca Las Canas. We have now secured some incredible microlot coffees from Nicaragua. The first selection is an Andrea Castro Nicaragua Maragogype. They produced only 38 pounds of coffee and picked out (by hand) only the best beans for us! This is an extremely small offering, now, of 32 pounds. (Did you know that 32lbs. of unroasted coffee beans produces only 25.6 lbs. of roasted coffee.)

Maragogype is a large bean that is a mutation of a typica coffee tree. Each of the farms in the Las Nubes (The Clouds) Cooperative is managed by women. How cool is that?

Our 32 lbs. of coffee...

Vacuum packed bag.JPG

Just wait until you taste this coffee! It will become part of your bucket list.