Monday, October 31, 2011

Costa Rica La Amistad Organic

One of our best selling coffees is Costa Rica La Amistad. This is a cool coffee. The cupping notes are extraordinary- sweet, chocolaty, filled with luscious raisin notes, and finishes with cinnamon and pepper.

The large family owned farm is located in the extreme southern region of Costa Rica on a mountainside over 3900 feet above sea level. The family helps maintain the integrity of the rainforest by leaving bands of primary forest in between parcels of land used for coffee cultivation. In this way, wildlife have a corridor by which to travel back and forth through the rainforest. The farm maintains a low-tree canopy, in effect, shade grown to allow birds to flourish and to lower their need for more rain. The harvest begins in October and runs through March. Clear, fresh water that runs from the rainforest is used for the milling of the coffee. It is also used to generate power to run the machinery. 

This is a great example of a farm that is not certified Fair Trade or Rainforest Alliance- it just is.  They maintain strict organic growing processes, assist in the bio-diversity of the rainforest and recycle the water used in the milling process. Simply, it's a great cup of coffee- great for you and great for the environment.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Do you have Espresso beans? It depends on what you mean.

We are often asked, "Do you have espresso beans?" or "I'm looking for an espresso roast." Any coffee varietal and any coffee roast profile(light to dark, city roast to French Roast) can be a great espresso if the following conditions are met: The coffee beans are fresh; the coffee is freshly ground prior to tamping that allows the coffee to be extracted between 25-30 seconds; the coffee is tamped down with about 30lbs. of pressure; the espresso machine heats the water to the proper temperature for that particular bean; 9 bars of water pressure is pushed through the puck of finely ground espresso; the portafilters and group heads are properly cleaned and finally, the espresso coffee produced has a tremendous aroma coming from its impressive crema, there is a balanced flavor profile with the proper degree of complexity, depth, mouthfeel, and interesting flavor notes.

Therefore, the best question to ask is: "What coffee would you recommend for espresso?"

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cooking with Chazzano Coffee

Here are a few products that use Chazzano Coffee in their ingredients:

1. Atwater Block Brewery, Vanilla Java Porter
2. Bacco Ristorante, Espresso Biscotti
3. BNektar Meadery, Ethiopia Harrar Mead, and a top-secret Mead TBD
4. Dave's Sweet Tooth, Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Toffee
5. Royal Oak Brewery, Java Porter
6. Corden's Chocolate, Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans (Ethiopia Yirgacheffe)

The greatest part of working with these awesome companies is testing the products!

Monday, October 3, 2011

El Salvador Apaneca Elite

For the two coffee catering events, one at BNI-GRO in Pleasant Ridge and the other at Painting with a Twist in Ferndale, we are brewing fresh roasted french pressed El Salvador Apaneca Elite. I'm in a good mood. Business is booming. Life is good. Therefore, I'm serving a $36/lb. coffee for catering. What makes the Apaneca Elite so special? First, it's grown over 4500-5250 ft. above sea level. This is significant because plants grow and develop slower at higher altitudes. Therefore, coffee grown at high altitudes develop slower over a longer period of time and often produce exceptional flavor profiles with tremendous complexity. In addition, coffee grown over 4500 ft. above sea level are called SHB (Semi-hard Beans) and SHG (Strictly High Grown). Roasting them to a Vienna or French Roast often brings out great sweetness instead of rich pungency generally associated with dark roasted coffee. In other words, they don't burn or char very well. In addition, each coffee cherry is hand picked when they are at the peak of ripeness. Most coffees are sorted out later, but the coffee workers pick the ripest coffee cherries. Finally, (there's more?) they are sun dried until they read 12.5% of moisture and then they are set to rest a period of 60 days! This coffee is organic and fair trade. It is inspected and cleaned so lovingly that it's almost a shame to drink it. Yet, I must, with a great big smile on my face