Coffee Blog and News
Sep 20, 2013
Three Ways You Are Ruining Your BrewMaking great coffee at home is easy and involves changing some bad habits that are ruining your morning brew. Take action against the following bad habits and you'll see immediate improvement.Read more →
Aug 24, 2013
Roaster's Guild Retreat
I've just returned from a four-day retreat with the Roaster's Guild, an official trade guild of the Specialty Coffee Association of America, or SCAA, and man was I blown away by the amount and quality of information and access to experts and seasoned pros in the industry! One of the underlying themes of this retreat was how time and temperature affect roast development so we had several exercises that explored that relationship. I took five classes that count towards a level 1 certification with the guild (six classes to go). And while all the classes were great, the one event...
Aug 07, 2013
Take Our Survey!
Help us tune our social media machine by completing our survey. We'd like to know the kinds of information you're looking for and the methods you use to get said info. I promise it's short and painless! Use this shortcut to complete the survey. Thanks again for all your support!
Jul 30, 2013
Coffee Brewing Gear; A Buying Guide
For the last several weeks we've been really enjoying our booth at the West End Farmer's Market and the main reason we love it is because it gets us in direct contact with you folks, where you can ask us questions and we can talk coffee all day. The most consistent theme of questions is about the gear we use to brew our coffee. I prefer a clean cup of coffee so my choices in green coffee, my roasting techniques, and my brewing gear all reflect that. My daily brewer and the workhorse at the farmer's market is the Chemex....
Jul 22, 2013
Our Farmer's Market Coffee Shop
Yesterday was our second week at the West End Farmer's Market and we're thoroughly enjoying it! It's a great way for us to meet new people who are just as excited about coffee as we are. We've met so many people who are in different phases of their coffee journey, like the gentleman from St. Louis who was visiting his daughter and who roasts his own coffee in a Fresh Popper and the woman who wants to upgrade her coffee experience at home but didn't know where to start (a burr grinder is a great place to start). The...
Jun 23, 2013
What Is Specialty Coffee
You hear me talk about specialty coffee a lot, but what does it really mean? There are two answers to that question; there is a technical and a philosophical answer. The technical answer as quoted from the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) is: To be considered specialty grade, green coffee shall have zero category one (1) defects and five or less category two (2) defects. Their green coffee standards are well documented. The philosophical answer is that specialty coffee is the responsibility of everyone involved in the "chain of custody" of a coffee and that includes the consumer. Specialty...
Jun 10, 2013
Changes To Our Product Pages
Our product pages now reflect additional information about the coffees we offer. We do this because we want you to be an informed consumer. The extra information includes the country of origin, the region within the country, the producer (or farm), the elevation of the farm, the processing technique used and finally the specific tasting notes associated with the coffee. Read on for a break-down of each section. Producer: Finca El MolinoCountry: El Salvador Region: Santa Ana Varietal/Cultivar: Bourbon Process: Washed ProcessElevation: 1300 - 1500 meters Tasting Notes: Floral, citrus with a caramel finish Producer Different farmers use different techniques for processing their coffees. Some may have more resources to...
Apr 20, 2013
Unboxing The Able Brewing System
Late last year I supported the Able Brewing System on Kickstarter. It's been fun following Keith's progress through the venture. I've been a fan of Able's Kone filter and I also have two of his Aeropress filters, which are great. This month my Brewing System arrived and I must say, Able understands packaging like Apple does — the packaging is always clean and elegant. But packaging isn't all Able does well. The Brewing System is also clean and elegant-looking in white ceramic. This is something that will look nice at a the table when you are entertaining guests....
Apr 15, 2013
Brewing Methods And Coffee Filters
There are many ways to brew coffee and different brew methods can change the flavor of the coffee but how exactly? Coffee body is one of the key elements to how much you enjoy the coffee and the primary way you can control body is through the filter. But what is "body" in a coffee? Body refers to the mouth-feel of the coffee. A coffee with more body has more soluble lipids in the cup. These lipids are responsible for the aroma and flavor of the coffee and since coffee is intrinsicly bitter, more lipids equal more bitterness....
Apr 10, 2013
Anatomy Of A Roast
Roasting coffee isn't as simple as heating up coffee beans until they turn brown and smell great. There's actually a lot of chemistry and physics involved. But for the sake of a short and enjoyable/informative blog post I won't drone on about thermal dynamics or carbonyl groups. Instead we'll break the roast down into three distinct phases. The three phases are the drying phase, the maillard (pronounced mayard) phase, and finally the roast development phase. Different roasters will have different names for them and not everyone follows the same theories, so if you talk to someone and they tell...