While there are many aspects to running a coffee house, or a store selling coffee among its various products, the taste in the cup still rules. Finding what you like is a process filled with a sometimes confusing array of choices – each of which affects your end result.
The green coffee bean, before roasters imprint their individual skills, sets the table for your entire experience. Where was it grown? How much individual care were the trees given? Which variety of Arabica tree: Caturra, Catuai, Bourbon, Typica, Geisha (among others)? The processing is another major factor: is this coffee natural – leaving the cherry on; semi-washed, or honey – partially washing off the mucilage; or fully washed, which is often fermented?
Individual varieties versus blends pose a big decision for the coffee drinker. Blends bring a wide, somewhat dependable swath of tastes, but are often less traceable, and sometimes less exciting. The roasters have a better ability to control the taste in the cup though, so blends are a popular choice.
When talking about individual types of coffee, the country of origin and region within the country, together with details such as variety of the coffee plant, elevation, and processing method, offer chances to explore more specific characteristics – which you may not get with a blend.
As roasters, our job is to select green beans we think taste great, and roast them to bring out the best in each bean. Whether we’re making a blend or roasting a nice Ethiopian, we try to “let the bean talk to us”, so we can bring you a most enjoyable cup of coffee.
Cup quality underlines all facets of selecting, brewing and enjoying. Stated again, the main variables are, green bean, roasting, packaging, grinding, and brewing. Cup quality can’t be pigeonholed into descriptions like “fresh roasted”, “gourmet”, or “artisan small-batch roasted”. Each step of the way demands the utmost care and focus. All participants in the growing, selecting, roasting, and brewing, contribute to cup quality. No one is left out.