Our Roast Flavor Profiles
We like to think of our single origin and Blends lineup as a menu that includes flavor profiles with high, medium and low notes:
High = Bright acidity, pronounced floral sweetness and soft tea-like structure
Mid = Well rounded, stone fruit sweetness, honey-like sweetness and milk chocolate body
Low = Chocolate forward with a pleasing, comforting body
We do not let our roast profiles dictate the tasting notes, with the exception of our Shockwave Traditional Espresso Roast which is “roast forward”. We let the cupping table dictate where the coffees will sit in the different categories.
To break it down a bit more, we roast each coffee to a degree that the natural sweetness is pronounced, acidity is balanced and there are no detrimental flavors like roasty notes (carbon) or lemongrass flavors associated with coffees that are too light.
This does not mean we are a “medium” roaster. We consider ourselves to be a “light” roaster, but understand that underdeveloped coffees have been roasted to a fault.
Green Coffee can be purchased for roasting as Washed, Pulped Natural or Dry. We buy all types of coffee but more often than not we buy coffees that are washed. We find that washed coffees provide the truest representation of varietal and terroir as they are not masked by fermented coffee fruits.
Planning our Seasonal Purchases
We buy coffee according to the season. This means there are two times during the year when you will see a big shift in our offerings. This occurs when coffees that are harvested in the Northern Hemisphere (December through April) change to coffees harvested from the Southern Hemisphere (May through September).
Every season we look forward to this change because each Hemisphere has so many surprising, fun and unique coffees to share.
That all said and done there are some exceptions to this rule. Notably Colombia, which we bring up new fresh greens every quarter as they harvest all year around. Kenya to utilize their fly crop (they have two harvest per year). Ethiopia, although they do not harvest all year round, their green coffee seems to not decline in quality as dramatically throughout the year.
Our blends will also change during those times. We buy coffee with similar flavor profiles which guarantee that the overall flavor profile of our blends will not change. This insures that we get to drink the freshest in-season coffees from around the world.
We have developed strong and valued relationships throughout the supply chain. Whenever possible we travel to the country and the farm where the coffee is grown and buy direct from the grower. We pay the growers and producers a “farm gate” price which correlates to the quality of the cup of coffee produced.
When we buy direct from the farmer we still have to move the coffee with the assistance of exporters and importers. When negotiating the purchase and importation of coffee, we talk directly to the importer about pricing, and pay above and beyond the farm gate price this allows us to guarantee that the farm gate prices for the producers.
Our labels will tell you when the coffee you are buying is a Direct Trade coffee.
We’re a small business, which at times means we cannot travel to the area or country of origin every season and every year. We can still guarantee our Direct Trade partners the same great farm gate pricing and the exporters/ importers help us move them.
Cherry Pick (Pun intended)
For the most part, our coffees that originate in Africa are reserved ahead of time and then we hand select the best lots of coffee once they arrive in the country. I have been buying coffee since 2010 and have worked with importers since arriving in America in 2007. We know who to trust and who not to trust. Most importantly we know who has access to the best coffees and who follows sound, trustworthy buying practices.
As the business grows one of our primary goals is to continue to expand our Direct Trade Offerings beyond what they are now, which is always an exciting endeavor.
Any questions please do not hesitate to ask us.