Shopping Cart

Blog

"Breaking Grounds" with Coffee Cuppings

Posted by on

"Breaking Grounds" with Coffee Cuppings

  What does "cupping" have to do with coffee?  If you do an Internet search for the term “cupping,” the top hits are for things that don’t have much to do with coffee. But once you make it past graphic tales of the traditional Chinese skin therapy (and the open letter to Michael Phelps to stop doing it), you’ll find our friends at the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) use “cupping” to describe standards and protocol for assessing coffee quality. We often say in our shops that a customer’s impression of coffee quality depends on the customer’s preferences. So we...

Read more →


New Bags Mapping Single-Origin Coffees

Posted by on

New Bags Mapping Single-Origin Coffees

Next time you see our bags on the shelves, you might be surprised by the new look. The inspiration goes back to our mission of making outstanding specialty coffee more approachable. We’ve been selling single origin varietals for years, and the question we keep getting from customers is “which one should I buy and why?” The answer depends on the customer. Even though every crop is different, single-origin coffees are generally prized because they consistently accentuate key flavor profiles. As coffee roasters, part of our job is to tailor the roasting process to bring out those flavor profiles in each...

Read more →


Why Science Says Freshly Roasted Coffee Tastes Better

Posted by on

Why Science Says Freshly Roasted Coffee Tastes Better

Everybody knows things are better fresh.  But why is coffee fresh off the roast any better than coffee that’s been sitting on the shelf for a few months at the gourmet grocery?  Why is it all that important to look at the “Roast Date” on bags of coffee you buy at retail stores?  What––scientifically––does “freshness” even mean in the coffee context? To answer these questions, we need to dive deep into the chemistry of what happens to coffee beans as a result of roasting them at high temperatures.  As soon as you scorch raw coffee beans into the delicious brown...

Read more →


The Magic of Latte Art

Posted by on

The Magic of Latte Art

It's espresso with a big dose of style.  But what’s the point of latte art?  Is it just for aesthetics, or is there something deeper that it adds to the third-wave specialty coffee experience? Fine-tuning milk and coffee to form art on top of espresso really only emerged in the United States during the mid-1980s.  Latte art is the result of a barista pouring steamed milk from a pitcher into a shot of espresso, and creating intricate ribbon patterns in the foam atop lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, and other drinks.  But, the words “latte” and “art” are both a bit deceptive.  The...

Read more →


Basic Coffee Roasting Mechanics for the Average Joe

Posted by on

Basic Coffee Roasting Mechanics for the Average Joe

Before coffee ever reaches your cup, its essence is locked away from the world - captive in a “green” coffee bean. The roasting process develops the bean’s flavors and coaxes a coffee to perfection, at temperatures of anywhere from 300 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. As the carbohydrates in the raw beans break down, hundreds of aromatic chemical compounds develop and the flavor profile of the coffee begins to emerge. Acids are broken down, adding texture and flavor to the cup. Fragrant oils and fats bloom to the bean’s surface, escaping through the bean’s weakened cell walls. Coffee is often roasted...

Read more →