We have a bunch of amazing coffees and each one tastes a bit different. Some folks might be down with a mellow natural from Brazil, while others might thirst for the bright complexity of a washed Ethiopian. Coffee is seasonal, so the beans change out from time to time and you may find yourself looking for a new favorite. That’s why we put specific info on our bag labels so you always find the best beans for your buds… tastebuds that is. Let’s go through the details on the labels and what they mean to make sure you’re picking up what we’re laying down!
There are two main species of coffee: Arabica and Robusta. We stick to the higher quality Arabica beans which are grown equatorially, between the tropics, from around 800 - 2300 meters above sea level (MASL). We source from Africa, Latin America, and Oceania, where coffee cherries are hand-picked and processed before they come to us to be roasted to perc-fection!
NATURAL (Dry): The cherries are allowed to dry in the sun with the seeds intact. The seeds are then removed from the raison-like husk. These coffees are typically more mellow with pronounced fruit notes.
HYBRIDS (Honey, Pulped-Natural, Semi-Washed): The cherries are machined to remove the skin and pulp from the seed and then dried in the sun. These coffees are typically sweet and juicy with gentle fruit notes, and balanced acidity.
WASHED (Wet): The cherries are machined to remove the skin and pulp from the seed, washed to remove the mucilage, and then dried. These coffees typically have structured acidity and pronounced sweetness.
Scientists have identified around 900 volatile flavor compounds in coffee, so there’s a ton going on in your cup and it can sometimes be overwhelming to talk about. On this section of the label, we note some of the general flavors we get when tasting our roasts. It's definitely a simplified idea of what's breakdancing on your tongue, but it should give you a general idea of what you can expect from these magic beans. With this and the other bits of info we provide, we hope to help you make the best selection from the options available to you. As always - we hope you dig it!
Understanding how elevation contributes to flavor is helpful in choosing a coffee that's right for you. On our labels, we present the elevation in meters above sea level (MASL). Low-grown coffees see more heat and less cloud cover, and in turn ripen faster. High-altitude coffees see more varied temperatures and sporadic cloud coverage; they have to fight to survive. This slow, tenuous ripening often makes for some wild tasting notes.
Roasting is the process of cooking the seed of the coffee cherry so it’s porous enough to be ground and brewed. Initially, green coffee absorbs heat endothermically and as it cooks, it loses moisture until the heat reaches the core of the seed causing it to go exothermic. The water at the center vaporizes and the cell walls breakdown as the seeds expand rapidly, resulting in a popping sound know as the "first crack". Each coffee gets to the first crack a little differently, so the first thing we do with a new coffee is develop a roast profile. In the first few batches, we work out the ideal charge temperature, batch size, airflow, heat application, and development time to achieve the maximum flavor.