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Monthly Archives: December 2010

What if George Clooney was cast as “The Dude” in The Big Lebowski? Our Panama Rio Serreno has the answer. A special processing method* (called H2 or Honey Processing) brings out the body and sweetness. Immediately you are hit with a prominent oat and white chocolate aroma, with hints of white grape and sweet pipe tobacco. This guy doesn’t care how stupid he looks smoking from a pipe, and sure, maybe he drinks wine from a box a little too often, but he manages to pull it off with flair. He cleans up pretty well when it’s required; his juicy body combines with a well-integrated citrus acidity and a long, sweet, memorable finish. This is a rare gem of a coffee and we are super excited to offer this for your enjoyment!

*What is honey processing? It is a relatively new process in which some of the coffee cherry’s pulp is left on the beans as they dry, contributing to an intense sweetness and juicy body.

 

We have some unique gift ideas for those that have a coffee lover on their gift list!  Here are our top recommendations:

 

1.  Coffee Ginders – whenever we are asked about how to make good coffee at home, we point to our selection of burr grinders.  We have a variety to choose from, all with different price points.  The Hario Mini Mill or Skerton are 2 affordable hand powered grinders, and the Baratza Series, including the Virtuoso that has commercial quality components, range in price.

 

 

 

 

2.  Hario Products – The Hario V60’s are starting to make an appearance in more and more cafes.  These ceramic or plastic cones can fit into the smallest of kitchens, and at $25 (for the ceramic) and $12 (for the plastic), this is an affordable way to make a cup of coffee.

Another coveted Hario product is the Buono Kettle.  The narrow swan-neck spout delivers a thin and steady stream. By maintaining control of the stream of water, you are controlling the extraction.  At $59, these kettles are for the true coffee geek.

 

3.  Freshly Roasted Coffee – Drop by Te Aro and ask for our recommendations.  Buy 3 1/2 pounds or pounds of coffee, and we will send you home with a cool little gift box.

 

4.  Aeropress – We have recently started selling the Aeropress – coffee geeks are loving the results they get from this single serve coffee maker.  There is even a world aeropress championship.  For the World Champion recipes, check out: http://worldaeropresschampionship.wordpress.com/recipes/

These sell for $37.

 

 

5.  Educational Seminars with the Roasting Team – If you know a home roaster, why not send them to Te Aro’s home

roasting class.  For $45 they will learn how to create and follow a roast profile, and will have the opportunity to choose and roast Te Aro’s green beans with the Roasting Team.  Classes are held every 6 weeks.  Email info@te-aro.ca to register for the next session.

 

 

Thiago and Chris in front of the roaster

As one of the Coffee Roasters at Te Aro, I get asked by many customers about our processes and what are the most important steps in roasting – bagging the coffee, aging it, serving, brewing.  What’s the most important thing in each step?

I feel that in coffee every single step is important – from the farm to the cup.

Today, I would like to address Green Beans.

Like roasted coffee, green beans must also be fresh. In the same way that roasted coffee has to be fresh in the shelf for our consumers, the greens have to be fresh in our pallets.

Everything starts with a simple conversation and a few goals. Our main goal for the customers is to provide quality – from our beans, to how your coffee is served.   To break down this process, the steps are really to find specialty beans, find a good roast profile, and serve it fresh on the shelf to buy or in the grinder to enjoy at the Cafe.

And to do it, we have to cup a lot. Cupping is the term that we use to say that we are ‘tasting’ the coffee, and of course, evaluating it’s quality, roast profile, etc.

To define if the coffee is good or not good, we have more than our nose and our palette to follow. We also have a methodology that we practice in order to properly evaluate your coffee, and to make sure that we are evaluating coffee against the same criteria.

This methodology comes from an association called SCAA –  Specialty Coffee Association of America. They were the first guys that defined what specialty coffee is and they created this new methodology to find better quality coffee, opening a specialty industry.

The SCAA Technical Standards Committee created the tools and methodology to evaluate and identify specialty coffees by score and flavor profile on a very consistent and efficient format.

Ted Lingle, Executive Director of SCAA, has created a complete program to teach, test and certify SCAA graders using these standards and methodologies on any coffee produced worldwide.

So, when we are following this methodology, we are following tracks that lead us to find  good (or not so good) attributes in the cup. Attributes like aroma, body, acidity, uniformity, sweetness, balance, and aftertaste.  Finally, we give the coffee an overall score.

The overall score is the only one that leaves us to score the coffee using own opinion. And this is where we always have our customers in mind.

Where does our green beans come from? Well, we do have two avenues, and in both, we try to be as close as we can to the farm (we believe that the more we know about the farm, farmer and region/country,  we will be able to provide you with a better quality coffee).  The first avenue is getting coffee from our specialty brokers. They send us samples; we cup them, score them, and ask for info about the farm.

The second is getting samples directly from the farm/farmer.  This year, we have visited farms in Guatemala and Brazil, looking for greens. Farms that we do believe can provide a high and consistent quality about crop, processing and people.

Through this avenue, going directly to a farm,  when we find a nice green beans, the roasting process begins.  And this connects us back to the customer.

So, when I’m asked what’s important to use, I must say that every single step is.  But the step where we come across this outstanding green bean, well, that’s the most exciting part about coffee.  This is where it all begins.