The Holiday Season

The Holiday Season

Posted by on Nov 28, 2014 in Blog

At the roastery, we try not to take life too seriously….if you haven’t noticed.  But the holiday is coming at us like a freight train and we thought the perfect gift would be coffee that YOU select to make it personal.  To enable that, we have bought gift boxes (pre-wrapped to save you time) that you can fill with fresh roasted coffee and accessories like a pour over ceramic cone and mugs.  The concept is that our local residents can hand craft the gift the same way we have hand crafted the coffee.  With 15 single origin prime beans and then 8 blends, you can engage in selecting the appropriate gift for any body on your list.  By the way, our email and phones work so we can ship anywhere in the lower 48 for a very reasonable price. We also have baskets and corporate pre-selected packages to really provide a gift someone will enjoy and be unique. The 2014 Holiday Blend and 2014 Santa’s Flavored Favorite are also on the menu until they are gone or Christmas…which ever comes first.  The Holiday Blend was hand crafted from a Burundi Coffee Bean from Thrive Farmers where 75% of the cost we pay goes to the farmer.  But that is only part of the equation of giving back this holiday season.  We choose this bean for its spicy taste with amazing brightness.  Black Powder then blended it with prime beans from Indonesia and another African bean to create a wonder cup.  Our job is to take these wonderful ingredients from the farmer, roast them to the peak of flavor, then blend them to fill in any flavor gaps.  This cup provides brightness and spice in the beginning, chocolate middle, then a 5 sec smooth linger without aftertaste (nothing from Black Powder is bitter).  Perfect for desert or even a morning awakening. And during the holiday, take time to enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend.  Coffee can be a social highlight to really get to know you neighbor, co-worker, or friends. So think about the gift of hand crafted artisan coffee for Christmas.  It’s an easy gift to give, it will be used, and enjoyed. Responsibly Harvested.  Divinely...

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All About Ethiopian Yirgacheffe

All About Ethiopian Yirgacheffe

Posted by on Nov 7, 2014 in Blog

You know when you’re drinking Yirgacheffe—it’s not like other coffees. To those who never venture beyond Central American roasts, the taste may seem as exotic as it’s origins. We imagine some wise, old sage sitting upon a cliff proclaiming: “Entry to coffee geekdom starts with a cup of Yirgacheffe.” There’s a reason why Ethiopian Yirgacheffe consistently ranks among the best coffee in the world, and certainly the among the best in Ethiopia itself. Origin of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee Yirgacheffe (also spelled Yirgachefe, Yergacheffe, or Yerga Chefe) is a micro-region within the much larger region of Sidama (or Sidomo) in southern Ethiopia. It is widely considered the birthplace of coffee. Ethiopian Yirgacheffe has a light to medium body (although they can be full body as well). As is typical with other coffees from this region, it has a distinctively fruity flavor profile and a bright, floral aroma thanks to wet-processed beans cultivated at a high elevation (between 5,800 to 6,600 ft). FACTOID: Ethiopia is the motherland of all Arabica coffee. When coffee was taken to other countries, people had to find ways to adapt it to the local climate. That’s Arabica coffee grows best in places that have climates similar to that of Ethiopia: mountainous, tropical, with moderate wet and dry seasons. Ethiopian Coffee Buying Manual, USAID, 2011. What to Look For in a High Quality Ethiopian Yirgacheffe It’s difficult to generalize the flavor of Ethiopian coffees. Each region has its own unique flavors, which can vary from farm to farm, season to season. Plus, the method of processing (wet vs. dry) and roast level can significantly alter certain highlights even from the same bean. But the high elevation of Ethiopia produces a hard bean, resulting in intense flavors and aromatics. Top grade Yirgacheffes have a very clean taste and exhibit bright acidity along with complex floral and citrusy notes (generally the washed or wet-processed beans). Dry-processed beans may exhibit slightly nutty or chocolaty qualities, but it tends to be overshadowed by the Yirgacheffe’s robust fruitiness depending on the roast level, and won’t taste as clean as the washed varietals. Why Wet-Processed Beans Matter Most people enjoy a quality Yirgacheffe for its floral, fruity, and tea-like finish. These qualities are attributable to wet-processing. So what is wet processing? As soon as the beans are harvested, and still moist, the coffee cherry is washed off to remove the skin and pulp of the fruit. Then, the beans are soaked in water fermentation tanks for 24-72 hours, then dried. Wet processing results in higher acidity than dry processed methods, which gives Yirgacheffe that “clean” taste. There’s nothing wrong with naturally (dry) processed Yirgacheffe. It’s a matter of taste. We prefer the washed Yirgacheffe because it has more clarity. Unwashed Yirgacheffe tends to have less acidity and a fuller body that doesn’t taste as “clean” as washed Yirgacheffe. Brewing Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Whatever the brew...

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2014 Holiday Blend

2014 Holiday Blend

Posted by on Nov 2, 2014 in Blog

Special Blend Released. When our family thinks of the holiday meals, we enjoy socializing as a critical part of the meal.  Having a wonderful coffee blend to enjoy with your family or friends provides a great experience.  Many people who visit the roastery understand the value of relaxing and enjoying a conversation with people…..and a great coffee makes it happen. A wonderful single origin Burundi prime bean is combined with smaller amounts of Sumatra and Tanzania Peaberry to provide a balanced cup.  A smooth taste of clover honey married with a little chocolate and a smooth, slightly creamy finish.  The Burundi beans were sourced by Thrive Farmers where 75% of the purchase price of the green coffee goes directly to the farmer. When enjoying your holiday season, pick up a bag or two to enjoy with friends.  Responsibly Harvested…..Divinely Roasted. Buy it...

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Keg Your Cold Brew!

Keg Your Cold Brew!

Posted by on Oct 14, 2014 in Blog

If your are serious about coffee concentrate stored fresh, BPR recommends a Kegerator.com system using 1/6th 304 stainless kegs from http://www.inkkegs.com located in Charlotte, North Carolina. By using food grade nitrogen gas as the blanket, the mixture is dispensed with a creamy foam.  Works for iced or a quick hot coffee (when reheated but not boiled)…faster than a kcup brewer and great strength that customers control by adding water.   The flavor of the cold brew can be maintained by only heating the cold brew to about 140 degrees by adding hot water …almost boiling water to the concentrate....

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Third Wave Coffee Roaster…What?

Third Wave Coffee Roaster…What?

Posted by on Oct 9, 2014 in Blog

Here is a little education to better explain why we are a Third Wave Coffee Roaster. The Third Wave of Coffee refers to a current movement to produce high-quality coffee, and consider coffee as an artisanal foodstuff, like wine, rather than a commodity. This involves improvements at all stages of production, from improving coffee plant growing, harvesting, and processing, to stronger relationships between coffee growers, traders, and roasters, to higher quality and fresh roasting, at times called “microroasting” (by analogy with microbrew beer), to skilled brewing. Third Wave Coffee aspires to the highest form of culinary appreciation of coffee, so that one may appreciate subtleties of flavor, varietal, and growing region – similar to other complex culinary products such as wine, tea, and chocolate. Distinctive features of Third Wave Coffee include direct trade coffee, high-quality beans, single origin coffee from small co-ops or farms (as opposed to green bean blends at origin), and lighter roasts. It also includes revivals of alternative methods of coffee preparation, and pour-over brewing devices such as the Chemex. The term “Third Wave” was coined in 2002, and refers chiefly to the American phenomenon, particularly from the 1990s and continuing today, but with some roots in the 1980s, 1970s, and 1960s. Similar movements exist in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Scandinavia. More broadly, Third Wave Coffee can be seen as part of the specialty coffee movement. ** References: http://www.outofordermag.com/2012/11/third-wave-coffee-culture/ and yes….http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Wave_Coffee (English teachers don’t yell at us…it is a great write-up!) The big three are Counter Culture, Intelligentsia, and Stumptown but are they still Third Wave with huge 90 kg automatic roasters?   If the art is removed with computers…..is it artisan? At BPR love the challenge of changes in barometric pressure, temperature, and humidity that causes us to use our mind and creativity (and experience) to vary the roast profile ever so slightly.   Watching the temperature probes, hearing the crack, using our eyes to really drive the passion of an excellent cup.  I wake up everyday pushing myself to enhance the best roast profile and to wow the customer when they take the first sip.  Third Wave is alive and well but let’s be careful to keep the craft in craft...

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Continuous Improvement

Posted by on Sep 10, 2014 in Blog

Creativity is a must for today’s small businesses and it is no different at BPR.  We cup our coffees weekly (officially weekly….but everyday we brew something different) and was finding that the taste from one of our blends was deviating from the desired profile.  So we went into root cause analysis mode checking bean roast profiles, water quality, and grind level.  The reality is that the taste of a cup is driven by many factors.  You may laugh when we say try it at home…..but that is really because the variables you control change the taste.  In our case, the tested batch of suspect coffee was still degassing since it was less than 6 hours old which gives it an airy and light profile that was not a bold as our historical cupping sheets portrayed.  We also checked our water filter cartridge and validated the roast profile on the next run to assure all controllable parameters were within specification. Couple tidbits for making a consistent cup: Grind Level – first of all, fresh ground from whole beans on a controllable burr grinder is a must.  Grinding 15 minutes before brewing is optimal but night before is also okay.  Change the grind level to assure a 4 minute brew time in your drip machine.  For espresso, make sure the espresso stream is consistent (no drip drip) and smaller than a 1/8 inch diameter. Water temperature – Needs to maintain 200 deg F (+/- 5F) during the entire brew cycle (not just at the beginning of the cycle).  I use a kitchen thermometer in the basket of my drip machine to validate. Coffee – only buy bags with vents from the grocery store which means you might have a chance at freshness. OR buy coffee with a roasted on date and use it less than 90 days if well packaged and 60 days if substandard package.  A good package will have no windows that let in UV light, be sealed with one way valve, and not made of paper. Enjoy experimenting with different roasters, origins, and mining your own perfect cup of...

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