Nothing excites us more than the arrival of parcels filled with green bean samples. Discovering a gem amongst them is a constant anticipation, and when it leaps out at the cupping table, joy unleashed, a unanimous decision. When it is not so clear, we argue and make our cases. Invariably we choose coffee that we are proud and excited to showcase.
Coffee, like other tasty produce, is seasonal. Coffee flowers and ripens at different times depending on the country, growing region and altitude. Our coffee offerings reflect this seasonality. Notice how sometimes we may have a number of coffees from one country, take a closer look at the farms, as the distinction in the cup is surprising and delightful.
And while nature allots unpredictable amounts of sun, water and sorrow onto a coffee plant each season, what’s in the cup, is the collective desires of the producer, the roaster, and the brewer.
Volatiles, aromatic and intriguing, brought to life in the roasting process, continue their migration into the ether. After three weeks most beans will not have much volatiles remaining. The only way we can ensure you get your beans at their delicious best, we roast daily with the roast date clearly marked on the bags.
Roasting coffee is not merely a matter of putting green beans into the roaster and taking them out when they are brown. Green beans vary in density and moisture content. These variations have enormous impact on the beans’ ability to absorb heat, and hence their progress in the roast. There is also the overriding element of intent: what inherent qualities in this coffee does the roaster wish to highlight? As such, we are not bound to a particular, and potentially limiting the style of roasting.
One could easily conjure an image of the blender, akin to a cook, saying, “a little of this and a pinch of that…voila!” If only. Blending may start with a grand vision but it is realised through the painstaking and time-consuming process of selecting the beans, roasting to their various levels, tasting at different stages, adjusting proportions, then tasting and tasting again. Like a piece of poetry, a blend is always likely to become organic, developing its own life and evolution, straying a little or a lot from its initial designs. And, like poetry, a blend is never finished, only abandoned.