Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Holidays

The holidays are in full swing and Christmas is almost upon us.  Our two stores are being stocked with all manor of goodies.  Coffee being the most important, to me anyway.  As is our tradition we have put together a new blend.  A Holiday Blend.
For a couple of days different regions were thought about for their distinct attributes. Once we decided what we were looking for things started moving pretty quickly. Through sample roasting and cuppings with traders at our different suppliers green beans were decided on.  Roast profiles were experimented with, as well as percentages of parts.  Lots of blind taste testing of the different experimental blends lead us to what we now have available.
The new Holiday Blend contains three different parts, Sulewasi, Burundi and Kenya.  Each type of coffee is very distinct and brings those qualities to the cup.  Sulewasi for body, Burundi for acidity and Kenya for a touch of fruit.
Try it as a pour-over at either of our locations.  Take it home and make it the way I like it.  Done up in a french press.  This coffee is sweet enough on its own any way you make it.  But it also blends well with milk and sugar.

A note from Maintenance:
Things require a certain amount of simple maintenance.  We take care of our espresso machines scrupulously for instance.  But the unsung workhorse, the grinder is sometimes overlooked. Until it needs help.  Sure we vacuum them out and clean the outside and wash the hoppers at the end of the night, but that is about the extent of it.
Recently several have decided that they don't want to switch on anymore.  During the holidays to boot.  The main back up grinder as it turns out was having the same switch problems as the others. Causing a swap with what I call the "little" grinder, about two-thirds the size of the others.  This little trooper was once used for single origin espresso and now has been called up to the big boys as it were. Filling in for the decaf, that became the main espresso grinder.
So two by two (just like the Ark) they go off for maintenance.  Rockridge grinders this week and Downtown grinders next week. While they are out we are also having the burrs replaced. When these grinders get back from Pacifica (thats where the maintenance magic happens) they will be running like new.  Ready for that morning espresso.