Well Spring has hit our Mountains in force! Hopefully all you fellow coffee lovers are enjoying this sunny, warm weather as much as we are. We've got 3 new coffees for ya to enjoy on the porch weather (ha, get it!) it's a cool Spring morning or an iced coffee during the warm afternoon.
Guatemala Huehuetenango Finca El Injertal: Quite possibly our favorite Huehuetenango from last season, this year's crop is right on par! It's slightly complex with a huge body, creamy texture and a long, lingering finish. Look for notes of dark chocolate, lemon, caramel and walnut.
India Mysore Plantation Chikmagalur A: This coffee is definitely for the adventurous only! Funky and twisty, complex is definitely the best way to describe this coffee. More savory than sweet, it's got mildish acidity and a pretty big body. Look for notes of cocoa, almond and butter.
Costa Rica La Alianza Organic: Delightfully sweet and smooth, this coffee is extremely balanced and mild. It's got a silky texture with a clean, quick finish. It's just a bit less crisp than other Costa Rican coffees we've had lately, but we honestly appreciated the more gentle front end. We love the notes of milk chocolate, lemon, honey and almond.
3 Amazing New Coffees just walked in the door! Ok, they walked in yesterday and we cupped 'em today. Ok, they actually didn't walk in on their own...but wouldn't that be cool! Anyways, they're awesome. And we hope you have an awesome Easter Weekend!
Sumatra Royal Select Swiss Water Decaf: Ok, it's not often we're this excited about a decaf coffee, but this one is daaaaang good. Creamy, almost syrupy body a touch of complexity and a surprisingly clean finish! Yummy notes of dark chocolate and spice abound.
Honduras Marcala COMSA Organic: From one of our favorite Central American producers, this coffee is always a delight. It's slightly crisp and full bodied with great balance. Great at many roast levels and a wonderful blender or a great cup all on it's own, it's got notes of dark chocolate, orange and a walnut-y finish.
Tanzania Northern Peaberry Plus: This was one of our favorite Tanzania Peaberrys last year and this year's harvest is just as tasty! Crisp and bright with a sweet finish and smooth texture. Look for notes of chocolate, lime and just a hint of raspberry!
In lieu of new coffee day, today is temporarily new article day! Don't worry, we'll be back to new coffee ASAP! In the meantime, lots of folks ask me, how do I improve my coffee at home? Well, if you're roasting your own (or getting our awesome fresh roasted coffee) and using a SCAA certified brewing method like AeroPress, Pour Over or Chemex (see SCAA certified Auto-Drippers here), then you've got 2/3 of the work taken care of. But so many folks overlook the grinder! Well, we firmly stand by the grinders we offer, but most folks just don't have room in the budget just yet for a really nice burr grinder. So for now, you're stuck with a cheap blade grinder, we understand and we're here to help!
Blade grinders get a bad rap in the world of coffee snobs. They will tell you that you aren't to be taken seriously until you have a conical burr grinder. That simply isn't true. Now, it is true that a good burr grinder is far superior to even the best blade grinders on the market. The problem is that you can pick up a blade grinder for something like $20 at your local big box store whereas a Baratza Encore, the cheapest burr grinder I can recommend, is around $130.
For many people these days, $130 is not a small amount of money to spend on a grinder. My advice to many, many people that want to improve their coffee flavor without much cash is to get a cheap blade grinder while they keep saving their pennies for a Baratza Encore or even a Virtuoso.
In the meantime, there are a couple ways to use a blade grinder that can help compensate for the shortcomings inherent in all blade grinder designs. Let’s break them down into a couple issues and provide a few easy work arounds you can apply immediately to improve your blade grinder’s performance.
Issue – Inconsistent Grind
The problem with blade grinders is that the spinning blade generates centrifugal force that pushes the larger coffee particles outward away from the reach of the blade while at the same time trapping the smaller particles around the center where they are turned to dust. You end up with a pile of "dust and boulders". Remember that a finer grind extracts more quickly while a more course grind extracts more slowly. Over extracted coffee is bitter, under extracted coffee is weak. So with an uneven, "dust and boulders" grind you will get some particles over extracted and some under extracted rendering you a confusing cup. Consistent grinds make for a better cup of coffee!
Solution! – Shake Things Up
While grinding, occasionally pick the little gadget up and give it a gentle shake. Be careful the hold the top down so it doesn’t go flying off! Also, it’s best to turn off the grinder while this is happening to avoid other potential mishaps and disasters. This occasional gentle shaking simply rearranges the coffee in the grinding chamber and helps ensure the blades get a shot at hitting all the beans evenly.
Issue – Too Much Heat Generated
Blade grinders have a bad habit of heating up your vulnerable beans and grounds while chopping them up. This isn’t ideal since this heat will begin chemical reactions that you want saved until water of the correct temperature hits the grounds. Early heat added causes your coffee to get stale way faster than you want and can lead to dull flavors in the cup.
Solution! – Pulse Mode
Manually pulsing the blades on and off for 2 to 3 seconds at a time until the coffee is sufficiently ground helps keep heat at a minimum. If your grinder is a simple button operation that you just hold down, this is really easy to control. Also, you can give the beans a shake as mentioned earlier in between the pulses. If you have a blade grinder that is timed and is set to grind all the way with one push, this may be more difficult to manage, but can be done!
By taking a little more control over the grinding process, it’s pretty easy to get the most of your blade grinder. The grinding process is one of the most important steps in brewing coffee, so even small changes can go a long way to improving the quality of your cup! Just give these two simple steps a shot, you’ll be amazed at the difference a more consistent grind makes.
Lovers of Guatemala Huehuetenango rejoice! We know you've been eagerly awaiting it's return and when Huehue is your favorite, you just won't accept substitutes. We also got in two other amazing coffees and updated our Roasted Selections!
Guatemala Huehuetenango Adiesto Organic: This delicious selection from the Adiesto coop has everything you've come to love about Huehue's and it's even organic! Slightly complex, big, creamy body and a lingering finish. We love the tasty notes of bittersweet cocoa, walnuts, peach and just a dab of tangerine.
Papua New Guinea Timuza A/X Organic: PNG coffees are a bit unique among other coffees produced by neighboring Indonesia. Being fully washed, they are generally cleaner in profile with much of the same big body and syrupy textures. This coffee is PERFECT for dark roasting due to its density and complex, spicy profile. Look for warm notes of dark chocolate, brown sugar, cherry and cinnamon.
Rwanda Peaberry Misozi Kopakama: Yeah, I know it's a mouthful to try to pronounce, but you don't need to worry about pronouncing it to enjoy this Fair Trade peaberry! It's delicate and sweet with more of a tea-like texture. Perfect for an iced coffee on a warm spring day! It's also got sweet notes of peach, lime, black tea and vanilla bean.
Want more TCC?! We love connecting with our customers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! Take a picture of your latest roast and tag us, we'll tag ya back and maybe even repost your awesome coffee pics!
Well Spring has finally sprung! To ring in all this incoming (hopefully) sunshine and warm days, we've got 3 brand-spankin' new coffees!
Kenya AA Marumi Society: This fine selection is definitely the cream of this week's crop. Don't let the price scare you! This coffee is stunning. The topography of this unusual area in Kenya along with an exceptional screening process lead to a unique yet distinctively Kenyan coffee. Expect huge body, crisp acidity and a dry red wine finish with notes of apricot, green apple and lime.
Colombia Del Rio Tolima Organic: We simply can't get over how stellar the coffees from the Tolima region have been lately and this offering is no exception. It's got a full, rich body and creamy texture with a smooth, moderately long finish. Look for big, juicy notes of orange cherry and raw sugar!
Peru El Cautivo Organic: We love Peruvian coffees because they tend to be mild and delicate without being boring and washy. This coffee from El Cautivo fits the bill nicely along with a distinctive and delightful cinnamon finish. It's easy going and well balanced with notes of milk chocolate and peach. Lovely as a gentle wake-up-cup and a wonderful blender as it goes with everything!
Don't feel up to the task of roasting at home? We updated our pre-roasted selections as well! Give us a try, we roast every single day and never ship coffee that's more than 24 hours old.