The past two days of my life have been spent getting in touch with my musically artistic side. Yes, school is back in session, and come 8AM I now find myself back on a conductor's podium with a group of young musicians staring me in the face - most of whom do not drink coffee in the mornings, thank the Lord. It is during days like these that I think that I'm either living some kind of dream life (part time band director by day, coffee roaster by night) or half off my rocker for signing up for this crazy ride.
But I find there to be a beautiful poetry to the way God leads us. That may sound weird, but, He has a way of coming up with the most amazing combinations of things when He takes to building our lives. He has such an ability to find synergy where we would never think to look for it, or ways in which skills in one area of our lives will translate to another. Because of this there is joy in striking up the band this year! Even if that means I'm standing all alone at a coffee roaster inside a half lit cafe at 8PM on a Wednesday night so that I can get the coffee roasted that is due for today.
Ethiopia Kochere Grade One Dry Process Lands Friday
This Friday the long awaited dry processed coffee from Ethiopia arrives in Florence. As I promised, I have been looking for something stellar in this special category of coffee to offer
you between now and Christmas time, and I could not be more excited than I am to roast
this coffee. Our broker says, "this coffee is from the fabled Gedeo zone area of Yirgacheffe, home of some the most beautiful coffees we buy." In the next few weeks we'll review what we have learned about the dry processing method and why it produces such unusually good coffees. Then, once I have had a little time to experiment with this bean and find the right roast level, we'll begin rolling it out.
Aida Battle and the Kilimanjaro Project Coffees
Yesterday I did something that only 5 other coffee roasters in the nation will do this year: I purchased a 75lb lot of a coffee from Aida Battle's Kilimanjaro farm in El Salvador. This is no run of the mill lot of coffee. In fact, it is one coffee that is processed three distinct ways: wet, pulp natural and natural. The result is that we will be able to clearly taste how the same coffee processed different ways produces drastically different flavor profiles.
One of our brokers, Coffee Shrub, was able to collaborate with one of the top female farmers in all of coffee, Aida Battle. Over the past 9 years her name has become synonymous with the highest quality of El Salvadoran coffees. In fact, most of her coffee is now sold through direct relationships with the likes of Counter Culture, Stumptown, Square Mile, etc. and are not even available to roasters at large. For this special project, she agreed to hand sort a small lot of her coffee and then specially prepare it using three distinct methods. The results were coffees that were scored at 92+ points on the Specialty Coffee Association of Americas scoring system. That's the highest score of any coffee we have ever offered.
So, come November we will begin a series of special Coffee Nova tastings during which we cup these coffees. We will also be creating a special gift set of each of them offered in special tins and a box, the perfect gift for serious coffee lovers. Look for more on this as we move through the Fall.
Domestica Magazine Interview
Some of you may have begun noticing a new and very hip magazine to the Cincinnati area: Domestica Magazine. This new photo heavy magazine is the brainchild of a woman named Rachel Kirkwood, and my wife Emily and I have really enjoyed perusing its lively pages. Rachel and her staff photographer Daniel Smyth came to Velocity and interviewed us last week. They plan to run a story on us in their November issue and we will be giving out that issue to everyone who places an order for our coffee in November. We really love how they are trying to up the visibility of the local food and beverage scene in Cincay and expect it to become a vibrant part of the locavore movement here in our city. (If locavore is a new word to you, check out the Wikipedia definition here: Locavore.)