Around the Office
Wow, it’s been a whole month since I last wrote you on the happenings in the coffee lab? Well, we have acquired many samples and roasted many coffees. It is always a joy to receive samples from all over the world to try, so if you have coffee you want to send us, feel free! We will give you honest feedback. I would say the highlight of our month was a sample of Panama Bambito Estate, which was fruity, smooth and sweet; that one is a definite possibility for us to carry. We also had to do a search for a new naturally-processed Ethiopian Sidamo. After a long exhausting search with many weeks of sample roasting and tasting, we decided to go with a coffee from the Bushwick Seed Company from Brooklyn. Not only does this Sidamo have the berry sweetness we were looking for, but it is also sustainable; this coffee helps the village of Kellensoo where it is grown and processed to provide funding to build a library and create a computer lab. The Sidamo is available as a single origin, and is also an important component in both our Smart Blend and our Nordico Espresso. We have also released our spring seasonal Aurora, which is available now! Aurora has notes of citrus, a sweet aftertaste, and is light bodied and smooth. Well folks, that’s all for this week. Look for the Lab notes to make a comeback to weekly status next week.
Good day and Good coffee,
So there was last week…. We did a lot of coffee tastings and espresso tweaking. Sadly as time goes by some coffees start to lose their oomph; this is the case with a lot of fruity natural coffees, such as the Ethiopian Natural Sidamo which we use in several blends. For that reason, we are experimenting with some new coffees and working on the blends. Be on the lookout for a new blend coming your way soon, and for some possible news regarding current blends. We may also be bringing on a single origin as our special spring seasonal.
Last week we had a short week in the lab due to a bit of a crazy schedule, but we did get to sample the Sumatra Gayo Linge. Let’s just say right now it’s shining on our pour-over bar (30 grams of coffee and 500 ml of water for about 3.20 minutes) and it is oh so good. We got flavors of cocoa, roasted almonds, with a creamy mouthfeel and a raspberry sweetness in the finish.
Thanks for stopping by the blog today, good luck and great coffee!
Welcome to another week of lab notes, this week we sampled our experimental espressos, tasted production coffees and worked on dialing in our current espresso blends. If you will remember form last week we were going for fruity with a cocoa background. 2 of the three ended up tasting the way we liked but we still think we have some tweaking to do, the most promising was a 2 coffee blend of Bali and Timor, it had the cocoa and the berry fruitiness we were going for but the roast level needs to be tweaked, which i will be doing this week. In our tasting sessions the Colombia Valle de Cauca was the standout for the week, scoring high on both sweetness and flavor. Dialing in espresso is always a fun and daunting task, i mostly worked on dialing in the Brightside and let me tell you it is singing, Orange, biscuit like, malty and oh so sweet! We are currently enjoying at 18 grams with a 24 second pull resulting in about 1.8 oz finished shot.
In our next report we have 3 coffees we received from e-cafe Chiapas in Mexico to taste and review as well as reworked espresso blending and some in detail comparative brewing tasting.
This is to be the first in a series of public updates, keeping you updated as the the goings on here in the coffee lab with QC, Sample roasting, tastings cuppings etc.
This week we worked on a few new experimental espresso blends using Bali Kintamani Natural as the foundational flavor, this will be a limited production espresso as we are on the last half bag or so of the Bali. The goal with this espresso is to highlight the sweet watermelon candy\strawberry flavors found in the Bali. We roasted 3 different blends trying to highlight the fruitiness and balance it with smooth creamy cocoa tones. One of the things we do here at OVC as part of our Quality Control program is we brew up our coffees regularly using several different methods including manual pourover, chemex, batch brew, aeropress, french press, and cuppings. We do this to maintain their integrity of the coffees so that when they arrive to the customer they will remain consistently good. One of the focus coffees this week was our Winter Comfort Blend, which is smokey, sweet and full of warm spice and it’s only here for the winter season so if that sounds good to you make sure you pick some up soon.
Thats it for this weeks update see you next week for the tasting notes on the espresso blends.
2012 was a good year! We turned 5, we had a party, we went to origin, we formed new partnerships, and we became (hopefully) a bit wiser. We added a new old face and also said goodbye to one of our own.
We turned 5 in March and we celebrated in August with Indy Hall at their joint. We had some of our customers come out and set up booths, made espresso drinks, and had beer donated by Victory to help us celebrate. A big thank you to all who came out, and to all who support us on a daily basis. Without you none of this would be possible.
We visited 2 origins last year. Rob went to Honduras in February and met with the farmers and coop who process the coffee we use more of than any other coffee. While on this trip, he was able to procure an amazing Micro Lot from Gerardo Penalba. I was able to visit 2 regions in Costa Rica, to cup coffees and visit coops and farms. I was also able to bring back a few lots from both areas, with lots from El Llano from the Navarro family, Saga, and a lot from Espirito Santo. Steve was also able to visit the farms and Gerardo’s family in Honduras.
We partnered with Synesso to bring some amazing machines to the area through RBI East. We once again partnered with Victory Brewing to make our third collaboration brew with them: Victory Village V3. We also partnered with several small businesses to create some delicious coffee-infused goodies, such as Cookie Confidential and Foam Floaterie. We sponsored a home brew contest with Philly Beerscene, and once again donated money to some worthwhile causes, including the farm in Nigeria that helped us want to become a social coffee roaster.
We added Jess Lyle permanently to our ranks. She had worked for us part time for several years while at Eastern College, and is now a full-time employee. At the end of the year, we said goodbye to Zoe Kohner, who helped us grow in many areas of our business. Gaelyn Amick headed into the office and became a permanent fixture in the customer service role, make sure you say hi when you call with your order.
We did some great things, met some amazing people, and had a great time doing it. Thanks to everyone we met, worked with and to those who inspired us this past year. Here’s to 2013 being even better than the year before it.
Just because OVC world headquarters may never be confused for the Taj Mahal (too few spires) that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do our best to make it into the roastery of our collective dreams. A new sample roaster, an improved and expanded cupping lab and more space for meetings (oh Lord, the endless meetings..) are just a few of the improvements we’re heroically undertaking (see pic of Aaron bravely battling technology.) We’re moving on up like the Jeffersons y’all!