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Coffee Fundamentals: Selecting Our Coffee

One of the most common questions we receive is how we select our coffee. For this post we will discuss the process we go through to select a green unroasted coffee for production.


What’s the first step in selecting the coffee?

One of the most important aspects we focus on is getting the freshest green unroasted coffee we can. Coffee has long been thought of as a commodity but it is a crop and there are various coffee growing seasons around the world. So starting there, we work with our importer partners to know when they are getting in the fresh coffees to get them as they arrive. Additionally, creating relationships with our import partners is very important to us. We work closely with them to understand where they get the coffee, what type of farm its from and the impact they bring to the community at origin. We are not looking for the lowest price, in reality price the last aspect we look at. More importantly we look for importers that have relationships with farmers at origin to help them create farming practices that help their farm as well the community.


Selection of green coffee samples

Here we need to take into account the expected flavor profile of the coffee. Are we replacing a coffee and want a similar taste or are we branching out and looking to introduce a new flavor profile. Knowing this, we select multiple samples from our importer partners to sample roast.

Sample roast

Once we get samples of the unroasted coffee we sample roast each coffee on a small sample roaster. The key here is a consistent light roast in order to compare the coffees. This shows us the flavors of the coffee and any positive or negative aspects that stand out and allows us to compare them at similar roast profiles.

Cupping

Next step is to cup or taste each coffees. This is a process we and most coffee professionals use to compare a roasted coffee. Here again, consistency is key in order to compare the coffees. This process is not the same as brewing a cup of coffee at your home, but it allows us to get a consistent small sample brewed that focuses on aroma and flavor. Taking the tasting notes from cupping the coffee we then decide which coffee we will order.