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FEATURES FEBRUARY 2017 Fresh Cup Magazine » Vol. 26 » No. 2


SPECIAL SECTION: BUILD-OUTS FOR THE CONTEMPORARY CAFÉ What makes a café modern? Fancy fixtures and finishes, efficient workflow, and recycled materials are hallmarks of today’s cutting-edge coffee spots. But community connection, resourcefulness, and sustainability also play important roles in new business. Inside, we take a look at cafés and companies leading the way in forward-thinking design. P. 40 DEFYING THE COOKIE CUTTER: Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, by Ellie Bradley P. 42

GETTING RESOURCEFUL: Reclaim, reuse, recycle P. 46

STEALING THE SPOTLIGHT: Espresso machines P. 44

COFFEE FOR A NEW GENERATION: Henry’s House of Coffee, by Ellie Bradley P. 48

SMALLWARES: For build-outs of all sizes P. 45

SAVING SPACE: Maximizing available space P. 51

DO YOU KNOW KHRISTIAN BOMBECK? Meet the dreamer behind Saint Anthony Industries’ innovative coffee solutions. P. 38


CLICK FOR GREEN: The New Digital Coffee Marketplace The internet has transformed how coffee is promoted, purchased and consumed—from the farm to the café. P. 52



February 2017 » Fresh Cup Magazine

WHAT’S BREWING IN BERGEN. The coffee culture of Norway’s second-largest city. P. 58


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DEPARTMENTS FEBRUARY 2017 Fresh Cup Magazine » Vol. 26 » No. 2

36 28

22 24

32 30




Your Paper Cups Aren’t Being Recycled; Turmeric; Stagg EKG; Specialty Coffee Association

Concrete to Brick: Building a Company from the Ground Up—Part Two by Travas Clifton, Justin Hicks, and Ryan Foster

Cultivating Healthy Dissatisfaction by Nathanael May








Taking a Cue from Visionaries

Houndstooth Coffee Dallas, Texas by Ellie Bradley

Chinese Tea 101 by Jeffrey McIntosh

Making the Most of Our Partnerships to Origin by Michael Kaiser






COUNTER INTELLIGENCE People and products




Spring Is in the Cup by Chris Lucia

Grinding for Community Grounds by Thomas Hill

Torch Coffee Roasters Seville, Spain by Elizabeth Hotson




February 2017 » Fresh Cup Magazine



CALENDAR Trade shows and events



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FROM THE EDITOR Taking a Cue From Visionaries

THE FIRST TIME I WALKED ONTO A BUILD SITE, I GAZED toward the clouds, scrunching my brows together in an attempt to visualize how the foundation would develop into a multi-story building. My brother—a project engineer—walked me around the site, explaining where plumbing and electric would go, which finishes had been selected, and how each layer would come together to bring the architect’s plans to life. I’m continually amazed by the process of transforming drawing sets into the large-scale buildings in which we eat, drink, work, and live. It takes the visions of entrepreneurs, architects, and contractors to bring these projects to fruition and construct the world around us. This month, we spoke with many of these visionaries in the process of compiling our special section: “Build-Outs for the Contemporary Café.” While many contemporary cafés showcase minimalist design and monochromatic color palettes, fulfilling a modernistic ideal can be accomplished in many other ways—through sustainable materials, local sourcing, community advocacy, and new technology. In this issue, we take a sneak preview at two in-progress buildouts: Irving Farm’s new Manhattan café (Studio Vural) and Henry’s House of Coffee in San Francisco (Paul Halajian Architects). But visionaries see more than just buildings—they also see ways to improve systems. On page 52, Rachel Northrop walks us through three new online platforms for green coffee sourcing in her piece, “Click for Green.” Other visionaries embody an entrepreneurial spirit, always questioning how they can challenge the status quo, whether it’s in their own work, or throughout an entire industry. In Nine Bar, Nathanael May tackles the topic of setting higher standards for personal performance; in this month’s In House column, the Modcup leadership team shares the second installment of their story about launching a coffee business from a mobile cart. Whether they’re designing buildings or pushing technology forward, visionaries will continue being industry leaders. Though we may not all be comfortable at the front lines, this issue is filled with ideas and small ways you can challenge yourself to embody a more visionary spirit. If you squint up at the clouds, I bet you’ll be able to detect the outlines of something magnificent.






and sketch plans for its Noriega ELLIE BRADLEY, EDITOR


February 2017 » Fresh Cup Magazine

Street remodel.

Renderings courtesy of Henry’s House of Coffee/Paul Halajian Architects


Henry’s House of Coffee in San Francisco, California: blueprints



Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers




Jones Coffee Roasters

Monin Gourmet Flavorings




Elmwood Inn Fine Teas



Toby’s Estate Coffee

Maya Tea Co.



Bellissimo Coffee Advisors



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CONTRIBUTORS TRAVAS CLIFTON, JUSTIN HICKS, AND RYAN FOSTER Last month, Modcup partners Travas Clifton, Justin Hicks, and Ryan Foster detailed their journey from humble coffee cart to brick-and-mortar café and roastery. This month, the team shares the second part of their story, describing how they’ve distinguished themselves with fervent commitment to selling freshly roasted coffee, developing valuable partnerships with community businesses as a result (In House, page 26).

THOMAS HILL Coffee grounds are essential for your morning jolt, but they also have many uses outside the cup. In the Whole Bean, Thomas Hill writes about cafés partnering with community organizations to repurpose spent coffee grounds (page 30). Hill is a Connecticutbased freelancer who writes about commercial and hobby farming.

JEFFREY MCINTOSH Need to brush up on your tea knowledge? Jeffrey McIntosh delivers an in-depth look at green, white, oolong, red, and pu-erh teas, including specific brew temperatures and flavor notes for each (Whole Leaf, page 28). McIntosh is the owner of Teabook, based in Seattle, Washington.

ELIZABETH HOTSON Specialty coffee is still in the early phases of catching on in Spain but Sara and Victoria Parish are hoping to change that with Torch, their café in Seville. Elizabeth Hotson spoke with the sisters about their shop and Spain’s progressing coffee culture (Café Crossroads, page 36). Hotson is a London-based journalist.

MICHAEL KAISER Over the past seven years, Michael Kaiser has managed quality and trade on every level of the coffee supply chain, from quality control in El Salvador, to working as a production roaster at Stumptown Coffee–LA. He currently trades coffee for Bodhi Leaf Coffee Traders in Orange, California. In this month’s Origin section, Kaiser describes what happened when he first arrived in El Salvador, hoping to connect with coffee farmers (page 34).

NATHANAEL MAY Has your productivity in the café reached a plateau in recent years? You may be struggling with complacency. In Nine Bar, Nathanael May illustrates how a café owner, barista, or roaster can improve their output and efficiency by cultivating a healthy sense of dissatisfaction (page 32). May is director of coffee and green coffee buyer for Portland Roasting Coffee.


February 2017 » Fresh Cup Magazine

KAITLIN THROGMORTON Seattle-based freelance writer Kaitlin Throgmorton traveled Norway to experience the country’s recent coffee culture evolution. She writes about Det Lille Kaffekompaniet, Bergen Kaffebrenneri, and Kaffemisjonen—three Norwegian cafés that have worked to push third-wave coffee to the forefront in their region (page 58).

CORRECTION Corvallis, Oregon–based Coffee Culture has four locations: a drive-through, a combination café and drive-through, and two stand-alone cafés. The company recently made their coffee available for purchase through the Holderness Coffee Roasters brand.

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The FILTER A Fine Blend of News and Notes



February 2017 » Fresh Cup Magazine

of 51 percent calcium carbonate, and 49 percent low-density polyethylene (LDPE) resin blend. With reCUP, the coating is no longer an obstacle to recycling, and the cup becomes a valuable material to recycle. The internal lining has no effect on beverage taste.

cling program for the cups through its on-campus recycling center. The revenues from recycling the reCUP are being used to fund new student scholarships. When reCUPs are discarded into on-campus recycling bins, they’re collected, sorted, baled, and sold to local paper brokers for a profit.

When reCUPs are discarded into oncampus recycling bins, they’re collected, sorted, baled, and sold to local paper brokers for a profit. Working with Newport Beach packaging company Relevant Packaging, Smart Planet is focusing on coffee retailers interested in giving their customers a truly sustainable solution. Orange Coast College, located in Costa Mesa, California, has adopted the reCUP and implemented a recy-

Kean Coffee, a local coffee house, and the Environmental Nature Center, a local non-profit organization, are also participating by using reCUPs and returning them to the OCC program.;



ou may be surprised to learn that paper cups in the US are not being recycled, even when you place them in the recycling bin. Why? Traditional paper cups have an interior plastic coating that’s too difficult for recyclers to process through their paper-recycling equipment. As a result, recyclers remove traditional paper cups from the recycling stream, sending over 50 billion to US landfills each year. Smart Planet Technologies, based in Newport Beach, California, has taken the first step in solving the problem by giving the recycling industry a paper cup worth recycling.  By reducing the amount of plastic in the coating and replacing it with inert minerals (materials that are neither biologically nor chemically active), the new cups can pass through the recycling process as if they were uncoated paper. They call it the reCUP.  While traditional to-go cups rely on a 100 percent plastic lining to retain liquids, reCUP’s lining is composed



lavorman, a national beverage development company, has declared turmeric the top trending flavor for 2017 in its yearly flavor forecast. Known for its warm, sharp taste and golden color, turmeric is often referred to as the “new ginger.” It’s loaded with antioxidants and boasts anti-inflammatory properties, also providing health benefits linked to cholesterol reduction and diabetes management. Turmeric is commonly found in medicinal teas and cleansing smoothies, often paired with carrots and beets. Flavorman has been in business over twenty-five years and has developed over 40,000 beverage formulations in that time. The flavor experts didn’t stop with turmeric’s top ranking.


Turmeric is commonly found in medicinal teas and cleansing smoothies, often paired with carrots and beets. Coconut, a distinctly tropical flavor, was also noted by Flavorman as a flavor to watch in 2017. Like turmeric, coconut features a range of health benefits, noted as being useful in combating asthma, kidney stones, and tumors. Spicy flavors rounded out 2017’s top trending list. Hot and spicy flavors have risen in popularity in beverages over recent years, due in part to the ongoing interest and exploration of world cuisines across the US. Major distillers are also adding spice to existing products, creating spicy versions of rum, bourbon, and whiskey, emphasizing the arrival of the hot and spicy trend. Herbal accent flavors earned an honorable mention, as Flavorman pointed out their ability to enhance traditional flavors while making them more interesting and unique. Chili and chocolate were mentioned as flavors to watch this year as popular coffee additives.

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February 2017 » Fresh Cup Magazine



ellow has soared past the initial $100,000 crowdfunding goal for its latest pour-over kettles, the Stagg EKG and the EKG+. In under a month of collecting funding from supporters on Kickstarter, the project amassed almost $300,000 from nearly 2,000 backers (still rapidly climbing at the time of press). It’s easy to see why there’s so much enthusiasm mounting around the EKG. Variable temperature control lets users dial in temperatures precisely with the touch of a button, ranging from 135 degrees to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. This high degree of control is particularly important considering the gamut of specialty coffee roasts and unique tea blends that require precise water temperatures for optimum brewing. The EKG also features an easy-toread, black LED screen that discretely displays the temperature, keeping the design minimal, yet functional. Hidden on the back side of the kettle is a hold toggle, allowing the EKG to maintain the user’s desired water temperature for up to thirty minutes. A cleanly designed spout that promotes a slow, steady, and precise pour keeps the theme of minimalist precision, while the counterbalanced handle makes pouring accurate and easy. Fellow didn’t stop there; the EKG+ model can connect to tablets via Brewbar, a bluetooth-powered app from Acaia. This gives users the ability to turn their kettle on, set the temperature, and monitor its progress in real time—all from a distance (we suggest using the app from bed). The EKG+ also tracks recipes and connects with the Baratza Sette 270W grinder. Both the Stagg EKG and EKG+ are scheduled to ship to backers by September 2017.



he Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) have combined as of January to form a single, unified organization: the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA). The SCA is a membership-based association built on foundations of openness, inclusivity, and the power of shared knowledge. As a unifying force within the specialty coffee industry, its stated goal is to work to make coffee better by raising standards worldwide through a collaborative and progressive approach, with a dedication to building an industry that is fair, sustainable, and nurturing for all.

to 2,500 members before the merger with the SCAE, which was formed in 1998 as a non-profit membership association and eventually became a network of industry professionals spanning more than ninety countries worldwide. SCA.COFFEE


The SCA is a membership-based association built on foundations of openness, inclusivity, and the power of shared knowledge. Becoming part of this new specialty coffee community also brings added benefits, such as access to industry guilds for baristas and roasters, as well as local events and activities organized and supported by a global network of national chapters. The SCAA was formed in 1982 by a small group of individuals who wanted to create a uniform set of quality standards for the coffee industry. It eventually grew

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Three’s Company: Three Nuova Simonelli Mythos One grinders hold the shop’s espresso beans: the house blend, a single-origin or alternate offering, and decaf.

Eagle’s Nest: Houndstooth has many callouts to its other locations, including the three-group Victoria Arduino VA388 Black Eagle Gravitech (in white, of course). A small set of cups keeps warm on the machine; the rest are kept on the back bar.


Tapped Out: Customers can choose from seven or eight beers on tap, or from beer and wine selections displayed on shelving that hangs from the “cloud.”

Sexy Seraphim: Four Curtis Seraphim pour-over stands take pride-of-place near the point-of-sale (water towers are stored underneath the counter). Henry says he opted for the Seraphim version of Curtis’s Gold Cup technology because the stands “look a lot sexier.” Coffee brews into Ball jars for a classic, Texas touch.

February 2017 » Fresh Cup Magazine

Sidle Up: Customers seated at the bar are encouraged to pay at the end of their visit. Houndstooth founder Sean Henry says the setup is intended to “create engagement literally all the way around the bar.”

Retail Greeting: The café has doors on opposing walls of the 360-degree bar. To help direct traffic, customers entering the parking lot–side door are greeted with a retail display, encouraging them to continue on to the barista manning the point-of-sale.

BEHIND the BAR Houndstooth Coffee @ Sylvan Thirty » Dallas, Texas


» by Ellie Bradley «


ean Henry took inspiration for the newest installment of Houndstooth Coffee from a long-standing Texas tradition: waiting in line for barbecue. “At my favorite places you’d wait in line for a really long time, but then they’d cut the meat right in front of you,” the Houndstooth founder says. “They’d ask if you wanted it fatty, or meaty, or if you wanted burnt ends.” Henry liked how engaging the barbecue line was for the customer, and wanted to replicate that dynamic in his new Dallas location (Houndstooth has another shop in Dallas and two more in Austin). Located in a mixed-used development just west of downtown, the space was the perfect opportunity for Henry to build out a 360-degree coffee bar—a vision he’d been dreaming about for years. Stools line half the circular bar, allowing customers a front-row seat to the action. “We can talk to people from all kinds of angles, and they watch us work,” Henry says. “Some people in the morning sidle up to the bar and just watch things, and that’s great. That’s part of waking up.” Houndstooth worked closely with Official Design to create the café, drawing design inspiration from nature. A floating wood volume hangs above the bar, which Henry affectionately refers to as the “cloud.” Light fixtures represent the sun, and expansive windows fill the spacious café with natural light, providing direct views to rows of plants out-

side. This design aesthetic carries over to the cocktail bar adjacent to the space, Jettison, where a dark color palate represents cascading moonlight. While Henry likes that customers can sit and take their time at the Houndstooth bar—paying for their tab at the end of their stay, much like any other bar—he also recognizes that many customers are in a hurry. “You just want to get your coffee and get out sometimes,” Henry says. “It’s being able to take both of those and apply them to our milieu there in the new store.” The result is a dual-service model café, where customers can direct themselves by sense of urgency. Those wishing to sit and stay awhile can take a seat at the bar and wait for a barista to serve them. Customers wanting coffee to-go can line up at the point-of-service and order like they would in a traditional café service model. “We’re still figuring it out—we knew it’d be a new service model for us, but it’s also exciting, and the goal was to create an approachable guest experience,” Henry says. “We’re not reinventing the wheel, but we’re not trying to do what we’ve done before. We’re trying to keep ourselves interested and challenged.” The interplay between bar and café (including the neighboring Jettison) has been a huge success for Houndstooth. Official Design collected the 2016 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Dallas Built Design Honor Award for the concept. FC

Keeping a Low Profile: Henry says they store most supplies underneath the bar, keeping the countertops clean and neat. This includes stacks of pre-stamped togo cups, pre-folded towels, bulk coffee, and espresso machine cleaning tools.

Grind It Out: A Mahlkönig EK 43 grinds bulk coffee, as well as beans for by-the-cup brewing. Houndstooth offers coffee from Tweed, Counter Culture, and Roseline.

Condiment-nation: Lids, sleeves, cream, sugar, water, napkins—they’re all here, along with a bus tub and trash bin.

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Spring Is in the Cup

Clouds are clearing, temperatures are warming, and iced tea season is imminent. For those hesitant to dive headfirst into the pool of chilled beverages, there are lots of versatile tea options to smooth the transition to spring. Spicy, floral, herbal, soothing, and bright, these offerings are sure to melt away the last of winter’s gloomy days.



1) A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION Did you think spice teas were limited to winter sipping? That may be true for recipes with ingredients like cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove, but TeaSource encourages you to switch up your spices as you cruise into spring. Try Sweet Ginger Green—packed with green tea, ginger root, lemongrass, lemon peel, and honey crystals. Brew it hot on chilly days, or add ice for a refreshing sunny-day tea. 2) YOU’LL SPRING FOR THESE TEAS Ring in the spring with SerendipiTea’s most recent tea offerings. Floral scents highlight their Casanova, Fu Man Chu, and Cotillion blends, celebrating spring’s new growth. For a quick pick-me-up on gloomy days, try the Dark ChocolaTea to lift your spirits—the rich blend contains phenylethylamine and tryptophan, which stimulate the release of serotonin.



3) WAKE UP FROM A LONG WINTER Tony Tellin, head teamaker at Steven Smith Teamaker, recommends Smith’s Kandy blend through the transition to spring. “As winter starts to wane and mother nature starts to stir, we transition from rich, full, round, and soul-quenching to bright, crisp, lively, and floral flavor experiences,” Tellin says. Made from three premier teas from Sri Lanka, the Kandy blend is marked by notes of caramelized sugar, minerality, and bright and lively floral undertones. 4) TEA WITH A PURPOSE Two Leaves and a Bud offers four versatile tea flavors in its new Purpose-Filled Tea line. Fully organic and grown outside in the sunshine, Detox, Hydrate, Invigorate herbal blends, and Energize green tea are perfectly suited for hot and cold brewing. Two Leaves celebrates the outdoors by donating 1 percent of every Purpose-Filled Tea sale to Protect Our Winters, the leading climate advocacy group for the outdoor sports community.



February 2017 » Fresh Cup Magazine

5) THE ART OF MATCHA-MAKING Los Angeles–based direct tea importer Art of Tea relies on a classic to help transition through the seasons: matcha. For a traditional preparation—which makes a fresh, grassy, and sweet drink—whisk matcha into hot water, then froth. Matcha can also be made cold; simply add a teaspoon of powder to eight ounces of cold water, stir until fully mixed, then add ice for a refreshing, organic beverage. FC

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odcup Coffee Co.’s first marketing campaign was driven by the force of a simple tagline: “99 percent of coffee served is stale. We are the one percent.” It was direct, to the point, and immediately let any consumer or potential wholesale customer know that we were different. Being part of the one percent of coffee companies serving freshly roasted coffee became a way of attracting other businesses to join that movement and showcase coffee within its true window of freshness. The tagline beckoned, “Become part of the one percent and help us grow it to two percent.” It became an inclusive message that welcomed consumers and wholesale partners. Branding is all about an easily understood message that distinguishes you and your partners from the competition. Our philosophy was simple and our requirements from partners who sold our coffee were also simple. Our first mobile café was a basic cart with everything we needed to sell the concept of specialty coffee to an audience that was brand new to the idea. Our first roastery operated along the exact same lines. Tucked away on Jefferson Avenue in Jersey City Heights, New Jersey, the original Modcup roastery was a small converted garage space that previously manufactured and warehoused mozzarella, a New Jersey staple. Looking to break the Jersey tradition of darkly roasted coffee, we utilized the space to set up a roasting operation that started with an Ambex YM-2. We very quickly outgrew and replaced it with a ten-kilogram roaster from the same manufacturer, opening the door for us to roast for customers outside our own café. Out on the streets, working the cart, we invited anyone interested to visit our garage roastery for an interactive class. During these weekend


February 2017 » Fresh Cup Magazine

courses, we shared what it meant to be part of the one percent: be aware of roast dates, not expiration dates, and treat your coffee like the perishable product it is. We also developed a seminar series that distinguished commercial from specialty coffee, explained methods for removing the fruit of the coffee cherry to get to the seeds, and detailed how coffee-cherry processing dramatically impacts the flavor profile of the brewed cup. We engaged people in the various brewing methods by inviting them to brew with us—fourth-wave coffee, as we called it. Our company mantra centered on the idea that coffee’s complexity can only be showcased when served within its true window of freshness, and that coffee is first and foremost a fruit; so, we focused on purchasing superhigh-quality green coffee that was naturally processed. We felt there was no better way to show modern coffee than with one that actually tasted like fruit. Though we also sold more classic and familiar offerings, using naturals was the ultimate way to demonstrate coffee’s flavor range, and it became a great way to get customers to join us in the one percent. In a wholesale coffee market dominated by large brands with a lot of capital, creative collaborations became the key to developing relationships and creating products to break our brand out from only supplying roasted coffee. Our café concept was based on our ability to be mobile, and we applied the same philosophy to the wholesale arm of our business. We offered our seminars and interactive brewing classes to major companies as team-building exercises, hoping that down the line, they might buy our roasted coffee too—double win! We have worked in this capacity with the PGA, the Hyatt Hotel Group, Pinterest, Facebook, Vice, and Google.

Being mobile, adaptable, and having a clear message combined with a great product was critical to our success in the wholesale market. One of our biggest wholesale clients is the Smith restaurant group, which owns several amazing establishments in Jersey City and Asbury park, including the legendary Porta. Smith originally purchased coffee on the street at our vintage Citroën H Van; soon after, our business relationship started. We also work with one of the largest commercial real estate developers in New Jersey, Mack-Cali. Like most of our business relationships, this partnership stemmed from a connection made at a mobile setup. Mack-Cali now has that mobile setup inside its financial center at Exchange Place in Jersey City. (The irony that our mobile setup attracted so many wholesale accounts that it’s no longer mobile is not lost on us.) As our brand expands and our wholesale clients increase, we’re looking for non-traditional coffee angles to further expose our brand. We’re working with local producers like Departed Soles Brewing to create unique products like their cold-brew stout, and inviting other businesses to work with us to create their own private-label coffee blend. All these endeavors strengthen our brand and expand our reputation beyond our own products and cafés. As Modcup continues to develop and take on new clients, a central component of our progress stems from sticking to our original message: we are the one percent. We’ve built reliable and strong relationships with clients who are eager to find a place for specialty coffee in their businesses. By focusing on adaptability, we’ve continued attracting more people to help us build up and spread fresh, modern coffee. FC Travas Clifton, Justin Hicks, and Ryan Foster are the brains and leadership behind Modcup.


Concrete to Brick: Building a Company from the Ground Up—Part Two By Travas Clifton, Justin Hicks, and Ryan Foster

MODCUP COFFEE’S roastery and café.

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The WHOLE LEAF Chinese Tea 101 » By Jeffrey McIntosh

GREEN TEA Green tea is the least oxidized of the five Chinese tea types; it spends the shortest amount of time exposed to air after picking. Full leaves (sometimes a bud) of the Camellia sinensis var. sinensis plant are picked for green tea—these leaves can be young, whole, or mature. To minimize oxidation, a “kill green” process is employed through heat application. Tea producers might use a wok to heat the leaves for a short time, or they might roll and bake them. Pan-firing or hot air drying is most common, as it enhances the leaves’ aroma and brightness. BREW TEMPERATURE: 170–185 de-

grees Fahrenheit.* FLAVOR NOTES: vegetal, mild, cleansing, and sometimes even savory or buttery.

tea is considered the most neutral tea, appropriate for all body types. BREW TEMPERATURE: 185–195 de-

grees Fahrenheit.* FLAVOR NOTES: subtle and delicate with soft hints of natural sweetness, sometimes reminiscent of melon. PREDOMINANT GROWING REGIONS:

China’s Hunan, Zhejiang, and Fujian provinces.

OOLONG Oolong tea production is more complex than other tea, its range of flavors most broad. The skills of the teamaker impart a unique flavor in each oolong tea, including steps like sun withering, indoor withering, rolling, roasting, and drying. This tea is typically composed of two leaves and a bud of the Camellia sinensis plant, yielding more material to work with than other tea types. In the withering process, leaves are heaped much like a compost pile, withered much longer than green or white teas. As a result, oxidation can range from 15 to 80 percent. Oolong is rarely astringent and lends itself to the sweeter end of the flavor spectrum.



China’s Hunan, Zhejiang, and An Hui provinces.

grees Fahrenheit.* FLAVOR NOTES: widest range of distinct flavor profiles; known to have very complex flavors similar to figs or plums, often with great depth and roundness.

WHITE TEA White tea leaves are also lightly oxidized, often dried by light panfiring to stop the oxidation process. These leaves are usually gathered in the first pluck of spring or prespring. Both leaves and young buds are gathered, which often contain mao, or tiny fine hairs, yielding a cup that’s light and delicate. The three most common genres of white tea are white peony, silver needle, and Shoumei. Because it’s low in tannins and gentle on the stomach, white

terized by hints of red and gold. A more aggressive rolling and shaping process facilitates oxidation levels up to 90 percent; however, red tea is never fully oxidized, as this results in a leaf covered in golden fuzz. BREW TEMPERATURE: 185–205 de-

grees Fahrenheit.* FLAVOR NOTES: often robust, woodsy, or toasted; may have notes of walnut, raisin, and chocolate. PREDOMINANT GROWING REGIONS:

China’s Fujian, Yunnan, and Hunan provinces.

PU-ERH TEA Pu-erh comes from Camellia sinensis var. assamica, found in China’s Yunnan province. Tea producers pick young or mature leaves from the assamica plants, then leave them in the sun to dry. After drying, the leaves are steamed to loosen their structure, usually molded into a cake form. The cakes are then fermented, catalyzed by enzymes found within the tea leaves. Aging periods range up to thirty years and beyond. Raw pu-erh uses traditional aging methods, while ripe pu-erh is subject to an accelerated fermentation, characterized by a high-humidity wet-piling process conducted in a factory environment (much like a controlled compost pile). BREW TEMPERATURE: 185–205 de-

grees Fahrenheit.*



China’s Fujian province; Taiwan.

cakes are astringent, woodsy, nutty, and pungent; aged cakes are smooth, smoky, and sweet. RIPE PU-ERH FLAVOR NOTES: earthy, mushroom, and mellow flavors with a sweet, lingering aftertaste.

RED TEA Americans typically refer to red tea as “black.” Like green tea, red tea is made from young or fully mature leaves. Red tea processing follows six main steps: leaves are picked, withered, rolled, allowed to rest, heat-dried, and finished. Following these steps, leaves are charac-


China’s Yunnan province. FC Jeffrey McIntosh is a regular contributor and owner of Teabook.

*Brewing temperatures are recommended for most teas within each category.


February 2017 » Fresh Cup Magazine



ll Chinese tea comes from the same parent plant, Camellia sinensis. How leaves are processed, their region of origin, and picking time dictate how tea will look and taste in the cup. Tea varieties are also distinguished by the part of the plant that’s picked, the extent of oxidation, and how leaves might be dried or aged.

Fresh Cup Magazine «


The WHOLE BEAN Grinding for Community Grounds » By Thomas Hill

A BOOST FROM SOCIAL MEDIA Victor Levi, owner of Genuine Joe Coffeehouse in Austin, says participating in a program like Ground to Ground can complement existing marketing efforts. When Levi first opened Genuine Joe, he relied heavily on face-toface marketing. He says he traveled “door-to-door in the neighborhood, and that was our advertising.” Participating in Ground to Ground has allowed his shop to take advantage of word-of-mouth advertising, a highly valued information source for Austin residents. The Ground to Ground website also lists participating shops, so consumers can easily see which cafés offer spent coffee grounds. “Ground to Ground has been very good. They put out social media posts letting people know Genuine Joe has fresh coffee buckets, so you get that advertising and promotion,” Levi says. In addition to social media posts to notify customers when buckets are full and ready for pick-up, followers


February 2017 » Fresh Cup Magazine

also see when empty buckets come in, so they can anticipate more grounds. “It gives people a little update like, ‘next week you should be able to get grounds,’” Levi says.

A SEAMLESS BLEND Texas Coffee Traders (TCT) also participates in Ground to Ground through their Austin retail shop. Operations manager Traci Armstrong says the program works seamlessly with their retail goals. “We always have one of the buckets in our retail area by our coffee and espresso-brewing station [and] fill it up daily with spent coffee grinds,” she says. Customers come in to pick up full buckets, exchanging them with empties. TCT has used this model for more than three years. “I would say we probably go through four or five of the fivegallon buckets a week with the Ground to Ground program.” Before joining the Ground to Ground network, Texas Coffee Traders worked with a different local company to recycle much of their waste. Armstrong says they like that partnering with Ground to Ground still offers an avenue to recycle coffee waste, but with the benefit of developing lasting relationships with customers.

TURNING VISITORS INTO REGULAR CUSTOMERS Working with Ground to Ground displays TCT company values, and the partnership has helped retain customers visiting for the first time. New customers are guided through each of the day’s brewed coffees; if there’s time, a facility tour is also offered. The twenty-minute tour consists of “Coffee 101,” as Armstrong explains. The first stop: a wall map featuring photographs of coffee in progressive stages of growth and production.

From there, tour participants see the warehouse facility where green coffee is stored, and receive an explanation of the coffee roasting process and the company’s ongoing sustainability efforts. During the warehousing and sustainability discussion, participants learn how the shop participates in Ground to Ground. Armstrong says creating memorable first-time experiences helps develop repeat customers; the Ground to Ground partnership is an important element of the experience.

REDUCED WASTE REMOVAL When TCT began working with Ground to Ground, they had four, fifty-gallon drums of coffee-grind waste at their facility. After full participation in the program, she says, “now we usually average two or three compost drums, and I do think a lot of that has to do with people in the community coming to pick up the five-gallon buckets of grinds instead of us having to put them into our larger compost bins.” Though the noticeable savings in waste disposal costs is nice, Armstrong credits the mission’s greater benefit. “For us, it’s not necessarily about saving money,” she says. “It’s more about getting people to reuse coffee grinds; we’d much rather them get reused and not go into a landfill.” Though Ground to Ground serves the Austin area, many similar programs exist to serve other communities. The ability to repurpose coffee grounds is reason enough to participate, but partnering with community organizations offers tangential benefits in marketing, customer retention, and operational savings. FC Thomas Hill is a Connecticut-based freelance writer.



hen two Austin, Texas, coffee shops decided to become part of Austinbased Compost Coalition’s Ground to Ground program, their participation perked up benefits beyond making their neighborhood a little greener. Connecting coffee shops with local residents, the Ground to Ground program helps coffeehouses and similar businesses share used coffee grounds with visitors. Along with encouraging participants to drop off these used grounds at community gardens, parks, or agricultural organizations, they’re available for personal use—all in an effort to make Austin’s soils greener.

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ow did we do?” she asked. “Extraordinarily well. We have a 92 percent customer satisfaction rating, and our sales were the highest they’ve ever been. Our year-over-year numbers are outstanding,” he replied, beaming. “What about that 8 percent?” “The dissatisfied people? Oh, uh, they were mostly complaining about little stuff, things that we can’t really help. People are people, you know?” “We can help, and we will. This year, we’re shooting for 100 percent.”

I became content with my skill level too soon. I poured a good rosetta one day, photographed it and put it on Instagram, then stopped trying to get better. I overheard this exchange at one of my first jobs in high school. My manager was so proud—he had beaten his previous year’s sales numbers while boasting an impressively high customer satisfaction rate for being in fast food. Our district manager was happy for him, but also dissatisfied enough to push him to shoot for more, to challenge himself to be even better. She wanted him to have that same sense of dissatisfaction; the feeling that what happened was good, but it could be amazing. And that’s what I want to encourage in you: a healthy dissatisfaction. Let’s start with a simple, small example. Maybe you pour latte art well. That’s great, but you can do it better. I can pour a reasonably consistent rosetta if conditions are perfect—the milk,


February 2017 » Fresh Cup Magazine

the pitcher, the cup, and the espresso have to align perfectly. If they do, I’m taking you straight to Pretty Decent Rosetta Town. The results of honing my skill to that level are evident: I never win latte art throwdowns and I’m never asked to show off for our customers. My greatest achievement occurs when a customer who doesn’t know any better gushes about how the latte I served is “too beautiful to drink!” Do you know why? Because I became content with my skill level too soon. I poured a good rosetta one day, photographed it and put it on Instagram, then stopped trying to get better. That last part leads so many promising coffee professionals into complacency and feeling stalled. We set the bar too low, accomplish something that’s alright, and then don’t reset our goals. But what if we question our goals, refusing to accept a satisfactory performance as the best possible outcome? Last year, I started a much more aggressive quality control program for Portland Roasting. I wanted better evidence that our coffee was consistently excellent, and I wanted our roasting team to feel like they were being held accountable for every roast that passed through their machines. As a result, a team of people tastes every single roast of every single coffee, every day. Within a month of starting this program, the number of complaints from customers plummeted. They weren’t high before, mind you, but they now represent a tiny percentage of our customer base, and happen with extreme infrequency. When complaints do come in, the easy response is, “Well, that’s just like, your opinion, man.” I know the coffee we’re shipping out or delivering tastes great. I’ve tasted it. But I also have a healthy dissatisfaction with 98 percent satisfaction, and I want literally every customer to be happy with their experience with my company.

So I send them a new bag of coffee, on me. I want them to be happy, and I’m not satisfied until I’ve given my all to that cause. How does this translate to life behind the espresso bar? How do you challenge yourself to improve every day, when you’d like to believe that you’re already doing a good job? To be honest, it’s difficult. It’s difficult if you work in an extraordinarily busy café (how can I find a spare minute to improve?) and it’s difficult if you work in an extraordinarily slow café (how can I improve my customer service with so few customers?). But with intentionality and attentiveness, it’s doable. I promise! Try this: challenge yourself to make one customer’s day absolutely amazing. What kind of experience can you give them that goes beyond their expectations and makes them feel incredibly special? Do that. Then do it again the next day, only this time, challenge yourself to truly connect with a customer whose experience has been less than stellar. Turn it around for them! This is where it gets difficult. You have to keep doing that, every day, and allow yourself to be dissatisfied with not being able to do that for everyone—to the point where you keep improving and improving until you get there. Then, apply that same healthy dissatisfaction to something else. Maybe it’s your latte art. Maybe it’s your efficiency when you’re on bar with someone else, or your cash handling. There are so many different areas in a café where we are complimented or lauded when we’ve done “good enough,” and yet there is so much more we can do. If you find yourself comfortable with complacency, consider cultivating a healthy dissatisfaction in an area of your job. You might be surprised where the drive to improve and grow takes you. FC Nathanael May is director of coffee and green coffee buyer for Portland Roasting Coffee.


Cultivating Healthy Dissatisfaction » By Nathanael May

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ORIGIN Making the Most of Our Partnerships to Origin » By Michael Kaiser


February 2017 » Fresh Cup Magazine

surprising to me, perhaps, was the priority coffee suppliers placed on relationship strength over coffee price. While fair pricing is important, coffee suppliers seem to place significantly more emphasis on the knowledge of where their coffee is going—who will handle it, how it will be presented—and ultimately that their partners empathize with and respect their work at origin. In my experience living in El Salvador, the best relationships to origin were not those yielding the highest premiums for coffee, but those with people who made an effort to truly understand what a supplier values.

COMMUNICATION Perhaps the simplest way of developing a stronger relationship with origin is through clear and consistent communication. Social media has dramatically changed the way we can interact with suppliers. Finding opportunities to follow, like, and comment on happenings at origin not only increases our awareness of suppliers’ work, but communicates appreciation. On a more complex level, finding ways to better understand and communicate the volumes of green coffee that you’re looking to purchase—as well as the price you’re willing to pay for each individual origin—will only help a supplier plan their harvest and exports accordingly, and secure financing for yearly operations.

EMPATHY Having never worked in agriculture, it can be hard to understand the challenges experienced at origin. Showing an understanding and concern for what a supplier goes through to produce high-quality coffee will go a long way. Baristas pull tens of thousands of shots, roasters roast thousands of batches, and importers transport millions of pounds of coffee; suppliers have one harvest. A coffee is not twenty-five seconds, fifteen minutes,

nor one month of work—it’s an entire year. Placing this understanding on every cup dramatically changes the way you give feedback and communicate with your suppliers.

COMMITMENT Relationships are naturally subject to good years and bad years, and coffee is no exception—suppliers need to be confident that your loyalty is to their partnership and not to their cup score. Partnerships with origin ought to be based on the country, region, farm, producer, accessibility to certain quantities, and chemistry between the buyer and seller. A great cup score is the icing on the cake. Buying a coffee based solely on its cup score is like dating a person based solely on their annual income. A strong relationship is based on mutual commitment and effort given to producing the highest quality coffee within a farm’s potential, year after year.

APPRECIATION You’d be amazed how far a kind word and gratitude goes with a coffee supplier—often even further than the money paid for their coffee. A coffee producer’s pride and passion does not come from their bank account, but from hard work, their product, and family name. The value in premiums pales in comparison to the feeling of knowing their coffee landed in the right hands with an importer, roaster, or barista who truly values their coffee and presents it proudly to the world. Strong, committed, and effective relationships to origin are, in my opinion, a coffee professional’s greatest hope at guaranteeing that our supply partners feel like they’re truly rewarded for all their hard work, and that’s a feeling money can’t buy—a story anyone would want to be a part of. FC Michael Kaiser is a green coffee trader for Bodhi Leaf Coffee Traders.



s a coffee professional, a relationship to origin is a very important element to telling the complete story of coffee. And yet, it can seem like one of the most difficult pieces of the puzzle to put in place. What do suppliers value, and how do you go about connecting to origin in a clear and effective way? In 2011, I moved to El Salvador because I wanted to connect to coffee farms. I thought showing up at a farm gate would warrant a welcome invitation to come volunteer. I was motivated and passionate about learning more, and my efforts seemed logical at the time. Looking back, I’m surprised I never bothered to take into account that I had nothing to offer a coffee farmer; my background was not in agriculture, I spoke little to no Spanish, I didn’t work in coffee, nor had I cupped or evaluated coffee—ever. This sort of naive mindset shows how easy it is to become distracted with the romantic nature of coffee and overestimate “passion” as a contribution to the supply chain, taking very little consideration of the practical things a coffee producer actually wants and needs. This also explains why I was met with such skepticism, and—despite countless e-mails—received few responses, other than kind rejections to my offers. Thankfully, despite my lack of qualification, I received a response from a coffee grower and exporter named Emilio Lopez Diaz. We met up at a Pollo Campero (a fast food fried chicken joint) in the middle of San Salvador, and he agreed to take me on as a volunteer. Over the course of the next four years, he trained me to become the commercial manager of his company, Cuatro M, and oversee quality control and the relationships with his partners around the world. During those years, I experienced relationships with hundreds of coffee suppliers, importers, roasters, and baristas. These relationships were my life. Most

EMILIO LOPEZ DIAZ inspects beans drying on the patio at Cuatro M finca in El Salvador.

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Torch Coffee Roasters » Seville, Spain By Elizabeth Hotson


February 2017 » Fresh Cup Magazine

travelers. After moving to the US to study and work, they traveled to Greenhouse Coffee in China to learn the basics of roasting beans and making drinks, under the instruction of coffee entrepreneur Samuel Gurel. Then came the move to Seville. With investment from family and friends and guidance from Gurel, they made

coffee, manual brewing equipment, and drinkware. “We loved Spain and were set on opening a café here,” Sara says. “This was despite there being virtually no specialty coffee scene. I can only remember hearing about one place and that was in Madrid. Specialty coffee hadn’t really arrived.”

Apart from some notable exceptions in Barcelona, Madrid, and Granada, even now it’s uncommon to find a third-wave emporium in Spain. the leap into small business ownership, opening their first shop in 2015 in the heart of the city. A long line of copper light fixtures dangles over Torch’s wood-paneled bar. A sapphire two-group La Marzocco GB5 rests on the L-shaped counter, flanked by a Mahlkönig Peak and an array of steaming pitchers. Shelves held together with copper piping hang overhead, stocked with jars of

That was 2013. Apart from some notable exceptions in Barcelona, Madrid, and Granada, even now it’s uncommon to find a third-wave emporium in Spain. That’s perhaps not surprising when you consider that the standard drink is extra hot and extra dark. “Coffee here is normally really highroasted and made with scalding milk. You can hear the screech of the machines when you walk by the shops,” Sara says.



ven the babies drink coffee in Guatemala.” Sara Parish reflects on her early years in Guatemala, sitting in the Seville café she co-owns with her sister Victoria. “People are shocked when I tell them that where I come from, tiny kids drink warm milk with coffee in it,” Sara says casually. “Pregnant women do too, it’s completely normal.” Sara and Victoria Parish grew up twenty miles from Antigua in the central highlands of Guatemala. They’re half-American, half-Guatemalan, and coffee is in their blood. “Drive pretty much anywhere in the country and you’ll go past acres and acres of coffee farms,” Sara says. The sisters recently announced themselves on the Spanish specialty scene with their coffee shop, Torch. The space is sleek and airy, with high ceilings and clean lines. A spiral staircase climbs to a lofted area on the café’s back wall. A world map covers a wall near the shop’s entrance, a colorful backdrop to the line of stools stretching across a low bar beneath (and a popular visual for Instagrammers). Still only in their twenties, Sara and Victoria are already seasoned


PARISH SISTERS Sara and Victoria with their one-kilo Cafemino roaster at Torch in Seville.

She takes out a handful of Spanishstyle beans. They’re black, shiny, and speckled with tiny crystals. “They’re roasted with sugar,” she says, shrugging incredulously. “Generally they’re robusta and it’s pretty much like drinking charcoal.” Ever the optimists, Sara and Victoria are on a mission to shake things up. “People here are very traditional; they have a hard time trying something new. It feels like if you do something different you’re wrong or weird,” Sara says. But when customers venture out and order something less traditional, like a latte or cortado, they get hooked. “The trick is to get them to take the risk in the first place,” Sara says. “That’s what we’re focusing on.” Victoria concedes that Torch is moving forward with baby steps. She points in the direction of her compact one-kilogram Cafemino roaster; the cautious approach includes not doing anything outrageous with the beans. “I use medium-high roast for espresso and medium-low for filter,” Victoria says. “I’m trying to slowly wean the locals off the style they’re used to, but I don’t want to scare them off completely.”

Sara says the same thought process goes for sugar. “Most people automatically drink sugar with their coffee and they’re blown away at the thought of having an unsweetened latte,” she says. “We don’t ban sugar but we do have a sign which says, ‘I’m sweet enough already,’ and this helps us to introduce customers to the concept.” Torch’s clientele is a mixture of Sevillians and tourists—allowing for a bit of creativity. “We get a range of customers, from weekend visitors, to office workers, to business people,” Sara says. “Some who are well-traveled and have been to places like London or Tokyo are willing to try new things. We introduced coldbrew this summer and weren’t sure whether it would sell. Cold coffee is not a thing here, despite the weather. If you order an iced coffee you’ll get a cup of boiling café con leche with a glass of ice on the side. But we decided to go for it and we ended up selling out.” With specialty coffee at such an early stage in its development in Seville, finding qualified staff can be challenging. Sara says her team of baristas is a pretty eclectic bunch.

“One of our staff members is from Puerto Rico, she took SCAE qualifications and really knows her game,” she says. “Another of our baristas is from Uruguay and has worked in London, which is where he refined his skills. We’ve also trained a few local people, so at the moment it’s a good mixture.” Torch is steadily growing its customer base and Sara has high hopes for the future. “I think the coffee revolution is starting in Spain and I’m happy that we’ve got in at the beginning,” she says. “We’d like to open more outlets and we’re also planning to get a bigger roaster so we can sell beans to other shops and restaurants. Somewhere down the line, a school could be on the cards.” It’s a brave new world for the sisters; when asked if they see themselves as pioneers, Sara thinks about it for a few seconds, then answers with conviction. “Yes, I think we are. If you compare us to coffee shops in London or Australia, we’re not there yet and still have a lot to learn. But within Spain it feels like we’re changing the accepted standards.” FC

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February 2017 » Fresh Cup Magazine

Do You KNOW?

Khristian Bombeck » By Ellie Bradley


ver wonder who dreamed up Alpha Dominche’s Steampunk brewer? Meet Khristian Bombeck. Now a quarter of the leadership team at Saint Anthony Industries, Bombeck and his team have delivered products like the Phoenix70, the Shot Collar, and the Statesman and Levy tamps—not to mention some pretty snazzy aprons. Bombeck grew up in Alaska, then moved to Bozeman, Montana, to study economics and finance. To fund his education and fuel his snowboarding habit, Bombeck thought it would be fun to open a coffee shop where he could work part-time; it only took a few eighty-hour weeks for him to realize his idealized vision of the coffee world was a bit naive. After ten years of running the shop in Bozeman with his wife, Heather, Bombeck moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, combining his business, machinery, and coffee expertise in a new endeavor: the Steampunk brewer. Bombeck enlisted the help of brothers Gregory and Ike, and friend Lucas Watts, to launch the company and brewer. Eventually the crew was ready to move on and pursue other interests, and Saint Anthony Industries was born. This interview has been edited for clarity and space. AFTER COLLEGE YOU DECIDED TO OPEN UP A COFFEE HOUSE—WHAT DREW YOU TO THE COFFEE BUSINESS?

I used to be into snowboarding, so I would essentially spend nine months out of the year snowboarding on a semi-professional level. I needed to make some sort of income to cover my student loans. I thought by opening a coffeehouse it was something that I could work at parttime and bring some extra money in. It was fun and I don’t have any regrets, but it was definitely naive to think that it was something I could work at ten to fifteen hours a week and enjoy drinking coffee. But I’ve always been into business and the idea of starting a coffeehouse had always been attractive to me. No regrets, I just grossly underestimated the amount of work it would take. SOUNDS LIKE IT WAS A GOOD WAY TO GET CRASH-COURSE EXPERIENCE IN OWNING AND OPERATING A BUSINESS.


Like I said, no regrets. It’s a big learning curve. And in Montana at that point, Bozeman was still an agriculturalcollege-cowboy town. Over the ten years from when I got there to when we left, it was pretty crazy just in terms of the growth and everything. When we first started there wasn’t much coffee available. WHERE DID YOUR INTEREST IN PURSUING DESIGN AND MANUFACTURING COME FROM?

I’ve always been interested in design, but I’ve always loved business too. In college it made more sense to get a

degree in economics—I also have a minor in finance. I love the business and the numbers part of it. But then when I opened up my coffeehouse and ended up working eighty hours a week for a couple years to make it happen, ultimately you end up having to design all kinds of things—and I really found satisfaction in that. DID IMPROVING YOUR SHOP INSPIRE IDEAS OF THE DIRECTIONS YOU COULD TAKE COFFEE-RELATED DESIGN?

Yeah, exactly. Actually, during that time when I owned our coffee shop, I owned a vintage scooter business as well. I love machines and motors and that kind of stuff. I always had a love for machinery. TELL ME MORE ABOUT WORKING WITH YOUR BROTHERS AND LUCAS.

We all worked together at a previous company I started [Alpha Dominche]. When we left, we all left for similar reasons, which was essentially to pursue what our current vision is. We were, and have been, relatively aligned in our vision for how we want to serve the specialty coffee industry. After the last project [the Steampunk] we decided our next project should be focused on boiling all our products and designs to as simple as we can make them while still accomplishing our goals. I’VE HEARD MURMURS ABOUT A NEW BREWING DEVICE— EL CAMINO. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THAT?

I’m actually in talks with a major US appliance manufacturer to do a partnership on that. I wish I could talk more about it, but I can’t say more until it goes through. We’ll hopefully have more details and a release date to offer the second quarter of this year. YOU GUYS ARE ALWAYS DRIVING TO INNOVATE AND IMPROVE THE COFFEE EXPERIENCE—WHAT DOES THE ROAD AHEAD LOOK LIKE?

For us, Saint Anthony is a company focused on the specialty coffee experience. But ultimately we want to try to make the specialty coffee experience as easy and attainable and special as we can to a bigger market. There’s a lot of sacrifice associated with having a great specialty experience. Our goal is to lower the level of sacrifice that has to be given. Every item and tool we come out with is something we think can help make specialty coffee easier to attain from a consumer-experience level. Ultimately that’s our bigger idea, but having the opportunity to design and build stuff—to design anything that someone’s going to use—is just a fantastic opportunity in itself. We take great pleasure in that and try to really have fun with it. FC

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February 2017 » Fresh Cup Magazine

What makes a café modern? Fancy fixtures and finishes, efficient workflow, and recycled materials are hallmarks of today’s cutting-edge coffee spots. But community connection, resourcefulness, and sustainability also play important roles in new business. Inside, we take a look at cafés and companies leading the way in forward-thinking design.

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rving Farm Coffee Roasters helped blaze the specialty coffee trail in New York City after being among the first shops in the city to offer single-origin and specialtyblend coffees. Since opening its Gramercy Park location in 1996, Irving Farm has expanded to locations throughout Manhattan, now roasting out of a space in Millerton, New York, about 100 miles north of the city. As corporate coffee chains pepper the country with cookie-cutter designs, Irving Farm sought ingenuity in its latest café build-out, opting to work with renowned architect Selim Vural, of Studio Vural—a New York– based design and architecture firm. The new café is housed in a classic, pre-war building in the Midtown East neighborhood. Irving Farm was very intentional about the location. “There is an unfortunate dearth of outlets for quality comfort food and drink, especially in a warm, community-oriented environ-


February 2017 » Fresh Cup Magazine

ment around that area,” says Maura Hehir, a member of the Irving Farm communication team. “We thought that in this stretch of Manhattan with so many hotels and office buildings, we might have the opportunity to, in effect, ‘welcome the neighborhood home.’ We hope to foster more of a sense of community in this area for residents and to spread the feeling of a home away from home for visitors and commuters.” Irving Farm buildings director Brandon Epting echoes Hehir’s sentiments. “We’re a very sensitive group of people and aim to create spaces that are welcoming. We want to be part of a neighborhood—contributors—not just a retail space,” Epting says. The café’s black concrete floor features brass inlays, mirroring a portion of the sidewalk down the block and the timeless form of nearby landmarks, like the Chrysler building and the Waldorf Astoria. Epting explains that the blackened steel door

and framed menu board, complete with burnished brass details, also reflect themes of New York’s constant growth and construction. “We’ve maintained many of our staple textures and materials,” Epting says. The company’s roots in farming and nature are honored with tables and bar space crafted from white oak. Black fireslate countertops provide contrast to the lighter material, directing customers to the register. “The simplicity of these textures and colors blends the history and style of the neighborhood with our personality as a coffee roaster, and allows us to have a few modern elements that stand out,” Epting says. Eight-foot Castor fluorescent tube lights illuminate the bar, framed by white oak ceiling boxes designed by Vural–which, conveniently, also conceal the HVAC system. A sleek, Brendan Ravenhill church chandelier hangs above the walnut communal table. Moroccan

clay tiles line the café wall; Vural chose these to upgrade the traditional subway tiles commonly found in New York cafés. The tiles mimic the style of raw brick walls and add elegance, another callout to the neighborhood’s luxurious hotels. The coffee bar and seating area are the most visible elements of the build-out, but Epting says improving kitchen efficiency was also key for this project—preparing great coffee and a great meal quickly without getting delayed by customers in line is a challenge for many cafés. “Our kitchens have always followed the line of our customer queue, with window passes open to the public,” Epting explains. “This often creates bottlenecks, as customers like to watch their food be prepared and often chime-in about ‘less pickles, more ham.’” Epting says an openstyle prep area is also problematic for kitchen storage, as prep areas have to be compact, limiting the amount

of space for back-up ingredients and dish cleaning. “For this location, we’ve placed the kitchen behind the bar as its own room,” he says. “This provides ample space for ingredient storage, a full dish-cleaning area, ice machine, ventilation hood, etc.” A separate kitchen space also limits customer access, which means fewer interruptions, less food waste, lower cost of goods, and better efficiency producing quality meals. The new café is warm and welcoming, while still bringing cutting-edge design to the neighborhood. Vural emphasizes that forward-thinking design doesn’t have to exclude comfort or connection. He hopes for the new Irving Farm location to be an example—setting a standard for quality design that offers new assets to the community, while blending harmoniously with the existing neighborhood. The Midtown East location of Irving Farm is scheduled to open this spring. FC

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Espresso machines are café workhorses. But these machines aren’t your average pony—with so many advancements in design and technology, these ’spro stallions are begging for center stage on your bar.

INCONSISTENCY WEIGHING YOU DOWN? The La Marzocco R&D team logged some serious hours the last few years, showing off their hard work in the latest offering from the Linea PB line. Featuring the new Auto Brew Ratio that uses precise scales beneath each group head, the Linea PB allows baristas to automatically and easily recall preferred brew ratios while eliminating the step of weighing and correcting coffee doses for a consistent, streamlined result. THREE HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE Finely tuning espresso recipes is important for baristas who have high demands from their customers, and the Hydra MVP from Synesso offers enough customization with its universal group heads, six available positions per group, and water count control—among other features—that every cup can be granularly measured and exact. Oh, and did we mention the full spectrum of custom powder-coated colors? SLAY THE COMPETITION Take complete control—over temperature, flow rate, and milk steaming. The Slayer Steam features the Vaporizer, a compact super-heater that increases steam temperature to create a dry, invisible vapor and promote full flavor development in all milk varieties. Steam actuators come with programmable presets for temperature and flow rate, allowing the highest degree of personalization for every beverage. THAT’S THE SPIRIT! Kees van der Westen developed the Spirit’s multiple boiler systems with the busy coffee shop in mind: each group has its own boiler for coffee brewing, while a larger boiler produces hot water and steam for the machine. Handcrafted in the Netherlands, the efficient, highprecision Spirit features loads of tools to make your job easier, including a slow-automatic infusion process that gradually builds pressure to full extraction mode, allowing a finer grind for more surface area and higher yield in the cup. EMBRACE YOUR INNER CONTROL FREAK Consistency is key for any busy barista, and the Victoria Arduino VA388 Black Eagle Gravitech provides a precise brew ratio every time—just set the weight of the liquid and let the machine do the rest. T3 Technology maintains stable brewing group, water infusion, and steam temperatures independently of each other for extra control. The VA388 Black Eagle also comes packed in a sleek, asymmetrical design available in black or white finishes. FC


February 2017 » Fresh Cup Magazine


FOR BUILD-OUTS OF ALL SIZES The design of your café is the first big hurdle; filling it with equipment and furniture is the second. These trusted companies offer quality products to suit a range of design and budget goals. For shops planning to offer retail goods, smallwares can be a great way to educate customers on proper home brewing methods and give daily sales a boost. FORM + FUNCTION The Lino line of coffeewares from NotNeutral is a seamless marriage of form and function. The unique handle shape provides a comfortable resting place for the thumb, while the rim boasts an elegant mouth feel. NotNeutral’s Meno line of coffeewares offers design and function in a minimalist form—perfect for lattes and cappuccinos. PICK A COLOR Acme & Co. designs simple and minimal ceramic cups and saucers built to withstand even the heaviest use in busy cafés. With eight available cup styles, eight color options, two mugs, and three saucer sizes to choose from, you can mix and match items to outfit your café in style. DUELING BURRS Offer your customers the ability to produce café-quality grinds at home, without the steep price tag of a commercial grinder. The Porlex hand grinder can be adjusted for a range of grind sizes—from french press to turkish—providing a uniform grind every time. Porlex grinders feature ceramic burrs, fending off rust and staying sharper, longer. A WAVE OF EXCELLENCE Kalita pulled out all the stops with its Wave pour-over kettles and drippers. The stainless-steel kettles feature a wooden handle for a comfortable grip, while a “dragon-neck” spout reduces the syphon effect and grants unparalleled control. Kalita’s drippers contain a flat-bottom coffee bed with a three-hole design for even pour-overs every time, and are available in stainless, ceramic, and glass varieties. KINTO Japanese tableware manufacturer Kinto has achieved a perfect synthesis of usability and aesthetics. Offering a full line of cups, saucers, and pour-over kits in both glass and ceramic styles, Kinto is the go-to brand to let customers know you value functionality and style. The iron-glazed SCS-S01 series mug and brewer boast a sturdy form and rugged look, exerting a strong presence in your café. FC

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n January 2014, California governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency to address three consecutive years of drought. The lack of recent rainfall had lowered reservoir levels and perpetuated wild fires. As the government scrambled to mitigate the damages, one particular scourge flourished: bark beetle populations increased exponentially in California forests, killing millions of drought-ravaged trees. As an entrepreneur in the middle of a café build-out when the beetles struck, Troy Carle decided to spin a serious negative into a small positive. As local fire departments worked around the clock to chop down the dead trees—at one point offering to drop off free loads of infected logs to homeowners in the area—Carle took home as much of the wood as he could. “We were really excited to get our hands on it, because it’s interesting to look at and beautiful,” says Carle, who used the wood to build bench seating in Union Hill, his new café in Sonora, California. “We thought it was cool, but we’re also putting it to use—otherwise it’s just getting chipped up and rotting around here.”

growing demand. L!VE Café, which recently opened in the Oak Park neighborhood of Chicago, procured used tables, shelving, and supplies for its bar from local redistributors of materials that would have gone to waste in decades past. L!VE CEO Reesheda Washington says they went to places like ReUse Depot and ReStore to pick up metals, woods, and electrical supplies that had been thrown away or rescued from demolition projects. “We were able to capture the industrial look that we were looking for in our space without having to purchase a lot of new material,” Washington says. Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit organization that builds housing for qualified, low-income families in almost 1,400 communities nationwide, sells scraps from construction, used materials, appliances, supplies from teardowns, and donated items in its ReStore facilities at a fraction of retail costs. Ten such retail stores serve the Chicago area alone, and hundreds more have sprung up across the country and exploded in popularity as more and more business owners look to repurposed materials for less-expensive build-outs.



As interest in sustainable living gains traction and recycling, re-sourcing, and repurposing building materials becomes increasingly popular, new businesses arise to serve

As the saying goes, beggars can’t be choosers, so relying on second-hand stores alone to supply low-cost materials doesn’t always cut it—especially when you have

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L!VE CAFÉ: Workers construct (left), tape off, and paint (center) café tables made from reclaimed materials.

a specific aesthetic in mind. Those looking to outfit their café with re-sourced and recycled materials should also look to the community they’re going to serve. Brick Coffee Co. opened in Norwood, Ohio—a small town just north of Cincinnati—in December, in a small section of a local church that had gone unused for a decade-and-a-half. The café partnered with the church pastor to install its own entrance, and acquired many free or low-cost building supplies the old-fashioned way: by interacting with other community members and building a local network. Co-founder Zach Clark was even able to find someone to help him bend pieces of leftover steel he’d salvaged for Brick’s bar. “We asked our friend Rob—who’s from here—and he said, ‘Yeah I’ve got a buddy who could do that for you,’” says Clark. “Sometimes it’s just a matter of knowing a person who knows a person.”

GO GREEN Looking for ways to make your café more sustainable? These companies are partnering with the coffee industry to reduce waste in retail coffee settings. REDUCE. REUSE. GROW. Reduce. Reuse. Grow. (RRG) is a compostable packaging company changing the notions of everyday consumption within the third-wave coffee industry. With each compostable product served, RRG plants a native plant at a local restoration site within the county of the participating shop. Through these restoration efforts, the company seeks to build consumer awareness around everyday wasteful consumption habits, reduce waste, and connect consumers back to the local landscapes in which they live. Spear-


head Coffee, in Paso Robles, California, partners with RRG to restore nearby Whale Rock Reservoir, where overgrazing and erosion calls for bank stabilization leading into the reservoir. Plans to restore one to three acres (totaling over 150,000 new native species) will help reduce runoff into the reservoir and provide more habitat for wildlife. COFFEE SOCK Inspired by the Costa Rican chorreador, and desperately in

OLD AND MODERN: Union Hill found balance between benches built with drought-ravaged trees (above) and contemporary zinc countertops (below).

WHERE OLD MEETS NEW Building a café with sustainable and recycled materials necessitates patience, a willingness to pivot, and an ability to embrace the unexpected. Recycling original building materials isn’t always realistic; sometimes new materials are the only answer—especially when abiding by construction codes. Brick Coffee Co. discarded plenty of old cinder blocks and scrap metal that couldn’t be repaired. Union Hill struck a balance between old and modern by juxtaposing zinc countertops and Italian espresso tools with reclaimed lumber. “In my mind, I split the space into modern and old, and we were able to do that,” says Carle, who provided the majority of the design layout and construction for Union Hill after years of planning. “I don’t know how to say that we did it, except that we did it.” FC

need of a Chemex filter, Corina Guillory sewed an organic fabric filter for her home Chemex. After seeing how well the filter performed, Guillory began to sell the cloth filters— thus, CoffeeSock was born. “It is a simple, thoughtful, and resourceful brand, one that makes me proud to be a part of and share with the world,” Guillory says. “We created a sustainable product, one that is built around community and ritual.” CoffeeSock began with just pour-over designs, but now offers all popular-sized filters for home and commercial brewing, including a simple cold-brew kit.

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enry Kalebjian’s roasting experience spans more than fifty years. He showcases his expertise at Henry’s House of Coffee in the Sunset District of San Francisco, California. Coffee is a Kalebjian family tradition, solidified when Henry’s son, Hrag, joined the business in July 2013. Though the Kalebjians are backed by decades of practice, ushering the House of Coffee into a new generation of coffee presented its own challenge: honoring the company’s rich history while still being competitive in the contemporary market.

Hrag describes the existing space as “doable but awkward.” The expansion into the garage area opened up much-needed seating space, but the lingering columns occupy valuable real estate—especially problematic in a city where square-footage is hard to come by. After Hrag joined his father in business, both eventually decided a remodel was in order and began brainstorming how to improve the existing shop. The process started by surveying those most familiar with the House of Coffee. “You may think you know what you want, but it’s always good to get

Architects. Initially, Yemenjian helped Henry and Hrag through the process of interviewing other architects. Over time his consulting became so vital the Kalebjians asked him to design the new space himself. Yemenjian partnered with Stephanie Reed, also with the Halajian firm, to draw plans for the new House of Coffee. Hrag’s wife Taleen was also integral in providing design input and behind-the-scenes support. “Our design process started with us really studying the business, and the flow of the business, and breaking it up into the different parts,” Yemenjian says.

The Noriega Street shop opened over fifty years ago, operating as a specialty foods store in its early days. Henry purchased the business in 1983, along with the two-story building (a two-bedroom apartment occupies the upstairs). In 1995, he remodeled the downstairs space to be more coffee-focused, expanding into some of the building’s garage area. The result was a shop with a small seating area, with large columns running through the middle of the space (previously the columns served as parking area supports).

feedback from your customers or your employees,” Hrag says. Customers wanted three things: free Wi-Fi, more seating, and lunchtime food offerings. The Kalebjians also had priorities for the remodel. “I wanted people to walk in and feel like they were in a roastery, not just a regular coffee shop,” Hrag says. They also wanted to customers to feel the history and depth of the business. To help them build their vision, the Kalebjians enlisted the help of Shaunt Yemenjian, a family friend and an architect with Paul Halajian

The current space is twenty-one feet wide and sixty-seven feet deep— dimensions the architects opted to embrace rather than try to change. The long, narrow space lends itself well to a process-oriented design. The front-ofhouse area contains the café elements: the bar and prep area, a roaster’s consult station, customer seating, and retail shelves. The back area contains the packaging and cleaning areas, as well as green coffee storage. Working with the existing space also meant embracing the large columns running through the café’s

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middle. To optimize available squarefootage, the new layout will flip-flop the existing design. Integrating the bar into the standing columns and moving the seating area to the opposite wall doubles the capacity for guests wishing to enjoy their coffee in house. To emphasize the space’s dual functionality—as both a roastery

an extensive inventory, only one of each item will be displayed. Hrag and Yemenjian refer to the space’s new aesthetic as the “Parent in the Room,” allowing customers to freely explore, with access to coffee expertise as needed. The idea pays homage to the company’s decadeslong tradition, while embracing the contemporary climate of the industry.

and café—it was important that the design highlighted the San Franciscan roaster, as well as the prep and work areas. Opening the customers’ vision line to the centrally placed roaster was what Yemenjian calls a “noncompromisable design driver.” “When the customer walks in, they see the San Franciscan, they see Henry behind the roaster’s bar—all the way back to Hrag and the staff, packing 200 bags of coffee for a local market,” Yemenjian says. “It’s all visible.” Expanded seating was also noncompromisable for the designers. A long bench runs along the left-hand wall of the shop, below shelves that will be used to display retail items. Customers will still see what’s available for purchase—as a compromise to the current system, which showcases

“If you want to get a better sense of your flavor profile preferences and dig into the art of coffee, that’s there as an option, but it’s not beating you over the head,” Yemenjian says. Hrag hopes placing the roaster’s consult station after the pick-up area will significantly improve customer flow. Currently the shop tends to bottleneck near the entrance, where customers order and retail coffee is housed. When Henry wants to talk to a customer in more detail, he’s forced to lead them against the flow of traffic to reach the retail coffee area. “It gets in the way of one-on-one time with the customer,” Hrag says, who also points out that placing the consult station next to the roaster makes for a more intimate setting.

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The new space will be a mix of maple wood, black wood, cement, and light quartz, incorporating the existing color scheme to match the brand’s classic, timeless feel. Hrag says tying in elements of cement and black wood in the midst of light quartz and maple conveys the sense of a roastery without feeling too cold. Hrag is thrilled to be remodeling the House of Coffee, but offers a piece of advice to shop owners thinking about improving their stores. “If anybody’s ever thinking about doing a construction project—and you want to do it legit—you’ve got to take close to eighteen months in planning,” Hrag says. Guzman Construction started work on the project in early January. The new design is scheduled for completion by mid-April. FC







uilding a small café requires big thinking, not only in procuring usable materials, but also in maximizing available space. As the tiny-house trend explodes, so too does the number of café owners foregoing larger brick-andmortar stores in favor of compact—and often portable—coffee shops. In the case of some mobile cafés, space is so limited that it requires painstakingly detailed planning just to have all the proper supplies on hand. Kin Coffee Co. operates out of a small mobile cart, serving coffee on the streets of New York and using the setup to cater events. Kin keeps inventory low intentionally and offers only a limited menu. “We don’t order in excess,” says Kin co-owner Tabitha Akins. “If someone has fifty guests coming to an event, we buy supplies appropriate for that amount.” Not only does Kin generate less waste by strategically downsizing orders, they also carry a lighter load, freeing up valuable space. “We don’t have a lot to transport because we’re purposeful about not having excess,” Tabitha says. “Most catered services either have a stock with a lot of excess, or they purchase an excess and there’s a lot of waste that gets thrown away at every event.”

Because it can be difficult to predict day-to-day business and forecast necessary inventory, other small or mobile shops opt to fit as many supplies as possible in their limited spaces—utilizing every available nook and cranny for storage. Rolling Roots is a tiny-house building company founded by Mike Razzano and Kenny Crowley in Asheville, North Carolina. To them, tiny-house living means lower building costs, less money for maintenance, and smaller heating bills—not to mention a smaller carbon footprint. Rolling Roots’ first tinybuilding project was Le Bon, a boatshaped mobile coffee shop built on a trailer frame, operated by Mike’s wife, Chantal. Sourcing most of the buildout from recycled materials, Mike and Kenny incorporated plenty of storage and space for Chantal to operate. “The curved shape of the trailer allowed for a lot more counter space, because it’s right at the widest part of the structure,” Mike says. Chantal keeps most of the tools she needs readily accessible on her countertops: a sink, a Nuova Simonelli Appia II, two mini-fridges, and a small selection of local pastries. To leave room for workspace on the counters, cups and lids, as well as syrups, chocolates, and extra beans, fit

in custom storage containers tucked neatly underneath her counter. Sometimes tiny-café proprietors also need to utilize the space around them; not every aspect of a functioning coffee shop must be crammed inside of a small build-out. Story Coffee Co. operates on a twenty-foot-long trailer in Colorado Springs, Colorado, surrounded by a deck with plenty of outdoor seating. Co-owners Don and Carissa Niemeyer worked with designer Robin Pasley to optimize storage and flow in the 160-square-foot space. Doors at either end of the café direct traffic through dedicated entry and exit points. This way, Don says, customers flow into and out of the building without clogging valuable space in the middle of the shop. Windows and natural light provide an open and airy appearance, and supplies stack neatly in cabinets and below-countertop storage bins to minimize clutter. The Niemeyers also devised an inventive method of waste disposal while freeing up even more indoor space. “There’s a little window behind where the barista stands, and outside of that window is a bin with a thirty-threegallon trash can in it,” Don says. “ When I need to throw out trash, I literally just throw it out the window.” FC



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he internet has transformed how coffee is promoted, purchased, and consumedâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;from the farm to the cafĂŠ. These changes might not be immediately apparent to the average coffee consumer, but to those of us working behind the scenes making and serving coffee, we see every day how online communications, social media, and financial platforms have reshaped the landscape for buying and selling within the industry. >

February 2017 Âť Fresh Cup Magazine

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ince 2008 coffee futures have been traded digitally; today, anyone can check market prices though smartphone apps. Coffee producers are active members of the entire supply chain and can chat with roasters over Skype or share harvest photos on their farm’s Facebook page. Information shared via online media is helpful to roasters buying green coffee, but three new platforms take advantage of digital connectivity when sampling, sourcing, and buying green coffee. In the past, green coffee buyers sought beans based on specs like screen size, defect count, crop year, lot size, and country or broad region of origin. The first online sourcing tools were simply digital offerings lists published by traditional sellers (importers and brokers) and updated in real time as coffees arrived or were sold. Now, online sourcing platforms are not just digital versions of analog tools, they are ways to identify lots still at origin, compare products from diverse suppliers, and even place orders for delivery. aggregates spot inventories of green coffee available in US warehouses—stocks equally available to all buyers, like products on a store shelf and available by the bag or by the container. Through the San Francisco–based web platform, importers can list any spot offerings they want displayed. “Beanstock provides a comprehensive view of coffee offerings as well as an intuitive search interface,” says co-founder and CEO Nick Spilger. “Roasters can search as widely or narrowly as they wish. If I want a Central American coffee with notes of chocolate and cherry, certified organic, located in Oakland, California, with at least twenty bags available, I can pinpoint the exact coffees that meet my needs. Or if I just want to see what’s currently available in Oakland, I can browse that as well.”

A VIRTUAL WAREHOUSE Beanstock’s scope focuses exclusively on streamlining the sample-request process for roasters. The site updates daily by pulling information from published data on importers’ websites. Through Beanstock’s data aggregation, roasters can request samples from multiple companies, simultaneously opening communication with each of them and making follow-up as easy as hitting “Reply.”


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Online interfaces for green purchasing give users more detailed search parameters. Beyond specs based on quantifiable physical attributes—such as defect count, density, and screen size—roasters can now source coffee based on sensory profile and farm management style (such as certified production). These qualitative attributes are much harder to measure, which is why they have not historically been used as purchase criteria. This additional information about coffee can become confusing; online platforms help organize all the overlapping data sets we now have about coffee, from its provenance to its aroma.

Cropster Hub, based jointly in Innsbruck, Austria, and Sacramento, California, takes its interface cues from successful online marketplaces like Amazon, Ebay, or Etsy by providing roasters the option to “Add to Cart.” Depending on the seller, users can order samples of listed coffees or complete the whole transaction online and purchase the volumes of green coffee they will roast for customers—packaged in units from thirty-pound vacuum-packed boxes to 132-pound bags. Paul Bartholomew, head of global marketing and communications with Cropster Hub, explains that the platform presents specialty green coffees sourced from around the world and from various players across the coffee supply chain. “Green coffee buyers can search for coffees by origin or by extended parameters of key importance to the specialty market, like flavor profiles, tasting notes, score ranges, varietals, certifications, processing, and even warehouse,” Bartholomew says.

A LEARNING FROM THE EXPERTS Cropster Hub offers coffees beyond those available in the warehouse, including in-transit green coffee and crops still being prepared at origin. In addition to listings from importers, the Hub also includes offerings from exporters, mills, and co-ops. The platform reaches further upstream in the supply chain, giving a variety of stakeholders new ways to access the market. “Hub itself is the result of many players describing a specialty green buying model they would like to engage in,” Bartholomew says. Cropster software is already widely used for tracking roasting profiles, and the Hub leverages this network to involve more

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actors in the process of commercializing coffee. “Hub is completely accessible via mobile,” Bartholomew says. “This is a critical feature for people whose jobs require that they are on the road a lot. Hub on a tablet or phone is completely responsive.” Bartholomew explains that Hub’s focus on mobile becomes even more relevant in the context of auctions, one of the ways the specialty industry has promoted high-quality coffees and celebrated producers. “Hub customers have held auctions at origin where everyone used the Hub auction platform,” he says. “Buyers across the world and within the room were able to bid against each other in real time. People at origin simply used their phones to participate. This created a completely level playing field in the auction.” While Cropster Hub facilitates coffee transactions, it does not explicitly manage them. Coffee orders placed in a buyer’s cart are then forwarded to the seller, who completes the invoicing, shipping, and delivery portions of the transaction. The Hub functions like a virtual broker, facilitating trade without handling the physical product.

A TAPPING A GLOBAL NETWORK Algrano, developed in Zug, Switzerland, handles physical coffee in addition to facilitating the ordering process, making sourcing coffee directly from growers a completely web-based experience. Algrano offers roasters a global network of coffee professionals, micro-lot separated coffees, price transparency, space booking, and search tools. The most unique of these services is the ability to book space in a shipping container. While finding the right coffee is key and communicating with producers promotes transparency, micro-lots often get stuck at origin or trapped in the wrong container because there is no centralized way for roasters to communicate with each other—or with


February 2017 » Fresh Cup Magazine

the exporters and importer providing logistics services—to consolidate lots bound for a common port. Gilles Brunner is Algrano’s cofounder in charge of sourcing and partnerships. “In Algrano’s model, exporters and importers act as service providers and not as coffee traders; they work transparently on a commission base,” he says. “Growers sell their coffees straight to roasters, and exporters offer their services to prepare the coffee, assure the quality, and ship

that otherwise would not have been possible. When a coffee is sold on the platform, Algrano assumes the organizational steps to deliver the coffee to roasters across Europe. Working with different sourcing platforms demands different timelines. Because Algrano is not a warehouse inventory representing stocks in the ports of consumer countries, coffees sourced through Algrano incur a waiting period as requested coffees are prepared, loaded,

Algrano offers roasters a global network of coffee professionals, micro-lot separated coffees, price transparency, space booking, and search tools. the coffees. In the same way, importers will receive and open containers, split the lots, store, and deliver the coffees bought by roasters. Growers interact directly with Algrano to create the profile of their farms and become visible.” In this way, Algrano uses the internet not as an alternative way to organize information about what is already happening, but to act as a coordinating bridge between growers and roasters, enabling partnerships

and shipped. Contrarily, warehouse spot inventories have completed this process, eliminating the waiting period before vendors offer coffees for sale to roasters. Because Algrano starts at origin and Cropster Hub lists some coffees in origin positions, these two platforms offer more producer involvement. Beanstock and Cropster Hub have offerings from more countries, while Algrano is more engaged in the countries where it sources.

Raphael Struder co-founded Algrano and manages finance and sales. “Algrano established supply chains in Brazil, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and soon Colombia,” he says. “Any growers from these countries are eligible to present their coffees on Algrano. There is no certification necessary. However, growers certified or verified by one of the common standards [UTZ, Rainforest Alliance, Organic, Bird Friendly, 4C, CAFE Practices, AAA Nespresso, etc.] can mention it on their profile and in the case roasters are interested to use the label, they can ask for the certificate.”

A ENHANCING RELATIONSHIPS All online platforms aim to simplify dialogue and communications in an industry that extends worldwide. Beanstock’s Spilger sees the digital platforms as a way to enhance stakeholder interaction throughout the supply chain. “Rather than digitize an industry that is rooted in human interactions, we provide information and analytics that enable buyers, importers, exporters, and producers alike to connect with each other and make more informed business decisions,” he says. Alden Hozouri of Crossings Coffee Roasters in San Diego, California, has used both Beanstock and Cropster Hub to source coffee; through these platforms he now also communicates directly with importers. “As a new roaster, I thoroughly appreciate the integration of Cropster’s tools to keep all my relevant work in one place from Hub to roast.” Hozouri says. “Furthermore, it connects more corners of the globe together, opening doors to exciting beans we might otherwise miss out on.” Digital platforms are an efficient way to navigate the sea of options available to new people and businesses starting in specialty coffee. As one of the first Beanstock users, Hozouri knows that each digital sourcing platform has different coffees to offer, proving just how large the pool of options is. “It’s a learning curve to figure out which tools fit better with our work flows,” he says. Digital sourcing services also provide new data to help direct the future of coffee. As consumer tastes change and production technologies evolve, conjectures about these preferences fly around the coffee world. But rather than plant out a mountainside and build parabolic dryers based on the rumor that “everybody loves honey Geisha,” web-based platforms allow for quantifiable data and analytics, enabling all members of the industry to see what roasters are most often looking for while discovering how these desires align with the coffees producers are most inclined to offer. FC

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FO R H E R E , P L E A S E : a cappuccino at Bergen’s Kaffemisjonen.


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hen I first booked my trip to Norway, coffee was far from my mind. For me, Norway was a land of fjords, forests, and untamed wilderness—a place you visit for nature, not for food and drink. And until recently, Norwegians might have told me they felt the same way. Though they lead the world in coffee consumption—second only to Finland in kilograms of beans per capita—many Norwegians don’t view coffee as a complex tasting experience.* Instead, it’s just a beverage that flows freely from drip machines, powering Norwegians at work and at home. “The typical way to drink coffee in Norway is to put on the Moccamaster in your workplace or in your room, and let it sit out for a few hours,” says Christian Nesset, barista and director of barista education at Kaffemisjonen. Nearly 30 percent of Norwegians drink Friele, a mass-market coffee based in Norway and sold in grocery stores. But that’s all changing. In 2004, Norwegian Tim Wendleboe won the World Barista Championship. “That did something to the culture in Norway,” Nesset says. It sparked an interest in specialty coffee in Norway, particularly in the capital of Oslo. Bergen, Norway’s second-largest city, wouldn’t be far behind. Well before Wendelboe’s victory, however, Det Lille Kaffekompaniet opened its doors to Bergen in 1996. It would lay the foundation for craft coffee in the city, and it would give birth to many other shops, with many coffee experts in Bergen getting their start at Kaffekompaniet, then going on to open or work for another café. Carl Eugen Johannessen, now founder, owner, and manager of Bergen Kaffebrenneri, was part of the original group that founded Det Lille Kaffekompaniet, though he’s no longer part of it. “At that time, there was maybe just one

DET LILLE KAFFEKOMPANIENT opened its doors in 1996.

espresso machine in the whole town,” Eugen Johannessen says. In 2012, Det Lille Kaffekompaniet closed, but Hans Flø decided to buy it. “I thought, maybe I can be the hero,” he says. The café was in his neighborhood, and his daughter was working there as a barista. Flø didn’t want to see it disappear. Under his ownership, the menu changed to reflect the growing market for specialty coffee, and the focus on quality became more intense. Now the shop carries three kinds of coffee beans, all small-batch and all from Norway. Det Lille Kaffekompaniet, which means “the little coffee company,” lives up to its name. Tucked in a quiet, narrow alley behind Bergen’s most popular tourist attraction, the Fløibanen—a tram connecting Bergen to nearby Mount Fløyen—the café has a tiny coffee bar, and no more than a few tables. The homey, cottagelike café is inviting and distinctly European. Yet it’s the carefully crafted drinks and cozy feel that locals and tourists alike have come to appreciate at the shop—a Chinese television

show has even visited twice to film the café, Flø tells me. “The atmosphere here is unique. You’d have to go to the south of Europe to find something similar,” Flø says. Across town, Bergen’s only local roaster, Bergen Kaffebrenneri, is housed in an industrial area, where the Mjellem and Karlsen Shipyard used to be. While I’m still a few blocks away, I start to smell something fresh and caramel-like. At first, the warm, toasted aroma leads me to think there’s a bakery ahead, but I quickly discover it’s the smell of roasting coffee wafting into the street. Even before I encounter the bright red BKB logo, I already know I’m in the right place. Soon, I’m inside and bar manager Annette Friedrich Johannessen is pouring me a fresh cup of Bergen Kaffebrenneri’s Kenya Kiangai. From 2002 to 2007, Bergen Kaffebrenneri’s owner, Carl Eugen Johannessen, worked on a coffee documentary called Man, Woman, Coffee, which explored how he grew up, constantly drinking coffee in Italy’s cafés.


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BERGEN KAFFEBRENNERI is Bergen’s first coffee roastery and regularly offers courses and cuppings to the public.

While café-hopping, he acquired an interest in roasting. “I started roasting at home, I just got curious,” he says. Soon, Eugen Johannessen was looking to buy a roaster. “I bought it unseen,” he says. The decision was so impulsive that he had to hitchhike it back from Bologna to Bergen on a salmon trailer. When he brought the twelve-kilogram Petroncini roaster to Bergen in February 2009, Eugen Johannessen was roasting once a month, with family and friends. At first, the roaster occupied a small corner of the film collective Eugen Johannessen co-owned. Just up the street, Kenneth Rasmussen was roasting coffee beans in a popcorn machine. Rasmussen soon started visiting Bergen Kaffebrenneri, offering suggestions for improving the process by roasting lighter. “He started experimenting,” Eugen Johannessen says. “After a year, he was a full-time employee.” Rasmussen is now co-owner and chief roaster.


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As the area around them has transformed from shipyard to business district, Bergen Kaffebrenneri has grown as well. Three years ago, they opened a full coffee bar, and hired Friedrich Johannessen as bar manager and roaster. Recently, they bought a new roaster, a Giesen that holds thirty kilograms of beans and is less sensitive to changes in the weather. Still, their roasting process is fully manual, and always done in small batches, just like when they first started. “They roast very instinctively—on sound and looks,” says Eugen Johannessen. Some customers can even tell the difference in batches roasted by Rasmussen, and those roasted by Friedrich Johannessen. “The personality reflects in their roasting.” “It’s been a process to educate people,” Eugen Johannessen continues, explaining that Bergen Kaffebrenneri regularly offers courses and cuppings to the public. “You educate the customers, and they come back

because they get interested,” he says. “We’re moving people to the lighter roasts, and that has taken years.” Though they’re the only local roaster in town, “we’re not so formal, we make coffee for everyone,” says Eugen Johannessen. Independent, small-batch roasting is a new concept for many Bergen residents, and Bergen Kaffebrenneri strives to make the experience a positive and inclusive one. The shop’s warehouse location several miles from the city center, as well as its sprawling space, contributes to a comfortable, no-frills vibe. Its older-but-spacious location in an industrial shipyard is uncommon in Norway, a country known for modern, minimal design, and Eugen Johannessen says people feel “a bit abroad” when they visit. Back in the city center, I head for Kaffemisjonen, a café preceded by its reputation and passion for coffee. Everywhere I went in Bergen—from my Airbnb to a small soup restaurant—anyone who heard I was writ-

KAFFEMISJONEN’S selection of coffee is chosen from blind cuppings.

ing about coffee insisted I speak with Jan Richter Lorentzen, the shop’s owner and 2015 winner of the Norwegian Cup Tasters Championship. Though Lorentzen is out of town during my visit, I sit down with Christian Nesset, two-time regional barista champion, to understand why Kaffemisjonen is so treasured. Before we begin the interview, Nesset prepares us a fresh Chemex of Kenya Gathaithi roasted by Jacu, a Norwegian roaster from the coastal town of Ålesund. Kaffemisjonen, which means “coffee mission,” opened in 2007 “to talk about origin in a time where, at least in Norway, that hadn’t quite started yet,” Nesset says. For a while, they were also one of the only shops in Bergen to offer more than one brew method. Much like Bergen Kaffebrenneri, Kaffemisjonen finds itself integral to its customers’ coffee education. “What we try to do every day is give a short taste description. Just a few

words to start a thinking process, to maybe think a bit more about the taste,” Nesset says. “After some years—it’s been going on for a while—we have a lot of customers who are very into coffee, and want to try different kinds.” Though they have a loyal base of patrons who care about coffee, the shop is also popular among tourists, especially during Bergen’s peak summer season. This past year, they saw a spike in tourist traffic, something Nesset attributes to TripAdvisor, and to people who “want to experience local, independent places.” Still, Nesset says, “It’s quite nice to talk a bit about coffee with them. Even with a latte, you can say it’s made with our Colombian espresso, which makes it very sweet, for example.” When I ask Nesset what makes Kaffemisjonen unique, he’s quick to answer. “Our selection of coffee is from blind cuppings.” Every so often, Nesset and the other baristas get together to sample coffee

from various roasters, and what they offer in the shop is the direct result of what they like. Because of this, their coffee selection rotates frequently. “We’re totally independent,” he says, and that gives them the freedom to provide only the best coffee. For a country that loves to drink coffee, Norway is still learning to love coffee itself. “They need to know about it before they can appreciate it, and still I think there’s a long way to go,” says Bergen Kaffebrenneri’s Eugen Johannessen. “Many people come in here and they don’t even know we’re here, and they just think coffee is coffee.” But Bergen is proving that coffee can be much more than that, and that the kaffeverden, or coffee world, can thrive in Norway. In a small city with a global reach through its booming tourist industry, all it takes is passion, education, and a commitment to quality to turn coffee drinkers into coffee connoisseurs. FC

Fresh Cup Magazine «




BE KIND TO YOURSELF Barista Pro Shop has announced the offering of a healthy new snack bar: Pressed by Kind. Containing two grams of fruit per serving, Pressed bars have unique flavor combinations like apricot-pear-beet-carrot and pineapple-banana-kale-spinach. As a bonus, they’re vegan, and glutenand dairy-free, so snackers everywhere can easily get their fruit fix in a convenient bar.



Daily Healer’s Turmeric Latte Drinking

Argo Tea, provider of all-natural, loose-

Powder is blended with a mix of organ-

leaf teas and signature tea-based

ic ingredients that combine to create

drinks has launched its Garden Direct

a great tasting, antioxidant, and anti-

Collection, an offering of twenty-four

inflammatory superfood drink. Just

premium, single-estate teas sourced

add a teaspoon to most dairy or non-dairy milks,

from the world’s premier growing regions. The col-

froth with a steaming wand, and Daily Healer’s Tur-

lection features designs inspired by regional art,

meric will provide a great, caffeine-free latte for the

flowers, and iconic patterns from the specific country

health-conscious consumer at home or in the café.

where the tea was grown. Bottles start at just $10.95.

Get 25 percent off all online orders by entering the



Located in the Golden Valley of Boga-

take but don’t have the time and en-

wantalawa, Sri Lanka, Elephantea is

ergy to hit the grocery store? Now you

now available in the US. Elephantea

can get four servings of fruit and ten

pledges to donate a percentage of prof-

grams of protein in a single drink with

its to help fund local non-profits work-

Leap’s new smoothie-bowl powders.

ing to prevent poaching, harboring, and

Available in three flavors and containing superfoods

harming of Sri Lankan pachyderms. All Elephantea

like kale, goji berries, chlorella, and pomegranate,

varieties are handpicked Ceylon teas grown in Sri

Leap is also vegan, organic, gluten-free, dairy-free,

Lanka’s ideal elevation.

and soy-free.



Need to up your fruit and protein in-

February 2017 » Fresh Cup Magazine

» People & Products «



Cupping coffee has generally

Capresso’s new SG300 coffee maker

required a fancy spoon—until

now features a stainless-steel hous-

now. Rattleware’s new Cupping

ing, a GoldTone filter to eliminate the

Brewer brings the intricacies of

need for paper filters, a program-

the cupping process to the casual coffee consumer

mable twenty-four-hour clock and

in a comfortable, accessible manner. The brewer’s

timer, and charcoal water filtration

patented design makes it possible to evaluate coffee

that removes up to 82 percent of chlorine and other

from the cupping table without the spoon, capturing

impurities from tap water. The brewer comes with a

the aromatics and strongest notes of each coffee va-

twelve-cup carafe featuring a brew-through lid and

rietal and roast profile for a complete sensory expe-

drip-free pouring spout.




Coffee SavR keeps

Toting tea just got a lot more styl-

coffee tasting fresh

ish, thanks to PSC Housewares.

for longer than ninety minutes, even when kept on

The company now offers a dou-

a burner or in a heated dispenser. This unique, pat-

ble-walled, glass tea bottle with a

ented formulation of antioxidants and stabilizers sig-

trendy bamboo lid. Manufactured

nificantly slows down the oxidation and deterioration

using the finest handmade borosilicate glass and

processes in hot-brewed coffee. Coffee SavR does not

stainless steel, the 400-milliliter bottle features a

affect the coffee’s taste except by extending its fresh-

longer infuser, optimizing the interaction between

ness, so you can savor your morning cup even longer.

water and tea leave, resulting in a better brew on the




Nutpods, frequently reviewed and

Telesonic is launching a Brick

ranked as the highest-quality, plant-

Pak container exclusively for

based creamer on the Amazon mar-

cold-brew coffee. Following a

ket, is a delicious, dairy-free, and

successful design of its biode-

clean-ingredient alternative to half-

gradable single-serve coffee cups, Telesonic’s Brick

and-half. Made from almonds and coconuts, Nut-

Pak coffee container provides a fresh taste and a

pods are sure to please anyone looking for full flavor

longer shelf life. Consumers now have a more re-

without the dairy. Choose from three blends: French

sponsible option for enjoying a cold-brewed coffee,

Vanilla, Original, or Hazelnut.

caring for the environment without sacrificing taste.

Fresh Cup Magazine «





FEBRUARY 9-11 THE NAFEM SHOW Orlando, Florida



FEBRUARY 24-26 COFFEECON Los Angeles, California




February 2017 » Fresh Cup Magazine



MARCH 10-12 AMSTERDAM COFFEE FESTIVAL Amsterdam, Netherlands

MARCH 17-19 COFFEE FEST Nashville, Tennessee

» 2017 Coffee & Tea Trade Shows, Classes & Competitions « MARCH


MARCH 18-19 COFFEE & TEA FESTIVAL NYC Brooklyn, New York







Fresh Cup Magazine «




ADVERTISER Index Go to to view the Advertiser Index and the websites listed below. ADVERTISER




Barista Pro Shop


17, 55







Coffee & Tea Festival


Coffee Fest


Coffee Holding Co.





Fresh Cup Magazine



Genuine Origin Coffee Project



Ghirardelli Chocolate


Gosh That’s Good! Brand

888.848.GOSH (4674)

Holy Kakow



Java Jacket



Malabar Gold Espresso



Melbourne International Coffee Expo



Monin Gourmet Flavorings

855.FLAVOR1 (352.8671)

Northwest Foodservice Show









888.TEA.LIFE (832.5433)







TEA House Times, The









Two Leaves and a Bud



Vessel Drinkware



World Tea Expo



Your Brand Café



Zojirushi America


February 2017 » Fresh Cup Magazine

65 4, 25 9

2 68


5 65

13, 54

Fresh Cup Magazine | February 2017  

Features include: Our special café build-out section; buying green coffee online; and Bergen, Norway's cafe culture.

Fresh Cup Magazine | February 2017  

Features include: Our special café build-out section; buying green coffee online; and Bergen, Norway's cafe culture.