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GREEK MOUNTAIN TEA | TRISH ROTHGEB | COFFEE BYPRODUCTS | DAY-ONE TRAINING | PU-ERH | CAFÉS AS VENUES

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FALL FLAVORS Bring tastes of the season to your menu. Page 32

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Tam pa’s BUDDY BREW COFFEE Page 34 freshcup.com | November 2014

T H E M AGA Z I N E FO R S P E C I A LT Y C O F F E E & T E A P R O F E S S I O N A L S S I N C E 1 9 9 2

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FEATURES November 2016 » Fresh Cup Magazine » Vol. 25 » No. 11

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36 DO YOU KNOW TRISH ROTHGEB? Owner of Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters in San Francisco. BY ELLIE BRADLEY

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COFFEE WASTE OR PRODUCT POTENTIAL?

DECODING THE MYSTIQUE OF PU-ERH TEA

MAKE THE FIRST DAY COUNT

CAFÉS AS VENUES

Training your staff to be extraordinary baristas starts on the first day of their employment.

A balance of café and event management.

Smart ways to repurpose the increasing quantities of coffee production byproducts. BY ANNA BRONES

Through careful processing, leaves full of the vitality of the very mountains they grew on are transformed into pu-erh tea. BY JEFFREY MCINTOSH

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November 2016 » Fresh Cup Magazine

BY NATHANAEL MAY

BY KAITLIN THROGMORTON


DEPARTMENTS November 2016 » Fresh Cup Magazine » Vol. 25 » No. 11

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Timor-Leste Coffee Association; AeroPress Annual; World Atlas of Tea; Coffee Sustainability Catalogue 2016

Greek Mountain Tea by Cody Wade

THE FILTER

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WHOLE LEAF

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THE WHOLE BEAN 22

BEHIND THE BAR Good Coffee Portland, Oregon by Ellie Bradley

Balancing Roasting and the Café by Brian Helfrich

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CAFÉ OUTFITTER Holiday Swag for Your Café by Ellie Bradley

NINE BAR Invoking Autumnal Flavors by Cody Kirkland

34 26

CAFÉ CROSSROADS

Creating a Focused Menu by Nicholas Lozito

Buddy Brew Coffee Tampa by Ellie Bradley

IN HOUSE

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12 FROM THE EDITOR

16 CONTRIBUTORS

WEAVING THE NARRATIVE

62 COUNTER INTELLIGENCE People and products

66 ADVERTISER INDEX

64 CALENDAR Trade shows and events


Fresh Cup Magazine « freshcup.com

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FROM THE EDITOR

Weaving the Narrative

I CAME TO FRESH CUP NINE MONTHS AGO, WITH SOME

CONNECT WITH US

/Fresh Cup Magazine

@FreshCupMag

@FreshCupMag

ON THE COVER: FALL FLAVORS Cody Kirkland’s Cozy Drink is a honeybush latte infused with a spiced maple syrup, apple ginger bitters, ELLIE BRADLEY, EDITOR ellie@freshcup.com

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November 2016 » Fresh Cup Magazine

and topped with grated nutmeg.

Photo by Michael Kunde

ED ITOR P HOTO BY CYNTHIA MEAD OR S; TO P RIGHT PHOTO FR OM BUD DY BREW C O FFEE B Y A LI

barista experience in my back pocket and a desire to learn everything I could about the specialty coffee and tea industries. And yes, I’ve soaked up a lot since then. But more importantly, I’ve come to understand coffee and tea as lifelong pursuits of knowledge. I’ve also discovered how many exceptional people work in this business—people who freely share their experience and make time to be resources, mentors, cheerleaders, and friends. They come from all facets of coffee and tea; talking with them, learning about what compels them in their careers, is always a rewarding conversation. Perhaps it’s relationships built at origin, scientific frontiers begging for exploration, or a commitment to education and training. As I take the helm at Fresh Cup, it’s my privilege to help share these stories. Through them, we become a part of the educational journey for you, our reader. This month, we had the pleasure of speaking with Trish Rothgeb, whose coffee quest began as a means to fund her art degree. Trish is a perfect example of someone who knows a lot about coffee, yet tirelessly seeks improvement by educating herself, her staff, and those she teaches in Q courses. We also got to hear the story of Buddy Brew Coffee, owned by the husband-and-wife team of David and Susan Ward. Their coffee adventure began around the time they met, in 1995, and has blossomed into a thriving business in Florida. Thanks to a wonderful array of voices and perspectives, every Fresh Cup article contributes to a larger, ongoing narrative. This month, we delve into the mystique of pu-erh tea with Jeffrey McIntosh, who shares his knowledge from years spent in the tea fields of China. Brian Helfrich has shared snippets of his coffee journey with our readers over the past year, and in this month’s Whole Bean, he gives us another chapter of his story, as he discusses the challenges of balancing a roastery and café. This issue is packed with opportunities to learn about the incredible people who make up our community, and the exciting things they’re doing to move the industry forward. You are all part of our continuing education here at Fresh Cup, too, and I welcome you to reach out to me (ellie@freshcup.com) with questions, comments, or concerns. I hope you enjoy this journey as much as I do.


FRESH CUP MAGAZINE THE MAGAZINE FOR SPECIALTY COFFEE & TEA PROFESSIONALS SINCE 1992

-FRESH CUP FOUNDERWARD BARBEE 1938-2006

-ADVERTISINGSales Manager MICHAEL HARRIS michael@freshcup.com

-FRESH CUP PUBLISHINGPublisher and President JAN WEIGEL jan@freshcup.com

Ad Coordinator DIANE HOWARD adtraffic@freshcup.com Marketing Coordinator ANNA SHELTON anna@freshcup.com

-EDITORIALEditor ELLIE BRADLEY ellie@freshcup.com

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-ARTArt Director CYNTHIA MEADORS cynthia@freshcup.com

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EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD DAVID GRISWOLD Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers

ANUPA MUELLER Eco-Prima

CHUCK JONES Jones Coffee Roasters

BRAD PRICE Monin Gourmet Flavorings

JULIA LEACH Toddy

BRUCE RICHARDSON Elmwood Inn Fine Teas

COSIMO LIBARDO Toby’s Estate Coffee

MANISH SHAH Maya Tea Co.

BRUCE MILLETTO Bellissimo Coffee Advisors

LARRY WINKLER Torani

SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION Fresh Cup Magazine is distributed worldwide each month by post. Fresh Cup Magazine is available by subscription: price—one year U.S. $48, two years U.S. $68, one year Canada $55, all other countries $85 per year. Single issues—$5 each, plus shipping. (Checks must be drawn on a U.S.-affiliated bank.) Canada Post International Publications Mail Product-Sales Agreement No. 40025272. PLEASE ALLOW 6–8 WEEKS FOR DELIVERY OF FIRST ISSUE. Copyright ©2016 by Fresh Cup Publishing Company Inc. Contents may not be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. ISSN: 1094-8228

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CONTRIBUTORS ANNA BRONES Coffee is made from the seed of the cherry, leaving much of the fruit to go to waste. In “Coffee Waste or Product Potential?,” Anna Brones brings us up to date on innovative uses for the coffee fruit, including biofuel and t-shirt ink (page 40). Brones is a freelance writer and author of Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break.

BRIAN HELFRICH Managing a café presents plenty of challenges. Adding a roastery to the equation complicates things exponentially. In the Whole Bean, on page 30, Brian Helfrich discusses how to work towards balance when managing a multi-faceted business. Helfrich is a co-owner at Summit Coffee, a café and roastery in Davidson, North Carolina.

CODY KIRKLAND Pumpkin spice can be a polarizing flavor, inducing eye rolls or enthusiastic cheers. If you’re part of the former crowd, take a page from Cody Kirkland’s book and explore some of the moodier flavors of fall (Nine Bar, page 32). Kirkland is the manager at the Rose Establishment in Salt Lake City.

NICHOLAS LOZITO When you look at your menu, what does it say about your business? Do you present a clear focus, or will customers be overwhelmed looking at all the options? Nicholas Lozito offers tips for evaluating your menu and building it into a tool to grow your business (In House, page 26). Lozito is the owner of Misty Peaks Tea.

NATHANAEL MAY When employees come in for their first day on the job, starting training on a positive note has a lasting impact—and can even influence career trajectory. In “Make the First Day Count,” on page 52, Nathanael May shares tales of first day training from various jobs in his career, including his current positions as director of coffee and green coffee buyer for Portland Roasting Coffee.

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JEFFREY MCINTOSH The popularity of pu-erh tea continues to grow; yet the details of this intricate tea still remain a mystery to consumers. Jeffrey McIntosh has spent many years studying pu-erh. On page 46, he takes us through the history, sourcing, and preparation of this flavorful beverage. McIntosh is the owner of Teabook.

KAITLIN THROGMORTON When Walker’s Point Roastery opened, they never dreamed of doubling as a wedding venue—this year, they’ve already hosted thirty-five events. Kaitlin Throgmorton explores the challenges and advantages of opening your café to events in “Cafés as Venues,” on page 56. Throgmorton is a freelance writer in North Carolina.

CODY WADE High in the mountains of Greece grows a sage-like tea with velvety sweetness and rich herbal notes—aptly named Greek mountain tea. Cody Wade is the manager of Tin Tulip Tearoom in Arlington, Texas. He shares his knowledge of this unique tisane in the Whole Leaf (page 28).


Fresh Cup Magazine « freshcup.com

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The FILTER A Fine Blend of News and Notes

DILI WORKSHOP: Industry members met to develop a plan for the new association.

Timor-Leste Coffee Association

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The association also aims to serve as the unified source for industry standards, industry advocacy, media repre-

Twenty-four industry members met at a workshop in Dili earlier this fall to develop a vision, strategic plan, struc-

Timor-Leste has been producing coffee for more than two hundred years, and is known for production of the popular arabica variety, Hibrido de Timor. sentation, and international brand development for Timorese coffee, while offering capacity development and best practices training for farmers and other members of the industry.

ture, and governance model for the new association. ACTL receives support from the Asian Development Bank, United Nations Development Program, and the Market Development Facility.  

P HOTOS C O UR TESY OF TIM OR- LESTE C O FFEE ASSO C IAITIO N

imor-Leste took a stride towards revitalizing its coffee industry last month, announcing the formation of its first coffee industry association. The Timor-Leste Coffee Association (ACTL) formed to establish a private sector forum, through which a diverse group of stakeholders can collaborate to tackle serious issues facing coffee production in the country. Timor-Leste has been producing coffee for more than two hundred years, and is known for production of the popular arabica variety, Hibrido de Timor. ACTL hopes to increase both the volume and value of coffees sold for export and domestic consumption.


ARABICA: The Hibrido de Timor variety.

In a press release issued by the association, Asian Development Bank director Paolo Spantigati said, “More than 25 percent of all households in TimorLeste grow coffee and there is huge potential to improve production and quality.” He also expressed his hope for the initiative to support planning and implementation of activities to develop the coffee sector and improve farmers’ lives. Ted Lingle, Specialty Coffee Association of America co-founder and Coffee Quality Institute consultant, also facilitated the formation of the group. Lingle led the weeklong workshop in Dili, which was attended by representatives of coffee farming groups, cooperatives, coffee traders, exporters, roasters, and retailers. The group’s first activity, planned for December 1, will be a cupping competition and national coffee festival, featuring a professional conference program with international speakers and a consumer exhibition area for roasters and retailers to market Timorese coffee.

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Fresh Off the Press

a slew of gifts including a skateboard, a limited-edition coffee brewer, and a golden AeroPress, of course. While the competition floor at the World of Coffee events can grow tense, AeroPress competitions have focused on being engaging and enjoyable since

their inception in 2008. The Annual pays tribute to the AeroPress competitive spirit, boasting over 300 pages of posters, recipes, interviews, results, and lots and lots of photos. The 2016 Annual is available for purchase at aero.press/the-annual.

Touring the World of Tea

T

ea grows all over the world, with a variety of factors influencing flavors and aromas in the final cup. Each tea has a unique story to tell about where it was grown, including the soil, climate factors, and choices producers made during processing. Krisi Smith, the co-founder of Bluebird Tea Co., compiled tales of her world tea travels into the newly released World Atlas of Tea. In addition to reviewing taste profiles from key growing regions around the world, Smith details harvesting and processing methods, providing readers with tools to steep the perfect cup. Smith’s 240-page guide is packed with photos, brewing recipes, information on health benefits, and even tips on how to blend your own tea. The World Atlas of Tea is available at fireflybooks. com.

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A NNUAL P HOTO CO URTESY O F AERO PR ESS ANNUAL ; CATALOGUE P HOTO C OUR TE SY OF THE C OFFE E SU STAI N AB I L I TY CATALOGU E 2016

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eroPress competitions are known for enthusiastic participants, innovative recipes, and killer event posters. Competitors, supporters, and fans of the competitions can now collect recipes and artwork all in one place with the release of the Annual, a review of the 2016 World AeroPress Championships. The challenge of the competitions remains quite simple (in principle): brew the best tasting cup of coffee using an AeroPress. No milk steaming, no latte art, no espresso. Participants face off in flights of three, brewing a standardized coffee for a panel of three judges. Judges then simultaneously point to their preferred cup and the winner advances to the next round. The 2016 season featured 2,581 competitors in fifty-one countries. Through a series of ninety-four events, and lots of pointing at bowls, the competition culminated at the World AeroPress Championship in Dublin, Ireland. Poland’s Filip Kucharczyk took home top prize this season, which came with


Progress Towards Sustainability

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new catalog reports on the sustainability initiatives of more than eighty stakeholders throughout the coffee sector. The Coffee Sustainability Catalogue 2016 was launched through efforts from the Global Coffee Platform, the Specialty Coffee Association of America, and the Sustainable Coffee Challenge. The organizations involved in the project hope to inspire collaborative action towards future sustainable coffee initiatives.

on the project in an announcement of the catalog’s release. “We are encouraged by the findings presented in the Catalogue, but know we still have much to do in order to grow coffee in a way that meets future demand while conserving the environment and ensuring the prosperity and

well-being of producing communities,” Semroc said. “Knowing where we stand in relation to our ultimate goal is a huge step in enabling us to accelerate action and build a sustainable future for coffee.”   The full catalog is available online at conservation.org/publications.

Key findings from the report are summarized below: • Each year, more than 350 million dollars is invested in sustainability programs across the coffee industry. These collective efforts enable the industry to reach 350,000 farmers each year. • Certification can be used as a tool to boost consumer awareness, traceability and assurance, and incentives. • At the current rate of investment into sustainable production, it would take an estimated 4.1 billion dollars and nearly thirty years to transition the entire sector to sustainable production to incorporate all coffee producers. The contents of the report influence the work of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge—a coalition united in the belief it’s possible to grow coffee while ensuring the prosperity and wellbeing of farmers. Bambi Semroc is lead coffee expert for the Sustainable Coffee Challenge and a senior strategic advisor at Conservation International. She shared her thoughts

Fresh Cup Magazine « freshcup.com

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Condiment Caddy: Water service and condiments are kept on the end of the bar so baristas can easily monitor and restock supplies. Cream is stored in the back refrigerator and pulled upon request.

Specialized Grind: A Mahlkönig EK 43 on the back bar is reserved for cold-brew, drip coffee, and coffee purchased from their retail shelves.

Custom Classic: Co-owner Nick Purvis calls their two-group La Marzocco Linea Classic (custom designed to be completely white) the café’s workhorse. “It’s a beast.”

Hidden from View: A pitcher rinser boosts efficiency on bar. Alternative milks are stored beneath the espresso machine.

Triple Peaks: A trio of Mahlkönig Peaks grind from hoppers holding decaf, espresso for milkbased drinks, and a featured selection.

Dose-si-do: Acaia scales weigh all doses and yield.

Paperless Café: Good Coffee doesn’t print any tickets, instead using signals like pitcher placement to let the other baristas know what’s been ordered.

Pastry in Motion: A sliding track lets the barista easily pull out a pastry when it’s ordered, then slide them back into their featured place at the bar’s corner.

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Water on Demand: A Fetco HWD-2110 dispenses water at up to four different temperature pre-settings using a digital touchscreen, making it easy to dial in water for various brew methods.


BEHIND the BAR Good Coffee Portland, Oregon » by Ellie Bradley «

Nooks ‘n’ Crannies: Built-in shelves are sized according to their contents. Tea canisters tuck neatly above the hot water station, and five-pound coffee bags nest near the EK 43.

Dual-Brew: A Fetco XTS pumps out batch-brewed coffee into two airpots within easy reach of the barista manning the POS. Purvis says they chose this brewer because it allows, “tons of variable control and can be programmed really specifically.”

P HOTO BY C O RY ELDRID GE

PH OTO CO URTESY O F BOXCA R SO C IAL

Speedy Takeaway: To-go cups stack next to airpots of batch-brewed coffee, streamlining the process of ordering a quick coffee to go.

hen Nick Purvis and his brother Sam opened Good Coffee in 2014, it was the culmination of years spent working in cafés and gleaning ideas from around the world. Time with companies like Verve, Coava, and Barista shaped the Purvis’s appreciation for, well, good coffee, inspiring them to launch their own cafés. Good Coffee opened two locations just months apart, both in southeast Portland. “We’ve always talked about owning a company together and being in the coffee industry together. It all happened at once,” Nick says. He describes the design as heavily Scandinavianinfluenced, and can pinpoint elements of the café that were inspired by places he and Sam either worked in or visited. At the Division Street location, a wall of builtin shelving features nooks sized according to their contents, modeled after similar shelves seen at The Mill in San Francisco and Toby’s Estate’s Brooklyn location. A couch and chairs create a lounge area, an element the Purvis’s were set on having. “We’re both very design-oriented,” Nick says. “We’re always thinking about design and aesthetic, and wanting things to look beautiful.” They were drawn to cafés with simple decor, where the energy of the café was the aesthetic. At the Division Street café, the bar is highly polished, yet simple. Baristas use pitcher position to indicate drink types, allowing Good Coffee to be a paperless café. The barista on register takes point on drink prep, so all the supplies needed to serve brewed coffee or weigh ingredients are easily within reach of the point-of-service. An all-white, two-group Linea Classic doesn’t bear any of the usual La Marzocco branding—Good Coffee had it customized to match the minimalist feel of the bar. Nick says they’ve made a few layout changes on bar since opening, all in the name of accessibility—and keeping things as visually simple as possible. “It’s about setting your team up to be able to crush high volume,” he says.

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Café OUTFITTER:

Holiday Swag for Your Café

It’s that time of year when the frequency of customers asking for gift cards multiplies at an alarming rate. Gift cards are a great option year round, but having something unique to offer your customers—to enjoy in house, or to purchase as a gift—can boost your retail sales and make your shop a priority stop during the busy holiday season.

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1) OH HOLY NIGHT Holy Kakow is a favorite in many shops for their simple ingredient list and depth of flavor. Give your customers a limited-time treat with flavors like Merry Mint and Pumpkin Spice. You can lean on classics like the pumpkin spice latte, or take a page out of Cody Kirkland’s book (page 32), and dream up creative concoctions to dazzle your customers. holykakow.com

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2) LIMITED EDITION Offering a special-label coffee generates excitement about your offerings, whether you roast it yourself or partner with your supplier. Find happy tidings with a holiday roast, or feature a single-origin for the winter months. Allegro Coffee Company opted for the latter, releasing a limited-edition Panama Esmeralda 1500 Gesha through the end of the year. allegrocoffee.com

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3) A RIPPLE IN WINTERTIME Your baristas might pour a great rosetta, but latte art can be limited in design. The Ripple Maker uses patented technology to lay text and images into milk foam. Choose from a library of designs, upload your logo, create a quirky holiday design, or let customers load their own images for printing. coffeeripples.com

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4) SPICE THINGS UP Bitters are a simple way to introduce new flavors to your existing menu—add them to a coffee cocktail, or use them to top a craft soda. These orange bitters from the Bitter Truth give a strong dose of marmalade on the nose, followed by a cacophony of clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg. the-bitter-truth.com 5) SKELECLAUS IS COMIN’ TO TOWN If your beverage menu is set and offering a special roast isn’t an option, the holiday season is always a great time to boost your merchandise game. Four Barrel launched a line of killer merchandise in time for the shopping season, including the Skeleclaus mug, a delightful twist on their year-round line of mugs. Don’t feel confined to a holiday theme—just offering new items will attract attention to your retail shelves. fourbarrel.com

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In HOUSE n a recent visit to San Francisco, I awoke early and walked to Philz Coffee. It was nearby, and had great reviews and photos of beautiful croissants on their Yelp page. When I entered Philz, I ordered a large cappuccino and a chocolate croissant from the man behind the register. He smiled at me, “Your first time here?” I glanced over his shoulder to see large, branded containers of coffee beans, reassuring me I was in the right place. “Yeah, why?”

times it does. But streamlining menu options can be an equally viable option. On Philz’s website, their mission statement reads, “Philz Coffee focuses on making the best drip coffee.” They made their mark as connoisseurs of drip coffee through a focused menu, creating a unique draw for the shop. When it comes time to assess your menu, start by polling your employees and reviewing sales records. Just because something is slow to sell doesn’t mean it needs to be automatically removed. However, if that item is holding up funds, has the chance to expire, or requires special tools and training to prepare, it may be time to remove it.

Your menu is a means of serving customers, predicting new items they might like, and also responding to common requests. “Sorry, you have to order over there,” he replied, pointing to the opposite end of the counter where a barista was stationed. “She can help you out. Oh yeah, and we don’t have cappuccinos.” The girl at the bar kindly mentioned that they specialize in drip coffee, indicating a detailed board of various origins and flavor profiles. I ordered what she recommended and ended up really enjoying my experience and the coffee. Though I started my morning with my heart set on a milk and espresso, I was instead guided through a niche experience, leaving more satisfied than I would’ve been with an average cappuccino from another shop. Many businesses assume growth means menu expansion—and some-

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If you have a tea on the menu that’s rarely ordered and you aren’t attached to, take it off the menu. Maybe that tea was ordered with a specific customer in mind, or in response to a flavor trend. If it’s not excellent and doesn’t fit the brand, consider it your weakest link. Making cuts isn’t the only answer to menu evaluation. Thoughtful additions can also enhance your shop’s offerings. Before adding to your menu, ask your employees if a particular beverage gets requested often. Also, take into account the current trends, what your competitors are doing, and what you can add that enhances the character of your shop (does the new item make sense when placed alongside your other offerings?).

When expanding your menu, start gradually. Present a specialty or limited-time menu and put feelers out to see how well those new items do before making them regular menu items. Consider how much training is required to teach staff how to make each new beverage, what the shelf life is of the ingredients, and whether you may have to purchase additional equipment in order to add that item. If an item generates positive response and can be seamlessly added to your current workflow, it’s likely a good fit for your menu. Part of a successful menu—regardless of size—is how well it reflects your clientele. Your menu is a means of serving customers, predicting new items they might like, and also responding to common requests. Matcha tea is on a surge right now, but that doesn’t mean that every café needs to stock it. Gradually testing items allows helpful feedback with little investment. Watching your customers is also a helpful way to gauge how to adjust the size of your menu. The menu should act as a guide for your customers. Big menus leave customers overwhelmed and may, unfortunately, have them walk out without ordering. If you notice dazed looks when people walk in, it might be a sign that you need to cut back your offerings. When evaluating your menu, ultimately staying true to your vision and your brand is huge. Sure, I can’t get a cappuccino at Philz, but I also don’t have twenty options for drip coffee at the café down the street. Know why customers come to you and why they go to your competitor. If you can carefully add or remove items on your menu while sharpening the focus of your business, customers will keep choosing to walk through your door, instead of your competitor’s. Nicholas Lozito is the owner of Misty Peak Teas.

P HOTO BY BRYAN BURGOS

Creating a Focused Menu » By Nicholas Lozito


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The WHOLE LEAF Greek Mountain Tea » By Cody Wade looking would have a flavor as full as this, but it works. Greek mountain tea also lends itself to a delightful iced beverage. A large tea pitcher works best for the iced preparation. I use a large handful of tea leaves for every liter of water, as this is my personal preference. The combinations are practically endless because the sage-like tea is an excellent pairing with milk, sugar, and even slices of watermelon and lemon. Because the flavors of this tea complement a wide variety of other ingredients, mountain tea is a great opportunity for cafés to introduce new and exciting flavors to their menu. To showcase the depth of flavor in this tea, consider pairing it with finger

To showcase the depth of flavor in this tea, consider pairing it with finger foods for a classic high-tea session, or using it as an ingredient in one of your lunch dishes.

For a hot preparation of Greek mountain tea, I recommend using a tea strainer. Break apart a few stems of the tea—including the leaves, stem, and flowers. Then, place the strainer in a cup and pour boiling water over it. After steeping for about five minutes, your hot cup of Greek mountain tea should be ready! When drinking this tea by itself (without any sugar or added flavors), you’ll get a mouthful of oily and creamy sage that leaves behind a velvety sweetness in the back of your throat. The flavor profile of this tea may sound odd, and it’s hard to believe that something so medicinal-

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foods for a classic high-tea session, or using it as an ingredient in one of your lunch dishes. How cool would it be to tell your customers that their meal is made with tea? A delicious favorite of mine is to mix up a chicken marinade with olive oil, Greek mountain tea, rosemary, oregano, salt, and pepper. This combination of flavors highlights various herbal notes as you sip down your mountain tea. In addition to its uniquely sweet sage flavor and diverse options for pairing, Greek mountain tea boasts a high level of antioxidants. One of those antioxidants is a group of compounds called bioflavonoids, and are

MT. PARNASSUS IN GREECE

found in Greek mountain tea at twice the level compared to chamomile tea. Bioflavonoids are a group of compounds that enhance vitamin C, help blood circulation, and are known to improve inflammatory conditions. Greek mountain tea is so high in antioxidant compounds, it was praised by the father of modern medicine: Hippocrates. Greek mountain tea is an excellent drink that can be made in many different variations. It’s loaded with health benefits, and has a delicious taste that will keep you coming back for cup after cup. Along with providing a boost for your health, mountain tea is just as delightful on your taste buds. If you are drinking this tea cold or hot, sweet or unsweetened, you can be certain that it won’t leave you disappointed. It’s easy to see why Hippocrates was an advocate for this delicious treat. Cody Wade is manager at Tin Tulip Tearoom.

P HOTOS : THIS PAG E, BY KONSTANTINOS KOUKOP O ULOS; O P PO SITE PAGE BY DEYAN VASILEV/ CC- BY-2.0

reek mountain tea is an herbal tea native to Greece, grown at over 3,000 feet in elevation. The plant comes from the Sideritis family, and in Greece is called tsai tou vou nou. Stems of this mountain tea are identifiable by their pale green leaves and yellow budding flowers. The leaves of the plant resemble sage—and smell like it as well. Before preparing yourself a cup of this tea, I suggest taking in the aromas of the dried plant. One sniff will fill your senses with a sugary and soft sage, tricking your taste buds into believing that you’re in an Italian restaurant.


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The WHOLE BEAN e’re almost out of milk. It’s Monday morning at 11:00, and I’m staring at a line to the door with a dozen customers who hopefully want drip coffee because we only have enough milk for about five lattes. I have a meeting in thirty minutes, fifteen minutes away, with a developer who wants Summit Coffee to sign a lease for our fourth location. Meanwhile, I was planning to use this time to call back a potential wholesale customer who’s interested in our new geisha release but needs it mailed tomorrow.

I can’t just say that the small fires popping up every few hours aren’t worth my time or energy. Because they are. It’s 11:05, and now we’re really almost out of milk. I send Slack messages around to a few staff members not currently dealing with this line, asking if anyone can grab some milk. The problem is, not just any milk will do because we source all of our milk from a local farm, and that quality is really important to us. So the milk needs to come from another one of our cafes, where there’s also a line and also a handful of staff not checking their phones (thankfully). So I’m going to get milk, and on the way I’m calling the developer to tell him I’m running just a few minutes behind schedule. And never mind the wholesale customer who’s waiting to hear if we can send him coffee—I can get to him later, I’m sure. Sometime.

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The roaster-retail paradigm for a coffee business makes so much sense, a terrific synergy of production and consumption. As a roasting business, we already have a built-in account that needs hundreds of pounds each week. We can roast to order, deliver whenever it’s necessary, and post on Instagram a fun video of the coffee’s transformation from green, to roasted, to packed, to delivered, to brewed, and enjoyed. Yet how do you grow into one business and still care enough for the other? Because when it comes down to it, the cafés are the breadwinner in this family. The success of the cafés allowed us to make the six-figure cash investment needed to build out a roasting business. So running out of milk is a bad idea. All the while, this wholesale business is so new that it needs the TLC we’ve shown the retail operations for eighteen years. Welcome to the greatest stress in our business, one that we share with so many other coffee shops that take the leap into roasting and wholesale. How in the world do you find the appropriate balance? When we elected in 2015 to dive into roasting, it was part of a conscious movement of growth in that direction. A financial analysis helped determine that it was the most appropriate way to scale Summit Coffee, and so we sunk our profits into a pair of beautiful San Franciscan roasters, a training lab, and a whole lot of green coffee. It is, to this day, definitively our planned focus. When the cafés run low on milk, however, it’s pretty loud in our lives. We’re still a relatively small operation, and I’m wearing hats of all shapes and sizes. We depend on success, and learned over nearly two decades how to achieve that success, so it’s hard to suddenly decide that milk is no longer my responsibility. I can’t just say that the small fires popping up every few hours aren’t worth my time or energy. Because they are.

What I keep reminding myself is to take a step back, delegate, and stay focused. If I keep schlepping goods from one café to the next, or filling in bar shifts when a barista calls out sick, the business will stall. The investment into the roasting business already happened, both emotionally and practically (our Wells Fargo bank account would agree with me). I’m not helping myself, my partners, or our staff if I let milk deliveries and washing dishes and grocery store trips take me from Monday to Friday and summer to fall. Each business is structured differently, but the future of ours depends on my ability to grow it outside of the cafés. We’ve stretched beyond our current revenue means to hire and retain great people, because once we do grow we are going to need them. Put people in positions where we need them, give them the skills and tools to succeed, then get the hell out of the way. Chances are if I let the café run out of milk even one time, the manager would make it a point to never let it happen again. It’s hard to see the forest through the trees. It’s hard to spend time pursuing the unknown wholesale clients that may bring unknown revenue streams when lattes and scones are making daily deposits in your bank account. But what I keep coming back to is the need to trust the process. We didn’t jump into roasting without understanding how it would challenge our retail business. We did so knowing it would challenge us, and accepting that responsibility. Remembering to let the cafés wiggle from my grip, and in turn to wiggle from theirs, is not just a healthy exercise, it’s a requirement. So run out of milk, make sure it never happens again, and go grow the business like you said you would. Brian Helfrich is co-owner of Summit Coffee in Davidson, North Carolina.

PH OTO BY M ARIA FERNANDA GO NZALEZ

Balancing Roasting and the Café » By Brian Helfrich


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NINE BAR utumn is my favorite season. It excites and inspires me, and it makes me think serious thoughts. I’ve never felt “Christmas cheer,” but I imagine that it’s similar to the feeling I experience when my boots crunch dead leaves while walking to work on a crisp, overcast autumn morning. I don’t express my “cheer” by baking season-appropriate desserts or cutting up gourds—I turn the feelings into drinks. At home Old Fashioned, Martinez, and Manhattan variations effortlessly match the mood. At the café pumpkin, squash, and baking spices seem like obvious choices to add fall flavors to coffee and tea drinks. But as familiar and seasonal as these flavors are, they’re too obvious. Last year at the Rose Establishment I just went with it: I flash-brewed coffee with actual roasted and spiced pumpkin, then infused it with nitrogen and served it on draft. I topped it with loosely whipped cream spiked with Scrappy’s cardamom bitters. Our customers and staff loved it, but this year I wanted to steer clear of pumpkin spice territory altogether. I let my autumn moods—instead of ingredients—guide my drink development. I set out to make an Invigorating Drink, a Serious Drink, and a Cozy Drink. I wanted the Invigorating Drink to be the kind of beverage you would bring in a thermos on a brisk stroll down a tree-lined street—my archetypal autumn experience. Strong tea and mulled wine came to mind, so I thought I’d combine those flavors. I put ten grams each of green cardamom pods, black peppercorns, and star anise in a saucepan and crushed them with a muddler. I then added ten grams of cloves and three cinnamon sticks, before toasting the spices to release their aromas. I poured in two cups cabernet sauvignon and simmered the spices in the wine for thirty minutes to reduce and cook off the alcohol. I then added 32

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half a cup turbinado sugar, let the mixture cool, and strained the syrup with cheesecloth. I brewed ten ounces of Art of Tea’s Immortal Nectar pu-erh tea and mixed it with one ounce mulled wine syrup. The drink was bright, spicy, and uplifting—the Invigorating Drink I had in mind. The Serious Drink was a struggle by comparison. I wanted the drink to embody the experience of reading at night by candlelight, in a cabin in a decaying forest, as the November wind howls past the drafty windowpanes (OK, I had just finished reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and I wanted to keep the feeling alive.) I knew the drink’s base needed to be black coffee and smoked black tea. I wanted to use sage and rosemary to bring a forest flavor to the drink, but my efforts to make a syrup or tincture lacked the herbal intensity and that special something I was looking for. I was lamenting over this roadblock to Adrianna Pachelli, director of education at Salt Lake’s Caputo’s Market, while she was enjoying her daily cup at the Rose. She suggested I try out the Addition sage and rosemary tinctures, which Caputo’s carried. She dashed to Caputo’s and brought me the tinctures, along with what ended up being that special something: bitter and woodsy chestnut flower honey. I drizzled 6 grams chestnut flower honey in a cappuccino-size cup and added one ounce brewed lapsang souchong from Metropolitan Tea. In went fifteen drops each of sage and rosemary Addition tinctures, then I filled the cup with five ounces batch-brewed Four Barrel Guatemala El Bosque coffee. After one sip, I was transported to a November night in that imaginary cabin. This creation was deep, dark, mysterious, brooding, and complex— a very Serious Drink. After all this seriousness (and caffeine), a Cozy Drink was a necessary wrap-up to my beverage development

session. I thought the drink should feel like a lazy autumn afternoon: lounging on the sofa with a blanket while watching Hitchcock movies. A tea latte would be a fitting format, so I picked SerendipiTea’s honeybush tisane for its comforting and caffeinefree nature. Before brewing anything, though, I made a spiced maple syrup. I put 10 grams black peppercorns in a saucepan and cracked them with a muddler, then threw in three dried bay leaves. I simmered the spices in one cup maple syrup and one cup water for fifteen minutes, then let the syrup cool before straining it through cheesecloth. I combined half-ounce spiced maple syrup, five ounces hot, double-strength brewed honeybush, four dashes of Bitters Lab apple ginger bitters, and five ounces steamed milk. I grated some nutmeg on top to complete this definitely Cozy Drink. I made this trio of drinks under the pretense of expressing my seasonal moods, but by playing around with the vast amount of commercially available bitters, tinctures, and specialty ingredients, you can easily make autumnal drinks that are both deceptively simple and infinitely complex. Dashing some Workhorse Rye Pumpkin bitters into a mocha makes it instantly taste like fall, and their Salted Cacao and Flowers & Cacao bitters add savory, floral, and mysterious flavors to a variety of drinks. The Addition tinctures also come in clove and anise versions, and the Bitters Lab apple ginger bitters can add an autumn apple pie flavor to anything. Among Scrappy’s comprehensive lineup of bitters flavors, their cardamom is perfect for this season. Whether you let your moods or your ingredients dictate your drink creation, this transitory time calls for drinks that inspire, challenge, and comfort—or more simply, drinks that invoke the flavors of fall. Cody Kirkland is the manager of Salt Lake City’s the Rose Establishment.

P HOTO BY MIC HAEL KUNDE

Invoking Autumnal Flavors » By Cody Kirkland


INVIGORATING DRINK: Pu-erh tea with a mulled wine syrup.

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Café CROSSROADS

Buddy Brew Coffee » Tampa, Florida By Ellie Bradley

lorida sunlight spills through the glass-paned doors of Buddy Brew Coffee’s newest location in Tampa’s Hyde Park Village. The shop is bright and welcoming. High white walls feature hand-drawn silver details; marble countertops and industrial light fixtures provide an air of homey sophistication. Black wicker chairs pick

owners Susan and Dave Ward quickly shows what’s at the heart of this growing business: exceptional people dedicated to making high-end coffee. When Dave and Susan met in 1995, he was running an insurance and investment business, and she was working as a dietitian. Their first date was a three-hour lunch (originally planned in the name of discussing insurance),

As much as the Wards enjoy geeking out over brewing methods, they point to their “Brew Good, Do Good” to explain what really drives them. up dark accents in the honeycombpatterned tile, matched by black wood paneling on the front side of the bar. The polished café reveals little about the grass-roots beginnings of Buddy Brew Coffee—but a conversation with

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and the two married the following year. “One of the big things we did when we were dating, and really our entire lives, is coffee,” Susan says. Dave picked up home roasting as a hobby in 2002 after a friend visited

and roasted coffee in their kitchen. “It was like a lightbulb went off, it really changed our lives,” Dave says. He immediately went online and purchased a grinder, brewing equipment, and an i-Roast 2 from Sweet Maria’s. Dave and Susan experimented with different roast profiles, giving coffee away to neighbors and friends. When the 2007 financial crisis hit, Dave’s work in the financial sector slowed dramatically, and he found himself with lots of idle time. “After six months of staring at a screen, I’m like, you know what, I’m just going to throw up a website and see if I can actually sell some coffee,” Dave says. “And sure enough, people started buying coffee.” Dave bought another i-Roast 2, then added two Behmor 1600s to his lineup, running them all out the garage. Friends and neighbors would pick up bags of coffee and leave money in a pouch by the door. As business grew, more and more strangers started show-

R OASTER P HOTO BY C O MPA NY M AN STUDIOS; ALL OTHER P HOTO S BY ALI

SUSAN AND DAVE WARD


OXFORD EXCHANGE

THE ROASTERY

HYDE PARK VILLAGE

ing up at their house to buy coffee. The Wards decided it was time to start roasting out of a commercial space (aided by the realization their newly purchased Diedrich IR-7 made their home roasting operation very illegal). Dave left his job and Buddy Brew opened their roastery in April of 2010. Originally, Buddy Brew served brewed coffee out of airpots each morning, then closed shop to roast in the afternoons. Customers paid by dropping change in an empty Folger’s can on the end of the bar. Though the space was only intended for roasting, the demand for better café options in the Tampa Bay area quickly became clear. “We never really planned on opening retail cafés,” Susan says. “We began to realize people wanted better coffee—that side of business kept growing and we embraced it.” They added an espresso bar to the roastery, which helped ignite a cascade of continued growth. Fall of 2012 saw

the opening of their second location at the Oxford Exchange, a destination dining and retail space in Tampa. The Hyde Park Village café opened earlier this year. Each Buddy Brew café showcases different equipment and features, reflecting the character of the surrounding neighborhoods and giving the Wards an opportunity to explore various espresso and brew methods. Hyde Park Village is fully powered by Modbar, with two espresso modules, two pour-over modules, and a steam module. One side of a Mahlkönig K30 twin houses the espresso selection, the other side is decaf. A Mahlkönig Kenia grinder sits on an island behind the bar, designated for manual brews and batch-brewed coffee. Kalita Wave Drippers are used as the featured manual brewing method. The Ward’s enthusiasm for trying new things is apparent in their espresso equipment. The roastery location houses a La Marzocco GB5, while Ox-

ford Exchange boasts a Victoria Arduino Black Eagle and a two-group La Marzocco Strada EP. Dave was drawn to the Black Eagle for the opportunity to play with gravimetric espresso preparation and chose the Strada EP for its pressure profiling capabilities. “We’ve always enjoyed pressing the envelope when it comes to espresso,” Dave says. Buddy Brew will open a location at the Tampa airport later this year, which will feature a three-group Linea PB Auto Brew Ratio, another gravimetric espresso machine. As much as the Wards enjoy geeking out over brewing methods, they point to their “Brew Good, Do Good” motto to explain what really drives them. Dave says their business is about people–from staff, to customers, to the farmers they work with to source coffee. “We believe that through our corporate success and being responsible corporate citizens, we can actually truly change the world.”

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DO YOU KNOW Trish Rothgeb? BY ELLIE BRADLEY

T

rish Rothgeb started roasting coffee long before it was a cool thing to do, when it was simply a means to support her path to an art degree. Though her budding art career had promise (she was actually selling paintings), she kept taking coffee jobs, finding herself compelled by the artistic side of the business. “It just wouldn’t let go of me,” she says. “In the end I realized it was actually the thing I loved about art—I could see the full circle. I’m making this thing, I’m handing it over, and people are consuming it in a very real, tangible way.” Since her roasting gig in the early nineties, Rothgeb has built a serious coffee resume. Currently the director of Q and educational programs for the Coffee Quality Institute, she was the first female Q grader in the US and a founding member of the Barista Guild of America. Oh yeah, and she’s also credited with coining the term “third wave.” But she’ll be the first to tell you that her stacks of credentials carry little weight in San Francisco, where she and her husband run Wrecking Ball Coffee. In their café, being the director of Q is meaningless if they can’t deliver an exceptional product to their customers. But that’s okay with Rothgeb. She sees the pursuit of quality coffee as a lifelong plight, and hopes to continue delving into that—both for her own shop, and for the industry as a whole. This interview has been edited for clarity and space.

PHOTO C O URTESY OF WREC KING BALL C O FFEE

HOW DID YOU ORIGINALLY GET INTO COFFEE?

I grew up in San Jose, California. I was a college student at San Jose State University and I was studying art. I got a degree in painting and drawing from SJSU. It was my college job—I was a barista. Then in 1990 I learned how to roast on a small roaster. This is before it was a cool thing to do. It was just a weird thing to do. People ask how I broke into roasting. There was no breaking into roasting. There was: ‘I want to be the one that does this, will you train me?’ And the boss was like, ‘I would rather golf in the morning so sure, I’m going to give you this job and I’m going to teach you how to turn this machine on and make this coffee as black as tar and that’s how I want you to roast.’

retail roaster. A little crappy coffee shop with a little shop roaster in it. And the coffee was probably terrible, but it was a long time ago. HOW DID YOUR FIRST ROASTING JOB GROW INTO THE CREDENTIALS THAT YOU HAVE NOW, LIKE YOUR POSITION WITH THE COFFEE QUALITY INSTITUTE?

I kept taking coffee jobs and it just wouldn’t let go of me. Then I went ahead and I learned everything there was I didn’t know about coffee and it was too fascinating, I had to keep going. But then I went to Europe and it was like a whole new world, just so much information. I had already been in coffee for ten years when I went to Norway and when I got there I was like, what the hell is going on? This is a whole different world. Like what are these cappuccinos? They’re perfection. That’s when I got a new flood of interest. The idea of being an artist really died then because I saw what the potential was for coffee in the future and I was blown away and I was sold for life. TELL ME MORE ABOUT YOUR WORK WITH THE COFFEE QUALITY INSTITUTE.

The Q program and Q system are a worldwide, globally recognized system for grading coffee on a specialty scale. So basically it’s one of a handful of programs out of the Coffee Quality Institute—it’s probably the most notable one. Its original purpose was to train producers at origin about the quality of their own coffee. In doing so it’s spread past that and now everyone’s interested in that. Certification of the individual cupper or grader has become probably even more of a popular thing. Really early on I was part of the first class of Q graders out of the United States so I saw the initial program and over time it’s been updated, and we’re currently at 4.2 version, when I started the job we were launching 4.0 version, which was a really big leap. A lot of major changes. That happened about three years ago now and it’s pretty well incorporated into Q.

WHERE WERE YOU WORKING AT THE TIME?

WHAT WERE SOME OF THE CHANGES MADE IN THE UPDATE TO 4.2 VERSION?

I learned how to roast in a town called Campbell, which is a suburb of San Jose. I worked at Campbell Coffee Roasting Company, which no longer exists. It was just a

4.2 is one that hopes to incorporate and better explain the new Flavor Wheel and Lexicon that’s been put out by SCAA and the World Coffee Research. That’s the kind of

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thing we work to update and keep things as current as we possibly can. As a director of Q I’m not interested in having a huge army of Q graders covering the Earth. What I’m interested in is quality graders that know what the process is, then having most people in the industry understand the process. DO YOU EVER HOLD PUBLIC CUPPINGS AT WRECKING BALL, YOUR CAFÉ?

No, for a couple of reasons. Our shop is very, very small. I’ve tried a few times having in-house cuppings at our café, because to get our baristas out to the roastery to do a cupping is challenging. It’s also difficult for me—it’s an occupational hazard for me to talk to the lay person about coffee. I was telling somebody today how I hate to tell my hairdresser

I’m proud that I was the first female Q grader in the United States and I was like the seventh Q grader in the US. I’m really proud of being able to train so many people—whether they become Q graders or not. what I do for a living because then you have this person who just wants to tell you all the things they know about coffee. This is my other problem with doing public cuppings—if I had the time and the space I would train either my head trainer or my lead barista to do those with customers and they would love it and the baristas would love doing it. That’s a better application of my time than to try to do it myself and be nervous because people aren’t rinsing their spoons or not doing something else. I’m so totally focused on the technical that I’m just a fish out of water anymore in that space. IS THERE A RECOGNITION OR PROJECT THAT YOU’RE PARTICULARLY PROUD OF?

I’m proud that I was the first female Q grader in the United States and I was like the seventh Q grader

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in the US. I’m really proud of being able to train so many people—whether they become Q graders or not. I’m so proud of that. And then, I’m like exceedingly overjoyed and proud of my little café. It’s delivering on the promise of specialty every day, and I’m so excited about it. HOW DO THE VARIOUS ROLES YOU’VE HELD IN THE INDUSTRY TRANSLATE TO WHAT YOU DO WITH WRECKING BALL?

When all is said and done, we’re still a café that is staffed by baristas, and a roastery, and an office which has workday people in it. Like everybody else, I do not have a ton of time or extra money that I can use to train my own staff, no matter how much I would want to. And so it has to be very well orchestrated. I don’t know if I’ve gotten that quite right yet. My husband and I are like an open book for anyone who’s searching and wanting more information. There definitely is a standard set in the roastery and at the bar and through those kind of standards, people learn about why a coffee doesn’t taste well and how to improve on it the next time, or how to present coffee in a way that makes sense and is logical in some way that is keeping with our philosophy about coffee. I wouldn’t say that we are the best at it, but I have aspirations for being all of that to my employees. ANY FUTURE GOALS OR PLANS OF OTHER THINGS YOU’D LIKE TO GET YOUR HANDS INTO IN THE COFFEE INDUSTRY?

Well, I’m getting old, I turn fifty in February, and there are a lot of people my age thinking about their legacy in coffee and thinking about how they can retire. But my coffee company is just about five years old, so it’s not totally figured out yet. So I plan to spend the near future really making this a solid company and being able to enjoy it. I feel like it’s a lifelong plight, how do you deliver the best coffee across the counter in the end, what does it take to deliver on the promise of specialty coffee? It means you have to constantly push yourself because it’s so easy to drop the ball. I’m looking forward to delving into that. My husband and I also have a pretty good record of making sure people can walk the path they want to walk. Like we really want to be mentors to people and show them how they can get what they want out of life through coffee. I’m really interested in seeing people spread their wings, people who have worked with us: where do you go from here? what are you going to discover? what are you going to bring to the industry? That’s so exciting to us.

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Increasing demand for coffee production means growing quantities of wasted byproduct. But thanks to innovative minds across the globe, coffee cherry excess is being repurposed in food products, merchandise production, and even as biofuel. Though their impact may be relatively small, these thought leaders hope to ignite changes in the industry to improve conditions for farmers and lead the effort for overall waste reduction in coffee production.

P HOTO C OURTESY O F C OFFEEFLO UR

BY ANNA BRONES

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I

n the world of specialty coffee, it’s not unusual to see customers taking great pains to minimize the impact of their coffee habit: toting reusable cups, opting for electronic receipts, supporting direct-trade farming. But even a ceramic mug full of directly-traded coffee might still neglect a major aspect of production—coffee waste. All along the supply chain, much of the original coffee cherry is wasted. According to research from Almacafe in Colombia, after processing, only 6

As global awareness of the significant cost of food waste grows, the coffee industry has also taken note. Innovative companies are working hard to tackle waste all across the supply chain, with many of those efforts focused on finding ways to use excess coffee fruit. Dealing with coffee waste resulting from the processing of the coffee cherry is not a new problem, as Dan Belliveau, the CEO and founder of CoffeeFlour, points out. “Coffee waste is actually something that has been on coffee growers’ minds for as long as coffee has been commercialized,” Belliveau says. “The coffee cherry waste stream has historically been something

stream. Not only will this continue to create a new product— a “found food” as Belliveau calls it—but also generate an additional revenue source for farmers. “We hope to share the technology in the future, as our goal is waste reduction and the improvement of farmers’ lives,” says Belliveau. If successful, the project has the potential to convert between five and six billion pounds of coffee pulp annually. CoffeeFlour’s core goals—reducing waste and improving the lives of farmers—are central to the discussion of coffee production’s economic ramifications. James Hoffmann, of Square Mile Coffee Roasters, echoes these senti-

COFFEEFLOUR: Coffee cherry pulp is converted into a gluten-free flour with a taste that is reminiscent of dark, rich, roasted fruits.

percent of the original cherry is left in a cup of coffee. Whether it’s at the source of production, or at the end of the supply chain at the brew bar, coffee waste poses a significant problem, from water pollution caused by untreated coffee waste from the production process, to the release of millions of tons of methane emissions from coffee grounds sent to the landfill. For example, in wet processing of coffee beans, 1,000 kilograms of fresh berry results in about 400 kilograms of wet waste pulp. If that waste pulp isn’t properly disposed of, it easily ends up in the surrounding water sources and results in pollution.

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that ‘had to be dealt with,’ as it takes a significant amount of property to store coffee cherry pulp throughout harvest time and then requires extra labor to dispose of the pulp after harvest.” CoffeeFlour launched in 2015, tackling coffee cherry waste by converting it to flour. Cherry pulp is converted into a gluten-free flour, with a flavor reminiscent of roasted fruits. To date, the company has converted between five and six million pounds of coffee cherry pulp into CoffeeFlour, and the company aims to be able to convert pulp into more than three billion pounds of flour, keeping the pulp from the waste

ments. “We need to find new revenue streams for farmers, we need to reduce waste wherever we can, because doing nothing has seen climate change accelerate in a devastating and horrifying way,” Hoffmann says. “Ultimately, it’s also good business.” Earlier in 2016 at the London Coffee Festival, Hoffmann showcased a variety of products at the Square Mile Coffee Roasters’ pop up. One of them was chocolate made with cascara, the dried skins of coffee cherries. Hoffmann sees cascara, a byproduct of coffee production, as having ample potential, in not only using a waste product but creating new culinary concoctions full of flavor.


C OFFEE FLO UR PHOTO ( OP PO SITE PAGE) C OUR TE SY O F C O FFEEFLO UR; GR OC CYLE PHOTO B Y M ATT AU STI N

NUTRITION-RICH SOIL: Eric Jong is co-founder of GroCycle­, a non-profit that has been growing Oyster mushrooms from waste coffee grounds since 2011.

“I think there are tons of possibilities. I believe it could be added into all sorts of things as a component, rather than the main flavor pillar you’d build a product around,” Hoffmann says. “I think it could make great ice cream or sorbet, great kombucha or kefir, great cocktails or soda.” The diverse potentials of coffee waste point to one crucial consideration: we need to think differently about it, not as waste, but as potential. “​Waste is simply resources in the wrong place,” says Daniel Crockett, head of communications at UK-based Bio-Bean. Bio-Bean works on the consumer side of the coffee supply chain, and is the first company to industrialize the process of recycling waste coffee grounds into biofuels. “​Bio-Bean is a pioneer in the circular economy, turning waste into resources and the challenges of urbanization into great opportunities,” says Crockett. That’s a larger business trend that Crockett sees taking place, in coffee and other industries. “Increasingly, businesses recognize the impact of adopting circular economy thinking, not just on the environment but on their bottom line,” he says.

Converting coffee grounds to biofuels on an industrial scale has led Bio-Bean to develop a wide array of partnerships—from airports to train stations, to hospitals—all looking to use biofuels within their businesses. They also provide services to companies within the coffee industry, collecting used coffee grounds from cafés. Sometimes it even comes full circle, like with 918 Coffee Co., which provides spent coffee grounds to BioBean and in turn, fuels their roaster with the resulting Bio-Bean fuel. Not only can grounds be used for fuel, they also have applications in construction, as shown through research by Australian engineer Arul Arulrajah, who has been researching the potential of using coffee grounds to pave roads. One project used a combination of 70 percent dried coffee grounds and 30 percent slag (a waste product from steel manufacturing); the mixture was bound together with a liquid alkaline solution, then compressed into cylindrical blocks. The resulting material was tested and proven to be strong enough to be used as a road substrate, as documented in Arul-

rajah’s study, published this year in Construction and Building Materials. When composted, coffee becomes an incredible organic resource high in phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, and nitrogen, the last of which is an important nutrient for plants. The rich nutrition supplied by compos-

Waste

is simply resources in the wrong place. ted coffee has led to initiatives like Ground to Ground in Austin, Texas, and Melbourne’s Reground. Both projects work to source used coffee grounds from cafés and compost them. This recovery process saves the coffee grounds from landfills. Besides being used in compost, coffee grounds can also be used to directly grow food, namely mushrooms. Eric

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Jong co-founded GroCycle, a company that harvests unused nutrients from coffee fruit waste. Jong explains that only a very small percentage of the original coffee biomass makes it into the consumed beverage, leaving the remainder of the fruit packed with potential. “Think about it—it’s a bean that needs to kickstart the growth of a whole new tree,” Jong says. “The mycelium feasts on these nutrients and the result is lovely abundant mushrooms instead of more waste.” Jong and his partner Adam Sayner converted an unused office building into an urban mushroom farm in Exeter in southwest England. “We have an aim of spreading this wonderful concept to cities far and wide,” Jong says. “The idea is being picked up all over the world now which is great to see. We have trained hundreds of people from every continent and some have gone on to set up farms of their own. There should be at least one in every city on the planet.” GroCycle, much like all of these businesses that see a potential for a product most others think of as waste, is not only doing business differently, but rethinking their entire business model. “An enormous part of our current economy is based on

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take, make, and then discard model,” Jong says. “We are inspired by the concept of the circular economy where, by design and thought, you produce no waste. Initiatives like the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Gungter Pauli’s Blue Economy are leading the way in making these concepts mainstream.” In San Diego, California, a screenprinting studio developed an innovative approach to spent coffee grounds: using them to make ink. “This stuff has a lot of pigment, and it has the ability to stain fabric, [we thought] how far can we take that?” says Alex White of Domestic Stencilworks. He and his team use the ink to print on both paper and fabric. White also sees the benefit of thinking about a waste product in a new way. “We love sustainability,” White says, “but we also think it’s just a great way to run your business, using something that people throw away. The idea of reusing something is brilliant to me, because there’s so much waste.” Partnering with local cafés to source grounds (all within walking distance of their studio), the company even prints café t-shirts, made with the recovered coffee grounds from the respective café. From White’s perspective, Stencil-

Works isn’t just producing a hip garment—they’re rethinking how to approach resources. “I was raised by my grandma, she was Depression era . . . it was just what you did, you reused stuff,” White says. For him, working with a waste product is taking a step back. “It’s about being resourceful and using what’s around you before you go out and buy new stuff.” One gallon of spent coffee grounds, easily produced in a day at a café, is enough to print fifty t-shirts. Keeping a few gallons of coffee grounds out of the waste stream might not be a huge number, particularly considering the large amount of coffee grounds produced on a daily basis, but ultimately, White, like all of his counterparts working to rethink waste products, is considering the broader picture. All of these businesses directly impact the waste stream, but more importantly, they impact our overall culture of business. As they inspire other companies to turn waste into profit, to diversify revenue streams for farmers and producers, to rethink how we use resources, and to consider waste materials instead of virgin ones, we can hope to see a business culture focused on more than just “take, make, discard.”

P HOTO C OURTESY OF DO MES TIC STENC ILWO R KS

COFFEE INK: San Diego’s Domestic Stencilworks utilizes spent coffee grounds to produce dyes for screenprinting.


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Ancient Roots

In remote, mist-shrouded villages in southern Yunnan, leaves of the Camellia sinensis var. assamica are harvested by hand, using techniques passed down for generations. In this southwestern Chinese province, the land is embellished by winding ravines and densely forested mountains; it’s here these broad-leaved tea trees have grown in their native environment for thousands of years. Through careful processing, leaves full of the vitality of the very mountains they grew on are transformed into pu-erh tea. Pu-erh tea has been well-documented for many hundreds of years in classical Chinese literature, sought after for its magnificent complexity of flavors and purported medicinal benefits. Writings throughout China’s history describe health properties ranging anywhere from a digestive aid to a component in the fabled “Elixir of Immortality.” Pu-erh tea is learned through experience and patience. Grown all over Yunnan on a dozen different mountains on thousands of farms, processed in hundreds of different ways, and stored in various conditions anywhere in the world, pu-erh presents an array of tastes and aromas in each cup. Chinese tea masters may dedicate a lifetime to cultivating a perfect tea cake. But this pursuit is highly subject to personal preference—with so many variables involved and so many different palates to please, there cannot exist a best pu-erh. But the intricacy of pu-erh makes it an exciting and intriguing tea—both as the subject of personal study, and as a unique item to add to your shop’s menu. Understanding where pu-erh comes from, how it’s processed, and how to develop your palate for the diversity of flavors it offers will help you share this unique tea with your customers, and encourage continued study to grow your understanding of this complex tea.

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THE OLDEST LIVING PU-ERH TREE

Cultivation Yunnan is known for being the birthplace of tea, as well as the home of pu-erh. The southern area of the province houses four major pu-erh producing regions: XishuangBanna, Simao, Baoshan, and Lincang. Teas from XishuangBanna and Simao usually draw a higher price due to the age of trees in these regions and the beverage’s delicate taste. Baoshan is marked by large plantations of sustainable tea trees that yield a stronger tasting drink. Pu-erh from Lincang is known for a stronger taste and has become popular with merchants in Hong Kong. Notable differences in pu-erh’s flavor derive from the cultivation method—the type of tree the leaves were grown on. These methods include the aforementioned ancient and plantation tree teas, as well as sustainable tree tea, or shengtai cha. Other methods include wild tree tea, big tree tea, and mother tree tea. Plantation tea, or taidi cha, is the most common type of pu-erh tea in our current market. High volumes of tea bushes and plants grow in very dense rolls, usually on small mountains or hillsides (these trees are commonly seen without any trunk or branches). Plantation trees are mostly propagated from cuttings of original bushes or gushu tea trees, so the resulting teas display very similar genetic makeups and traits. These bushes are kept tightly trimmed for easy harvesting and picking. Because of the density and unnatural formation of these bushes, pesticides and chemical fertilizers are more common in plantation tea. Taidi has grown popular among farmers because the annual yield is very high and can meet demands of international mass production. Ancient tree tea, or gusha cha, is the oldest form of pu-erh tea cultivation. The oldest living pu-erh tree is 3,200 years old and resides in Feng Qing, Yunnan. Gardens of ancient trees appear almost as natural forests, grown at higher elevations of mountain ranges, developed from seeds planted hundreds and thousands of years ago alongside many other indigenous trees and plants. Their ability to adapt to the ever-changing environment has supported the development of genetic diversity over generations, yielding a tree that’s self-sustaining and requires little to no human intervention, with no need for chemicals or pesticides. These trees grow symbiotically with other varieties of plants and possess a very unique mineral and nutritional content, and a diverse flavor profile. This diversity is pronounced in raw pu-erh through a noticeable terroir profile that varies from mountain to mountain.

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Fermentation In addition to regional terroir and tree type, pu-erh is also distinguished by length of fermentation. Because of the unique qualities of these leaves, pu-erh does not lose its flavor with time like other teas. Instead, like wine, the tea’s taste and aroma develop with each year stored, becoming smoother, more flavorful, and more defined. RAW PU-ERH The most ancient form of pu-erh tea is raw, or sheng, pu-erh. Once its leaves are picked from trees, material from various mountain ranges are blended together, or left as a single-state blend. The blended leaves are left to wilt in the sun, then oxidized to the stage of a green tea. Then, after being steamed (just enough to loosen the leaves to press into cakes, not to be confused with the steaming process of Japanese green teas) and pressed into cakes, the cake undergoes a fermentation process catalyzed by enzymes found within the tea leaves. During this fermentation period, sometimes taking upwards of twenty years to complete, the unique notes associated with raw pu-erh bloom and evolve. Raw pu-erh is characterized by anything from astringent, woodsy, nutty, or floral pungency for young cakes (affected by the mountain range where it’s grown) to a smooth, smoky, or sweet savor in aged cakes. Aged cakes can also contain vegetal, fruity, camphor, jujubee, dragon eye (longan fruit), or earthy notes.

AGED RAW PU-ERH As raw pu-erh ages, it begins to develop unique characteristics in taste, aroma, and body. A raw pu-erh might be considered aged after ten years, or twenty, or even longer. No set aging time defines a pu-erh as raw or aged raw, due to the number of variables that contribute to the development of each individual tea. A loose leaf tea will naturally age faster, and the humidity of the aging environment dramatically affects the progression. Dry storage tends to preserve the sweet wood and floral characteristics of the tea, where wetter storage yields strong fermentation and mushroom-like taste. Often sought for its medicinal effects, this tea is much less aggressive than younger, raw pu-erh. RIPE PU-ERH Ripe pu-erh was developed in the 1970s as a way to artificially accelerate the fermentation process. After the leaf is dried and rolled, it’s subjected to a high-humidity wet-piling process in a controlled factory setting. During this period, moisture is added to the tea (similar to a compost pile), allowing it to ferment quickly and predictably. While this production method was originally developed to mimic the qualities of aged raw pu-erh in less time, ripe pu-erh has taken on an identity of its own, and is sought after by collectors and casual drinkers alike for its earthy, mellow flavors, and sweet lingering aftertaste. Ripe pu-erh lends itself to only a handful of flavor profiles and its liquid is a dark and thick. Aged raw pu-erh yields hundreds of different flavor profiles; the complexities of the aging process draw out subtle flavors that are missed in the accelerated ripening process.

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Selection As a friend and business owner recently conveyed to me in an email, the pu-erh market is a “buyer-beware market,” meaning that consumers must be tea-educated to effectively sift through the jumbled mess that is the pu-erh market. It takes time to develop this knowledge, but keeping the basics in mind will help guide you to selecting a high-quality pu-erh. WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN SOURCING PU-ERH: CAKE: A uniform color and consistent leaves throughout the whole cake, with no dust, and no small yellow or white particles.

A NOTE ON PICKING PU-ERH Historically pu-erh tea was picked twice a year, once in spring and once in autumn, allowing enough time for a new batch of leaves to grow and be rich in mineral content. If a tea tree is plucked too frequently in the year, it will be less durable or yield fewer steepings. Continued over-picking causes the tea tree to become strained and overworked, producing a less durable tea leaf during brewing. This problem became more noticeable around 2006 when pu-erh tea reached a market peak, and some farmers picked leaves year round.

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LIQUOR: From a light amber to a deep golden hue with little to no cloudiness, especially in older teas. (There should be no oily film or off color on the surface of liquor, this can be an indication of pesticide usage.)

TASTE: Clean, soft, and round; a complex flavor, leaving the throat and mouth with a subtle sweetness and a slight dryness.


Suggestions for Brewing As with most teas, pu-erh is best brewed using a traditional method, whether using a gaiwan, or a yixing, ceramic, or porcelain teapot. A FEW TRICKS THAT WORK FOR ME: 1. When breaking off leaves from the cake, try to keep the leaves intact. If the leaves are broken, the flavor flows out from the broken pieces too quickly, resulting in murky or astringent tea. 2. Do not use boiling water, as this will scald the tea leaves. A high-quality pu-erh, either ripe or raw, may handle water up to ten degrees under boiling. Remember, you can always increase the heat of the water, but if you burn it on the first steep, your tea won’t release the depth and complexity of all its flavors correctly. 3. Make sure your water is clean—avoid unfiltered tap water at all costs. Tap water contains minerals as well as fluoride, which mingle with the flavors of the tea and mask the beautiful subtleties of pu-erh. As avid tea drinkers know, this advice extends into all other varieties of tea. 4. Try shorter steeping times at first, then work up to gradually steeping longer and stronger as you brew. This allows the multitude of its flavors to evolve slowly, rather than all at once. 5. Keep practicing. The first time I made pu-erh on my own it was absolutely terrible. Not only does it take dozens of steeps to learn the best way to extract the beauty of pu-erh, but each pu-erh is unique in and of itself. Let the tea speak to you, for each individual cake has its own ideal brew method. For Americans, I feel like the art of making tea is at odds with our cultural expectations. When we make tea, we have a preconception about how it should taste, or how we want it to taste, and we try to force it to fit that ideal. However, every tea is different, and even the same tea can change on different days depending on humidity or temperature. It is best to view “making” tea more as a process of allowing the tea to release its own potential. This way it is a symbiotic relationship between tea maker and tea. We listen, in a sense, to what the tea is saying, and we make it accordingly. It takes a patient, attentive listener, but it’s well worth it to listen.

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remember my first day at every company I’ve worked for—all thirteen of them. From the shift I spent crushing discarded recreational vehicle windows with a plastic mallet to the day I walked into a room on the Apple, Inc. campus to a round of applause from the leadership of the company. From the tour of Disneyland’s backstage areas to the tour of the deep fryer in the back of Burger King. From my first sip of coffee at Starbucks to my first sip of coffee at Portland Roasting. Every one of those first days made an impression on me and taught me about the organization where I had just thrown in my lot.

I

If I’m being vulnerable, it doesn’t look like my first day working for Portland Roasting almost seven years ago. We’ve changed things dramatically since then to reflect a much more intentional and well-scheduled first shift, but that wasn’t always the case. When I arrived on my first morning, I didn’t get the impression that people expected me to be there. As the day went on, that impression didn’t change much. I was shown to my desk, and handed a phone with dead batteries. “So, where is the training material I’ll be teaching?” I asked. “It should be in the drawer to your right,” came the reply. I opened the drawer and found several pieces of receipt-sized paper held

The most important take away, I think, is to value that first day. Make those first hours memorable and special. You are welcoming a new person into your team, and hopefully they will stick around and bring value to your organization. What does a first day at your company teach your new employees about you? I advocate strongly for training— I believe it to be one of the most important (if not the most important) factors in determining the success of a coffee establishment. I’d like to simultaneously take that a step back and a step further with this proposition: the success you have in training your staff to be extraordinary baristas starts on the first day of their employment—and that first impression will color their ability both to learn from and work for you. If that’s true (and it is), that’s daunting. What on earth does a great first day look like?

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together by a paperclip with some random facts about coffee’s history scrawled across them. A five-year-old guide to pulling a shot of espresso was below that. “Is there anything more to it?” “That’s for you to develop!” I sat at the computer, stared into the glow of the monitor, and wondered what I was supposed to be doing to earn my pay. Write a new training program from scratch right now? I’d been in and around coffee for nearly a decade, so I wasn’t a neophyte, but I also didn’t have a ton of experience starting a training program from scratch. It got better the next day. And even better the day after that.

By Friday of my first week, I felt welcomed, and like I was part of the team. That first day, though, has stayed with me, and driven me to work hard to give those who came after me a better experience. Conversely, my first shift at Disneyland was incredible. I walked—nervously—to the office where I thought I was supposed to go, and a familiarlooking woman greeted me. “Nathanael! I’m so glad you’re here! Follow me!” It was the person who’d interviewed me for the job. She had interviewed hundreds of people (including three people in my interview group) and still recognized me and remembered my name. She led me to a table, grabbed a nametag (upon which she correctly spelled my name), then took me to a huge theater filled with other people who were as excited as I was to be employed at the Happiest Place on Earth. The lights went down and the show started. We were welcomed and entertained by a team of enthusiastic greeters who whipped us into a frothing, human mass of excitement. This was for us. This whole production with music and singing and skits was for us. We spent the rest of the day learning, touring the resort, eating, and laughing. It was one of the best days I’ve ever been paid to live through. Every moment of that eight-hour block of time was planned, coordinated, and orchestrated to excite us about the company, our role in the company, and the things we were going to be able to do together. It laid the foundation of learning that was to come over the next few weeks, and engaged us deeply into the culture of our new employer. It’s no surprise that my next two years at Disneyland were spent working to get onto the training team that led those orientation experiences. So great was the impact of my first day that the course of my professional life was changed. As I write these words, I can remember every piece of informa-


tion I was given that day. The Four Keys (safety, courtesy, show, efficiency), the SERVICE model. Everything. Why? Why was one first day so dramatically different than the other? What can you as a business owner or café manager or barista or trainer learn from those two experiences? The most important take away, I think, is to value that first day. Make those first hours memorable and special. You are welcoming a new person onto your team, and hopefully they will stick around and bring value to your organization. How you treat your new employee is an acknowledgment of the value they bring. So, plan the first day. Who are they going to see first when they arrive? Make sure that person knows the name of the new employee and expects their arrival. There is a radical difference between feeling expected and feeling that no one knew you were coming. It’s a difference that can color the whole day. Next, fill the day with activities that set expectations for all the days to follow. These can be easily categorized into three areas: who you are as an organization, the role your new employee will play in that organization, and the things you can accomplish together. These are all part of simple, basic training. With the right person (or people) leading the day, you can make a tremendous impression on your new hires that will stick with them for the rest of their lives. Who are you as an organization? What principles are you founded on? Portland Roasting strives to produce excellent coffee that respects the environment we all live in. This means sourcing coffee in a sustainable way, from farms where we have relationships with the growers. Everything we do centers on relationships and sustainability. You learn that in detail on your first day, because we want you to be excited about working here. You work for a company with real values that extend to the core of who we are and what we do. That’s exciting!

What role does the new employee play in your organization? Who do they report to, and what are they going to be doing? If they’re a barista (and especially if it’s their first coffee job), tell them about their place in the industry, and how awesome it is that they get to be the person—the only person, usually—in the coffee chain that actually sees the final customer enjoy the fruits of dozens of people’s labor. Whatever their role, hype it up! Make it exciting. You’ve hired them because—presumably—you need them. Make them feel needed! Finally, where can you go together? What are the goals of your organization, both short term and long term? How does your new employee fit into and help you accomplish those goals? Even entry-level positions play a crucial part in the company’s success. At Disneyland, it would seem that the janitorial staff, who wear all white pants and shirts and walk around the park with a broom in their hands, would be hard to motivate. But Disneyland made that role feel important. People’s perceptions of the whole park and company are colored by how clean it is. The front line of that reputation is the janitorial staff, and they’re a proud group of people. Yes, they’re picking up trash, but they’re picking up trash in Disneyland. They keep the Happiest Place on Earth looking like the Happiest Place on Earth. It sounds so simple. Start your employees with a first day of training that engages, encourages, and excites them. Introduce them to your company, to their role, and to the bright future you have together. For something so simple, then, why is it so hard? Maybe the first day at your company looks like Portland Roasting’s did seven years ago. If that’s the case, reevaluate your methods. We dramatically changed the way we onboard employees so that from their first moments in our building, they feel warm, welcomed, and valuable. Because they are valuable. We looked

at how things were, found ourselves dissatisfied, and changed. Maybe the first day at your company already looks like Disneyland. If that’s the case, keep doing it. You’re awesome, and I aspire to be more like you. Ultimately, we work in an industry that most people don’t have much knowledge of, which gives us an incredible opportunity to make a memorable impression on newly minted baristas, production workers, and other entry-level positions. This is coffee. This is where it comes from. This is who we are. This is how you fit in. This is where we can go together. I get excited just thinking about it.

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A BALANCE OF CAFÉ AND EVENT MANAGEMENT. BY KAITLIN THROGMORTON

THE CAMP HOUSE’S Chattanooga café spaceturned-concert venue.

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COFFEE AND SERVICE: Milwaukee’s Anodyne Coffee Roasting Company discovered a great event space in their third location, Walker’s Point Roastery.

THE PERFECT BLEND: WEDDINGS When Milwaukee-based Anodyne Coffee Roasting Company opened their third location, Walker’s Point Roastery, founder Matt McClutchy didn’t plan to host weddings. Three years after opening and two years after hosting the first wedding, however, he says, “The potential was obvious.” A transformed warehouse, exposed beams, wood floors, soft lighting, and lots of brick make the roastery an enticing space for engaged couples seeking a unique

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venue. In 2015, they received more than 400 wedding inquiries, and so far in 2016, they’ve hosted thirty-five weddings. In addition to its cozy atmosphere, the space attracts those looking for a more casual venue, as well as those who want coffee service. “It’s a unique feature at a wedding, to have a coffee bar,” says events coordinator Lindsay Mannebach. Mannebach has been instrumental in cultivating the space’s potential. In May 2014, hers was the first wedding to be held at Anodyne, and by September, McClutchy hired her to manage events. “This place could be huge,” Mannebach remembers telling him. She now oversees all events held in the café, and helps coordinate wedding planning. Mannebach remains available to couples throughout the planning process, which can mean as often as once a week, or just once at a final meeting before the wedding takes place. As for their success, Mannebach maintains that customer service keeps people coming back—for events, and for coffee. “Whether it’s the café or an event, customer

service is number one, and coffee is right there with it,” she says. They also pride themselves on transparency; they don’t have hidden fees and their policies are straightforward. “We get compliments after every wedding,” Mannebach says. “We go above and beyond to make sure everyone is comfortable.”

PACKED HOUSE: CONCERTS In Chattanooga, Tennessee, the Camp House opened with plans that only included coffee. “We hadn’t thought about doing anything beyond a coffee shop, and people started approaching us about wanting to rent out the space,” says director Matt Busby. Camp House is “too big to only do coffee,” with a long, spacious room stretching between the coffee bar and stage. Large chandeliers and a stained glass window add to the drama of the space, and they now host 175 events a year, including concerts, films, conferences, corporate events, as well as some private events. For Cup 22 in the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw, North Carolina,

P HOTO (LEFT ) BY HO LD EN P HOTO GRA PHY; P HOTO (RIGHT) BY LA URA ZAST ROW P HOTO GRAP HY

W

ho said cafés could only sell coffee? When your coffee shop has the right amenities to double as an event venue, beverages can quickly become just one part of your revenue stream. Though the challenges of event management can be strenuous, the rewards can be high. Café venues learn to balance the needs of café patrons with those of event guests, and through hosting concerts, meetings, weddings, and workshops, they can reach their community in new and more impactful ways.


the café was built to be a joint coffee shop and venue, balancing both from the start. The building is three stories, with the café on the second floor, overlooking a curtained stage and large seating area on the first floor. On the third floor, the balcony is full of comfy couches and small tables for café patrons, and for overflow at events. Of the 100 events a year hosted at the ballroom, many are concerts, though they also dabble in conferences and weddings. “Sold-out shows are what we’re made for,” says Matt Shepherd, operations manager and technical director. Camp House and Cup 22 agree that drinks are an important part of their events. While coffee is available to event attendees at both spaces, Camp House offers an extended beverage menu through their full bar, and Cup 22 sells beer. “The vast majority of these events are at night, so it’s important to have a variety of beverages since most people won’t be drinking a latte at 8:00 p.m.,” says Busby. Concerts present multiple challenges for cafés. To begin with, finding bands requires time and research. Both Camp House and Cup 22 monitor regional tour schedules and pitch to bands they think will be a good fit at their café. Busby says he likes to work with event promoters when possible, because it’s typically less risk for the venue. “The contract for the artist is not on us, it’s on the promoter,” he says. Both cafés stress music licensing, and it’s important to know that your shop will likely need two separate licenses if you host events, one for ambient, “coffee shop” music and one for live music. Camp House is licensed by three different regulatory organizations to host one to three events per week. At Cup 22, Shepherd says, “We have pretty much every license you can buy.” However, dual spaces sometime come with complications. One licensing company tried to charge Cup 22 as if it had 700 seats, which is true for the venue, but not applicable to the usual crowd in the café. “We had to negotiate back down to a reasonable fee to be able to play coffee shop music,” Shepherd says. Large crowds also mean longer lines—even topping counts in the hundreds. Though the sight of winding lines can bring stress to baristas and other staff, Cup 22 café manager Karina Ledaja-Long faces the problem with simple practicality: “They’re in line, and they’re here for a reason. One person at a time,” she says of the advice she gives to staff. Despite the challenges, concerts and other public events welcome new business. Busby says it opens their shop to a whole new set of patrons, and sometimes, one-time event attendees become regular café customers. For Cup 22, which is located in a small,

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rural town, concert attendees are often surprised to discover Haw River Ballroom also houses a coffee shop. As a hospitable gesture, they often offer free coffee to patrons after sold-out shows, and coffee and food are always available to the band. “We understand that this is a destination for most people, we want to get them home safe and awake,” says Ledaja-Long. The gesture has the added benefit of ensuring some people return to Cup 22 just for the café.

LIVING ROOM OF THE CITY: MEETING ROOMS While some café venues are dedicated to entertainment and celebration, others are more focused on providing practical meeting space. Before starting Atmalogy in Nashville, Tennessee, Heather Riney traveled the world teaching yoga. “The cafés were just my favorite place anywhere I went,” she says. After yoga classes Riney attended, participants often headed to nearby cafés to discuss their shared experience. “So I wanted that, where you could have an experience or go to a

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workshop, and then hang out in a café,” Riney says. When Atmalogy opened in 2013, Nashville didn’t have anything like it. The building used to be a house, and it now centers around the café and sprawls into six rooms that can be reserved, starting at twenty-five dollars an hour. The smallest room holds no more than three people, and the largest holds up to seventyfive. Spaces are used for everything from baby showers and kombuchamaking workshops to meeting spaces booked by coaches and small business owners. Atmalogy charges a fee to reserve their workshop and event spaces, but in Salem, Oregon, Broadway Coffeehouse offers meeting spaces for free to customers. They’ve found this model to encourage more traffic to their shop and allow them to be a hub for community meetings—a valuable asset in the state’s capital city. The shop houses four conference rooms, each with a table and eight chairs. “We don’t charge for our rooms, but we ask that you be a customer of the coffee house,” says

manager Luke Glaze. Rooms are popular with government officials and the school district, as well as with students and businesspeople. Atmalogy and Broadway both strive to be community meeting centers. “Our desire is to see our space as the living room for our city,” Glaze says. Being a resource for the community has resulted in increased awareness and business for both Atmalogy and Broadway, and both shops find that customers discover them because they first attend a meeting there, and then return later just to enjoy the café. When it comes to managing the gathering spaces, Atmalogy and Broadway take a hands-off approach. For most of Atmalogy’s rentals, guests book online, show up, and then leave, with little to no interaction with staff. Occasionally, large events will require catering and some staff involvement. Some spaces are rental-only, but others are mixed-use, so the availability of certain spaces varies. “To help customers understand which parts of the café are available, an event

PH OTO S BY DA MIAN BYINGTO N

GATHERING FOR THE DAILY GRIND: Broadway Coffeehouse in Salem, Oregon, offers many spaces for working groups, including four private conference rooms.


schedule, created by a local artist, takes up one wall of the café, illustrating what’s happening where,” says Riney. At Broadway, room reservations are exclusively online. “Our system of having it be automated is really helpful for us, otherwise people would have to be answering phones. The amount that you can reduce that, especially when not charging for a room, is helpful,” Glaze says. Because rooms are free with the purchase of café goods, the staff regularly combs the lobby, looking for customers who could potentially be using the spaces.

DIFFERENT EVENTS, COMMON THEMES Turning your café into an event venue can be a savvy way to increase revenue for your business, but it’s important to consider how events will mesh with your existing setup. While each café handles venue management in different ways, training staff to handle business on both the coffee and event sides is crucial. Broadway’s Glaze says, “We’ve had baristas come from other shops, and the complexity is a lot higher here.” In addition to regular behind-the-bar protocol, hosting meetings, concerts, and other events requires communicating event expectations to staff. Cafés like Broadway hold regular staff meetings to go over upcoming events in detail. As events are added to your calendar, it can be challenging to find the balance between serving café customers and event guests. At the Camp House, Busby notes a rising appreciation for “excellent coffee in different contexts,” but still says that some concert-goers don’t understand why their coffee prices are higher than a gas station’s, which is partly why they added beer to their menu. But doubling as a venue pays off—events can account for up to 50 percent of their revenue, and compared to an average day in the coffee shop, nighttime events often generate an additional 30 percent of income. Finally, hospitality is key, as an event may be the first time someone encounters the café. It’s an opportunity to convert them from one-time visitor to regular patron. Cup 22’s Ledaja-Long says, “it gets known that this is a place where you’re treated well.” The reverse is possible as well. At Atmalogy, events have grown organically, as people find the café first, then realize they can host an event there, Riney says. If you want an opportunity to expand the reach of your shop, hosting events could be the answer. “If you’re a café looking for new ways to engage your community, and to be valuable to the community, hosting events definitely does that,” says Busby.

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Counter INTELLIGENCE CHOCOLATE GOODNESS Hershey’s Foodservice takes their commitment to sustainability to the next level with the new Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup pouch. The easy-to-use, BPA-free pouch weighs 85 percent less than the #10 can and takes up less room where stored. Just snip and pour, or use the branded pump. This improvement saves transportation costs, requires less labor, and provides a smarter choice for operators. hersheyfoodservice.com

TEA AND COFFEE IN MUMBAI

PROBIOTIC PASSION

The Tea Board of India

Probiotics are making their way into

held the World Tea and

the mainstream juice aisle, thanks

Coffee Expo in Mumbai

to Tropicana’s new line of probiotic

at the end of October. As

juices. Tropicana Probiotics are

a platform for the hot beverage sector to unite and

100 percent juice with one billion

conduct business, the Tea Board hopes the event will

live and active cultures per eight-ounce serving.

help India lead as a producer and supplier of quality

Delicious flavors like Pineapple Mango and Peach

tea in the global market. WCTE helps bring together

Passion Fruit combine the goodness of 100 per-

industry leaders under a single roof to determine

cent juice with the functional benefits of probiotics.

trends, optimize product lines, and enable network-

tropicana.com

ing. worldteacoffeeexpo.com

BECOME A KRIDDIK

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CANCER HATES TEA The days of the res-

Cancer Hates Tea: A Unique

taurant suggestion box

Preventive & Transformative

are numbered with the

Lifestyle Change to Help Crush

launch of Kriddik, a free

Cancer delves into the personal

mobile app that can provide real-time customer feed-

journey and revelations of the Tea

back directly to the people that need to hear it most—

Spot’s founder, Maria Uspenski.

the business owners and manager. Customers can

By breaking down how tea works with your body’s

use Kriddik to ensure their feedback is privately de-

defenses against cancer in a lighthearted tone, Ma-

livered to the restaurant manager without getting lost

ria’s research is both approachable and relatable.

in the world of public online review sites. kriddik.com

teaspot.com

November 2016 » Fresh Cup Magazine


» People & Products «

I NEED A HEARO Coffee houses have become a social juggernaut where people of all ages can enjoy coffee and gather for a multitude of reasons. Among those frequenting cafés are social readers, students, and travelers. Having recognized a unique need in the market, Hearos, a leader in earplugs, offers coffee retailers uniquely packaged earplugs, recognized by their unique coffee cup package design. hearos.com

HAPPY ORGANNIVERSARY!

LA COLOMBE TEA LAUNCH

Davidson’s Organics introduces or-

La

Colombe

ganic tea chocolates and tea-infused

launched an exclusive se-

jellies in celebration of their fortieth

lection of teas and tisanes

anniversary. Davidson’s tea choco-

across their cafés. Teas fea-

lates are a marriage of Indian and

ture whole leaves that allow

South American delicacies, combining third-genera-

the natural flavors to speak for themselves. Eight

tion cacao beans from Esmeralda, Ecuador, with tra-

unique teas will be available in most La Colombe lo-

ditional tea leaves from Darjeeling, India. The jellies

cations as loose leaf steeps and premium sachets.

are made from brewed organic tea blend, organic

The program intentionally reflects a range of tea

cane sugar, and pectin. davidsonstea.com

styles and tasting notes, from luscious, to fresh, to

recently

toasted, to earthy, to robust. lacolombe.com

SLOW DRIP

PURE GENIUS After a successful launch at Cof-

GoPure is a portable, reusable pod

fee Fest Anaheim, Sunbridge

designed for everyday use inside per-

Innovative Products Ltd. will

sonal water bottles, hydration packs,

exclusively import the Kyuemon

pitchers, coffee makers, and pet wa-

Ceramic Filter for the North

ter bowls. At the heart of the GoPure

American

The

pod is PuriBloc—an advanced, highly

porous ceramic filter contains thousands of holes,

marketplace.

porous ceramic that not only adsorbs

measuring mere microns in diameter. The filter is

many soluble and particulate chemical impurities,

a direct substitute for a gravity drip paper filter and

but also balances pH levels to re-mineralize and al-

yields a slower filtration, resulting in a less bitter

kalize the water. gopurepod.com

cup. kyuemonfilter.com

Fresh Cup Magazine « freshcup.com

63


Trade Show & Events CALENDAR NOVEMBER

NOVEMBER

NOVEMBER 1 COFFEE ASSOCIATION OF CANADA ANNUAL CONFERENCE Toronto coffeeassoc.com

NOVEMBER 3-5 MANE Providence, RI manecoffee.com

NOVEMBER 2–4 INTERNATIONAL COFFEE & TEA FESTIVAL Dubai, UAE coffeeteafest.com

NOVEMBER 3-4 CUMBRE CAFETERA COFFEE SUMMIT Cartagena, Colombia summit2016.asoexport.org

NOVEMBER

64

November 2016 » Fresh Cup Magazine

NOVEMBER 4–13 KONA COFFEE CULTURAL FESTIVAL Kona konacoffeefest.com

NOVEMBER 5–6 COFFEE & TEA FESTIVAL PHILLY Philadelphia coffeeandteafestival.com


» 2016 Coffee & Tea Trade Shows, Classes & Competitions «

NOVEMBER

NOVEMBER

NOVEMBER 7–9 THE SPECIALTY FOOD FESTIVAL Dubai, UAE speciality.ae

NOVEMBER 10–12 WORLD COFFEE LEADERS FORUM Seoul wclforum.org

NOVEMBER 8–10 NAMA COFFEE, TEA & WATER Nashville coffeeteaandwater.org

NOVEMBER 10–13 SEOUL INTERNATIONAL CAFÉ SHOW Seoul cafeshow.com

NOVEMBER 9-13 SINTERCAFE San Jose, Costa Rica www.sintercafe.com

NOVEMBER 13–15 HX: THE HOTEL EXPERIENCE ROOMS TO RESTAURANTS New York City thehotelexperience.us

Fresh Cup Magazine « freshcup.com

65


ADVERTISER Index Go to freshcup.com/resources/fresh-cup-advertisers to view the Advertiser Index and the websites listed below.

66

ADVERTISER

CONTACT

ONLINE

PAGE

Barista Pro Shop

866.PRO.LATTE (776.5288)

baristaproshop.com/ad/fresh

59

Big Train

800.BIG.TRAIN (244.8724)

bigtrain.com

13

Caffe D’arte

800.999.5334

caffedarte.com

61

Cappuccine

800.511.3127

cappuccine.net

7

Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters

916.451.5181

chocolatefishcoffee.com

Coffee Fest

800.232.0083

coffeefest.com

Ditting

810.367.7125

ditting.com

39

Earnest Eats

888.264.4599

earnesteats.com

45

Firefly Books

416.499.8412

fireflybooks.com

6

Flair Flexible Packaging

920.574.3121

flairpackaging.com

61

Fresh Cup Magazine

503.236.2587

freshcup.com

15

Gosh That’s Good! Brand

888.848.GOSH (4674)

goshthatsgood.com

68

Holy Kakow

503.484.8316

holykakow.com

11

Host - Fiera Milano

39.02.49971

host.fieramilano.it/en

14

Huhtamaki / Impresso

800.244.6382

impressocup.com

11

Java Jacket

800.208.4128

javajacket.com

17

KitchenAid

800.541.6390

kitchenaid.com/countertop-

19 4, 45

appliances/coffee-products/

Malabar Gold Espresso

650.366.5453

malabargoldespresso.com

Monin Gourmet Flavorings

855.FLAVOR1 (352.8671)

monin.com

RetailMugs.com

970.222.9559

retailmugs.com

65

SCAA

562.624.4100

scaaevent.org

25

Sea Island Coffee

44.207.735.4473

seaislandcoffee.com

38

SelbySoft

800.454.4434

selbysoft.com

17

SerendipiTea

888.TEA.LIFE (832.5433)

serendipitea.com

65

StixToGo

800.666.6655

royalpaper.com

64

TEA House Times, The

973.551.9161

theteahousetimes.com

64

Toddy

970.493.0788

toddycafe.com/schooling

59

Torani

800.775.1925

torani.com/foodservice

Umpqua Oats

877.303.8107

umpquaoats.com

67

Vessel Drinkware

855.883.7735

vesseldrinkware.com

38

Your Brand Café

866.566.0390

yourbrandcafe.com

19

Zojirushi America

800.264.6270

zojirushi.com

November 2016 » Fresh Cup Magazine

2 21 3

5

9


Fresh Cup Magazine | November 2016  

Features include: Cafés as venues, deconding the mystique of pu-erh, and fall drink recipes

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