Five Reasons to Follow Quills on Instagram

1. Give-Aways

We love our coffee so much, we like giving it away. Specifically we like giving it away to people who take awesome pictures on Instagram, like @hanwheat who won a bag of El Eden with this gem. 

2. Latte Art

If liking latte art makes us nerds, then sign us up. We like pouring it almost as much as we like taking pictures of it. 

3. Behind the scenes footage

If you ever hear an ear-splitting slurping sound in New Albany, chances are it's cupping day. We sniff, sip, and spit to make sure we're roasting our coffees as well as possible. Ever wonder what a hyperlapse of a coffee cupping looks like? Look no further

4. Origin

We partner with some incredible coffee importers like Cafe Imports, Tiger Orchid, and Thrive Farmers. We love sharing photos and information about our coffee's origin, whether it be the variety, process, or producer. 

5. Transcendent Beauty to Live Vicariously Through  

Wish you were drinking coffee at a beach house? What about exploring the ancient streets of Istanbul? You can imagine doing all this and more if you follow us on Instagram.  

Quills' Sopacdi, Congo on A Table in the Corner of the Cafe

Coffee cherries at the Sopacdi Cooperative. 

Coffee cherries at the Sopacdi Cooperative. 

We're proud that the large majority of people who drink our coffee live in driving distance of one of our cafés. But every now and then the opportunity comes along to share our coffee with someone with a national voice. This week we were honored that Drew Moody, a leading coffee reviewer and founder of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe, reviewed our Sopacdi from the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is the first coffee we've ever roasted from Congo and we couldn't be more pleased with it. We were thrilled to hear that Drew enjoyed it as well. He writes, 

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has emerged, in the past year, really, as the home of some of the most dynamic and interesting coffees in the world. And it has really been just in the past year or so. Or maybe it’s that importers have finally discovered what the farmers of Congo have known along. Which is probably more likely.

Coincidentally, Quills Coffee has emerged as one of the best roasters in the United States, really, within the past year or two.

So it only makes sense that the marriage of Quills and the Congo Sopacdi would be a real treat. And it was. This coffee is incredible.

Read the rest of Drew's review here, and check out some of the other posts he's written while you're at it. 

 

Announcing Quills Indianapolis

Quills started with a simple vision, to create a great space where people could enjoy excellent coffee and exceptional hospitality. It started on the backstreets of Louisville's Paristown neighborhood, and it has taken us to the Highlands, Old Louisville, and New Albany. Now that same vision is taking us to Indianapolis, where our newest café is on track to open in November. 

Expanding to a new city is a big and, frankly, scary step for our company- but one that we're excited to make. Indianapolis's culinary scene is experiencing burgeoning growth that is attracting national attention. Our experience opening our New Albany café and roastery has taught us that Hoosiers have an eager appetite for specialty coffee, and we're excited to contribute to Indy's growing coffee community. Of course, it doesn't hurt that our founder Nathan Quillo is a diehard Colts fan. 

THE NEW 9 ON CANAL BUILDING WHERE QUILLS WILL CALL HOME

THE NEW 9 ON CANAL BUILDING WHERE QUILLS WILL CALL HOME

9C BUILDING AT SENATE & ST. CLAIRE

9C BUILDING AT SENATE & ST. CLAIRE

Quills Indianapolis will be located in 9 on Canal, a new commercial and residential high-rise development in the historic Canal District. 9 on Canal is being built by Investment Property Advisors, the same development firm behind Cardinal Towne, which hosts our café at the University of Louisville.  Being part of the community in Cardinal Towne for the last 3 years has been a real treat- there's something special about sharing a building with many of our regulars. Also, 9 on Canal is in close proximity to the Indiana University School of Medicine, which ensures we'll be serving a lot of students in dire need of caffeine.

We've learned a lot about designing cafés over the last seven years, and we think this just might be our best space yet. Like our Baxter Avenue café, the shop is going to feature a designated brew bar and a three grouphead La Marzocco Linea espresso machine. Like our New Albany and Cardinal Towne locations, there will be bar seating for inquisitive types who want to know a little more about their coffee. Perhaps most exciting for hardcore coffee nerds, the Indianapolis story will be our first location to feature a single origin espresso option (don't worry, Louisvillians, it's coming to Louisville too!). 

Our number of locations, however, is not the only way Quills is growing. We're constantly fine tuning our sourcing, roasting, and training to ensure whatever Quills location you visit, you get the best coffee experience possible.

Indianapolis, we'll see you in November! 

If you're interested in being a part of our new barista team in Indianapolis, please send your résumé to Matt, our general manager. We're accepting applications for barista and store management positions. 

Unveiling Baxter Avenue's Brand New Brew Bar

It's hard to believe that it's already been six years since Quills on Baxter Ave. opened its doors. Since then we've learned a lot about designing cafés and we have been scheming how we can improve the bar flow and customer service at our flagship location for some time now. 

At Quills we're proponents of both automated and manual brewing for filter coffee. Our Fetco autodrippers deliver a consistent, delicious product that serves the large majority of our customers quickly and efficiently. But our finest coffees we normally reserve for manual brew methods. With manual brew methods the coffee is brewed to order in small batches. It also allows the barista to have complete control over each of the variables that affect extraction. We love how manual brew methods allow our customers to watch and participate in the ritual of coffee brewing. 

While our New Albany and U of L locations have designated brew bars, Baxter Ave. has never had a proper place for pour overs. We're sure plenty of people have thought, "What exactly is that barista doing over there and why are they taking so long?" What we needed was a well designed space that allows our baristas to brew coffee efficiently while being able to interact with our customers. Enter Quills Baxter's new brew bar. 

The clunky glass pastry case has been replaced by a wood and steel counter. We still have the same selection of locally made baked goods, but those have been moved to the top of the counter by the register. A built-in drain and pre-weighed doses allow the barista to shave several steps off the entire process. As always, all of the ingredients are weighed to ensure accuracy and quality. 

Part of the redesign includes the launching of a new iPad based POS system. Without a clunky pastry case or cash register separating our customers from our baristas we hope to offer better hospitality and more exciting coffee experiences. 

As a company we've never been more excited about our coffee offerings, and we're excited that our coffees are now taking center stage at our flagship store. More importantly, we think the store environment has never been more conducive to excellent hospitality. 

We also have these new shelves, which highlight some of our favorite brewing devices. They're also just really cool. But don't take our word for it, come by Baxter Ave. and see it for yourself. 

The Return of El Eden

 

El Eden is back! And its momentous reentry has rivaled in celebration that of the Jedi, Batman and the Living Dead.

I mean -it's obvious you guys are crazy excited

You even set up beautiful scenes to display this cherished roast.

For those of you that weren't around for our discovery of this amazing coffee last year - or need a refresher - please take a look at the post we wrote then

In Summary - we spoke of meeting Robert Delgado and learning of his small start-up Tiger Orchid Coffee with its dedication to under-resourced farmers in Mexico - shortening the links in the typical distribution chain between a coffee roaster and the farms who produce it. Delgado discovered the El Eden Co-op in the Guerrero State of Mexico, sharing his passion for strong relationships and a committed investment in top-notch coffee quality. 

El Eden is a dry processed coffee which means that the seed dries in the cherry rather than being immediately removed and washed. The results are amazing which was further proven when it was selected to be a part of Craft Coffee's subscription box last September (which was a pretty big deal. Make sure to read that post to find out more)

Fast forward to this year...We knew we had to have it in our line-up again. Tiger Orchid has been working hard to continue improving all of their processes so that they can make the coffee even more consistent and stellar. Quills has a lot more specific farmer traceability this year which allows us to really give more directed feedback to Roberto to bolster what's working and correct what's not. They also are experimenting with raised bed drying (as opposed to patio) which enables us to give some feedback on those particular bags. 

In the broader view: El Eden is really the first coffee that Quills is striving to feature year after year, extending our involvement in what happens in production more than we ever have before. We are so excited to see this relationship continue.

AND... in the spirit of celebrating our second year selling this fantastic coffee we're giving away a bag of El Eden! All you have to do to enter is go to our Facebook page and "like" and "share" the photo you'll see displayed on our wall (it looks like the one below). We'll announce a winner Wednesday, 6PM EST. Sorry, but US only.

 

Quills Hosts Famed Guest Barista Cabell Tice

The following post was written by Michael Butterworth (Thanks to Joanna Miller for photos.)

One of the best parts about going to coffee competitions across the country is meeting the other baristas. When I first met Cabell Tice, he was a fellow first time competitor at CoffeeFest NYC. The unknown barista competing out of Boston shocked a lot of people when he took home first place- a feat he's since repeated twice. But Cabell is not just good at drawing pictures with milk. Cabell is a gifted photographer and has managed an extremely high-volume cafe called The Thinking Cup. 

Cabell has now packed up and taken his talents from Boston to the Pacific Northwest and we were lucky enough that he took a several hundred mile detour to work a guest shift at Quills Cardinal Towne. When I say that Cabell is an ace barista, I don't just mean the symmetry and contrast of his latte art.  His attention to detail, efficient work flow, and ability to connect personally with customers are the true marks of a skilled barista. Many people who came in during his shift had no idea that Cabell was a guest barista because he seamlessly adapted to our context and service style. Hopefully it's not the last time we see Cabell behind the bar in Derby City. 

Best of luck in Oregon Cabell! 


Sopacdi, Congo: Quality Coffee for Quality of Life

The Sopacdi cooperative is one of the most forward-thinking groups with which our importer has worked. This group of 5600 farmers found specialty coffee to be a way forward out of conflict and civil war. Through the production of some of the highest quality coffee in their region, the group has been able to fund numerous projects for their community- from land renovation to women’s programs- and see the overall well being of their community rise. The quality of their coffee is the primary reason for their success, as the first since 1967 to achieve the top national grade. This particular lot is no exception, and represents one of the most exciting African coffees we have seen since we began roasting 3 years ago.


 

This is Bill

  This is Bill. Bill rides his bike from downtown Louisville to our New Albany store for a cup of coffee or a coke weekly. He is a cycling crusader and won't rest until we are all on board to ride with him. Last Friday, Bill took off with a friend to take a tour out west- on their bikes alone, bare necessities. He'll be gone for a couple of months and we want the details of the stars, the winds, the rains, the trials and joys... Bill didn't pack a journal and so we bought him one of our Quills Field Note packs-small enough to easily carry along- so he can record. Can't wait to read the stories!! Wonder where Bill and his friend are right now......

 

This is Bill. Bill rides his bike from downtown Louisville to our New Albany store for a cup of coffee or a coke weekly. He is a cycling crusader and won't rest until we are all on board to ride with him. Last Friday, Bill took off with a friend to take a tour out west- on their bikes alone, bare necessities. He'll be gone for a couple of months and we want the details of the stars, the winds, the rains, the trials and joys... Bill didn't pack a journal and so we bought him one of our Quills Field Note packs-small enough to easily carry along- so he can record. Can't wait to read the stories!! Wonder where Bill and his friend are right now......