We were thrilled to read a few weeks ago that our Indianapolis cafe was featured in an article by Cosmopolitan: The Best Coffee in Every State in 2016. We are incredibly proud of our team in the way they represent Quills, and Indiana coffee. If you've yet to visit, now is a great time while we have our delicious Fall seasonal drink menu. Indianapolis Quills Family photos by Tiernae Salley.
Huehuetenango isn't the only regional player in delicious specialty coffee from Guatemala. Neighboring Atitlan, with its rich volcanic soil, plentiful rainfall and good elevation, is also known for producing sweet coffees with a sparkling acidity.
That is why our new San Pedro La Laguna is so exciting for us at Quills, as it represents a region of Guatemala we have not sourced from before now. On top of that, it makes for a great counterpoint to the Waykan already on our menu, showing significant differences between the regions of the same country.
The San Pedro is a sweet and clean coffee, and we taste notes of milk chocolate, cherry, lemon, with a toffee finish. It is available by the cup now in our cafes, as well as on shelves and online in 12oz bags.
“What happens when someone allows you to look at them intently?” This is the question photographer Ron Morris asks in his series, Portraits. Taken from 1969 to 1982, the images show a range of individuals who have allowed Morris a close look at their lives. The black and white photos exhibit simple compositions, but the faces and bodies on display articulate something more complex.
Ron Morris studied photography at the University of Louisville and the Massachusetts College of Art where he earned his MFA. He has exhibited in New England and New York and has taught at Boston area colleges. For the past twenty-five years, Mr. Morris has taught photography and art at a high school outside of Boston. He retired this past year and returned to his hometown in Louisville, Kentucky.
Mr. Morris’ work is in several art collections and he worked for three years at a nationally recognized residential photography workshop, Apeiron, in upstate New York. He participated in an NEA funded photography project documenting Long Island. His work appeared also in “Local Light: Photographs Made in Kentucky”, Gnomen Press, Lexington, Kentucky and in Camera Magazine, July 1974, “Young Photographers”. The New York Times interviewed Mr. Morris about the Long Island Project and the Boston Globe and the New York Times have reviewed his work.
His photographs have been exhibited at the Addison Gallery of American Art, Hofstra University, MIT, the Portland Art Museum, Newton Art Center, Vision Gallery, Rhode Island School of Design, the New England School of Photography, the Memphis Academy of Art, the Hudson River Museum, Northeastern University and Texas A&M University.
For more information on purchasing or displaying artwork, we can direct you to our art coordinator, Joanna Miller, at email@example.com. You can also talk to your lovely Baristas, who can help you purchase the pieces you see on display.
Morris’ Portraits will be on display at our Baxter location through November. For more information and work by Morris, visit his website: http://ronmorrisphotographs.weebly.com/
As the seasons change we begin to say goodbye to summer and cold coffee season. We are a bit sad to see the Kayon Mountain leave our espresso hoppers, but that shouldn't overshadow our excitement to have the El Salvador El Rosario follow it up as our featured coffee for September!
We’re thrilled to begin a new relationship with the Menendez family of El Salvador. Miguel Menendez Sr. and his sons Miguel and Guillermo are carrying forward a coffee farming tradition for the 4th generation now. After nearly leaving coffee behind back in the 1990s, this family has gained a reputation among the elite producers in El Salvador since then. Regular top competitors in the El Salvador Cup of Excellence, the Menendez family puts out wonderful coffees from their various farms each year.
This particular coffee comes from Finca El Rosario, a beautiful farm nestled on a plateau along the high-wind corridors of the Apaneca-Illamatepec mountain range. These winds bring a constant cooling effect to the farm, and freshness to the climate, all coupled with a soil rich in volcanic mineral content, making the area ideal for producing specialty coffee. The farm is also “Rainforest Certified,” reflecting the Menendez’ attention to the wildlife, environment, and the local economy.
The Menendez family owns numerous farms, along with their own dry mill, and they control exporting as well, meaning they see the coffee all the way through until it gets to us from its origin. They approach their operation with thought toward sustainability, health of the whole ecosystem around the farm and the success of their community. Their pickers are known to garner higher wages than many in the area, and the Menendez family pours money back into youth programs and education. They’re able to do all this because of their attention detail and the quality of the coffees they produce year-in and year-out. We hope coffees from their farms will become a regular staple in our lineup.
So what about the cup? The El Rosario is going to be comforting and satisfying for most of you, especially if you've been wanting to try one of our Single-Origin offerings brewed by the cup. Rich honey, sweet almonds and tart peach in a really well-balanced experience. It will also be our featured Single-Origin espresso offering this month. If you are interested in a bag for home, swing by any of our shops or visit our store here. We also have a fantastic video of the Menendez Family if you'd like to take a few minutes and learn some more (which you definitely should do).
When Ethiopian and Kenyan coffees begin to land in the States, all of us around these parts get pretty excited. Hopefully you got the chance to try (or at least read about) our Kayon Mountain from Ethiopia, but now we are pleased to bring you our latest coffee: Kibugu from the Embu region of Kenya.
Much of the reason for Kenyan coffee quality has to do with practices at the farm and washing station level. The soil is rich from historic volcanic activity on Mount Kenya, farmers are well-educated at best practices for cultivation and harvest, and community washing stations play a huge role in putting a final note on quality through their meticulous washing, fermentation and drying practices. Thus, even when you get a blended lot from many small farms that's been sorted for screen size, you end up with a 90+ coffee with huge, mind-blowing acidity.
So, what about this particular coffee? This year’s choice, coming from the Kibugu Farmer’s Cooperative Society, is as delicious as any we have tried in recent years. Grown in the ideal soils of Mount Kenya and processed with meticulous care, the coffee is bold, bright and exploding with lively flavors, just like a great Kenyan coffee should be. The Gikirima washing station, where this coffee was processed, is working with small farmers in the region to increase transparency, improve agricultural practices, and increase annual coffee production. This coffee has so much to offer after just a few trail runs with it: Grapefruit, melon, and hibiscus with a juicy blackberry body, not to mention hints of licorice and blood orange. In short, it's bumpin.
Ethiopian coffee has a special place in our hearts at Quills, and for good reason. Coffea Arabica is indigenous to Ethiopia and the country is still home to over 95% of the coffee's genetic diversity. These heirloom varieties produce a flavor profile like no other. The best examples have a distinctive floral aroma with complex citrus acidity. Our baristas and customers alike look forward to Ethiopian coffee season year round, and we're pleased to release our latest offering.
Kayon Mountain is an estate farm owned by Ato Esmael and his family. Located in the Guji zone of Ethiopia, this estate utilizes many biodynamic farming practices, including organic fertilizer and crop diversity. Their attention to detail is evident in the consistency and quality of this lot. We taste orange cream with a lavender bouquet and soft black tea-like tannins. It's a complex, dynamic cup of coffee that is as intellectually stimulating as it is enjoyable. We're also pleased to be serving Kayon Mountain on single origin espresso this month.
When brewing at home, don't be surprised if your brew times are a little longer than other coffees. But don't be concerned: you're going to want to extract as much of this beautiful coffee as possible!
It's been brutality hot in Kentuckiana this month. Thankfully, we have iced coffee. Cold brew is one of our biggest summer sellers, though few people realize how easy it is to make at home. Lucky for you, a couple of our baristas put together an illustrated guide to making cold brew at home. So pick up a bag of our fresh, seasonal coffee and get brewing!
Quills is excited to announce we will be opening our new roastery and company headquarters on East Main Street in Louisville. This flagship store will be housed in a turn-of-the-century firehouse, first built in 1897, along with a barn that sits immediately behind the firehouse. The space will feature a new café and barista training lab in addition to housing our company offices and coffee roasting facility. The coffee roasting facility will quadruple our current production capacity along with streamlining our production with more efficient bagging equipment.
It's hard to believe it's been five years since we started roasting coffee. Over that time we've been happy to see our weekly production steadily increase as we've opened new cafés, seen existing cafés grow, and built wholesale relationships with coffee shops around the nation. As our volume has reached a certain scale we've been able to source better and better coffees, become more involved at a origin level, and participate in some national competitions. Meanwhile our New Albany roasting facility has been bursting at the seams. Furthermore, the distance between our production facility and our offices above our Baxter Ave. café have led to numerous inefficiencies. We recognized we needed a space where we could increase our roasting capacity and house all of our administative staff in one place.
More importantly, we wanted to have a space where our production facility was accessible to a larger number of people. We envision people grabbing a cup of coffee at the café and then grabbing a seat on the patio, which will connect the café to the roastery. Taking a cue from Kentucky's Bourbon Trail, we plan on offering roastery tours with a curated coffee tasting at the end.
We're also excited to join the vibrant culinary community in Nulu. So many of our future neighbors are leaders in their respective fields. With world-class breweries, distilleries, and bakeries just blocks away, we're excited to bring coffee roasting to NuLu.