Due to popular demand, matte black travel mugs are back in stock. These double-walled insulated 8 ounce beauties will keep your coffee hot (or cold!) as long as you need it. The smaller size is perfect for a latte or Americano, and the double-locking lid will ensure your coffee ends up in your mouth, not all over your stuff. Travel mugs are available in all four of our cafés and our webstore.
We have two new single origin coffee in our cafés and webstore. The first is from the TOARCO group in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Thanks to their careful processing methods, the coffees coming from Sulawesi and TOARCO in particular are some of the best Indonesian coffees we've tasted. This coffee in particular has a clarity and sweetness rarely found in a Pacific Island coffee. We taste melon, sugar cane, and lemongrass.
The second coffee is from the Arusha region of Tanzania. This Kiboko Peaberry was grown on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro in the shade of banana trees. In the cup we encounter a lovely citrus acidity and the tannins of a fine red wine. Anyone partial to East African coffees will love this offering.
This Spring and Summer we're excited to unveil a new line of seasonal signature drinks, developed in-house by our killer team of baristas. Our debut drink is Shaky Knees, a twist on the global coffee phenomenon known as the shakerato.
The drink is equal parts espresso and lavender tea, slightly sweetened and shaken over ice. It's cool, refreshing, and light enough to drink all day. It's already become a barista favorite, and we expect it will be yours too.
There's a lot more to the world of coffee cocktails than just Irish coffee. We recently teamed up with Louisville's own Rivulet Pecan Liqueur and master mixologist Eron Plevon to concoct the Rivulet Pecan Fizz, which features our Blacksmith Espresso. Don't have an espresso machine at home? You can substitute an ounce of cold brew concentrate. Thanks to the media team at Mixer Direct for producing this killer video.
Spring is finally here in Kentuckiana and with the changing seasons we also have some new coffees that are joining our line up this week.
It's been a while since we carried a coffee from Burundi, but we were lucky enough to get our hands on a real gem from Bubezi. This 100% Bourbon variety comes to us from the Mpanga Washing Station in the Kayanza Province. This coffee is sweet and creamy with some really interesting tropical fruit notes. We expect it will be a real crowd pleaser.
Our other new coffee comes from Jaen, Cajamarca in Northwestern Peru. This coffee comes from a variety of small producers in the region and yields a cup with floral, citric, and grape-like notes. Specialty coffee in Peru has enormous potential. Each year the coffees we're getting from there are tasting better and better. We're excited to share this coffee with our customers and wholesale accounts.
It's hard to believe it's already been four months since our Indianapolis café opened its doors. We've had fun getting to know our new city and its rapidly growing coffee community. Indianapolis's food and beverage scene is booming, and we're excited to be a part of it.
We're happy to announce that we are expanding our hours. Starting today, Quills Indy will be open 6:30am-8:00pm Monday-Friday and 8:00am-5:00pm Saturdays and Sundays. We also are now validating parking for up to two hours in 9 on Canal's parking garage. So whether you're on your way to work or squeezing in an evening study session, we'll be there to serve you.
At Quills we take special care to only roast the most exceptional coffees. We sample many coffees from a variety of importers and origins every time there's an opening in our lineup, and very few coffees make the cut. But occasionally a coffee comes our way that surpasses our high expectations.
This limited release comes to us from producer Alexander Cortes and the farm Bellavista, in the Cauca region of Colombia. Mr. Cortes take great care in the harvesting and processing of his coffee, which shines through in this coffee's incredible sweetness, balance, and clarity. This blend of castillo and caturra varieties yields flavors of cherry, lemon, and brown sugar coupled by a creamy body. When we first tasted it we quickly realized why Cafe Imports selected it for their exclusive Million Pesos program.
Our director of education Michael Butterworth chose to use this coffee at the US Barista Championship in Long Beach, California and we have just enough coffee left for one more batch. Bellavista, Colombia will be available this week only in our cafés and through our webstore.
Tasting is an essential part of running a quality-focused coffee roastery. Of course, we drink a lot of our own coffee, but we also set aside time each week to critically analyze each coffee that we roast. Our quality control team is led by our lead roaster Houston Miller and our director of operations Luke Daugherty. Luke happens to be competing in the US Cup Tasting Championship this week in Long Beach, California. We asked Luke a few questions about the competition and why he wants to compete.
What is the US Cup Tasters Competition?
Cup Taster's is sort of the coffee equivalent to a skills competition for a wine somalier. It is a chance for those who are often behind the scenes in the industry making critical judgments about coffee quality to showcase the skills that are important to their jobs. Each competitor has eight minutes to taste eight sets of three coffees. In each set two coffees are identical, one is different. The competitors must identify the odd cups as quickly as possible.
How have you prepared for the competition?
In one sense, my job for the last several years has been a large portion of the preparation. I cup a full table of coffees at least once a week, and do lots of sampling and other brewing in between. This has developed my palette in a way that no short-term training could. The only way to get a fine-tuned palette is to taste coffee (and other things!) all the time, and to do it with others who notice things that you don't. In the short-term, I have ramped up the amount of tasting I have been doing over the last month, I have brought in a lot broader variety of coffees, and have been brewing them in different ways in order to work on my ability to notice much finer differences in a broader spectrum of coffees than I am typically used to tasting.
How does this relate to your job at Quills?
This relates to my job very well, actually. One main area of responsibility for me at Quills is quality control, from making the final call about coffees we decide to bring in to assisting with the details of roast profiles for those coffees. It's a job that is heavily dependent on having a palate that is fine-tuned for noticing small details. Quills has grown a great reputation for sourcing, roasting and serving only high quality coffees. We can only do this by being able to notice positive and negative qualities in the coffees we sample, and in the profiles we're using to roast them. Training for this competition is helping me to be able to notice even more minute details, so that's only going to benefit Quills' ability to continue to source and profile great coffees. I would also hope that my presence at the competition would just reinforce to the broader coffee community that Quills is a company that's serious about coffee quality.