Today we continue following coffee on its eventful journey from the farm to your favorite mug. Before you go any further- make sure you've read Part I which includes the start of its pilgrimage - from those beautiful farms into the hands of our importers. Now we'll take a look into the delicate process of roasting and finish off with those smooth, good-looking alchemists* responsible for turning it all into something you get to sit back and effortlessly enjoy
*We're talking about Baristas of course. You knew that.
Ready for some cupping
Next up- there’s our roasting team. As good as the coffee is when it arrives at our shop in New Albany, it’s still not something you’d be excited for us to serve you. Those green beans need a few more steps of TLC before they arrive in your cup. At Quills, our roasting philosophy centers on the uniqueness of each coffee.
Rather than roast in a way that highlights certain classic “roasty” profiles (like a dark, smoky French Roast, for example), we want to bring out the best aspects we find that each coffee has to offer. So we keep our roasts a bit lighter, developing the coffees slowly and seeking to find the “sweet spot” where all the special attention the coffee received at the farm can now shine when we brew it. We don’t want to hide the tart citrus and chocolate of our Finca Los Congos or the soft, pineapple sweetness of the Los Naranjos! As we spend months with each coffee, our roasting team can also continually refine how we want to present those flavors. So don’t forget to keep trying coffees as they continue to evolve under our care!
photo by OMC Louisville
And finally - our barista team (or YOU if you brew our beans at home). All of this effort would be for naught if we didn’t have a staff dedicated to brewing the coffee with attention to every detail and educating our customers on how to do that at home. What is an inherent sweetness or pleasant fruitiness in the roasted beans might easily become dull or sour if the coffees aren’t brewed with care. So we fully nerd out with our specialized gear––scales, water towers, fine-tuned grinders, etc. Further still, we take a lot of time to train our staff to do this well. And finally, we take the time to hone in on unique parameters for each of our coffees - again, in order to highlight their distinctive characteristics. When our newest coffee, the Peru Cenfrocafe, arrived last week, we took the time to try a few different roasts and brewing approaches in order to figure out the best way to bring out the natural floral and citrus overtones, nutty-caramel sweetness, and stone fruit. In fact - We’re still working on it and will continue to for a quite a while.
So there you have it. Once your barista brews that coffee for you, it’s already been on a long road to bring it to that near-perfection you taste in the cup. Our hope is that perhaps this bit of story-telling helps you enjoy it all the more next time you sip!