Conventional wisdom tells us that bigger is better, with respects to coffee that is. Bigger the bean, the better the flavor right? May’s featured coffee, Colombia Huila defies that law proving big things can, in fact, come in small packages.
Our featured coffee for the month of May comes from Colombia, the third largest producer of coffee in the world and is one of the preferred sources of specialty coffee. Colombia only produces Arabica and is known for its two grading classifications; Excelso and Supremo. Excelso beans are the smaller of the two beans. While many people associate size with quality, Colombia grades its beans based solely on size. Therefore, Excelso is smaller than Supremo but is not inferior. In fact, they both can come from the same tree.
Huila is one of the most well recognized growing regions in Colombia. About a third of all Colombia’s coffee exports come from Huila. But more importantly, Huila is well known for producing high-quality coffee. In 2013, it received Denomination of Origin status — the same status awarded to champagne, Manchego cheese, Tequila and many other consumables with unique, location-specific characteristics.
When drinking Colombia Huila, expect delicate aromas of cane sugar and white flowers paired with sweet and floral flavors with the fruity tang of clementine citrus.
For more information about our Colombia Huila or any of our other Dilworth Coffees, call 800 835 5943 or email us today.
Hundreds of exhibitors promoted all aspects of the specialty coffee industry. Thousands of attendees traveled from over 75 countries. Once again, the Specialty Coffee Expo in Seattle provided an unparalleled opportunity to see what’s new, connect, and learn about Specialty Coffee.
This year, our Director of Coffee Brad Kirby and Lead Trainer Brady Butler flew to Seattle to attend Expo. Here are their top five things to know from Expo:
Brewing Specialty Coffee Better with Trusted Partners
Brewing coffee takes the right equipment. Exciting new models from Bunn-o-matic and Nuova Simonelli will make excellent additions to our equipment lineup later this year.
Bunn introduced a new flagship brewer line: The Infusion Series Platinum Edition. These brewers have a full-color touchscreen for easy operation and more intuitive programming. They also use redesigned spray head and SmartWAVE technology for more uniform extraction and great coffee flavor.
Bunn also introduced a redesign of our most popular shop grinder: The G Series. With a sleek new look and much quieter operation, the new G Series VH grinder will fit nicely in any café setting and budget.
Nuova Simonelli’s design department has also been hard at work, unveiling a beautifully-updated Aurelia Wave espresso machine. Improved ergonomics and energy efficiency, several unexpected new features, and a smooth, lower-profile design should keep this model at the top of café operators’ wish lists.
Cold is Hot
Cold Brew continues to be a perennial favorite for customers. It looks like many exhibitors agreed, and we saw and tasted many new ways to make and serve it.
Nitro Coffee’s popularity should continue to grow thanks to a few new options that make it easier to offer. Larger-capacity brewers help operators keep up with growing demand. Countertop dispensers of various sizes were also on display, with and without kegs. Some dispensers even drew their nitrogen from the atmosphere instead of a tank.
Already brewing and serving cold Brew? If so, you know how important it is to keep everything clean. The coffee cleaner specialists at Urnex were back to save the day with a 2-part cold Brew system cleaner and sanitizer designed to make cleaning easy.
Expo attendees can always count on finding plenty of new, different and surprising drink ideas on the show floor. We saw and tasted a couple of trends worth noting for your café menu.
Turmeric, that brilliantly-yellow superfood superstar in a spice jar, was the star of several booths. A turmeric concentrate even won a best new product award. From golden milk to lattes to teas, 2018 seems to be turmeric’s year.
Many found creative ways to shake up familiar flavors with a new twist. Did you know that steaming Oregon Chai with carrot juice could taste just like classic carrot cake? Or that adding a touch of balsamic vinegar to a Torani strawberry Italian soda could create a refreshingly-tangy summer “shrub”?
Flavoring specialists like Torani, DaVinci and Monin featured cold brew-based cocktails and mocktails meant to keep menus cool through the heat of summer. Highlights included cold brew with horchata, white chocolate and lavender, even bourbon.
And when it comes to flavor, car maker Volvo stole the show with their stunning mobile espresso vehicle. It doesn’t take a custom coffee mobile to make your specialty drinks stand out. Customers love sharing their experiences with friends, so try building buzz with beautiful, unusual, highly-Instagrammable beverages.
Doing Good, Specialty Coffee
From growing coffee to making lattes, the coffee industry is very dependent on natural resources. So the health of the coffee industry depends on everyone using these resources wisely. The Specialty Coffee Association recognized The Manos al Agua Project, implemented by the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) as part of a public-private partnership, with its Sustainability Award 2018.
Founded in 2013, Manos al Agua focuses on water resources management in coffee regions. The organization has achieved important sustainability results, including installation of ecological post-harvesting and wastewater treatment systems, among other actions.
One of the benefits of attending the Specialty Coffee Association Expo is our ability to make direct connections with the farmers and mills. The cuppings, origin-country booths and informal after-hours mixers helps coffee roasters and growers get to know each other before booking a buying trip to origin. This more casual introduction can form the basis for direct relationships that may for last many seasons.
The Specialty Coffee Expo isn’t just about new products. Classes, workshops, and lectures at Expo offer a great chance for attendees to gain new knowledge. This year marked the Expo debut of the Specialty Coffee Association’s newly-revised Coffee Skills Program. As a leader in the content creation effort, our Brady Butler was invited to present the new Brewing Foundation Course.
The skills and knowledge learned in the Introduction to Coffee, Barista Foundation and Brewing Foundation courses form the basis of preparing great coffee. We now offer these same courses in Raleigh at the Dilworth Coffee Training Center. For more information about these courses visit our training page here or email us at Learn@DilworthCoffee.com.
To learn more about how you can put these specialty coffee trends to work for you in your coffee business, call us today at 800 835 5943 or email us at email@example.com.
On April 22nd, more than one billion people around the globe will celebrate the 48th annual Earth Day. Since coffee, of course, is an agricultural product, the state of the environment is fundamentally important to producing quality coffee.
There is no denying the environment’s effect on taste. The crop to cup journey is one of the earth’s many miracles, and even the slightest climate change could greatly alter a harvest’s quality. The fact is, we all agree that our planet is precious. As the global climate changes, it becomes ever more import for each of us to do our part in protecting it.
Since being founded in 1994, Stockton Graham & Co. has been committed to purchasing green coffee from farms, co-ops and other organizations that take care to protect the environment through sustainable agricultural practices.
“We work closely with farmers both directly and through our importers to ensure coffee growing and harvesting practices protect the earth and, indeed, the future of the coffee industry.”
Jeff Vojta, Founder and CEO of Stockton Graham & Co.
As Earth Day 2018 approaches, we wanted to spotlight the impact of some of our local sustainability projects.
Our Director of Coffee Brad Kirby spearheaded these initiatives to help two neighboring sustainable farms, the Farm at Penny Lane and Paz farm. “These farms are mission-driven and make a big impact my community,” Brad said. “I also love that they are so close to me, I can hear when they have tractors running, so it’s easy donating to them.”
The Farm at Penny Lane partners with individuals with mental illness to grow nutritious food for themselves and others. Penny Lane provides integrated, community-based programs in a therapeutic inclusive farm setting. The farm’s sustainable accommodations include a community garden also offers Horticultural therapy.
Stockton Graham & Co. donates used burlap to Penny Lane. Burlap is the fabric sack used for shipping green coffee beans. Using burlap in farming helps reduce the growth of weeds and is biodegradable—meaning it eventually decomposes and contributes to garden soil.
We caught up with Jessamine from Penny Lane, to see how the burlap project was going.
“Things are going well here,” Jessamine reported. “The crops are growing a little slowly, but the weeds are not, and we are dutifully clearing them out of pathways and spreading out the burlap. The real test of the experiment will be midsummer when we see how well the burlap keeps down the weeds, but for now, we love having it. It’s so much nicer to work with than cardboard!”
The Paz Farm is a small-scale farm located in Chapel Hill, NC. They produce range free eggs and seasonal produce. The Paz Farm uses sustainable growing practices, which means they avoid synthetics, pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers.
Chaff is the byproduct of roasting coffee beans. The roasting process causes the thin, dried skin around the green coffee bean to come off. Chaff has many uses in farming; it is excellent for composting but can also be mixed into the soil.
Stockton Graham & Co. regularly donates chaff to Paz Farm. We asked Nancy from the farm about the chaff donation.
“We’ve used the chaff as bedding for our chicken coups, and it is working well,” Nancy said. “We saved money, the coups smell better, and our chickens have been cozy since we started using your chaff, Thanks Stockton Graham & Co.”
At Stockton Graham & Co., we take sustainability seriously. We all play a role in preserving our planet. For more information about our sustainable initiatives or any of our sustainable coffees, call 800 835 5943 or email us.
When it comes to April’s featured coffee, our Organic Carolina Rain, I’m reminded of one of the universe’s most fundamental truths:
Sometimes two vastly different things come together in harmony to create a perfect combination. When done right, this produces amazing results.
Let’s take second to think about some of the most iconic food pairings.
Milk & Cookies, Peanut butter & Jelly, Coffee & Doughnuts are only a few examples of dynamic duos that reach culinary synergy.
Organic Carolina Rain from our Dilworth Coffee brand is another great example. It is a blend of beans grown only 300km (186 miles) from each other in two different countries: Guatemala and Mexico. Conventional wisdom may lead you to believe these neighboring beans are alike, but they each have very unique qualities that blend together to make one of our most popular USDA-organic certified coffee blends.
The first component of our Organic Carolina Rain are beans from the Chiapas region of Mexico. These beans, grown in one of the premier regions of the country, provide a smooth and balanced sweetness with subtle floral notes.
The second component of the blend is organic Huehuetenango from Guatemala. Farmed from the lower slopes of the Sierra de Los Cuchumantanes mountain range in the western part of the country, our organic Guatemala adds depth and character with lively flavors of citrus fruit.
When drinking Organic Carolina Rain, expect subtle sweet and floral notes complemented by flavors of citrus and caramelized sugar. While outstanding for drip coffee and especially single-cup pour over methods, Carolina Rain also makes a refreshingly light and tangy iced coffee.
Organic Carolina Rain is also uniquely adaptable. It can be enjoyed either hot or cold, making it a perfect coffee to enjoy from April showers through May flowers and beyond.
The growing demand for specialty coffee has made the food service industry fiercely competitive. As store owners, we often focus too much on consumer acquisition: that is, getting more people in the door. Although that’s undeniably important, customer loyalty has a substantial impact on profitability; that is, getting customers to come back.
Here at Stockton Graham, we understand the importance of customer loyalty. We recently asked Consumer Research firm Mintel to help us study what keeps customers coming back.
Their answer? Coffee drinkers are not only looking for a great tasting cup but the right atmosphere, service, and convenience. By focusing on these four key drivers of customer loyalty, you will be closer to creating a distinctive coffee experience that builds customer loyalty.
The most important aspect of any coffee shop is the coffee. Our Mintel study found forty-five percent (45%) of out-of-home coffee drinkers listed “taste” as the top reason they frequent their favorite coffee shop. With that in mind, it is very important to pick high-quality coffee beans.
Having properly trained staff is invaluable. After all, a cup of coffee is only as good as the barista making it. The Mintel study found that barista expertise can make or break a customer’s experience. Eighty-two percent (82%) of coffee drinkers surveyed said “artistry of coffee preparation” was an essential part of their coffee experience and a key driver of customer loyalty.
To help your baristas advance their coffee artistry, Stockton Graham’s specialty coffee brand Dilworth Coffee offers beginner and certified barista training as part of the Specialty Coffee Association Coffee Skills Program. This includes Barista Foundation, Brewing Foundation and Brewing Intermediate courses, all of which allow participants to earn credits toward an SCA Coffee Certificate.
Great service is hospitality that wows and delights customers. Team members are your brand ambassadors and can have a huge influence on whether or not customers return. Promoting a customer-centric culture will make your customers feel valued and appreciated, increasing the likelihood they come back.
In today’s always-on-the-go coffee-drinking culture, convenience is important. That means consumers will expect a great tasting cup of coffee wherever they buy it. Yet, even if your shop has the best coffee in town, consumers will go elsewhere if your baristas aren’t efficient in building drinks and moving customers from order to pick up quickly.
There are simple ways to streamline your staff’s workflow to help them work efficiently. And most often, this begins with the layout of your coffee bar and workspace. An effective coffee bar layout will group equipment, storage and cleaning tasks by drink type, which will eliminate unnecessary steps while preparing drinks and also make the workspace safer for everyone.
On the consumer side of the coffee bar, offering mobile payments and operating separate “express lanes” for simple coffee drinks during rush times will get customers in-and-out quicker. This not only creates a positive experience for your customers, but also allows your staff to increase productivity and improves the number of customers your staff can handle each day.
Floorplan and decor have a big impact on customer experience. Leaving clear paths to registers reduces clutter, making your shop appear airy or spacious. Lighting, color scheme, and even background music can be the difference between an environment that feels warm and relaxing or one that feels cold and sterile.
When considering your store’s atmosphere, it is essential to understand your target audience and store’s location. For example, if your store is located on a university campus, you’ll want to consider modern tech elements like touch screens and charging stations as part of your design. Whereas, if your store is located in a financial center, you’ll want to include communal tables for business meetings and televisions so your patrons can keep up with market news.
Atmosphere is one of the few elements of a great coffee experience that can, and should, change over time. Always keep an eye on consumer trends. Visit competitor shops, and regularly talk to your customers about ways to improve their environmental experience.
At Stockton Graham & Co., we blend the art and business of coffee. We are committed to empowering all of our partners to maximize their customer loyalty. For more information about our Batch 0995 coffee or the Specialty Coffee Association Coffee Skills Program, email us or call us at 800 835 5943
We are pleased to announce a very limited rare harvest of Honduran coffee from the famous Finca Cual Bicicleta, which will be sold under our Dilworth Coffee brand. Founded by Oscar Omar Alonzo, Finca Cual Bicicleta produces some of the most sought-after coffee in the region, if not the world.
Oscar Omar Alonzo is a celebrated coffee farmer known for his passionate approach to producing high-quality, sustainable organic coffee. While many neighboring farms have experienced reduced production due to coffee rust, Finca Cual Bicicleta, which means “which bicycle” keeps pedaling to successful harvests.
Oscar Omar Alonzo follows a holistic approach to farming that has produced some of the best tasting coffee in the world. As part of his farm’s sustainability efforts, he utilizes old coconut husk from nearby lakes and buries them next to his coffee plants. The coconut husks soak up water and provide much-needed moisture and nutrients to the growing coffee trees.
Honduras is a leader in Central American coffee production. Known for its wide variety of flavor profiles, coffee from Honduras is usually very balanced with sweet and mild tasting notes. Although much of the Finca Caul Bicicleta coffee is either full natural or wash processed, Dilworth Coffee’s Finca Cual Bicicleta beans are honey processed.
Honey processing is a drying method that’s gaining popularity in the coffee world. Using this method, farmers remove the skin of the coffee cherry and various amounts of fruit pulp before drying. This allows extra fruitiness and sweetness to transfer to the beans as they dry.
As a result, our Finca Cual Bicicleta features sweet notes of honey, florals, and lemon-raspberry.
Arabica vs Robusta? Specialty coffee has become a leader in category growth and profits for food service providers. In the last year, major players have spent millions to upgrade their coffee quality and marketing campaigns.
As consumer palates have become more discerning, coffee quality has come under the microscope. Coffee blends with lower-quality Robusta coffee just aren’t cutting it anymore. Coffee-forward operators are upping their game to blends with 100% Arabica coffee. Here is an overview of what customers are looking for in food service coffee.
When it comes to coffee, the nose knows. When consumers enter your store, they expect the same aromatic qualities they’d enjoy when entering a craft coffee shop.
Arabica beans contain almost 60% more lipids and almost twice the concentration of sugars than Robusta beans. These play an important role during the roasting process, helping several key aromatic compounds.
So while Arabica coffee often smells sweet and fragrant after roasting, Robusta coffee tends to smell more like raw peanuts.
Although the taste of coffee can vary widely due to the skill level of the roaster, Arabica coffees usually have the advantage.
Arabica coffee retains more flavor and sweetness after roasting than Robusta. An Arabica taste profiles are complex and distinctive, often Including tones of fruits, florals chocolate and nuts with a delightful balance between natural sweet and tangy flavors.
Even high-quality Robusta can’t match Arabica’s flavor profile. The best Robusta beans have very neutral flavors, almost “oatmeal-like” flavors with notes of earthier chocolate.
When brewed, a Robusta bean will produce more crema, which is the light, airy cream on top of a brewed espresso. For this reason, traditional Italian espresso blends historically contained Robusta beans.
Most roasters now understand that they can produce excellent crema using high-quality Arabica coffee. The result is a beverage that has all the visual appeal of a traditional Italian espresso with more of the balanced, sweet and pleasant taste notes desired by today’s specialty coffee drinker. When evaluating Arabic vs Robusta, there’s no more important factor in consumers minds than visual attributes.
With a higher emphasis on health, today’s coffee drinkers are increasingly concerned about caffeine. One reason that the taste of Robusta coffee is not as desirable as the taste of Arabica coffee is that Robusta has almost double the amount of caffeine. This may sound like a positive thing to those trying to jump-start their day or fuel up for their workout routine, but caffeine carries a bitter taste which becomes unpleasant at higher levels
At Stockton Graham & Co., we are focused on quality coffee. That’s why all coffees in our Batch 0995 food service line are made from sweet, fragrant, and delicious 100% Arabica coffees. Learn more about arabica vs robusta or Batch 0995, call us at 800 835 5943 for more information.