Deck the Halls (and your store) with Holiday Flavored Coffee!

Holiday flavored coffee is here! We at Stockton Graham & Co. have been buzzing about getting ready to introduce to you our Pumpkin Spice Coffee, Winter Wonderland Coffee and our Gingerbread Coffee. This is a great addition to your coffee shop for the holidays. Mintel Research tells us that flavored coffees are preferred at the top of the list of menu options after pastries, espresso and espresso beverages!!!

The History of the Flavored BeanHoliday Flavored Coffee pumpkin spice coffee

Flavored coffee beans are coated with flavor compounds to supplement coffee beans’ natural taste. Flavored coffees in one form or another have been used for centuries, but the gourmet coffee boom of the 1990s resulted in an increased interest in exotic flavors of coffee. With current technology, the beans can be produced with almost any flavor imaginable.

Although many people regard flavored coffee as a modern invention, its roots are almost as old as the beverage itself. History tells us that a few hundred years ago in the Middle East, people enjoyed drinking coffee blended with nuts and spices. In modern times, creative marketers have taken advantage of coffee drinkers desire for more flavor than nature yields and have found ways to introduce flavoring into coffee. It began with flavored syrups to spike brewed coffee with a flavor. More recently, food science has given us tools to introduce flavor onto the bean without the calories or the sugar. This is done as part of the post roasting process.

holiday flavored coffeeThe raw beans which are processed, either naturally or using the wet method to wash away the cherry from the seed (or the bean), are then ready to be roasted. The appropriate amount of flavoring to be used must be determined before flavor oils can be added to the roasted beans. The formulation process is similar to the way one decides how much sugar to put into a cup of coffee or tea. Once the precise amount is set, the dosage is held constant for that particular flavor oil and roasted bean combination. It is interesting to note that the flavor can be added to the beans while they are whole but also after they have been ground. The method for introducing flavor into ground coffee is different. We at Stockton Graham & Co. always introduce the flavor post roast and whole bean and we delight in bringing you flavors of holiday cheer.

All of our holiday flavored coffee is made with natural flavors. What a great way to market these coffees at your store. This is something that is important to many health conscious consumers of all ages. It is also important to note that the flavor added to the beans do not add calories to the average of three calories a cup of black coffee has.

Pumpkin Spice – Out of all Stockton Graham & Co.’s holiday flavored coffee, Pumpkin Spice is our most popular fall offering. With its aromatic blend of autumn spices such as nutmeg, clove, and hints of cinnamon, this 100% Arabica coffee is the perfect pairing for chilly evenings and crisp autumn air.

holiday flavored coffeeWinter Wonderland – In celebration of the holiday season, we’ve put four outstanding flavors together in an enticing medley: a winter wonderland of hazelnut and caramel blanketed by a powdery snow of vanilla and coconut. It’s guaranteed to keep the cold away and warm your spirit with holiday cheer!

Gingerbread – The spicy-sweet confections of Eastern Europe inspired this coffee. We’ve captured the scent and flavor of warm loaves of gingerbread fresh from the oven and complemented it with our own blend of cinnamon and hazelnut for a uniquely snappy taste!

Call a Customer Care Associate at 800 835 5943 or email orders@stocktongraham.com

3 Ways to Attract Millennials to your Coffee Shop at the Holidays

Millennials are experiencing the holidays differently than generations before them. This shift means (among many things) that millennials are seeking experiences that enrich and fulfill as opposed to objects that clutter and collect dust. One of the key ways that millennials are seeking to have these experiences is through technology.

holidaysHave you stopped to consider how your coffee shop can meet the needs of millennials for experiences? It is important to take these young consumers into account as you strategize attracting more business this holiday season.

We have some ideas that will help you invite and keep this demographic that is now more than one-quarter of the nation’s population. Although in general they are more reserved in their spending, there is one time of the year millennials are leading the charge in spending: the holidays; And there is one item that millennials can’t get enough of: coffee. Buying coffee nearly twice as often as older generations, young people spend about $80 per month on cups of Joe, well above the overall average of $67.

1. Partner with a Cause for the Holidays

Millennials want to contribute to something bigger than themselves. In fact, fifty percent of millennials would be more willing to make a purchase from a company if their purchase supports a cause. The holidays are a great time to celebrate goodwill and compassion for humankind.

Consider partnering with a local non-profit and donating a portion of your sales of a particular item towards a good cause. This could be a local homeless shelter, clean water in underdeveloped nations or an organization you believe in and are passionate about.

A good example of this is the partnership that Stockton Graham & Co. has formed with Grounds for Health. In this partnership, $1 from each purchase funds life-saving health care for women in Ethiopia, Nicaragua and Peru. Tis the season to give (and in giving, millennials will continue to return to your shop to cheer you on as you cheer others on).

2. Advertise your space

The holidays are a time for coming together and celebrating friends and family. Millennials value experiences over having material goods. Many millennials are far from home and looking for a place to connect during the holiday season. Consider renting out your cafe space for events or even planning events yourself. This could be a holiday party, a local church choir concert or celebrating holiday birthdays.

By renting your space out you are making deeper connections with your millennial shoppers who are longing to connect on a more substantial level. You are investing in relationships that will continue to grow as you create a space for them to have more experiences. It is also great exposure for people who have never set foot in your shop to become familiar with you.

Gift cards are big with millennials so as you are renting out your space for that gingerbread decoration, be sure to have your gift cards displayed front and center.

3. Tap the Technology Trend

Lastly, the best way to reach the next generation of consumers is through their smart phone. Millennials are nearly two times more connected through technology than any other generation. This translates to 13 percent of millennials using a mobile app to determine their venue.

To get and keep their attention, you have to offer a service, product or information while making it easy to connect to your establishment.

“Technology is changing the way that people are buying their coffee,” said David Sprinkle, Research Director, Packaged Facts, during a recent National Coffee Association (NCA) webinar on food service coffee. But avoid a straight sales pitch he advises. “Don’t just hawk your product, but provide information and services that are of interest to your consumers.”

Are you pairing items that are popular with millennials and posting it on Facebook? Use social media to let them know what is new and why you are offering it. Technology is a great tool to sell that new pumpkin spice latte, or the gingerbread mocha. Millennials are already online, meet them there.

Phone ordering is a new way of ordering coffee as well. This is a reflection of the on the go mentality of many millennials. Consider having an app created for your coffee shop that would allow your consumer to order and pay for the coffee before they get to your counter. You could roll this out just in time for the holiday season when consumers will be busy spending and shopping.

In general, the holidays are a time of cheery vibes and increased spending. Your younger consumers will appreciate the fact that you have shown that you care about them. This will also help to create a sense of relationship (which is exactly what the millennial is looking for) between you and your millennial shoppers.

To speak with a customer service associate please call 800 835 5943. 

12 Roasters Compete in 1st NC Statewide Coffee Competition

Stockton Graham & Co. is proud to be the exclusive sponsor for the first-ever statewide coffee competition in North Carolina. This groundbreaking event will feature 12 coffee roasters who will compete for the best coffee in North Carolina. The competition will take place on October 14 from 3:00pm – 5:00pm in the Special Cooking Contest area in the Education Building of the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. This is the first statewide coffee competition on the East Coast and the second-ever statewide coffee competition in the United States.coffee competition

“We are excited to do this and bring the coffee community together. Coffee has always been a collaborative industry and this introduces a whole new group of consumers to appreciate great specialty coffee and promote North Carolina industry and jobs,” said Jeff Vojta, co-founder and CEO of Stockton Graham & Co.

In addition to ribbons, there will be three cash prize winners; $100 for grand champion, $75 for the reserve champion and the honorable mention will receive $50.

The competitors are:

top-anchorAnchor Coffee Company, Wilkesboro, NC

Coffee, community and lifestyle are the three guiding principles of this roasting company.

 

logob_w_large

Aromatic Roasters, Pittsborro, NC

Micro-roaster featuring the finest coffee from around the world. They roast to highlight the skill of farmers.

 

backalleycoffeeroastersBack Alley Coffee Roasters, Wake Forest, NC

Back Alley Coffee Roasters wants to let the bean do the talking! Each single origin coffee has something unique to contribute.

 

brclogo_rgb_fin_200x200Bethesda Roasting Company, Durham, NC 

Bethesda’s mission is to provide high quality custom coffees and give excellent customer service to individuals and businesses.

 

muertos_logo_website_glowCafe De Los Muertos, Raleigh, NC

Cafe De Los Muertos’ mission is to roast and serve great coffee. They also want to showcase other roasters as well as local food artists.

 

1470840349537Camp Coffee Roasters, Blowing Rock, NC 

Team Camp has a passion for coffee. They are always learning and looking for new ideas to make the best coffee.

 

ccrlogo1Carrboro Coffee Roasters, Carrboro, NC 

Carrboro Coffee Roasters is a premier small batch artisan roaster that has drawn international attention.

 

Larry’s Coffee, Raleigh, NC larrys-coffee-logo

Larry’s Beans is happily committed to blending and roasting innovative uniquely delicious coffees — and making the world a better place.

 

magic-beans-logo-100x100Magic Beans, Pfafftown, NC

Magic Beans is a North Carolina roaster based in Pfafftown near Winston Salem.

 

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Mountain Air Roasting Incorporated, Asheville, NC

Mountain Air sources coffees from East Africa and the Americas that can be generally characterized as bright, clean, and sweet.

 

mainsquarenooutlinetrans3500Pushwater Coffee, Charlotte, NC 

Pushwater Coffee is a small batch coffee roaster with a big mission. They put their farmers first.

 

unknownSummit Coffee Company, Davidson NC

Summit’s story began in 1998 and theirs is a story about coffee, adventure, and people.

 

Coffee Competition Focuses on Specialty Coffee In North Carolina

So what exactly is “specialty coffee?” And what is the process of getting to the point of having a roasted bean ready for a coffee competition?

As many coffee shop owners may or may not know, specialty coffee is defined as any coffee that scores above 80 points on a 100-point scale. Typically, specialty coffee is grown at high altitudes, with lots of attention and care from the farmers. Then, it is sold at a premium direct to coffee roasters or to coffee traders.

The roasters then create custom profiles for each coffee highlighting and showcasing the natural flavors of the bean. This is where the craftsmanship of roasting takes place and this is where we at Stockton Graham & Co. and all roasters have an opportunity to shine.coffee competition

It is clear that there is an art to the sourcing, storing and roasting that makes for coffee perfection, but this is only one side of the coin for the roaster looking to make an award-winning cup.

The next step (and this is what twelve different North Carolinian roasters set out to showcase in a coffee competition) is preparation. This will involve decisions for the competitors about water, grind and method they will use to compete.

Which brings us to another new defining factor in this new age of coffee competition and that is an attention to detail that takes coffee to a level of fussiness previously only seen in wine circles. This shouldn’t be surprising, given that coffee has two to three times as many flavor compounds as wine does.

“We are going to be judging the best coffee, best prepared,” said Brad Kirby, who is the Director of Coffee at Stockton Graham & Co. “If you are going to prepare an Ethiopia, it’s going to need to have a certain acidity and a discernable fruitiness.”coffee competition

When asked more specifically about the reason coffee is just now being noticed for the craft beverage it can be, Kirby says he believes that it has taken coffee longer to position itself in the specialty market because where coffee is grown and where coffee is roasted are so far removed from one another.

Although we obviously can’t grow coffee here, North Carolina is rooted in agriculture. It is our leading industry. We are number one nationally for flue-cured tobacco and sweet potatoes and we are second in the nation for Christmas trees, hogs and pigs, trout, and turkeys. There are about 48,000 farms in North Carolina and agriculture alone is an $84 Billion industry.

Globally speaking and when it comes to coffee there are approximately 25 million farmers and coffee workers in over 50 countries involved in producing coffee around the world. Coffee was traditionally developed as a colonial cash crop, planted by serfs or wage laborers in tropical climates on large plantations of landowners for sale in colonial countries.

Coffee is the US’s largest food import and second most valuable commodity only after oil. In recent years, new cafés have been opening at an explosive rate, making specialty coffee mainstream and increasing profit margins for specialty coffee roasters and retailers.

 

 

Chewing the F.A.T. on Coffee Shop Profitability with Schoodacs

If you own a coffee shop, you know that the key to profitability is keeping sales up and costs down. But coffee shop profitability is a very tricky equation. The factors driving sales and costs are wide-reaching and often daunting for a small business owner. Consider the complexities of juggling things like rent and utility costs, menu and product mix, pricing, staffing, customer taste preferences, store marketing and more.Schoodacs Stockton Graham Coffee Shop Profitability

As former coffee business owners, managers and marketers, the team at Stockton Graham & Co. has simplified the profitability equation. We call it our F.A.T. Philosophy; F.A.T stands for FREQUENCY, AVERAGE and TRIAL.

F.A.T. is a decidedly customer-oriented approach. At the heart of the philosophy is the realization that the only way to sustainably make money is to focus on the top-line while making sure everything else in your P&L is reasonable. If you do this, the bottom line will take care of itself.

Businesses that align to the F.A.T. Philosophy get more customers in the door, get them coming back more often and get them spending more during each transaction.

To help our coffee business customers understand coffee shop profitability, it often helps to see how frequency, average and trial or F.A.T. work in a real coffee business situation.

Schoondacs Daryl Parker

Daryl Parker, Schoodacs Owner

Our Director of Sales Thom Swain had the opportunity to chew the F.A.T. on coffee shop profitability with Darryl Parker, owner of Schoodacs Coffee & Tea in Warner, NH, which opened in September 2015.  

Schoodacs Coffee is a Stockton Graham & Co. customer whose successful and well-respected coffee shop was voted “Best Cup of Coffee in Concord, NH” by the readers of the Hippo Press and “#2 Coffee Shop in Concord, NH” by the readers of the Concord Monitor. Darryl also owns website maintenance company Parker Web and is a business advisor with the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program at Babson College.”

Here’s how the conversation went.

Schoodacs Coffee Shop ProfitabilityDarryl: We will always be a low volume store, averaging 100 or less tickets per day. Not only does our data indicate this performance, traffic data for the area supports this conclusion. According to NH DOT, we get about 3000 cars per day in front of the store.  At 1% engagement, that’s 30 checks. We obviously do much better than that, but the idea seems clear: it’s low volume. Thoughts?

Thom: The average café serving coffee and limited food should be writing somewhere between 100-150 tickets per day. So, Darryl, your business instincts are right: you are positioned at the mid- to lower end of the traffic spectrum. We expected this, though. I recall our discussions about Warner—it is a town with less than 3000 residents and a very active tourist economy—which is what drives the traffic.

The F in F.A.T. stands for frequency. I believe that your key to success is to be loved by the locals and discoverable by the tourists. You seem to be doing this, as your customer reviews indicate. Another goal would be to maximize the high traffic periods of the year, maybe to the extent that you recover an entire year’s operating costs during a few high-traffic months.

A truly loyal coffee shop customer visits between 15 to 20 times per month. To monetize that, 15 visits x $6 average x 12 months = $1080 per customer. In your case, if only 1% of your town’s population frequents Schoodacs throughout the year, your top line will be consistent and you can focus on increasing traffic during the tourist seasons.Schoodacs Stockton Graham Coffee Shop Profitability

Getting more people at your door is the hardest one of all. It involves marketing, social media, pushing for word of mouth and overall visibility. Recognizing new faces and delivering exemplary customer service is paramount; each one of those new faces could be worth over $1000 to your business.

Darryl: Our average ticket is the place where we must focus in order to improve the business income. Looking at the data since November 1, we are averaging well above $6 per ticket. This includes a mix of retail, food and drinks. I believe the only way we can grow revenue is to NOT focus on traffic, but to focus on average ticket?

Thom: The A in F.A.T stands for ticket AVERAGE. Pushing for a higher average is not only vital to coffee shop profitability, but it’s vital to good customer service. All too often staff are willing to let a customer come in, buy a beverage and leave. Asking a customer if they would like a pastry or a sandwich to go may actually remind them that they really would like more than just a drink. Also, mentioning that you have take-home coffee available is a great, gentle way to nudge a customer towards a higher purchase. You’ve already demonstrated that you know just how important average ticket is for coffee shop profitability.

Schoodac's Stockton Graham Coffee Shop ProfitabilityDarryl: I’d like to see our average ticket at $10, or about $3 more per ticket than we are seeing right now. It appears our best opportunity to improve average ticket is to add food beyond just pastries and snack items. This would be deli type food with a limited menu. I’m very intimidated by this direction and nervous about it. My staff and my shop are not equipped for it. Do you agree this appears to be the best route? Other ideas?

Thom: I would look for a balance of foods that are quick serve and take away with some that can be enjoyed while sitting in the café. A good balance of sweet and savory is key as well. You will want to focus on any features of each option that would be a trigger word to your frequent customers and store concept like locally-baked muffins, gluten-free brownies, organic oatmeal, etc. Talk to your food reps and see about products that are top-tier quality, but aren’t highly perishable or labor intensive.

Darryl: I’ve recently done some pretty major shifting in what we offer and our food costs. We have seen food as a percentage of sales drop from averaging over 30% to now averaging only 20%. If food is currently 20% of that $7 ($1.40) and I want to get to the $10 using food (+$3.00), that means food would go to 44% of our overall revenue. That looks to me to be a fundamental shift that will impact the entire business.

Thom: You can get creative on the food, especially in your market, without implementing a true kitchen. Think about teaming up with a food truck to provide you a small menu of high-quality products at a great price for your store while allowing them to park on-site during lunch. Another idea that comes to mind is continental breakfast bar, something akin to what you would see in some hotels, which would be a real draw during the tourist season. Maybe you charge $7 or so for it, and you have options like pastries, eggs, fruit bowls, yogurt and fresh-squeezed juices. Or maybe just a DIY oatmeal bar with a variety of mix-ins for $5 or $6 including a cup of drip coffee.

Depending on the local regulations, your options are fairly wide without actually cooking or adding significantly to your labor costs.Coffee Shop Profitability Schoodacs Stockton Graahm

Darryl: We have added significant retail options to the shop at a high cost of inventory investment. This has netted out some increased retail sales, and I do believe we can account for our higher-than-usual average ticket because of retail sales. I will continue to manage and add to this category, but there isn’t enough push there to get us to the higher revenues needed for sustainability.

Thom: I fully believe in retail for your type of business. The trick is maintaining turns and rotating product. When it comes to raising coffee shop profitability, having products that both trigger impulse buys and encourage browsing is key. You obviously want to arrange these items in appropriate areas: granola bars by the register and cookbooks on a shelf. For true retail, focus on specialty and local as much as possible. These can be things like a local maple syrup, your own branded items, non-electrical coffee apparatuses, literature, local jams/jellies, local soaps, etc. Essentially, any non-perishables that aren’t going to be found in every other shop around town.

Darryl: We have a bottled cold brew and tea that is adding business. I’ve faced as many rejections as acceptances, and I understand it is like launching an entirely new business to chase this revenue. I’m not opposed to it, but I don’t think it is going to do us much good in the short term.

Schoodacs Cold BrewThom: We’ve gotten into the T of our F.A.T. philosophy: Trial. The Schoodac’s bottled Cold Brew and ready-to-drink Iced Tea allow you to get your name out through New Hampshire Made, Kearsarge Food and other local outlets. Potential customers who are out-and-about will see your name, try your Schoodac’s Ready to Drink (RTD) coffee or tea products and, because they like it, they will seek your shop out for more.

Retail coffee and tea are areas that need a special focus. Let’s look at coffee, and specifically packaged whole bean coffee, for your business. Recall, a loyal customer comes to you only about 1 out of 2 days. Coffee drinkers are habitual, however, and most have more than one cup. So, where does that coffee come from? Keeping a core of popular coffees, packaging them well, and making sure that each member of your team is capable of describing and suggesting coffees will push more movement.

Selling take-home coffee to just 5% of your customer base should add a minimum of $600/month to your bottom line. Just to give you a sense of the potential of packaged beans, we have a customer that sells more take-home coffee than any I’ve ever seen. I am certain he does far more business that way than in beverages and food; I’m guessing 80/20. He spends most of his time away from the service counter, talking to customers about what coffee they like and directing them to his line of packaged whole bean coffee. He sells a lot of 2lb. bags. And customers are always looking to explore new coffee regions, new roast levels and new producers, which can make a significantly positive impact on coffee shop profitability.

If you’re interested in learning more about our F.A.T. Philosophy on coffee shop profitability, feel free to contact Thom Swain at 800 835 5943.

Welcome Back Papua New Guinea Mile High Coffee

Nothing beats consistency! Especially when it comes to coffee. This is how we at Stockton Graham & Co. feel about Papua New Guinea Mile High Coffee. Making its mark in Pacific coffees, a noteworthy attribute of this particular coffee is that it is unusually consistent with the crops previously brought in. This is so exciting because consistency is a key reason customers return – they know what they are getting.

This is great for the independent coffee shop owner too because your customers will fall in love with the PNG and keep coming back for it. In fact, when surveyed, 86 percent of respondents in the Charlotte, NC area said “consistent service or quality” was most important in a recent survey we conducted with Mintel.

PNG_Mile High 500x400Originating in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, Mile High is the grade A coffee from the Arokara Co-op. Mile High gets its name because it is grown on the outskirts of the mountain town Kainantu, exactly one mile above sea level. Surrounded by mountains reaching staggering altitudes, the Arokara Co-op is made of plantations such as Gadsup and Tairorasta. Arokara has been processing and growing coffee for over 20 years. No chemicals or fertilizers are used by the landowner clans who now own and run Arokara.

papua new guinea coffee

The entire clan hand picks and pulps the Mile High cherries on the same day. Then, the fresh cherries are fermented for approximately 36 hours in cement vats. Next, they are cleaned in crisp, clear mountain water from the nearby Aru River. Lastly, they are left to dry in the sun for 7-12 days, slowly taking on a lovely bluish color. Mile High is carefully wet-processed to produce a consistently high-quality bean.

Gentle Flavors with an Undeniable Quality from a Versatile Bean

I sat down with our Head Roaster Brad Kirby and resident Barista Alex Jeans to explore this exceptional coffee and hear what they had to say about our Papua New Guinea (or PNG) Mile High.

They all commented on the slight, yet fruity malt softness of the bean that makes Mile High particularly drinkable. Its enjoyable aftertaste lingers on the tongue to be relished.

“As espresso, this coffee’s attributes are amplified in all the right ways,” said Kirby. “If a customer is looking for something different but instantly loveable, PNG Mile High is the way to go. Thanks to its creamy body and fruity sweet notes, this particular coffee does extremely well in small and medium sized milk-based drinks.”

papua new guinea coffee

To really get at the coffee’s unique flavors, our SCAA-certified barista Alex Jeans suggests brewing Mile High using the V60 pour over method, which really highlights its silky smooth body.

“The V60 method really highlights the coffee’s subtle acidity and fruit flavors along with a milk chocolate aftertaste,” Jeans said. “If you want to feature the coffee’s tangy, bright plum notes, then preparing it as an espresso is the way to go.”

When brewing PNG, it’s important to use the right coffee to water ratio—roughly 1:16 or 1 gram of coffee per 16 milliliters/grams of water or in other words 2 tablespoons of coffee for every 6 ounces of water—and the appropriate grind for your brew method. For more information see our Brewing and Grinding Guide. Here you will find specific measurements and grinds for your particular brew method.  

Coffee Growth in Papua New Guinea

Occupying the eastern half of the island New Guinea in the Pacific region of Melanesia, Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. There are 848 languages spoken there and thousands of independent indigenous communities. This said, Papua New Guinea is still one of the world’s least explored countries.

PNG Illustrated Map-01

Nearly 40 percent of the population lives a self-sustainable natural lifestyle, and the entire nation relies heavily on customary subsistence-based agriculture. In the mid-1920’s when Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee seeds were planted, Coffee production in the country started. This made PNG a closely connected descendent of one of the most luxurious and sought after coffees in the world.

The first coffee plantations were established in the moist Sangara foothills in 1926. During the 1980’s coffee production expanded away from the plantations and more into the hands of local farmers who are now responsible for over 85 percent of total national production. After palm oil, coffee is the country’s second largest agricultural export. Additionally, coffee is responsible for employing over 2.5 million people. Most of their coffee is grown in the highlands, where 70 percent of the population relies on subsistence agriculture.

PNG landscape web

Papua New Guinea coffees come from the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, which sits contentedly north of the Australian landmass. Not unlike neighboring Indonesian coffees, New Guineas tend to come either from estates with large-scale facilities or much smaller farmers using simple backyard processing methods; Both methods yield inspiring results. Because the mountainous topography of the island lends itself to endless coffee varieties, Papua New Guinea is home to some of the highest quality beans in the world.

After a turbulent history of constantly fluctuating global markets and evolving infrastructures, the Papua New Guinea coffee industry has faced countless challenges. But thanks to an increased introduction of modern processing methods, combined with an intimate understanding of the crop, PNG has continued to grow as one of the most desirable coffees on the market. Papua New Guinea is actually responsible for 1 percent of total world coffee production, and here at Stockton Graham & Co., we are thankful for that.

To order our PNG Mile High, contact a Customer Care Associate at 800 835 5943.

Stockton Graham Launches Nitro Cold Brew Coffee

Stockton Graham & Co. launched nitro cold brew coffee in Raleigh on May 22 to rave reviews during the four-day local celebration of good taste called The Raleigh Food & Wine Festival. On June 10, we will launch our nitro solution nationally at Coffee Fest Dallas. Drop by Coffee Fest booth #917 to speak to our coffee experts and sample the brew.Nitro Coffee Stockton Graham & Co.

At the Raleigh Food & Wine Festival, customers lined up three-deep to taste our refreshing, sweet brew, which was featured in partnership with Café Helios. For the un-initiated, nitro coffee is cold brewed coffee that is infused with nitrogen gas. The gas transforms the cold coffee into a creamy, fizzy non-alcoholic beer-esque drink that can be enjoyed anytime of the day or night.

The Business Case for Nitro Cold Brew Coffee

Nitro CoffeeOffering nitro coffee is a slam dunk for an independent coffee shop, restaurant or bar, according to Thom Swain, Director of Southeast Sales for Stockton Graham & Co. Both the Specialty Coffee Association of America expo in April and the National Restaurant Association show in May featured nitro coffee prominently and booths offering nitro coffee were packed.

It’s no wonder. There hasn’t been a alcohol-free beverage option in recent history that hit the sweet spot in terms of demand, profitability and ease of implementation. Here’s a break down of the business case for nitro cold brew coffee:

Profits: Roughly $1 in costs, which include coffee and nitrogen gas, can create a 12oz beverage that can sell at $4-$5. That’s a 400% profit.

Implementation: Simple nitro systems are readily available at craft beer supply and home brew supply stores. A basic system will cost roughly $1000, and will break even at 250 servings. Many independent shops are reporting sales of 5-10 gallons (or 50-100 servings) of nitro a day.

Differentiation: Nitro is a product that is becoming known to more customers but that is still generally difficult to find. “Shops that develop a nitro program now will be ahead of the curve, positioning yourselves as a destination for nitro even before the product becomes more available,” said Thom Swain.

Demand: Nitro appeals specifically to millennials, who according to a 2016 survey by TD Ameritrade, spend more money on out-of-house coffee than any other demographic. “Offering nitro will shore up this demographic and have this coveted demographic in your store morning, noon and night,” Thom said.

Our Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Recommendation

Through our research we have found that consumers in the 18-35 age group grew up on soda and have an affinity for the sharp, fruity flavor of phosphoric acid that gives soda its “pop.”

Nitro CoffeeWith that in mind, we recommend using East African coffees tapped with beer gas. This summer, we are recommending our Tanzania Peaberry that features juicy citrus and berry flavors. The nitrogen brings out a cane sugar sweetness that’s reminiscent of good southern-style sweet tea.

For a crisper and more fruity brew, you might try our Ethiopia Limmu. This limited-edition, natural-process, single-origin coffee provides a clean, sweet mouth feel and pops with the flavors of strawberry, raspberry and rose hips.

Both Tanzania Peaberry and Ethiopia Limmu are roasted to order at our Raleigh NC coffee roasting facilities.

When it comes to preparing and serving nitro cold brew coffee, a variety of systems are available. You may opt for a custom-made jockey boxes like the one we prepared for Café Helios at the Raleigh Food & Wine Festival. There are also relatively inexpensive countertop coolers and more elaborate full kegerator beer tap systems. Either of these options are available at places like Home Depot, home brew stores and restaurant supply stores. The team at Stockton Graham & Co. can discuss options based on your business concept and traffic and provide step-by-step guidance on brewing, gassing and serving nitro coffee.

If you are in Dallas for Coffee Fest, stop by our booth #917 to meet the team to sample our Nitro Cold Brew Coffee or call us at 800 835 5943.

Introducing our new Colombia Supremo Pitalito

Colombia, the second largest producer of coffee in the world, is perhaps the best recognized source of specialty coffee. The town of Pitalito, which lies in the Valley of Laboyos in the Huila region, produces superior graded Supremo. The Colombia Supremo Pitalito shows off one of Colombia’s richest coffee micro-regions—its perfect blend of weather, altitude and soil producing some of the best coffee in the country.Colombia Supremo Pitalito Stockton Graham & Co craft roasted coffee

Our new single-origin Colombia Supremo Pitalito is a blend of beans from several farms, each averaging about 6 hectares and 5,000 trees per hectares. Because the farms are so small, the coffee is blended together at the source and exported as one type. The quality control at source is outstanding. These smallholder farms are known for their commitment and dedication to the craft of growing great coffee. Beans are hand-picked at the peak of ripeness, wet processed using traditional fermentation and sun-dried on patios.

Roastmaster Brandon Riggs and Head Roaster Brad Kirby cupped six Colombian offerings this season before choosing the Pitalito Colombia Supremo. “They were all very good Colombians,” Brad Kirby said. “But the Pitalito shined through more. The entire roasting team decided pretty quickly that this would be our new single-origin Colombian.”

The Colombia Supremo Pitalito had both the flavor and the balance that the roasting team was seeking. “Of all the Colombians we cupped this season, this one was a bit more balanced,” Brandon Riggs said. “I like the fruitiness, sweetness. It is a good, solid Colombian that could stand on its own as a single origin or could work well as a blend with other varietals.”Colombia Supremo Pitalito Cupping Attributes Stockton Graham

The flavor is complex, Brandon noted. “It has a sweet, caramel flavor upfront and a dry, malty spiciness on the back end.”

The aftertaste is long and lingering, Brandon added. “The aftertaste is similar to an East African in that it stays with you. That’s a good sign of a well-processed Latin America coffee.”

Learn more about cupping protocols from the Specialty Coffee Association of America here.

Investigating New Latin America Coffees

Our new Colombia Supremo Pitalito was selected after an extensive process our roasting team is undergoing to investigate new Central and South American coffee crops from Colombia, Costa Rica and Guatemala. Stockton Graham & Co. tries to purchase coffee with the harvest cycles so that it is as fresh as possible.

But, of course, as coffee is an agricultural product, its quality and availability changes from season to season. “That’s one of the things I personally love about coffee,” said Brandon Riggs. “It’s agricultural so it is constantly changing. So we never know exactly what’s next.”

To help ensure the coffee we purchase for our customers is of the highest quality, the Stockton Graham & Co. roasting team undergoes extensive cuppings of each crop before we commit to bringing it in. “A good coffee roaster is never done researching, adjusting and refining the coffee,” Brad Kirby said. “We use regular cupping as a tool to assess the quality of the coffee, and refine the roast levels, to ensure that the roasting process is bringing out the very best that a coffee can be.”

The roasting process happens in our Raleigh, NC coffee facility where we craft roast coffee for our own Stockton Graham Coffees brand, as well as for Dilworth Coffee and for hundreds of private label customers around the nation.

For more information on our Colombia Supremo Pitalito or to order samples, please call our customer care team at 800 835 5943.