Try an experiment: have your barista save all of their leftover milk during a shift (with the goal of reducing milk waste). You’ll probably be shocked at how much it is–then think about how much that milk cost you!
Coffee shops waste a lot of milk. No one should re-steam old milk, which tastes burnt, doesn’t foam right, and is just plain disgusting. Therefore, you need to use fresh milk. The key is to manage its usage through proper training of each barista. A good one should be able to steam a perfect latte with zero waste.
Sometimes milk wastage stems from overstretching the milk, sometimes it is as simple as overfilling or using a steaming pitcher that is too large.
Says Alex Jeans, Stockton Graham & Co.’s resident barista trainer, “Always be sure to use the right pitcher for the job. Knowing which pitcher corresponds to which size drinks is always extremely helpful.”
To prevent that problem, don’t let baristas use the same pitcher for a 6 oz. cappuccino that they would for a 20 oz. latte. Pouring milk and making beautiful and elaborate designs on top of coffee drinks is always an appreciated skill, but a barista should also focus on consistently stretching the right amount of milk to the exact amount needed. It makes them much more efficient as they work and no time is spent trying to figure out what to do with leftover milk.
From a training perspective, if you or your baristas are not starting and ending with the right amount of milk, it’s just not being done correctly. Training for it from the very beginning is the best. If baristas need help hitting the mark with milk, have them join you for an extra training session. Milk waste and the associated costs can definitely be greatly reduced with just a little practice!
As we start a new year, we decided to feature one of our all-time favorite coffees, the amazing organic Ethiopia Limmu Natural. This certified organic, single farmer coffee is a limited edition, small batch that our roasters have masterfully perfected. This coffee is comforting and approachable, but it is simultaneously and undeniably unique.
A Bean Unlike Any Other
Brad Kirby, Director of Coffee, was very pleased to share the incredible flavors of this single origin coffee during a tasting at Stockton Graham & Co. “This one has a nice balance of acidity and body,” said Kirby. “It is kind of a departure for us because it is really expensive. We bought twice as much as we did last year because it is just so good.”
The first, most striking detail about this coffee is the aroma. Before the beans are even roasted, they have a powerful fragrance of sweet fruit with floral undertones. As Kirby started to brew the freshly ground coffee the room began to smell like a berry orchard, with balmy aromas of ripe strawberries and jam.
“Because this coffee is natural processed, it has a more substantial body and slightly lower acidity than washed coffees from the same region,” said Kirby. “What’s great about the Limmu Natural though, is that it still produces an exceptionally clean cup in which the berry notes carry through from start to finish.” Kirby continued to savor the coffee in his mouth. “This organic Ethiopia was processed perfectly. It has more body and fruitiness than a Yirgacheffe, with a satisfying tartness at the end.”
“I would recommend brewing this almost any way you like. Its best use is probably a single cup offering,” said Kirby. “That being said, this next-level coffee will be excellent no matter how you prepare it.”
A Bit About Coffee Processing
Coffee processing is a catch-all term that is used to describe the various different processes by which the fruit—the sweet, fleshier outer part of the coffee cherry that most coffee drinkers sadly never get to taste— is removed from the seed inside the fruit, which is shipped around the world and roasted. One such style of processing is called “natural processing”, in which a coffee cherry is passively dried to separate seed from the pulp. Over the years, this natural processing method, which has been used for thousands of years and has a spiritual home in Ethiopia, has been seen as a lesser method of coffee production to a roast-ready bean when compared to washed processes, a much more modern method of using water to “wash” the fruit off the seed. Washing, the thinking goes, yields a cleaner and more balanced cup, with fewer defects.
But there are distinct benefits and lots of exciting aspects to the natural drying process that make it interesting and desirable, as we experience with the Limmu Natural. The method is increasingly en vogue in coffee growing regions outside of Ethiopia, where progressive coffee producers are thinking outside of the box and, in some ways, getting back to a more ancient method of coffee processing. And they’ve been greatly encouraged in their efforts by various progressive green coffee buyers, including both importers and direct emissaries from your favorite coffee roaster.
Not only is Ethiopia the birthplace of Arabica coffee, but it is undoubtedly one of the most popular coffee origins in the world. Many of its regions are well known for their coveted varietals and sought-after flavor profiles. Its high altitudes, ideal climates, and diverse landscapes make it somewhat of a coffee growing paradise. In fact, there is so much possibility for different coffees that finding a unique, exceptional, and traceable coffee in Ethiopia can be a challenge. Luckily, many of the farmers throughout the country are actively building strong relationships with coffee buyers and continuing to improve their crops year after year.
Our Ethiopia Limmu Natural comes from one such farmer, Kossa Geshe, and his single farm plantation in the Limmu district, near the Kebena Forest about 30 miles north of the city Jimma. It is harvested between August and October at altitudes between 5900-7000 ft. The large Jimma region of Western Ethiopia is home to some of the most diverse varietals, cup profiles, and processing styles in the country. The organic Ethiopia Limmu Natural was a unanimously high scoring standout at the 2014/2015 Ethiopia Taste of Harvest competition, recognized by cuppers and judges alike.
Arabica coffee grows wild in many of Ethiopia’s lush mountain forests, and covers about 400,000 hectares (988,422 acres) of land throughout the country. It is Ethiopia’s most important export, directly affecting the lives of over 15 million people. Ethiopia produces roughly 220,462 tons of clean coffee each year, 98% of which is thanks to workers on small farms. Fortunately, more and more cooperatives and partnerships are forming that give these small scale farmers increased equity and access to services and compensation that they haven’t received in the past. At Stockton Graham & Co. our hats go off to these efforts that recognize value in every step of the process and continue to make amazing coffees like Limmu Natural Kossa Geshe possible.
North Carolina, where Stockton Graham & Co. is headquartered, will experience inclement weather beginning Friday, January 6th that will impact customer shipments through the weekend. Expect snow, ice and freezing rain from Winter Storm Helena to delay all deliveries leaving our facilities and headed northward to New York, eastward into Tennessee and southward into Georgia and parts of Alabama. Plan for the possibility that orders scheduled for delivery on Monday Jan 9 will be delayed. Due to the storm, which is expected to impact travel throughout the weekend, Stockton Graham & Co. may delay opening on Monday, January 9. We will post delay information on our Facebook page. If you need to place an order early Monday morning, we recommend emailing firstname.lastname@example.org