Store it Properly and Say Yes to Fresh Coffee

Fresh Coffee is the Beast CoffeeHave you ever wondered how fresh coffee can go stale? It is actually a complex process that involves a fair amount of science. It all begins when heat is introduced to the green beans. Inside the roaster the sugars and amino acids in the beans combine to begin what is known as the Maillard Reaction. This is what gives browned or toasted food its distinctive flavor and it was first described in 1912 by French chemist Louis-Camille Maillard. Many types of foods, such as cookies, breads, caramel and chocolate undergo this reaction. And, of course, it is what leads to the wonderful smell, taste, and color of coffee.

During roasting, carbon dioxide also forms inside the beans. As soon as the beans are dumped into the cooling of tray of the roaster, however, the release of this gas begins. In this process, which is called degassing and can last over a week, the carbon dioxide is slowly replaced by oxygen. Though oxygen is a very good thing in many situations, it can also be one of nature’s most destructive forces. When it comes into contact with some materials, such as organic matter and some metals, oxygen alters their molecular makeup. Known as oxidation, it is a process in which oxygen actually pulls electrons away from another molecule, making it unstable. The results are things like rusting, browning or staling. So, the processes that make a bright copper penny turn dark, a cut apple become brown or–yes–coffee become stale, are all related. In coffee, oxygen reacts with the oils and solubles that give the coffee its unique taste. As time passes, flavors become less pronounced, resulting coffee that tastes flat and stale. There is no getting around this natural process but it can be slowed; if at all possible, store your fresh coffee in an airtight container to prolong its taste. It will remain fresh until your next order arrives and allow you to serve customers the best beverage possible.

To learn more about the best ways to store your coffee, call 800-835-5943 or email orders@stocktongraham.com.

Introducing Costa Rica Romelia from the Palmichal Region

When spring rolls into town, our roasting team turns their attention to the new crops of Costa Rica coffee so that we can begin offering them to customers in July. This year, as usual, we cupped several offerings from the historic coffee region of Tarrazú and its surrounding farms.Costa Rica Coffee

We began by cupping the Tarrazú from the Don Roberto estate, which we featured last year, with a few others from the region. The winner in terms of flavor was a coffee from a producer just outside Tarrazú proper and bordering the Palmichal rainforest: Romelia.

The coffee from Romelia performed so well that it has become our go-to Costa Rica coffee for 2016. Today, the Romelia is a popular bean at our Raleigh, NC coffee roasting facilities.

“The coffee from Don Roberto and Romelia are very similar, as to be expected, because the coffee varietals and growing conditions around Palmichal and the Santa Ana and Escazú mountains are very similar,” said Brad Kirby, Director of Coffee for Stockton Graham & Co. and Dilworth Coffee.

“As we discussed the coffee around the cupping table, we were drawn more to the Romelia beans because they produced a bit more of an interesting sweet, orange aroma and flavor,” Brad said.

Costa Rica Coffee“When you first brew the Romelia coffee, you notice the aroma of sweet orange zest and honey,” Brad said. “These are two delicate notes that define the coffee in terms of fragrance, flavor and aftertaste. We roast the Romelia coffee a bit lighter to preserve these delicate notes.”

Like most Costa Rica coffees, the Romelia is washed and drum dried. That’s because high humidity in Costa Rica prevents patio drying. This processing method creates a vibrant, yet well-rounded cup.

History of Romelia Coffee from Palmichal

Romelia is named after the sister of one of the first families to plant coffee in the Tarrazú region of Costa Rica. That family was the decendents of the beneficiaries of the first land concession granted to José Miguel Cascante Rojas in 1826 just after Costa Rica gained its independence from Spanish rule in 1821 and Mexican rule in 1823.

The land was granted by Costa Rica’s first elected Chief of State, Juan Mora Fernandez, who is considered the grandfather of Tarrazú coffee by giving free land grants to farmers that knew how to grow Costa Rica coffee.Costa Rica Coffee

Amid decades of power struggles amongst Costa Rica’s coffee elite, Don José and his son Don Manuel Rojas Arias built a formidable coffee business in the Palmichal region on the western slopes of the Escazú Mountains. In addition to the coffee farm, Don Manuel founded Beneficio Palmichal, a processing coffee processing plant that allowed him to control the quality of his coffee from seed to roast.

Many farmers observed the success Don Manuel had with coffee and followed his lead in converting their sugar plantations into coffee plantations. When Don Manuel passed away in the mid 1900s, he left his farms to his only sister, Romelia, who worked tirelessly to sustain the quality of her family’s coffee.

Doña Romelia had no children to inherit the farm and so she sold it to coffee visionary Don Roberto Montero Castro. As a result, today’s Don Roberto Tarrazú and Romelia from Palmichal are twin branches in the rich history of Costa Rica coffee.

To order our Costa Rica coffee, please call our Customer Care Associates at 800 835 5943 or email orders@stocktongraham.com