When Marcus Anderson, one of the world’s premier modern saxophonists, came to Stockton Graham & Co. with a question about launching his own private label coffee line, it was a common one: “How do I do it?”
“The idea of blending music and coffee was a natural one for me because they are both products that bring people together,” said Marcus, an award-winning musician whose smooth jazz stylings have achieved international acclaim.
“Just like coffee, people share the experience of drinking a cup of joe with a stranger and begin to relate to one another,” Marcus said. “Mutual appreciation of music has the same kind of effect on people.”
“I wanted to create a private label coffee that would excite people who love music and enhance the experience of listening to my music,” Marcus said. “So working with Stockton Graham & Co., I was able to initially launch four coffees designed to match certain tracks on my AND Coffee album.”
So Marcus Anderson’s private label coffee line, AND Coffee, was born. The titles and moods of each song on the AND Coffee album correspond to the tastes, aromas and experiences that each of the various blends in the AND Coffee lineup.
Marcus and his team spent countless hours at our Raleigh, NC coffee roasting facilities, speaking to our coffee roaster, marketing director and sales team to launch AND Coffee. The AND Coffee selections reflect Marcus’ musical tastes and the experiences of the music from mild to passionate and bold.
The first single from the AND Coffee album is called Cup of Joe, and it has an accompanying coffee blend also called Cup of Joe that is “roasted mild for easy sipping.” The song Cup of Joe ranked #1 on Billboard Smooth Jazz charts on June 16 and 23 of this year. The song remained in the Top 10 into August.
Marcus Anderson has initially launched three other coffees coinciding with other songs on his AND Coffee album, including sweet Hazelnut, bold Cappuccino Strut and decaf Passion Blend.
“I was so excited when we released AND Coffee with Cup of Joe being the first single off the CD,” Marcus said. “Originally I had not planned to send the song to radio and it was just going to be a product album. But after a brief discussion with my team we decided to go for it. It ended up being the best decision of my career because it gave me my first #1 on Billboard. Cup of Joe superseded all of our expectations of the songs possibilities. Now we’re having the same discussion on what could possibly be the next single. I’m very excited about the future of AND Coffee, both the Music and the Beverage.”
For more information on Marcus Anderson and AND Coffee, visit andproducts.net. If you’d like to explore your own private label coffee program for your coffee shop, call our Director of Sales Thom Swain at 800 835 5943.
This week, our coffee roasting team has been busy tweaking the levels on our new crop of Guatemala La Cascada. Although we’ve had this coffee for several years, the new crop comes to us from La Finca Flor del Rosario or “Flower of the Rosary Farm.”
Over the last several years that Stockton Graham & Co. has offered coffee from La Cascada, it has produced coffee that is consistently good with an exquisite roundness and pleasant mouth feel. The Finca Flor del Rosario is no exception.
Flavors of caramel, milk chocolate and toasted marshmallow dance in this smooth, round-bodied coffee. The acidity is bright with a subtle hint of sweet citrus. The aftertaste is crisp and leaves a lingering acidity on the palate.
The entire team at our Raleigh NC coffee roasting facility enjoys the La Finca Flor del Rosario so much that it is now on heavy rotation in our Taste Kitchen, as was last year’s Guatemala La Cascada.
Coffee from Guatemala La Cascada
Hacienda La Cascada, which translates to “The Waterfall Estate,” is named for the 100 meter natural spring waterfall that runs through the estate. La Cascada is located in the heart of the Alta Verapaz state in the north central part of the country. This is generally north of Guatemala City and part of the Sierra de Los Cuchumatanes mountain range. The main city in Alta Verapaz is called Cobán.
Alta Verapaz is a popular coffee growing region in Guatemala. It is known for its lush jungle and picturesque pools of water that form off waterfalls in the Cahabòn River. A Google search of La Cascada Hacienda is rich with lush images of flowering native plants and rolling waterfalls. To locals, the area near the waterfalls is known as Rainforest Cobán and is almost permanently covered with a fog that locals call chipichipi.
The rich soils and high elevation once hosted abundant sugar plantations. In the 19th Century, most of those sugar plantations were replanted with coffee. Alta Verapaz turned out to be the the perfect growing region to produce exquisite coffee, which is now recognized as one of the finest in both Guatemala and Central America.
Finca La Flor del Rosario was planted with coffee in 1988/1989 by farmer and owner Horst Spitzke. In addition to coffee, he raises orchids, cardamoms and Guatemala’s national flower Monja Blanca on the 1,400 acre farm. Images of the farm can be seen here.
“Like most coffees from Guatemala, coffee from La Finca Flor Del Rosario shines with citrus fruit and floral notes of the region,” said Brad Kirby, Director of Coffee at Stockton Graham & Co. “Another trademark of the Flor Del Rosario is its sweet caramelized finish. The aftertaste is lively and crisp.”
For more information on our new Guatemala La Cascada from La Finca Flor del Rosario, please call us at 800 835 5943 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you step off the bus onto the Nicaragua Selva Negra coffee estate, you’ve reached an amazing place.
Lush rainforest landscapes are vibrant with mums, gladioli, lilies, baby breath, daisies and roses. Cows, goats, turkey, quail and chicken roam through grassy pastures. These are the creatures that Selva Negra’s 300+ year-round workers tend, cultivating them for meat, milk, cream and eggs for the estate’s restaurant and in the workers’ kitchens. Farm-generated methane and hydro-electric power from ponds fuel lights, stoves and classrooms.
“Our goal is to be self-sufficient in everything,” Eddy Kühl, who owns and oversees the estate along with his wife Mausi, told me. “We produce green coffee for export, roasted coffee, milk, cheese, hams, vegetables, poultry and eggs. We produce methane gas for cooking and have solar heaters. Our bottleneck was the expensive, national energy power, but recently we finished building our own hydroelectric power turbine, and we are looking forward to a wind-powered energy system.”
A leader in sustainable farming since 1975, the Selva Negra Estate is recognized for producing exceptional Rainforest Alliance coffee and for its work to spread sustainable farming practices around the world through its not-for-profit Selva Negra Community Foundation. The foundation, headed by Mausi Kühl, has been working with farmers in Nicaragua to reclaim land laid to waste by toxic pesticides, deforestation and unsustainable farming practices. To date, the Selva Negra Community Foundation has made a significant impact by providing free education, resources and on-site training. Visit selvanegracommunity.org to learn more.
Stockton Graham & Co. began working with the Selva Negra community several years ago. In 2013, our roasting team spent some time on the estate, where they explored organic farming, the estate’s milling process and the vast social, medical, educational, professional and cultural services Selva Negra provides estate workers and their families. During that visit, we provided estate management with insight on the US coffee market and consumer preferences, as well as donated computers, school books and more.
As we set our sights on Earth Day 2016, which is on Friday April 22, we’re appreciating truly sustainable coffees like our Nicaragua Selva Negra. “This is truly the most sustainable coffee farm I have ever visited,” said Brandon Riggs, roastmaster for Stockton Graham Coffees and Dilworth Coffee. “The Kühl’s commitment to the land, their coffee, and their people is inspiring and serves as an excellent example of what coffee culture can be – both at origin and for the end consumer.”
Truly sustainable coffee
It is grown using time-tested pesticide-free native Nicaraguan growing methods and boasts a Rainforest Alliance certification. Because the coffee is shade grown in the Matagalpa highlands, it is also bird friendly although it does not carry the official certification. However, it has been recognized by the Specialty Coffee Association for its sustainability practices, has received a Q Auction rating and the Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality Award.
Stockton Graham & Co. directly imports the coffee through Atlanta-based JavaVino. This small, independent business is run by Eddy and Mausi’s daughter, Heddy, her husband Steve and two sons. As the name suggests, JavaVino specializes in coffee and wine; but it also runs a café that serves breakfast, sandwiches and desserts, as well as event space for meetings, weddings and parties.
The care that everyone puts into growing, processing and importing Nicaragua Selva Negra Estate Coffee shines in the taste. Right from the start, brewed coffee emits the mouth-watering aroma of honey and caramel. Drinking the coffee is just as pleasurable. The cup’s creamy body is the perfect foundation for its milk chocolate flavors. As the coffee cools in the cup, you’ll begin to taste the depth of flavors from toasted caramel to sweet berry undertones.
This fine example of Nicaraguan coffee is also featured in our Grounds for Health Blend, which raises money for vital healthcare for women who work on coffee farms in Nicaragua, Peru and Ethiopia. Created in partnership with Grounds For Health, money raised from sale of the blend will provide cervical cancer screening and treatment to 15,000 women worldwide.
We recently started cupping a new crop of our Uganda Bulaago at our Raleigh roasting facilities, and boy, were we delighted. As we brewed it in a V60, we expected the deep, fresh aroma of apricots and raisins to permeate our senses and make our Taste Kitchen smell like fresh-baked cinnamon bread. And still this new crop tickled our senses with something new: the zesty citrus aroma of candied lemon peel.
Being a major fan of The Barefoot Contessa’s Lemon Yogurt Cake, or any dessert made with fresh lemon for that matter, we couldn’t wait to take our first sip. We weren’t disappointed. Candied lemon flavors danced delicately on deeper flavors of raisin and apricot. While the essence of stone fruit caressed the flat of our tongue like silk, the sweet zest of lemon teased our tongue’s edges, creating a contrast of flavors that was both unusual and compelling.
We savored the sip for a moment, enjoying the way the coffee’s tangy acidity played with its deep fruit flavors. It immediately occurred to us that this Uganda Bulaago would make the perfect after-dinner drink. It reminded us of a well-aged port from the Duoro region of Portugal—a red wine fortified slightly with brandy, giving it a bit more sweetness and body on the tongue. That dreamy red wine flavor seemed to evolve further moments after we swallowed, and we were left with a lightly pleasant aftertaste of maple syrup.
Indeed, our ideal after-dinner coffee was the complete package. It was easy to see why the Bugisu region of Uganda and the Bulaago farms specifically grow the most sought-after washed Arabica coffee. In fact, those who know Ugandan coffee well know that Bulaago’s farmers known as the BuCoFa Farmer Group produce some of the best coffee in Uganda, as their coffees grown high on the slopes of Mount Elgon surprisingly exude the earthiness that is typical of the Indonesian coffees over the traditional flavors we know and love in African coffees.
Cupping Attributes AROMA: Apricot – Candied Lemon BODY: Silky FLAVOR: Raisin – Apricot – Candied Lemon ACIDITY: Tangy – Medium High AFTERTASTE: Red Wine – Maple Syrup
Bulaago: A Secret Gem Every sip of the Uganda Bulaago reminds us that this is a gem of a bean that few are privileged to enjoy. Although the BuCoFa farmers are never short of a reliable market, this is a high-quality, small lot offering that doesn’t get much attention outside the few roasters who are truly dedicated to exceptional coffees.
“To me, the Uganda Bulaago is a secret gem that I’m proud to share with our customers,” said roastmaster Brandon Riggs. “Not only do I love the flavor of this coffee, but I wholeheartedly support the work of the BuCoFa Farmer Group and our importer Crop to Cup to promote fair compensation, housing, medical care, education and high agricultural standards that are practiced on the BuCoFa farms. Together, we are helping to ensure good human and farming practices in the Bugisu region and beyond.”
The BuCoFa Farmer Group is part of The Bulaago Project, a system through which Bulaago farmers receive higher compensation and support from Crop to Cup and local agricultural partners. This support allows them to take extra steps to produce top-lot, high scoring specialty grade coffee. Stockton Graham & Co. supports them through educational initiatives that help the local farmers understand the U.S. coffee market so they can continue to grow, harvest and process product that is in high demand year after year.
“It’s neat that Crop to Cup takes our cupping notes to the BuCoFa and uses them to teach the farmers how we evaluate their product in the U.S. marketplace,” Brandon said.
For more information on our coffees or to sample our new crop of Uganda Bulaago, please contact us at 800 835 5943.
Stockton Graham & Co. has a lot to be excited about. But this week one thing in particular has been causing a lot of buzz around the roastery – our amazing Ethiopian coffee, Limmu Natural.
This single farm coffee is a limited edition, small batch that our roasters have masterfully nailed on the head. Fighting the urge to keep it all for ourselves, we are happy (maybe a little begrudgingly) to finally share this coffee with you. We have a feeling it’s going to go fast.
A Bean Unlike Any Other
I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in our first Limmu Natural tasting the day after the beans were roasted. Let me tell you, I haven’t seen this kind of anticipation from our roasting team in a long time. Roastmaster Brandon Riggs, Head Roaster Brad Kirby, and resident Barista Alex Jeans huddled around the heating kettle like it was Christmas morning.
The first, most striking detail about this coffee is the aroma. Before the beans are even roasted, they have a powerful bouquet of sweet fruit with floral undertones. As Alex 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 its wet processed counterparts,” said Roastmaster Brandon Riggs. “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.”
Head Roaster Brad Kirby added, “This was processed perfectly. It’s more earthy and spicy than a Yirgacheffe, with a satisfying tartness at the end.
A unanimous and resounding approval was obvious as everyone silently sipped and savored. Something familiar makes this coffee comforting and approachable, but it is simultaneously and undeniably unique.
“I would recommend brewing this using either the V60 or Kalita Wave pour over method to really highlight the fruit flavors and produce the cleanest cup,” said Alex. “That being said, this next-level coffee will be excellent no matter how you prepare it.”
Coffee in Ethiopia
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 farm 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 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 phenomenal coffees like Limmu Natural Kossa Geshe possible.
To order our Ethiopia Limmu Natural, contact a Customer Care Associate at 800 835 5943.
There are few better ways to prepare your St. Patrick’s Day menu than sitting down with a freshly prepared Classic Irish Coffee. Whiskey-doused beverages like Irish Coffee, or even modern twists like this sexy Cold Brewed Coffee-Tini, are always good choices for your March menu.
But if you don’t have a liquor license or prefer to keep your store more family friendly, a great option is coffee that is flavored to taste like your favorite St. Patrick’s Day liqueur. Here are a few of Stockton Graham & Co.’s favorite St. Patrick’s Day-inspired options straight from our Raleigh, North Carolina coffee roaster:
Highlander Cream “The essence of the Highlands” is what we call this creamy, dreamy coffee. It is based on a popular liqueur made with high-end Scotch whisky, double cream and a secret blend of wild and puckish herbs. Your customers will find Highlander Cream notable for its light spice and remarkably smooth flavor.
Irish Cream Everyone knows Irish Cream. It is a liqueur made from cream and Irish whiskey that became the go-to after-dinner cordial in the mid-1970s. This straight-forward version is great as a standalone drink with a splash of fresh cream or blended with Irish Cream syrup for an indulgent St. Patrick’s Day pick-me-up.
Irish Mint This is Irish Cream coffee laced with the cool, refreshing flavor of Crème de Menthe. As an after-dinner option, it’s the closest thing you’ll get to a good luck charm, unless you have a four-leaf-clover handy.
Luck of the Irish Everyone should feel a little nutty for St. Patrick’s Day. Our Luck of the Irish flavor complements the rich, sweet taste of Irish Cream with caramel and nuts. It is a creamy and light with coffee with luxurious, silky undertones.
Peppermint Paddy Bold dark chocolate coats refreshing, glacial mint nuances in this peppermint patty-inspired coffee. Most customers comment on its sensational, refreshing mouth feel and rich chocolate aftertaste.
Scottish Grog Another option inspired by the highlands of Scotland, this coffee has creamy, sweet caramel notes in a full, creamy body. A splash of honey-tinged bourbon flows across the palate like the boisterous sound of bagpipes rolling down a lush, green Scottish hillside.
White Chocolate Chunk It’s not a traditional St. Patrick’s Day flavor; yet we find it pairs well with many Irish desserts like Tea Cake and Soda Bread Cookies. That’s because white chocolate isn’t as forward as dark chocolate and milk chocolate, so customers get a hint of indulgent flavor without overwhelming the palate.
Organic Assam Breakfast Tea Irish Breakfast Tea is really a mix of several black teas, most of them Assam. These big, black organic tea leaves are the real thing, grown in Assam, India, where hot days and cool nights bring out the rich, full flavor.
Green Tea Smoothie Smoothies made with authentic Japanese green tea are a healthful way to get in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit. We offer several brands of including Dragonfly Green Tea Powder and Matcha Green Tea Smoothie Base from Big Train.
Green Tea Chai We love David Rio Tortoise Green Tea Chai mix for its rich and creamy mixture of green tea and exotic spices. What’s better, it can be served hot or blended with ice for a cool drink of green.
As always, the taste experts at Stockton Graham & Co. have put together a wide variety of St. Patrick’s Day LTO ideas for your business. Click here for a few ideas. Most can be crafted with the products you already use. Feel free to call us at 800 835 5943 if you need to refresh your stock or are looking for something else.
Nearly 70% of workers who farm and process coffee at its source are women, and too many are dying of cervical cancer. That’s why Stockton Graham & Co. has partnered with international non-profit Grounds for Health to offer Grounds for Health Blend coffee. Proceeds will help provide cervical cancer screenings and treatment to women on coffee farms In Africa, Central America and South America.
Launched in January in recognition of National Cervical Health Awareness Month, Grounds for Health Blend is available in 5lb wholesale and artfully labeled 12oz retail bags. $5 from the sale of each 5lb bag and $1 from the sale of each retail bag will be donated to Grounds for Health (groundsforhealth.org).
Stockton Graham & Co. plans to donate at least $10,000 to Grounds for Health in 2016. This donation will allow the non-profit to nearly double the number of women it can serve in coffee-growing communities. The 2016 goal is to provide cervical cancer screening and treatment to at least 15,000 women who work on coffee farms in Ethiopia, Nicaragua and Peru.
“Cervical cancer is one of the most critical, undertreated health concerns of women in coffee-growing communities,” said Stockton Graham & Co. Director of Business Development Debra Dolan. “Since women represent 70% of the labor burden on coffee farms, investing in their health is essential to coffee’s future. As one of the nation’s leading coffee roasters, it is our responsibility to support women at the heart of coffee.”
About Grounds for Health Blend Coffee
When creating Grounds for Health Blend coffee, our roastmaster wanted to focus on coffee from the regions where Grounds for Health focuses their health efforts. The coffee is a smooth blend of Nicaragua Selva Negra, Kenya AB and Tanzania Peaberry.
“This crowd-pleasing blend features subtle fruit and sweet notes layered in a silky body,” Stockton Graham & Co. roastmaster Brandon Riggs said. “Since it was crafted with drip coffee in mind, the blend works equally well in a commercial auto drip and a Hario V60.”
Grounds for Health Blend coffee is roasted to order in our Raleigh, NC roasting facility. it is available in 5lb wholesale bags and artfully designed 12oz retail bags. Point of sale material such as branded displays, info cards and table talkers are also available. For more information about the blend and to download an info sheet on the coffee, click here.
Coffee and Cervical Cancer
Grounds for Health co-founder Dan Cox is coffee entrepreneur who was shocked to learn of the prevalence of cervical cancer when visiting a coffee cooperative in Mexico and his late friend Dr. Francis Fote OB/GYN in 1996. From the beginning, Grounds for Health has worked to develop services not just for the women involved in coffee production but for all the residents of the communities, districts and provinces in which coffee is produced. Grounds for Health works in partnership with health authorities and coffee cooperatives in developing countries to train local doctors, nurses and community health promoters, and to coordinate screening and treatment services in communities most affected by cervical cancer.
“Our commitment to superior coffee naturally begins with the health and well-being of the people who grow, harvest and process the coffee at its source,” said Stockton Graham & Co. President and CEO Jeff Vojta. “Grounds for Health’s proven track record of working in coffee-growing communities to provide life-saving cervical cancer prevention and treatment, reinforces a shared commitment to keeping women on coffee farms healthy. We are delighted to partner with them on this critical mission.”
Unlike many other health problems, cervical cancer is nearly 100% preventable with low-cost screening and, for those who need it, preventive therapy. These services are taken for granted in the U.S. and Europe, but are rarely available to women in coffee-growing communities.
“Cervical cancer is one of the most significant disparities in women’s health today,” said Guy Stallworthy, President & CEO of Grounds for Health. “Unlike in the United States and other richer countries, cervical cancer often claims more lives in these communities than any other cancer. And yet it is nearly 100% preventable. Our partnership with Stockton Graham will help us continue to scale our efforts to provide life-saving health screenings and treatment to more women coffee farmers.”
Most health conditions in the developing world have been improving: since 1990, child and maternal mortality rates have fallen by almost half. But cervical cancer is one of the exceptions. Worldwide, the number of women who die of cervical cancer each year is growing. The World Health Organization predicts that six million women will die from cervical cancer by 2020, despite the fact that it can be easily prevented. Nearly 90% of these deaths will occur in low- and middle-income countries, where few of the more than 700,000 women aged 35-49 benefit from the screening and preventive therapy services that have minimized risks in the rich world. Unlike many well-known but intractable health problems, this one could be transformed through catalytic investments by an individual company or industry that wants to make a strategic impact on an issue, rather than just provide charity to a few individuals.
Grounds for Health champions the Single Visit Approach, which combines appropriate, low-cost screening and treatment in a single visit at local health centers. Grounds for Health sees great potential for new technologies and delivery models, such as molecular screening, modern treatment devices, digital information systems, and mobile services. Their vision is of a world in which all women are protected from the threat of cervical cancer by timely and high-quality prevention services.
About Grounds for Health
Grounds for Health is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing deaths from cervical cancer among women living in developing countries. Considered one of the most significant global disparities in women’s health, the disease is nearly 100% preventable through simple and affordable procedures. For the past 20 years, Grounds for Health has focused on reaching women living in coffee-growing communities in Latin America and Africa. To date, Grounds for Health programs have resulted in more than 57,000 women screened, more than 3,800 women treated and 400+ community health providers trained. Click here for a two-page info sheet on Grounds for Health.
Call a Customer Care Associate at 800 835 5943 or send an email to email@example.com to order Grounds for Health Blend coffee at your store.