Can Pour-Over Coffee Really Make a Difference?

Can pour-over coffee really make a difference in a coffee shop setting? Obviously the pour-over is trending as a way to truly experience the most subtle attributes of the coffee, but what does this do to the workflow of a shop? If a shop already has an espresso machine, an automatic drip machine, pastries and smoothies, might this only complicate things?

“I am pro pour-over,” said Alex Jeans, the resident barista at Stockton Graham & Co. “Coffee is just as culinary as anything else and pour-overs showcase the finer attributes of the coffee.” In addition to consulting with coffee shops on pour over programs he works with wholesale coffee accounts out of our Raleigh, N.C. coffee roasting facility.

There are many compelling reasons to turn towards the handcrafted pour-over coffee method if you are a coffee shop owner. Let’s take a look at four reasons why it is advantageous.

pour-over coffee1. Coffee is an experience, and even more of an experience when done by the handcrafted method of pour-over. No other method of brewing coffee has the potential to extract better flavor if done well. This is perhaps the signature mark of pour-over coffee. In fact, this is what pour-over coffee is all about – enjoying the full experience of quality, single origin coffee. The pour-over method enhances the tasting profile of the coffee you want to feature like no other method will. You and your customers may have to wait a little longer, but it’s guaranteed to be fresh since it will be ground and brewed to order.

2. Serving handcrafted pour-over coffee in your coffee shop will make you industry savvy. The third wave movement of coffee, which treats coffee like a fine wine or craft beer, embraces this manual way of making coffee. It has also made quite the comeback because of coffee aficionados. With the handcrafted pour-over method, making coffee becomes an exact science and an opportunity for your staff to shine. Not only will they be able to explain the process of the pour-over as they make it, they will also be able to teach the customer the steps involved, the equipment needed and knowledge about the coffee.

3. During the window of time it takes to make a pour-over coffee, your barista can suggest the customer to try the pour-over method at home. This is a great marketing opportunity to sell high-ticket items in a generally low-ticket item establishment. Selling whole beans is a desired sale in a coffee shop where your average ticket might be four dollars. Serving pour-overs will increase your opportunity to sell not only whole beans, but having the equipment for sale in your coffee shop could also work to your advantage, bolstering your bottom line with expensive tickets items.

pour-over coffee4. Hand crafted pour-over coffee is the freshest way to serve coffee taking approximately five minutes start to finish.

Manual, single-cup brewing equals greater control over flavor outcome. For coffee flavor connoisseurs, the primary advantage of the pour-over method is that it gives the barista more control over every variable. From dose to coffee grind to water temperature and distribution, nothing can top brewing coffee by hand, one cup at a time.

This is a significant difference when compared to the automatic drip machine where coffee might sit for up to two hours before serving. Automatic coffee is generally pre-ground, which certainly saves time, but results in a less flavorful brew. After a short 20 minutes, ground coffee will lose flavor, and after two weeks, it begins to go stale. Customers will naturally be enthusiastic about freshness and they can taste the difference of the pour-over method.

As a coffee shop owner, you know your customers best and will have to decide if it makes sense. Will they be willing to wait? Will they be willing to pay the premium price it may cost for the labor intensity of the made to order cup? Certainly there will be logistics to consider when choosing to do handcrafted pour-over coffee, but ultimately, the choice is yours.

“I don’t know that it makes sense for everyone,” Jeans said when referring to having pour-overs in a coffee shop. “It shouldn’t be an afterthought. It is a commitment and you have to be willing to commit. Not everyone wants to put that kind of time or labor into it. It has to make sense for you and you have to be willing to invest in it.”

For more information on implementing a pour-over method in your coffee shop, contact a Customer Care Associate at 800 835 5943.

Limited Edition Special: Ethiopia Limmu Natural

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.

Stockton Graham & Co. Ethiopia cut paper hutThis 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.

Stockton Graham & Co. Limmu Natural pouroverThe 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.

Stockton Graham Ethiopia Limmu NaturalCupping Attributes
Aroma: Watermelon, Ripe Strawberries
Body: Substantial, Juicy
Flavor: Strawberry, Raspberry, Rosehips
Acidity: Subtle and Lingering
Aftertaste: Clean, Sweet

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

Stockton Graham & Co. Ethiopia countrysideNot 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.

Stockton Graham & Co. Ethiopia Jimma mapOur 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.

Stockton Graham & Co. Ethiopia cherriesArabica 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.

Healthy Fruit Smoothies for Spring

Moving into spring, your customers are looking for a beverage that is refreshing and health conscious (bathing suit season is coming up), so the time is right to put smoothies back on the menu!

Adding frozen drinks to your menu could increase sales $1000 a year in a single store! Stockton Graham DaVInci Jet SmoothiesAnd you only need to sell two frozen drinks a day for six months to exceed that mark. That’s because the profit margin on frozen drinks is high, and they literally sell themselves without any additional marketing or advertising. (Although Stockton Graham & Co. offers a wide variety of POS materials including counter cards and signage to our customers.)

To further help you increase sales, MONIN is offering $3 off any case of Fruit Smoothie Mix you buy. There is no limit to how much you can redeem! Click here for the rebate form.

There’s also a rebate on Dr. Smoothie’s 100% Crushed Fruit flavors including the new 100% Crushed Fruit flavors: Beetroot & Berries and Tropical Sunshine. Get up to $120 back on all Dr. Smoothie 100% Crushed Fruit and Organics through June 2015.

Or, if your business needs a blender upgrade, receive FREE cases of pour and blend smoothie with the purchase of any blender package.

You can choose smoothies from Big Train, Torani, Monin and DaVinci Gourmet (formally Jet)! If you prefer Dr. Smoothie 100% Crushed Fruit, Classic Smoothie or Cafe Essentials, you can get three FREE cases with a blender purchase over $500 and two FREE cases with a blender purchase under $500. Read all the details on our blender specials.

Jet Smoothies are now sold under the DaVinci name
To start out this smoothie season Jet smoothies have been re-branded to DaVinci Gourmet! With all the classic flavors you have come to love, these smoothies will have no formula changes and no packaging changes. Under the DaVinci brand they offer 3 types of smoothie options:

  1. Natural Smoothies – No artificial flavors or colors, this smoothie is the natural choice for a great tasting, better for you beverage!
  2. Fruit Smoothies – The original pour over and blend smoothie, expect extra fruit flavor in this delicious blended drink!
  3. Non Fat Yogurt Smoothies – An alternative better-for-you smoothie option, this option offers all natural fruit puree & healthy yogurt for twice the health benefits!

Looking for the Green Tea that Jet used to offer in their smoothies? Big Train now offers a Big Train Fruit Tea Blast Smoothie with all the benefits of Green Tea, so Stockton Graham & Co. still has you covered!

Interested in learning more about this new smoothie option? Want to discuss which pour over smoothie best fits your customers’ needs? Call 800 835 5943 and talk to your Customer Care Associate about healthier beverage options today!

Big Train REAL FRUIT SMOOTHIES: Save $10 on each case promotion Extended!

Nothing says summer like the taste of a delicious Big Train REAL FRUIT SMOOTHIE. The refreshing combination of fresh fruit blended with cold ice makes an unbeatable and hydrating drink that combats the hot weather. Using the freshest fruit from around the world and hand-selected at peak ripeness, each Big Train Fruit Smoothie is full of real fruit with less calories and sugar than many other leading brands. Your customers can enjoy the refreshing summer tastes of Strawberry, Mango, Wildberry, Strawberry Banana, SuperFruit and Peach while getting the benefits of real fruit with every sip.  

Stockton Graham & Co. is offering $10 off each case through the end of September 2012… Just call us at 800.835.5943 today to place your order!

Real fruit smoothie pour over mix

The benefits to café owners and baristas? Not only will these delicious real fruit smoothies keep your loyal customers coming back for more, they are incredibly simple to make. Just pour over ice, blend and you’re done! It’s easy. No more measuring water and ice. Now you can make consistently great real fruit smoothies and serve more customers faster without waste. And with a 12 month shelf life, you also can save money. on, but not all smoothies are healthy.  The fact is that many fruit smoothies on the market are high in calories, fat, and preservatives.  Big Train smoothies have 25-40% less sugar and 30-50% less calories than many other leading brands. Also Big Train smoothies are made with real fruit that means you get the actual health benefits of fruit with every drink.