The Organic Coffee of Chiapas, Mexico

Coffee from Chiapas, MexicoThough coffee from locales such as Colombia and Sumatra may be a little more well-known, Mexican coffees from Chiapas should certainly be regarded as some of the best in the world.

A country famous for its cuisine and sunny beaches, Mexico is also famous around the world for producing delicious specialty coffee. The country is the world’s ninth largest producer of coffee and most of that coffee is grown in Chiapas, the southernmost state.

In Chiapas, an area geographically isolated from much of Mexico until the 19th century, mountain ranges rise to elevations of up to 2000 meters and run parallel to the Pacific Ocean. The highest peak in the region and the second highest in Central America, Tacaná Volcano, rises to 4800 meters (15,700 feet) above sea level. With rich volcanic soils and ideal climate, the area is perfect for growing coffee.

Our Batch 0995 certified organic coffee from the Chiapas region originates from the Finca El Chorro. This farm, founded in the 1930s, is located at an altitude of 1000 meters above sea level. It is only a few miles from the Guatemala border and around 30 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Since 1980, coffee production at El Chorro has been organic and the farm’s coffee has been certified Shade Grown since 2002. In 2004, the output was certified as Bird Friendly Coffee by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, due to the presence of more than one hundred bird varieties on the farm. (Hint: these are great selling points!)

CUPPING NOTES

AROMA: Nutmeg, Orange Blossom
BODY: Light, Juicy
FLAVOR: Black Tea, Fruity
ACIDITY: Balanced, Citric
AFTERTASTE: Clean, Refreshing

In the surrounding areas of Chiapas, coffee was first planted as a serious crop in the late 1800s, much of it by German farmers. By 1910 the state was the leading producer of coffee in the country. Today, the crop is grown primarily by small farmers, most with plots of ten acres or less, at altitudes that range from 500 to 1400 meters above sea level. Harvest takes place from November to January and the beans are sent to a co-op for wet processing. A sizable percentage of the crop from Chiapas is certified organic, meaning it adheres to strict USDA guidelines for number of things, including no use of pesticides. These sought-after coffees are often said to resemble the best high-grown coffees from neighboring Guatemalan in character and complexity. Described as silky bodied with a medium acidity, organic coffee from Mexico often gives a sense of chocolate on the palate and leave a touch of honey aftertaste.

For more information about our organic Batch 0995 Mexico Chiapas or any of our other coffees, call us at 800 835 5943 or email info@stocktongraham.com.

 

Have a Happy July 4th and Get Your Order in Early!

July 4thStockton Graham & Co. will be closed on Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day. Please make plans to place your weekend and Monday/Tuesday orders by Thursday, June 29. All orders received after NOON ET on Thursday, June 29 may not ship until Wednesday, July 5.

FOR LOCAL CUSTOMERS:  All pick-ups must be made by 3:00 pm on Friday, June 30.

Stockton Graham & Co. wishes you a happy and safe July 4th!

Five Ways to Reduce Your Water Footprint

Reduce Water FootprintFive ways to reduce your water footprint

Water conservation may not be the first thing on your mind but with water use in the United States increasing every year, many regions of the country will experience water shortages this year, even under non-drought conditions.

But when it comes to water, shortages are only part of the problem. Even if your shop is located in a drought-free part of the country, water bills can unnecessarily drain money from your profits. Many water-saving steps take little effort or expense and can even have a positive impact on a customer’s experience.

In preparation for Earth Day 2017 on April 22, here are five simple ideas from Stockton Graham on how to reduce your water footprint and save money:

Install low-flow pre-rinse spray valves
For as little as $60, you can switch out the valves on your dishware sink faucet. Low-flow pre-rinse spray valves get the job done just as well as standard models but save a bundle in water costs, up to $1,000 each year depending on rate of use.

Use leak detection tablets to check for toilet leaks and fix them promptly
Repairing even a small toilet leak can save you $50 or more per year through lower water and sewer bills. Many municipalities offer free leak detection kits including tablets.

Don’t thaw frozen foods under running water
Putting the food in the refrigerator gets the job done, saves water and makes the food—especially pastries, desserts and breakfast breads—taste better.

Do not over brew
Analyze sales of drip coffee during your store’s slow time. Managing brewed coffee on-hand while keeping everything fresh can save several gallons of water per day. You’ll also reduce your amount of wasted coffee dramatically, which will have an even larger impact on your bottom line.

Turn off those dipper wells
Many independent shops were built and modeled after some chain concepts. This includes the installation of dipper wells for spoons, whisks, etc. While a dipper well does keep wares clean, they also send upwards of 120 gallons of water down the drain. Try using them on a slow trickle during busy periods, and turn them off the rest of the day.

Educate your staff and guests

To reduce your water footprint it’s important to share best management practices with your staff and encourage them to implement conservation measures. Conservation at your store starts with you, but management can’t do it alone!

For more information about best practices for your coffee shop, just call one of our Stockton Graham customer service reps at 800-835-5943 or email info@stocktongraham.com.

Inclement Weather Advisory

Inclement weatherNorth 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 orders@stocktongraham.com

Nicaragua Selva Negra Coffee – From Seed to Service

Nicaragua Selva Negra Coffee From Stockton GrahamThere is something very endearing about a true crop-to-cup story in the world of coffee, as is the story of Nicaragua Selva Negra coffee.

From a farm in Nicaragua to an importer in Georgia to a coffee roaster in North Carolina, this is a true story of partnership at coffee’s source. And this isn’t just buzz or marketing. Stockton Graham & Co. is supporting the Selva Negra farmers every step of the way: from seed to service.

Meet the Kuhl-Hayn family: Eddy Kühl and Mausi Hayn. They are the owners of the Selva Negra coffee estate in Nicaragua. Their daughter Heddy Franklin and her husband Steve Franklin live in Atlanta, GA where they run a coffee importing company called Beanealogy. Their company also serves their coffee in a shop called JavaVino.

For years, we have been buying beans from Steve. We roast them to bring out their delicious honey and caramel aromas and their smoothly sweet chocolate flavors that are part of what makes Nicaragua Selva Negra coffee so special.

On the Farm with Stockton Graham & Co.

In addition to offering roasted beans from the estate, Stockton Graham & Co. has had the pleasure of visiting and working with the Kuhl-Hayn family in Nicaragua.

Nicaragua Selva Negra CoffeeOur roasting team spent some time on the Nicaragua Selva Negra coffee estate. We assisted with organic farming, sustainable milling and processing. We also helped with the vast social, medical, educational, professional and cultural services the Selva Negra community provides estate workers and their families.

I had the chance to catch up with one member of our roasting team that spent time with the Selva Negra farmers: our Director of Coffee Brad Kirby.

“We were able to spend several days at the Nicaragua Selva Negra coffee estate,” Brad said. “That gave us the chance to spend time picking cherries and seeing the cherries all the way through to the drying patio.”

“We were also invited to come be a part of payday on the farm,” Brad said. “It was interesting and eye opening to see hundreds of pickers, with their families, come and line up to be paid in cash.” The estate employees over 300 workers.

The trip was organized through Steve Franklin, co-owner of Beanealogy and JavaVino.

“We like taking people down to Nicaragua to the farm so they can see first-hand how we treat others,” said Steve. “It shows that what Mausi is doing is good and supports the way of life that most farmers wish they could have.”

Mausi is the matriarch and the visionary. She comes up with sustainable ideas of how to impact her community for good, both ecologically and socially. Her husband Eddy is an engineer who then puts systems in place to make her ideas have traction. Their daughter Heddy and son-in-law Steve began purchasing 5-10 percent of the coffee from the farm and now they purchase up to 70 percent.

Nicaragua Selva Negra Coffee

Nicaragua Selva Negra coffee is mostly the Arabica Bourbon varietal, mixed with some Caturra. The Bourbon varietal, named after the island of Bourbon where it was first cultivated, is fragile and doesn’t produce as many cherries as other varietals; but the coffee it does produce is sweet, lush and complex.

Catucupping-attributes_selva-negra-2rra is a mutation of Bourbon discovered in Brazil. It is distinguished by its bright acidity and low-to-medium body. With less sweetness than its parent, Bourbon, the addition of the Catarrh bean helps create a more balanced cup when brewed.

“Nicaragua Selva Negra coffee produces a cup that balances a mild tang with a toasty sweetness,” said Stockton Graham & Co.’s Director of Coffee Brad Kirby. “Its bright acidity gives way to a softly sweet yet brisk flavor.”

Brad points to the coffee’s medium body and smooth mouth feel, a combination that is familiar to the American palate. “Our Selva Negra is a very accessible coffee with flavors of bright summerfruit and sweet milk chocolate,” Brad said. “The sweet chocolate carries into a delicate finish.”

The History of Selva Negra  

Selva Negra is an estate that is located between the cities of Matagalpa and Jinotega in Nicaragua. It sits on the historical highlands, where German immigrants set up the first coffee farm back in the 19th century.

The Selva Negra farm is called La Hammonia. It was acquired by Eddy Kühl and Mausi Hayn in 1975. The estate also includes a coffee mill and an eco hotel, which caters to tourists who enjoy the clean waters and lush forests around El Arenal volcano.

new-coffee-providence-selva_negrajpg

The eco lodge staff is mostly made out of people who live in the property also, wives and children of workers. Some of them have been there since the beginning in 1975; others have retired but have left their children in their old positions. They work as one big family.

Environmental projects are carried out each year always seeking for new, better and more efficient systems. Some of these projects include using earth tubs to decontaminate coffee wastewater, improved system for treating bathrooms and toilets’ sewage, reforestation, methane gas production and microorganism production to improve soil quality.

To order Nicaragua Selva Negra coffee, please call 800 835 5943 or email orders@stocktongraham.com

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.