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.

New fall coffee flavors are rich and sassy

Fall flavors like pumpkin, chocolate and caramel have long-been associated with autumn, and now taste makers are branching out to take these favorites in new directions. In place of caramel, palates are moving toward a more smoky, rich buttery version of crème brûlée. And chocolate is getting sassy kick with a dash of salt.Stockton Graham Coffees New Fall Coffees

While pumpkin has been on-trend for two years, consumers are looking for more adventurous offerings this fall. And trend-forward operators are stepping out of the pumpkin spice box to differentiate their menu and drive profits.

“Especially when it comes to a relatively low-cost, low-calorie sweet treat like coffee, customers are willing to indulge a bit in the sensory adventures of a new flavor,” said Stockton Graham & Co. marketing director Lane Mitchell. “Bringing your menu to the next level with fresh twists on well-loved classics will not only bring new customers in, but keep your loyal customers coming back for their next flavor adventure.”

Stockton Graham launches five new fall coffees

Aside from our pumpkin-flavored coffees, which have been flying out the door, many of our customers have been capitalizing on consumer demands for salty-sweet flavors of salted caramel. So two of our new fall coffee flavors feature a sassy salted version of sweet, buttery caramel.

Two other new fall flavors lean toward what global food experts The Food People call “Dirty French.” That’s classic French cuisine infused with a new, fun and fresh twist. It’s a decidedly American take on French flavors.

And finally, cinnamon graham crackers come to mind when tasting our fifth new flavor of the season: CinnaGraham. This coffee leverages 2016’s hot trend toward sweet-savory flavors by infusing honey with cinnamon and ginger.

Here’s a summary of the new fall coffee flavors, all of which are created in our Raleigh, NC coffee roasting facility:

Fall Coffees Labels-Salted CaramelSalted Caramel

Classic caramel, with its lip-tingling sweetness and rich buttery body, is finished with a delicate twinge of sea salt. The salt amplifies the sweet cream and light brown sugar flavors without overpowering the rich natural flavors of our 100% Arabica coffee.

 

Stockton Graham Coffees Salted Caramel BrownieSalted Caramel Brownie
Our classic caramel flavored coffee is dipped in milk chocolate and finished with a dash of sea salt in a 100% Arabica coffee. This smooth, indulgent combination warms the palate and tantalizes the tongue with a subtle contrast of sweet and savory.

 

Creme Caramel flavored Coffee from Stockton Graham CoffeesCrème Caramel
A sweeter version of our Crème Brûlée, this coffee combines the elegant flavors of sweetened cream, caramelized light brown sugar and natural vanilla with our 100% Arabica coffee. Think of a five-star Crème Brûlée topped with a glistening ganache.

 

Cinnagraham Flavored Coffee From Stockton Graham Coffee French Almond
In France, the sweet meringue-based cookies made with egg white, sugar and ground almonds are called macarons. Here, we call our 100% Arabica French Almond coffee a perfect sip of fresh almond paradise.

 

Fall Coffees Labels-CinagrahamCinnaGraham
The flavor of fresh honeycomb sprinkled with Ceylon cinnamon elevates this 100% Arabica coffee to savory new heights. Not as cinnamon-forward as some of our other related flavors, this coffee tastes like an adult version of those cute honey graham snack bears.

 

Consumers crave upscale comfort

As usual, this fall’s food and beverage flavor trends correspond with the ongoing nostalgia trend; but they are taken to a new level with refined, sophisticated twist. Any of our new flavored coffees are a great way to provide your customers with a unique beverage experience while still offering the security of familiar and traditional foods and beverages.

Familiar often means flavors that remind consumers of home. “Consumers are looking more and more for tastes and products that are of domestic origin and often ‘retro-comforting,’” says Anton Angelich, group vice president, marketing for Virginia Dare, an international flavoring manufacturer.

Angelich notes that fall’s newest flavors connote “comfort, Americana, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and the heart-warming of the autumn season.”

With that in mind, if you are looking for pumpkin spice beverage ideas, we have several in our Pumpkin Palooza article.  For fall LTOs ideas that feature the flavors of honey, caramel, cream and vanilla, visit our toasted graham article here.  Both pumpkin and toasted graham recipes can be found on our recipe page.

Ordering is easy. Call our Customer Care Associates at 800 835 5943 or email orders@stocktongraham.com.

*Please note, wholesale coffee orders will include our standard label. Creative labeling for retail sales can be discussed with a Customer Care Associate.

Visit us at the NC Restaurant & Lodging Expo

NC Restaurant & Lodging Association ExpoStockton Graham & Co. is excited to be exhibiting at the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Expo on September 21 – 22 at the Raleigh Convention Center.

Drop by booth #622 to sample the best craft roasted coffee in North Carolina from the roasters of Stockton Graham Coffees and Dilworth Coffees. Plus, visit with our roastmaster, resident barista and business development team who will be on-site to discuss coffee options for your business.

We will also be serving our coffee during the Dinner and Keynote Address with Chef Robert IrvineCelebrity chef, restaurateur and entrepreneur Robert Irvine will deliver the opening day Dinner Keynote Address on September 21 to kick off the event.

New Coffee Product Launch at NCRLE

Stockton Graham & Co. will be launching a new coffee product specifically designed for restaurants, bars and foodservice operators at the NCRLE! Customers’ interest in premium coffee is at an all-time high. In fact, one out of every two cups sold in the U.S. is premium coffee. To capture this lucrative market, on-trend foodservice operators are moving toward craft roasted coffee that provides customers with coffee house quality flavor and an exceptional coffee experience. Our new product will make serving high-quality craft roasted coffee easy in a restaurant, hotel, bar or foodservice environment. Visit our booth to learn more!

Restaurant Coffee Sucks—And Why Yours Shouldn’t

We are also honored to be the only coffee roaster on the roster for the NCRLE Educational Program at the Expo. On September 22 at 3:30pm, our Thom Swain and Brady Butler will be serving up expert advice on how restaurants can improve profitability and customer satisfaction with craft-roasted coffee. Don’t miss their session in Room 303 at 3:30pm titled Why Restaurant Coffee Sucks – And Why Yours Shouldn’t.

North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association ExpoCoffee is the fastest growing option on a restaurant’s beverage menu, growing from 10% of all restaurant beverage sales to nearly 15% today and representing $24B in sales. Year-over-year growth is running upwards of 7%. Even so, according to Grub Street, up to 30% of Michelin-starred restaurants use low-quality pod coffee. That’s a shame: In most cases, coffee is the last thing patrons taste during their dining experience—leaving, literally, a poor taste in diners’ mouths. Improving the quality of coffee served in your restaurant or hotel can improve customer satisfaction, increase overall beverage sales and drive repeat business.

Visit the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Expo

Stockton Graham & Co. will be exhibiting along side some of North Carolina’s premier restaurants, hotels, bars and food/beverage providers, as well as other companies servicing the restaurant and lodging industry. The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Expo is the only event in North Carolina to bring together all sectors of the restaurant, foodservice, lodging and hospitality industry under one roof. The latest products, services, and technologies will be showcased for the industry, along with a comprehensive and leading-edge program of education that will provide restaurants and lodging establishments from North Carolina and surrounding areas.

Stop booth by #622 and sample our coffee roasted in Raleigh, NC. We will be setting up our space as an actual coffee shop, demonstrating different brew methods and offering expert advice for your unique brewing needs. Also, all expo goers will get a sneak peak at an exciting new product for restaurants, hotels and other high-end food service operations.

To join us, call our Customer Care Associates at 800 835 5943 or sign up to attend the NCRLE here.

Shake Up Your Menu for Summer

Want to shake up your menu for summer—and boost your store’s revenues?

Dozens of local shops said “Yes!” and joined us at the Stockton Graham &  Co. Taste Kitchen in Raleigh this week.

The theme of the Spring 2015 Taste Kitchen was “Shake it Up” because we focused on combining the products you probably already have at your shop in new and exciting ways.

Stockton Graham Kamikaze Matcha-FrappBy combining ingredients like Matcha Tea and Torani’s Sweet Heat, for example, Taste Kitchen participants learned how to increase their summer profits by as much as $7K- $28K with very little new training and no new equipment.

Creating drinks with influences from Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, favoring exotic, spiced and contrasting flavors will draw in more customers. This is all being sought out with an emphasis on less sugary, healthier options served as anything from traditional coffees to smoothies and gourmet teas.

Recipes from Taste KitchenDownload Taste Kitchen recipes now, and if you want to shake up your shop’s menu, call a Customer Care Associate at 800 835 5943 to get started.

Salted Caramel is Summer’s Biggest Flavor Trend

Salted caramel is busting out. Just yesterday, Vermont-based ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s announced a partnership with New Belgium Brewing Co. (which is not located in Brussels, but in Fort Collins, Colorado) to put its name on an ice cream-flavored beer. Not any ice cream-flavored beer, mind you. But a beer flavored with salted caramel and chocolate. The beer, which is called Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale, is currently scheduled be produced at the end of the year, according to Sean Greenwood, who is head of communications for Ben & Jerry’s. That is, unless the ice cream-flavored beer backlash doesn’t cause a change of plans.Stockton Graham Salted Caramel Iced Coffee

That announcement, which generated a flurry of media coverage, comes only a few weeks after Skippy announced the answer to our salty-and-sweet prayers. They’ll soon be shipping Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Spread with the tagline “Good Never Tasted So Good” to a supermarket near you.

The Twittersphere was giddy with excitement: “Will your inner foodie scream SKIPPY YIPPIE for our new Peanut Butter Spread with Salted Caramel?” the Skippy people posted. Since the announcement, their Twitter feed has been, um, salted with salted caramel recipes like Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Brownies, Banana Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Frosting and Three-Ingredient Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Cookies.

And then there’s celebrity chef and blogger Bren Herrera’s Salted Caramel Salted Caramel Popcorn with Honey Chipotle Jerky, which was inspired by the Today Show’s Al Roker and shared on the show’s food blog last month.

The other big celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, chimed in with a salted caramel mocha. According to Oliver, it is a marriage of rich, sweet chocolate and bold, bitter coffee with a hint of salty intensity that is “truly on another level.”

Perhaps the salted caramel trend was ignited in March at the 35th Annual Natural Products Expo West. No fewer than a dozen salted caramel options from brownies to bar snacks lined the booths at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. Chobani showed Flip Creations with Salted Caramel Crunch and Kellogg’s offered a new Special K Chewy Snack Bars in a salted caramel variety.

Luckily, Torani gives your shop a simple way to profit from the salted caramel craze. Perfect for frappes, espressos and steamed milk, the syrup’s buttery caramel kicks things off and its touch of saltiness appears at the end.

Here at Stockton Graham & Co., Salted Caramel Iced Coffee has become the go-to drink of the month. Made with Torani Salted Caramel and Stockton’s Ice Coffee Blend, which is roasted by Stockton Graham Coffees in Raleigh, NC, the light saltiness complement’s the coffee’s natural sweetness.

Here’s the recipe:

Salted Caramel Iced Coffee
7 oz.    Brewed Stockton’s Ice Coffee Blend
¾ oz.   Torani Salted Caramel Syrup
(Or caramel with a pinch of sea salt)
16 oz.  Ice
Milk or cream to taste

Directions: Add ice to cup. Pour in coffee followed by syrup. Adjust amount if customer wants milk. Stir vigorously and serve.

Brewing directions for Stockton’s Ice Coffee Blend can be found here.

Call 800.835.5943 to order Torani Salted Caramel Syrup or Stockton’s Ice Coffee Blend today!

Heat Up Your Menu with Cold Brew Drinks

Cold Brew RecipesLevi Andersen, the Beverage Product Specialist at Kerry Foodservice, sent over some fresh recipes for luscious springtime drinks featuring cold brew coffee.

As we were testing Levi’s recipes, our friends at Monin pointed out that iced coffee’s share of all coffee on menus at U.S. restaurants and coffee houses continues to jump, indicating that consumers’ interest in cold brew beverages spans all four seasons. What’s more, the National Coffee Association’s 2014 Coffee and Ready-to-Drink Coffee Facts report notes that a full 15% of coffee drinkers prefer iced coffee.

“The last three summers, I have seen more and more excitement about cold brewed coffee,” Levi Andersen from Kerry FoodService reports. “There is a lot of opportunity to debut (or day-brew) new menu items.”

In experimenting with Big Train Vanilla Smoothie, Levi learned that adding cold brewed coffee (ratio of 5 oz of coffee to 2 scoops of mix) lets him create frappes with various coffee varietals with unique flavor profiles. Custom-blending like this allows your shop to develop a bespoke frappe flavor to suit your (and your customers’) coffee preferences.

When it comes to cold coffee, Stockton Graham & Co. prefers our own Stockton’s Cold Brew Blend. It’s a blend of sweet and bright coffees featuring our exquisite Brazil Alta Mogiana Peaberry.

Packed with flavors soft and sweet, our Alta Mogiana Peaberry is balanced nicely with hints of dried apricots and other stone fruits. The body is exceptionally smooth and provides a nice base for the building acidity and clean finish. And this creates a terrific base for Levi’s ice brew recipes!

Vanilla Cold Brew Whipped Cream

1 oz DaVinci Gourmet Single Origin Madagascar Vanilla Syrup
4 oz brewed Stockton’s Cold Brew Blend (view recipe)
11 oz heavy whipping cream

Directions: Add syrup to cold coffee and then add cream. ISI charge or hand whip until frothy. Pour and serve.

Turkish Hazelnut Cold Brew Frappe

2 scoops Big Train Vanilla Smoothie
0.5 oz DaVinci Gourmet Single Origin Turkish Hazelnut Syrup
5 oz brewed Stockton’s Cold Brew Blend (view recipe)
12 oz ice

Direction: Place Big Train Vanilla Smoothie in blender jar. Add coffee and syrup. Top with ice. Blend until smooth, pour into cup and serve.

Turkish Hazelnut Cold Brew Frappe

2 scoops Big Train Horchata
5 oz brewed Stockton’s Cold Brew Blend
12 oz ice

Direction: Place Big Train Horchata in blender jar. Add coffee. Top with ice. Blend until smooth, pour into cup and serve.

Download DaVinci’s March 2015 Thirst Trends for Levi’s recipes and call a Stockton Graham & Co. Customer Care Associate at 800.835.5943 to order Stockton’s Cold Brew Blend from Stockton Graham Coffees.

Introducing Costa Rica Tarrazu from the Don Roberto Estate

Costa Rica has set the standard for Central American coffees. Grown at high altitudes that receive much cooler overnight temperatures and in highly volcanic soil, Costa Rican coffees are known worldwide for producing an exquisite cup.

Tarrazu is the premier region of Costa Rica for coffee. While no single region can guarantee exceptional coffee year-after-year, coffees from Tarrazu consistently stand out for their brightness and clean cups, with hints of light berry and apple cider.Don Roberto Costa Rica Tarrazu Coffee

That couldn’t be truer of Stockton Graham & Co.’s Costa Rican Tarrazu, which was grown on the estate of Roberto Montero Castro, high in the mountains that are part of the Talamanca Sierra.

The Don Roberto estate is located at an elevation of 5,000 feet—an altitude that generates the trademark juicy citrus fruit flavor that characterizes the region. However, the bean from the Don Roberto estate is a bit more nuanced, with a complex sweetness that’s balanced with hints of spice. Some also taste a bit of cocoa powder and honey that can be enhanced through skillful roasting.

“With such high standards in Costa Rican coffees to start with, conscientious and frequent cupping generates rewards as we seek out the subtle nuances that makes our Tarrazu stand out among its peers,” Brandon Riggs, the roastmaster for Stockton Graham Coffees, explained.

ROASTMASTER’S NOTES

AROMA: Sweet Fruit and Vanilla, Hints of Spice
BODY: Cream, Silky
FLAVOR: Citrus Fruit, Sweet and Juicy
ACIDITY: Clean, Bright
AFTERTASTE: Lingering Balance of Sweet and Spice Notes

A Versatile and Reliable Coffee

“Our Costa Rica Tarrazu is a wonderful coffee that, if brewed properly, is a great fit for any occasion,” said Alex Jeans, a Customer Care Associate and SCAA-Certified Barista. “In fact, due to its complex and nuanced flavor, it is one of our top selling single origin coffees.”

Whether brewing Costa Rica Tarrazu with a commercial drip, French Press or Aero Press, the coffee’s clarity rings through. Just be sure to use the right ratio of coffee to water—roughly 1:16 or 1 gram of coffee per 16 milliliters/grams of water or in other words 2 tablespoons of coffee for every 6 ounces of water—and the appropriate grind for your brew method. See our Brewing and Grinding Guide for specific measurements and grinds for your particular brew method.

“I personally enjoy it best when brewed through a V60, a method that  is optimal for bringing out the coffees nuances,” Alex Jeans said. “The V60 is the best way to achieve this coffees smooth creamy body and highlights the flavors of citrus fruit and spice. Such a well-rounded coffee is made to be enjoyed morning, noon and night.”

Growth of Tarrazu Region Coffee

The Tarrazu region is in the center of San Jose province, about 70 kilometers south of the Capital San Jose. The region’s unique location across the continental divide brings warm sunny days and chilly nights to numerous coffee farms across the mountainside. Paired with elevations pushing 2,000 meters above sea level, many of these farms have microclimates ideal for coffee growing.

Along the region’s northern border runs the Pirris River, which is dammed to create the very large Pirris Hydroelectric Plant. South of the river, the region is lush with dark foliage and mountains that yield crystal clear waterfalls into the Talamanca valley. Tarrazu’s capital, San Marcos, is located 1,400 meters above sea level, but is surrounded by peaks up to 3,000 meters.

Tarrazu was founded in the 1820s by inhabitants of the Central Valley who migrated to the southwestern town known today as Los Santos. Originally it was known both as Atarazú or Atarrazú, which led the current Tarrazú for phonetic aspect or a misspelled in ancient official documents spelling. In America, we simplify the name further by removing the accent on the final u. Tarrazu’s three provinces are named after saints: San Pablo de León Cortés (Saint Paul), San Marcos de Tarrazú (Saint Mark), and Santa Maria de Dota.

Tarrazu’s earliest residents were dedicated to growing basic foodstuffs, namely beans, corn and sugar cane. Local farmers started growing coffee in the highland valley in the 1890s. In the last hundred years, coffee production has become the region’s primary economic activity, and avocados are now the region’s second largest food crop.

The Art of Processing

Among all the coffee-growing countries of Central America, none compares to Costa Rica in terms of environmental and processing regulations. Beneficios (mills) are kept immaculately clean per the country’s standard, and every beneficio is obliged by law to respect a series of operating conditions to protect the environment.
These conditions are regulated by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of the Environment: the Coffee Sector must meet the 7 laws and 4 decrees that protect water, forests, biodiversity and disposal of residual waters. All mills must have a Ministry of Health permit, residual water treatment systems and control of their byproducts.Don Roberto Tarrazu Coffee Logo

With strict Costa Rican environmental laws, wastewater from the fermentation tanks is treated with natural bacteria to break down the acidity reducing the pH back to levels that are tolerable for the streams and rivers of the country. By using the wood from pruned old coffee trees, along with the parchment from dry milling, many beneficios are able to fire their mechanical dryers without destroying the natural forests. Some of the more inventive mills actually use the methane gasses produced when the bacteria breaks down the fermented pulp to fire the dryers. And, of course, sun-dried coffees are really just “solar” powered, further preserving the environment around the Pirris Hydroelectric plant.

To order our Costa Rica Tarrazu, call a Customer Care Associate at 800.835.5943.