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One thing about local roasters is that they’re big on service. I buy my coffee almost exclusively at the Fire Roasted Coffee Company (FRCC), and to this day, the same gentleman who served me my first pound of unroasted Hawaiian Kona coffee beans still remembers that’s what I bought.
Today, I ran into general manager Patrick Dunham while there and he was excited to show me what great new coffees are on hand.
Blue Krishna Balinese – Organic Coffee
A local roaster’s reputation is very important. It is more convenient for us to buy our coffee from the grocery store since there are so many and we’re already there. It’s only slightly less convenient to stop at a megachain location and buy their coffee that was “recently” roasted.
But you need to go a little out of your way to get good fresh coffee from a local roaster, so the coffee has to be good. This particular coffee is a first to FRCC so it can’t be rushed to the shelf. Patrick is still trying to figure out how to roast it for best results, or in his words, “still fighting with it”. I should be disappointed that it’s new and I can’t try it, but happy to know they’re not selling me anything sub-par. Patrick didn’t even have a sample I could take so I’ll have to go back for it once they’ve perfected it.
Hawaiian Kona Peaberry
At the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCSS)’s Cup of Excellence competition, this coffee landed in the top 20. It is Hawaiian Kona coffee, already considered a premium coffee. But it is also peaberry, meaning instead of being two separate halves when removed from the coffee cherry, the two halves are joined as one and roasted that way. Many coffee drinkers, including myself, love the peaberry varieties. I haven’t had a peaberry coffee I didn’t like. Because it is a natural mutation, it used to be discarded as unsellable – until somebody tried it.
Be warned, any Hawaiian Kona coffee including this one goes for about triple the price of a regular coffee. This one almost came home with me today, but I just bought a pound of coffee last week and there’s no sense letting a premium coffee sit longer than a couple weeks (maximum). Patrick will be roasting more in December, and I’ll have a hard time not grabbing a pound of it.
Indonesian Bali Coffee
In a case like this, I don’t mind being a guinea pig. I’ll be trying this Indonesian coffee from the Island of Bali tomorrow at precisely 8 AM. Patrick says it is a smooth coffee with a good body and cherry tones. Looking forward to trying something new to this roaster.
Give onto others…
The reason I was at the roaster for a second week in a row is because I was picking up a gift. A friend is as much an afficianado of scotch whiskey as I am of coffee, and I owed him for a recent “tasting session”. For many coffee drinkers, an Ethiopian Sidamo is of great value in quality because while other coffees are more highly-regarded, it becomes hard to justify the premium in price. This Ethiopian coffee from the province of Sidamo is no more expensive than from most other sources but is full of flavor.
And afterward, I bumped into another friend who loves coffee as much as I do but is new to the area. I told him about my day and that he should visit FRCC. He said he would, but that he really liked the one he was already going to at the Western Fair and couldn’t remember their name. I said, “Yeah, that’s them!” When you find a quality local roaster, spread the word!