Picking out new coffees is really exciting for us. It's like going on a treasure hunt every time, looking forward to what we'll discover. We start with so many options and end up choosing just a few that really stand out when we roast them.
Start with the Crop Calendar
Our journey starts by checking a coffee crop calendar to see what's coming up. Every country with upcoming lots is an exciting opportunity. We have an idea of what to expect from each country's coffee, but there's always something unexpected and awesome in every crop. We're always excited to see what each country brings to the table this season!
Chat with our Importers
We have connections with some great importers, both men and women, though we jokingly say, "we know a guy." When we have specific countries in mind for sourcing coffee, we reach out to them.
These importers update us on the coffees they're getting from the countries we're interested in. They provide detailed information about each batch, including descriptions, flavor profiles, and their own tasting notes. Naturally, we also consider the prices to keep it affordable while also maintaining the level of quality we require.
Request Some Samples
We ask for samples of the coffees that catch our eye. While some might not live up to expectations, others can be absolutely stunning. Even with the detailed notes provided, it's hard to predict how a coffee will truly be until we get a sample in hand.
These samples arrive as small packages of green beans, weighing between 200 to 250 grams. For those not used to metric measurements, that's a very small amount – just enough for us to roast a single, small batch. It's a bit of a tightrope walk, but it's all part of the process!
The Cupping Begins
After we've roasted the samples, it's time for cupping, which is like a serious ceremony for us. We each taste the coffees quietly on our own. It's a personal moment, just us and the coffee, quietly pondering our own discoveries.
Once we've all done our individual cupping and have our own opinions, we gather to talk about each coffee. The room soon buzzes with lively conversation as we all eagerly share our thoughts and notes on each sample. Everyone gets to speak their mind because we've all been part of this journey from the start.
Making the Final Selection
At last, we've come to the conclusion of our quest. From a wide array of options, we've whittled it down to just a handful of coffees that we'll order. Through animated debates, we agree on which varieties will perfectly match our roasting styles. Once we decide, we place our orders and eagerly await their arrival. The highlight of this entire process? Getting to share these incredible finds with our customers.