company - education - coffee

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Coffee tree tap handles!

Keep it local Camberville, MA: barismo's founder, Jaime van Schyndel gives a run down on some cool new tap handles at dwelltime.


Coldbrew on tap is the new big thing right now.  Cafes, offices, and restaurants are picking this as a new option for quick serve coffee.  There are pre-designed 'javarator' setups you can buy and even a reddit section dedicated to the kegging of iced coffee setups.  This is the next big thing in coffee!  

To celebrate the last two years of serving coldbrew on tap at dwelltime, I came up with a fun idea back in the spring:

While visiting El Bosque de Parramos in Guatemala this spring, I picked up a section of a coffee tree stump from a plot of the farm that had older plantings.  This was one of 5 branches coming off the main stump and was still alive.  Avelino himself cut the stump off and chose this particular piece of wood.

I brought the wood back and left it with our friends and Somerville neighbors at DGF.  After some curing and resting time, the wood was cut into three sections, sanded and prepped as tap handles for a kegged coldbrew setup.

One of the cool aspects of this old stump is that is was right along the pathway.  It has several scars along it's backside that came over the years.  Over time, different farm workers would sit roadside and have their lunch.  They would invariably leave their machete in the closest stump, to which this little tree was the victim a few times.  Kind of cool to think about how over the years, the scars tell a story.  

Coffee wood grows fast and is typically not good quality.  The older varietals that are less dwarfed can get to 20ft tall and this is the type of heirloom bourbon we ended up sawing off to make our handles.  This particular stump may have had 20 years on this branch to get to this size.  It's color is a bit like poplar but it has a slight tint of green to the bark and wood.  Needless to say, I am excited to see how it ages and colors with time.

While we can't guarantee coffee wood tap handles for your setup, we can help you with a no fuss install and consistent quality product if you are in the Boston/Cambridge area.  If you are interested in serving
 coldbrew on tap locally or having this in your office, let us know.  We have been refining the process and have a separate division dedicated to expanding this.  We already have offices and clients across the spectrum setup for coldbrew coffee and tea on tap but are looking for some exciting new places to get this concept into while it's still hot outside. 

  

Thursday, July 03, 2014

NOW Roasted In Somerville


After some hurdles, we are now roasting in our new space! Our first full day of production roasting was on Monday. While we weren't planning on a few of the hurdles that set back the move until the last few days of June, the silver lining was that the majority of our 2014 crop coffees are just getting to port in the next 2 weeks, so we had to move just a quarter of the amount of coffee from 171 Mass Ave, Arlington to our new home at 14 Tyler Street, Somerville.

We took last Thursday to move over, and brought over some extra hands to help with moving bags of coffee. Among the many positives to our new roastery is the addition of a loading dock; many of our long time customers have seen us in the past having pallets of coffee dropped off on the sidewalk, then carrying them one at a time through the roastery and downstairs to our basement storage. Pallet jacks and forklifts are lightening the load quite a bit.

Along with the change in location, we've switched the actual roaster we use. Our trusty pair of 4 kilo roasters has served us well, but we had reached near maximum roasting capacity. Late last year we purchased a 12 kilo Probat coffee roaster and have been refurbishing it inside & out. We've been happy with the results so far, and you should expect a positive difference in our coffees going forward.

We're spending most of this week and next working out some of the logistics of our wholesale operation here. By the middle of the month we'll have updates with events & classes at the new space. While it's not a retail store or coffeebar, there'll be plenty of opportunity through the rest of the summer to get to see our new home.

Coffee Updates

We've released some new coffees over the past few weeks from this years crop of coffees out of Kenya & Ethiopia; in addition to Doppleganger (on our last blog update), we've released Homunculus (a 50/50 blend of coffees from two different mills in the same region of Ethiopia), and Kochere Grade 1 (one of the components of Homunculus). We have a second wave of coffees from Ethiopia & Kenya already lined up for later this summer.

We're expecting the boat carrying our coffees from Costa Rica to arrive at port in New Jersey on July 8th. It should take another week upon arrival to clear customs, then we'll be able to bring these coffees -- Jardin de Aromas & Bandera de Dota -- up to Somerville!
Confirming more good news & arrival details from Guatemala today; we'll have a further update for you next week!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Local innovation needs coffee, local coffee needs a little innovation: @Clypd #Somerville


Keep it local Somerville, MA: barismo's founder, Jaime van Schyndel gives a shout out to a local tech company that brought support for a local roasting company.


Caffeinate and innovate.  One of the great things about being nestled into this area is that we are surrounded by great ideas and forward thinking companies.  There are some seriously cool people doing the next big thing.  Sometimes, we get to play a tiny role in fueling that!

Over at Clypd in Somerville's Davis Sq., they have a full tap setup of Cambridge Coldbrew.  They started with cold coffee and quickly moved into adding our direct trade coldbrew tea as well.  We were surprised with how easy it was to install as they already had a small kegerator for beer.  The second surprise is how much they go through!  They were up and running in no time, we just had to put an extra keg out there for them.

We want to give a shout out to those folks for being the spark to get us moving on this project.  A big thanks to the folks over at Clypd for bringing us into their family and for tuning us into the ideas driven culture around us.

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NEW COFFEE!!!  


Our much beloved and adored doppelganger espresso is back and fittingly it's to be one of our first Somerville production roasts.  It will appear online and on retail shelves this weekend!

A pairing of two Kenyas, this coffee is lightly roasted to get it to sing some delicious notes of fruit and floral.  It's juicy and sweet, great as espresso, coldbrew, or as a drip coffee.

TEDxCambridge : June 5th 5pm, 

We are a coffee sponsor!   If you were one of the lucky ones to have booked a ticket, we will be right there with you keeping your energy up with great coffee!  (Check out our new espresso cart at this event).

A huge thanks to the organizers of TEDxCambridge for letting us be there to support!  See TEDxCambridge for more details on their spring event.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Do you know #Cambridge #Coldbrew?

Keep it local 'Camberville': barismo's founder, Jaime van Schyndel updates you on our most popular side project, Cambridge Coldbrew.  As we enter iced coffee season, here's our preferred cold coffee.

Some of our local industry old timers complain about the obsession with cold brew (toddy) coffee and complain about it's many faults.   They protest that cold brew is a place to hide low quality blends that are often darkly roasted.  They gripe that cold brew is brewed at room temp to very strong strengths yet often tastes very under extracted.  They grumble that cold brew tasted oxidized, flat, and a bit off (like a merlot left out overnight).  Instead of joining the complaining about how it is, we decided to refine the method and search out what it could be.  We then set out to reinvent cold brew coffee. We sought something different, possibly better, more innovative, a new idea for brewing cold coffee.  We took the first step by bringing it back to the fundamental ideas of what makes quality coffee.  Then we brewed it again, from the beginning.

Enter the Cambridge Coldbrew

After a lot of refinement and what can only be described as a few years of distilling the process, we latched onto a method that delivered the farm flavors we wanted.  We began beta test serving in Cambridge where it then picked up steam and even got some national press mentions.  It was not until it was on tap a few years ago at dwelltime that we started to really get some clarity to our new method.  The Cambridge customers supported us and pressed us both into bottling growlers and scaling up our brewing to meet the demands.  The rapid volumes from the get go kept us busy but made us fixate on how to scale up with the quality we were chasing.  As of now, we have been scaling into some seriously large batch sizes we never could have imagined when this was merely a trending topic of summer coverage a few years back.  It has been the big challenge refining a better idea for cold brewed coffee. Brewed cold and clean filtered, this is no longer that same old tepid toddy!

Here's what makes it Cambridge Coldbrew:

  • Stored cold and brewed cold - It's the only iced coffee locally you can buy that's cold all the way through. We keep it at the best temps to preserve it's flavors.
  • Clean filtered - Cambridge Coldbrew goes through a multiple pass filtration to get a crisp and full taste.  Because we don't have the sediment, this allows us to avoid the under/over extraction and focus on the right extraction.
  • Quality direct trade coffee - We use only quality traceable coffees from farms we have sourced directly.  You will not receive a low quality over roasted blend, you will get a single coffee estate with a distinct flavor and unique story.
  • A different approach - We don't updose and under extract, this is not a 'concentrate', it's ready to drink and dialed in like a great hot coffee would be.

 How can you get Cambridge Coldbrew by the bottle (and by the keg)?

  • We offer our single estate growlers for office and take home at dwelltime as well as our coffee bar 171 Mass ave, Arlington, MA.
  • We now offer a 5 and 15 gallon keg service for offices, restaurants, and specialty stores (local delivery only).
  • Join our waiting list for bottles in your store's cold case.

Why Cambridge Coldbrew?

  • We want to fuel your ideas.  Most of our first keg customers were amazing tech companies that already have kegerator setups for beer.  Cambridge Coldbrew is innovative coffee for innovative companies.
  • We hope to change restaurant coffee to be something truly special, not an afterthought.  Imagine fine dining and ending the meal with a single estate Cambridge Coldbrew off a nitrogen tap.  It's the exclamation point on a great meal!
  • Most cold brewed blends are generic and lack identity.  We want to bring it back to focusing on what makes great individual coffees by highlighting the unique farms that produced them.  That means it tastes like great coffees should taste.

What's new with Cambridge Coldbrew?

Clypd's tap setup (art by Olya Rosenberg)
  • Our direct trade Fulu Red Tea is now available iced and by the Coldbrew keg (currently only as 5 gal kegs).  
  • dwelltime has Fulu Red iced tea on tap and is testing our new carbonated version!  (frequently available in seasonal mocktails that pair well with an espresso)
  • We have partnered to offer kegerator installations for 'Coldbrew on Tap' setups, let's talk!
We set out to make Cambridge Coldbrew a product that speaks to our values of letting the coffee be the good it can be.  Transparent, directly sourced, quality brewed, and freshly roasted 'cold' coffee.  It took a little help from our friends, and major support from our amazing customers for this new idea about iced coffee to become a big favorite locally but it's definitely catching on.  For that, we thank the loyal support of our customers that allowed us to stay true to our brew!  We look forward to bringing these farms we love to new friends, restaurants, and even those innovative companies that inspire us!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dialing in a #Somerville roaster

Keep it local Somerville, MA: barismo's founder, Jaime van Schyndel updates you on our new roasting home in the Aeronaut.


Loading our first Somerville batch
At our new Somerville location, we've had a chance to fire up the roaster and begin some batch testing.  There are a few little details we've been working on to have some more fun.  We got some cool logging software that still needs to be adapted but the basic probes and gas gauges have been installed allowing us to get some test batches out.  (Yes, there are still roasters out there who do not use gas gauges or digital temperature probes.)

We have fired up the roaster and dialed in a few batches.  We went through this exercise when I first opened barismo, but instead of six months, we are going to get comfortable over six weeks.  It only took a couple batches to get a general feel for what this machine does including it's gas limits for the batch size.  I have no perspective for how others approach a new install, but we took a medium gas setting and watched the delta between specific observable color points.  Basically, we went and 'let it rip' all the way into second crack while we logged sight, sound, and smell markers.  (This was initially a shock to The Aeronauts who were concerned by the noise and smoke!) We worked backwards based on our experiences and expectations of what was supposed to be happening and at what rates.  We all felt very comfortable as we were able to dial in our first coffee very quickly for a reasonable batch size.

Even Pete Likes! Picture by @AeronautBrewing 
Over the next few weeks, we will see how the test coffees rest and age, through cupping and more profiling.  We'll also fidget with tinier adjustments, tweaks on the roaster mechanics to account for potential problems, and also do repairs on small issues that pop up.  There is definitely work to be done.

With our operational model, the issues emerging are around our just in time freshly roasted inventory and how it shifts to Somerville, MA.  Basically, we not only have to dial in to a quality level, we have a lot of logistics to figure out.  As a roaster that bikes an extraordinary amount of its volumes around on cargo bikes, there is a logistical challenge that we have in going to bigger capacity, changing storage methods, and addressing a space that will have a lot of other businesses in it.  Luckily, we have been trolling a lot of our tech friends and are adapting different apps/management pieces to upgrade how we work as well.  These are not huge hurdles but we are taking our time to move over slowly rather than rushing and we thank our loyal customers for being so patient.

We have been quiet with events and with classes lately, but that is temporary as well.  Once we get up and running, we intend to be doing constant classes, education events, fun collaborations, and outreach to the neighborhood.  Mid June into July will be a busy time and you'll have lot's of chances to see the new space and will hear a lot about the hub.

We will be hammering home some really important beliefs we have about what makes good coffee great.  Brew methods, storage, roasting techniques, farm and mill improvements, and of course a lot of tasting to share those ideas!  Same old barismo, but this year we are going to work to make the case:

There is great roasted coffee locally and you don't need to go out of New England looking for it.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Symbiosis

sym·bi·o·sis

\ˌsim-bē-ˈō-səs, -ˌbī-\
: a relationship between two people or groups that work with and depend on each other
Keep it local Somerville, MA: barismo's roaster Chris Malarick steps up and delivers a little piece of why he feels keeping the talent local matters.

Symbiosis and Sustainability OR Why Local Coffee Matters - A Barista Origin Story

Several years ago, I was able to get a staging shift at Voltage Coffee and Art, a shop owned by Lucy Valena in Kendall Square. (I had been working in an organic market with a coffee program for the past couple of years where I unearthed the rabbit hole of specialty coffee and the world that it existed in, the world that existed in it, but my first day at Voltage was the start of something entirely new.)  Up until that day, I had experienced resistance from other managers/cafes to a lot of the ideas, theories, and methods that had captivated me when it came to curating a coffee program.  Here I was though, standing behind the bar of this place that was a coffee shop meets art gallery built upon and dedicated to some of those pretty unique values. I felt like a kid in a candy store for quite some time thereafter.  Every day was exciting to go into work and try new coffees, experiment with extractions, and develop a craft.  It also allowed me to truly bond with the customers over why we were both there and share with them what was exciting for me. 

At that time Voltage featured a guest program, bringing in coffees from different roasters to run alongside the offerings from Barismo, their primary local roaster. At first, as a barista, this got me excited as it allowed me the chance to try out lots of different coffees from different farms roasted by different people. While this was a resource to someone like myself, trying to take it all in and learn as much as I could, it soon became apparent that this was an unsustainable business model and deviated from the mission statement of almost every party involved.  I didn't know these people, neither did Lucy or anyone else at the shop, as there was a great disconnect in the relationship- the roasters knew the farmers and the baristas knew the customers, but the roasters and the baristas had little dialogue whatsoever, so I felt the chain was broken. This didn't turn me off the the particular companies I served while at Voltage but rather drew me closer to Barismo, a local relationship that proved to be more valuable going forward than I could have imagined.

I started spending more time at dwelltime, barismo's flagship coffee bar in mid-Cambridge before and after work on my days off getting to know the staff and talk about coffee. I would drop by the roastery from time to time to watch their hands work while I picked the brain of whoever was manning the roasters about green coffee, roasting, the whole of everything!  I got to engage in conversation whenever I could about what it was barismo was doing behind the curtains- I was fascinated.  Pretty soon, I was afforded the opportunity to pick up work at dwelltime, an offer I jumped at with haste as it brought me one step closer to my goal of starting a roasting apprenticeship.  It was bittersweet saying goodbye to Voltage, a shop that had taught me so much and brought me into a world I fell deeply in love with, but I felt strongly that the next phase of my journey could be as a roaster, and that I would not falter.  Fast forward over a year and a half later and I'm writing this post as the head roaster for Barismo. 

This post is about me, but my specific path isn't important, it's about the value of the symbiotic relationships within our local coffee scene. I'm here now because I worked for a local shop owner who helped me build my skill set and provided a relationship with our local roaster, which resulted in access to a job that broadened my skill sets. I still get to to support Voltage every week when I roast their coffee to order but the lesson was learned:  Support local, employ local, and keep the jobs, the knowledge, and the talent local.

There's a lot of exciting things going on in our industry right now (read: always) on the big scale, but often times there's a lot of noise and distractions, we have to remember to focus on what really matters to us vs the scene. What's important to me and why I'm here: to support our growing local coffee community and share with our neighbors what I've learned and what I'm excited about.

Evaluating for Quality: barismo's founder and GM, Jaime van Schyndel breaks down a recent trip to Guatemala.  Part one of three!

A couple of months ago, I took a group (Lucy of Voltage & Simon of Simon's tagged along) to tour farms in Guatemala.   Along the way, our host for the first leg of the trip, Gustavo Alfaro, arranged for us to visit artista Rudy Cotton in Guatemala City.  Rudy is an established painter with a large portfolio and prominent placement for his works.  Lucy Valena (Voltage Coffee) was particularly excited about seeing his gallery/workspace as she has a background in art.  Rudy has worked the last two years on a project to craft and create a new angle to the many relationships in coffee.  He took his time to interpret the land, the coffee, and crafted a massive mural on Hacienda Santa Rosa (you know it as Buena Esperanza).  We are hoping to arrange a follow up to this here in the states through barismo/Voltage and hopefully create multiple spaces to showcase both the coffees and art in unique ways to tell this story.

It was a really interesting experience where we had the relationship that Gustavo and Rudy were childhood friends, Gustavo is one of our relationship producers, and Lucy is one of our cafe partners.  We got to match up a farm that's owner has an interest in Rudy's art with a cafe owner (combo art gallery owner) who actually studied some of Rudy's mentors in grad school!

Lucy will have more to say on this in the next few weeks. You can see her most recent post on her blog about what she learned in Guatemala. Drop by Voltage as well if you are in Kendall Sq. and ask her about it while you have a cup from one of the farms she visited.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Progress and your coffee program

Evaluating for quality: barismo's founder, Jaime van Schyndel breaks down why the independent coffee company has to keep looking forward, keep moving, and stay focused.  This article is for cafes and barista to take some time and think.

Progress is a word that's being thrown around pretty lightly right now.  How do we progress as a community? What is the path for young up and coming barista who want to make a career out of coffee?  Is progress national expansion? International?  It all has a very, 'are we there yet?' feel to it.  In a market that seems really driven by an urgency to trend with the latest new movement, venture capital influx, acquisitions, and massive expansion, I don't have those answers.  Working hard and cupping a lot of coffees may in fact not get you as far as you'd like to go as a coffee professional.  You may not succeed simply by doing the basics really well in this industry any more, because it's growing very quickly and involves so much networking to advance.  All of those are really hard to encapsulate discussions.  Since I don't have the time to pontificate there, here's a few things I can point to that shop owners and managers can examine that may help them succeed and grow.  That can, in turn, open the door to more opportunities for coffee professionals and create 'progress'.

Here's the test, see how your coffee program matches up to these ideas and remember the goal is 'to progress' not 'to project'.  We all have a chance every day to move toward something. The mental block among many is that we 'project' who we think our customers are now.  We react to ideas or changes with that inference of how the world is and wrongly expect it to remain unchanged going forward.  The cafe customers we have now are really quite simply a reflection of the experience and culture we create in our cafes now.  Our cafe culture is self fulfilling prophecy.  We create the situations that continue the culture, then we complain about how bad it is, how immovable they are, and let this be our excuse to avoid any changes.  The measure of progress should be, how we are changing the culture and towards what goals?  So, I propose three ideas that depend on each other to achieve:

progress and your coffee program


be authentic

This is the old 'practice what you preach'.  It is your chance to build trust with customers, your staff, and live up to what you're saying.  If you are out there messaging local, be that local shop that hammers home how you do support your community and why they should support you.  Trying to be that elite coffee bar fixating on high end brew methods and unheard of quality coffees?  Then you have to know more than just how you are serving it and the name of the roaster, you have to drill down on real details.  Remember, it's a double edged sword.  If you build trust on expectations from what you've said, implied, or advertised then the worst thing you can do is fail to deliver by being inconsistent.  An example is if you ask customers to support you because of a concept about sourcing coffees, expect them to believe the vendors you offer match up to this.  So, it's always a good idea to make sure the companies you partner with (and your employees) are matching examples of the values you want to be putting forward.

be transparent

This the who, what, why, and how. Here is an opportunity that often gets mistaken for a burden.  Transparency is not simply being able to rattle off the origin and label specifics of a coffee, it's your chance to show them what you value (and why).  Why are you serving it? Why should your customers be loyal to it? The answer is trust.  Do your barista trust the products? Do your customers trust the barista?  Transparency and trust are so inherently intertwined because the more we trust that the customers have the capacity to care and get involve more, the more likely that customers will reciprocate with support.  That is the fundamental change in our market over the last 10 years.  Trust has shifted to include this growing expectation of full transparency and incredible diligence from barista, cafes, and roasters alike.  Beyond coffee, the food culture is shifting to ask what's in what we are imbibing, how does it impact others, and where does it come from?

be sustainable

Recycle, sure, but this is the discussion where activism meets business sustainable.  It's asking yourself if your model is good business as well.  If you can't pay the roaster, who can't pay the farmers, you probably can't pay yourself either and that's unsustainable on a lot of levels.
Sustainable is consciously avoiding the pitfalls of getting steam rolled by industry trends because as they say 'all politics are local'.  It's knowing your market and your neighborhood matter.  It's worrying about the trend in that neighborhood/market and how it will affect you.
In our industry we do a lot of unsustainable things.  We 'upsell' condiments, asking customers if they want cream and sugar in their purchase.  Which is odd because condiments don't pay coffee farmers, so we have to ask ourselves, how do we build a model that does?  We do not focus enough on offering fresh roasted retail, to stay drinks (in real cups), and creating a taste it first not season it first culture.  Sound 'hipster' or pretentious, well, do the math for your cafe if you shifted to a higher percentage of for here drinks with fewer condiments and sold more retail items.  Less product cost, less takeout cups, less waste and condiment cost, and larger average tickets.  That's more sustainable on both the environment and the business. While that's easier said than done, the point is thinking about what you want to do and crafting a plan to get there. If you had the thought while reading those suggestions 'well but my customers wouldn't...', you fell into 'projecting' instead of progressing.
Sustainability also means adding up the costs associated with your program and making sure they meet your value set.  What is the shipping cost, what is the vendor markup, what is the farm getting paid, and what services am I getting?  Basically, it's asking if you are getting your true value beyond brand value.  Getting what you paid for, having it take you where you want, and making sure it speaks for who you are.

and you can too!


The ideas here are pretty simple and by no means a firm guide to what needs to be done.  The root idea is that something always can be done. What we choose to do speaks to who we are.  Who we are should be what we say and in the end, it has to add up to something that will last.  As someone who has managed my own shops and has consulted for other shops, I realize it's often the little things that can keep good shops from becoming great shops (or slowly derail great shops over time).  So many shops progress up until that one competitor opens and by merely existing puts the contrast on that glaring hole in their program.  Other shops get bogged down in trying to brand roasters when they really meant to brand farms.  Shops can also get built around personalities of employees instead of a set of core values. When those employees leave, so do many of the customers.  There are lots of token examples of why it matters to think through not just what you are serving but consider what motivates us, and how do we communicate that to others.  It's my opinion that the great shops always have a strong mission statement and a consistency from messaging down to the core valued activities that lines up.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Santa Ana & Idolia: a new #directtrade relationship


The view of the Santa Ana y Anexos wet mill, Pueblo Nuevo Viñas, Guatemala

On the Ground: barismo's founder, Jaime van Schyndel reports on a new relationship with Santa Ana y Anexos in Guatemala for the 2014 crop. This is barismo's first year working with Santa Ana of Pueblo Nuevo Vinas, and we are excited to share this developing Direct Trade partnership. Stay tuned for more info as we build up to the arrival of this years various two lots, Santa Ana and Idolia. 

 
Fernando Diaz
Santa Ana lies in the southern portion of Guatemala, not more than an hour or so from Guatemala City with no traffic.  On the drive up, we passed a soccer field named 'Estadio Flor del Cafe' or the coffee flower stadium, so we knew we were entering a serious coffee production area. The area is beautiful, and being outside the coffee buyer favorite areas of Huehuetenango or Antigua, it feels much more isolated and less traveled by other coffee buyers.

Our host on this trip is one Fernando Diaz, a calm and charming person who cares deeply about returning his farm to the days when it had high placement in the Cup of Excellence, and long term going a bit farther.  He takes this in stride with his other important goals, to enjoy the land and what it offers by sharing his experiences with his family.  Many of the discussions we had centered not around ambition but desire to have and provide a good quality of life for his family and the families living on the farm.  As someone who works deeply in the hectic coffee industry but also has a 3 year old at home, this line of thought is something I can relate to.  Sustainability isn't merely the activism but also balancing the feasibility of the business, and one's personal life.


The patios at Santa Ana
Santa Ana y Anexos is composed of four farms and one wet mill.  Fernando's father passed along the main farm previously known as Santa Ana to his four children, and the Anexos were born.  One of the four retained the main name of Santa Ana, while the other three were given new designations but all are currently under Fernando's care.  barismo is bringing in a mixed lot of Santa Ana and one of the other farms, Idolia.  Both of these lots were truly solid on the cupping table, both are bourbon, and both had uniquely aromatic cup profiles.  Once we toured the farm and walked the many sub plots on Santa Ana and Idolia, we requested a few follow up samples from plots that looked unique and those we felt held potential.  Ironically, the lots we picked out already composed most of the samples we chose from touring the farm.  Fernando also dropped us one extra sample to show his picking vs the normal 'ripe' standard.  It allowed us to cup side by side samples of picks that measured differently in the sweetness of the coffee cherry but were prepared the same.  We know this because Fernando is doing all of his picking based on sample Brix measurements with logging and sample roast testing with three different quality consultants in Guatemala.  Add in his intensive separation of lots plus detailed data logging of patio coffees and this makes him one of the most organized farms we will work with this year.

Nursery at Santa Ana y Annexos
Fernando takes a pretty relaxed approach for someone who is massively overhauling his farm.  He has filled a large nursery with coffees acquired from his friend (and ours) Luis Pedro Zelaya of Bella Vista Mill. What you'd expect from Fernando with all this investment and attention to detail is driving ambition, what you've got is an analytical engineer looking at the next 10 years for these farms.  As cool and intriguing as his projects are, the farm has many obstacles to overcome in the next five years.  As most of the farm is planted with varying canopies of evergreens and native trees, the entire mountain feels like a bit of a mashup of varied growing scenarios.  Depending on which piece of land you are on, you have different sun patterns, different soil, and often different plantings covered by varying shade types.


50+ year old bourbon tree
The most intriguing part of this is a plot on the steepest side of the mountain that contains some seriously old bourbon trees.  These trees have stumps that are old and in need of serious trimming, even possible replanting in some areas.    Fernando's secondary goal is to figure out if he can make furniture from many of these trees as they get replanted.  When I asked if he'd sell a few, he recoiled at the idea.  It's clear he was thinking of something for his family and visitors of the farm to enjoy.  That's something we can get behind, especially in a specialty coffee industry that is currently gripped with rapid expansion and a venture capital influx.  While the current production of the farm is relatively small for the size, in time this farm should see a renaissance.  We feel the lots we are bringing in this year are simply a marker of both current peak quality on this farm but also point to some serious potential in the next few years.  

On the Ground: barismo's roaster Chris Malarick reports on his travel to Costa Rica to visit our producer partner Finca El Quizarra & Carole Zbinden.

It's exciting to find a new producer partner during our travels to coffee producing areas. Nothing quite rivals the feeling of returning year after year to the conversation with an already established grower relationship.  I had the opportunity to spend a day one on one with Carole Zbinden of Jardin De Aromas (Quizarra) during my travels to Costa Rica this spring.   I was honored to be able to talk to her about her farm, the industry sides of both growing/roasting, and of course to taste coffees. We've been working with Carole for three years now and each year we are taken aback by the quality of harvest she produces from her 1300 msl property. Usually land this low struggles with quality issues due to a variety of factors.  It is because of this that it's often looked past by roasters/green buyers. Jardin De Aromas is definitely an anomaly in that regard as it bucks the trends. Carole has implemented a very strict and regimented pruning schedule that has the entire farm systematically trimmed and uprooted in waves so as to not hinder harvest too drastically while focusing on a cycle that creates new 'young' plant tissue every year. Not only has she overhauled the maintenance systems of the farm land itself (which you know as Finca El Quizarra), but 3 years ago she started her own micro-mill which she named Jardin De Aromas.  Translating to the Garden of Aromas, a name she chose as she felt her father kept his coffee farm like a flower garden.

The investment in that micro mill is now allowing her to process her own cherry and regulate quality at another level.  In addition, Carole has also made her entire operation hyper-sustainable by reusing almost all byproducts. Water from fermentation is irrigated into a special grass that can make use of the added nutrients and pulped cherry skin.  The pulped fruit is used to fertilize areas of the farm undergoing pruning.  Nothing goes to waste in this process.

Always looking towards the future, we're excited to see experiments Carole has going at her farm now.  From new varieties like SL28 to including drying practices like raised beds. Getting the chance to spend a day with Carole and see the fruits of our partnership flourishing and continuing to grow was a huge learning experience for me and really helped me grasp the importance of direct trade relationships with healthy dialogue, once again affirming why it is we do what we do.



Keep it local Somerville, MA: barismo Founder, Jaime van Schyndel gives a status update on roasting in our new space.

The new roasting setup in Somerville is primed and ready.  We are taking our time to shift over as we wait for the next wave of coffees to arrive.  We also have some new bits and pieces of technology we are working with to give us a little more control that need a little lead time to get used to.

Many of you have asked us when the space will be open, the answer is join our notification list to get first invite to our next event in the space.

As we are moving on from the introductions we've been attempting to make to cafes in Somerville (more on that experience later), we'll be focusing on our loyal and dedicated customers getting a chance to come by the space.  We have a cart setup for events we'll be doing there, some Coldbrew tastings, and if you follow us on twitter we'll update you about general open house events in the Aeronaut as we know about them.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Delivering on Fresh: @BarismoBike

Delivering on Fresh: bike.barismo.com's Jackie Coolican, manager of barismo's coffee shipments and (literally) the driving force behind our cargo bike system.

bike.barismo is the driving force behind our local coffee supply chain.  The majority of the coffee we roast is provided to our partners via cargo bicycle for next day delivery.  Our approach (although maybe not too common in the Boston community yet!) allows us to connect with our partners in person on a weekly basis. Face-to-face interactions let us build and maintain close relationships with the coffee people we know, community we live in, and bike the neighborhoods we love. This unique delivery model allows us to focus on local employment.  Instead of recruiting big businesses like a FedEx or UPS to do our delivering for us, we see a new possibility the community has provided us. In addition to that, another perk is the reduced carbon footprint we (don't) leave.  The many costs that come with shipping, such as the fuel used in transporting such amounts of coffee and the waste of shipping material (boxes, plastic wrappings, etc.) are avoided through the use of the bicycle.  Shipping centers and cardboard boxes don't improve quality anyways.

-Follow the freshness with @BarismoBike - bike.barismo.com

Evaluating for Quality: barismo's founder and GM, Jaime van Schyndel breaks down why the support of cafe owners/managers is the driving force behind what we do.

At some point, every small coffee bar asks customers to support them as the local independent option.  As an independent regional roaster, we have in turn asked these same local coffee bars to support us for similar reasons.  Just like a coffee shop asks you to shop local, a roaster looks for support in the manufacture local model.  It has it's benefits in quality control, relationship building, and reduced shipping costs/carbon foot print, but it takes an investment in change to get there.

We at barismo feel like it's becoming more of a common sense argument for how to build a sustainable business.  We get the added benefits while continuing to support an expanding coffee community we are actively living and working in.  It is not without it's hurdles, but I have come to realize the cafes we work with are the real keys to our success.  They have the courage to step up and get involved in a quality driven model built on solid relationships and the need for participation at every level.  Their involvement is supporting us to go farther, dig deeper, and invest more at every step.  We have been humbled and are thankful for the support the community has provided us over the years.

While this coffee community grows, we are working to be a guiding force for quality and transparency.  Staying true to our mission statement, investing in farm level relationships, improving quality every year, and attempting to avoid the pitfalls of doing things just because they are trendy.  What makes this possible is having partners that are willing to go along with us in this journey.

This week, while you are around town, dropping into your local coffee shop, do us a favor and tell them thanks for being a part of this process.  @jaime_vans


Keep it local Arlington, MA: barismo's original location is going through some changes, Rob Rodriguez gives us some hints as to the future of 171 Mass Ave, Arlington, MA.

In case you are wondering, the coffee bar at 171 Mass Ave in Arlington, MA isn't going anywhere.  With all the changes going on over here while Barismo roasting moves into Somerville, it’s been easy to overlook some of the many changes that will happen here in Arlington. In particular, our location in Arlington is to experience a metamorphosis. What does that mean for the coffeebar at 171 Mass. Ave.?

To put it simply, a lot.

I believe it means a significantly new sense of identity for the space. While much of what makes Barismo unique is inherently a part of the roastery, the ability to express a love and fascination with coffee is essential to our work here in Arlington. Our focus here will be to reach back to the roots of what defined barismo to begin with. The ability for customers to enter the shop with a renewed sense of excitement and engage a barista about coffee is paramount. Just as important will be to impart a new conceptual outlook, while making sure the coffeebar’s environment is warm and appealing.

In the meantime, we got approval last year for outdoor seating.  As the weather gets nicer, we'll be putting seats out on the 'patio'.  Drop by as we've got Cambridge Coldbrew coffee in bottles and soon to be on tap at 171.  We also have a twitter account dedicated to us, check it out for updates on hours and last minute changes.



- Stay updated Arlington @CoffeeBar171

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

La Bandera De Dota - The Flag Bearer of Tarrazu


On the Ground: barismo's roaster Chris Malarick reports from Costa Rica to share developments with partners at Exclusive Coffees. Chris' update starts with the introduction of a new farm in Costa Rica that's small size matches up well to our model. Stay tuned for more info as we build up to the arrival of this years lots.

As it's name implies, La Bandera de Dota sits atop a mountain like a flag reigning over it's farms that cover the hillsides from 1875-1920 meters in the microregion of Dota in Tarrazu. It's Diego Hidalgo Umana's first year running his own micromill and farming the land himself.  This is land his father had farmed before him since 1976, but he's made sure not to suffer the growing pains and experience the learning mistakes that often riddle a producer's first year processing their own cherry. 

I first met Diego at the cupping lab of Exclusive Coffees. Producers are always coming and going, dropping off samples to be evaluated and offered by Exclusive. They are checking up on how their produce is scoring and getting feedback or simply attempting to talk with traveling buyers and the Exclusive staff. I was cupping my morning table, finishing up my score sheet when Diego came over and asked how I liked the coffees. I told him overall the table was pretty good, but Number 13 was standing out as I liked it very much. Diego blushed and his face filled with a smile as he humbly told me that was his coffee. "It's my first year. I'm very excited! But I still have a lot to learn". I shook his hand and told him he was doing a wonderful job, and then immediately arranged  to visit him on my trip to Tarrazu in a day or so.

Diego has 24 acres of well groomed red and yellow Catuai/Caturra that he processes exclusively using a fully washed wet processing method. Once the cherries are picked at peak ripeness and pulped to remove all of the cherry skins from the parchment, they are then wet fermented to remove the sticky fruit mucilage.  After that, the beans hit the drying phase, something Diego has thought out very thoroughly. All of his coffees are dried in a greenhouse using a tiered system. He has 90 beds with 11 racks that stack in sets 3 deep. Coffees spend 10 days on the top rack and 2 weeks divided between the two bottom racks.  This slows down the drying processing, fostering more structure to the coffee which in turn gives it a longer "green life" once the coffee is in our storage. Everything is clearly labeled and organized as all of the data is collected on a central board at the helm of the greenhouse.













Diego's dedication to impeccable picking, processing and drying procedures makes him a perfect partner for Barismo. Not only does his mentality ensure that quality coffees will be grown, but that quality dialogues will be had. This is why we do this. We're more than excited to see Diego grow as we work with him in the years to come, and we're equally excited to share his beautiful coffees with you as well. -@gastronomin

From barismo to barismonauts: Jaime VanSchyndel gives you a look in on an event at barismo's new Somerville location at The Aeronaut Hub, as well as an introspective look at the local industry and our neighbors. Stay tuned for more updates and opportunities to see the new space!

Last Thursday night, barismo hosted an industry event where we gathered a group of our local coffee professional peers. The goal of the event was to get together a unique cross section of local coffee shop owners and barista in one location and just talk.  The guise of the night was definitely to introduce them to our new space, but inevitability it really became a discussion about how far this industry has come locally. 

So what did we learn?

My goal going into this event was to engage the community and have a discussion. This discussion would be about sharing where we've been and why we moved into Somerville.  The end goal was to answer, where do we go from here?  A discussion about sustainability, quality, and what local means to us is only valuable if others are willing to engage in that discussion.  After a long weekend to digest how these conversations were useful, I realized that they offered us some real feedback to guide our internal dialogue as coffee professionals about how to move barismo forward.

We learned that a select few people are locked in to their way of doing things to what may ultimately be a fault.  We could come back in five years and expect their shops to still be doing the same exact things regardless of how the community changes.  In spite of that, we also learned that the true majority of coffee pros locally are really excited to explore and are looking forward to what the next phase of our local scene could become.  Being an independent shop though is really hard and it takes a lot of time and energy to make any changes towards any new direction. This really represented the majority of people who came to the event and therefore defines our thinking about us as a roastery supporting them.

I also learned this local coffee pro community is bigger and stronger than I had expected going into that event. They showed up and were willing to talk freely about where they think the community is and where they think it's going. It clarified that indy shops have the motivation to do big things. Since I know for a fact that you don't have to be a big chain or a national company to put out quality products, it means these local shops have a lot of potential.

Excited as I am, the same obstacles that every indy shop faces slows down our community.  Time, money, and the energy to move forward are always in short supply when you run your own business.

For us, it's time to digest what we're learning and define the goals going forward.  Some of what we do to support coffee shops already builds on what we feel are basic solutions in training and organization.  Some of it is simply getting more barista to acknowledge coffee customers who choose independent shops over chains are more likely to learn and grow as the shop does.  A big part of what needs to change in our local coffee scene is also messaging. What I have come to realize is that we are at another turning point where the community may grow and improve a lot the next few years.  If the free discussions and shared knowledge we saw Thursday night continues, the end result will be better coffee in our area. - @jaime_vans

Stay Fresh Updates: Events, classes and education, new coffees, and much more. Sign up for updates here! We have a ton of events coming up as you can see, remember to follow us on twitter as well for up to the minute info. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Make Time for Introspection

I first discovered barismo in August 2009 when the company was just shy of one year old. I had heard inklings about this, then new, Boston area coffee roaster aiming to roast quality coffee and I was intrigued. The Arlington roastery back then was a quite place, but the coffees shared were excellent, and the level of conversation about the coffee was serious. I was interested in learning as much as I could, and everyone at barismo was interested in sharing that knowledge.

barismo has always been about ideas. Perhaps that is what drew me in initially, those ideas definitely kept me coming back, and eventually brought me into the company fulltime. March 2011 is when I did one of my first projects, it was the barismo wordmark hand-cut out of black vinyl lettering on an acrylic panel. This was barismo's first real 'sign' in the Arlington location after almost two and a half years of operation.

A little over two years later I find myself in a new roasting space in Somerville, in a more mature company, surrounded by a wider community that has excitement for the ideas that first brought me into the company. And here I am creating another barismo sign.

Just like the first, this one is made by hand, black 'barismo' letters painted on a white wall at the Somerville space. As coffee roasters I think we have always considered ourselves people who make things and we have an enourmous amount of satisfaction from the fact that we make this product right here in the local community, for our community.

Those two signs that I made are both quite simple in concept. Similarly our message as a coffee roaster has always been simple yet profound: transparency, quality, freshness. These shape our decision making at every step of the way, we are constantly moving ahead, and ever introspective.

As I finish the final touches on the sign and the new space, is a poignant time to reflect on how barismo has grown in the last couple of years that I have been with the company. Beyond all of the experience and knowledge that barismo has imparted thus far, I have solidified two lifelong habits that others here reiterate:
  • I know that I will always make things.
  • I will always be introspective about what it means to support that ethos.

Coffee is amazingly complex and enjoyable, both drinking it and learning more about it. Of course I happen to love the coffee barismo puts out there and feel ever critical to refine and make it better. However I do not encourage anyone to simply adopt brand loyalty for barismo. I think those who have found barismo love the way the coffee tastes and the ideas that we operate under just happen to really resonate. make things...think about it. - @timborrego



Stay Fresh Updates: Events, classes and education, new coffees, and much more. Sign up for updates here! We have a ton of events coming up as you can see, remember to follow us on twitter as well for up to the minute info. 

Stay tuned for Classes at barismo's new space at
The Aeronaut Hub, 14 Tyler St, Somerville MA 

We'll be re-launching our education programs this spring at our new roastery location at The Aeronaut Hub in Union Square, Somerville. All our classes are taught by our knowledgeable and experienced baristas. Our new class list will offer expanded content during weekend afternoons. More details coming soon. Check Here for Updates!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Getting Back to barismo 1.0


Evaluating for Quality: Jaime VanSchyndel gives you a bit of info on barismo's new Somerville location at The Aeronaut Hub, as well as some of our hopes and goals for the new neighbourhood. Stay tuned for more updates and opportunities to see the new space!

The first barismo was a one-on-one experience.  Back then, there were two of us and we worked every day.  When one of us got sick or needed a day off, the shop was closed.  If you came in during a roasting session, you'd have to wait for an interval to get a bag of coffee.  We didn't serve coffee and it was really more of a whole bean bar.  While we didn't sell coffee, you could come in and taste something, try a brew method we had on the table, then get a bag of freshly roasted coffee.  If you came in after a roasting session, you got a chance to hang out and talk about methods, processing, or really just engage about great coffee shops.  This is what we want to present at the new space in Somerville.  We want to get back to an experience where you can pick our brains and really get to as deep a level as you want to go about your coffee.

The roasting setup will be open air in front of a stage where you can watch and even interact with the roaster.  There will be ongoing tastings not only of coffee, but beers by Aeronaut, foods from other vendors and an array of collaborative tastings.  We are scheduling presentations soon by our Kenyan coffee source this year, some farm partners will visit, technology and new product demos, as well as an assortment of presentations about our fresh crop coffees as they arrive. We will do classes in this space at varying hours on the weekends on an array of topics.

We hope to host a lot of serious coffee industry events and gatherings for the coffee community.  Surely the lure of Somerville's new brewery can get even the most stubborn barista to come out to the space.

Stay Fresh Updates: Events, classes and education, new coffees, and much more. Sign up for updates here! We have a ton of events coming up as you can see, remember to follow us on twitter as well for up to the minute info. 

Friday, April 11, 2014 from 6pm-8pm 
Why Did We Do This? Origin Stories at Voltage Coffee
Local cafe owners Lucy Valena and Simon Yu will be sharing about their experiences visiting Direct Trade farms in Guatemala. Happening at Voltage Coffee & Art in Kendall Square this Friday! Sign up free at www.originstories.eventbrite.com Join us for an evening of stories, photos, and good company.


Sunday, April 20, 2014 from 5pm-7pm 
Espresso 101 class at barismo's new space at 

The Aeronaut Hub, 14 Tyler St, Somerville MA 
"A barista will explain grinding, tamping, and more, then watch as you pull shot after shot. Like an espresso coach, he’ll give you pointers on everything from your mouse tails to your brew’s hue. Small classes are taught monthly on Sunday nights" - from a recent Boston Globe article featuring barismo's Espresso 101 class. Sign up Here! 

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Thinking Ahead

follow the freshness @BarismoBike

Evaluating for Quality: Jaime VanSchyndel gives you a bit of info on barismo's new Somerville location at Aeronaut Launch, as well as some of our hopes and goals for the new neighbourhood. Stay tuned for more updates and opportunities to see the new space!

Our new location in Somerville has a few serious advantages for us. Sure, the loading dock is nice and the bigger roasting capacity is great, but the more obvious benefits are geographic. Our bike.barismo.com cargo bike is now in the heart of Camberville and can more easily reach all our existing local clients. It will be shorter rides with a lot more coffee, employing local while keeping our carbon footprint down. The packaging as well will be free of cardboard boxes so we'll emphasize reduce and reuse. We are also toying with the idea of picking up grounds on the deliveries for our cafes to bring back for CSA farms to use (an idea that needs some refinement but has potential).

Somerville Mayor Joe Cuartatone
In our new space, we are dedicating a training area for espresso and brew methods. With the intensive barista training program we have been implementing the last few months for employees and accounts, we hope to build the best training program for coffee in the area. It may already have a leg up as the only locally owned and operated coffee training center in Somerville/Cambridge but we want it to be a resume builder for baristas as well.

Being next to BKBS and Artisans means we will be doing a lot of collaborations. Members of Artisans did the refurb and paint job on our new roasting equipment and you'll start seeing us at events such as this past weekends TEDxSomerville in Brooklyn Boulders (also simulcast at Clypd where we had a gs3 espresso machine setup).



Stay Fresh Updates:Events, classes and education, new coffees, and much more. Sign up for updates here! We have a ton of events coming up as you can see, remember to follow us on twitter as well for up to the minute info.

Sunday, April 6, 2014 from 5pm-7pm 
Espresso 101 class hosted at barsimo in Arlington
"A barista will explain grinding, tamping, and more, then watch as you pull shot after shot. Like an espresso coach, he’ll give you pointers on everything from your mouse tails to your brew’s hue. Small classes are taught monthly on Sunday nights" - from a recent Boston Globe article featuring barismo's Espresso 101 class. Sign up Here! 

Friday, April 11, 2014 from 6pm-8pm 
Origin Stories at Voltage Coffee
Lucy Valena of Voltage Coffee & Art in Kendall Square will be sharing a bit about her time visiting producers in Guatemala with barismo. Join us for an evening of stories!

dwelltime's Too (April Fools People!)

logo concept, as drawn by the Wildflower Montessori kids during
an intense lunch meeting at dwelltime on Broadway in Cambridge

From the Arlington Patch
April Fools! Ok, we had some laughs over the Arlington Patch's post of our plans for naming the space 'dwelltime's Too'. We hope you were in on the joke, but to clarify we will Not be calling the space 'dwell x 2'. The East Arlington location will however be getting a dwelltime style renovation once the production space is fully moved. We will give updates as the project progresses, but the real facts of this story are as follows: 
  • Naming of the space is still TBD, but "The Refined Pallet" and "swell time" will not be considered for naming of the renovated space.
  • Expect an expanded dwelltime style cafe dining area at the Arlington space.
  • It is not Gus Rancatore's Birthday today.
  • You could wish Gus a merry unbirthday tomorrow at Toscanini's and you Will be served a Free spoon size sample of ice cream.

Original Post Below:

Evaluating for Quality: Jaime VanSchyndel gives you a bit of info on barismo's 171 Mass Avenue, Arlington location. Stay tuned for more updates and timeline on the revamped space!

Our East Arlington location at 171 Mass Ave is slated for some big changes this coming summer. As barismo moves into the Union Square Somerville neighborhood at the Aeronaut Launch, the East Arlington space is gearing up to reclaim the old roastery production space for more cafe service. With the redirection of the space into a full service coffeebar (a la dwelltime) we plan to change the name to match the new direction.

After much thought and deliberation we felt that it was necessary to keep the barismo name separate from the roastery division. The most logical step was to rename the revamped space 'dwelltime', however to avoid any confusion with the Broadway 'dwelltime' we have settled on 'dwelltime's Too'

We had some excellent runners up including 'The Refined Pallet' (which reflects our love for reclaimed pallet wood that the coffee comes delivered on) and 'swell time' (since most of our text messages auto correct 'dwelltime' to 'swell time' anyway). Once the roastery is fully transitioned to the new space we will be hosting a grand relaunch of the new dwelltime's Too. Stay tuned for details.

Stay Fresh Updates:Events, classes and education, new coffees, and much more. Sign up for updates here! We have a ton of events coming up as you can see, remember to follow us on twitter as well for up to the minute info.

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 9am-11pm
Gus Rancatore's Birthday Bash at Toscanini's
Stop by Toscanini’s all day to wish Gus Rancatore a very happy birthday! Free spoon sized samples of Ice Cream will be available throughout the day (feel free to stop by on Wenesday the 2nd to wish him a very merry un-birthday if you are not able to attend on the 1st.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

barismo #local #coffee #Somerville MA

barismo at Aeronaut Landing in Somerville

Evaluating for Quality: Jaime VanSchyndel gives you a bit of info on barismo's new Somerville location at Aeronaut Landing, as well as some of our hopes and goals for the new neighbourhood. Stay tuned for more updates and opportunities to see the new space!

In the still forming row next to Brooklyn Boulders and Artisans Asylum, we are moving into a collaborative Landing space that is best described as a 'food incubator'. Aeronaut Brewery, our next door neighbors will be brewing beer and serving as Somerville's first brewery in nearly a hundred years. They are often called 'science beer' but would recoil at the statement because it really misses the point. They are like us, quirky idealists stubbornly set on trying to control the production chain to effectively curate the ingredients in their product. A bit analogous to what we are doing as they are really attempting to treat their ingredients, not just as products, but as speciality items in an industry that treats it's ingredients as basic commodities. Expect transparency and acknowledgement for the craft/care of their barley and hops providers to be a trademark of their message. I doubt there is a better match for us in the beer industry. Somerville chocolates, and farm share, Something GUD will also be in the space, rounding out a unique marketplace for curated and specialized products.

We decided to go into Somerville for a handful of important reasons, beyond our kindred spirits in the brewery. When you look at the best coffee places in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville there are a few things that stick out. Boston is dominated by chains which use coffee from all over the US, but Cambridge and Somerville have the best independent cafes. We are well established in Cambridge and have wonderful relationships with cafes there.  The premier shops in Cambridge also appear to be fully invested in the local-MA-roaster-served-by-locally-owned-coffee-shops model. 

If you think about it for a bit, the list of cafes in the area using a MA based roaster is shorter than it should be given the quality roasting available. Somerville, however, has some of the better coffee shops in the area and a strong base of supportive coffee enthusiasts we want to introduce ourselves to. It is the one place that has come up repeatedly in customer conversations that's led us to believe the need for a local coffee roasting setup is there. While we acknowledge the lack of support many Somerville cafes have given local roasting businesses, we think that is a tiny obstacle in a community that is intensely supportive of #local #coffee.

The warm reception we got at the Somerville Winter Market and the Davis Flea over the last few years told us a few truths: Somerville loves great coffee and they will appreciate the hard work we are putting into sourcing relationship coffees and biking them around Camberville. We know it will take some time to become a real part of the neighborhood and we have a long road in front of us but we'll detail a lot more about our plans and ideas for the space of over the coming posts.
- Jaime | follow on twitter @jaime_vans and this blog for continued updates on this years harvest.


Stay Fresh Updates:Events, classes and education, new coffees, and much more. Sign up for updates here! We have a ton of events coming up as you can see, remember to follow us on twitter as well for up to the minute info.

Wednesday - Saturday, March 26-29th, 2014
New England Real Ale eXhibition at Aeronaut Landing
Get your tickets for NERAX Online. We are excited to be apart of the NERAX event that is taking place at Aeronaut Landing (this will give you a sneak peek at our new roaster setup as well.) We will be serving up samples of Cold Brew at the event. (Not cask conditioned, but still delicious!) 

Saturday, March 29th, 2014 from 9:30am-2pm
barismo at the Somerville Winter Farmers Market
Grab a freshly roasted retail bag of barismo coffee from the well stocked selection, as well as a fresh, made-to-order pourover or a delicious cup of cold brew iced coffee. This is the LAST MARKET for the season! More info about the market from their facebook page or on twitter @SomWinterMarket

Sunday, March 30th, 2014
TEDx Somerville at Brooklyn Boulders and clypd
Join us for TEDx Somerville, we will be hosting coffee for the event at both locations. Brooklyn Boulders Somerville is the main event, where we will be serving up samples of cold brew. You can get a full service coffee experience at clypd in Davis Square where they will be simulcasting the event for free (limited seating, get tickets online). Get tickets for your chosen spot, we will see you at one or the other!

Sunday, April 6, 2014 from 5pm-7pm 
Espresso 101 class hosted at barsimo in Arlington
"A barista will explain grinding, tamping, and more, then watch as you pull shot after shot. Like an espresso coach, he’ll give you pointers on everything from your mouse tails to your brew’s hue. Small classes are taught monthly on Sunday nights" - from a recent Boston Globe article featuring barismo's Espresso 101 class. Sign up Here!