company - education - coffee

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Origin Week 2014

Gustavo Alfaro at Simon's in 2011

Evaluating for Quality: barismo's Roastery Manager, Tim Borrego shares about the upcoming origin trip where some of our long time accounts will be travelling with us to Guatemala to visit farms and producers whose coffees they serve at their cafes.

At the end of this month barismo is taking a group of our local accounts to visit our producer partners in Guatemala. Everyone involved is excited and we expect that there will be more updates from that trip once everyone returns. To give you a little bit of context of what this Origin trip is all about, it is important to talk about Origin Week that we hosted last year. In April of 2013 we had many of our producer partners in town for a national coffee conference. We took the opportunity to organize a week long series, a mini coffee university course, if you will, focused on sharing knowledge and stories with the local community. So this year Origin Week 2014, we are sending some local cafe owners who work with barismo to Central America to connect with some of our relationship producers at their farms and mills.
The cafe owners who are traveling with us to Guatemala this year choose a local coffee roaster instead of shipping from national roasters because they ask their customers every day to frequent their local business rather than supporting the national cafe chain across the street. However the value added goes beyond authentic local vendors or sustainable bike delivery, these cafe owners are invested in giving their barista staff a leg up in the coffee industry.
Access to knowledge and opportunity gives the service industry barista opportunity to gain skills beyond latte art, which is the equivalent to a high school degree in the coffee industry. We push for more 'higher-ed', taste focused education, in the Greater Boston coffee community. Some of the next few posts will be coming from someone who began his coffee career as a barista at Voltage Coffee and Art, he has worked his way up the ladder at barismo, and is just back from a trip visiting our Producer Partners in Costa Rica.
For the current generation of baristas who want a career in coffee, look for cafes that support authentic product: local roasters, local knowledge, local opportunity in the community you live in. 

Canonical, Coffee Education and Tech Tips: Practical tips and advice to give you the tools to brew better coffee. Brought to you by Pete Cannon, who handles barismo's in house training, education, and technical services.

Jumping back into the water series from last week. We will be focused on the two major water systems in the Metro Boston area as most of our area accounts use one or the other:
We've tracked both over time, and while water quality fluctuates seasonally, the range we've gotten is similar between both. This is based on line water that has gone through a carbon filter; the MWRA data is based on our East Arlington roastery, and CWD data from dwelltime (mid-Cambridge). Numbers are stereotypical of tests done between Summer 2013 and present.



pH 8.0 8.0 - 9.0
TDS 94 ppm 90 ppm
Total Hardness 15.6 mg/L 12.3 mg/L
Alkalinity 65 mg/L 60 mg/L

Numbers are overall similar, except that pH swings have happened much more dramatically in Cambridge. While alkalinity is similar, pH tends to fluctuate more in Cambridge. Most concerning is chloride contamination; Route 2 runs just close to Fresh Pond Reservoir, leading to large amounts of road salt ending up in the reservoir. While safe to drink, it can pose significant problems for protecting equipment.

For those further interested in water quality, we highly recommend this talk by Scott G. of La Marzocco. At their worst, chlorides cause significant corrosion to brewing equipment. Stay tuned next week, when we'll follow up with filtration options and our recommendations.

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Saturday, March 15, 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. Catch us early cause it gets busy fast! We are there every week through the entire market. More info about the market from their facebook page or on twitter @SomWinterMarket

Sunday, March 16, 2014 from 5pm-7pm 
Espresso 101 class hosted at barsimo 
"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!