company - education - coffee

Friday, February 13, 2015

For love of coffee

2015 marks our 7th year offering up fresh roast and per cup.  While a lot has changed (see dwelltime, Cambridge Cold Brew), a lot of our core love of coffee is still there.  The weather is just dreadful right now but it's a great time to look back before we look forward to the rest of the year.

I started in coffee a decade ago at a time when there were nearly all dark roasts being offered at local cafes. Mystery blends without roast dates made it pretty hard to find great coffee.  That doesn't even cover the lack of good tools and equipment back then.  These days, things have changed a bit and the equipment is getting to be a non issue and it shows.  More coffee shops are doing latte art and the execution has become better in our scene.  These days, there are still mostly dark roast blends at coffee shops in town and while you hear and see 'single estate' used a lot, there isn't that much of it actually being served.  Shops and roasters are really laying into 'freshly roasted' but it is surprisingly hard to find whole bean that's less than ten days off roast.  The messaging has evolved but there is a lot of room to grow in terms of the quality.  Meanwhile, the national 'indie' coffee scene is obsessed with venture capital, acquisitions, aggressive expansion, and (quietly) exit strategies but those topics are less discussed locally.  It's easy to be overwhelmed by it all.

In some ways, I am back where I started when I founded this company.  I find myself asking some of the same questions.  How do we (continue to) do what we do in a community of shops where so many shop owners may be pulling in the opposite direction?  After a lot of thought, I realized that we just have to acknowledge that barismo is on a mission.  We love coffee and just happen to also be lucky enough to have found a community of coffee drinkers that let's us be a little nerdy and obsessed about great coffee.  We have a complex business and a bit of an uphill trek but sometimes you just have to focus on what matters.  So, here's a break down of what our core goals are for 2015:

Fresh Roast  We will continue to strive to be the only coffee brand you will consistently see on shelves locally that is delivering coffee 24 hours off roast. We want you to take it home and enjoy it in the first two weeks while it is fresh.

Fresh Brew  We will push for, wrangle up, and argue for the most attentive, detailed, and cared for brews we can muster.  We promise that while you may have to wait a little longer for a brew, it wasn't sitting around all day staling and waiting for you.

Transparency  We will never blend up a mystery bag or serve up a murky 'dark roast' that lacks farm identity.  We also promise to share as much as you can stand to listen to about our farm partners and their stories of quality improvement.  Without transparency, we'd be taking credit for their work and that's not very barismo.

Education  We promise to share our brew methods, offer up classes, organize farmer events, and host cuppings.

Value  We believe that value is built on everything from how the coffee was processed and stored to roasted and brewed.  We will do our best to make the case for what makes good coffee and why we invested in the farms we did.  We don't roast anything dark (nothing goes into second crack) and we will continue to avoid obscuring the quality farms have worked so hard to create. 

Redefine the Regular Coffee  People want to drink good coffee.  We don't assume you want to drink bad coffee.  If you come in our doors, we know you came looking for more and we will do our best to provide that cup.  We want the chance to make your regular everyday cup something special.

While we admit we're on a mission for great coffee, it is a labor of love.  We do all this and more because we think it matters and we hope you agree.  Sure, we might not be willing to compromise, but in the end, we hope you will see and appreciate the effort from seed to your cup.  We want you to enjoy the coffee while we say thank you for the support over the years.