|News & Notes January 2006|
What's Happening at the George Howell Coffee Company
Traveling to Origin – In an on-going effort to work directly with the farmers and promote the production of fine-quality coffees, George is traveling to Guatemala to visit the El Injerto farm in the Huehuetenango region. When George returns, there will be photos and notes about his experiences on our website.
Coffee Dinner at Picco - Join George for a coffee dinner and tasting at Picco in Boston's South End on Monday February 27th. Check our website for more information as we get closer to the event.
Coffee Tip - Freshly Roasted does not necessarily mean Fresh Coffee
You may have noticed that the coffee industry has been increasingly supporting freshness standards with roasted coffee. Many companies have even started displaying the roast date on their packages. However, most roasters are still not considering the freshness of unroasted (green) coffee. Light, oxygen, moisture and heat cause the degradation of the unique flavors and aromas of coffee. While this happens most noticeably in roasted coffee, green coffee can age and stale as well.
Coffee, once imported is usually left in its original jute bag on the roaster's warehouse floor. Over time, even in a climate controlled warehouse, the coffee naturally ages and becomes stale. Since coffee is porous, it also absorbs other odors in the warehouse, like the smell of jute bags. Since most coffee- producing regions harvest only once or twice a year, the coffee has usually been staling for months or even years before it is roasted.
So, remember, freshness starts with the transport, packaging and storage of the green coffee. To ensure that Terroir® coffees retain their unique qualities and freshness, we always repackage, vacuum-seal and freeze all green coffee we receive immediately before the coffee has a chance to degrade. Freezing the coffee effectively halts the aging process, keeping each coffee at its peak of flavor and aroma for months.
In honor of George's visit to Guatemala, this week we are featuring our two Guatemalan Coffees. A land of great contrast and beauty, Guatemala has been producing coffee since the 18th century. The razor sharp mountains and narrow valleys provide a wide diversity of soils and climates. This, in turn, creates an incredible array of unique flavors and aromas in each coffee.
La Flor del Cafe, Antigua - La Flor del Café is grown by small farmers in the valley of Antigua and processed at the famous Pastores mill, supervised by the quality manager of the La Minita Estate who flies in regularly from Costa Rica. Medium to full bodied with very mellow citric notes layered in rich velvety bittersweet chocolate. This coffee is available on our website, http://www.terroircoffee.com/store/
El Injerto, Huehuetenango - Huehuetenango is a spectacular region of sharp-toothed mountains and narrow valleys. Warm winds from the hot Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico, to the north, flow through narrow north-south valleys, warming the mountainsides and allowing coffee growth at far higher altitudes than would ordinarily be possible. The cup has dazzling razor-fine acidity with honeyed citrus, red currant and other berry notes and a touch of anise. Full bodied. 100% Bourbon variety. This coffee is available on our website, http://www.terroircoffee.com/store/