|News & Notes March 2006|
What's Happening at the George Howell Coffee Company
Cafe des Artistes @ DeCordova – Join us for the Cafe des Artistes exhibition at the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA, hosted by WCRB’s Laura Carlo. Peter Lynagh, Terroir’s star barista, and the Terroir team will be serving espresso and drinks between Noon and 2 pm, for the opening reception on Sunday March 19th. Various artisans from around the country will be displaying and selling coffee themed art. The exhibition will continue through until Sunday April 9th. Admission to the event is free. For more information on Cafe des Artistes, visit the DeCordova website, http://www.decordova.org/decordova/store/cafedesartistes.html.
Los Sauces, Cauca, Colombia – For 20 years, Maria Santos has grown and harvested coffee in the hills of Colombia. Now eighty years old, she lives on Los Sauces with one permanent employee and receives regular help from one of her daughters. Despite having been a widow for those years, her hard work and effort has produced this amazing coffee. The Los Sauces is wonderfully balanced, smooth yet lively with a burst of tangerine that sweetly disappears. The Los Sauces is now available online for a limited time at http://www.terroircoffee.com/store/.
Luis Alberto Vasquez Cooperative, Madriz, Nicaragua – This Organic Cup of Excellence™ award winner boasts persistent, rich brown sugar notes with layers of cacao, coconut and cinnamon. If you want mellow acidity and round body, this is the coffee for you. This terrific coffee is available now, for a limited time, at http://www.terroircoffee.com/store/.
Coffee News around the World
By George Howell, founder of Terroir™
Kenya - The new buying season has begun and we have cupped and ordered our first lot, very small, from the Rioki Estate in the Kiambu district. This outstanding lot should reach our shores in early May. In the meantime, we are excitedly anticipating more samples from other small, high-quality Kenyan farms. Unlike other coffee-growing nations, Kenya has an auction system where lots of coffees are freely bid on. This leads to higher prices, but also to qualities that other countries can only dream about, with few exceptions.
Rwanda - It has been the buying season for new crop Rwanda coffees but, so far, we have been disappointed by the quality of the samples we’ve received and have rejected every Rwanda coffee we have cupped this year. They have all been decent, but fundamentally variations of generic coffee, a far cry from the extraordinarily refined and aromatic Rwanda we still have from last year. Unlike larger roasters with little flexibility to maneuver, Terroir Coffee will only carry what meets exceptional cup standards and we won’t have a new Rwandan coffee unless we find one that exceeds our expectations. We are hoping that the next samples do precisely that.
Coffee Tips – Burr vs. Blade Grinders
Grinding your own coffee is an easy way to ensure a fresher cup of coffee. A good grinder is an important investment for a coffee lover, but, with the wide variety of brands and models available today, choosing a grinder might seem difficult. Here is some information to keep in mind when shopping for a new grinder.
Usually the least expensive type of grinder, blade grinders literally use blades to chop up (not grind) the coffee beans. The fineness of the grind depends on how long the grinder is running and produces an inconsistent grind size. This leads to varying brew quality even from the best coffees. Also, if you grind the coffee extremely fine, the blades may actually heat up enough to burn the grounds.
Burr grinders tend to be more expensive, but produce a consistent and accurate grind and ultimately, a better cup of coffee. These work by grinding the beans between a rotating grinding wheel and a non-moving surface. The distance between wheels dictates the size of the grind, giving you more control over the size of the grind and guarantees a more consistent grind. Since the beans are being ground, instead of chopped, the wheel will not heat up enough to burn the grounds. We recommend the Solis Maestro Plus Burr Grinder, which is available on our online store at http://www.terroircoffee.com/store/.
Events @ Terroir
March 19th (Noon – 2pm) – Come join us at the opening reception for the Cafe des Artistes exhibition at the Store @ DeCordova Museum. 51 Sandy Pond Road Lincoln, MA 01773