|News & Notes August 2006|
What's Happening at the George Howell Coffee Company
August Espresso of the Month from Mira Valle
We are happy to announce that we have chosen coffee from the Mira Valle farm for our August espresso of the month. This specific tiny lot won the Cup of Excellence Presidential Award, receiving an overall score of over 90 from a distinguished international panel of judges. As an espresso it is a beautifully structured coffee with deep bittersweet vanilla-tinged chocolate, walnuts, cantaloupe melon and caramel. Mira Valle is at 5,000 feet altitude. This coffee is of the catuaí variety. The August Espresso of the Month is now available on our online store for purchase for $18.95 per 12 ounces Roasted.
I would love your feedback on it and the other espressos of the month we have offered. You can reach me at my e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org. This fall we expect to add another permanent espresso to our regular offerings.
Our Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
Unfortunately we have run out of our supply of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. Our new supply is currently “on the water.” It has cupped beautifully, having more than the usual amount of soft apricot flavor. Getting it shipped from has taken forever. Once again we lead the way in transporting and storing raw coffee. We have worked with the exporter to package this coffee in special airtight, moisture-proof bags made for the long-term preservation of grains. This process has taken quite a while! We hope it will arrive by the end of August, and we will send out a notice as soon as it arrives!
New Coffee - Decaffeinated La Magnolia, Costa Rica
It is a rare treat to "eat my words", and enjoy the act – or should I say drink? That is what a Swiss Water decaffeinated Costa Rican coffee forced me to do when Peter and I tasted it a few weeks ago. The Swiss Water people have truly mastered the method to produce the most outstanding decaf I have ever tasted. We promptly bought the coffee for all our enjoyment. It is hardly believable this coffee is decaffeinated!
The coffee, called La Magnolia, is from the famed Tres Rios growing region of Costa Rica and was collected by the folks at La Minita. Full bodied and full flavored, with fine, richly blended nuts, sweet mellow peach and a trace of chocolate.
This delicious decaf replaces our Decaffeinated La Lapa from Costa Rica, and is now available at our online store for $13.95 per 12 ounces Roasted.
Roasted Coffee Freshness, A Specialty Coffee Success Story
Freshness has come a long way for roasted coffee. A giant leap occurred in the early 1980’s with the introduction of the one-way valve bag. The large amounts of carbon dioxide emitted by fresh-roasted beans caused sealed bags and tins to burst. For the first time roasters could pack coffee immediately after roasting into vacuumed air-tight bags or tins without the package erupting hours later. A small one-way valve permits this gas to exit the package but prevents any outside air from entering, thus keeping the fresh coffee in its own juices, so to say. Aromatic coffee flavor stays locked in for at least 60 days without appreciable degradation. I would much prefer to purchase a 60 day-old valve-packed coffee, if it has been well handled and stored, than a coffee roasted 3 or 4 days ago stored in an open bin, as seen in so many markets and specialty coffee stores. These coffees are exposed to oxidation and deteriorate like wine in an open bottle. Sealed one-way valve bags should not be exposed to heat or squeezed. Next issue: Staling of green coffee affects flavor perhaps more than stale roasted coffee and yet has hardly been tackled by the coffee industry on any level - except for the efforts of Terroir.
Coffee Tip – Remember to Cover the Filter Holder before Brewing
When brewing coffee, minimizing heat loss is extremely important. If the water is not hot enough, the resulting cup of coffee will be weak and under-extracted. So don’t forget to cover the filter holder when you are brewing your next cup.