Each month our cafe menu changes, highlighting our new and delicious specialty coffee offerings. So we asked our National trainer, Josey Markiewicz, to take us through what’s new on-the-bar for September.
I’ve felt it in the wind, that strange tinge that crawls in through your pores and plants a chill in the blood. Autumn’s first breaths, weaving through tree branches like a child at play. All things changing. New sights, sensations, and scents. If you pay close attention you may even perceive a familiarity to this wind. The comforting smells of fall. Withering leaves. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.
We’ve talked before of the incredible journey that has brought coffee into the cups of virtually every human in the industrialized world, ya? Well, it just so happens that the coffee trade and the spice trade were once the same thing. There’s very little difference between coffee and spice. They are all (very literally) fragrant, soluble, consumable bits and pieces of the earth’s vegetation. Seeds, roots, or the bark of trees that are dried, ground, and used to enhance the flavors of things. Coffee is actually used as a spice in blends for roasting meats as well as a base note for certain mole or jus. Autumn spices are sometimes brewed as a warming tea (or tisane). They’re also used to mull wine, whisky, and cider. Oh, and guess what else spice is used to mull? COFFEE!
Coffee and spice are prepared using the very same equipment (grinders). They made their way to Europe on the same road and were traded together alongside other exotic luxuries like incense and opium. There was actually a time when coffee and spice were brewed together to make a sort of “mulled” coffee drink. A warming elixir, formulated to boost the body’s immunity and keep the chill of winter at bay. It may be unintentional, but this ritual still exists in modern society. Every fall a warm, spiced coffee drink is unleashed on American consumers and people go absolutely frickin’ bananas.
Before you know it pumpkins will take up residency where all the watermelons used to be, and the supermarket will be advertising candy corn. La Colombe will also be filling the refrigerator shelves with a once-polarizing beverage: Pumpkin Spice Draft Latte. Now, I know what you’re thinking, and you’re not the only one. A quick search of “pumpkin spice latte memes” is enough to fill an entire afternoon with belly laughs, but all jokes aside, humans love that warming feeling provided by warm autumn spice. It’s wired deep in our bones. It keeps winter at arm’s length and somehow tastes like home.
PSDL affords us a great opportunity to provide people with that same feeling. It’s more than customer service–it’s orchestrated nostalgia.
Learn more about the relationship between coffee and spice HERE.
COSTA RICA SAN RAMON HONEY
Ah, coffee processing. We’ve had some killer naturally processed coffees this summer. The Burundi and Ardi each brought the fruity funk to the bar. On the washed end of the spectrum, our yearly zero-defect gem, Yirg Z. Well, what about that sweet spot in the middle?
Some call it semi-washed, some say semi-natural, some semi-dried. Whatever you call it, this “honey process” coffee from Costa Rica is bringing the best of both worlds to the bar this September.
Don’t sleep on the Guatemala Cerra Grande on your retail shelf. Honestly we are blessed that we received any coffee from Guatemala this year. Part of the reason coffees from Guatemala are so uniquely sweet is due to the mineral-rich mountainsides on which they are grown. Their resulting mineral content is enhanced by being grown in direct proximity to active volcanoes. Quite active in fact, read more info here.
This coffee has mass potential and can yield some interesting results. Think sweet cherry Dr. Pepper, honey, nougat and hazelnuts, with a big, clean, silky body. Classic, balanced, sweet, DOPE.
Our Latin American coffees right now are fresh, ripe, and poppin’!
Well, that’s it for this months blast, y’all. Thanks for continuing to keep the fire lit. Here’s wishing you a safe and prosperous autumn.
Written by National Manager of Training and Quality Assurance, Josey Markiewicz