After about three or 4 years a coffee tree, or shrub begins to bear fruit. A long process to for the hopes of seeing these small cranberry, like coffee cherries that will emerge. A coffee cherry turns from green to a beautiful red when it is ripe. Underneath the outside layer is the mucilage, or pulp of the cherry. This is a sugary, protective layer for the bean that would make the coffee cherry taste sweet as well as be caffeinated.
Farming of coffee trees occurs all around the world within a 10-degree band of the equator, and between 3,000 and 6,000 feet in elevation. Coffee can be grown at lower elevations, but the higher the coffee is grown the denser the bean will become. This is what creates such amazing flavors. Watering of the coffee trees is typically left up to Mother Nature. That is why drought, rainfall, storms and other naturally occurring weather can have such an influence on the world’s coffee supply.
Harvesting the coffee cherries is a season long project. Unlike other fruit trees, coffee trees will produce cherries multiple times during one season. It is important for us to find farms that have skilled harvesters to ensure only the ripest of cherries are picked from the available ones. A coffee tree during harvest season will have a variety of blossoms, green and pink cherries, as well as dark red cherries and brown, overripe cherries.
Once a cherry has been picked, then next step in the journey is exposing the beans inside. Most small farms send their coffee cherries to larger mills to be processed. Other farms have the option to process the beans on site. This comes from the demand for more specialty coffee and micro lots. Depending on the location of the farm throughout the world the process of exposing the bean can be done one of two ways, dry or wet. Wet process entails a series of washing and soaking to remove the layers of skin. Where sunshine is more prevalent than water, the drying process comes into play. This consists of a raised beds, mats or patios to spread out the cherries and let them dry. This is the natural way to process coffee and typically gives the coffee less acidity and more body.
WHOLE BEAN V. GROUND
A lot has changed over the past decade when it comes to coffee and how it is brewed. When we started selling coffee in the 70’s, it was a pretty simple process. One machine plugged into the wall, water was added to the machine for each brew and everyone wanted the same thing, “hot and black”.
Now we seem to be playing a different game. Coffee hasn’t changed very much. It’s still grown in the same regions of the world. It still uses the same modes of transportation to arrive at its destinations. Each coffee cherry is still dried, processed and roasted to a certain level. But we seem to see a constant evolution of the coffee bean. Is coffee changing, or are we?
In a concise answer, we are the ones changing. We need it faster, easier and more frequently than ever. We have gone from the good ol’ days of hot and black to the instant gratification process that consumes us all in the 21st century. On demand coffee, single cup coffee, call it whatever you want. It has changed the way the world enjoys its favorite drink.
Don’t get us wrong, we love the evolution of the world’s drink. There is just still something comforting and traditional about drip coffee. It takes us back to a road trip, to a breakfast with friends, to a place that we remember fondly. We believe that coffee is not only just another product we consume, but rather a product that consumes us. It gives us comfort and security and it reminds us to sit back and relax, to enjoy the journey.
Our perfect portion ground coffee gives you the right amount, the right grind and the perfect flavor, every time. Because of our ability to package our products in an oxygen free environment, the freshness lasts, and lasts, and lasts. With up to six months’ shelf life, this coffee is a hassle-free way to enhance your routine.
Our process uses both drum roasting and air roasting. Both have unique qualities that give the beans their custom profiles. Our air roaster allows us to create small batches of coffee creating a true hand crafted experience. This is the kind of flexibility we longed for in the past, and now we want to share it with you.
Our whole bean selections are from the highest quality beans in the world. Everything we roast is 100% Arabica and European graded. This means these are the top one percent of beans in the world. Why would we want to spend time hand crafting a bag of whole bean coffee for you and not use the highest of quality beans? We wouldn’t. We want to be your routine, your go to, your confidant.
THE GREEN WAY TO ROAST
At Douglas Coffee Roasters we research new opportunities and techniques to expand our green practices. We believe in leaving things better than we found them which leads us into many methods that improve our coffee, our company and our environment. Our coffee roasting processes are a green practice which we continue to develop and improve over time.
With our air roasters, we can do small batches, lightning fast. It's lightning-fast process give the beans a consistent color, producing a richer flavor of the coffee. With our small-batch roasting, we select, blend and process approximately 5 pounds of coffee per roast. Smaller batches of coffee per roast allows us to monitor each batch precisely to ensure its hand-crafted perfection.
Douglas Coffee Roasters is proud to be a socially responsible company steeped in green practices. What's more, we do this without sacrificing quality.
Product origin is a big deal and so we treat it like one. Sourcing coffee is a complicated process and sourcing quality products is even more difficult. We source our beans from farmers who only produce 100% Arabica and European Graded to classify it as the top 1% of coffee available in the world. Douglas Coffee Roasters only sources coffee from reputable growers in areas that are not under social or economic distress.We have long-lasting relationships with farmers in every major coffee growing region in the world.These relationships are essential to our culture and our business.
Because these are valued relationships, we feel responsible for having a hand in the continued success of the farmers. Douglas Coffee Roasters is invested in our source farms, so we take advantage of our deeply rooted relationships and visit our sources across the globe. By strengthening our connections, we ensure the farmers make a good living for themselves and their communities and in turn they produce the best coffee that we deliver to you.
Along with our Fair Trade and Organic coffees, we have our in-house quality assurance and monitoring process called Direct Trade. This process ensures we purchase products from farmers and locations that receive fair pay and fair treatment. By controlling quality and source reputability, we know we are producing the best coffee for our customers.
HISTORY OF COFFEE
The origin of the world’s first single-origin coffee (and, really, the first coffee anywhere) comes from northeast Ethiopia, where legend states that a goat-herder named Kaldi noticed one of his goats chewing on a coffee bean and experiencing its now-famed energizing effects. Though this story supposedly occurred in the 9th century, there is no real evidence that northeastern Ethiopia was even aware of coffee earlier than about the 17th century.
The truth is that the further we rewind the clocks on coffee, the hazier the story of its discovery becomes. Another account traces coffee’s beginnings to Sheik Omar, an exile who had to turn to eating the berries of a nearby plant and eventually discovered that by boiling them, the brown liquid that resulted made him feel energized.
The best evidence suggests that coffee was first brewed in the Arabian Peninsula in the Mokha region of Yemen. There are definitive historical accounts that speak about the coffee brewed in this region beginning in the 1400s, with the popularity of coffee spreading throughout the Middle East within some two hundred years.
According to another legend, the famous Italian explorer, Marco Polo, encountered some Mocha beans in his exploration – even though he didn’t travel to Yemen. Instead, the story goes that Marco Polo was staying in Tyre (modern-day Lebanon) when he came across a merchant who was in possession of some of the Mocha beans. In the story, Polo brought these beans back with him to Europe, though it is now known that coffee did not become prominent in Europe for at least another century or two.