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Sunday, 21 October 2012

Quaffee October 2012 Newsletter

Welcome to the Quaffee Newsletter. A short summary of what is covered in this edition:
  • Our new coffees have arrived from Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil and El Salvador.
  • After 2 years of hunting we release our fully recyclable packaging and it is locally made, the first we know of in coffee.
  • Nic has moved on to run CoffeebloC
  • New coffees coming
  • Survey and sundry news
It is a longer read than normal. Please enjoy and thanks for the positive feedback. Do you know that our newsletter is opened almost twice as much than average newsletter in the industry. There is a survey at the bottom too, please complete it. FYI Our next open day is on the 3rd Nov 2012.

 Regards, The Quaffee Team

New Coffees

Our six new coffees arrived a week late for the October open day. We are spending a week to determine a roast profile that exposes the flavours we prefer in the coffees. So far we have just released the Cup of Excellence winner from Coatepec, Mexico. We are tweeting our results as we go, and are not rushing into releasing them until we are happy. So watch the websitefacebook page and twitter account for updates.

Locally made Recyclable Packaging

Quaffee’s philosophy is that our product is our brand. Over the past 6 years we have found that our best marketing is achieved by producing a product that fellow coffee lovers enjoy and want to tell other coffee lovers about. A part of this philosophy is to positively affect all people in the process of growing, producing, roasting and consuming coffee. We have changed our packaging a few times, and last year we took it on ourselves to try and create a fully recyclable product. This means no wax layered paper or layered plastic or foil or tins or things that use stickers or gas.

After our taste tests confirmed results from 4 years ago we started sourcing Low-density polyethylene based packaging. Three months of use later and we were happy with the flavour and aroma retention (in fact we found in some cases it exceeded the traditional retail packaging especially with style of roasting we use on the coffees we source).

After extensive research we found a local producer of this packaging in Atlantis, who was also able to print on the bags with a recyclable ink. This ink is not like normal ink it does not blend the way you get in standard printing so each colour is its own colour. This then gave us our LDPE bags. For the 1kg bags we added a second grip lock, so that they would stay sealed better. The smaller 250g bags we decided to add a box around the bag. This too can be recycled using the standard practice, since it has no sticker on it, which prevents paper and plastic from being recyclable.

 The good news is that those that want to recycle can now recycle. And the better news is that the coffee is not adversely affected (as we found with some packaging, especially the bio degradable packaging). So look out for the packaging next time you get your coffee.


Our 250g locally made and recyclable bag

Our 1kg locally made and recyclable bag

250g  recyclable locally made bag Quaffee 1kg locally made recyclable coffee bag

CoffeebloC

coffeeblocAs part of our move to Buitenverwachting, we were asked to help setup a Deli / Coffee shop, to showcase the coffees, and the multi award winning food that the restaurant is already famous for. Nic was keen to take this on as his own, and since 10.10.12 the Deli called CoffeebloC has been open at Buitenverwachting. Here you can enjoy a coffee / espresso / cappuccino and have a snack. You can also purchase almost all our coffees in 250g form and other goodies. Pop in and try the great fare.

New Coffees for the New Year

We have ordered the next batch of new coffees. This time it is only two coffees, since the Columbian's are not ready yet. We may have them before Xmas, but from experience we are not promising anything:
  • From Guatemala we have secured the winner of the Cup of Excellence El Injerto. And unusually this is not from the Antigua region but from Huehuetenango. The coffee is full bodied with a sweet and fruity character. It is also our first Rainforest Alliance coffee since Timana in 2008
  • From Honduras a microlot coffee from Enemenico Marquez. This was a coffee that stood out for us when we cupped it about a month ago, and hence have decided to bring it in.
These coffees will sell for around R300 per kilo, but we are convinced are special enough (they sell for almost double that in the US). Once again twitter and facebook is the best place for up-to-date news here. The coffees are leaving this week for Cape Town.

Additional News and Question

Besides the producers of the coffee we roast, our clients are the most important part of the loop. This has made us consider introducing a loyalty system. It will reward those that purchase our speciality coffees more than the blends – since the blends we essentially produce at a discounted rate. There will be a list of items that will be available for the points earned. So you can for example get a sample pack of coffees, cleaning tablets for your Jura, a Barista training course if you are running a commercial machine etc. Tell us what you think Click to Answer Survey

Next Open Day

For those of you interested in attending the next open day it is on Saturday November 3. A new event will be created on facebook.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Coatepec - our take and profile summary

coffee cherries from coatepc
Coffee Cherries from Coatepec

Almost great

I am not a Q grader, I am a coffee drinker and lover. After spending a week tasting a number of roast profiles of the Coffee we have sourced via Café Imports direct from the Coatepec, Mexican community we have identified a profile we like. And I believe it is a good and almost great coffee.

COE perhaps

I know the Cup of Excellence (COE) rating is per country, to make it more subjective, but having tasted a few great coffees this year, although the Coatepec coffees won COE this year we prefer the microlot coffees we have sourced from Columbia, like Los Idolos. That said the Coatepec is very drinkable, especially without the addition of milk. Would we say it deserved the COE tag, well we cannot comment since we did not taste the other coffees from Mexico. But we suspect this is the kind of coffee that may have stood out, regardless of the seleected roast profile.

Roast Selected

Although the cupping notes identified white grape, we actually found we preferred the roast that did not expose this flavour. Instead we found that accelerating the roast once we moved to full air through the roasting barrel, then waiting for first crack to complete, and dropping the coffee as we suspected second crack was a hint in the air, then listening to second crack initiating in the cooling bin produces the most drinkable coffee. This seems to expose more of the toffee and caramels that we enjoy in this coffee.

We only have 8 bags of the coffee, so I suspect it will sell well, especially since it is below the R240.00 / kg mark. We will have this at our next coffee cupping session. Wanna order? Click Order Coatepec from Mexico.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Coffee Cupping proves popular, who would have guessed

Coffee Cupping goes down well

Five years ago we did a public cupping and I vowed never again. People asking me for sugar and milk burst my bubble. After five years I thought I would give it another try. With the new roastery at Buitenverwachting we had an open day, where people could taste coffees they way they like, and then we had a cupping session. Cupping at Quaffee
Cupping at Quaffee

Good participation

While some preferred to watch, most of the folk that arrived decided to have a go. We have five coffees from our current coffee selection, Kagumo, Yirgacheffe, Antigua Pucal, and two of our exclusive coffees Los Idolos and Los Naranjos. And the results where great. A few of the participants popped back in to try the coffees they liked on the cupping table in a way they usually enjoy a coffee (and I burst not a bubble). All in all the Frog Quaffee hosted event was a success and I am now tempted to do another in November.

Most Popular

Not surprising the Los Idolos and Kagumo were considered the most popular with Los Naranjos banging down the door. See you next time we hope. Come early to see the roasting demonstration, that a few missed. The roasting demo explains our complete double check roasting process.