Changes to our options

After being open for nearly a year, we’ve discovered quite a bit about how people drink coffee, especially how widely varied people’s palates are.

One of the things we’ve discovered is there are certain flavor profiles a broader group of people tend to enjoy. This has led to a search for coffee beans matching those profiles – a search that has been largely successful.

Some people won’t like our announcement, but we are shaking up our options. We will no longer be carrying the following coffees:

Colombia Huila (regular); Costa Rica Tarrazu; Guatemala San Marcos; Mexico Chiapas; Sumatra Mandheling.

Our lineup will now be limited to five coffees: a light roast, a medium roast, a dark roast, a decaffeinated, and a special blend, which may vary seasonally. Each will give a unique forward-flavored tasting experience.

Light Roast – Ethiopia Guji: a light-bodied coffee with a bright fruity flavor of blueberry and grape.

Medium Roast – Peru Lima: a medium bodied coffee with a sweetness reminiscent of caramel, toffee, and/or brown sugar.

Dark Roast – Brazil Fazenda: a full-bodied coffee with strong chocolate undertones.

Decaf – Colombia Huila Decaf: a medium-heavy-bodied coffee with notes of graham. “One of the best decaf’s I’ve ever tasted.” -literally every person who’s tasted it so far.

Special Blend – Sailor’s Delight: a blend of a light and a dark roast, this well balanced coffee has brightness from the light and body from the dark.

Please reach out to us at info@maritimeroasters with any questions.

Pre-Grind or Grind-As-You-Go?

TL;DR: The single biggest step you can take to improve your cup is grinding fresh!

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At our shows, we only sell whole bean coffee.  Most people are good with this, but I do get a few people ask if I’ll pre-grind.  My answer is always the same: we don’t do it.

Why not?  I get a lot of grief on my roaster forums for this choice. “You’ll lose a lot of sales!” is the most common comment.  The idea is if people have to get another tool for their kitchen, they won’t want to buy my coffee.  Secondary to this is people want convenience.  While both of these are true, both ideas also reduce the quality of your cup.

From the day I started my business, my goal was introduce people to better coffee – to teach people how to improve their cup of coffee without the pretentiousness of becoming a coffee snob.  The single biggest thing you can do to improve your cup is to grind your coffee fresh each time you brew.

Coffee starts going stale slowly within a day after roasting.  Slowly is the key word here. It’ll maintain that fresh flavor for a good month to month-and-a-half if stored properly.  It’ll still be good for many months after that, it just won’t quite have as big of a *pop* of flavor you get when it’s fresh.

As soon as you grind it and expose the particles to oxygen, it gets stale FAST. I like to compare it to cutting an apple.  Within minutes, you can start to see the flesh starting to turn brown. Leave it out for a day and you have to cut a layer off before eating it.  Coffee is the same way once it’s ground. Even someone not trained in coffee tasting can taste the difference between fresh grounds and day-old grounds in a side-by-side taste test. Just a day makes a huge difference!  

Any grinder is better than nothing.  Learn more about the different types of grinders on our Grinding page!

Help! I need caffeine! Should I drink Dark or Light Roast?

One of the questions I get the most is, “Is it true that light roast has more caffeine?”  My response? “Yep, that’s a very common myth.”  

Wait…myth?  Well, maybe not myth, but it definitely depends on how you look at it.

Caveat: Since we only sell Arabica beans on our website, we’ll only consider this type of bean.  The other major type of bean, Robusta, simply isn’t as high quality of bean and doesn’t taste as good.

For all intents and purposes, all Arabica coffee beans have approximately the same amount of caffeine.  That’s the short version.

Let’s get into the roast (and the science-y version).  As the beans progress through the roast, the water content in the beans turns to steam and tries to escape. In doing so, the beans expand in size – the longer the roast progresses, the more the beans expand.

Because of this, darker roasted beans tend to be larger and as a result less dense than lighter roasted beans.  So if you measure by volume – 1 tablespoon per 6 oz of water – there will be more coffee by weight of light roast coffee.  This is part of why the ideal way to measure coffee is by weight.  It ensures the same amount of coffee will be used regardless of which coffee you’re brewing.  There are other reasons, but that will be another post.

TL;DR:  Coffee beans all have about the same amount of caffeine, but a scoop of light roast coffee has more coffee – and therefore more caffeine –  than a scoop of dark roast coffee.

 

Minnetonka Orchards Family Fun Days!

Saturday, October 6th, Maritime Roasters will be in Minnetrista, MN at Minnetonka Orchards Family Fun Days!  This weekend is also CiderFest, when they will have their famous apple cider available for purchase.

Maritime Roasters will have a booth at the Orchards where we will once again have free tasting samples of our coffees. How often do you brew more than one coffee at a time, or get a chance to taste four different coffees side by side? Experience the variations between Sumatran and Guatemalan, or Brazilian and our signature Sailor’s Delight blend!  And enter our drawing for a free bag of coffee!

Hope to see you there!

Coffee Freshness

There’s nothing quite like fresh coffee.  The smell envelops you with a warm aromatic hug, the first sip stimulates your taste buds, and your mind wakes up to receive the tasty goodness.  But how fresh does it need to be?  Can you do anything at home to improve the freshness of your coffee?  Is there something you should look for when buying coffee to ensure it’s not 18 months old?

The first thing is to look for a bag with a valve on it. When coffee is first roasted, it starts releasing carbon dioxide (CO2). If it’s bagged promptly as it’s supposed to be, the CO2 released will push the oxygen out of the bag which will help the coffee retain its freshness. Oxygen is the enemy of freshness, so the less oxygen that touches the coffee, the longer it will stay fresh tasting.

On that note, the second thing is to check whether there is still gas in the bag. If you see a bag that looks like it’s been vacuum sealed, that means it was bagged after the coffee finished releasing its CO2.  This is a sign of stale coffee, so avoid it!  Companies will sometimes vacuum-seal their bags to remove the oxygen, relying on the CO2 to help keep the coffee fresh. If the beans are stale, no CO2 will be released and the bag will keep it’s vacuum-seal appearance.

Finally, check for dates! Often, larger companies will stamp a “use by” date on the bag, so watch for that.  Some grocery stores are better than others about this, but unfortunately it’s not unusual to see old coffee on the shelves.

One last note: While proper bagging and brewing within the date given definitely help, nothing will make a coffee taste fresher than it really is.  The CO2 will cause the coffee to taste fresh immediately upon opening, but within a day, it’ll taste as old as it actually is.  So the only real solution to have confidence in getting truly fresh coffee is to get it from a reputable craft roastery, like Maritime Roasters!

Otsego Prairie Festival 2018

Want to meet us in person? Maritime Roasters is an exhibitor at this year’s Otsego Prairie Festival in Otsego, MN! We’ll be there from 10:00am through 3:00pm,

Come taste samples of coffees from Central America, South America, and the island of Sumatra. Watch a demonstration of the Chemex pour-over brewing method, and take home some delicious coffee with special festival pricing!

We can’t wait to meet you!

Hello Coffee Drinkers!

Welcome to Maritime Roasters!  I’m excited you’ve found us, and I’m excited for the journey you’re about to embark on.  Coffee has a rich and storied history, from its initial discovery in Ethiopia (yes, the goats!), through it’s expansion to Indonesia by the Dutch, and the development of coffee farming in Central and South America.

In addition to its historical impact on cultures and economies across the globe, we’re also seeing an increasing interest in coffee today. Tasters are becoming more refined, the influence of minute factors in growing and processing on what flavors a bean will possess, and roasters are learning more and more about how to reveal those flavors for you to experience in your cup.

I hope you’ll stick around, try a few different origins and blends, and Explore Coffee with Maritime Roasters!

-David