**Note: This post was originally published on April 23rd, 2012. It has been re-posted here from our former blog space**
Here at Coffeebar, our baristas and staff are passionate about what they do, passionate about coffee, and invested in learning as much as they can about it. Some of our staff were recently fortunate enough to have the opportunity to take a tour at the facilities of our expert coffee roaster, Carl Staub, down in Reno.
As you probably know, Coffeebar uses only the highest grade of C1 organic coffee available on the market. C1 premium grade coffee has very specific standards: there can be no more than three full defects (things like black beans, sour beans, stones, insect damage, broken parchment, etc.) in 300 g of coffee. Additionally, the coffee must have distinct attributes in at least two categories of body, flavor, aroma and acidity. By comparison, most local roasters get C3 exchange grade coffee, which can have up to 22 defects per 300 g. All of our specialty premium and C1 Grade coffees are selected and exclusively roasted by Carl down in Reno. The resulting difference in the cup is obvious, as Carl is a true MASTER of his trade!
Carl is one of the most prominent players in today’s coffee arena, with more than 100 patents in the industry, and having trained more than 1600 roasters across the nation, over 20 years. He is an unbelievable wealth of knowledge, as we were lucky enough to discover during our tour with him. What’s more, his passion for what he does is truly unparalleled, and readily apparent.
During our tour, Carl shared fascinating information with us on his processes for selecting, blending and roasting coffee — a process we got to witness — and even tasting coffee, a delectable treat for our staff! We learned about the many complexities of coffee itself — “the most complex beverage we have,” says Carl — and the process of bringing it from the ground to your cup. So many factors can impact the process of roasting coffee, and thus its resulting taste, we learned. These can include the temperature and rate of movement during the roasting process, the types of machinery used, the environment the coffee sits in (coffee is like a sponge that picks everything up, Carl says) … and the list goes on!
Coffee selection and roasting are processes Carl has studied, practiced, experimented with and truly refined for numerous years. He travels all around the world learning about and obtaining various coffee beans, and is well-versed in the distinctions among coffees grown in different regions. His knowledge and approach to coffee selection and roasting are truly cutting edge, as are his methodology and his machinery. Carl educated our staff about the numerous benefits of his use of specific processes and technologies.
Carl develops very unique, special blends for Coffeebar. According to Carl, the many differences among types of coffees enables us to choose the characteristics that we want, and create a coffee to suit them. Carl said his preference is to attain a balance of flavors, rather than letting one rule the show. “It’s about getting the right mix,” he said. During our tour, Carl made a special blend for us to take back to Coffeebar that mixed beans from Uganda, Honduras and Indonesia, each with their own distinct flavors and characteristics.
After our tour was complete, we headed to the kitchen to taste some espresso, where we got perhaps our best piece of advice of the day from Carl: nobody is ever wrong with what they taste or smell with coffee! Our perception can be affected by many factors, he said, from our mood to the prior taste on our palettes. And while each of us noted slightly different characteristics during our espresso tasting session, we all agreed on one attribute: delicious!
Thank you, Carl Staub, for this wonderful opportunity to view and learn so much about where our coffee comes from and its roasting process. And, of course, for continuing to provide us with the most delicious, high-quality coffee to share with our customers!