It Rules the Roast!

After months and months of groundbreaking work, we developed our very our Market District coffee. Our distinct blends feature:

• More careful selection of premium green coffee beans prior to roasting
• Optimized batch roasting size and time to allow better roast development
• A richer finished cup with distinct varieties that span roasting preferences from light to dark
• Several single origin coffees from Kenya, Sumatra and Colombia along with signature blends like Kona, Jamaican and Moka Java
• New blends like Italian and Espresso roasts
• Precision coffee grinding for consistent brewing
• New packaging technology to ensure freshness
• Our 100% satisfaction or double your money back® guarantee

Worth the Grind

After years of selling our Market District coffee, something was brewing: as believers in perpetual improvement, we felt it was time to re-evaluate. Revamping our coffee line would be a long process, but we poured our hearts into it. We began by engaging 40 coffee roasting companies, 19 of which made it to the table. We assessed their quality assurance certifications, customer referrals, reputations in the coffee world and just how much Joe they could realistically supply. We also asked them if they had a comprehensive, world-class Research and Development Lab with experts that knew exactly how to test, analyze, adjust and perfect. In the end, it would cinch the deal. Then came three phases of sensory evaluation. First, we developed taste goals for the different blends and single-bean varieties we wanted to sell — flavor profiles and variables for evaluating them. Some were adjusted and others filtered out. Next, six coffee profiles were given to our 19 candidates to determine roasting qualifications. The coffees that came back were subject to a blind taste testing or a "cupping". The results of the tasting helped determine two final roasting candidates.

The Coffee Bean: from Field to Cup

Coffee Plant

The coffee plant takes 3-4 years to bear fruit. The fruit, called the cherry, turns a bright, deep red when ripe.

Coffee Beans

Once dry, the raw bean is separated from the cherry.

Coffee Beans
After a series of polishing, grading and sorting processes, the bean is ready to be roasted and enjoyed.
Another Cup

A final phase was conducted to evaluate the roasters' ability to maintain quality when producing a lot of coffee. Once again, we did a blind-taste cupping — cup after cup after cup — until finally we felt confident choosing a new roaster/partner.

But we were just getting started. We spent weeks determining taste, roast color, precision grind and packaging. And when the first beans came out of the roasters, we were there adjusting and enhancing until we could officially approve every variety. Then, when the beans arrived at our warehouses, we tested to ensure quality and consistency — again, which laid the groundwork for an on-going Quality Assurance (QA) Program to guarantee our coffees remain at their brewing best!

Cupping — Sip Service

Coffee Mug

All of our sensory evaluations followed the Specialty Coffee Association of America's (SCAA®) official coffee cupping procedure and scoring methodology, which includes evaluating numerous characteristics: fragrance & aroma, body, acidity, aftertaste, sweetness, clean cup, as well as detecting taints or faults.

These categories were designed to remove subjectivity, replacing "I like this coffee" with "this Colombian coffee outscores another because it has brilliant acidity and sweetness."

Cupping was ritual during our selection process. First, we inhaled the fragrance of the grounds (heavenly) before filling cups with 195°F water. Then we waited for the crust of the coffee grounds to be "broken" (a few long minutes). Finally, we removed any grounds floating on top and the slurping began (it's a distinctly noisy process). We recorded all notes, scores and comments, which were then turned in to our QA Team Specialist who tallied results.

This process was invaluable in determining enhancements to our coffees. It also educated our Team about taste characteristics and how to incorporate those tastes into new blends.