Coming up at BRR April 25th – May 1st

THIS Friday 4/27

Open Mic NightWe’re bringing it we’re bringing it we’re bringing it back… We’re bringing it we’re bringing it we’re bringing it back…
No, Pitbull has not taken over our blog today!
I’m just really, really excited about the return of the Open Mic Night to Black River Roasters!
What can you perform at open mic??
Anything! Original songs, covers, poetry, magic, spoken word; if you can dream it and perform it behind a microphone, we welcome you!
We provide all sound equipment, so you just need to bring your talent!
Open Mic Night will be on the last Friday of every month from 7 – 10 pm!
Interested in performing? Show up at 6:30 to sign up!

Saturday 4/28

We are so excited to be serving coffee at this year’s Barn Dance benefitting the Tewksbury Education Foundation! The Barn Dance is a great fundraiser that helps bring curriculum-enhancing materials to the Tewksbury Schools! Join us and the TEF for a night of fun, games, food, wine, beer, and of course, delicious coffee!

Get tickets or more information about TEF here!

Sunday 4/29

Rise & GrindAnother week, Another rise & grind!
Haven’t made it out to one of our rise and grind classes yet?

Sign up here to try it out!

Need some convincing to get out of bed and come stretch so early on a Sunday. Well here are some benefits of stretching that will hopefully convince you to join us:

  • Improved posture!
  • You’ll experience fewer aches and pains!
  • Increased blood flow!
  • You’ll have more energy to tackle your Sunday!

Still not convinced? How about a bribe of 12oz hot coffee or tea included in the class? Sounds about right! Make sure you sign up!

Anything you’re planning to attend? Any events you want to see us offer at the store? Let me know in the comments!

Coffee Q&A: Dark Roast

Are you a coffee drinker? Do you go to your favorite cafe just to start your day with a cup? Or maybe you brew at home?
Have you ever wanted to know more about your favorite beverage? Have you ever wondered if dark roast really has more caffeine? Or what exactly a flat white was? How should you foam milk for a cappuccino? Is coffee good for you? Or any other question about your morning addiction!
Well, look no further!
Here at Black River, we want you to be as educated about coffee as possible. We want to answer all of your coffee questions!
If you have a question, you can submit it by commenting on any one of our blog posts, direct messaging us on Instagram or Facebook, or sending an e-mail to kasey@brroasters.com.

InstagramTo get us started, I posted this on Instagram today, and people voted! If you were curious, here’s the answer:

A big resounding NO

Dark roast coffee definitely does not have more caffeine than light roast. So does that mean the opposite is true? Once again, no. The amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee varies from bean to bean. That means that there can be a slight variation of caffeine levels across cups, but the roast level isn’t the main factor of that.

If you thought that Dark Roast did not have more caffeine, you are partially correct. During the roasting process, some caffeine gets burned away as the roast gets darker. However, this only affects the caffeine by volume in the bean. So yes, now that I have my roasted whole bean dark roast beans, and my roasted whole bean light roast beans, the light roast beans have more caffeine. And if you’re the person who eats whole coffee beans, then you can stop reading, because you now know to pick light roast whole beans for a bigger caffeine kick.

However, if you are like the rest of us who actually grinds up and brews and drinks their coffee beans, keep reading. What happens now is I have my beans, and my dark roast beans have “lost” more in the roasting process. More of their attributes (including caffeine) have been burnt away and this results in a lighter bean. Which means when I measure out my dark roast beans and light roast beans to brew I use more of the dark roast beans per cup. So by the time I have my two cups of brewed coffee, the caffeine content in them is more or less the same.

So light roast and dark roast coffees have the same amount of caffeine??

Yes! At the end of the whole roasting and brewing process, a light roast and a dark roast coffee of the same beans will have relatively the same amount of caffeine.

So, my friends, when you are picking out your morning cup, drink what you like! If you like dark roast coffees because of their taste, drink that! If you like a light roasted coffee, drink that! If you firmly believe that dark roast gives you more of a kick, ride out that placebo effect and drink that! Make your taste buds happy, because you will get the caffeine jolt either way!

Did you find that interesting?? Do you have your own coffee question you want to be answered?

Drop a comment and let me know your thoughts, or leave a question! And don’t forget to check back next week to find out more about coffee!

For a more indepth description of caffeine in coffee check out this article!

Weekly Recap April 22

We had a great week at Black River!

We Love Partnering with the Great Swamp Watershed Association

This past Wednesday, we really enjoyed heading out the Great Swamp Watershed Association this week! They led a really cool coffee and tea tasting with our coffee and tea provided by Adagio Teas!

The mission of the Great Swamp Watershed Association is to protect and improve the water resources of the Passaic River Region. Clean water is important to all of us, but it is especially important to brewing great coffee or tea!

We love working with any association who values sustainability and environmental friendliness as much as we do! We can’t wait to work with the Great Swamp Watershed Association again in the future!

Our First Ever Story Slam!

This week, we hosted our first ever Story Slam! It was so much fun to hear you share stories on this month’s theme: Lost & Found. Thank you to everyone who came out and listened to the stories, and thanks to all the wonderful souls who shared their stories with us!

A huge thanks to our wonderful, funny, magical host Jason (left)!

An extra big congratulations to the amazing winner of our first Story Slam, Gabby! We will be hosting Story Slams often in our Lounge so make sure you check back here or on our Instagram for information on the next one!

Collaging Cigar Boxes at this Month’s Espresso Yourself Workshop

We loved having Sam from Art Across Borders back this month to collage cigar boxes with us! If you don’t already follow her on Instagram @artacrossborders Sam is an amazing maker and encouraging craft guide! It was so fun to see what everyone came up with! We can’t wait to have Sam back next month for more crafts!

Customer Photo of the Week

Our first ever Weekly Customer feature is from the night of the Story Slam! Waiting for the fun to begin with a yummy organic Capp! What could be better!
Thanks, @jasonweinpel for the awesome photo!

Want your photo to be featured on our Instagram or blog?
Tag @black_river_roasters or use the hashtag #blackriverroasters to be featured!

 

Couldn’t make any events this week? Keep an eye on our Instagram and Facebook page or check back here for updates on what’s coming up next!

Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Coffee Cupping (Abridged) pt 3

Hey again! I’m so glad you’re back to learn more about cupping!
Last time we talked about what you’ll see at a set up cupping! You got to the cupping room and saw the table, and I gave you a detailed explanation of what everything is!

 

First Step: Aromatic Perception

Now that you’re here, we will all walk around the table and do a “sniff test.” (Okay, it’s not really called a sniff test). But you are going to smell the coffee! There is a right way to do this! You’re going to stick your face right in that cup and take three or four quick whiffs in through your nose. Think about how your dog smells dirty shoes, that’s what you’re going for. Thankfully, freshly ground coffee smells a LOT better than gym shoes… Now that you’ve smelled the coffee take some notes! What does it smell like? Does it remind you of anything?*

Once we’ve all smelled the coffees, I will pour the water into the samples. Then we allow the samples to brew for 4 minutes. During this time you will do a second smell evaluation! You smell in the same way as before, but this time being really careful not to burn your nose on the 200-degree water. More note-taking! Does it smell different than it did when it was dry?

Next Up: Break & Clean

Now, my favorite part! The break. When the water was poured into the coffee a neat “crust” of grounds and gases formed at the top of the cup. Breaking this crust is essential because the gases that are trapped there will be released. There is a method to breaking the crust. Hold your spoon perpendicular to the table (check out your upside down reflection!) and push it gently across the grounds three times.You’re going to put your face near the sample AGAIN and smell. The gases that are released might have a different aroma than what you’ve experienced before, so this is a very cool step. Once a sample is broken, you can’t get it back. So you want to take advantage of this time to smell those gases.

Now we clean off the tops of the coffees, so we don’t have to chew on grounds! This is done by skimming the top of the sample with two spoons. Here we try not to get too much coffee skimmed off, but we want to get all the grounds out.

Very important: Make sure you rinse your spoon between samples when you break and when you clean to avoid cross-contaminating the samples.

Now, after all that work! We finally get some coffee!

Now that the coffee is cleaned it’s time to taste! Grab a spoon, cause this is where the real fun begins! Remember, you are going to taste each sample of each coffee. So, if you don’t want to drink that much caffeine; maybe because you’ve already had a few cups(….guilty!), you can grab a spit cup.

To taste, you’re going to simply dip your spoon into the sample just so the bowl of the spoon fills up. Now, bring the sample to your mouth. Instead of just tipping the sample in, you are going to participate in the age-old coffee tradition called the slurp. Throw all table manners your mama taught you out the window! (Sorry, mom!) You WANT to slurp coffee while tasting it for a few reasons.
First, it cools down the coffee a tiny bit as it comes into your mouth.
Second, the slurp ensures that the coffee hits all parts of your palette at the same time so you can taste it best.
Finally, the slurp aerates the coffee! Much like fine wine, coffee must be aerated to “wake up” the best possible flavors in the coffee.*

 

RINSE YOUR SPOON BETWEEN SAMPLES. (Please)

After you’ve tasted the sample, take notes! (Is this starting to feel like high school yet?) Write down anything that comes to mind, even if it seems weird at first. Is it acidic? Does it have a heavy mouthfeel? Is there an aftertaste? What does it taste like?

Usually, in a cupping, you do more than one pass at each coffee. As the coffee cools, you will be able to evaluate different things in the taste. The second (or third, or fourth) pass will allow you to really evaluate what the coffee tastes like. Does it taste like lemons? Berries? Chocolate? This will become easier to distinguish as the coffee cools.

Last Step: it’s time to talk about what we tasted.

Now that we’ve all tasted the coffees several times, we’re going to talk about what we’ve tasted! This is a significant step in the process. We want to compare notes to calibrate our tastes to each other, basically, just to make sure we’re all tasting the same thing. That being said, taste cannot be wrong. You cannot be tasting something incorrect in a sample, but when talking about what we’re tasting, we can get really specific and also come up with better words to describe what we’re tasting. We also try to use the most attractive words so it’ll be easier to sell people on a coffee (for example, instead of saying “this tastes like dirt!” we might say “this has an earthy taste”).

So that’s it!! You now have a fundamental resource and guide to cupping. Since you’ve spent so much time reading these posts, I really hope you will come to one of our in-store cuppings! The best way to get good at cupping, like any skill, is to practice, practice, practice!

What do you think? Are you ready to put your new found knowledge to the test? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think of the experience of cupping! If you need a refresher, you can read part 1 and part 2 of this series!

Keep an eye on our Instagram @black_river_roasters to find out when our next cupping will be!

Footnotes:
*Keep an eye out for future posts about these topics; note-taking during cupping, aroma evaluation of coffee, and coffee tasting notes

Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Coffee Cupping (Abridged) pt 2

Hello again! Welcome Back!

Hopefully, my last post piqued your interest in cupping, and you’re ready to learn more. Last week, I talked a little about why Coffee Professionals cup coffees and why you might want to try it out yourself.
Now, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty a little bit. Over the next few posts, I’m going to break down the procedure of cupping so you know what to expect the next time you find yourself cupping.

A small disclaimer before we begin:

Here I’m going to explain the procedures as we use them at Black River Roasters. While they are standardized, if you cup elsewhere you might encounter people who do things slightly differently. This is okay! As with everything in coffee (and life), you have to do what works best for you or your company.

Now! Here we go!

When you first arrive at one of our cuppings, I will gather everyone around the cupping table. You’ll see several samples of coffee set up like this:

What the heck is all this? Let’s break down what we’re looking at here:

1) Here we have the unroasted green beans of the coffee. It is helpful to evaluate the green beans visually for possible defects.* When you are looking at beans, you want them to be mostly jade or light green in color. Beans should also be relatively uniform in size. Grey, white, or black beans or beans that are too large or too small could indicate defects that will affect the taste once the beans are roasted.

 

 

 

2) Here we have the roasted beans! You can evaluate these beans both by sight and by smell. This is another chance to check the beans for defects. Once the beans are roasted, they should be pretty much the same in color. Beans that are a lot darker or a lot lighter in color will taste different than the rest of the roast when brewed.

 

 

3) Now we have the ground coffee. You see here that there are three samples of one type of coffee. This is on purpose! If one of the defected beans finds its way into one of these samples, it will drastically affect the taste of that sample negatively. If you were only to taste the defected sample you might decide you don’t like that coffee, but the other samples will still taste great!

 

 

4) Here we have our kettle. In the kettle is water that is right off the boil and has cooled to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. We will pour the water in a circular motion to ensure that all the grounds get wet so that we have even extraction. Uneven extraction is another factor that affects the taste of coffee. We will also pour water at a specific ratio. The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) has set out this ratio for cupping: 8.25 grams of coffee per 150ml of water.

 

 

5) Spoons and a rinse cup! This is our rinse cup. Between each tasting sample, you rinse your spoon to avoid cross-contamination between samples. But, wait, why do I use a spoon? Well, reader, you don’t want to pick up the samples and drink them because there will still be grounds in them. The spoon ensures that you get the least amount of grounds when you taste. This also allows for multiple people to taste the same sample. Finally, the spoon helps facilitate the slurp (more on this in the next installment!). The cupping spoon is designed to be flat, but deep to make sure you can slurp!

Overwhelmed yet?

That’s okay! I just threw a lot of information at you, so we’ll take a break for now. But the good news is, you now know how to set up a cupping at home! You’re basically a pro! Next week I’ll talk about the actual steps of how to cup. So make sure you check back!

Drop a comment below to tell me what you think about cupping so far! Have you ever cupped before? Are you still nervous to try it? Let me know your thoughts!

Again, follow us on Instagram @black_river_roasters to know when you can put your skills to use in the store!

 

Footnotes:

* Keep an eye out for a future post about defects! It’s actually a favorite topic of mine.

Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Coffee Cupping (Abridged) Pt 1

Hello, readers!

If you have been following us on social media, you might have seen a few posts lately about Coffee “Cuppings.” This might have raised a few eyebrows for you. I know when someone first told me they were going to “Cup” Coffee, my eyebrows almost shot through the roof.
What the heck does that mean? You’re going to put coffee in a cup? Don’t we do that all the time? Isn’t cupping some weird kind of therapy Michael Phelps does? What does this have to do with my delicious cup of morning addiction?

Coffee Cupping could be considered one of the weirder things about the coffee industry as a whole. But it is something that almost anyone in the Specialty Coffee Industry does on a semi-regular basis. I cup so often that I recently acquired my own special cupping spoon (there was a ceremony, and people chanting “One of us! One of us!” It was a very odd experience)*

So what is cupping anyway?

Well, basically, cupping is a standardized way for an industry professional to taste and evaluate coffee. It’s used in a variety of places for a variety of reasons. A farmer may cup his coffee at the farm to make sure the quality is excellent. A distributor may cup a variety of coffees to choose which she wants in her warehouse. A roaster may cup coffees at different roast levels to figure out which level brings out the optimal flavors of the bean. Baristas may cup their coffees to determine flavor notes and communicate that to their customers.

But why should YOU cup?

Well, you might not be doing any of the things above, but it can still be an enjoyable experience! While you’re around the cupping table (yes, there is a special table) you might learn to describe tastes and expand your palette. You might also discover a coffee that you like, that you would have never thought you would have enjoyed! It’s also just a great way to learn more about coffee. And shouldn’t you know at least a little about that drink you drink every day?

But I’m nervous. I’ve never cupped before, and I won’t know what I’m doing! 

Let me put your mind at ease! The first time I cupped was with a group of seasoned cuppers, and I was super intimidated. But, I was surprisingly able to hold my own pretty well! And if I could, you definitely can! And if you’re nervous, that’s okay! Next week, I will be posting pt 2 of this saga. You’ll be able to read all about the cupping process in excruciating detail!

Still raising your eyebrows about this whole “cupping” business? Have you ever cupped before? Are you willing to give it a shot?
Drop a comment and tell me your thoughts!

 

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @black_river_roasters to stay in the know about when our next cupping will be!

 

Footnotes:
*For the record, this was a joke. I actually came to work, and my boss had left it on my desk.

Coffee Pests? Fungi? Oh My! (Or Why Shade Grown Coffee Prevents These Terrors and Others)

Hello! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Justina (for those of you that do, thanks for coming back to check out my second post!) My previous blog post, The Case for Sustainable Coffee: Climate Change and Chemicals focused on Climate Change and the ways in which organic and sustainable coffee can make a huge impact on the health and well being of people as well as the planet. Not using pesticides has many advantages but has some disadvantages in terms of producing a lower yield of coffee. As a result, our coffee comes at a bit of a higher price than conventional coffee. This blog post examines the reason for our price premium, mostly focusing on shade grown coffee and the way it differs from clear cutting coffee production (also known as conventional, hybrid or sun grown coffee).

Shade Grown Coffee (source: coffeeresearch.org)

Shade Grown Coffee (source: coffeeresearch.org)

Shade grown coffee is one of the most sustainable methods of growing coffee. Black River Roasters is proud to roast various different types of shade grown coffee. Even if a coffee that we sell is not labeled as being shade grown, do not lose hope, it still may be shade grown, just ask one of our Baristas! The goal of shade grown is to mimic the way in which plants (and as a result, wildlife) interact and grow as an ecosystem. There are obviously different ways of shade growing coffee (check out the infographic below). However, it is important to take note that any shade grown method is much better for the earth and all of its inhabitants than the sun grown method. “[Hybrid varieties] withstand direct sunlight and at the same time produced a greater yield of beans. It was a farmers dream except for the fact that the hybrids were more vulnerable to disease and required pesticides – for the first time” (Genziuk). Sun grown coffee may produce better yields but as a result of little to no ground cover, the necessary pesticides used for conventional methods run-off into local watersheds. “The more a coffee farm mimics a dense, multi-story canopy forest, the better it functions as a watershed… [and] the sparser the vegetation on a coffee farm, the worse it functions” (Kubota). Shade grown coffee not only protects the watershed but also protects and strengthens the biodiversity of the ecosystem which, consequently, benefits the coffee plants.

Methods of growing coffee (source: groundtoground.org)

Methods of growing coffee (source: groundtoground.org)

The shade grown method allows coffee to grow organically and in the midst of existing biodiversity. Clear cutting trees increases prevalence of pests, including the Coffee Berry Borer, a beetle that is a massive threat to coffee production throughout the world (Karp et. al 1, Tejeda-Cruz 173). To further expand, clear cutting forests destroys habitat for wildlife which is debilitating for natural pest control management. Research has shown that “conserving bird populations by maintaining countryside forest elements on farmland may…represent a critical component of borer control strategy. [Borer-consuming] birds increased in abundance and exerted stronger control on borer populations on plantations with higher forest element cover.” (Karp et. al 7). The only downside to shade grown methods are the lower yields produced as a result of conserving forest elements and in turn having less growing space.

The Coffee Berry Borer Beetle (source: Stanford University)

The Coffee Berry Borer Beetle (source: Stanford University)

Though hybrid coffee plants are given more growing space, this method is also more susceptible to changing temperatures; as the temperature increase, the presence of coffee fungi like Coffee Leaf Rust does as well (Iscaro 39). Arabica coffee is being directly targeted by Coffee Leaf Rust seeing as temperatures have been increasing due to climate change, regardless of growing altitude (Iscaro 40). However, shade grown coffee reduces growing temperature due to the presence of the tree (or canopy) layer, making the climate less welcoming for coffee fungi.

Coffee Leaf Rust (source: Locavore Del Mundo blog)

Coffee Leaf Rust (source: Locavore Del Mundo blog)

Despite the positive progress related to pest and plant disease control, lower yields and climate change have forced coffee farmers to increase their prices. As a result, those price increases obviously trickle down to the prices at Black River Roasters (which is totally worth it in my opinion). However, if you have any questions about shade grown, sustainability, or anything involving our coffee, stop in and ask one of our Baristas…we would love to help!

Remember, whether it’s hot or cold, be strong and be bold!

Justina

 

Sources

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The Case for Sustainable Coffee: Climate Change and Chemicals

Hey there! My name is Justina. I’m going to be doing blog posts from time to time. Just so you know a little bit about me: I’m a full-time college student and an avid environmentalist and human rights activist, so my blog posts may touch upon some of these passions of mine!

As one of the baristas at Black River Roasters (but a devoted customer and self proclaimed coffee fanatic prior to my employment), I can say, with certainty, that Black River Roasters has some of the best coffee I’ve ever had in my entire life…I’ve become spoiled. There are multiple reasons for our amazing quality and taste…this week, as much as I’d like to overwhelm you with all of the reasons why I love this place, I’m only going to talk about one of them: our organic and sustainable sourcing.

Here is me and my BRR coffee!

Me and my BRR coffee!

Climate change is becoming ever more apparent and every single one of us needs to do our best to reduce our impact on the environment. I am proud to say that Black River Roasters is a certified organic roastery that offers fair trade and rainforest alliance certified coffees (if you’d like to learn more, check out our blog post on certifications and why they’re important).

20150116_AGROTOXICO_DP26686-full

Pesticides being sprayed on plants in Brazil (Source: Reuters Investigates)

We are consistently working to improve our sustainability efforts. You may be wondering how all of this affects you. Pesticides are extremely prevalent in the conventional coffee industry. Not only is this problematic for the environment and the rapid increase of climate change but for you, the customer, as well. Pesticides have been found to detrimentally impact those that come in direct contact with them. Who are they? They are farmers and the people that deal with pesticide dispersal. In fact, pesticide poisoning accounts for around 1 million deaths every year. Pesticides invoke many health related issues: weakened immune systems, unbalanced hormone production becomes, increased susceptibility of developing gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases and an extreme increase of cancer rates to name a few. Though there is mixed research on pesticides being transferred to a customers’ coffee cup, there is no doubt that pesticides are impacting people’s health as well as perpetuating negative environmental health and degradation, which already has and will continue to impede upon our daily lives.

Climate change is being exacerbated in areas where conventional coffee growing methods and pesticides are being used. Deforestation is a massive problem in the coffee industry and is growing as weather patterns shift. The mass amount of tree clear cutting and irresponsible conventional farming practices leads to an increase of water contamination, air contamination, soil erosion and contamination of soil.

deforestation-impacts-soil-erosion-HI_38828

Soil Erosion in Africa (Source: WWF)

 

Organic shade grown coffee (Source: groundtoground.org)

Organic shade grown coffee (Source: groundtoground.org)

Organic and sustainable coffee bean production mitigates all of the environmental damage mentioned above, as well as utilizes very little chemicals or pesticides (if any are used they are environmentally friendly and not synthetic). In addition, farmers at certified coffee farms, are educated regarding proper farming methods, chemical and waste removal. This creates a more healthy environment for workers, wildlife and the earth itself. Unfortunately organic and sustainable coffee farming is more difficult and produces lower yields, which may come at a bit of a higher cost to the customer (I’ll expand on this in my next blog post). However, who wouldn’t want to pay a little more for fantastic coffee that is consciously grown and produced with everyone and everything in mind?! 

Remember, whether it’s hot or cold, be strong and be bold!

Justina

 

Sources

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What’s new at Black River Roasters?

First and foremost, thank you to all who supported us on our grand opening! To those who made it and those who could not, your continued support and love of coffee keeps us going everyday!

9-15-6

The turnout for our grand opening was wonderful and booming. We started the day off with a cupping seminar fronted by Chris and Ashley. Here, coffee lovers were able to learn how to properly cup coffee.  Chris and Ashley guided the attendees on tasting technique, bean identities, and how each region of the world processes their coffee.

Coffee Cupping

Throughout the day, we held roasting and pourover demonstrations. Roastmaster Matt briefed on basic roasting procedures for each type of coffee we serve. He explained why temperatures vary across different beans and how he experiments to find that right temperature. Attendees were able to step past the ‘Employee Only’ line to receive insight on the other half of the cafe and familiarize themselves with the science of roasting.

Coffee Roasting

Rob and Eddie led the pourover demonstration. The two went into detail on the process and how each variable holds its own weight in the brewing procedure. As one outlined the steps of the pourover, the other would demonstrate. This made for a positively interactive seminar and those involved were quite impressed! At the end of the pourover, attendees were able to try a sample of the coffee. We used three single origins for the class: Colombia Geisha, Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, and Rwanda Kivu.

Pour Over

 

So, you may ask yourself, ‘What does this Grand Opening denote in the business’? I have some changes to address that are all for the better!

1. Menu changes

If you have been to the cafe in the past two weeks, you will have already noticed that our menu is different! Our prices across the board have been adjusted to better accommodate you! You will also notice that our drinks are divided into categories. This is to make ordering easier as some of our drinks are best enjoyed at one size. We are also now providing a ‘Joe-To-Go’ service for those who have a crew that needs their coffee. Call a half hour ahead to reserve your box of coffee and we will set you up with cups, milk, sugar, and stirrers! Come stop by and try everything out.

Cafe Menu

2. Stamp Cards

Are you a frequent espresso-enthusiast? We would now like to reward you for your continued patronage with a stamp card! Buy 9 barista drinks and get your 10th free. Always wanted a mocha but never tried it? This is where your stamp card comes in handy! There are no limits on what you can order (except for the fact that is must be barista made).

Stamp Card

3. The New Cappuccino

Our biggest change happens to be one of our most popular drinks. We have decided to adopt a more traditional cappuccino which, in comparison to our old capps, is scaled down to highlight the espresso. When the punchiness of our espresso meets the velvety milk, it makes for a properly balanced drink on the palette. The new cappuccino is an 8 ounce drink. Still attached to the old one? That is fine. We will make it if it still holds your heart. Just let us know at the bar and we will accommodate you.  Don’t hesitate to try the new cappuccino out in our new 8 ounce mugs!

The BRR Team

That’s all for now. See you at the bar

-Casey

 

 

 

Join Us for the Grand Opening Event this Saturday the 26th!

The Black River Roaster’s Grand Opening event is finally here! On September 16th, from 8am to 3pm, we will be celebrating this milestone with an event-filled day.

Chris and Ashley will be holding coffee cuppings throughout the day and offering insight in to proper tasting technique. We use cuppings to gauge our freshly-roasted beans and make sure they are up to par. Those coming with an untrained palette need not worry; Chris and Ashley will guide cuppers to identify the tasting notes of the coffee and properly assess the different origins.  One may be surprised at how quickly it takes to start tasting the subtle notes of coffee once the technique is learned. Cuppings are a great way to experience the raw dynamics of individual coffees and learn how different parts of the world process their beans, which attributes to an origin’s trademark flavor.  Sound cool? Make sure to snag a spot for the two cupping seminars Chris and Ashley will be hosting.

We have recently adopted a new pourover technique that has been pleasing our customers with its cleaner taste. Our seasoned barista, Eddie, worked to tweak and perfect this new pourover method that better showcases the flavor profiles of our coffees. He and our new barista, Rob, will be hosting pourover seminars throughout the day. They will be going over the process, from the grind level of the beans to how the weight works in conjunction with the timing of the brewing. Participants will be able to learn the steps while seeing the product finalize, making for an interactive and educational experience.

Matt, our roastmaster, will be letting the public past the barricade and into the roasting facility where all of our coffee is roasted. Ever wondered how a medium-roast is made compared to a dark roast? It is more than just temperature. Matt will be presenting the factors of roasting which can include: the profiles, the ‘cracks’, and the temperatures. Coffee beans start out as grayish-chartreuse green. See how roasting colors them a delicious shade of brown!

The bar will be pushing out drinks all day. If you haven’t had the chance to try our specialty Slow Pour or a flat white, this Saturday is the perfect day. I will be on bar alongside our second newest barista, Jon. We love explaining the technicalities of drinks and the differences between them. You may find that perfect espresso drink you have been searching for! Try a cortado or an espresso macchiato if your a dark cup of coffee person. As you may know, we do not use flavored-syrups in our drinks because we believe in the natural flavors of our coffees. We do, however, provide natural sweeteners like organic agave and honey that can be used to make your latte sweet. If you are craving something spicy now that the fall season is here, try a chai tea latte! We use pure masala chai black tea leaves instead of concentrate in our chai latte. Not a chai person? Try the vanilla almond rooibos tea latte with cinnamon and brown sugar. Whatever is it you are looking for, the baristas at the bar will be more than willing to find your perfect order.

The team here at Black River Roasters thanks everyone, from the bottom of our hearts, for the support during our soft opening and we hope to see you all (and hopefully some new faces) this Saturday!

Peace, love, & espresso,

Casey