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Weekly Newsletter: 24th March, 2017

Sumatra Lake Toba Samosir Honey Process

We had all kinds of fun events going on this week in our household. Jack’s first little league game got rained out Monday, but he got to kick off the season Thursday night. Thursday also brought the Noodles for Knowledge spaghetti feed to raise money for sixth grade science camp. The kids worked hard all night, and they were awfully cute singing “That’s Amore” every half hour. I still find it hard to believe that I have a child in middle school.

All set for our tea tasting.  Photo :: Elyse Hargrove

On Wednesday night we had a tea meeting here at the store. Our lovely Salima led the instruction, telling us about the history of tea, the different processes and grading, the historical and current brewing methods, and then we tasted different teas. We tried a white tea, a green tea, an oolong, two black teas, and a pu-erh. She also demonstrated a typical matcha method (made in a ceramic bowl with a bamboo whisk), and we got to watch a blooming tea unfurl. I think all of us had a lot of fun learning more about “the other beverage.”

Our employees now can answer all of your tea questions . . . well, maybe not all of them. I know that you’re a creative bunch, and I’m sure that you can stump us, but we all have more knowledge now. We’re always glad to talk about our tea, as well as our coffee.

This week we have a unique coffee for you, from Sumatra, in Indonesia. This comes from the Samosir regency, around Lake Toba, in north Sumatra. Lake Toba is the largest volcanic lake in the world–and the mountains around the lake have the sort of volcanic soil that coffee loves. We’ve featured many other Sumatran beans over the years, but this Sumatra Samosir Honey is special because of the processing.

This is a honey process, a misleading term which originated in Costa Rica–no honey is used in the process. This is actually similar to a pulped natural (which I described here), but more of the pulp is removed. In a honey process, the mucilage is left surrounding the bean, and as it dries, the sugars in the mucilage are concentrated, leading to a sweeter and smoother taste in the cup. The dried mucilage is sticky, like honey–thus the term. You can read a detailed article about it here.

This is a new process for Indonesia, which typically produces wet-hulled or washed coffees. In the cup this light roast bean is full-bodied and tastes of sweet stone fruit and citrus–reminiscent of the exotic produce that is also found in the area. You can try a cup of this special coffee on us this week with the code honey process*. It looks like we have more rain in the forecast, so if you need a coffee to warm your hands on a dreary day, this is your bean. Enjoy!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Sumatra Lake Toba Samosir Honey. Code expires on 3.31.17. Limit one free cup per customer please. Valid only at Carolines Coffee Roasters, 128 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA. Code/Offer has no cash value.

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