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Weekly Newsletter: 16th February, 2018

Kenya Nyeri Aguthi Thageini

On Valentine’s Day I had the unique opportunity of going skiing with my daughter’s class, through a program hosted by Squaw Valley, called Skiducks. The kids had the choice to learn skiing or snowboarding (it was pretty equally divided), and their equipment was provided along with a lesson. Many of the kids had never been on the slopes before, and their progress throughout the day was impressive. I watched kids who didn’t know how to put on their skis finish the day getting on and off a lift and successfully skiing down the hill.

Two girls ready to ski

As you can imagine, the progress was all over the spectrum–some kids learned a lot, some struggled to get upright on skis/snowboards. Some enjoyed the feeling of speed, some were terrified by it. I have never been much of a skier, but I completely enjoyed helping the kids improve in their own way. And my own daughter, who loves snow, enjoyed the day, despite finishing with a slope that was beyond her ability.

This week we are featuring a coffee from a country that doesn’t get snow, except at the top of Mount Kenya. This is our Kenya Nyeri Aguthi Thageini. Nyeri is a county in central Kenya, that is known for great coffee. These beans come from small family farms on the slopes of the Aberdares Mountains, to the west of Mount Kenya.

These farms produce coffee intercropped with shade trees, bananas, and macadamias. The farmers are part of the Aguthi Cooperative, and process their coffee at the Thageini Factory. The factory is a wet mill, and the coffee is fully washed and dried on raised beds. Much care is taken with the processing, and it shows in the final product.

In the cup this is a sweet drink, with citrus flavors and notes of dried cherries and plums. It’s delicious, and you can try some on us this week with the code snow day*. I can only hope that we have more snow days this winter: we certainly need it. In other news, check out this article about coffee being grown in southern California. We talk regularly about what a special area we live in: maybe I should mention more often what a unique state this is? From ski slopes to coffee farms, California has it all.

Enjoy your holiday weekend, if you have President’s Day off. We will be open regular hours (6 am to 5:30 pm) for all of your coffee needs. Cheers!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Kenya Nyeri Aguthi Thageini. Code expires on 02.22.18. 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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Weekly Newsletter: 9th February, 2018

Organic Sulawesi Rantekarua Estate

Do you know what I love about living in a small town? I love that when I go to the bank, they know my name, and I know half the people in line. I love that our wholesale customers drive to drop off a check in person. I love that I can call with an office supply order and twenty minutes later the business owner will drop it off in my office, because he was in the area anyway. I love that I get to walk to pick up my kids, and that when my son goes to a dance, it’s right down the street. I love that people in the cafe know my name, and I know theirs. I love that this is my community.

That is one cool kid with his mama

These were the things I loved today. Sure, there are disadvantages to a small town too–we can’t have everything–but mostly it’s a pretty wonderful place to be. If I don’t say it enough, thank you all for being a part of our neighborhood, our community. I feel pretty lucky to be a part of such a vibrant place. It seems like everyday there’s something new going on: check out the Outside Inn blog for a list of local happenings–and leave a comment on their Valentine’s Day giveaway while you are there.

It’s been yet another beautiful week here in northern California. The crocus in our front yard are adding to their numbers daily: yesterday Trace counted 49. Frozen drinks have picked up at the store, and every day someone tells me about a hike or an outdoor activity they’ve participated in. My winter loving daughter is sad, but she is also enjoying all the outdoor time.

This week our featured coffee is our Organic Sulawesi Rantekarua Estate. Sulawesi is the same Indonesian island that was formerly known as Celebes, and you’ll recognize the characteristic full-bodied and sweet flavors in the cup.

This coffee is named for the mountain on which it is grown: Rante (or Mount) Karua. It’s higher grown than most Sulawesi coffees, at over 8000 feet, and fully washed, which is also unusual for this region. Not only is it high grown, but it is remote, and this coffee goes through a four hour drive over unpaved roads to the processing plant. Before it appears in your cup, it has been on a remarkable journey.

This is a delicious drink, and I’m looking forward to starting my day with some this week.
You can try a cup on us this week with the code crocus*. Enjoy the good weather if you’re local. Cheers!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Organic Sulawesi Rantekarua Estate. Code expires on 02.15.18. 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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Weekly Newsletter: 2nd February, 2018

Burundi Buzira-Muruta Washed

I would have loved to be outside all afternoon, but alas my desk was calling me. Although I know that we need more winter weather, it is a gorgeous day today. It’s hard to believe that just a week ago the header picture on this email was of snow: it’s a balmy 60+ here, and I certainly didn’t need my jacket when I walked to pick up my kids from school. Trees are blossoming, the flowering quince is bringing its happy bright coral color to our yard, and the daffodils are poking their heads up.


From the archives: speaking of weather, I recently found this shot from last year. South Yuba River.

Beyond that, in our home there’s talk of baseball and summer ballet recitals, and that makes it feel like spring to me. This week we have a new coffee for you, that will be good no matter the season. It would be delicious hot, or refreshing as an iced coffee.

This is our Burundi Buzira-Muruta Washed. Burundi is a small landlocked African coffee, just south of Rwanda, and to the east of Tanzania. They have had many of the same ethnic issues as Rwanda, with much violence over the years. Civil unrest has led to an unstable economy, so building coffee commerce is essential for the farmers there.

This coffee comes from the northern part of the country, from smallholders organized around the Buzira washing station, in Kayanza province. The washing station is owned by Salum Ramadhan, a local, self made entrepreneur who is “invested . . . in his community and . . .his coffee washing stations and export business [run] like well oiled machines” (source here).

The author goes on to describe the washing station as: “The fermentation tanks and washing channels are immaculate, parchment dries in thin layers on well-organized beds, and Salum pays well above average for both daily labor and cherry deliveries from local farmers. Each station is also surrounded by a multi-purpose farm, serving as test plots for new varieties and as examples of a well-run garden for local smallholders.”

In the cup, all this care really shines. This is a sweet bean, that tastes of both the tartness of green apples and the sweetness of melon. It has a great acidity, and a flavor of sugar cane as you sip. You can try a cup on us this week with the code groundhog* (and in case you didn’t hear, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, and we’ll have six more weeks of winter). No matter the accuracy of his prediction, we’ll be enjoying good coffee. Cheers!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Burundi Buzira-Muruta Washed. Code expires on 02.08.18. 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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Weekly Newsletter: 26th January, 2018

Peru Satipo Finca Tasta Micro-Lot

Snow! We finally got our first snow of this season here in town. It’s already gone at this elevation, but it sure was pretty to watch it accumulate. Big puffy flakes were falling and swirling, and slowly coating the wet ground with their blanket of white. My kids were so excited: even as they get older they still think snow is magical. Truthfully, I do too. It’s beautiful and quiet and each flake is unique: enchanting.

Cousins climbing a rock

It’s hard to believe that only last weekend we spent a lot of time outside, even going on a walk with Archie to the Tribute Trail suspension bridge. If you haven’t been there, you can park in downtown Nevada City and walk, or park along Champion Mine Road. My kids love the bridge, and feeling it sway as they run across. Archie’s favorite moment was going down to Deer Creek and throwing pebbles in the water.

Today we have a beautiful single origin coffee for you, perfect for a snowy day. This coffee is grown by Edith & Ivan Meza Sagarvinaga, who have taken over the operation of their late mother. They are committed to continuing the work that made their mother so happy. In addition, they are trying to run a sustainable and diversified farm.

Edith is an active member of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance, and was awarded the opportunity to attend the Seattle Specialty Coffee Expo a few years ago. In her own words she says:

“Our goal is to be a model farm, to be environmentalists. Finca Tasta has 9 hectares of virgin forest that we protect for the fauna and wildlife. We would like Finca Tasta to be a place for ecotourism for coffee and nature lovers, and a place where we can host workshops about the coffee supply chain.” (see here)

My favorite part of the producer interview from our broker is Edith’s description of a typical day on their farm:

“We start with breakfast at 6 am, and work starts on the farm at 7 am, which depends on what needs to be done, planting, fertilizing, pruning, etc. We rest and have lunch from 12 to 2 pm and then return to work. In the afternoons we cut firewood for cooking and eat dinner at 6:30. We like to watch a new movie each evening and then we sleep.”

You really get a glimpse of their daily life, and it sounds like hard work. This is the effort that goes into your morning cup of coffee. Thank you Edith and Ivan. Your care shows in the final product. In the cup this tastes of milk chocolate with a nutty flavor. It’s creamy and smooth and delicious. You can try a cup on us this week with the code Finca Tasta*. Drink it thinking of all those that work to produce our food. Cheers!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Peru Satipo Finca Tasta Micro-Lot. Code expires on 02.01.18. 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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Weekly Newsletter: 19th January, 2018

Brazil Fazenda Sertaozinho Yellow Bourbon

The January days seem to keep going by–I can’t believe that tomorrow is the 20th day of 2018. I feel like I’m still getting used to this new year, remembering to circle my pen for the date, instead of straight lines. I think that the days are rather blurring together as the employees around here seem to be taking turns staying home sick. Even Archie got the flu this time, and I missed him running around the office, calling me “Ah-Lee” loudly.

How do you entertain an 18 month old in the office? With a box!

Hopefully everyone is feeling better now. I know that in our family, the flu went around in December, but it took awhile for everyone to get over it. All sympathy to those of you still dealing with it. I think that a third of my daughter’s class was absent this week, so it’s certainly going around.

For those of you not drinking Throat Coat tea and pounding echinacea and vitamin C–those of you still functioning without the dreaded flu, that is–we have a delicious coffee for you this week. This is our Brazil Fazenda Sertaozinho Yellow Bourbon. Fazenda means farm in Portugese, and this is a unique farm in Minas Gerais that has 300 hectacres of protected old growth forest. Some of the trees are as much as 1500 years old. This coffee was a Cup of Excellence winner in 2012, and a finalist multiple times since. You can read about that here.

This is a pulped natural bean, similar to a honey process. Pulped natural means that the beans are dried with some of the pulp still attached, which tends to give it a fruitier flavor in the cup. This coffee is a yellow bourbon, which is a cultivar of arabica that “developed naturally on Île Bourbon (an island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, now known as Réunion) from coffee brought to the island from Yemen by the French (from the SCA page, here).” Bourbon can be yellow or red, meaning that the coffee cherries ripen to that color. Since most varieties of coffee ripen to red, this is more unique.

In the cup this has stone fruit flavors of apricot and pluot, with a lingering creamy finish. It is enjoyable to drink and you definitely taste the pulped natural process. You can sample a cup on us this week with the code dolphin*. I’m sure it’s no surprise that code was chosen by my daughter: dolphins are her favorite mammal. Enjoy your weekend, and drink good coffee. Cheers!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Brazil Fazenda Sertaozinho Yellow Bourbon. Code expires on 01.25.18. 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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Weekly Newsletter: 12th January, 2018

Organic Mexico Altura Finca San Carlos

Last weekend was all about moms and grandmas at our house. First we had an early birthday party for my mom, Grandma Jo, who will be gone teaching school in Papua New Guinea for the next year. The header picture is of Becky and Archie telling her good-bye at the airport. We will miss her! Especially Archie, who really got a chance to bond with her over the last six months while she was here. He loves his Grandma Jo.

It’s another birthday for this lady

Then the next day was the actual birthday of the woman who started this business: Caroline Fike.  If you don’t know the Carolines Coffee story, Caroline Fike bought an existing natural food store in 1982, renamed it Carolines Honey, Spice, and Everything Nice, and brought it through two moves and many iterations to the store it is today. Her hard work and perseverance (and good cooking!) are what kept this business going, and we’re proud to continue it in her name.

I know that not everyone has positive female role models in their life, so I am especially lucky to be related to both of these strong women. They have given me great examples to follow. And my children are also lucky to have them in their lives: two grandmas to play with them and take care of them. Happy birthday to each grandma!

This week we are featuring our Organic Mexico Altura Finca San Carlos. There is a three part blog series from our broker about Alfred Klein and Finca San Carlos. You can find it here, and read about the trials of being a coffee farmer. There is so much work that goes into coffee farming–beyond the growing and processing that we often talk about, it’s also about running a small business, while being dependent upon both mother nature and prices set on the other side of the globe.

I was drinking this coffee today, and it was incredibly sweet and creamy with milk chocolate notes. All those details that Alfred Klein works through show up in an amazing cup of coffee. It’s delicious. You can try a cup on us this week with the code Grandma*. Let’s drink it together this week by raising a cup to the many women in our lives. Cheers!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Organic Mexico Altura Finca San Carlos. Code expires on 01.18.18. 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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Weekly Newsletter: 5th January, 2018

El Salvador Finca San Rafael Los Naranjos

I know that those of you in other parts of the country don’t want to hear about our weather, but the first week of 2018 has been lovely. We’ve had a little rain, but mostly sunshine. On New Year’s Eve the kids and I went for a walk at the Empire Mine with their cousins. New Years Day little Caroline and I went for a walk along the South Yuba. Then Wednesday, we took a family trip to see the migrating birds at Gray Lodge. We are so lucky to have all these great outdoor spaces so close to home–and although I know we need rain, it sure was nice to be outside all week.

Were you wondering how our bagels taste? Archie approves!

In our family we also had another Christmas celebration last night, with family who had been sick last week. It’s been fun to slow down the holidays, and keep getting together. Next week the kids go back to school, and I will be glad for the routine, but spending time together has been good for all of us.

This week we have a new El Salvador coffee for you. It comes from Finca San Rafael, in the far west side of the country. This is a cooperatively owned farm, by the Asociación Cooperativa Agropecuaria de Participación Real San Rafael de R.L. (ACAPARSAR), that was founded with twenty-one members in 1980. ACAPARSAR members own the estate, and they work together to grow and process quality coffee. The bean is a bourbon and pacas arabica blend, and it is a fully washed: there’s a wet mill located on the property.

According to our broker, “members of ACOPARSAR are participating in technical training related to prevention of soil erosion, leaf rust protections, processing improvements, and ways to deal with climate change.” So not only have they come together to grow and process coffee, there is an education component to their partnership too.

We roasted this coffee light, and in the cup it is a sweet bean, that tastes of vanilla and caramel. You can try a cup on us this week with the code Beau* (if you don’t know Beau, he’s one of our wonderful employees, and his birthday was Monday. Happy belated birthday Beau!). May your next week be bright. Cheers!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of El Salvador. Code expires on 01.11.18. 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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Weekly Newsletter: 29th December, 2017

Sulawesi Toarco Jaya Peaberry, Washed  

I hope that each of you had a great Christmas Day, like we did. It was full of good food, family, and carefully chosen gifts. We are among the lucky people whose kids don’t get up too early on Christmas Day–we didn’t open stockings until around 9 am, and by that time I had eaten a homemade cinnamon roll (thank you Grandma Caroline!) and had a cup or two of coffee, so all was well. The whole day was that relaxed, and except for the absence of some of our loved ones, it couldn’t have been better.

Cheerful children Christmas Day

Today we are closing early to celebrate with our staff, and we will also be closed on Monday, for New Year’s Day. Our normal hours will resume on Tuesday, and we’ll be here to serve you starting at 6 am.

For this upcoming first week of 2018, we have an amazing coffee to share with you. We have occasionally been able to carry a Sulawesi from Toarco Jaya, but this is the first time we have had their peaberry option. PT Toarco Jaya is a partnership between a Japanese and Indonesian firm that is committed to quality coffee on Sulawesi.

They have an estate where they grow and process coffee, and provide education for the local farmers. For the last forty years they have also been working to increase the quality of the coffee grown in their local area. The result is a fully washed bean that is tremendous in the cup. You can read more about them from our broker here.

In the cup this is a sweet bean, that tastes of melon and citrus. It has a nice acidity and a taste that lingers. You can try a cup on us this week with the code joyful*. That’s my wish for each of you this year: that 2018 will be a year of joy, even if it’s just a moment here and there. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, but I do think that seeking joy is always a good goal. And to that end, a big thanks to each of you for the joy that you bring to us. We appreciate you. However you celebrate this weekend, drink good coffee. Cheers!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Sulawesi Toarco Jaya Peaberry, Washed. Code expires on 1.4.18. 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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Weekly Newsletter: 22nd December, 2017

Kona Blend

The header picture is of the local Donation Day parade yesterday. This is an annual tradition in downtown Grass Valley that has been occurring since 1883. The original idea was for the local school children to bring a piece of wood and a potato to help those in need. It is still run by the Ladies Relief Society, and now the children bring canned goods to donate. The event has grown by far, and as far as I know is unique to western Nevada County. What a great way to teach our children about coming together to help one another.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank each of you and to wish you a happy holiday. I know that the holidays can be hard, but my wish for each of you is for a bit of peace and joy during this season–whatever that looks like for you. Thank you each for being a part of our community, our family, this year. We appreciate you.

And in honor of the season, we thought it would be fun to share some island love this week with a sale on our Kona Blend. It’s $2 off per pound this week, and you can try a cup on us with the code Island Christmas*. I have never been to Hawaii at Christmas time, but I imagine the warm breezes blowing across the coffee plants. They will be blooming in the spring, with their fragrant blossoms wafting through the air. It’s so different from the snow and cold that so many of us experience at Christmas–but equally joyful.

Where ever you are this season, I hope that you are drinking good coffee and finding moments of peace and joy. We’ll be open for the final Cornish Christmas tonight, and then for the next two days. We will be closed Christmas Day so that all of our staff can enjoy the day with family. Merry Christmas!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Kona Blend. Code expires on 12.29.17. 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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2017 Roastmasters Premium Giveaway

Roastmasters Premium Giveaway

Edit :: Comments have been turned off, and the winner has been notified.  Thank you so much for sharing your traditions: we read every comment, and loved reading what you wrote.  Merry Christmas!

We would love to celebrate a great year with a giveaway.  This is five different and amazing coffees–the best that we have to offer right now. We call these our “Roastmasters Premium Collection,” and we’re excited to give you a chance to win this box of special beans.

Dave, our roaster, displaying the giveaway box

First we have our Kona Fancy, from Makapueo Farms.  This is a delicious and smooth brew, from a Hawaiian owned and operated estate.

Then we have our Cup of Excellence winning Mexican, grown by Francisco Javier Montiel Valencia.  This is obviously a limited edition coffee–it won in 2017, and next year there will be new winners.  It’s truly an amazing coffee, and my favorite from this year.

Next we have our Jamaican Blue Mountain.  In our house this is a Christmas morning tradition, drinking Jamaican while we open gifts.  It’s always a treat.

This year’s Christmas Coffee is also included in the box, which is a blend of two organic beans this year, and features a picture of Archie, our resident one year old helper, on the label.

The final coffee in the collection is also a limited edition: it is a Zero Defect Colombian, grown by Carlos Eduardo Tejedor Borja.  This is also an award winning coffee, in a national Colombian competition. 

These are the five best coffees that we have in stock right now, and we look forward to sharing them with you.  Only one of you will win the box, but four of these coffees are $5 off  a pound through this weekend (with the exception of the Christmas Coffee), so you all have a chance at a great deal. 

To win the box, leave a comment on this blog post telling us about a favorite Christmas tradition.  The winner will be chosen at random next Tuesday, December 19th.* 

*No purchase necessary to enter or to win. Giveaway is limited to residents of the United States. Entrants must be 18 years old or older. Winners will be chosen at random and notified via e-mail on December 19, 2017. Prize must be collected by December 31st, 2017 for Nevada County residents, or a shipping address must be provided by that date if winner is out of county.
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Roastmasters Premium Sale

We’ve got some spectacular coffees available for your holiday brewing this year–so many that we can barely hold them.  As one of our December deals, we thought it would be fun to put all of these Roastmasters Premium coffees at $5 off per pound.  Today only you can purchase Jamaican Blue Mountain, Kona Fancy, Zero Defect Colombian, or our Cup of Excellence winning Mexican on sale.  No code necessary, and free local pickup.

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Grass Valley, CA 95945

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