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Weekly Newsletter: 17th November, 2017

Organic Biodynamic India Seethargundu Estate

The coffee in the central header picture could be any bean, but it’s not. It’s the first roast of our Jamaican Blue Mountain for this holiday season. We’ll keep roasting it from now until Christmas, or until the barrel is gone. So if you’ve been waiting to drink Jamaican, we do sell it by the single cup pour over in house, or you can order some online here. It’s always a treat to drink, and around our house it’s a Christmas morning tradition.

Gratuitous cute baby picture

If you’re thinking that it’s a bit early to talk about Christmas traditions, the first Cornish Christmas is next week. We love this downtown event, with roasted chestnuts, a Cornish choir, and craft and food vendors (kettle corn!) lining the streets. It continues every Friday night from Thanksgiving to Christmas–you can find more information here. This year is the 50th anniversary of this iconic celebration.

Next week we will be closed Thanksgiving Day so all of our staff can spend the day with their families. The morning will find us at the MEBII Turkey Trot, at the high school. We’ll bring coffee, so if you’re looking for an activity to start your day, come on out. The run honors Michael Edward Bratton II, who took his own life at the age of 25. My kids have attended their whole lives, and every year it is an opportunity to talk to them about suicide and mental health–a great way to begin a day of thankfulness.

This week we have a new coffee for you, from a country that we don’t feature very often: India. We don’t get Indian coffees much because there are not many available–what they grow is mostly used in country. So this is a treat: an organic, biodynamic coffee from southwestern India. It comes from the Seethargundu Estate in the Western Ghats mountain range. The Western Ghats are a UNESCO world heritage site, and one of the most biologically diverse places in the world. There are thousands of flora and fauna that make their home here, including “at least 325 globally threatened flora, fauna, bird, amphibian, reptile and fish species.”

The Seethargundu Estate is also called POABS, and according to their website here, POABS is “the largest perennial multi-crop organic estate in the world, at an average elevation of 3500 feet, and grows Arabica and Robusta coffee and tea along with inter-crops of pepper, cardamom, orange, and vanilla. Seethargundu Estate is designated Poabs Organic Estates and operates in a closed ecosystem.” This particular lot of arabica coffee won the 2017 Flavor of India Fine Cup Award for the best Specialty and Organic coffee (see here).

This is a special and unique coffee, which we will only have for a short while. It’s roasted light, and has sweet caramel tones, with a light meyer lemon finish that lingers. Come and try a cup on us this week with the code thankful*. I hope that you all have a great holiday week, and that your Thanksgiving plans are centered on gratitude. On that note, a big thank you to all of you, for reading, and for being our customers. We appreciate you. Cheers!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Organic Biodynamic India Seethargundu Estate. Code expires on 11.23.17. 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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Weekly Newsletter: 10th November, 2017

Fair Trade Organic Nicaragua Segovia

I misjudged the weather today and didn’t wear a rain jacket, or bring my umbrella–and I drove to work under the prettiest blue sky rimmed with clouds. I headed back to the office, and the next time I came out front it was pouring rain. We had so many years of drought before last year’s epic winter, that I can only be grateful. In fact, now that we’re ten days into November, and two weeks from Thanksgiving, it is a good time to focus on gratitude.

Having fun with these boys in the yard

Tomorrow is the downtown holiday kickoff with the Holiday Market from 10 am – 6 pm (more information here). We’ll be debuting our eggnog lattes, and we’ll be giving away one of our large Around The World gift boxes. For those of us in retail, and I’m sure for all the rest of you too, this season can be incredibly busy. In the midst of all the bustle it’s good to take a minute to say thanks. So to each and every one of you who reads this: thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to read what I write, and we all appreciate that you are our customers.

This week we are featuring our Fair Trade Organic Nicaragua Segovia. According to our broker, this bean is “sourced from family-owned farms organized around Promotora de Desarrollo Cooperativo de Las Segovias (PRODECOOP), an umbrella cooperative operating in the departments of Estelí, Madriz and Nueva Segovia, Nicaragua.” You can find the PRODECOOP website here, and read about their mission of improving the quality of life of their member farmers. Their goal is to work with family farmers, with diverse crops, including coffee and honey. They work to provide a centrally located mill where the farmers can process their beans.

This particular Nicarguan comes from Segovia, and is fully washed and sun dried. It is certified fair trade and organic, a process that would have been difficult without the support of the co-op. In the cup it is a delicious bean, full-bodied and nutty. It pairs great with chocolate, and it’s a perpetual favorite around here. You can try a cup on us this week with the code gratitude*.

We are going all out with the holiday tunes and decor tomorrow (and did I mention the eggnog lattes?!), so we’re ready for those of you who like to be done shopping early. A big shout out to Savannah, who came in after hours to transform the store. Thank you Savannah! For those of you who aren’t quite ready for the holidays, after tomorrow we’ll take a break until after Thanksgiving with the Christmas music. Some people (like me) can’t take it this early. So come on in tomorrow and try our Nicaraguan and check out the fun downtown. Cheers!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Fair Trade Organic Nicaragua Segovia. Code expires on 11.16.17. 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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Weekly Newsletter: 3rd November, 2017

Organic Ethiopia Hambela Buku Washed

If you didn’t stop in here on Halloween, you missed the spectacular decorations that our staff put together to turn this place into Hogwarts. We had a Harry Potter theme going on, complete with balloon owls floating around, letters from Hogwarts, a cauldron for the candy, house banners, and everyone dressed up as a Harry Potter character. Archie was our Harry, and nothing could have been cuter than a one year old running around with a wand and a robe.

A special shout-out to Bailey (aka Fleur), who worked for days putting together the Halloween decor for this extravaganza. She even came up with a recipe for Butterbeer and Gillywater–and after all that she came and volunteered to help out all morning before her shift started. Thank you Bailey! We really do have the best employees.

And thank you also to all of you who participated in the downtown trick-or-treat event. It was lots of fun handing out candy to the preschoolers. There are some awfully creative parents out there, and we saw some pretty amazing costumes. Our own manager, Becky, not only made Archie’s costume: she also dressed up as a Nimbus 2000 broomstick to carry him around.

This week we have yet another great coffee for you. We got a new shipment of green coffee on Halloween (busy day!), and this is an Organic Ethiopian that we were excited to try. It’s fully washed, and comes from the Hambela Estate, in Buku. At our staff meeting Wednesday night we were talking about all the different things that a coffee name can describe. In this case we have the certification, country, estate, area, and processing all in one name (Organic Ethiopia Hambela Buku Washed).

The Hambela Estate is owned by the Adinew family, and according to our broker, here:

“The family-run company was gifted property by Emperor Selassie in honor of the matriarch, Muluemebet Emiru, the first African female pilot. METAD is now managed by her grandson Aman Adinew, and its export partner Rift Valley Trading LLC is operated by his brother Michael Adinew. Among the many important pieces of work undertaken by METAD are their commitment to equal employment opportunities for women and education opportunities for the youth of the coffeelands, their early partnerships with Grounds for Health, and their development of Africa’s first SCAA certified lab.”

That’s quite a list of accomplishments, and we’re proud to be carrying this Hambela Estate coffee. Equally as important, in the cup this is a delicious brew. It tastes of honey, melon, apricot and has a light toasted nut finish. It’s a spectacular bean. You can try a cup on us this week with the code Harry Potter*. It will be the perfect accompaniment to a rainy weekend. Cheers!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Organic Ethiopia Hambela Buku Washed. Code expires on 11.9.17. 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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Weekly Newsletter: 27th October, 2017

Colombia, Carlos Eduardo Tejedor Borja, Zero Defect

A couple of months ago, we decided to rent a teardrop trailer for our October break. Two weeks ago, Trace fell and broke his ribs, so all of our plans became flexible (unlike his ribs). Instead of the extended trip we had planned, we decided to take a shorter trip right in our own backyard: we went camping at Lake Tahoe. Autumn may well be the best time of year to visit this local gem. The fall colors were exuberant, and the kids loved riding their bikes around the mostly closed campground and the deserted bike trails.

Nothing says fall like a pumpkin patch with cousins.

The weather was perfect–well, except for the snow on Thursday night, but we checked the weather and went to a hotel–and there was not even a speck of a crowd. The kids slept happily in their tents, and we all loved the cool temperatures that called for a campfire morning and night. One day we drove over to Grover Hot Springs, and Hope Valley and the West Carson River were bathed in all shades of yellow, with the aspen leaves twinkling in the breeze. We felt like tourists appreciating the view.

For a treat, Trace and I took the Mexico Cup of Excellence to start our mornings. Jack would light the fire early, and I loved opening the clam shell kitchen to get the water boiling. A French press of the Mexican was a true delight to warm my taste buds and my hands. Our camping tradition is to start the day with a cinnamon roll–the grocery store cheap kind that’s basically just sugar. In case you’re wondering, it tastes delicious with the nutty sweet flavor of the coffee (no pride there-ha!).

This week we have another special coffee for you. We waited to feature it until we were back in town. This Colombia Carlos Eduardo Tejedor Borja Zero Defect is as wonderful as the name is long. It was one of the top lots in the second annual National Coffee Quality Contest, hosted by the La Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia (FNC)–the same FNC who brought the American coffee drinking public the iconic Juan Valdez.

This coffee, however, was not grown by Juan Valdez, but by Carlos Eduardo Tejedor Borja. According to our broker,

“Carlos Eduardo Tejedor Borja produced one of the top lots in this year’s competition on his 22-acre farm called El Recuerdo, located in the municipality of Zetaquira in the department of Boyacá, Colombia. Carlos is 45 years old and started working in coffee eight years ago. Carlos uses his own micro-mill to process the harvest, which allows for meticulous care in cherry selection, depulping, fermenting, and drying the coffee. Carlos, along with his wife and three children also grow sugar cane and dragon fruit trees on the family farm. Carlos plans to use his earnings from the coffee premiums to making improvements to his wet mill and his farm.”

In the cup this was as exquisite as you would expect. It tastes of sweet fruit, grapes and apricots, with a clean finish. It’s easy to drink, and has delicious depth. You can try a cup on us this week with the code fall shades. All week I have enjoyed the various colors of red, yellow, and orange around the county. Last weekend we made it to Bierwagen’s Pumpkin Patch, and there’s not much that says fall more than pumpkins. However you enjoy your autumn, drink good coffee. Cheers!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Colombia Carlos Eduardo Tejedor Borja Zero Defect. Code expires on 11.02.17. 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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Weekly Newsletter: 13th October, 2017

Brazil Fazenda Sertaozinho Yellow Bourbon

Sunday night there was an intense north wind buffeting our house, knocking branches and acorns onto the roof. The power went out, a tree fell with a loud snap, and I couldn’t sleep. At some point the wind died down and I drifted off, only to be awoken by sirens going down the road. I checked my source for all things emergency (shout out to the wonderful updates at Yubanet), and discovered that there were multiple fires burning, including one not far from us. Houses were involved, and evacuations were starting.

A week of smokey skies

That was the beginning of a crazy week. On Monday night a fire crew slept in our front yard. Locally, twenty-two homes and multiple outbuildings were lost to fire, and thousands more were lost across the state. People have been evacuated and displaced. The devastation of the last week is astounding and unfortunately ongoing. In the midst of it all, there were so many beautiful moments–so many helpers, so many looking out for their neighbors, so many firefighters putting in long hours, and so much support from local and regional law enforcement and medical aid.

This county is an amazing place to live, and in the tough times it becomes obvious. Our home was close to one of the fires, and I have never had more calls, emails, texts and offers of help. We are fortunate that the fire moved the other direction, but the outpouring of support was tangible. I am so thankful for our friends and family–our village–and for those fighting the fires. I feel so fortunate that our house is standing, and that we got power (and water!) back already. And I am grieved that so many are not so lucky. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

At such a moment it seems trite to talk about coffee, but sometimes it is the small things that keep us going. This week we have our Brazil Fazenda Sertaozinho Yellow Bourbon on special. I know that there were several days this week that a cup of coffee was exactly what I needed. We featured this back in July, and you can read all about it here. In addition to protecting an old growth forest, with trees as much as 1500 years old, the fazenda (farm) also provides their workers with full time employment, housing, healthcare and a school.

I had a cup of this Brazilian while I drove to Markleeville this morning, to pick up my son from a backpacking trip. The aspens are turning around Lake Tahoe, and the air was chill. My coffee kept my hands warm while I drove. It tastes of walnut and sweet milk chocolate tones. You can try a cup on us this week with the code aspen gold*. And again, to all those affected by these fires, all our thoughts and prayers are with you. Stay safe.
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Brazil Fazenda Sertaozinho Yellow Bourbon. Code expires on 10.19.17. 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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Weekly Newsletter: 6th October, 2017

Guatemala Antigua Bella Carmona

Last weekend Trace and I got to spend two nights in Monterey, attending the wedding of a friend and former employee, Khrista. It was a joy to celebrate Khrista and her new husband Patrick. She may have been the happiest bride that I ever did see: she practically danced down the aisle. It was an evening wedding, and the light was twinkling in the leaves of the trees and roses behind the Old Whaling Station. It was a gorgeous setting, and we thoroughly enjoyed our trip.

Drinking a French press of last week’s special–the Cup of Excellence Mexican– was a highlight of our trip.

We came home the long way, up the coast. Can I mention for the 1000th time that this is a beautiful state? We drove past farmstands with produce that we could not pass up, stopped for oysters in Half Moon Bay, watched kitesurfers with their bright colored kites twisting and turning in a complicated dance, bought pumpkins and fresh peas (mmm), and came home with a car loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables. From ocean to mountains, and we were in our driveway before 9.

Today we have our Guatemala Antigua Bella Carmona as a special for you. Antigua is such a well known area for producing spectacular coffees, that it is now a protected region, rather like Champagne. All Champagne comes from the Champagne region of France, and wine with that appellation follows strict criteria as to where it is sourced and how it is produced. Antigua is trying to do the same thing with their coffee. For many years, more coffee was labeled “Antigua” than the valley produced.

So in 2000, a group of 34 farmers came together to form the Antigua Coffee Producers Association. Their goal is to “promote its membership’s coffee and protect the Genuine Antigua Coffee label.” You can find their website here, and a map of the area included. This particular bean comes from Hacienda Carmona, which is owned and operated by Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora and his family. Sr. Zamora is a fourth generation coffee farmer, with a formal education in agronomy. With that background he is able to blend tradition and experience with innovation: you’ll find solar dryers and cutting edge drying techniques at their farm.

In the cup this is a sweet brew, with notes of caramel and vanilla. It is nuanced and delicious, and what you would expect from such a carefully produced Antigua bean. You can try a cup on us this week with the code October brew*. I hope that you are enjoying your autumn, and all the beauty that surrounds us. Cheers!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for a 12 ounce cup of our Guatemala Antigua Bella Carmona. Code expires on 10.12.17. 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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Weekly Newsletter: 29th Friday, 2017

Mexico Cup of Excellence Winner, 12th Place
Francisco Javier Montiel Valencia

There was the most beautiful sunrise this morning: I walked outdoors with my coffee in hand and snapped a picture. With the sun peeking over the hill a few minutes later each day, I’ve enjoyed pouring my coffee, and lighting a candle in the predawn shadows. Fall is beautiful that way. I wish I could say that the morning remains as calm as those early minutes, but the reality is that the rush of getting out the door to go to school/work is often chaotic–so I especially appreciate the moments of beauty.

Vacuum packed with care–much different than the burlap we usually get

Today is National Coffee Day. We think coffee is always a reason to celebrate, but today the rest of the nation joins us. We saved a spectacular bean to share with you today. This coffee was one of the winning cups in the Mexico Cup of Excellence, and finished at 12th place–the top 22 winners are graded for auction. So out of 233 coffees submitted to a panel of international judges (including two from our broker, Royal Coffee), this was one of the top lots. It is truly an amazing coffee.

The winning farms in the annual Cup of Excellence, according to their website, here, are “coffees scoring 86 points and above in each cupping by both the National Jury and the Cup of Excellence International Jury. These coffees have each been cupped a minimum of five different times during the cupping process.” This farm is located in the state of Veracruz, near the municipality of Cosautlán de Carvajal. This is steep country, and the beans are grown at over 4000′ elevation.

There is a great interview with Francisco Javier Montiel Valencia, along with a picture of him, here. Reading it you understand how much it means to win the Cup of Excellence, and how it will change his life to sell his coffee at a higher price point. He and his family have worked tirelessly to improve the quality of their coffee, and it paid off, literally. He is hoping to use the extra money to build a cupping lab and take Q grader classes. Beyond all that, my favorite image was how he takes his breakfast with him to the farm, and eats it on a hillside that he likes, overlooking the coffee. It’s an image of starting his day on the other side of the globe–similar to the way I start mine.

As you would imagine, this is a meticulously processed coffee. It is a whole family effort, and they together take care of almost everything on the farm, from weeding and fertilizing to picking and processing. They even paint their fingernails red to match the colors of the ripe cherries to enable perfectly ripe picking. And then they float the coffee beans to check for the correct density before the beans go to processing. Each step is done with care.

We were all excited to try this coffee yesterday, and it was just as spectacular as anticipated. It had a floral nose, but the initial taste was buttery and nutty, like butter toasted peanuts. It finished with a sweet acidity, reminiscent of green grapes or melon. We want you to be able to taste this too, but because of price constraints we’re going to give away a four ounce taste this week. Come on in and try it out with the code morning moments*. It will be on sale for $5 off per pound this week too, so if you love it as much as we do, now is your chance to procure some.

On a different note, check out the Outside Inn blog giveaway today in honor of National Coffee Day. We have a great local coffee community who contributed to the fun. You can find that post here. Enjoy!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for a 4 ounce taste of our Mexico Cup of Excellence Winner. Code expires on 10.5.17. 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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Weekly Newsletter: 22nd September, 2017

Organic Blue Krishna Balinese

Happy Fall to you! Today is the autumn equinox, when the length of day and night are an equal twelve hours. As much as I love summer, I am thoroughly enjoying putting on a sweater in the morning, and pulling up a wool blanket at night. Fall is such a cozy season: the evenings get longer, and the candles get lit while tea is poured to warm our hands in the evening. At least in our house–as much as I love coffee, it’s a morning drink for me, and the afternoons are for a spot of tea.

Cousins are the best!

All the cool weather we’ve had has made it seem later in the season than it actually is–I was checking out the liquidambars this morning, and most of them have barely begun to change colors. I have caught sight of a red leaf on the ground here and there, but they’re still few and far between. But summer is certainly coming to a close, and our days of dining outside are numbered. It rained on Wednesday, and the geese are flying and calling out their positions overhead. Welcome autumn.

A highlight of our week was having Archie over to play. One is such a fun age, and he loves to explore and climb on everything. The piano is a big hit–he might be a musician someday. Really any musical instrument is a delight for him, from drums to kazoos. He is such a happy child, and his cousins bring out his biggest smiles. The silly noises and faces from Jack make him giggle like none other. It’s awfully fun to be an auntie.

This week we have our Organic Blue Krishna Balinese for you. This coffee comes from farms in the Kintamani Highlands, in the volcanic soils of Mount Agung. The coffee plants are grown in the shade of citrus trees, which provide another source of income for the farmers. According to our broker,

“Coffee production is typically organized around a Subak Abian, which refers to the ecologically sustainable irrigation systems developed more than 1,000 years ago by Hindu priest who practice Tri Hita Karana (the three sources of prosperity), a philosophy focused on the harmonization between the environment, humans and God.”

This coffee is certified organic, which only makes sense when it is grown in harmony with nature. Around here it is an employee favorite, and we’re always glad when the new harvest is available. In the cup it tastes of nuts and chocolate. I’ll be taking this home to drink this week, and you can try a cup on us with the code fall flavors*. To give credit where it’s due, that code was the result of a brainstorm by the entire Friday afternoon staff. And if you’re looking for a fall flavor, we’re serving up pumpkin spice lattes, hot apple cider, and spicy chai teas like they are going out of style. Come on in!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Organic Blue Krishna Balinese. Code expires on 9.28.17. 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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Weekly Newsletter: 15th September, 2017

Honduras Micro-Lot: Maria Adela Nolasco

One advantage to all the heat we have experienced this summer is that tomatoes love it. Well, ours do anyway. Right now our garden is overgrown–the squash are literally climbing out of their bed, the pepper plants are falling over with the weight of their fruit, and we are eating tomatoes as fast as we can pick them. I plated salads for dinner the other night, and sent everyone to pick their own tomato to top the arugula and blue cheese. It’s a beautiful abundance.

Jack’s three tomato salad that he picked (and photographed) himself

This week has been rather the other side of the spectrum: it cooled down. It seems that we’re going straight from full summer heat to a lovely temperate fall. The oak leaves are collecting in the corners of the deck, and in the mornings the Towhees wake me rustling through them for seeds. In one week it will be officially autumn, and already the cider has come out here at the store. I’m looking forward to needing sweaters and boots soon, and warming up with coffee in the morning.

This week we are featuring a micro-lot Honduran. It comes from a two acre farm called El Mango, located in Santa Elena, in the La Paz department of Honduras. The coffee is grown by Maria Adela Nolasco, and this is a product of the Catracha partnership, which you can read about here. The goal is better pricing for the farmers through better quality coffee.

I’m sure that we will be getting in more of these micro-lots soon, but this is the last that we have from Maria Adela Nolasco. This coffee is the main source of income for herself, her husband, and their three children. By improving the yield and the quality, they are able to increase their profit, and this profit helped send their seventeen year old daughter to college.

In the cup it is a delicious bean, with notes of caramel and vanilla. I will be drinking it on these cool mornings, and appreciating the farmers who grew this coffee for me. You too can try a cup this week with the code tomatoes galore*. If you’re a tomato fan, I hope you enjoy an abundance this week. And drink good coffee. Cheers!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Honduras Micro-Lot: Maria Adela Nolasco. Code expires on 9.21.17. 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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Weekly Newsletter: 8th September, 2017

Malawi Mzuzu AAA

I was looking through my pictures from the week, and there, right after the few I took at our staff party, was the header photo of rain on our pool. A week ago we were all overheating in 100+ degree weather, and then on Tuesday it started to cool down and we had a surprise rain storm. We all went outside to play in it. In case you’re not local, we’re not crazy–it just doesn’t rain here much in the summer. The rest of the week has been much cooler, and it was fun to remember that fall is coming. If the number of oak leaves piling on the ground are an indication, it will be here soon!

Our youngest “employee” certainly enjoyed his meal!

On Monday night we had a staff barbecue at our house, and I have to brag a bit on our employees. You all might know how helpful they are behind the counter, and you might know what good attitudes they have, but did you know that they’re flat out fun people? They truly enjoy hanging out together. On top of that they’re goofy and talented. At the end of the night those of us who were still present enjoyed a musical interlude. Talented people for sure.

This week we have an African coffee that we last featured back in May. It’s from Malawi, in eastern Africa, a landlocked country surrounded by Tanzania, Mozambique, and Zambia. This is our Malawi Mzuzu AAA, grown by the Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union. This is a group of cooperatives, each with their own washing station, that was established in 2006.

These smallholder farms are interspersed with tobacco, cotton, peanuts, and tea. The cooperative emphasizes gender equity and supports community improvement projects, including the construction of a hospital with the help of coffee premiums. They work together to improve their community.

In the cup this is a fruity brew, with pear, honey, and dried fig tones. It’s tart and delicious. You can try a cup on us with the code fall approaches*. Our county has all kinds of events going on in September. No matter what you do, drink good coffee. Cheers!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Malawi Mzuzu AAA. Code expires on 9.14.17. 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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Weekly Newsletter: 1st September, 2017

Costa Rica Monteverde Natural

A week ago yesterday I was at the top of the Sierra Buttes Fire Lookout with my daughter and her classmates. If you’ve never been there, it’s about a 2.5 mile hike that increases 1800′ in elevation, and finishes with 180 stairs to the old fire lookout. I found a blog post online with great pictures here. It’s a pretty intense hike, no matter your age, and I loved seeing these kids come together and encourage one another. When one child was worried about the steep edge, a friend held her hand and walked on the outside. The many moments like that were a highlight for me.

Our windy pic from atop the lookout tower

This week has been one of high heat and fires around here. Our thoughts are with the many who have been displaced by wildfires. A big shoutout to all the firefighters who are working so hard to keep us safe. And on the other side of things, we also are thinking of all of you affected by the flooding in the Houston area. It’s been quite a week for extreme weather.

Last week I ran out of time, and I never sent a newsletter. So you all missed out on hearing about our Organic Blue Krishna Balinese. It’s an employee favorite and we’re always excited when it comes back in stock. I’ve left it on sale for one more week, but this week we have another specialty coffee for you. This is our Costa Rica Monteverde Natural.

This Costa Rican comes from a group of twenty families, who come together as the Monteverde Group. According to our broker,

“The Monteverde group promotes their environmental stewardship through the LIFE Monteverde educational programs on organic farming and low environmental impact energy systems . . . [and] strives for diversity with a well-established roasted coffee operation for the national consumption, a coffee learning center with a specialty coffee shop, and guided tours of their farms.”

The coffee is a natural, or dry, process, meaning that it is dried with the fruit still intact. This gives it a sweet fruity flavor in the cup, reminiscent of melon and dried cherries.

You can try a cup of this Costa Rica on us this week with the code high places*. I hope that you all find a way to beat the heat this weekend (may I recommend heading to the mountains?). We will be open 7 am – 3 pm on Labor Day, so if you need an iced drink, come on in. In the meantime, drink good coffee. Cheers!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Costa Rica Monteverde Natural. Code expires on 9.7.17. 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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Weekly Newsletter: 18th August, 2017

El Salvador Las Ninfas Pacamara

You know, when your kids are little, people like to tell you that “the days are long but the years are short.” From the perspective of a mom in the thick of it with littles, that can be overwhelming. But as my kids continue to get older, it seems so true. School started again on Wednesday, and I can’t believe how big Jack and Caroline are getting. Wasn’t it just yesterday that we walked into the doors of their kindergarten classes? It does seem to pass in a blink, at least today.

First day of school 2017

This has been a busy week. We enjoyed the Nevada County Fair last weekend, spent a day at the waterpark on Monday, and then the last three days have been back to the structure of school. We are all adjusting to earlier mornings, but it’s great to reconnect each afternoon and hear the tales of their day. I so appreciate all of you teachers out there who are ready to take care of our kids–good luck and thank you!

This week we have our El Salvador Las Ninfas Pacamara for you. This is a new crop from Ricardo Valdivieso, and we last featured it nine months ago, in December. You can read that post here. I always enjoy looking back at previous reviews of a coffee. At that time I described it as having “fruity apricot tones with a creamy finish.” That would still hold true, although it’s more complex than that implies. It has a nice lemon acidity and a table grape flavor too–but you can come try it for yourself.

Pacamara is a hybrid of Maragogype and Pacas that was created by the Salvadoran Institute of Coffee Research. This is grown by Ricardo Valdivieso on a farm that was purchased by his grandfather in 1870. According to our broker, it was passed down to Sr. Valdivieso at:

“a time of great turmoil in El Salvador’s history. At the peak of conflict in the 1980’s, Ricardo came face to face with a firing squad in defense of his family’s land. He was not shot but spent many years in exile before he was able to return to Finca Las Ninfas.”

He now runs the farm with his daughter, Monica, and they also own Santa Leticia farm, where they run a hotel and restaurant along with the coffee plantation. You can find their website here.

You can try a cup of this El Salvador on us this week with the code school days*. I will certainly be enjoying it each morning–back to school is an adjustment to my schedule too. In other news, we have been busy working with a distributor to roll out six varieties of our coffees to Safeway markets in the Sacramento area. We’re excited about being more available to those of you who live further away. Watch for more details as we go along–we’ve also got a new bag design to share with you!

Thanks for reading this far, and I hope that you all have a good week and drink good coffee. Cheers!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of El Salvador Las Ninfas Pacamara. Code expires on 8.24.17. 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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Carolines Coffee Roasters
128 S. Auburn St.
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