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Weekly Newsletter: 23rd June, 2017

Costa Rica Finca El Cabuyal La Ortiga

You know what they say about the best laid plans? Well last week we had a beautiful micro-lot Colombian Peaberry to share with you, and then I got sick. Oops. So this week you are welcome to try the Colombian, and we’ll leave it on sale another week. I won’t make this too long with all the details, but you can find this family-owned farm online here if you want to look it up. It’s managed by two brothers whose grandfather first cultivated coffee in the Valle de Cauca in the 1930’s.

All ready for the dress rehearsal

Despite being ill, I greatly enjoyed viewing my daughter’s ballet recital last weekend, and this week we’ve had a fun time with my sister and her kids in town. We’ve almost made it through the first heat wave of the year, with lots of water play to keep us cool. Luckily it looks like next week the highs will only be in the 80’s and 90’s–much better than the 100’s of this week. I hope that you all found a way to avoid overheating–I know that our mocha freezes helped a lot of you.

This week we have another micro-lot coffee for you. This is our Costa Rica Finca El Cabuyal, from La Ortiga de Colpachi. This five acre farm is owned by Manuel Carranza Navarro and Maria De Los Angeles Molina Navarro, and it was a wedding gift from her father. Manuel and Maria have spent ten years cultivating specialty coffee, and they have a micro mill on their property for meticulous processing.

The coffee is fully washed and dried on raised beds. The farm is at almost 6000′ elevation, so this is high grown and high density coffee. The couple are able to support their two sons through the income they make with these beans. In the cup this is roasted light, and you taste stone fruit, with a sweet vanilla finish. Their care shines through.

You can try a cup on us this week with the code June heat*. I hope you all have a plan to beat the heat this weekend. The rivers around here are still too high for swimming, but the lakes are great. And in Nevada County we always have the option to go up in elevation to cool down–Tahoe is a short drive away. Whatever you do, enjoy good coffee. Cheers!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Costa Rica Finca El Cabuyal La Ortiga. Code expires on 6.29.17. 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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Weekly Newsletter: 9th June, 2017

Organic Sulawesi Rantekarua Estate

Well, in our family we’ve made it to the official start of summer vacation. In the last week Jack’s team has played three baseball games (that’s him pitching in the header photo), we’ve had a birthday party for him, we had a successful yard sale, it was my birthday, Caroline has practiced for her cello recital and her ballet recital, and we have had several friends over. Whew. I think we are all ready for a less scheduled week. I’m sure all the teachers, parents and students feel the same way. I know that by the end of the break I’m ready for routine again, but tonight I’m looking forward to summer.

Intently watching his first baseball game

For my birthday I got to attend my son’s last Little League game of the regular season. Trace even told me he’d buy me anything I wanted at the snack shack–what an offer! We actually celebrated with a date the next day. Archie even made it to watch, and he was fascinated by all the movement under the lights. Holding my nephew and watching my son play was a great way to spend my birthday.

This week we have another new coffee for you: an Organic Sulawesi from the Rantekarua Estate. This estate is located above 5000′ elevation on the slopes of Mount Karua, in the Tana Toraja region of the southern part of Sulawesi. Sulawesi (formerly Celebes) looks rather like a four fingered hand. This coffee comes from the southwest, a highly volcanic region, and the nearest major city is four hours away.

That means that this coffee makes quite a trip to end up in your cup. Unlike many other Indonesian coffees, this Organic Sulawesi is fully washed and sun dried on raised beds. It has a clean sweet flavor, and tastes of light molasses and meyer lemon, with vanilla tones as you sip. It’s delicious, and I’m looking forward to drinking it all week.

You can try a cup on us this week with the code summer fun*. There are so many great things to do around this area when the weather is nice. I hope you all have plans to enjoy this summer. A big thanks to my kids’ teachers, who have led them so well this year. I appreciate you. May you all drink good coffee while enjoying your summer. Cheers!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Organic Sulawesi Rantekarua Estate. Code expires on 6.15.17. 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: 2nd June, 2017

Guatemala Huehuetenango Palhu SHB

Today is my son’s birthday: I can’t believe that another year has passed. He is driving home from science camp as I write, so we won’t celebrate until later. It’s amazing to me how much of your child’s personality changes as they grow, and how much of it stays the same. He still loves birds, enjoys soothing music, has a gentle side that notices the new flowers blooming and brings them to me, and thinks that baseball and golf are the best. I still picture the toddler with a stick throwing and hitting pine cones in the yard, then stopping still when he hears birdsong. Jack Fike, I’m glad to be your mom.

All ready for pioneer days at Malakoff

I spent two days this week camping up at Malakoff Diggins with my daughter’s class. They are studying California history, and the gold rush of 1849. The group dressed in “authentic” garb, got to tour the town of North Bloomfield, or Humbug (thus the header picture of the apothecary), gold panned, and made all sorts of pioneer crafts. There were cloth dolls, wooden toys, tin lanterns, and cooking in a dutch oven with coals from the fire. It was a great experience, for parents and kids alike.

This week we have a new coffee for you: Guatemala Huehuetenango Palhu SHB. This is a single farm micro-lot from from the Finca La Providencia in the town of San Pedro Necta, in the Huehuetenango region (pronounced way-way-ten-ay-go–isn’t that fun to say?). This is the far west of Guatemala, almost to Mexico. Huehuetenango is known as one of the premier coffee growing regions, and this coffee is SHB or Strictly Hard Bean, which means that it is grown above 1350 meters.

Since Huehuetenango is so far from the coast, the logistics of getting the coffee exported can be complicated. For this reason, the coffee is processed on site. According to our broker, here, “the heart of La Providencia is a beautifully maintained mill that begins at a high point on the sloped property, designed to take full advantage of gravity, where the ripe cherries are placed in water and carried through the depulping process on a series of intricate canals to the drying patios below.” Finca La Providencia is owned by Maximiliano Palacios and his family, and they are third generation coffee farmers.

The “Palhu” name of this coffee is a combination of the family name and the growing region. We’ve roasted this light, and in the cup you taste the beauty of the bean: a gentle stone fruit flavor with a smooth chocolate finish. You can try a cup on us this week with the code gold rush*. To all the teachers, parents, and students out there with one more week of school: enjoy the final countdown. May you drink good coffee while looking forward to the summer break. Cheers!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Guatemala Huehuetenango Palhu SHB. Code expires on 6.08.17. 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: 26th May, 2017

Malawi Mzuzu AAA

Is it spring where you live? Or does it at least feel like it? Last weekend we came upon a quail nest on our property that was exposed by weed eating. We marveled at the tiny eggs, and it seemed like the epitome of spring: growth and new babies. The same day we found a lost baby bird and had to call our local Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release. You know it’s spring when baby animals show up all over. Our funniest experience this year is the bluebirds nesting in the cavity at the rear of a rooster figurine we have in the yard. Watching them fly in and out under the tail is pretty humorous.

Birthday mama at work today

Today is the birthday of a woman near and dear to me: our store manager, Becky. I have known her for her entire life, since she is also my little sister. In the last year she has become a mother, and it is a great joy to watch her parent her son with grace and patience. She comes to work everyday with a smile on her face, and she remains cheerful no matter how the day goes (and as any parent of an infant can tell you: you never know).

From the bottom of my heart I wish Becky a happy birthday and the joy of another year. May it be filled with more milestones as you look forward to parenting a toddler. Thank you for taking such good care of this store, even as you juggle many hats. We appreciate you!

This week we have an African bean from a country that we have only featured one other time. This coffee comes from the Republic of Malawi, a landlocked nation surrounded by Tanzania to the north, Mozambique to the east and south, and Zambia to the west. It is a small country, and its main geographic feature is Lake Malawi, which lies to the east of the Great Rift Valley and takes up a third of the country.

This Malawi Mzuzu AAA comes from the Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union. This is a group of small farmers in the north of the country who come together to process their coffee. They promote gender equity among their members and work together to support community projects, including helping to build a local hospital. This is a beautiful dense bean, a blend of two arabica cultivars: Gesha and Nyika. In the cup it tastes of dried fig, mangoes, and a lingering citrus finish.

Those of you who appreciate the bright acidity of African beans will love this Malawi option. You can try a cup on us this week with the code quail eggs*. Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend, whatever you do, and drink good coffee. Cheers!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Malawi Mzuzu AAA. Code expires on 6.01.17. 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: 19th May, 2017

Nicaragua Maragogype

What a spectacular week, weather-wise anyway. It rained on Tuesday night, and then we enjoyed a cloud display Wednesday morning, and the rest of the week has been clear and sunny. It’s starting to feel like summer is peeking around the corner. We’ve been getting plants in the ground at our house, which is one of my favorite things to do. Last weekend I spend most of both days in the yard. At the end of last summer we added a cutting garden bed, and it’s been so fun to plant seeds in it and look forward to the flowers to come.

These two brought me breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day–so sweet.

On Sunday my kids spoiled me by bringing me breakfast in bed and showering me with gifts and cards throughout the day. It still amazes me that they’re old enough to do that without help. Caroline also made us all a charcuterie platter for lunch out in the yard, and printed up a beautiful menu (complete with a few of her own adorable spellings) for the day.

This week we have a unique bean for you. This is our Nicaragua Margogype, also known as the “elephant bean.” It is a genetic mutation of Typica, a common arabica varietal. It is sought after for its mild and smooth taste. If you order this whole bean, you can see that it is at least a third again larger than most of our coffees. It’s always a fun bean to feature for that reason.

This particular Maragogype comes from Nicaragua, from small farmers in the far north of the country, not far from the border with Honduras. The coffee is fully washed (wet process), at the Beneficio La Estrella in Ocotal. In the cup it is sweet like milk chocolate, with a smooth and creamy finish.

You can try a cup on us this week with the code elephant bean*. Enjoy your sunny weekend–there’s so much to do around our local area. No matter what you do, drink good coffee. Cheers!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Nicaragua Maragogype. Code expires on 5.25.17. 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: 12th May, 2017

Organic Rainforest Alliance Flores

What happens to the month of May? Is it a whirlwind for you too? Is it only crazy for those of us with school age kids who are doing all the projects this month, or does it seem wild to the rest of you? Or maybe the culprit is the little league baseball season, which can be nonstop–especially with makeup games to play after all the rain of this spring. Whatever the reason, my May seems to be blowing by as fast as the roses and dogwoods are blooming.

Having fun at the Rivercats game last weekend

Luckily, the events that are keeping us busy are all good. Last weekend we had family visiting, a unique school fundraiser, ballet, baseball, and then on Sunday we went with Little League to a Rivercats game. Of all those things, I think that my favorite moment was watching a Black Phoebe catch bugs in the yard while I was watering the tomatoes. I might have to search for quiet moments, but I sure appreciate them when they occur.

This week we have an island grown bean for you. In the coffee world, the island of Java is probably the most well-known, since coffee has been nicknamed “java” for a long time. Around here we talk a lot about our Sumatra and Sulawesi coffees. And two weeks ago we featured a coffee from the island of Bali. This week we have a coffee from a much more obscure Indonesian island: Flores.

Flores is located to the east of Java and Sumatra, and is one of the Lesser Sunda islands, in the East Nusa Tenggara province of Indonesia. It is south of Sulawesi, and the island of Komodo, famous for its Komodo dragons, is just to the west. In fact, Flores is the only other place in the world where Komodo dragons are found wild. The topography of Flores is dominated by volcanoes, and it is on the slopes of the Inierie volcano that this coffee is grown. Check out the stunning scenery in these blog photos here.

This coffee comes from small family farmers who are working together to improve their coffee processing and export their beans. They are organic and Rainforest Alliance certified. They have taken exquisite care with these beans, and it shows in the final cup. This coffee tastes of creamy chocolate, with a full-bodied nutty finish. It’s sweet and easy to drink, with light floral tones as you sip.

You can try a cup of this Organic Flores on us this week with the code May days*. It sounds like you’re calling for help if you say it fast–and that humor might help me get through this month. If you are also experiencing a busy month, come slow down for a moment with a cup of coffee. Enjoy your week!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Organic Rainforest Alliance Flores. Code expires on 5.18.17. 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: 5th May, 2017

Tanzanian Peaberry

Our local weather went from rainy and cool to dry and sunny almost overnight. It was quite a change. It was so warm last weekend that I couldn’t resist getting some plants in the ground, so we’ve got cherry tomatoes started in our garden. Generally we wait for Mother’s Day to plant, but these hot days are quickly warming the soil. I think that next week is supposed to be cooler, but I’ve certainly enjoyed the good weather this week.

This cutie keeps us entertained in the office every day.

The sunshine was especially nice because I have been swamped for the last two weeks. Between finding a new dairy distributor, sick kids, and getting sick myself, the days have flown by. Last week I never even got a newsletter written, so I wanted to make sure that I told you about our special this week. For those of you wondering, we featured our Organic Blue Krishna Balinese, and I left it on sale this week if you would like to try it. It’s always a favorite of our staff.

Today we have another coffee for you, our Tanzanian Peaberry. This coffee comes from small family farms in the Mbinga district of southern Tanzania. The beans are grown at high elevation and fully washed. A peaberry bean occurs when there is only one seed in a coffee cherry, instead of the usual two. Perhaps because of that, they tend to be higher in caffeine.

Many people select this coffee for its caffeine content–it will get you going–but it is also a beautiful tasting cup. When you brew this you get a lovely citrus flavor, and it finishes with floral notes reminiscent of a Meyer lemon. It has a medium body and a bright acidity. It is a fine African bean.

Tomorrow is the downtown Grass Valley Car Show, from 10 am – 3 pm. The cars will be lining up early, so bring the whole family to enjoy. I know that my kids have always loved the event. As usual, there are all kinds of wonderful events around town: check out the Outside Inn blog post about the summer camp fair here. And the first annual Blue Marble Jubilee is happening at the fairgrounds from 2 pm – 7 pm, so you can stay busy all day.

If you do make it downtown, come try this Tanzanian on us with the code garden sun*. Find us on social media and let us know if you’ve started your garden with the tag @CarolinesCoffee. We’d love to hear. Enjoy your week!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Tanzanian Peaberry. Code expires on 5.11.17. 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: 21st April, 2017

Costa Rica White Honey Tarrazú

Sunday starts the final week of April, and thus the final week to join in our anniversary giveaway. You can enter by leaving a comment on our blog, here–and be sure to read the post to find out additional ways to win. We’re giving away coffee, mugs, t-shirts, gift cards and more: 35 years is worth celebrating. We celebrated last week with a family vacation. The kids were on their spring break, and we had a relaxing family trip to the beach. It was a good space for all of us to recharge.

Happy kids in the aquarium wave room

I think that the coolest thing we saw at the ocean was baby harbor seals nursing. I’m not sure that I’ve seen such small seal pups before, and they were darling. On the same hike, at Point Lobos, we also saw a raft of sea otters, twenty plus, floating and playing together. And everywhere we went on our trip the wildflowers were amazing. In honor of all this natural beauty, we have an Earth Day special tomorrow (4/22/17) of $1.00 off any drink if you bring in your own mug.

Our coffee for you this week is a white honey bean from the San Marcos Tarrazu region of Costa Rica. I wrote about honey coffees a few weeks ago here. I know the term “honey” can be confusing, and adding a color to it is just as misleading. To clarify, the honey process has become so refined that producers are using colors to describe how much of the mucilage has been left on the bean. In order from most to least, the terms black, red, yellow, and white are used. So a black honey will be the most like a natural process, and a white honey will be most like a washed process.

This coffee is a micro-lot from Finca El Llano, a farm owned by Oscar Solís and his sons Horacio and Alejandro. It’s located in San Marcos de Tarrazú, at around 6000 feet elevation. The Solís family have their own mill, so they are able to control the process of their coffee from seed to export. This leads to a high quality, high grown coffee, with a lot of care put into the final product. You taste this is your cup: it’s roasted light, and has a sweet melon or stone fruit flavor, with a lingering caramel finish.

You can try a cup on us this week with the code sweet honey*. And while northern California did pass into the history books this week with the wettest year on record (check out the Northern Sierra 8-station precipitation index here), we are supposed to have a sunny weekend. Enjoy!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Costa Rica White Honey Tarrazú. Code expires on 4.27.17. 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: 7th April, 2017

Guatemala Finca El Pilar

Today we’re back to our atmospheric river, or pineapple express: meaning that the rain is pouring down again. Apparently winter is not done with us yet. Earlier in the week we enjoyed sunshine and trees blossoming, and at our house the tulips have been greeting us with shining faces. We enjoyed watching Jack’s team play baseball on Tuesday night, and we have another game tonight, if it’s not rained out. Springtime baseball requires flexibility.

With the advent of April we are celebrating our 35th anniversary in business. We’d like to say thanks to all of you for keeping us in business. Over on our blog we have a giveaway going on, here, and we’d like to invite you to leave a comment for a chance to win. There are many great reasons for owning a small business, but not the least of them is the joy we have in being a place to connect with our community. We appreciate all of you. Do enter the giveaway–we’d love to be able to thank you with one of our prizes.

Tulips from our garden

This week we have a Guatemalan coffee for you. This bean comes from Finca El Pilar (The Pillar Farm) near Antigua. It is owned by Juan Carlos Chen, and was given to him by his father-in-law. Sr. Chen is committed to increasing the quality and quantity of the coffee they produce, and has been renovating and improving the estate for the last five years.

He also has a focus on conservation. Finca El Pilar has 225 acres of coffee, and 470 acres of preserved forest: a private nature reserve. They have opened part of the property for ecological hikes and bird watching–especially hummingbirds. You can see some pictures of the birds here. In addition, they have kept some coffee trees on the plantation which are over sixty years old. You can find a video of these tall old trees on their Facebook page here.

There is a great write up about Finca El Pilar and Juan Carlos Chen by a British and an Australian coffee company, here and here, respectively. It’s pretty amazing in this day of internet connectivity to be able to read multiple articles about the estate and owner of the beans used in your daily brew.

In the cup this is a beautiful washed bean, with sweet flavors of cream and vanilla, and a lingering caramel finish. The care taken in production shows in the final product. You can try a cup of this on us with the code tulips* this week. Stay safe in all of this wind and rain, and drink good coffee. I know that I will be drinking this Guatemalan this week. Enjoy!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Guatemala Finca El Pilar. Code expires on 4.13.17. 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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A Giveaway of Gratitude for 35 Years

Another Anniversary?  Indeed.

We can’t believe that it’s been thirty-five years since this lovely lady had a dream of running her own shop.  Here we are, all these years later, still going strong. 

We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for all of you wonderful people who support us.  I am certain that we have the best customers.  We appreciate each of you who come in here, whether once in a while or daily.  We appreciate those of you who order coffee from afar.  And we appreciate our many wholesale customers, who continue to believe in us and brew our coffee for your customers.

In gratitude for all that you do to keep us in business, we have a giveaway for you.  Leave a comment on this post telling us about your favorite Carolines Coffee memory, and at the end of the month we’ll draw winners from the comments.  Yes, plural.  Thirty-five years deserves more than one winner, don’t you think?

We’re giving away the following items: a Carolines mug, a Carolines sweatshirt, a Carolines t-shirt, Carolines coffee (multiple pounds), a Carolines gift package, and Carolines giftcards.  We want to share the love with all of you.  For an additional chance to win, like our Carolines Coffee Facebook page and share this giveaway with your friends, (via whatever social media platform you want: InstagramFacebookTwitterPinterest,), tag us, and then post a second comment on here telling us that you’ve shared.*

*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 May 1, 2017. Prize must be collected by May 15th, 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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Weekly Newsletter: 31st March, 2017

Papua New Guinea Kimel Estate Peaberry

Yesterday I got to do something that I have always wanted to do. I went with my daughter’s class on a hike through the Sutter Buttes with Middle Mountain Interpretative Hikes. As a Nevada County native, I am familiar with the Sutter Buttes, and I have observed them from a distance for many years. I have heard stories about them, and driven around them. It was truly fun to have the opportunity to hike through them.

A time of reflection looking out over the Central Valley

The Sutter Buttes are an anomaly: a volcanic mountain range right in the middle of the Central Valley. To the native Maidu they were a spiritual place, and today they are mostly private land, with cattle and sheep grazing throughout. It could not have been more idyllic and pastoral, on a sunny spring day, with newborn calves lowing for their mothers as we hiked. We saw pastures full of wildflowers: blowing purple and yellow in the wind. And oh my, the wind. It was incredibly strong yesterday, so that even I stumbled in a gust, and you can imagine that the kids were enjoying being blown around.

t was a lovely day spent outside, learning about California geology, geography, and history. Today it’s back to work, but I’m glad to see that it’s still sunny outside. It lifts my spirits to see that bright disk warming the newly open blossoms.

Today we have a new coffee from Papua New Guinea for you. If you remember the Organic Papua New Guinea Timuza that we featured a month ago, here, it was from the Eastern Highlands Province. This week we have a peaberry bean from the Kimel Estate, located in the Western Highlands Province. The plantation is 100% owned by indigenous people, and you can read a good article about it here.

The estate provides schooling for the children, and medical care for everyone. Their water comes fresh from the Kimel River, off the slopes of Mt. Hagen. They use it for the coffee processing, and recycle it back through the farm. They also recycle the coffee pulp by using it as fertilizer. The coffee is surrounded by shade trees: albizias and gravilleas.

We’ve roasted this light and in the cup it tastes of citrus trees, with light floral tones like a meyer lemon. It’s sweet and has a full finish of bittersweet chocolate. You can try a cup on us with the code dolphin* (my ten-year-old chose the code this week). April starts tomorrow, and with it our 35th anniversary month–and all kinds of local events. Be on the lookout for giveaways to celebrate our anniversary this month. Enjoy!

–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Papua New Guinea Kimel Estate Peaberry. Code expires on 4.06.17. 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: 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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128 S. Auburn St.
Grass Valley, CA 95945

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Monday-Friday: 6am-5:30pm,
Saturday-Sunday: 7am-5:30pm

Thursdays for
Market in the Summer: 6am-9pm
Fridays for
Cornish Christmas: 6am-9pm