roasters

  • Roaster Feature: Huckleberry Roasters

    It’s your classic coffee shop success story: Local barista meets customer. Customer becomes a regular. Barista and regular bond over a love for records and beer, becoming good friends. Friends experiment with roasting coffee in their garage. That coffee gives way to Huckleberry Roasters – Denver based coffee roaster and café producing some of Seattle Coffee Gear’s favorite coffee.

    Huckleberry Roasters is the byproduct of entrepreneurs Koan Goedman and Mark Mann’s friendship that developed over a shared passion for community centric business practices and specialty coffee. Shown in their transparent relationship with their farmers, their ever growing staff of excited coffee professionals, and their dedicated following of customers expanding far beyond the Mile High City area – it’s clear that Huckleberry Roasters is doing something incredibly special.

    Huckleberry Roasters Pecos Street location. Image Credit: Ross Evertson

     

     

    We caught up with co-founder Koan Goedman to hear a little bit about his personal journey in coffee, how Huckleberry Roasters came to be and where they’re going next, and his favorite home brew method.

    Huckleberry Roasters co-founders Koan Goedman (left) & Mark Mann (right). Image Credit: Kathleen Moloney Huckleberry Roasters co-founders Koan Goedman (left) & Mark Mann (right). Image Credit: Kathleen Moloney
    It seems like every coffee enthusiast has a journey where really good coffee finally clicks for them. When was that aha moment for you?

    Can I claim two "aha" moments or is that a huge cop-out? The first, which happened as a consumer, I remember quite vividly. It was a natural Ethiopia Harrar from Intelligentsia brewed on a Fetco in 2002. To be totally honest, I didn't seek it out and I didn't really know what to do with the coffee when I tasted it -- it was so radically different from what I thought coffee was. It was delicious and I wanted more! Fast forward most of a decade, the second a-ha moment came very early on in Huckleberry's existence. We'd just roasted a coffee from Guatemala, called Finca La Bolsa. Joe Marrocco from Cafe Imports suggested it and who was I to argue? It was one of the first coffees that we roasted and was legit tasty! We roasted it well, we sort of knew why & how we roasted it well. It was a milestone for a tiny coffee roasting company and it propelled us forward!

    Image Credit: Kathleen Moloney Image Credit: Kathleen Moloney
    It’s one thing to go from simply enjoying coffee to stepping into the specialty coffee industry. What made you decide to take this venture on? What was the goal?

    I wish this story was a bit more romantic, but here's the truth: it could have been anything! Mark Mann and I shared in an entrepreneurial spirit and wanted to own a business together...and coffee is what we did, what we knew and what we were interested in. Had we been heavier/savvier drinkers, maybe it would've been a neighborhood bar (I own one of those now, so what does that say about me?). Had we been makers and better with our hands, maybe it would've been a leather goods company? We knew coffee, we had an amazingly supportive community through coffee and our decision was basically made for us. The path forward seemed clear(ish).

    Like most businesses, our mission statement is a living thing. It changes from time to time. Our focus gets shaped and shifted as our experience teaches us what works. However, from day one, we've always wanted Huckleberry Roasters to mean something, stand for something and leave a mark. This certainly manifests itself in our coffee philosophy, where we try to be approachable and welcoming in the coffee we source, roast, brew and serve. That foundational goal also pushes us to be generous in our fundraising and support of organizations doing important work, while also pushing ourselves forward towards a healthy, thriving and fun company culture for our family of employees.

    The roasting process. Image Credit: Kathleen Moloney
    What is your favorite coffee that you currently are roasting?

    Like picking a favorite child. This is cruel! I've been on a pretty big South & Central American coffee kick lately. We just roasted the last of some of our Colombian coffees, but we have a stunner from Costa Rica, called Santa Maria, that's just the bee’s knees and the cat’s pajamas. It's so good! Comforting in all the right ways with deep sweetness and fantastic body, but also with some grape and candied orange fruitiness that keeps your attention. It also happens to be one of the kinds of coffees that Huckleberry prides itself in! We're really proud of the cooperative (CoopeDota) it comes from and being able to help Costa Rica continue to be a global leader in sustainable coffee growing. It's maybe not the wild & crazy flavor profile you may get from a Kenya, but it's super drinkable and enjoyable. It's the kind of coffee that I think specialty coffee needs to truly embrace if we're going to keep growing.

    Image Credit: Kathleen Moloney Image Credit: Kathleen Moloney
    What is your favorite way to brew at home?

    Siphon. Ha ha. False - I'm not a psycho. Honestly, the go to is the Bonavita Auto Brewer. It's easy, it's consistent, it's fast, it makes good coffee and it allows me to spend my little free time with my family.

    Outside of Huckleberry, are there any other roasters your excited about?

    Most def! I (and Huckleberry on the whole) have a pretty big crush on the lovelies over at Cat & Cloud. Just a bunch of superheroes over there that are hitting all the marks right now! Plus, I used to go to Capitola Beach when I was growing up, so I have a soft spot for that city. I continue to always be in total awe of Counter Culture. (Do I just have a thing for roasters with the letter C?) Counter Culture keeps growing and does so with such smoothness and ease that it's almost irritating. If only they weren't so dang nice! We get to send them coffee from time to time and their roasters give us the best, no bulls*** constructive criticism we hear.

    Image Credit: Kathleen Moloney Image Credit: Kathleen Moloney
    Image Credit: Koan Goedman Image Credit: Kathleen Moloney
    Image Credit: Kathleen Moloney Image Credit: Kathleen Moloney
    Community is clearly at the core of Huckleberry. How did that become so central to the ethos of what you guys are doing?

    I think I hinted at this a little bit in an earlier response, but...we would be nothing without the love and support of our friends & families. They said our coffee tastes good when it didn't, and encouraged us to push onward. They said our coffee tasted bad when we thought we were masters, and still encouraged us to push forward. We embraced all that love and wanted to be sure that we passed it forward ourselves - be it in the communities of our cafes, be it in being helpful to other coffee companies, so on and so on. Sadly, I think the word community has become somewhat meaningless over the last few years. It's such a trendy word to throw around that it's stopped being meaningful in a lot of ways. We do our best to push back against that tide as much as we can!

    The friends behind Huckleberry. Image Credit: Kathleen Moloney The friends behind Huckleberry. Image Credit: Kathleen Moloney
    Anything else we should know about what you guys are doing at Huckleberry?

    Oh, yea! Mark and I just signed our names on a lease to a new cafe! It's going to be super, duper mega radical! We'll be located in the activated lobby of The Maven Hotel in downtown Denver, as the anchor tenant to the Dairy Block development. It's a pretty expansive space, so we're going to be doing some fun stuff like a walk-up style service window on the sidewalk, in addition to the full-service counter inside. We'll be doing some exciting and snazzy food & drink things, as well as using the larger footprint to offer programming and educational workshops. Plenty to be worked out still, but sometime before the end of the year we'll be doling out LOTS of high fives!

    Huckleberry Roasters is currently Seattle Coffee Gear's featured roaster, and we're proud to include a bag of their coffee with every order on Rocket espresso machines. Purchase a bag here.

    To learn more about Huckleberry Roasters, visit their website at huckleberryroasters.com.

    Image Credit: Koan Goedman Image Credit: Koan Goedman
  • Supersonic Coffee Rebranded To AKA Coffee

    Supersonic Coffee, one of the roasters carried by Seattle Coffee Gear, released a statement this week that they'll be changing their name due to a trademark infringement.

    Goodbye, Supersonic Coffee. Hello, AKA Coffee!

    Starting October 24, 2016, Seattle Coffee Gear will be ordering Supersonic Coffee under the new name, AKA Coffee. It’s the same great coffee, with a new face!

    In the statement, John Laird, the Managing Director of AKA Coffee, said; “We are excited to explore the new opportunities that AKA Coffee represents. The AKA name is playful, personal, and embraces the moments when we enjoy a cup of coffee, whether it is a quick break or a meditative pause. Call it what you will, to us, it is AKA Coffee.”

    The trademark claim came from Sonic, the hamburger chain, and lead the roaster to change its name to avoid further legal issues. Sonic claimed there could be potential confusion between the chain and specialty coffee roaster. The roaster recognized the financial impact of disputing a $4+ billion company and instead used the opportunity to rebrand.

    It’s difficult for us to see small companies, especially a specialty coffee roaster we love, undergo involuntary changes. That said, Seattle Coffee Gear is excited to welcome AKA Coffee and continue forward with them on their new journey.

    For more information, read Supersonic Coffee's statement here.

    Follow AKA Coffee on Twitter and Instagram @enjoy_aka

  • SCG's Coffee Subscriptions—Fresh Beans To Your Door

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    Your Coffee. Your Schedule.

    Gone are the days of stale beans, empty cups and last minute coffee runs. Say hello to the new way to make coffee you love at home—SCG Subscriptions!

    We launched SCG Subscriptions to bring you specialty roasted coffee delivered straight to your door. Choose from some of our favorite roasters and set your mailing frequency to fit your coffee consumption. With guaranteed freshness on your schedule and 5% savings on every order, the hardest decision you'll make is picking your coffee.

    What Coffees Are Subscribable?

    Most of our coffees offered year-round and some seasonal selections are available for SCG's coffee subscriptions. Every eligible coffee will offer a red subscription button before checkout. Generally, coffees like single origins that are roasted for a short time will not be available for subscription—unless you sign up for Join The Club! Select the single origin option and the SCG Crew will pick three single origins to receive our latest favorites!

    Bonus: We offer subscriptions on teas, syrups and cleaning supplies too!

    How Fresh Are The Beans?

    We adhere to the roaster’s freshness policy for our beans. Each roaster sets their freshness date and your order will adhere to their guidelines. If you ever have a concern with your order, we’re happy to help!

    What's The Delivery Schedule?

    The frequency we offer is weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or bi-monthly. You can set your first order to take place anytime from checkout or in the future. You can expect to receive your order from then on—with the exception of delays made by the courier, weather or other circumstances beyond our control.

    How To Sign Up

    Step 1. Get Started Here

    Start at the seattlecoffeegear.com/subscriptions page to discover what coffee subscription is right for you!

    What's The Difference Between One Or Two Bags?

    When you subscribe to two bags of coffee, we offer free shipping and the option to mix or match coffees!

    What Is Join the Club?

    Glad you asked! SCG will pick three coffees for each of the three clubs offered. The clubs are Espresso, Coffee and Single Origin. We've curated this ever-changing selection for different brew methods and will choose coffees we think will shine the brightest in each brew! Joining one of the clubs is perfect for anyone looking to expand their coffee palate.

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     Step 2. Shop By Taste, SCG Picks or Clubs

    Click on Get Started and you’ll be directed to our coffee. You can browse through coffees based on their flavor profiles, specialities, staff picks or choose to Join the Club.

    Screen Shot 2016-09-16 at 11.03.10 AM (2)

    Step 3. Choose Your Coffee

    Found some coffee you like? Awesome! On coffees that are available for SCG's coffee subscription, under the “Add to Cart” button is the “Subscribe” button. Click on “Subscribe” and the website will prompt you to log in to your SCG Account.

    Screen Shot 2016-09-16 at 11.04.49 AM (2)

    Step 4. Schedule Your Coffee

    Log in or create your Seattle Coffee Gear account and fill out the subscription information. In your account, you will be able to:

    • Adjust frequency between every week, two weeks, a month or two months for delivery
    • Set the start date for your first order
    • Address who’s receiving the delivery
    • Change your address when you move
    • Add, change or cancel your order at any time!

    Make Coffee You Love

    That’s all there is to it! Put the pep back in your morning routine and brew yourself another pot of coffee. With SCG's coffee subscriptions, you can have coffee, tea, syrups and cleaning supplies mailed to your door on your schedule. Sign up for SCG Subscriptions to receive freshly roasted coffee from our curated selection of roasters.

  • The Story Of Persephone: Intelligentsia Coffee Persephone Blend

    Persephone was a beautiful young lady cherished by her mother, the Goddess of Harvest, Demeter. Demeter presided over the fertility of the earth and brought the cycle of life and death to the harvest. With Persephone by her side, the flowers bloomed. Soon, though, the earth would grow barren.

    Intell_Persephone_Flowers

    You may be thinking this is only a tale of our dear Persephone. Our friends at Intelligentsia Coffee used this fateful tale as a foundation to demonstrate their commitment to producing coffee from a seasonal perspective. Seattle Coffee Gear is proud to provide our customer’s with Intelligentsia Coffee Persephone Blend and share the story that inspired the name. 

    One day, Persephone and her companions were picking flowers in a field, when Hades, ruler of the Underworld, caught a glimpse of Persephone and yearned to make her his. Hades sought help from his brother Zeus, who was also the father to Persephone, and revealed his love for her. Together, they plotted a plan to steal Persephone and bring her to the Underworld.

    While still frolicking through the field, Persephone was enchanted by a lone daffodil. Little did she know, the flower was the trap set by Hades and his brother to capture poor Persephone. When she reached her delicate hand towards the flower, Hades cracked open the earth and spirited her away to the Underworld. When Demeter discovered her daughter was missing, the earth wilted under her vengeful spite.

    Persephone was as distraught as her mother. She refused to eat a single bite—she knew that if she consumed food from the Underworld, she would be trapped there forever. Hades, undeterred, tempted her with food and elaborate decorations until eventually his offerings persuaded Persephone and she ate pomegranate seeds from the Underworld.

    Above, the land still laid to waste, Demeter was determined to get her daughter back—no matter if Persephone consumed food from the Underworld. Hades refused since he had made Persephone his, but struck a deal to allow her to leave every six months of the year to visit Demeter. For the other six months, she would be Queen of the Underworld and rule with Hades.

    That is why with each spring, Demeter wills the flowers to bloom with the arrival of her beloved Persephone from the Underworld. And when Persephone must fulfill the bargain and return, Demeter lets the crops wilt until she sees her daughter again.

    The story of Persephone illustrates the seasonal cycle of coffee. During the spring, the coffee plant flowers and then summer ripens the cherries until they are ready to be harvested in winter. Intelligentsia Coffee's Persephone Blend correlates with the growing season with their Direct Trade partners in the Southern Hemisphere. Persephone is composed of coffees from Bolivia, Brazil, and Zambia, where their most fruitful harvest during June through September.

    Persephone’s blend carries notes of pomegranate—to honor Persephone, of course—and orange marmalade that finishes with a light bite of champagne. The balance of sweetness and acidity complements the contrast of Persephone’s story if you ask us. For as long as Persephone can stay with us, Seattle Coffee Gear will carry Intelligentsia Coffee’s Persephone Blend.

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