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by Keith Tomlinson, Peace Coffee Head Roaster

Ready or not here it comes! The morning of daylight savings time, I found myself absentmindedly sitting in front of The Wedge Co-op, an hour earlier than they were scheduled to open, enjoying the brilliant sunlight. But that afternoon I was quickly disillusioned when, around 3:30 pm, the sun was hanging in the sky around thirty degrees away from the horizon, mere minutes away from setting.

I love the winter. I love the quiet and the calm that the snow brings. I love the clothes I get to wear. I love that I never have to worry about overheating like I do in the summer. I love the smell of squash cooking in my oven and dinner of soup paired with butter melting on freshly baked bread. And I love the warm beverages, which of course means coffee.

Coffee excites me all year long, but it is no secret that coffee consumption drastically increases as the cold sets in, both my own and the general public. Peace Coffee recently started brewing larger quantities of coffee, enough for two cups each, in the morning to help warm us up from our chillier bike commute to work. So, for my enjoyment, and certainly and more importantly, for your enjoyment, we have two new coffees that we are offering specifically to help battle the cold.

The first new offering is a blend, the Snowshoe Brew, and the other is a single origin from East Timor. Both offer incredible sweetness and spices, and all the other deep and rich tones that one associates with warm kitchens and slow-cooked meals.

The Snowshoe Brew is the first new blend we've made in a long time. It was a blast to make. We were able to take some of the coffees that we already use on a daily basis and look at them under a new light. We roasted almost all of our Central and South American coffees in new ways. Those were all cupped individually to assess cup characteristics and then the blending began. With season in mind, we leaned toward the robust, sweet and spicy flavors. The two coffees that leaped out were the Mexican and the Dominican Republic. The Mexican appears twice in the blend under different roast profiles, while the Dominican appears in a different guise than the last time we showcased it with a longer, espresso-style roast. All three roasts appear only in this blend, making it a truly unique experience for the consumer!

The East Timor is a coffee that I've wanted to get in the warehouse since the beginning of my time roasting. My only experience with coffees from Asia up to this point has been with Sumatra, so I was particularly excited to try something different. It is typical of island coffees in that it is well-rounded and soft, has a nice sweet flavor and a singular robustness to it that makes it pair wonderfully with milk. Derek did a lot of testing with the roast and came to a very delicate roast profile for small batches of this coffee. The East Timor takes a lot of care to roast, but when done correctly gives a great reward. There is a limited supply of this coffee so when it's gone, it's gone!

When I think of the cold days coming and the quiet snow-filled mornings ahead, I get excited about both of these new coffees and will find myself drinking both often. The Snowshoe Brew will make a perfect dessert coffee after a big meal spent with friends & family. A little bit of whole milk in the East Timor, alone on the sofa reading a book or the paper sounds like a brilliant way to spend a weekend morning. Two of my absolutely favorite ways to spend time in the winter!

Cheers,
Keith



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