Field Trip : Coffee Expo

by Kyle Simmons

The Specialty Coffee Association holds an expo annually to allow coffee professionals and enthusiasts to get together, learn from each other, see new products, and drink lots of coffee. This year, the expo was held in Seattle, so Kevin and I got on a plane bound for America's coffee Mecca. 

One of my specific goals for this trip was to get an idea of how other coffee companies are conducting their education programs. Noble Coyote began offering public cuppings and brew classes in January of 2017. Our class sizes have grown from 3-5 people to over 20 in the past year. I wanted to learn how to grow our education program by attending lectures given by some experienced coffee educators. Jennifer Haare and Amy Moore of Ipsento Coffee in Chicago gave an excellent lecture about making coffee education engaging and fun. I also attended a panel discussion about mentorship within the coffee industry. The panel discussed the impact mentorship can have on baristas' careers. I look forward to applying what I learned in these lectures to the education program at Noble Coyote. I think everyone will be excited to see us continue offering fun, accessible, and interesting classes.

Of course no coffee trip would be complete without visiting some local shops. In Seattle, it's hard to not get coffee. We did see the Starbucks Reserve roastery, and I have to say that it is a monument to coffee. It's a really cool place that seems to be packed with tourists every hour it's open. Right down the street is Victrola Coffee where I got an impeccable cappuccino: the foam was like marshmallow fluff yet somehow not too dry? It reminded me I need to practice my steaming skills. At a shop called Ghost Note, owner Christos is pulling some amazing shots from roasters across the country. Ghost Note only offers espresso – no pour overs or drip – and it is done very well. Before we left Seattle, we had to hit up Anchorhead. I got really caffeinated before our flight with a delicious shot of Yirgacheffe natural followed by a pretty fruit forward Guatemalan pour over. 

Overall, it was a fun trip full of learning and good coffee. It's my hope that all of you can reap the benefits of our growth. If you're going to Seattle and need a coffee recommendation, be sure to ask us!

Food & Wine Magazine Names Noble Coyote Top Coffee in Texas

by Steve Dickerson

Food & Wine Magazine announced their choices for the top coffee in each state and Noble Coyote earned the top spot in Texas!

”The Big D is just full of surprises, lately, one of them being a preponderance of local roasters gaining considerable national attention for their efforts. One of the most exciting is this micro-op hiding in plain sight at the foot of the historic Fair Park Esplanade; a drop-in lab with a limited menu also hosts scheduled public cuppings.”
— Food & Wine Magazine

Learning about their selection process for this great honor is an interesting read.

Texas’ culinary reputation is beginning to expand beyond it's great barbecue. The article also mentions roasters from around the state such as Palace, Evocation, Silver Grizzly Espresso,  Merit / Local, and Reserva.

On the subject of barbecue and coffee, we think it's great they chose the pic of Kevin with Aaron Franklin at the roastery to represent NCCR in the article.


Ethiopia Guji Natural wins Good Food Award

by Marta Sprague

Yoohoo! We are still pinching ourselves! 

We are one of 15 coffee roasters that won the national 2018 Good Food Awards! Our winning single origin is the Ethiopia Guji, Natural Process from Kayon Mountain Farm. This coffee was chosen out of 2000+ entries that the GFA judges received. We knew we loved our Ethiopia Guji, but … wow, to say we are honored is an understatement. 

What are the Good Food Awards and how do they choose the winners of the coffee category, you ask?  

From their website :

The winners of the Good Food Award for coffee will be distinguished by exemplary flavor – sweet, clean, well developed body, balanced acidity and phenomenal aromatics. To qualify for entry, roasters and coffee farmers must emphasize fairness and transparency from seed to cup. Acknowledging the difficulties of verifying farm-level sustainability efforts across continents, the Good Food Foundation again turns to third-party certification bodies for assistance in identifying beans eligible for consideration.

This meant a trip to San Francisco for Kevin and me to attend the ceremony at the Herbst Theatre on Jan. 18. The awards were presented by Alice Waters and Madhur Jaffrey (I have both Alice’s and Madhur's cookbooks, so I was extra stoked). The program was a celebration of quality and sustainability in food and beverage production. Several winners gave inspiring speeches about their personal histories and business philosophies. The after-party was held at Airbnb’s modern and eclectic headquarters where a delicious spread of winning products consisting of charcuterie, cheeses, chocolates, fish, honeys, elixirs, beers, coffees (including our Ethiopia Guji!) and more were served. It was a delicious cornucopia of the nation’s top producers and their winning products. Needless to say we ended the evening with our stomachs and our hearts feeling full.  Kevin enjoyed meeting other coffee roasters at the event, including the roasters at Blueprint Coffee and JBC Coffee Roasters, by whom he was seated. Here’s a shout out to two other Texas companies that won: Strange Land Brewery and Lox, Box, and Barrel, Celtic Seafare.

An interesting item of note regarding the awards … all 15 winning coffees were from Ethiopia. As Ed Alagozian, of Pachamama Coffee Cooperative  so accurately stated, “The real winners of the Good Food Awards are the coffee farmers in Ethiopia."

Of course, while in San Francisco you partake of all of the food and coffee! Some favorite stops this trip were Andytown Coffee RoastersSightless CoffeeRitual Coffee RoastersContraband Coffee  Flywheel Coffee RoastersForeign CinemaPlowLa CicciaYuzukiRoyal Cuckoo, the Japanese Tea Garden and a beautiful afternoon exploring Golden Gate Park

We are still riding on a mental high from the award and what it means to us. As a company that puts an emphasis on how we can continually strive to do better locally as community members and globally with our sourcing decisions, the acknowledgement is both an honor and a validation. We look forward to giving it another shot next year!