I spend a fair amount of time explaining where we live and, how isolated our little town of West Yellowstone, Montana is from the rest of the world. We spend our days roasting, shipping and serving coffees, two blocks from Yellowstone National Park. Once a week we regardless of weather (for the most part) we make the trip from West Yellowstone, to Big Sky and on to Bozeman to deliver our coffees and stock up on supplies for home and business. Ninety miles each way, this trip brings us through a portion of Yellowstone and is a weekly reminder of just how special it is to live and do business in Montana.
Thanks to Zeno Pontiggia for taking this footage. For us at Morning Glory, this is our weekly trip.
The most important goal for Morning Glory Coffee is getting our coffees into the hands (and cups) of new consumers. Our experience over the last ten years has taught us that once a customer has tried our coffees, they come back for more. But before people purchase online, a relationship and trust must be built; only then can loyalty set in.
Social media and online networks have become a core part of maintaining and growing our coffee roasting business during the last six years. Platforms such as Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter have allowed us to build trust and loyalty, while consistently communicating and building relationships with current and potential customers.
As social media has evolved, algorithms have become more complicated and noise has increased. Reaching out and building relationships has become more challenging. We have to find new ways to bring the human aspect of social media back into the fold if we are truly going to gain new friends and customers.
We have always used social media to share our experience of creating products, operating a business in a rural community and, living on the edge of Yellowstone in West Yellowstone, Montana. Our coffees complete that experience. We have been fortunate to meet many of our friends and customers when they unplug from the internet and visit Yellowstone Country. Now we have an opportunity to reach out, visit and bring the conversation to a new audience.
As we move into the 2016, we will be utilizing a new social media platform to communicate. www.Blab.im is a place where anyone can join in on conversations, as well as create their own broadcasts. These broadcasts allow anyone to participate, from anywhere in the world. Watch for and join our Blab Broadcasts during 2016. We hope to meet you there. Great coffee stimulates great conversations!
Great coffee makes for great conversation! Grab a friend and join me Sunday at 5:00pm for a chat about coffee, business and living in Montana. Brought to you by Morning Glory Coffee & Tea, Inc.
Specialty coffee blending is the art of combining coffees to create a flavor profile that is consistent and balanced in the cup. Different blends are used for different qualities. Lighter body blends work well for traditional breakfasts accenting the oils in bacon and eggs creating a fuller body. Medium body blends can be great all day as all around sipping coffees. Fuller body and darker roasted blends work well after dinner with desserts (especially chocolate). One of the most important of the blends Morning Glory creates is our espresso blend. Although there has been a movement in recent years to utilize single origins in espresso brewing, it is still the "blend" that brings balance to the cup when brewed by this method. Espresso blends are typically three or more coffees from a variety of origins and sometimes a variety of roast degrees. The basic idea is to create a balance of flavors that will shine through the espresso brewing process. The coffee is brewed quickly under pressure, highlighting the strongest character of each coffee in the blend. Northern Italian style tends to be lighter in roast character and Southern Italian style is darker with more roasty notes. The important thing to understand when choosing a blend is that there is virtually no standard recipe for degree of roast, ratio, or coffee type from roaster to roaster. It truly is the abilities, experience and palate of the person creating the blends that make a blend good or not so good.
The art of blending in Specialty coffee allows the customer to experience well balanced coffees that are tailored to specific meals or time of day. On the other hand, commercial coffee blending is used to create consistency while maintaining cost and margins, regardless of overall quality. There is also a third form of blending coffees that all consumers should be wary of. Many roasters, big and small fall into the trap of blending high profile coffees in order to use an origin name. We have all seen coffees labeled "Kona Blend", "Kona Style", "Jamaican Blend" or "Jamaican Style". These products do not represent the coffees they are advertising. In the case of "blends," the actual ratio of the named coffee is often very low creating a product that in no way resembles the origin or its characteristics. In fact, there are laws in Japan that prohibit such blends or place minimums on how much of the named coffee is actually in the blend. The Coffee industry in Hawaii continue to struggle with truth in labeling laws concerning the percentage of Kona District and other Hawaiian coffees present in blends. the Hawaiian Coffee Association and other Hawaiian Island farmers continue work on this issue however, the consumer must always check the label carefully if they are expecting 100% Hawaiian coffee.
If a brand uses the term "style" on its label it is a guarantee that there is absolutely none of the named coffee in the bag. These coffees are created to mimic an origin such as Jamaican Blue Mountain (Blue Mountain Style) and capitalize on the name to market the product. The product may palatable but this type of marketing scheme dilutes the authenticity of the named origin and in no way represents the actual quality and value of the named coffee.
In closing, be sure to enjoy your local roasters signature blends for what they are; handcrafted, well balanced coffees that marry the best attributes of the origins they are working with. Avoid commercial blends that are maintaining costs over quality and avoid any coffees that mislabel or use an origin as a marketing ploy.
The truth is in the cup.
Many of us have become accustomed to ordering our "double, non-fat, caramel, vanilla latte's" at our local coffee shops or possibly we are making specialty espresso drinks at home. It has become part of our culture, language and every day pattern, expanding the definition of specialty coffee and coffee in general. We have seen enormous growth of independent coffee houses and coffee roasters as well as new and improved products from the large commercial coffee companies that have joined in on the trend of better quality and diversified coffee products. High quality Coffee has never been more popular in the United States and around the world, but what is it that started this phenomena? In 1822, the first espresso machine was made in France. In 1933, Dr. Ernest Illy invented the first automatic espresso machine. However, the modern-day espresso machine was created by Italian Achilles Gaggia in 1946. Gaggia invented a high pressure espresso machine by using a spring powered lever system. The first pump driven espresso machine was produced in 1960 by the Faema Company. Both the spring powered lever machine and the pump driven machines are still in use today. These machines offer a fast way to brew coffee or "Espresso" which means fast in Italian. This fast method produces a small concentrated beverage that, because of its strength, was married with milk. The milk is heated with excess steam from the machines boiler. When added to the espresso in varied amounts it adds to the beverage without cooling the coffee. The result of the espresso method of brewing is what we of course call espresso.
Espresso is from 1 to 1 1/2 ounces of dark, heavy-bodied, bitter-sweet coffee topped with a reddish-brown mantle of crema. This crema is actually the emulsified coffee oils, which are forced out under high pressure (8-10 bar) generated by commercial and high-quality home espresso machines. These oils normally don't mix with water as coffee does, and this emulsification under pressure is what distinguishes espresso from strong coffee. In the espresso extraction process, water-soluble substances are dissolved from the ground coffee, the same as in regular coffee brewing. The extraction of espresso transforms the properties of the bean in terms of its mouth feel, density, viscosity, aroma and taste.
The more finely the coffee is ground, the slower the espresso comes out. Generally, for the best shot of espresso, it should take about 25 to 30 seconds for the water to pass through the coffee. It is important not to over-extract. The consistency of the grind is adjusted to control the brewing time based on humidity and barometric pressure. Those of us that bake will know that the weather can play a key roll in how the ingredients interact with each other and espresso is a great example of this.
There certainly is a big difference between a good espresso and a not-so-good one. How much we spend in terms of money or energy in seeking out the best bean is one of those lifestyle choices we all make for ourselves or our business. Espresso is the foundation of cappuccino and café latte. A good espresso is less obvious under a head of frothed milk, but the quality of the espresso underneath is still the most important factor.
There is an infinite amount of espresso blends and roasts on the market and with the advent of organizations such as the Specialty Coffee Association of America, The Roasters Guild of America and the Baristas Guild of America we have seen many innovations and variations on the basic theme. It is common to see a variety of espresso blends, signature drinks, roast styles, preparations and latte' art all in one retailer. This new awareness has raised espresso and origin coffees to new heights in our culture. It is the basic standard however that creates a consistency of quality.
In conclusion, it will always be our own taste that counts the most, but basic standards must be met to create a quality beverage. From a single shot of espresso to the specialty café latte or cappuccino with a beautiful rosette of latte art... The truth will always be in the cup.
Christmas time is high on our list as favorite times of year at Morning Glory Coffee. We are busy roasting and packaging some of your favorite blends today, to be sent to customers nationwide. Check out our offerings in the online store. We are ready to roast, package and ship your favorite coffee, for you to enjoy this Christmas Season.
Obsidian Blend is a complex and smooth blend of four different origins. South American, Central American, Indonesian and East African coffees. Many of our customers prefer to brew this blend by French Press method.
Rendezvous Blend is our darkest roast, bringing together three origins for a unmistakable bold note. South American, Central American and Indonesian coffees create solid mouth feel and a smooth finish.
Back to the grind!