Here we are with another Coffee 101 post! Our subject today is espresso.
You may have scrolled past our espresso blends in the past, on the hunt for the newest single origin to try. We don’t blame you, we also search out the best in limited edition and micro lot single origins. But while we love these excellent coffees, this post is about something different. We want to tell you why we love espresso blends, brewed at home without the use of an espresso machine.
What is a Coffee Blend?
Need a quick overview on the coffee blend? It’s simple: two or more origins, mixed together. Creating a coffee blend is an art form. You have to understand and appreciate the nuances in different coffees, and bring the flavors together to be transformed into a more complex cup of coffee. With 46 years of history sourcing coffee from all over the planet, we have a unique relationship with the coffees arriving at our roastery, and can create some truly spectacular blends with the coffees we receive.
One thing that’s special about a blend is the subtle shifts in flavor that we create to maintain freshness. We regularly modify the recipes for our blends, adding in our latest arrivals of coffee, while keeping a consistent flavor profile.
Now let’s talk espresso. What makes an espresso blend different from any other coffee blend?
Our four espresso blends have certain characteristics: softened acidity, a smooth experience throughout the cup, and a heavy body with a really spectacular aftertaste. These traits are specifically built into the blend for the purpose of pulling a superb espresso shot, but using our espresso blends in your home brewer also makes an equally excellent cup of coffee.
One of our favorite things to do at Thanksgiving Coffee, is to encourage you to try new things. The world of coffee is vast, and there is no way any one person would be able to try all the amazing coffees out there. What we do have is the opportunity to experience and taste more than ever before as our world becomes better connected, and we love bringing these alternative coffee options to you.
Every sip of coffee is a new experience, and we are honored to be a part of your coffee rituals.
Thanksgiving Coffee Company 2017 Roaster of the Year Not Just A Cup, But A Just Cup
A mile south of the town of Point Arena, a beautiful new addition to the California Coastal trail has been created at the 70 acre Pelican Bluffs Preserve. Owned and maintained by the Mendocino Land Trust, this epic landscape is free and open for the public to enjoy. Because the Land Trust is not funded by taxes like other parks, the work and energy it takes to maintain open spaces is a burden carried by community members, whether through monetary donations or ‘sweat equity’. Over the past year, volunteers from near and far, in addition to service organizations like the California Conservation Corps, have all come together to build over two miles of trail along this breathtaking blufftop.
From the parking lot, the newly completed loop trail leads visitors up through a coastal prairie that climbs to a crested hill. At the top, the wide expanse of Pelican Bluffs is revealed. Wildflowers speckle the bluff top, while dramatic white cliffs drop away to the rocky beach below. The sound of the waves tumbling over the shore and the smell of the ocean breeze is a feast for all senses. Continue to follow the trail along the coast and you might see seals resting on the beach and whales spouting in the distance, while an osprey soars overhead. Home to Peregrine falcons and the endangered Point Arena Mountain Beaver, Pelican Bluffs is a beautiful place for people and wildlife in equal measure.
This National Trails Day, spend some time helping to take care of the trails and the wild places you love. It’s time well spent, and always worth the effort.
Mendocino Land Trust and Thanksgiving Coffee Company
Thanksgiving Coffee and the Mendocino Land Trust have collaborated to create Fog Dodger, a Cause Coffee benefiting the MLT and their efforts building trails all over our county.
Last week we had the incredible opportunity to connect with a group of people that are making a huge difference in the Bay Area community. This was the B Corp Leadership Development Conference, a gathering of like-minded people that are actively using their businesses as a force for good right here in the Northern California community. As a certified B Corp (with a rating of 108!), we were invited to attend and serve our coffee.
BLD Conference for B Corporations
The conference was just a one day event, but it was packed with all the important things: great speakers, inspiring discussions, open dialogue and a LOT of coffee. With just under two hundred attendees from B Corps scattered across North and Central California, there was an unlimited amount of inspiration and insight to be gained all around.
From keynote presentations to intimate discussions, the BLD Bay Area event did not disappoint in quantity and quality. We kept everyone caffeinated, and everyone kept us inspired. At the end of the day as we parted ways with our new friends and collaborators, we all had nothing but wonderful things to say about the people we’d met and the time we’d spent.
Thank you to the B Lab, and all the amazing volunteers that made this event happen! We were honored to play a part over the day, and we can’t wait until the next time this inspiring group of people gets together again.
Be sure to visit www.blocalbayarea.com to learn more about this awesome group, and support our local Northern California B Corporations!
Thanksgiving Coffee Company 2017 Roaster of the Year Not Just A Cup, But A Just Cup
May 18 was Endangered Species Day. Over 16,000 species of plants and animals are endangered, and threatened with extinction. While extinction is a natural part of our world’s process, the rate at which animals and plants are disappearing from our ecosystem is alarming.
Thanksgiving Coffee has partnered with animal and environmental conservation groups all over the world to combat extinction. We believe in preserving the entities that make our world vibrant and whole. We want to make sure that future generations have the same opportunity to live among the creatures that we have.
Just this year, our planet lost the very last male Northern White Rhino. Sudan was 45 years old, and living at a conservancy in Kenya. This devastating loss was inevitable, after Northern White Rhinos had been maliciously poached for years. Even just sixty years ago, there were several thousand Northern White Rhinos. Today there are just two females left, at the Ol Pejeta Wildlife Conservancy.
Below is a picture from Baby Rhino Rescue, one of our Cause Coffee partners who is raising money for orphaned rhino conservation groups in Africa.
The majestic wolves of North America may soon see a similar story unfold. Less than a decade ago, Congress stripped gray wolves of their protections. Wolves went straight from protected (under the Endangered Species Act) to being hunted in a single day, and their populations have plummeted in the years since.
Below is a photo from Defenders of Wildlife, one of our Cause Coffee partners that is protecting the rights of wild animals through legislation.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the largest ape in the world is critically endangered, with few of its kind in captivity. If we were to see a large decline in these Grauer’s Gorillas numbers, there is a possibility that this animal could be lost to us forever. Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda are also critically endangered, but thanks to the conservation efforts of programs like the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, we are seeing their numbers rise instead of fall. With the DFGFI’s expansion into Congolese mountains, we hope to see the same happen for the Grauer’s Gorillas populations.
Perhaps the most terrifying addition to the Endangered Species list in recent years is the Rusty Patched Bumblebee. When Northern White Rhinos disappear and Grauer’s Gorillas numbers drop, it’s easier for humanity to turn a blind eye. When our food supply is endangered by lack of pollinators, the world takes more notice. Pollinators are responsible for a third of everything we eat, and the decline of bees due to colony collapse and pesticide poisoning is a very serious problem for our global ecosystem.
Below is a photo from the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens of our very important pollinators! Thanksgiving Coffee partners with the Noyo Food Forest to protect Mendocino’s bee populations.
Our earth needs balance. Every creature is important in keeping the world’s biodiversity stable and growing. Humanity has dealt a harsh blow to the earth, but we have an opportunity to give back by taking care of the natural wonders we have around us. Whether it’s spending time at a beach cleanup day, signing up for a monthly donation to a conservation group or swearing off plastics, we each have a part to play in protecting our environment.
Cold brew season is here, and we’re excited about a few new accounts that will b e serving our Nitro Cold Brew! You can now order a glass of Thanksgiving Coffee’s nitro cold brew at Amy’s Drive Thru in Rohnert Park!
Amy’s is a great little drive thru just south of Santa Rosa that opened in 2015, and they have been serving high-quality vegetarian food to folks on the go. This offshoot of the vegetarian frozen food company “Amy’s” has been a welcome addition to the Santa Rosa food scene, and we are very excited to partner with them.
Starting this weekend, you can order our specialty cold brew nitro blend, a smooth and refreshing brew for those sunny Santa Rosa days coming our way. The nitro cold brew served at Amy’s Drive Thru is a blend of coffees from Ethiopia, Peru and Nicaragua, coming together for a velvety chilled coffee that is sure to be your new favorite way to caffeinate.
Visit Amy’s Drive Thru in Rohnert Park
58 Golf Course Drive West
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Phone: (707) 755-3629 amysdrivethru.com
Thanksgiving Coffee Company 2017 Roaster of the Year
We have a new Coffee 101 post for you today! Buckle up, because you’re going to get to know more about the world of specialty coffee, by diving into single origins and roast colors in one blog post. We are examining how origin and roast color work together to create your Thanksgiving Coffee experience.
Roast Color in Specialty Coffee
You can dig in deep about roast colors and what they mean here, or get the annotated version below. From light to medium to dark to french, slight adjustments in the temperature during roasting make up 80% of a coffee’s flavor. Your personal preference–whether it’s smoky or sweet or somewhere inbetween—is largely based on the temperature to which your coffee was roasted.
If you spend any time chatting with people who work in the specialty coffee industry, you’ll notice a lot of love for the light roast. Light roasts tend to be the favorite of coffee aficionados because they truly showcase the flavors unique to origin. Despite this, it’s important to remember that every coffee drinker is different, and if light roasts aren’t your favorite, that is totally okay. There are so many ways to experience coffee, and it all helps to refine your palate.
Side by Side Coffee Comparison
In day to day coffee drinking, most people don’t have the chance to compare how the different roast colors taste. The average consumer has their go-to coffee, and typically won’t vary their purchasing by much. Getting the chance to taste two roast colors from the same origin is an excellent way to compare and contrast the flavors you get from darker and lighter roasts, to truly experience an origin and learn more about what you prefer in a coffee.
Ready to try it? We have a few coffees that allow you to do a side by side comparison between different roast colors of the same origin. These coffees are grown in the same region, processed using the same method, put into the same burlap sack, but roasted in two different ways. Take a look at our flavor profiles for these coffees below, and pick the origin that interests you.
Congo Coffee: Medium and Dark
Dark: Rich notes of chocolate and spice with a syrupy mouthfeel Medium: Milk chocolate, balanced richness, lasting finish
Uganda Coffee: Light and Dark
Dark: Smoky, with notes of chocolate and sweet pecans Light: Sweet, nutty coffee with notes of pecan and nutmeg
Guatemala Coffee: Light and Dark
Dark: Sweet cherry tartness, with notes of semi-sweet chocolate Light: Rich with cherry sweetness, floral notes, and a wine-like body
Sumatra Coffee: Medium and Very Dark
French: Full-bodied, smoky, earthy Medium: Earthy body, butterscotch, cedar
What we want you to do, is experience these side by side. Gather the family around, invite a couple friends over, and prepare the coffee in your favorite way – whether it’s Chemex, French Press or even cowboy style. Take the time to make a batch from both roast colors, and taste them both. Let the coffee linger in your mouth, and swish it around to hit all your taste buds. Try it without your usual sweeteners or dairy products… and then try it with! You’re getting to know the characteristics unique to the coffee’s origin, while spending time understanding the difference between the darker and lighter roasts.
BONUS: Decaf Tasting!
Thanksgiving Coffee also has an option for those of you that prefer a little less caffeination. Our Decaf Nighthawks’ lineup is sourced from an organic coffee farm in Mexico, and water-processed to remove caffeine at a nearby facility. While our Light and our French are roasted separately, our Medium Roast (which we call the ‘Royal’) is actually a blend of the two. After we’ve roasted our French and Light versions of this Mexican coffee, we mix those two together to create a unique blend that becomes our Royal Decaf. Taste all three side by side to experience the variety you can get in a truly spectacular decaf.
Light: A smooth light roast with hints of milk chocolate and cinnamon Medium: Complex and sweet enough to enjoy straight, yet bold enough to punch through milk French: Bold and rich with intense notes of dark chocolate and toasted marshmallows
Thanksgiving Coffee Company 2017 Roaster of the Year Not Just A Cup, But A Just Cup
Last year, the Mendocino Coast was lucky enough to get a full-service “glamping” operation, just south of the village of Mendocino. This property is the Mendocino Grove: 37 acres outfitted with 60 spacious tents on redwood decks. The tents are outfitted with a queen mattress, down comforter, cotton sheets, and wool blankets to make your stay as cozy and pleasant as it could possibly be.
This is camping made comfy, and they do it with excellent style.
Mendocino Grove Opening Weekend
Friday May 11 is the beginning of the 2018 season for the Mendocino Grove, and we couldn’t be more excited! Mendocino County has long been a place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, and we’re a favorite getaway for the Bay Area. Now, there’s a wonderful spot where you can get off the grid… comfortably. And all of this is under the stars and along the bluffs of the Pacific Coast.
Thanksgiving Coffee + Mendocino Grove
Every morning at Mendocino Grove, you can enjoy Thanksgiving Coffee at the outdoor breakfast bar, sipping coffee that was locally roasted on the Mendocino Coast–ten miles north on Hwy 1. You can also enjoy complimentary hot cocoa, tea, yogurt, fruit and trail bars before you head out on your Mendocino adventures.
The Mendocino Grove is modern camping in one of the most beautiful places the California coastline has to offer. Whether you’re traveling with a family of six, planning a corporate retreat, or simply getting away for a romantic weekend, a stay at Mendocino Grove is something you will treasure forever.
Did you miss your opportunity to try our Sulawesi last month? Not to worry, this month we have an equally exciting origin: Malawi. This is our second year of purchasing coffee from the Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union, and we are again impressed with what they have to offer.
Malawi is tucked away below the equator, in the center of Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia in Eastern Africa. This country is on the same lines of longitude as coffee-growing countries like Bolivia, Brazil, Southern Peru and the islands of Java and Sulawesi. The country of Malawi is growing in popularity as a coffee origin, and every new shipment we receive continues to improve in quality.
The Mzuzu Coffee Planters Co-Op
This coffee is sourced from family-owned farms organized around the Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union, which is an umbrella organization operating in the North Region of Malawi. This Northern Region shares a border with Lake Malawi, one of the African Great Lakes known for its rich diversity of wildlife. The Mzuzu cooperative provides support to 3000 members in six regional cooperatives where the average producer cultivates .5 hectares of land. The Mzuzu cooperative emphasizes gender equity and supports community improvement projects, including the construction of a hospital with the help of coffee premiums.
Altitude Grown: 1300-2000 meters Processing: Fully washed, dried in the sun Cooperative: Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union Region: Chitipa & Mzimba District
Join the Roastmaster’s Select Coffee Club
This coffee is only available to members of our Roastmaster’s Select Coffee Club, during the month of May! If you sign up for a Coffee Club subscription before June 1, you will receive two bags of this splendid Medium Roast coffee from Eastern Africa. Don’t miss it!
Thanksgiving Coffee Company has been a part of the Mendocino Coast community for over 46 years. We are lucky enough to work a stone’s throw away from the Pacific Ocean, and enjoy all the unique things that come with living in a small coastal town.
One of the most unique things would have to be the presence of a working lighthouse right here in our community. Less than ten minutes south of the Thanksgiving Coffee roastery on Hwy 1 is the turnoff to Point Cabrillo Drive, the road that leads past Caspar Beach to the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse.
This lighthouse is still an active aid to navigation, and is one of the few lighthouses that is still utilizing its original lens to light up the night sky. The Point Cabrillo Lighthouse has a third-order Fresnel lens that sparkles on a blue sky day, and is even more glorious to watch after dark.
Mendocino Coast Lighthouse Tours
In order to protect the priceless lens, tours at Point Cabrillo are rare, so anytime there’s a chance to visit the lantern room, it’s an opportunity you simply cannot miss. On May 5, volunteers will be offering lens tours to the top of the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse, from 10am-4pm. This event raises money for the lighthouse and the educational programs it puts on every year for Mendocino schoolkids. The tours are 45 minutes, and take you through the history of Mendocino and the lighthouse itself.
We created a Cause Coffee to support the Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association, and we call it our Lightkeepers Blend. For every purchase, 25% of the proceeds are donated right back to preserving this historic piece of our coastline.
Help us keep the light shining at Point Cabrillo!
Thanksgiving Coffee Company Not Just A Cup, But A Just Cup 2017 Roaster of the Year
We’re still nine weeks away from the beginning of summer, but the warm season has arrived in Williams, California. With the temperature in the high 80’s this week, cold brew coffee season has officially arrived. Granzella’s Restaurant & Delicatessen in Williams is taking cold brew a step further, by serving NITRO cold brew coffee, from Thanksgiving Coffee Company.
Granzella’s has been serving Thanksgiving Coffee on the corner of Hwy 20 and I5 for fourteen years, and the nitro is the latest step in our ongoing relationship. Williams sees some hot summers in the Sacramento Valley, so the nitro cold brew is a very welcome addition.
Whether you’re stopping by on a road trip or you live in the Williams area, you won’t want to miss out on trying a glass of Thanksgiving Coffee Nitro Cold Brew. Stop by, admire the decor, take part in an olive tasting and grab a glass of silky nitro cold brew coffee.