Coffee By Design Roaster of the Year 2020
Roast magazine named Coffee By Design Macro Roaster of the Year 2020!
We're looking ahead to an amazing 2020. Kicking the year off on a great note, we were named Roaster of the Year 2020 by Roast magazine. This honor goes to companies that roast coffees of superior quality, exemplify a dedication to sustainability, promote employee and community education, and demonstrate a strong commitment to the coffee industry. Roast magazine awards its top honor in two categories: Micro Roaster of the Year, for companies roasting fewer than 100,000 pounds of coffee each year; and Macro Roaster of theYear, for companies roasting more than 100,000 pounds annually. We won in the Macro Roaster category and Micro Roaster of the Year is Mostra Coffee, in San Diego, California.
We’re grateful to have our work validated in this way, especially this year, our 25th in business.
Our winning coffees are our Anniversary Blend, 1994, the Costa Rica Tarrazu La Minita "Lilo" Anaerobic Fully Washed, and the Burundi Kayanza Kibingo Washing Station Natural.
Our head roaster Travis Spear, and Director of Coffee, Jeremy Behne, talked about the coffees we submitted for the Roaster of the Year award:
Q. Tell us about the three coffees you submitted - 1994, La Minita "Lilo" and the Burundi Kayanza Kibingo Natural:
A. Travis: 1994, our birthday blend this year, is an homage to our African offerings. It’s the type of coffee we're really excited about. It's created in the same way we create our wholesale blends. It’s a fun coffee, with a wine-like acidity. It's vibrant, dynamic, uses naturally and washed process coffees and has a rich mouth feel. Jeremy: 1994 has been so popular we will continue to carry it year round as a profile blend. It will always have 3-4 African beans, and taste similar, but will evolve over time.
Jeremy: The Costa Rica Tarrazu La Minita "Lilo" Anaerobic Fully Washed was interesting because it is anaerobic. We decided to take a chance and purchase it before we even tasted it, based on our relationship with La Minita. They didn’t know just how good it was going to be but knew it would likely be good. We are excited about the future of that coffee and anaerobics in Central America. It's great to be able to experiment and to support a farm in endeavors like this.
Travis: Burundi Kayanza Kibingo Washing Station Natural is a naturally processed bean from the Kibingo Washing Station. It has pink lady apple-like acidity, is cleaner, really unique. Normally we put a lot of legwork into finding coffees but this one was actually introduced through a friend, a new relationship we are looking to grow.
Jeremy: A lot of people think of natural coffees as fruit bombs, with too much fruit, but this is not overly fermented or wine-y. It's interesting as an intro to naturals but also for someone who already likes naturals. One thing that is great about this coffee, it speaks to the quality of the station that washes it, it is meticulously dried.
Q: Why did you select these three coffees?
Travis: 1994 was an obvious choice, it’s our 25th anniversary and an outstanding blend. We selected the anaerobic for our wild card submission, it was a perfect match for that. It was even a wild card for us when we ordered it! We selected the Burundi as our single origin submission, it's just so great. We've been working to improve the diversity of our offerings and we submitted the best three. It's our Roasters Pride, and we're creating a gift box featuring the three.
Q: What was the preparation for the roasts?
Travis: When submitting batches like this it's a little tricky, you want to roast right before it ships, just like we always do, but the challenge with small batches is we have a 75 lb roaster and here we are trying to do a 10 lb batch. With the anaerobic that was the first time we'd even roasted it. In the end, you have to trust your senses and make a judgement call when roasting.
Travis: We're mostly proud of this award because it confirms we're moving in the right direction. We've created a special gift box called Roaster's Pride. You can find it online or in our coffeehouses, just in time for holiday gift giving.
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