Saturday, samples of green coffee arrived in five 80 gram bags. I slept on these till Monday night. My sample roasts were done in a steel drum that I turned by hand over a propane torch. The spit that holds the drum I made from two shelving L-brackets, a pair of vise grips, and a scythe.
Tuesday morning we cupped the coffees, discussed. Later in the day, we cupped some batches from our production roasts. This morning (Wednesday) we cupped the five coffees twice. A pretty fun tasting (see the apres cupping picture below). We each had three cups of each of the five coffees — two Indonesia, two Guatemala, one El Salvador. Later I found out that both the Guatemala are pre-ship samples-nice. Pre-ship samples come from coffees that either still at origin or are moving from origin to destination. Many times we taste coffees that have already been purchased and are being held in the U.S. We call these “spot.” Spot coffees are much easier to predict and to acquire. Someone has already taken the risk of purchasing to bring it to the country. Also most of the shipping has been done, and the spot samples that are sent out are pretty close to what one would actually receive, barring shipping damage. Pre-ship coffees still run the risk of being damaged during shipping/holding. The upside to tasting coffee before it arrives/ships is that roasters get a better picture of what is coming. Today we decided on the Guatemala Aldea La Granadilla (city) finca (farm) las Nubes. This coffee is still in Guatemala but should be in a container and on a boat soon.
Other news: This morning our cargo bike frame made its way to Veloshop, with an extra bike thrown on the front and some coffee deliveries. Ryan of Veloshop accepted it and has been working on it through the day. He says it should be ready either today or tomorrow.