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Coffee As Produce

Fresh Off the Roast was born at a farmers market and these weekly produce pop-ups are still the only place to find our coffee beans outside the storefront. Our dedication to freshness dictates that we sell all our beans within three days of roasting. So you will never find them on the shelves in grocery stores where beans can languish for days, weeks or even months.

Unfortunately, many farmers markets in DC do not admit coffee vendors. There is even a WaPo article about it: Purist Farmers Markets Shun Coffee Vendors. (This situation could change if customers demand it. We have politely asked many, many times, to no avail.)

That said, Fresh Off the Roast beans are currently available at the following DC-area farmers markets:

American University Farmers Market (Wednesdays 11-4, closed for Summer)

Columbia Heights Community Marketplace (Saturdays 9-1, April 12-December 13, 2014)

Brookland Farmers Market (Tuesdays, Coming Soon)

Petworth Community Market (Saturdays 9-1, May 3 – October 26, 2014)

The Farmers Market at Maryland (Available from partners Upper Crust Breads)

We are looking for other markets to attend, so email Mary at qualiacoffee@gmail.com

Women-Produced Coffee Burlap Handbags

Gold Mountain Bag

We now have handbags and carryalls made by women in Nicaragua. The bags are made from the jute sacks that are used to transport green coffee from origin to the U.S. and bare the logo of Gold Mountain Coffee Growers.

As a social enterprise, Gold Mountain Coffee Growers, LLC conducts social projects in order to empower coffee producers, their families and their communities. 100% of the profits from the sale of these bags are used to fund social projects in coffee producing communities. These projects include free computing classes, scholarships. medical assistance, micro-loans to female coffee producers during the off season and small libraries for rural schools.

We are selling the bags in several styles for $25. The bags are handmade, so each one is unique.

Roaster Quail

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This Is Where the Science Happens

During roasting, coffee changes from a dense, green seed into friable, brown bean. The beans not only change color during this process, but lose moisture and expand considerably in size. Depending on the roasting method, this transformation can take just a few minutes or a full half-hour. This deceptively simple process actually involves a fascinating interplay of chemical and physical reactions that liberates hundreds of flavor compounds and reveals immense complexity when brewed. And even after roasting thousands of pounds of coffee, I find this transformation a fascinating process that unravels only bit-by-bit.

Almost invariably when folks wander beyond the coffee bar into the roasting room and see the roaster (which describes both the man and the machine), they also become entranced by the roasting process, by the transformation of the beans (many never having seen unroasted coffee before), the site, the smell and a sudden new layer of knowledge about what they have been drinking all these years. While that wonder is gratifying to us, we also understand that most people, with a more casual interest in the process itself, hanging around the roasting room for 20 minutes or more to see the whole process from start to finish can get a bit dull. So, we have put together a fantastic little film that documents the whole process in just over a minute. So enjoy: