Thursday, March 31, 2011
Enter The Cart
Our cart was hand made by our own Todd, out of reclaimed pallet wood which once transported our green coffee to us. He worked tirelessly hand planing the boards to uniform thickness and outfitting it with the best we have to offer.
Clean and simply outfitted, our cart is far from an eyesore. La Marzocco's GS-3 preforms under pressure and looks sleek and sexy. One cord runs to the cart, so no water hoses or tangles of extension cables will detract from what we are serving.
Perfectly pulled shots of espresso make for great drinks, and this machine is capable of doing just that.
Make your event more special by having New Harvest Coffee serving drinks brewed with love and attention. Our cart is furnished and ready to go to any event you can imagine.
Your wedding needs great coffee.
Your business needs great coffee.
We will provide.
Cartoons aren't the only thing to look forward to on Saturdays. Come check out a killer farmers' market at the Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket. We brew and serve our coffee freshly roasted right across the building. We would love to see you and hand you a fresh cup of coffee.
Here's the info!
Here is something that was mentioned on our facebook page! It is a science fiction manga written and illustrated by Hitoshi Ashinano. The story is about an android that runs a coffee shop. If you like manga and coffee you can look at some of these comics on this site!
Something that I think about often is that coffee is food. This idea is so simple and obvious that almost everyone takes it for granted. Working in the coffee industry, you realize pretty quickly that although coffee is everywhere, people don't generally put much thought past the grocery shelf or the coffee bar. Coffee is almost never further than a couple blocks from any of us. When you can buy it at gas stations, in vending machines, hell, you can buy coffee at TJ Maxx right now, it becomes pretty easy to lose sight of what coffee really is.
Coffee is the seed of a fruit, and not, as some would say, a fruit in and of itself. When you buy an excellent coffee from an excellent roaster or shop you can be certain that this coffee was treated as a food product, a fine food product at that. But how much of that coffee is representative of coffee as a whole? As it turns out, the specialty market is only 17% of coffee imported into the US by volume. That means the vast majority of coffee is of mediocre to low quality. I don't mean to presume that people dealing in these coffees are not treating their coffee as if it were food but I do think that it is certainly being marketed in ways that create a disconnect between farmers and consumers.
So much of coffee is provided in a setting of convenience rather than a culinary setting. Even when coffee does manage to find itself in a culinary setting it seems to more often than not be treated as an afterthought. How many times do you go to a great restaurant, the food is great and clearly of high quality, great care is taken in the preparation and then the coffee is horrible? Often a restaurant is serving stale pre-ground coffee that is prepared with little skill or understanding. Serving stale coffee is serving stale food! Preparing coffee properly should be important to a restaurant that takes pride in it's execution!
I'm not going to lay all the blame on restaurants. As consumers we would do well to treat coffee as a food. When you are buying coffee you should invest the same time and effort that you would selecting any fresh food. Also, because coffee is a food you will be rewarded for taking the time to prepare it properly in just the way that cooking a food properly is rewarding. I know convenience is not going to give up it's reign any time soon but if you've gotten to this blog it's certainly something you may like to consider.
If you haven't been to the roastery please let me extend this invitation to you. Feel free to come by and see coffee being roasted, see raw coffee from all over the world, ask questions and perhaps get a real sense that coffee is food.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Welcome to my little corner of the blog, friends! As my first contribution to this blog I thought I would keep things simple and just explain a bit about what I do here at New Harvest.
Coffee, as is often taken for granted, is an agricultural product. So before you get that bag of coffee at your favorite shop or market, we get it raw in an even bigger bag, about 132 times bigger. Coffee is the seed of a fruit and in it's raw state, it's not very useful to us. You can't really grind it and it's not very palatable. In fact, green coffee (as it's called) has "only" about 300 aromatic compounds (which would also contribute to flavor) but as it's roasted up to 600 additional compounds may develop via various chemical reactions and the order and time with which they occur. But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves!
Think of green coffee as pure potential. We source some of the best coffees in the world from all over the world and each one of them is different based on a variety of factors from what varietal of coffee it is, how it was produced, where it was produced, at what elevation it was produced, etc, etc... Our goal in the roasting process is to first identify the potential for qualities that we like in each coffee, second, to figure out how to achieve and maximize those qualities and third, to be able to repeat that process consistently each time that we roast a particular coffee.
There are a few different types of roasters but at New Harvest we use what is called a drum roaster. This is probably the most common type of roaster. The way that it works is that coffee is fed into a horizontal drum which sits over a flame and 2 heating elements. There are 2 S-shaped fins inside the drum that keep the coffee inside moving to help promote a more even roast and help prevent scorching. There is also airflow being directed through the drum which in our case would be used to control any quick response we need in temperature. When the coffee has reached our target temperature and time it is discharged into a cooling tray which uses airflow and agitation to bring the coffee to room temperature quickly enough to end the roasting process and prevent scorching.
As the coffee is inside the drum it goes through several stages. The first stage occurs when the chaff, the papery outer shell of coffee, similar to a peanut skin begins to separate. The chaff will collect inside a bin under the drum or else essentially be vaporized in our afterburner. In the next stage the chlorophyll has been burned off from the coffee and it changes from the original drab green color to yellow. At this point a significant amount of moisture has also been lost and the coffee begins to actually roast. Soon enough you'll begin to see some browning as various chemical reactions begin to take place such as the Maillard effect. Eventually the coffee becomes hot enough that the cell structure begins to breakdown and will start to crackle in what we would refer to as First Crack. There is also a Second Crack.
Any changes you make at any point during the roasting process will affect what changes can and will happen later in the roast. A simple way to think about this would be to imagine that a change in the coffee occurs that we will call Red and we make a decision to have a Blue reaction and so our end result is Purple. But say we decide to have a Yellow reaction instead. The our result is Orange. And therein lies the trick to coffee roasting in drastically oversimplified terms. In order to get a coffee to where we like it, we need to create a chain of causes and effects, further complicated by weather patterns, constant moisture loss in stored green coffee, etc, etc... AND it has to be repeatable.
In a way, what we are doing is polishing these coffees. We are attempting to refine something that already innately possesses something great. This was a very simple overview of the process and if you have any questions you can feel free to e-mail me and I will address them on the blog. Even better, you could always stop by the roastery and see it for yourself!
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Thank you to all of Farm Fresh for continuing to support and nourish our local food culture.
Thank you to Senator Reed for spending so much time touring the building and.... we are thrilled to see the Senator drinks his coffee black!