It's been a week of big changes here at St. Johns Coffee Roasters. A couple weeks ago, we lost our delivery driver so I've been covering those tasks until a replacement could be found.
While it has put a bigger burden on my work load, it's been great being out and seeing what's going on in the stores where our coffee is sold. One of the most alarming things I discovered today is that some roasters are putting "best when purchased by" dates extending into June of 2016. Are you kidding me???
As with everything else, I'm always trying to figure out ways to bring things up a notch through the products and services we offer as well as the staff we bring on.
There have been several very viable candidates who were interested in the delivery position and I was very tempted but somehow knew the "perfect" person had not yet come through the door.
That all changed last week when Greg Yuhas came in. He and his partner have been longtime customers and after reading last week's newsletter, came in and told me about his availability. Not only was he interested in delivering our coffees, he has years of experience in the sales of organic food products. So in addition to deliveries, he will be taking on sales to help grow this business.
And literally, on the heels of Greg coming in, Taryn Hockenbury came in to inquire about working with us. Taryn is a yoga instructor as well as having barista experience, to list just a couple of her talents.
Both have great energy and a nice peaceful demeanor and I believe will fit in quite nicely with our existing staff. I'm very excited about having them and look forward to a great year of growth.
To top that off, I just checked into Facebook and read the most humbling post written by Nate James Hillenkamp. After a week of change and a bit of anxiety, this reaffirms our purpose and desire to continue producing some of the best coffee available for some of the greatest people on the planet.
On that note, we roasted the new coffee from Rwanda yesterday and, HOLY COW!!! It is everything I'd hoped for and more. The description given me by my importer as having notes of orange, some floral, vanilla and being very sweet were an understatement.
The Rwanda Fair Trade Organic COOPAC GrainPro is produced by members of COOPAC Ltd., which is an association of approximately 2,200 small coffee producers from communities in the Rubavu and the Rutsiro districts, located in the Western Province of Rwanda. COOPAC was founded in 2001 to renew quality coffee production in the region and create a sustainable form of income for its members. COOPAC has invested in the construction of 50 washing stations in the region and formed an agroforestry program where farmers receive shade trees to plant on their farms and cows as another source of income. COOPAC also has a comprehensive technical assistance program to help members incorporate organic practices on their farms. COOPAC's consistent cup quality has been recognized in the Rwanda Cup of Excellence since 2008.
Typically, I like to let a coffee rest for a day before brewing it. Oftentimes, straight out of the roaster, coffees tend to have a "brightness" to their profile which seems to subside after a day of resting. However, the Rwanda was an exception. Straight out of the roaster, it had a sweetness I've never experienced before. When I brewed some again this morning, it had only gotten better. I'm going to have to see if I can get some more of this amazing coffee.
As you can tell, I'm about twelve hours behind on getting this newsletter done so I'm going to call it good for this week.
Many thanks for your on-going support and I hope you have a great weekend.
Mount & Crew