Monthly Archives: September 2009

Cuppings, Pedaler, Morning News

Good morning.

First off, we are changing our Friday cupping time beginning this Friday.  From now on, we will be cupping at 4 PM at Hill’s Kitchen every single Friday.  Come and taste some delicious coffee with us for free and buy some kitchen gadgets while you’re at it. (Upstairs at 713 D St SE)

Second, just a reminder that our Pedaler whole bean delivery service is going strong and if you live or work on the Hill, we’d love to add you to our Friday afternoon bike route.  For more details, click here or drop by the store.

Last, if you missed the segment on Hill’s Kitchen this morning on Fox 5’s morning show, click here to watch.  I (Ryan) happened to be in the “class” and you can see me make too-small potato cubes and laugh too hard at the tv lady’s jokes.  If you haven’t yet taken one of the classes from Hill’s Kitchen, you really should.


Hacienda Esmeralda, Panama

Hello folks,

Earlier today, we added to our menu a very special and famous coffee from Hacienda Esmeralda in Panama.  This coffee is well-known for winning multiple national and international competitions and for fetching some of the highest prices in the world at auction.  We will only have it for a few days but may have an opportunity to have it again in a couple of weeks.

It will be available for $7/cup until we run out.  If you would like to pre-order an 8oz bag for $35 from our next order on September 28, please contact us only via email at ryan(@)  We do not plan on carrying a large amount of this coffee, so get it while the getting is good.

For more information on this coffee, please click here to read the bio on Counter Culture Coffee’s website.

In other news, congratulations to Stanton-Eastbanc for being chosen to redevelop the Hine School site across the street from our shop.  We look forward to seeing this project develop and are excited for continued positive changes to the Eastern Market-Barracks Row corridor and Capitol Hill as a whole.

Drippers Back In and New Coffees

Happy autumn Thursday.

If you have been patiently waiting for a Beehouse Dripper, be aware that they are back in stock as of yesterday.

Also, there have been a lot of changes to our coffee menu as the seasons change.  Just as we are entering delicious local apple season, we are also entering delicious Central American coffee season.  Like any agricultural product, coffee is only harvested at specific times of the year in particular growing regions and, in turn, each coffee has peak times for consuming.

Here is the new coffee lineup:

Finca Nueva Armenia, Guatemala

Decaf 21st de Septiembre, Zaragoza, Mexico

Gayo, Sumatra

El Puente, Honduras

Finca Mauritania, El Salvador

Thunguri, Kenya

There will be more changes throughout the next few weeks including the famous and delicious Hacienda Esmeralda Special Microlot from Panama and some new Ethiopian coffees.

September Specials

Our September specials debut this afternoon.  It seems that September is the month of layers which does make sense, I suppose.

From Jeremy, we have Cursed Numbers (4 8 15 16 23 42):  Layers of crushed canteloupe, lemon-cinnamon creme fraiche and espresso.

From Grant, White Tiger:  Espresso layered between coconut milk and mango foam, served with candied ginger.

These, as well as the rest of our espresso menu will be made with our new house espresso: Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza from Mococa, Brazil.  Here is a description courtesy of Counter Culture Coffee.

One of the things that inspires us most is when independent minded farmers stand up for flavor and sustainability, in defiance of the agro-industry that threatens to turn everything into inexpensive, commoditized food. Here we have one of those stories.

The country of Brazil is the “big coffee” capital of the world. Producing more coffee than any other country by far, Brazil produces most of its coffee on giant, technified farms producing cheap coffee destined for supermarket cans and generic blends. The farms maximize their output using “conventional” techniques of chemical fertilization, mechanical harvesting, and monoculture. Besides being environmentally unsustainable, those coffees are bland, insipid and tasteless. Not our kind of coffee.

Lush coffee shrubs at Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza, a farm dedicates itself to tradition, flavor, and environmentalism. Photo by Counter Culture Coffee. All this makes it all the more heroic when, amidst the biggest coffee economy in the world, a farm dedicates itself to tradition, flavor, and environmentalism. Enter Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza—a farm dedicated to diversity and sustainability in farming. “Fortaleza” refers to strength and power, but can also mean “fortress,” and “Ambiental” means environmental, so the farm’s very name declares its mission as a force of environmental sustainability, and acknowledges the power of nature itself. Under the leadership of Marcos Croce and Silvia Baretta, this farm is a group effort—incorporating vegetable, dairy, honey, and food farming along with community development, education, and simple enjoyment of a beautiful agricultural environment. Ambiental Fortaleza grows its coffee under shade, a very unusual practice in Brazil, but which we recognize as producing particularly flavorful coffee along with the benefits of wildlife preservation, water conservation, and carbon sequestration. Immediately upon meeting Marcos Croce, and hearing him talk passionately about the benefits of shade growing and environmental preservation, we knew this was a very special coffee farm.

This limited Single-Origin Espresso roast offers rich, full-bodied notes of toasted nut, stone fruit, chocolate, and spice. And, as we learn over and over again, a healthy, happy, diverse farm will make the most delicious produce. So it is with Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza; the coffees are delicious, sweet, and full of unique Brazilian character. It’s rare to find a Brazilian coffee with this much personality and flavor; it’s no surprise that it comes from this rarest of Brazilian farms. It’s the first Brazilian coffee we’ve ever featured as a Single-Origin Espresso, and we’re so proud to be associated with the farm and to drink this delicious coffee.

Here’s how head roaster Tim Hill likes this coffee: a 1.5 ounce extraction using 19 grams of coffee and water at 198-199 degrees. An extraction time of 27 seconds gave us delectable flavors of roasted nut, a candy-like sweetness, and subtler notes of stone fruit, chocolate, and spice. Brazilian Naturals are often known for their body, and this coffee shows us a deeply creamy, satisfying body.