First, a little horticulture background. The coffee we roast comes from a flowering plant called Coffea Arabica, grown at latitudes close to the equator and at high altitudes where the weather is cooler. This plant flowers one to two times a year, followed by the development of its fruit. Inside the fruit are seeds—that’s what we roast and turn into our decadent and delicious brew. The fruit looks like a small, firm cherry, usually red, but sometimes orange, yellow, or purple. The fruit is referred to as “cherries” or “grapes”—although there is not much fruit around the seed to be enjoyed. And interestingly, after the seeds are processed and roasted they are commonly referred to as beans.
Most coffee-producing regions have one flowering and cherry development a year, followed by the harvest. Some places closer to the equator have two! The second harvest is typically smaller than the first, or main, harvest. Northern hemisphere regions harvest somewhere between December and February, and southern hemisphere regions harvest between June and August. Our purchasing decisions revolve around the harvest cycles. Coffees generally will taste better the fresher they are. That said, some coffees will age much more gracefully than others largely determined by post-harvest processing.
But don’t worry, we highlight coffees when they are freshest. This is why we don’t keep some coffee origins on the menu year-round. Enjoying them in their peak window of freshness allows us to drink with the seasons. We also apply this approach to our blends. It’s possible to keep a very consistent flavor profile by using coffees from different harvest regions. This ensures a fresh and lively blend instead of one that is hollow and lacking.
If you want to ensure your coffee is the freshest, drink the seasons with us, and see our release calendar for a rough estimation of when we offer coffees from the origins where we purchase.