What we do

How we brew

posted on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 - 2:15pm by Michael Harwood

Ceremony Annuals Summer 2017 coffee blend

Summer is officially here, which means it's prime iced coffee time! Guests often inquire as to what type of coffee works best for chilled brew methods and my initial reply is, "What type of experience are you or your guests expecting? Rich and chocolatey? Elegant and well-fruited?" There's a coffee for each palate or objective.

Beyond preference are some underlying truths to cold brewing, so let's explore!

There are two primary methods of brewing iced coffee:

Cold Brew : cool to room temperature water is used to brew over 12-18 hours, produces a mellow flavor and is highly caffeinated, this is how we brew the base of our Nitro Cold Brew!

Ceremony Cold Brew at Home using ToddySteep your own Cold Brew at home!

Flash Brew: hot water is used to brew the coffee directly onto ice in ~3 minutes, produces a specific, coffee-forward flavor and is moderately caffeinated, how we make a pour over: Learn our technique here!

Ceremony Flash Brew Coffee at Home using BonaVITA
Or try your hand at Flash Brewing! We're big fans of the BonaVITA Immersion Dripper for these quick iced brews!

To get geeky for a minute... Coffee extracts in three stages over time: brightness first, sweetness second, bitterness last. These flavor compounds are held in the nooks and crannies of the grounds, leaving it to The Great Extractor (water!) to get in, dissolve/bond to the flavor solubles, then carry them into your cup! As water is the primary driver of extraction, it should be noted that when we use more water, we tend to extract more (towards bitterness) from our coffee. And vice versa - when we use less water, we tend to extract less (towards brightness). Using the right amount of water allows us to hit the coffee's sweet spot between bright and bitter! The trick with cold and flash brewing is that we have to compensate for using less water (due to needing to use ice for chilling, which dilutes!).

Since In both cases we are using less brewing water and we know this may lead to sourness, what can be done if we desire richly sweet or even bittersweet iced coffee?!? Short-term extraction solutions like A) using more brew water, B) lengthening brew times, C) adding turbulence (such as stirring), and D) grinding finer may work.
(don't tell Ronnie I said this, but...) You can use a slightly more developed roast. It's true that lighter roasts are more complex and uniquely flavored, but these enzymatically stunning roasts are denser and harder to extract if you don't have your full complement of water. Roasting darker does homogenize flavors a bit (think: chocolate/nut/smoke), but helps raise extraction by lowering the density of the seed, which makes it easier for the water to pull out more flavor! Whew! Who knew there was so much to think about before brewing a cup of coffee?!? (Want to learn more?)

That's why we want to make iced brewing easy. You deserve a roast that isn't over-roasted and bitter, but complex, exciting, and easy to extract - producing sweet, character-driven brews time and time again.

This is where Summer 2017 comes in. Built around bright, refreshing, in-season coffees, this blend has been roasted just the right amount to amplify sweetness, reduce sourness, and make your iced brewing a breeze!

70% Ethiopia Reko | washed Heirlooms
30% Costa Rica CoopeTarrazú | washed Caturra + Catuai

Try one of these beautiful bags this season only!

Ceremony Annuals iced coffee blend Summer 2017 bag

Until next time, happy brewing! - MH

posted on Monday, June 19, 2017 - 9:00am by Michael Harwood

Arnulfo Leguizamo panorama - Colombia El Faldòn - Ceremony Coffee - Photo courtesy of Cafe Imports.

We're thrice-charmed to have found another distinctly superlative Colombian coffee as the third installment in our Rare + Experimental Series. This 100% Caturra microlot comes from one of the world's most highly-awarded producers - Sr. Arnulfo Leguizamo of San Agustin, Huila. From winning First Place in Colombia's 2011 Cup of Excellence (a high-quality scoring/auction program) to producing the coffee that took home the 2013 United States and World Barista Championships, Sr. Leguizamo has a seat at the table of the most distinguished coffee producers in the world!

Try a bag today!

Arnulfo Leguizamo raking - Colombia El Faldòn - Ceremony Coffee - Photo courtesy of Cafe Imports.

In the years since winning these prestigious awards, Sr. Leguizamo continues to be a driving force for distinctive, high-quality coffees. This lot from his focused 2 hectare farm, El Faldón (The Gable), leverages his considerable expertise into a super sweet, full-bodied, balanced coffee. With all the exciting new processes and cultivars out there, it is interesting that Sr. Leguizamo still credits his successes to the fundamentals of good coffee stewardship like carefully harvesting only ripe, sweet berries by hand, meticulous wet and dry process management, and an emphasis on the farm's high elevation as his greatest ally in growing his coffee.

Arnulfo Leguizamo + co-worker - Colombia El Faldòn - Ceremony Coffee - Photo courtesy of Cafe Imports.

This rare air helps bring the best out of the Caturra cultivar (C. arabica var. caturra). Caturra is typically blended with other cultivars, so we think you'll find a certain joy in exploring this cultivar-specific microlot! Known for being sweet with good brightness, we find that El Faldón is one of the fullest, most satisfying expressions of this cultivar we've ever tasted. Couple that with our roast development that emphasizes sweetness and texture, and you have a coffee that should please just about any palate!

Watch a short video on Sr. Leguizamo at his farm.

posted on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - 11:15am by Michael Harwood

We're excited to share this stunning line-up of fresh crop Ethiopian coffees with you!

With four distinctive profiles, it'll be fun to pick your favorite!
Or even better, try them all side-by-side to explore the differences!

YirgZ - Photo by Keffa Coffee
Ethiopia Wazzala - Washed Heirloom - Yirgacheffe
Peach and lavender aromatics. Orange and lemonade in an elegant, effervescent cup.
The go-to. Our House Washed Yirgacheffe. Just consistently delicious.

Ethiopia Limu Kossa - Natural Heirloom - Jimma
Blueberry jam and Port aromatics. Grape soda and clementine in a juicy, syrupy cup.
The eureka moment! The fruit is strong with this one.

Hands sorting Ethiopian coffee.
Ethiopia Worka Sakaro - Washed Heirloom - Gedeb
Hibiscus and lemon aromatics. Peach and taffy in a vibrant, exciting cup.
The dazzling one. Rare aromatics and super juicy!

Ethiopia Reko - Washed Heirloom - Kochere
Orange and brown sugar aromatics. Black tea and rose water in a full, engaging cup.
The creamy one. Exceptionally balanced and cozy!

No matter your preference, we hope you enjoy one of our favorite times of year - fresh crop Ethiopia season!

Until next time, Happy Brewing!
- MH

posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 - 8:30am by Michael Harwood

Springtime feels like a breath of excitement - flowers are blooming, wind is blowing, and fresh coffees are arriving! Check out some of new offerings below!

Pink Bourbon photo courtesy of Cafe Imports
Colombia Huila
La Estrella
Washed Pink Bourbon
Tropical fruit punch aromatics. Rose and pink grapefruit in a sparkling, unique cup.
Get a bag of La Estrella!

Ceremony Annuals Spring 2017
Spring 2017
Rwanda Kanzu + Ethiopia Wazzala
Washed Bourbon + Heirloom
Cherry cola aromatics. Pomegranate and chocolate in a lively cup.
Get a bag of Spring!

posted on Monday, July 11, 2016 - 3:00pm by Michael Harwood

We weren't so sure with the July 4th weekend being the coolest in a long time, but now that heat indices are rising to the high-90's, we feel certain that Summer has arrived! Perhaps no better time then, to try our two barista-created, competition-winning Summer Signature Beverages. Available through Summer's end at all Ceremony cafes, you won't want to miss these refreshingly creative coffee-based drinks.

Our Espresso Mojito, created by barista Nathan, shakes up our house espresso, simple syrup, and ice with muddled grapefruit and fresh mint leaves. Sparkling water and a homemade grapefruit "chip" and mint sprig top it off for a enlivening effect!

Ceremony 2016 Summer Signature Coffee Beverages

Barista Tony's Nitro Root Beer is a cold brew-inspired take on root beer floats. We start with a super tasty homemade root beer syrup, add a pinch of sea salt, then fill the glass with our frosty Nitro Cold Brew. The kicker is a freshly-whipped vanilla egg foam or scoop of ice cream!

Ceremony 2016 Summer Signature Coffee Beverages - Nitro Root Beer

Don't miss out! Until next time, happy brewing!


Upcoming Public Events

Weekly Coffee Break: New Offerings - WASHINGTON, DC

Join us every Thursday at our Washington, DC Workshop (1228 31st St NW) for a taste of what's new and exciting at Ceremony.

This week we're tasting a few of our newest offerings.

Free for all, no registration.

Upcoming Wholesale Labs

Sensory Skills: A Flavor Workshop - BALTIMORE

Baristas spend a lot of time learning and perfecting the physical behaviors of making coffee, but so often the taste component falls by the wayside. In this class, we'll explore the ins and outs of coffee flavor - how to taste, how to articulate what you've experienced, and where that flavor originates. We'll taste different coffees and solutions, use a microscope to look closer, and even try our hand at flavor pairing. By the end, you'll be a pro at distinguishing between sour and bitter, answering which coffee has more caffeine, and more!

Level 3

Complimentary for Wholesale Partners
$38 for Non-Exclusive Wholesale Partners
$150 for General Public