What we do

How we brew

posted on Monday, June 13, 2016 - 2:00pm by Michael Harwood

You've seen them buzzing around, roasting & packaging delicious coffee. You know their helpful voices from when you call in with a question or an order. They've crafted you exceptional drinks time and again. Now get to know our team members a little better through what we call the Ceremony Spotlight.

Today's spotlight shines on one of our wonderful training and customer service staff.

Erissa sweetening her cup of coffee!

Name Erissa Mann
Job at Ceremony Trainer + Account Manager
Hometown/Current Town The 'Burbs of Boston, Massachusetts / Baltimore, Maryland

Describe your journey with coffee and Ceremony.
I started working as a barista in college because I needed a job and I liked coffee. Then I went to grad school where I promptly realized that I still needed a job, so I kept working as a barista. It was during this stint that I realized that I'd rather keep learning about and working in coffee than pursue my at-the-time plan. After working as a barista for a few years, I wanted to learn more about the wholesale side of the industry. Ceremony happened to be hiring and I eagerly joined the team!

What is your go-to coffee right now?
Tough question; I'm pretty fickle when it comes to picking a favorite coffee. This week I'm really digging the Colombia Los Naranjos, but a really well dialed-in espresso or batch brew always wins my heart, regardless of origin.

Erissa serving at Ceremony.

What are your preferred brewing methods? Do you have any tips?
The Beehouse dripper is definitely the brewer I reach for the most. One of my favorite weekend treats is to make pour over coffee at home.

As for tips, a good grinder, a gram scale, and making sure that your water is hot enough will all be super helpful for improving your brew, regardless of method. If you want to hear more of my brew tips, stop by one of Baltimore's Weekly Coffee Breaks, or check out our General Public class entitled "Brewing Coffee at Home". You'll really get to pick my brain for brewing advice!

When you're not consuming or being consumed by coffee, what else do you love to do?
I like to keep it pretty mellow in my free time. I love reading, hiking, riding my bike, excellent food, good drinks, and fine company.

What is something we might not know about you?
I completed training as an archivist before moving into coffee full time.
An archivist works with unpublished, permanently valuable records. Sort of like an archeologist!- Ed.

Erissa cupping at Ceremony.

That's Erissa! The Baltimore workshop wouldn't be nearly as kind or witty without her! Not to mention her skills as an incredibly patient and understanding teacher. Give her a wave the next time you're at the Baltimore cafe + workshop and be sure to stop by for a Weekly Coffee Break or class! www.ceremonycoffee.com/events

Until next time, happy brewing!

posted on Thursday, May 5, 2016 - 2:30pm by Michael Harwood

So much has happened over the past couple of months at Ceremony!

The DC Workshop is busy teaching and tasting! Sign-up for a class and show-up to our Weekly Coffee Breaks: ceremonycoffee.com/events

Michael at Ceremony DC Workshop

Our new Annuals series has been a hit! We were even selected for Speciality Coffee's Design Lab Exhibit, on display at the biggest coffee show in the US! GO JOSH!!!

Ceremony Annuals Design Lab

Michael (yours truly) recently returned from the United States Barista Championship, where he advanced to the semi-finals using the Kenya Kiangoi. You have to taste this complex, satisfying coffee: http://store.ceremonycoffee.com/coffees/kiangoi.html

Michael at USBC 2016

MSNBC stopped by our Baltimore cafe for a little primary coverage pick-me-up!

Vince with MSNBC anchor Kate Snow at 520 Park

We're also excited about the upcoming release of Annuals Summer 2016, an update on our seasonal food + drink at the cafes, a new batch of refreshing signature beverages, and oh, did we mention fresh crop Central American and Ethiopian coffees are arriving soon??? What a time to be alive!

Until next time, happy brewing!

posted on Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - 7:15pm by Michael Harwood

Ceremony Coffee DC Workshop 1

The possibilities are practically endless when opening a coffee space in our nation's capital. Do you embrace the traditional cafe route, focus on amazing food, or cross-over with another unique business? There are so many potentials in Washington DC, but we decided the best way to serve our community right now is through a space that educates and makes accessible your coffee ritual. Our DC Workshop doesn't have cafe service or food (except at parties!). Rather, it focuses on wholesale + public classes, free weekly coffee breaks, and bringing people together in our vibrant District coffee community!

Ceremony Coffee DC Workshop Grand Opening

You can find us at 1228 31st St. NW #101B in Hamilton Court, which is a small collection of buildings in Georgetown that features a fascinating, coffee-filled past: http://georgetownmetropolitan.com/2009/03/15/georgetowns-lost-beatnik-past/

Link up for maps of all our locations: http://ceremonycoffee.com/coffeehouse

Whether you want to attend one of our free Weekly Coffee Breaks, take a wholesale partner class, or a home barista class, we've got you covered! Check out http://ceremonycoffee.com/events for the happenings at each of our locations.

Ceremony Coffee DC Workshop Grand Opening 2

We hope to see you in Georgetown soon!

Ceremony Coffee DC Workshop Grand Opening 3

posted on Monday, January 11, 2016 - 1:15pm by Michael Harwood

Ceremony Annuals

Say hello to Annuals, Ceremony's twist on a seasonal blend series! By offering new, unique blends based on in-season coffees, seasonally appropriate flavors, and fun themes, we intend to engage your palate, mind, and aesthetic eye!

In the Spring, Summer, and Fall, you can expect us to highlight coffees from the Northern Hemisphere (Meso America, northerly Africa, northerly South Asia and Pacific Islands). In the Fall, Winter, and Spring, the Southern Hemisphere will reign (South America, southerly Africa, southerly South Asia and Pacific Islands). Why blend with freshly harvested coffee? Because it tastes better than that roasted from old green coffee. Once a coffee berry is picked from the tree, the clock is ticking!

Annuals are also about blending to create distinctive seasonal flavor experiences:

Winter - Full-bodied + Balanced - It's not just heartier food we crave in chilly, Hibernal months. Stay warm with this rich, deep, and comforting blend.
Spring - Bright + Sweet - With the world reawakening around us, this lively, elegant blend will rejuvenate your taste buds with light, fresh flavors.
Summer - Sweet + Iced-focused - How do you like your iced coffee? This blend will make a perfectly sweet, full cold cup for those hot, sticky days.
Fall - Progressive Series - Back to school! Learn what a difference blending makes by experiencing all four, unique versions of this experimental project.
Holiday - Berry-forward + Rich - Gather round with family and friends to enjoy this fruity, sweet, and full-bodied blend that will satisfy everyone in your household.

Ceremony Annuals Winter 2016 package

One other quite interesting thing about Annuals. We are roasting these blends in-between our light peak and espresso profiles. You may have noticed that traditionally, all of our single origins and house blends are light roast profiles, while our espressos are medium roast profiles. These roast levels are a big part of what makes us Ceremony. So why change our roasting for Annuals? There are a couple of reasons. The biggest is that we want these blends to be easily brewable as filter and espresso. Through roast profiling and tasting by our QA team, we find the sweet spot in between our two typical roast levels that makes these blends accessible to your pour over dripper or espresso machine. Read on below to see our recommended brewing parameters for this profile. The other big reason for splitting the difference is that we want Annuals to be a blend everyone can get excited about! By developing the coffees just that little bit more, we feel that the added depth and body will offer a wonderful complement to our lighter, cleaner, and more elegant roasts. We hope you agree!

Since Annuals roasts are slightly more developed, the rule of thumb will be that compared to our light peak roasts, you'll want to brew stronger ratio-wise and grind more coarsely. Compared to our espresso roasts, you'd want to brew Annuals weaker ratio-wise and grind finer. Annuals are basically the middle bowl of porridge, not too hot, not too cold, just right!

Light Peak Profile - Pour Over 1:17 - Immersion 1:15.5 - Espresso 1:3
Annuals Profile - Pour Over 1:16 - Immersion 1:14.5 - Espresso 1:2.3
Espresso Profile - Pour Over 1:15 - Immersion 1:13.5 - Espresso 1:1.75

Until next time, happy brewing!

posted on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - 12:15pm by Michael Harwood

Ceremony Holiday 2015

Hard to believe it's that time of year again! Though the weather hasn't given us a cold shoulder yet, the leaves are exploding with radiance, as is my family about the season's festivities. Commence with the texting! Though I'm not a big fan of holiday creep (Christmas in July, anyone?), past years of procrastination have left me scrambling. This year, I promised myself that I'll be different, starting with making sure I have the perfect coffee for Thanksgiving (Don't forget the Decaf either! Seriously, our Decaf Colombia is really good!). Thankfully, we're releasing our Holiday Blend 2015 this week, so you and I can check great coffee off our lists nice and early (Did you know most of our coffees taste better with almost a week of rest off-roast?). There will be fresh roasts every week through Christmas, so stop back often to recharge, as we're pretty sure your company will love this full, sweet, satisfying coffee!

To build this two-bean blend, we started with the idea that a holiday coffee should be well-liked by everyone in your house. We also wanted it to pair well with traditional holiday food, drink, and dessert. To do this, we began with our Ethiopia Wazzala Natural - a coffee with a big personality that brings a barrelfull of dark red fruit to the cup. Imagine ripe cranberries followed by a sip of red wine. Of course, every leading character needs a foil to bring out the best in both, so we experimented with blending several different coffees before striking gold with the Honduras Jaguar Land III. Though it sounds more like the latest B-movie blockbuster than delicious coffee, trust us when we say this washed Central just works as a contrast to its fruitier Natural counterpart. Adding a deep, molasses-like sweetness and warming spice aromatics, the Jaguar Land's deeply steady Spock plays the perfect sidekick to the Wazzala's flamboyant Kirk, creating a fuller, more complex, more satisfying cup.

Kirk, Spock, + Lincoln

We wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season!

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