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posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - 5:15pm by Jonathan

Next week we will begin roasting two new experimental heirloom Ethiopia Gesha coffees from Ninety Plus Gesha Estates. The first is a washed Gesha called Lycello and the second is a naturally processed Gesha called Perci Red. One of the amazing and exciting things about these two coffees is that they are, in a sense, the same coffee. Both come from the same estate and are produced by the same people, only Perci Red was naturally dried on African drying beds while Lycello was washed at the nearby Hartman Estate. These coffees hail from Panama, about 15 minutes from the town of Volcán in the area known as Silla Del Pando. Ninety Plus Coffee owns the estate and has gone to a lot of trouble to make it a zeitgeist of coffee growing, cultivation, and community. Not only are 35 of the total 134 hectares protected National Rainforest but 25 members of the local Ngöbe tribe have been retained to assist on the farm, thus demonstrating Ninety Plus’s focus on authenticity and community. An intricate network of trails connects the micro farms scattered throughout the estate. Each micro farm labors to understand and perfectly cultivate the heirloom Ethiopian Gesha coffee variety by drawing on past experiences in Ethiopia and Panama and by leaving many stones unturned on the farm.

Perci Red + Lycello Geshas

Why the coffee/beer parallel?

Besides our love and passion for the best coffees (and beers) out there, we partnered with Ninety Plus to roast and offer these coffees in an effort to further the case that all coffee does NOT taste alike. If you think that all coffees taste the same but beers don’t, for example, you might look to get your hands on some Perci Red and Lycello.

Perci Red has room-filling aromatics of strawberries, currants and sugar cane. Its flavor profile is an explosion of strawberry rhubarb pie, tangy strawberries and currants with a syrupy mouth feel and a nice chocolate undertone as the cup cools. As we took our first sips of Perci a member of our team quickly noted that it is remarkably similar to Russian River Brewing’s Consecration, a dark sour ale aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels with black currants added to the barrel. The beer is remarkable with sweet and sour currant and raspberry notes, a touch of wine and a full, sweet body. If you have not had it, get it. Sadly it is really only available on the West Coast. It should be clear where the flavors are similar and it is not that Perci is sour in the strict sense but it has a structured tang, almost effervescence, which makes it so much like Consecration.

Lycello is a structured ballet of lemon pixie stick, jasmine and soft floral aromatics. In the cup, it maintains its structured ontos with notes of stone fruit, pine & resin, dried lemon, and Chinese black tea. Lycello has an uncanny similarity to well-balanced, almost too hoppy pale ales. Not quite as big or aggressive as Dogfish Head’s 60 Minute IPA but a little more than Dale’s Pale Ale. These beers are subtle and structured with all of the best flavors of American ales: resin & pine, citrus, a touch of stone fruit and nice sweetness.

If you get a chance to try these coffees and you feel like we do, let us know which craft beers, if any, you think they smack of. We're looking forward to hearing about other coffee and beer parallels.

posted on Thursday, July 19, 2012 - 12:30pm by Ronnie

Ceremony recently hosted its first cookout of the summer and paired it up with a dangerously unhinged latte art competition. We had a huge hand from our best buds at Punk's Backyard Grill, who provided food, liquid, Sheila (believe it!), and gift cards to the comp winners. Josh walked with $75 plus a Punk's card while Lauren and Aaron each got money and Punk's cards for their pours as well. Things couldn't have been more rad, and you really should've been there. If your invitation got lost in the mail, here are the pics to help you believe:

The next Throwdown happens in August with details forthcoming....

posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - 9:15am by Andy

At the end of March I had the privilege of traveling to Coffee Solutions in Hopedale, MA to take part in a week-long Q Grader Coffee Course instructed by Beth Anne Caspersen. The course is a series of lectures and 22 rigorous tests, most of which are sensory oriented, and all of which you have to pass in order to be a licensed Q Grader.

On Wed of that week, I sat with 7 other students awaiting the most dreaded, mother of all Q tests, the Sensorial Test. Eight plastic cups sat before me with clear solutions in each. Four of the cups contained a mixture of sweet, salt and sour tastes (all of which are found to some degree in coffee). Four of the cups contained a mixture of two of the three tastes. It was up to me to figure out which solutions had a blend of three and which had a blend of two. The hardest part being that we also had to rate the strength of each taste in the solution from one to three. Pass this test, and the rest of the week looks a little more cheery, though far from over.

For years I’ve been interested in getting my Q Graders Certification, offered by the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI). As their website states:
The Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) is a nonprofit organization working internationally to improve the quality of coffee and the lives of the people who produce it. CQI provides training and technical assistance to coffee producers and other individuals in the supply chain to increase the value, volume and sustainability of high quality coffee production. CQI also works toward building institutional capacity in coffee producing countries by creating systems and infrastructure that encourage a focus on quality that leads to higher farmer incomes.

At the heart of CQI is their Q Grader program, and there are many reasons becoming a Q Grader. Perhaps above anything else, it indicates ones commitment to the industry.
In the end I passed the Sensorial Test and all of the other tests on the first try, a feat accomplished by ~5% of test takers. I am thankful for this opportunity and to Bunn for covering my fees for the week and look forward to being an active member in the Q Grader community

posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 2:30pm by Ronnie

The 2012 Brewers Cup was held in Portland last weekend in conjunction with the USBC and SCAA Event, and somehow the nicest guy in the world snuck in and won for the second year in a row. We couldn't be more giddy for our good buddy and head roaster Andy Sprenger, who worked hard sourcing, roasting, re-roasting, brewing, and re-brewing to win all over again. He put an insane amount of energy into prepping for a competition that was stiff with killer competitors and coffees from Coava, Cuvee, Handsome, Kaldi's, Intelligentsia, Verve, and more. If you see Andy before he heads off to Vienna, Austria to compete in the World Brewers Cup, slap a big five and wish him luck!

If you're curious where he's headed, this is from WBC:

The World Brewers Cup highlights the craft of filter coffee brewing by hand. This competition appreciates all the various methods of manual coffee brewing in a setting that rewards great quality and service excellence.

In the first round, competitors are provided the same coffee to prepare 3 brews in 7 minutes. Competitors are judged on sensory evaluation alone. The top 6 competitors proceed to the final round. During the final round, competitors provide their own coffee and have 10 minutes to prepare and serve 3 brews with a presentation that enhances the coffee experience. Competitors are judged on taste (70%) and presentation (30%). The top scorer in the final round is named the World Brewers Cup Champion.

If you're extra curious about brewing, we'll post Andy's US Brewers Cup recipe here soon.

Brewers Cup 2012

posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 4:15pm by Ronnie

Last weekend we headed north to New York for Coffee Fest, where we raised a small booth, set up an enormous brew bar (9 ft, 18 drippers), and rearranged myriad notions of what Specialty Coffee means on the East Coast. We got an impossibly huge hand from The Sheed/Rasheed from Filter, Dwight from Kava, and our crew at the Roastery, including Jin, Jonathan, Andy, and Vince. The reception to our coffees, our rebranding, our booth, our classes, and our deep voices—I mean, have you talked to me lately?—was alarmingly extravagantly positive. The whole thing was a thrill ride, and we’d do it again this weekend if it were an option.
Thanks to our friends for making it work. Thanks to Coffee Fest. And thanks to every single person who stopped by to talk shop, sip coffees with us, and raise an eyebrow or two.

Earth's Longest Brew Bar
Jonathan and Rasheed
Ceremony Coffee Roasters Booth
Rasheed Filter Coffeehouse

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Upcoming Public Events

24
Aug
11AM-12PM
Weekly Coffee Break: New Arrivals - DC

Join us every Thursday at our DC Workshop for a taste of what's new and exciting at Ceremony!

This week we'll taste some new arrival coffees.

Free for all. No registration.

Upcoming Wholesale Labs

23
Aug
11AM-2PM
Register
Stretch Yourself: A Milk + Latte Art Lab - DC

Well-crafted milk paired with a great shot of espresso creates a delightfully harmonious experience. Milk designs, also known as latte art, are a great visual way to let your customers know that you are focused on your craft. Please join us to learn about this sweet, creamy ingredient used around the world in conjunction with our favorite beverage. From whole to skim to non-dairy milks, we will detail the concepts and mechanics of proper steaming and pouring of latte art, followed by hands-on practice.

Level 2

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