Stu and I are big coffee drinkers, in fact, there is never a day down at the workshop that we don't come above ground and pop to our local independent coffee shop for a long black or two. Either that, or we get the moka pot on the go and fuel ourselves for a good day or night's work. We've been lucky enough to know Tom at Craft House Coffee for many years now and in most of our conversations we've bounded around the idea of hooking up to create a collaboration roast. In June of this year, we've finally gotten around to producing it!
Tom invited us over to CHC HQ, situated around 10km from our workshop in Hove, to have an extended cupping session (insert innuendo here) to see what sort of thing floated our boat. Heading into an evening of tasting, I was almost certain that I knew what I like - hot, thick and strong. However, after discussing what we wanted from our coffee we cam to the belief that we needed something that wouldn't give us instant jitters after a quick slug - tough builds can often be a marathon and not a sprint. Spending a few hours with an expert quickly opened our eyes to the differences that altitude, washing and roasting made to the flavour of the bean and made us realise we could create something cool, drinkable and flavoursome without over doing it. After a while it began apparent that our favoured tastes came from central and southern America and from a naturally processed coffee. This gave Tom a direction to head in.
Following a great evening of chatting and learning we had also confirmed between ourselves what we had already assumed, much like building a bike, coffee took time to get right and we now knew that we could trust Tom to source a great coffee for us thanks to his attention to detail and care for the product. I should also explain that Craft House Coffee have a passion for producing amazing coffee from ethically sourced co-ops and, where possible, directly from the farm that grows the beans. Tom decided to run with a Costa Rican naturally prepped coffee, we'll hand it over to CHC to let us know about the farm where our coffee was sourced;
"Finca San Francisco is one of the largest suppliers of coffee to the Asoproaaa, an association that has the ability to manage FCL and small lots of superior coffee's from Costa Rica. They function like a small cooperative, supporting their associates and looking for new profiles every crop. They are constant and active participants for Cup of Excellence. Many past Cup Of Excellence auction lots come from ASOPROAAA.
Emilio Jimenez Castro is the sole owner of this incredible farm and produces a very small number of sacks per year. We loved the idea of helping a small, unique and interesting farm such as his to shine though! He inherited 6 Hectares from his father that is mainly used for cattle. He later bought a further 7 hectares at the higher altitude of 1800m where he produces coffee interspersed with citrus, avocado and other fruit.The result is 3 separate micro lots all from the same section of his farm.The coffees were picked in the same week and delivered daily to make up the lot volumes for the final delivery."
Now, we can't pretend to be experts overnight but we have to say that we certainly know a lot more than we did when we started this small journey and we're over the moon with the end result - a coffee which tingles our buds and gives a beautiful flavour, but is also geared up for helping us through a full day working on bikes, if it were a craft beer it'd definitely be a session ale.
If you fancy grabbing a bag, you can find it here - Pier City Cycles / Craft House Coffee Collaboration #1 - and we'll also throw a bag into all orders that are placed over £200. You source the parts, we'll supply the coffee.
You can find out about Tom and Craft House Coffee at www.crafthousecoffee.co.uk
FLAVOUR PROFILE: Blueberries & Cream
FARM: Finca San Francisco
ALTITUDE: 1800 masl
LOCATION: Tarrazu, near the city of Leon Cortes
VARIETY: Caturra and Red Catuai
SOIL: Sedimentary with level of acidic compounds
OWNER: Emilio Jimenez Castro