RE: In THE NEWS | Coffee drinkers live longer!

On our last 'Re: Summer Series', we wanted to cover a topic that seems to be perennially on the news... coffee & health. While there's a lot of information (and misinformation!) out there, the great news is that the latest (highly reputable, peer-reviewed) research seems to be on the side of coffee drinkers!

That's right. 'Coffee drinkers live longer' was the main conclusion of the most recent coffee study* in the latest issue of JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association). They followed a group of half a million people over 10 years and analyzed the relationship between coffee drinking habits and mortality, and found coffee drinkers (even those drinking over 8 cups a day!) died at a statistically-significant lower rate than those who didn't drink any coffee. This was also true for Decaf coffee drinkers, suggesting the non-caffeinated components in coffee are responsible for the effect (something that would make a lot of sense, if you consider that is mostly phytochemical antioxidants!). If you'd like to get into the details, here's the link to the study. And while the scientist in us is really excited... we must also point out that this was an observational study... which means we can not prove that drinking coffee will actually add a few years to your life... but we can always have fun trying! (and make a difference!)

Jolian & Lisbeth

PS. A few news of our own - we recently received a "cease-and-desist" letter from another Florida roaster who had apparently registered a Trademark for "Florida Cold Brew"... so we'll be temporarily out of a Cold Brew Blend offering (alternatively, we'll be more clearly identifying some great single-origins for Cold Brewing... i.e. Poaquil & Huehue!). On a more positive note, the new roaster has given us some amazing flavor profiles, and more flexibility to do lighter roasts... we're working on our first-ever Holiday Blend that will highlight this new capability (i.e. a mix of lighter-roasted and darker-roasted coffees to balance vibrant and bold flavors) - we would love to hear your NAME ideas!!!

Finally, on an even more positive note, we have some news from our Poaquil Co-Op! Coffee growers from the whole region are meeting next month, and they'll be sharing with them their "success story" with us!!! They also said they'll try to do a video message for all of you who have (and continue to make) this all possible! Stay tuned :)

CITED REFERENCE

*Loftfield E, Cornelis MC, Caporaso N, Yu K, Sinha R, Freedman N. Association of Coffee Drinking With Mortality by Genetic Variation in Caffeine Metabolism: Findings From the UK Biobank. JAMA Intern Med.2018;178(8):1086–1097. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.2425

RE: COLD BREWING! | It's COOL chemistry + our recipe!

Summer is definitely here! And, while we still think the aroma of a freshly brewed cup of coffee is the best smell in the world to wake up to... we must admit a cup of Cold Brew on the rocks is our favorite way to cool off! So, we wanted to share with you some of our 'secret' knowledge acquired through lots of research & experimentation (a.k.a. "plant watering batches")... and hopefully give you all the tips & insights you need to make the absolute best Cold Brew at home!

First things first... what exactly is Cold Brew? The name (kind of) gives it away... it's coffee brewed with cold water, over extended periods of time. Please note, this is very different from hot-brewed coffee served over ice (that's Iced Coffee!). What makes Cold Brew so different is that cold brewing over (relatively) long periods of time favors the extraction of specific components, while hot brewing methods tend to extract all soluble components. Why? Because the solubility of different components is largely determined by temperature. Caffeine, for example, is only slightly soluble (~1-2 g/100 mL) in cold water, yet fairly soluble in hot water (~65 g/100 mL). Naturally occurring phenolic acids are also significantly more soluble in hot water (which means very little acidity on cold brews!)... yet sugars and larger components (responsible for sweetness & body) are still soluble provided enough time (but be careful... too much time and you'll begin extracting bitter components)!

Now that you understand the chemistry... it's time to have some fun making it! (we promise is a lot easier than understanding all that chemistry!). Here's our step-by-step Cold Brew recipe:

1. Mix 40 oz spring water (~5 cups) for every 8 oz of coarsely ground coffee

2. Steep for 14-18 hours under refrigeration (we commonly do 16 hours, but you can do up to 20 hours if you like a stronger brew)

3. Dilute up to 1:1 with ice/milk/water & enjoy (you'll have enough for 12 large cups) 

4. Keep refrigerated and consume within a week (8-oz batch is perfect for 1-2 people drinking 1-2 cups a day!)

Some of our favorite origins to Cold Brew are Central and South Americans... our Florida Cold Brew Blend is actually a mix of two Guatemalan beans at a medium-dark roast level, and was the 'winning' combination in our taste tests (and our best-selling Cold Brew at the farmer's market!).

Happy Cold Brewing!

Jolian & Lisbeth

PS. The new R15 roaster is finally up and running... and we couldn't be happier, or more eager to share it with all of you... watch out for pics/videos in our Instagram and Facebook over the next few weeks... and monthly tours/tastings starting in Sept! (sign-ups available online Sept 1st!). We're also working on some AMAZING new additions (including our first-ever Holiday blend!)

RE: FRESHNESS! | Why it matters? How can you keep your coffee fresh?

Summer is here! And we wanted to welcome it by launching our "RE:" Summer Series - i.e. posts intended to increase your coffee knowledge and bring your coffee experience to a whole new level! They're inspired by questions we frequently get... and we hope you'll help us keep them relevant and interesting by suggesting new topics!

This first one is on a topic we're particularly obsessed about - FRESHNESS! It is perhaps one of the most important quality attributes in coffee, and a major predictor of both aroma and flavor intensity! Why? Because the chemical reactions responsible for coffee aroma and flavor are the same that happen in baking (ever compared a freshly baked loaf of bread with one that's been sitting in your pantry for a week?) - the Maillard reaction (between amino acids and reducing sugars) and Caramelization (the thermal breakdown of sugar). It is these two 'non-enzymatic browning' reactions that transform green coffee components into delicious nutty, chocolatey, 'freshly roasted' aromas & flavors in our coffee beans! We've included links to their Wikipedia pages, for those who'd like to have some fun looking at the chemistry! (I actually had to memorize all the chemical steps for both of these for my PhD Qualifying Exams... they're THAT important... and also responsible for flavor in any food product that's baked, cooked, roasted, browned, dried, etc.... but I digress!).

Now, the tricky part is that all of the aromas (which are also key to certain flavors) formed in these reactions are volatile... which means they're lost over time. In roasted coffee, this loss is exacerbated by the natural "de-gassing" process, i.e. the release of carbon dioxide that has been trapped within the bean's cell structures during the last roasting stages, and slowly released for months after roasting. And while there's nothing we can do to stop this... there are some ways you can keep your coffee fresh longer!

The first is to BUY FRESH! - using your beans within a month of the roasting date will always give you the best experience! You can expect mild flavor changes after 6-8 weeks, and pronounced changes after 4-5 months (yet we hope your beans won't ever last you that long!). The second is to  GRIND FRESH - keeping your coffee beans "whole" means less surface area will be exposed to air...  leaving those delicious aromas "trapped" inside the beans for much longer! And the third is to KEEP COOL (but not in the fridge!) - keeping your beans in a cool (air conditioned), dark place (i.e. your pantry) and in a tightly sealed bag (i.e. the bag we ship to you is specially designed to keep your coffee fresh... only make sure the zipper is always tightly sealed!) will slow down de-gassing, and protect against flavor oxidation! Placing your coffee bag inside an airtight container will also provide some extra protection! Please don't place in the fridge or the freezer - as this will accelerate the de-gassing process (and your beans may 'absorb' some of the aromas/flavors of the other foods in your fridge).

Thank you so much for reading... we hope this was interesting & helpful... and please email us if you have any ideas/questions for our next "RE:" post!

Lisbeth

PS. Quick update on the R15 roaster... we finally got the electrical upgrade project approved, and the new panel was installed on our building last Friday... and are expecting Lakeland Electric to connect our new power as soon as this week!!!

 

RAISING THE BAR! | Can you help us?

We just added our first CAFE FEMENINO® coffees - Cauca (Colombia) & Andes (Peru) - both a step beyond Fair-Trade & Organic, and our new line of Organic loose-leaf custom tea blends featuring tons of fruits, herbals, and of course, amazing black and green teas!

It's been a busy few weeks sampling, roasting, tasting, & sourcing new coffees, elevating our tea program, and working on the installation of our second roaster... but today, as we finally get to put them in front of all of YOU... we realize it's been all well worth it! (If you're a subscriber, we'll honor requests for any of our new coffees and we'll be sending you a 'surprise' tea sample on your next box. We'll be including tea samples on online orders too!)

As we think about the next stage in our story, we're also thinking of ways to elevate both your subscriber experience and your online shopping experience - as they're the core & very likely the future of our business! We really, really, want to have one of the BEST coffee subscription programs in the US (maybe the world?) - offering unparalleled value, freshness, and flexibility/personalization. We also want to have one of the best online values on Fair-Trade & Beyond, Organic, freshly roasted coffee - we want to be so delicious, fresh, and compelling... that no other "shelf" coffee would compare! Yet, we know we don't have a monopoly on ideas! So, if there's anything you'd recommend we do to keep raising the bar, keep earning the opportunity to roast for you again, and become a constant source of pride & conversation with your coffee-loving friends... would you please share it with us? (coffee@ethosroasters.com)

Thank you for your support, generosity, and forever & always, for making this journey possible!

Jolian & Lisbeth

PS. Quick update on R15 installation - we had to special-order some parts for the venting system, which will hopefully be here next week! Should only be a couple more weeks after that before we start firing up our first roasts! We'll be adding VIP tours once we're up and running... stay tuned for dates & online signups (hopefully by our next edition!)

SCA 2018 | The Leap

We just came back from the Specialty Coffee Association's annual conference in Seattle, and couldn't be more excited... we just bought our second roaster! The GR-15 is a beautifully designed, compact, energy-efficient, high-tech roaster with a roasting capacity of over 100 lbs per hour!!! 

We're so grateful to all of you who have made this 'leap' possible - it's only thanks to your continuous love and support - through orders, referrals, social media pics, mentions, shares, and 'showing up' for us that we find ourselves in the (still a bit unbelievable) position of having to add a roaster to increase our capacity (and ability to fulfill orders quickly and ship within hours of roasting - an Ethos promise since the very beginning - and one we intend to keep!). 

Yet, the most exciting part of this 'leap', and our growing volumes, is our increased impact, i.e. being able to import directly the (relatively large) 'minimum volumes' that make shipping/logistics of direct-trade coffees economically feasible. We're surrounded by so much need, so much opportunity, and so much desire on the part of farmer Co-Ops to find a market that values their efforts... and thanks to you... that market is growing!

This leap is just the beginning... of a new chapter in our journey to #brewgreatness... and it would never be complete without you, or your ideas... so, we'll keep sharing #thenewethosroaster journey on Facebook and Instagram (it's currently on its way from Seattle), and plan some "Open Roastery" events as soon as it's up and running!

Thank you for Brewing Greatness with us!

Jolian & Lisbeth

PS. We're cupping some awesome Central American coffees right now... coming in May!!! (Oh yes, Huehue will be back!)

CELEBRATING 2 YEARS!

Ethos is turning TWO! And we have so, SO much to be grateful for, and to celebrate!

We still remember how scared we were when we bought our first 50-lb bag of Specialty, Fair-Trade green coffee to roast, and we thought to ourselves "if this doesn't work out... we may be drinking this coffee for the next two years!" (on the bright side, we'd picked a delicious coffee, so the idea wasn't too unbearable!)... fast-forward two years, and we routinely have days when we roast over 50 lbs! Thank YOU for keeping us roasting & allowing us to discover more amazing coffees!

Ethos began in a very intentional way - we've been focused on making an impact in the lives of farmers and on elevating your coffee excellence since the very beginning (#brewgreatness) - and that is what continues to inspire us every single day. We have so much to celebrate, yet our biggest achievement is perhaps our ability to source, for the first time, a full pallet of coffee from "Poaquil" in Guatemala - paying them THREE times (yes, 3 times!) the market price! (if you want to picture the economic difference that'd make... imagine your next paycheck triples... and stays that way for a whole year!). This one is our most impactful coffee yet, and we couldn't be prouder of bringing you such an outstanding cup! We've also added two new blends in honor of our Lakeland, Florida home - "White Swan" and "Black Swan" - both combine familiar chocolate/nutty coffees with more exotic fruity/floral coffees, for an experience that aims to showcase the best of both worlds.

Over the next few weeks, we'll be sending samples of our new additions, along with special Guatemalan souvenirs from our recent trip! (while supplies last). We also want to invite you to participate in our first "Social Scavenger Hunt" (now until April 15). To win: (1) follow us on Facebook and/or Instagram (or both - we feature different content on each platform!) (2) post TWO (yes, just two!) pics featuring/tagging Ethos (could be two different locations that serve Ethos, including markets/events, OR two different ways/places you brew or enjoy Ethos), (3) review us on Facebook or Google and (4) claim a FREE 8-oz bag of your choice OR Ethos Tote on your next order! (just let us know from which account did you post). 

If we keep going this way... in a few years... we might become an "overnight success"!

Thank you for making this journey possible,

- Jolian & Lisbeth

P.S. We're heading to the SCA in Seattle next month to get our second roaster!!! Stay tuned for pics on FB and IG!

We ❤︎ you!

Happy Valentine's Day!

We just wanted to let you know how much we appreciate you, cherish you, and love roasting for you! Every order, every review, every email, every follow/like/share/post/comment in social media makes us feel so loved, and inspires us to keep going, to keep trying to raise the bar, and to keep earning the privilege to be your roaster! 

We've received some great feedback and ideas based on our previous post... and found some really cool ways to reward you and love you back - like our new "birthday gift" code, "ITSMYBIRTHDAY" - simply enter it at checkout during your birthday month, and get a free 5-oz bag with any order. Plus, subscribers will automatically get a bonus 8-oz bag on their birthday month! 🙌

We're also working on a points-based reward system based on your orders this year - if you haven't already, please consider creating an account so we can see your history and reward you! The first wave of rewards will be released July 1st! 

Finally, check out our awesome new coffee additions - our new X-series "Red Honey", and new coffees from Rwanda, Papua New Guinea, and Brazil have all debuted within the past week! All Fair-Trade, Organic, and awesome - we'll also be happy to include a sample of any one of these on your next order! (just leave us a note). We've also added some gear - hats and totes - which we hope you'll love! 

Next month is Ethos birthday!... so stay tuned... we have some awesome surprises in the works...

Much love,

Jolian & Lisbeth

PS. News Channel 8 did come! 

Ethos 2018 | We have a dream!

Today, as we celebrate one of the most inspirational figures in history, we wanted to reflect and share with you our own aspirations and dreams for this year - we're so excited and would love to hear your thoughts (email us at coffee@ethosroasters.com)!

First, we want to continue on our journey to (one day) be recognized as one of the best coffee roasters in the USA - sourcing a wider selection of beans (including rare finds where both quality and impact are off the charts - i.e. our new "X Series"), and growing our business without compromising our freshness & small-batch roasting promises (to this end, we're planning to add a second roaster this year, which will allow us to serve a wider range of volumes - always roasted fresh, to order!). Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram as we search for #TheNewEthosRoaster!

Second, we want to keep improving your customer experience... and create our first loyalty program this year! If you haven't already, we would encourage you to create an account in our website - we added this functionality to make your checkouts easier (i.e. you can securely save your billing and shipping details), and give you the ability to see your coffee history, but we think we can also use it to reward your support! Please stay tuned... and send us your ideas!  We have also just created our first recurring Subscription program - you can choose the amount of coffee we send, and how often you'd like us to send it! There's no pre-payment, no need to re-order every time, and you can cancel anytime! Ongoing subscribers get our best value (as our new "X Series" coffees are included, plus exclusive sample previews of new arrivals and experimental blends), and we hope you'll check it out and let us know what you think! We've also kept 2, 3, and 6-month prepaid subscriptions, as they make great gifts!

Finally, we want to make sure we continue to grow our IMPACT - we're currently phasing out our non-Organic-certified inventory, so within the next 6 months, ALL Ethos single-origins will be certified Organic. We'll continue to source exclusively Fair-Trade or fully traceable Direct-Trade beans (if the price paid to the farmers is higher than Fair-Trade) and we will continue to go out of our way to find and support small-farmer-championing, women-inclusive cooperatives! 

Thank you so, so much for being part of our dreams and our journey!

Jolian & Lisbeth

PS. WFLA News Channel 8/38 is doing a segment on coffee and they've decided to come to Lakeland and visit the Ethos roastery!!! We'll be in the morning news on Mon, Jan 29, live at 7 am, and on re-runs throughout the day... we'll also try to get and share the link on our Facebook page if you'd like to watch online :)