We are very excited to finally have some retail access in Oak Cliff! If you find yourself in immediate need of our fresh-roasted coffee and you cannot wait until the next delivery day, or you live outside of our delivery area you can (starting Thursday, April 30th) Ann’s Market.
Personally, I’m excited about this because Ann’s is a place where I love to shop and each lunch (they have good sandwiches!). It is great to see our product on their shelves and to be able to support a fellow Oak Cliff business.
For those of you who are outside of our delivery area, we are adding another location where you can pick up a bag of Oak Cliff Coffee. The new Trinity River Audubon Center, which opened last fall, is revamping their Nature Store(opening Wednesday, April 29th).
They will be selling a few local food items including our coffee. If you haven’t been down there yet it’s worth taking an afternoon and checking it out. They have 4 miles of hiking trails along the Trinity River.
One of the things that we do to promote excellent coffee-drinking is to stamp each bag of coffee with a ‘Roasted-On Date”. It’s part of a committment to greater tranparency into our business and it gives you, as the purchaser, important information up which enables you to make a wiser purchase decision. We believe every coffee roaster or coffee retailer should be able to tell you exactly when the coffee you are drinking was roasted.
Coffee is not a product like milk, it will not sour or harm you if it is old. It is a roasted product… comparable to baked bread, and it simply loses flavor and turns stale. This fact enables most commercial coffee retailers to give you an expiration date that provides absolutely no valuable information. Typically the expiration date is between 6 – 24 months from the roast date!
Think about that… You could buy a bag a coffee at the grocery store, then enroll in a junior college and graduate with your associate’s degree all before you reach the expiration date of that bag of coffee. Does that sound tasty to you?
The biggest problem with all of this is that they do not tell you how far off the expiration date is from the actual roast date. So you are left to guess or just grab a bag in ignorance. Grocery stores are huge businesses, though, with a lot of inventory, so maybe we can overlook that and simply keep our expectations low about the quality of coffee it is possible to get at the grocery store.
But what about coffee retailers? Businesses who are supposedly primarily dedicated to this product. Can they tell you when your coffee was roasted, so you can enjoy it somewhere during it’s peak of flavor (typically 3-14 days after roast)? Ask them! It is not an unreasonable question. You wouldn’t buy month-old bread from your favorite bakery would you? I know that I wouldn’t.
Transparency in business transactions is never easy, but it is necessary to run a respectable business with integrity. We have had to give away (and rarely throw away) coffee that has gone too far past it’s roasted on date. And we have no choice because the “Roasted-On Date” stamped on the bag is glaring at us… keeping us honest. We do this because we want the best product to represent us and because we have a relationship with our customers that we value.
So ask your coffee shop or coffee retailer when their coffee was roasted and expect an satisfactory answer!
My friend Ryan, who shares my passion for coffee, told me a month or so ago about this sort of underground event that took place in a chef’s backyard. The chef would prepare (with some help) a multi-course meal for 30-40 random people and he would pair each course with a wine (or coffee).
Ryan thought our coffee would go well with the dinner and introduced me (via email) to Jordan, the organizer. The next dinner was this past weekend and we we’re running around the Cliff serving and selling coffee so I didn’t get to attend. But Ryan and his girlfriend went and took our coffee and from all reports it was well-received.
I am anticipating the next dinner and I’m definitely going to try to attend, not just to provide coffee, but to take it in and see what this is all about. Here is Jordan’s blog, www.foodcreatescommunity.blogspot.com. Check it out and see what you think.
Thank you Jordan for serving our coffee and thank you Ryan for doing all the leg work!
Update: We will not be offering our coffee at Espumoso Cafe.
The Advocate mentioned in their Oak Cliff blog today that the Espumoso Cafe might possibly be serving our coffee when it opens in late April. We have been in touch with one of the owners, but there is nothing officially happening… yet. We are excited about an opportunity to have our coffee served in Oak Cliff. We’ll keep you updated!
We got some kinds words, from Todd Johnson of Side Dish – D Magazine, about the Farmer’s Market at Bolsa this past weekend. Thanks Todd, for the write up, I hope you’re still enjoying the coffee and please drop us a note when you run out.
It was a great time and a big success. In fact I had to sneak away to roast some more coffee in the middle of the event. Fortunately Rob (and of course my wife) were there to cover for me.
We are grateful to the folks at Bolsa for inviting us in spite of not being their own coffee provider because I’d imagine it wasn’t good for their coffee sales that day. But they sure weren’t hurting for foot traffic!