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Tag Archives: Coffee

  • New Coffee | Rwanda Gitesi Kibuye

    Posted on May 9, 2015 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith

    Just a heads up on a limited availability offering from Rwanda. When I first cupped this coffee, it struck me as a cross between a complex Kenyan and a refined central American coffee. I have been in love with it from sip one. It originates from the Gitesi washing station and is made up from multiple small farm harvests from the surrounding Kibuye area. I have brewed this using french presses, Chemex's and a Clover brewer, all are a treat. Pulled as an espresso, wowzers, tropical fruit candy in a cup. We broke 70 degrees today and I brewed it as a Japanese style iced coffee, added a touch of cream and sugar...heavenly. This isn't a coffee that comes along every day.

    (Click for our offerings list)



    This post was posted in Uncategorized, Coffee Review, What We are Drinking Now, News and was tagged with Coffee, Rwanda, 90 point coffee, Espresso Roast, Iced Coffee

  • Q&A: How long does roasted coffee stay fresh?

    Posted on March 11, 2015 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith

    As beans age, you face a scenario similar to the law of diminishing return. Chemically, lots of stuff happens to coffee as it get older. The result in the cup is a drop in acidity, decline of clarity, decline of varietal/origin character, decline of body, thin mouth-feel, decrease of aromatics...and a host of many other negatives.

    How long a roasted coffee is fresh depends on many things, like packaging, density, roast degree, process type, form (pre-ground/whole), relative humidity, exposure to light, temperature exposure...etc. As a rule of thumb, a coffee about 2 weeks off roast is at its peak in quality, give or take. Lighter roasted high elevation coffees (high density) such as our Kenya Nyeri Karatina Peaberry and Guatemala San Rafael Urias tend to age very well. Low grown coffees (low density) such a many Brazilian or Hawaian Kona coffees tend to age very quickly. [Soap Box]: Hawaiian coffees are some of the most expensive coffees to buy in the United States. A fresh Kona is a delightful experience, but most people buy a bag from a grocery store that was roasted 4-5 months before they brew it. Any goodness from these coffees are long gone. Unless you buy a bag from a roaster that is clearly marked with a roasted on date, don't waste your money on Hawaiian coffees. [Off Soap Box]

    When brewing coffee that is old, perhaps a month or two past roast, you might notice that a once fruity and floral Ethiopian Yirgacheffe now tastes rather generic. This didn't just happen all at once. If you brewed this coffee exactly the same each day over the span of 2 months you would notice that it gradually declines in quality, it doesn't one day go from being really good to blah. If you brew this coffee for espresso, for example, as the coffee ages it becomes thinner and decreases in body. To compensate for the age, one can slightly increase the dose (amount of coffee used) or grind a bit finer. Changing one or both of these factors can extend the "life" of this coffee for awhile, but at some point increasing dose or grinding finer can no longer compensate in cup quality. This is what I call the "Law of Diminishing Return" when applied to coffee.

    Interestingly, coffee that is newly roasted needs a couple days of "rest" before brewing before many of the flavors start to really show themselves in the cup. For espresso use, 3 days of rest is the minimum we recommend before brewing, 5-6 days of rest seems to be a sweet spot for most espresso coffees.

    How a coffee ages after it reaches its peak can be a perplexing. Oxygen, light, high humidity, and high temperatures all seem to be enemies of freshness. We package our coffees in high barrier bags with tin-ties. Once open, we recommend folding the top down, expelling as much air as possible, then secure closed with the tin-tie. This will protect the coffee from excess oxygen exposure, light, and changes in humidity.

    If you don't plan on using the coffee for a few days, it is okay to put it in the freezer. To do so successfully, place the tin-tie bag inside a Ziploc freezer bag, expel as much air as possible, then place in your freezer. The important part is to remove the bag several hours before use and allowing the coffee to return to room temperature before opening. If you open when frozen, moisture in the air will condense on the cold beans and get them wet (think a glass of iced tea and the water that forms on the sides of the glass).

    So How long does roasted coffee stay fresh? The simple answer is: It depends. But, a good rule of thumb is a coffee retains most of its "fresh" attributes until about a month after it was roasted.

    This post was posted in News, Coffee Education and was tagged with Coffee, Q&A, How Long Is Coffee Fresh, Stale Coffee

  • Free Shipping on Coffee Sampler Pack for a Limited Time!

    Posted on October 20, 2014 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith


    From long time coffee lovers to first time specialty coffee buyers, we are often asked if we could offer a sample pack of several of our current coffees.  Well, wait no longer!  Our sampler pack includes 3 different coffees, each highlighting different growing regions and unique flavors from around the world.

    We look long and hard for exceptional coffees that we are proud to offer our customers, and our first sample pack is one in which we could not be prouder.  Two of the coffees cup at over 90 points! (If you don't know what that means, it means they are really-really good.)

    To kick off the introduction of our sampler pack, we are offering free shipping on the coffee sampler through October.  Use Code SAMPLER in the discount code box at checkout.  CLICK HERE TO ORDER.

    This post was posted in What We are Drinking Now, News, On Sale and was tagged with Single Origin, Coffee, Free Shipping, Natural Processed Coffee, Washed Coffee, Coffee Sample Pack, Coffee Sampler, 90 point coffee

  • 20 Second Peak at a Guatemalan Coffee Wet Mill

    Posted on February 20, 2014 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith

    Our friends posted this video of their coffee at a wet mill in Guatemala.

    There are several methods for processing coffee, one of our favorites is wet process (aka washed, fully washed).  Shortly after being picked by hand, coffee cherries are taken to the mill where they are first sorted in water tanks, then sent through the pulper, which is what is shown here. The pulper removes the skin and much of the fruit from the coffee bean.  After this, the coffee is then sent to fermentation tanks where they will stay for about 24-48 hours.

    In the video you can see the red coffee cherries going into the mill.  In the last few seconds of the video you can watch the de-pulped coffee beans exiting the mill.  At this point they are whitish/light yellow in color and still covered in a sticky mucilage that is removed in the fermentation tanks.


    This post was posted in News, Coffee Education and was tagged with Single Origin, Coffee, Coffee Processing, Washed Coffee, Guatemala, Coffee Mill

  • Tea & Coffee Consumption of the World

    Posted on January 16, 2014 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith

    Tea & Coffee Consumption of the World Circa 2012 Tea & Coffee Consumption of the World Circa 2012 (Credit:


    We saw this article a few weeks back that took data from 79 countries to build this infographic on coffee and tea consumption by country.  Pew Research picked it up and have a nice synopsis found here and the Economist posted an interactive map of the data found here


    I think it is no surprise that the United States is clearly a coffee drinking nation, as are the nations building the coffee belt of Central and South America.  I would suppose that much of the East Africa would also lean this direction but no data was examined or available for this study.


    It was also no surprise that tea reigned supreme in Asian & Island countries, but what did surprise me a bit was the polarity of coffee and tea preference within countries.  Most countries lean heavily towards one or the other, with only a handful (European mostly) that were more centric in beverage preference.


    While coffee yields worldwide are about twice that of tea (by weight), when it comes to cup equivalents, about 3 cups of tea are drunk worldwide for every cup of coffee.


    While we are talking about it, just now saw this from


    Where the world's biggest coffee drinkers live.  Credit: Where the world's biggest coffee drinkers live. (Credit:


    Biggest coffee drinker title goes to the Netherlands, averaging 2.414 cups a day.  The USA averages 0.931 cups a day, while China and Nigeria only average a few drops of coffee a day.


    I would love to see this study using data on specialty coffee drinkers of the world.  If I had to guess on a per-capita basis, I would theorize that South Korea and the Scandinavian countries would be at the top of the list, with the USA chasing behind.


    This study also seems to lack data on Eastern African countries, which is disappointing as this is the birthplace of coffee and some of the most remarkable coffees are being grown here to this day.


    Coffee Consumption per Capita Coffee Consumption per Capita (Credit:

    This post was posted in News, Coffee Education and was tagged with Coffee, Infographic, Coffee & Tea Consumption

  • Coffee Giveaway! | Square Peg Espresso

    Posted on May 2, 2013 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith

    That's right!  We are hosting another giveaway.  Win two bags of our hand-crafted Square Peg Espresso using coffee from Uganda's Kabum Cooperative. An amazing coffee supporting an amazing ticket out of poverty for a Ugandan community! Entry is easy, just use the form below.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    This post was posted in News and was tagged with Single Origin, Coffee, Washed Coffee, Giveaway, Espresso, Kabum Cooperative, Mt. Elgon, Square Peg Espresso

  • Coffee Q&A | Espresso, Bean Density, and Crema

    Posted on April 17, 2013 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith

    Q: I like to experiment with what coffee I use in my espresso maker.  I notice some coffees work really well, producing lots of crema, well while others are hard to grind (using my hand grinder), taste sour, and produce a thin espresso.  What is happening?


    A: Experimenting with different coffees when making an espresso is a lot of fun.  I still remember the first time I tried a Brazil based espresso blend side-by-side with a natural processed Ethiopian Harrar.  It was a wow moment in my life when I realized how deliciously different coffees from around the world can be.

    For understanding, espresso is a preparation method and roasters roast coffee specifically for the espresso preparation method. Say a roaster has a single origin lot of Ethiopia Harrar, for example.  A typical roast profile for a pourover (drip) will be lighter than one for espresso.  Using the lighter roast profile in an espresso will produce a very bright (sometimes sour / sometimes pleasant) and lemony cup, lacking the caramels, chocolate, toffee and body compared to the same bean roasted a bit darker for espresso.

    Some coffee beans are more difficult to grind because of density.  Bean density is impacted by multiple factors, most common are plant variety (compare a Pacamara's soft bean structure to a Typica), growing altitude (generally higher is denser), and bean ripeness when harvested.  Processing, as far as I know, does not have a substantial effect on density (natural, washed, semi washed, etc...).




    When roasting coffee, several things happen that affect bean density: the loss of water and the expansion of the woody structure of the bean.  Much of the expansion happens at the onset of first crack and continues through second.  Most palatable lighter roasts can end as early as the end of first crack where the beans are still relatively dense, while espresso roasts tend towards the onset of 2nd crack or beyond (of course it is a subjective choice).

    As for crema production on an espresso extraction, again, many things affect this including those things mentioned above (variety, process, and roast degree).  Anecdotal-y, it seems natural and honey process coffees tend to have more crema than washed, but I could also point out hundreds of exceptions to that observation. Elapsed time after roast has a big impact on roast degree.  A huge decrease in crema is seen after around 14 days after roast.  A tasting attribute we call "body" increases through the roast spectrum until around 2nd crack and then it drops off.  I would speculate that there is a correlation between a coffee's body and the amount of crema produced in espresso, although I don't remember seeing any studies on this topic.


    If you have a coffee question you want answered, send us an email and we will try to give you an answer.

    This post was posted in Coffee Education and was tagged with Coffee, Coffee Roasting, Ethiopia, Ethiopian Coffee, Natural Processed Coffee, Washed Coffee, Espresso, Q&A, Coffee Density, Crema, Dark Vs. Light Roast

  • Giveaway | Square Peg Espresso

    Posted on February 4, 2013 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith

    Square Peg Espresso

    If you haven't heard, we are giving away 2 bags of our Square Peg Espresso!  Entering is easy too!  We will be drawing a winner on Monday, February 18th.

    To enter, simply fill out the form below, or visit our Facebook page and click on the Giveaway icon near the top right of the page.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Square Peg Espresso uses coffee from the Kabum Cooperative on Mt. Elgon in Uganda.  Read more about Kabum here.

    This post was posted in News and was tagged with Coffee, Giveaway, Espresso, Kabum Cooperative, Mt. Elgon, Square Peg Espresso, Uganda

  • New Coffee Offering | Ethiopia Sidamo Ardi

    Posted on August 22, 2012 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith

    We continually search and scour for exceptional coffee lots that are worthy of the Venia Coffee name and it is with great pride that we formally announce the release of our newest offering from Ethiopia.




    Because of Ethiopian politics, few coffees being exported are traceable. This wonderful Ardi lot, from Sidamo, is an exception and comes from a family run farm near the town of Michicha. Each coffee cherry is selectively picked from heirloom plants and carefully dried inside the fruit on raised African beds. Meticulous attention is payed during this process assuring an exceptionally clean cup.




    We roast this light, stopping the roast as first crack is finishing up. Fragrant berries explode out of the bag. In the cup, lightly sweet, lemon, peach, fresh cedar, and a tangy ferment. Bright fruit-like acidity leads into a chocolatey medium body. A real treat.

    More information about this coffee & purchase here.

    Continue Reading

    This post was posted in Coffee Review, News and was tagged with Coffee, Coffee Roasting, New Product, Ethiopia, Ethiopia Sidamo Ardi, Ethiopian Coffee, Ethiopian Ardi, Natural Processed Coffee

  • New Coffee Offering | Rwanda Fair Trade Dukunde Kawa

    Posted on August 1, 2012 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith

    We are proud to announce the release of our Rwanda Fair Trade from the famed Dukunde Kawa Cooperative near Musasa.




    Medium bodied, complex, with notes of raisins, cinnamon, port wine, plum and apple.


    Continue Reading

    This post was posted in What We are Drinking Now, News and was tagged with Coffee, Coffee Roasting, New Product, Rwanda, Dukunde Kawa, Fair Trade Coffee

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