Origin Story Part 3, please let this just be a trilogy
Boom! Just like that we’re on to our Origin Story Part Three. Does it feel like we’re cruising? It looks like we’re doubling down on bean content today. Like our moms always say, double the beans, double the fun. In this installment we’ll be covering the reasons we chose our beans. For your reference, here at NuRange Coffee we use an arabica bean from Guatemalan for our cold brew. Remember that moving forward.
It would be best if we explained our goal for our coffee before we dive into the selection of our beans. We were unique in that we reverse engineered our coffee, rather than finding a bean and making it work for us. We analyzed how our entire production process would affect the coffees, and chose our beans accordingly. Going into development we knew that we wanted a bright, chocolaty coffee with a clear flavor. Due to our canning process, we would need to have a very specific roast level. Additionally, coffee made from our beans would need to be less acidic than most cold brews to survive our canning method. After studying hundreds of different beans, we found the perfect fit for our coffee.
how we got there
There are hundreds of coffee bean varietals, similar to grapes and the wine industry. However, you really only need to know two: Arabica and Robusta. The main two varieties of coffee account for almost 95% of all beans produced in the world. Robusta has a strong, harsh taste and peanut aftertaste. They are found primarily in espressos, and grown throughout Indonesia and Africa. Arabica beans are sweeter, clearer, with fruit and sugar tones. Arabica beans produce a more acidic coffee than robusta beans, and they need to be grown at high altitudes.
Well that primary decision helped us figure a lot out almost immediately. We knew we wanted a sugary bean that was higher in acid content to produce the coffee we wanted. Arabica beans it was, and it was time to start looking for regions that produced some of the richest, best tasting coffees in the world. We’re going to skip the boring part here where we try dozens of different coffees from dozens of different countries in the world. We were sampling beans grown at different altitudes and in different soils. After weeks of nonstop coffee samples we settled on the perfect bean.
Spilling the beans about our beans
Remember the Guatemalan beans we mentioned earlier? Well it’s time for us to cover everything about them. Grown in the western highlands of Huehuetenango at over a mile high, our beans are fire. Sure there are better ways to describe them, but in a word, they are F-I-R-E. They are from an incredible cooperative, located right on the side of a mountain. Since the soil is non-volcanic and dry it creates the perfect growing conditions for coffee beans. Additionally a unique microclimate allows coffee to be grown at an unusually high altitude with protection from frost.
The coffee beans themselves have a very rich flavor profile with notes of dried fruit and chocolate. The body? Full. The acidity? Bright. The Aroma? Cocoa. These beans are capable of producing a cold brew coffee that is sweet without sugar and creamy without cream. It was a match made in heaven, and after our first test run it was a match made in heaven. Luckily the farm met all of the ethical guidelines we had laid out ourselves at the start of this process. Fair trade, organic, single origin and non-GMO? It was safe to say we swiped right immediately.
The Comedy Central Roast Of Nurange coffee
The last hurdle was establishing a roast level. If the coffee bean is the grape in our metaphor, the roast level is the fermentation process. Beans are roasted to certain levels of darkness. The darker the bean, the longer it’s been roasted. A darker roast is typically much stronger in coffee taste, but loses more of it’s flavor notes. The caffeine content also lowers with the roast level. Light roasts are more acidic, higher caffeine content, but less of an aroma and flavor. Medium roasts represent the balance between the two.
At NuRange, we use a dark roast, “past second crack.” This is one of the darker roasts you can make. As we mentioned earlier, dark roasts are less acidic, less caffeinated, and have more coffee notes. A darker roast develops the caramel and chocolate flavors in the beans we were looking for, while eliminating acidity, fruit and soil tones in the coffee.
Just like that, we’re done with our Origin Story Part 3. We have a business plan, beans, and for some reason an office at WeWork. We were bright eyed and bushy tailed, totally unaware of what was to come next. Stay tuned to see what happens when we start to explore the addition of CBD to our cold brews.