November 30, 2016

Introducing Harar

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Harar is a region in eastern Ethiopia, whose desert landscape is quite different from other larger Ethiopian coffee-producing regions. Though regions like Yirgacheffe and Sidama often dominate the discussion of Ethiopian coffee, Harar holds a special place in coffee lore as the origin of commercial coffee production.

This coffee comes to us from our roasting partners at Madcap Coffee Co., who work directly with Ethiopian coffee exporter Heleanna Georgalis on this Harar selection. Heleanna grew up in Harar and her family operates a dry mill in the area. She purchases the highest grades of Harar coffee off the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange, and then separates her purchase further to produce her own Grade 1 Quality from the highest scoring coffees.

On the Mammoth cupping table we’re getting baked apple, cinnamon and mulling spices, hints of raspberry and cranberry, chocolate and butter. As it cools, more of the tart raspberry is revealed, and the body of Harar is syrupy and buttery.

Harar is a natural process coffee (also known as “dry process”), meaning the coffee seed was dried in the sun with its mucilage and cherry still intact. This allows producers in water-scarce regions like Harar to process their coffee. Natural process coffees also tend to have very fruit-forward profiles. We previously wrote a post detailing the differences between natural and washed process coffees, which you can link to here.

Stop by to check our Harar on the pour over bar, or pick up a 12 oz retail bag for your home brewing.

Harar (Ethiopia)
Baked strudel, mulling spice, raspberry and chocolate
Region: East Harar
Variety: Heirloom
Processing: Natural Process

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November 23, 2016

Teas We Love: You Le Huang Ye

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I’m going to start this post with a little word salad: You Le Huang Ye Sheng Puer. What is that? What does it mean? Can I drink it? All important questions that we’ll address in this post. In short, You Le Huang Ye is one of the newest teas on the menu, and, interestingly, one of our oldest as well.

You Le Huang Ye is the name of the tea, which is in the Puer category. If that term – Puer, or Puerh – isn’t immediately familiar to you, that’s okay. Think of it as just another tea type, like Green, Oolong or Black tea. In the simplest terms, Puer is a tea that goes through a fermentation and oxidation phase, which brings about interesting qualities in the cup and allows for prolonged storage and enjoyment of the tea.

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We have two terrific examples of Puer tea in the shop right now. You Le Huang Ye is a beautiful Puer that was created in 2014 and has been aging for a couple years. The other Puer on our menu – Yun Wu – was created in 2007. Both of these are Sheng Puer, which is one of two types of Puer, along with Shu Puer.

 

There are two ways to produce puer: Sheng puer (like You Le Huang Ye) and Shu puer. In either style, the tea begins its life as Puer Mao Cha, which is the raw material used in either Sheng or Shu puer. Puer Mao Cha is made by pan-firing the harvested leaves of the Da Ye Zhong variety, also known as large leaf type. It then follows the processing steps to become Sheng or Shu Puer.

In Sheng Puer, the tea is allowed to naturally ferment and oxidize over time. In Shu Puer, the tea is pile-fermented, a process in which leaves are placed into piles, moisture is added and the pile is occasionally turned for a duration of up to several weeks. In this way Shu mimics the slow maturation of Sheng Puer.

Puer teas are often found pressed into various shapes for storage. Our You Le Huang Ye is pressed as a Bing Cha, in which the leaves are pressed into a flat disk shape. This tea was plucked, blended and pressed by the Feng Wei Yu Gong Tea Factory located in Lincang in Yunnan Province, China. And it comes to us via our tea partners at Jojo Tea in Miami, Florida. The tea was pressed on April 6, 2014, and is relatively young in terms of its potential shelf life. It’s flavor may be enhanced over time, but it is also enjoyed in its current state.

In the cup, You Le Huang Ye has notes of toasted almonds, fig jam, rose petal and tobacco. The profile softens and sweetens with subsequent steeps, and we’ll gladly steep this tea for you in-house up to six times, making You Le Huang Ye one of the best values on our menu. We’re proud to share this tea with you, and to have an opportunity to explore the vast and wonderful world of tea together. Cheers!

puersheng

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Calling all freelancers, telecommuters and digital nomads! Looking for a place to work this Friday? Mammoth Espresso is hosting the November edition of Freelance Friday, a popup workspace for coworking and networking, on Friday, November 25. Come work in a casual environment along with other indie workers, creatives and entrepreneurs, all fueled by Mammoth Espresso.

Freelance Friday
November 25, 9 am – 3 pm
Mammoth Espresso
821 Baronne Street, New Orleans

Anyone is welcomed to be part of this community. Check it out on Friday and get a special Black Friday deal for our freelancing friends – $1 off all drinks purchased for Freelance Friday attendees.

On the web at http://freelancefriday.co
Facebook event at https://www.facebook.com/events/159287481200355/
Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/freelancefridayco
Tweeting at https://twitter.com/freelancecowork
Photoing at https://www.instagram.com/freelancefriday/
FF e-mail list: http://eepurl.com/caRAJ5

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November 16, 2016

Teas We Love: Bai Hao Yin Zhen

Recently we shared one of our favorite black teas with you, our Ruby 18, and the response from our tea friends (and coffee friends, frankly) has been really terrific. So we’re continuing with profiles of several remarkable teas on our current menu, including this feature on Bai Hao Yin Zhen, a lovely white tea that’s steeped in China’s tea history.

But first, a little primer on white tea. What is it, exactly? Think of white tea like that leaf collection you made in your seventh grade science class. When you placed your leaf inside a large book, the moisture slowly left the leaf until the leaf became relatively chemically stable. Once you achieved this withered state, you were able to preserve and examine the leaf collection. That’s a dangerously simplistic way to describe white tea, but I think it helps frame the process.

In tea making, once a tea leaf is plucked it begins to wither, and the chemical components inside the leaf break down and come into contact with oxygen – a process we call oxidation. Over the past few hundred years, tea producers have become quite adept at controlling this withering and oxidation process. In white tea production, leaves are allowed to wither for several days before drying, a long process that develops the tea’s flavor and builds an intense fragrance with leaves that are just slightly oxidized.

Our Bai Hao Yin Zhen is produced by tea masters in China’s Fuding county in the Fujian Province, which is the origin of white tea making. Bai Hao Yin Zhen, also known as White Hair Silver Needle, is a prized white tea that is easily identified by its coat of tiny white “hairs,” which are technically trichomes. The strict plucking standard for this tea is only one bud. As opposed to mature leaves, the buds are jam-packed with glucose, giving Bai Hao Yin Zhen a notably sweet quality.

In this March 2016 harvest of Bai Hao Yin Zhen, look for notes of honeydew, freshly sliced cucumber and a silky body with mellow, honey-like sweetness. This tea comes to us from our friends at Jojo Tea.

The following photos were taken by Michael Tucker. More of his work can be found at mchltckr.com

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We’re inviting everyone to come out this Thursday night for a special latte art competition at Mammoth Espresso. The competition, known as Thursday Night Throwdown, will pit some of the best baristas in New Orleans head-to-head to test their latte art skills.

It’s a competition, sure, but it’s also celebration of the entire coffee community, so come hang, BYOB and have some fun with us this Thursday, November 17. Signups will begin at 7:30 pm for those competing and the actions starts at 8:30 pm.

Check out this photo recap of our last latte art competition right here: http://mammothespresso.com/mammoth-espresso-latte-art-throwdown/.

We’ll also have the amazing Hot Plate Boyz popping up in our kitchen, so come hungry. A few bucks will get you some of the best grub around, including:

  • Candied ham biscuits with candied jalapenos, grilled pineapple and basil
  • Pimento mac and cheese with pulled pork and cracklins
  • Cornbread dressing with slow roasted turkey and pickled onions

Thursday Night Throwdown is a production of the New Orleans Barista Social Club, of which we’re proud to be a founding supporter. You can learn more about BSC and their events at http://baristasocialclub.com.

Also, a big thanks to our very own Maria Degtiarenko for designing this kick ass galaxy flier.

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November 8, 2016

Teas We Love: Ruby 18

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At Mammoth Espresso, we’re big proponents that the same attention to detail and integrity of our coffee program should translate seamlessly to our tea program. We work diligently to bring you the best teas from renown growers the world over, and strive to create a remarkable experience for you in our shop. We love exploring the world of tea and want to share our enthusiasm with you.

One of our favorite teas right now is Ruby 18, a world-class Taiwanese black tea that’s unlike any black tea we’ve ever had. Ruby 18 boasts a complex, cinnamon-like aroma and has a strong depth of flavor with subtle fruit tones and plenty of sweetness. It finishes with a long, cooling mint quality.

Though it’s known as Ruby 18 through much of the west, this tea also goes by Hong Yu, or “Red Jade.” It was pioneered by the Taiwan Tea Research and Extension Station (or, TRES) and can also be found as TRES 18. It was created by crossing a native Taiwan variety with a Burmese strain of Assam tea. Ruby 18 is now grown by some of the most esteemed tea farmers in Taiwan, notably in the Sun Moon Lake region of Nantou County.

Ruby 18 is one of the most interesting and wonderful teas we’ve found, and truly a unique experience for tea lovers.

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October 31, 2016

Introducing Juan Angel

Juan Angel is the latest addition to the Mammoth Espresso coffee lineup, and we’re excited to share this beautiful coffee with you. Named for coffee producer Juan Angel Izaguirre, this coffee comes from the Santa Barbara region of Honduras on Juan Angel’s farm, El Cedral.

Our roasting partner, Madcap Coffee Co., has purchased coffee from this farm since 2014, the first time Juan Angel sold directly to a buyer. Since then, Juan Angel has invested in quality and production improvements and grown his capacity. The relationship with Madcap has also grown, and they are now the sold buyer of Juan Angel’s coffee.

On our cupping table, Juan Angel performed exceedingly well. The aroma is reminiscent of freshly baked chocolate cake and chocolate covered cherries. This coffee is clean with a slight cocoa sweetness and a lingering hint of cola. It’s excellent as a hot or iced coffee, and we’ll soon pull it as espresso. And while supplies last we’ve got 12 ounce retail bags for your home brewing needs.  

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Who says early birds can’t also be night owls? Last Thursday the staff of Mammoth Espresso ventured out into the evening for A Dark and Stormy Night, a ghoulish party with fantastic costumes, cocktails, food and music. It was all part of the annual fundraising event for Big Class, and we were honored to be part of the food and beverage partners who donated time and services for a worthy cause.

Big Class is a New Orleans-based nonprofit that provides innovative writing programs free-of-charge for under-resourced students. The program allows students, ages 6 through 18, to explore their creativity, improve their writing skills, grow their confidence and discover their voice. In 2015-2016 alone, Big Class served more than 1,200 young people and produced 34 publications featuring their writing. You can read more about their current programs at http://bigclass.org/current-programs/.

While many of New Orleans’ hottest cocktail bars and restaurants were serving haunting drinks and delectable foods, Mammoth Espresso fueled the party with a complimentary cold brew station. It was awesome to be part of such a fun event, and provide support for the work Big Class is doing in our community. Big Class aims to open a youth writing center in New Orleans’ 7th Ward in spring 2017. Donor contributions and ticket sales during this event are key fundraising opportunities for this major project.

Learn more about Big Class and its programs online at http://bigclass.org, where you can also find ways to contribute or purchase incredible books from young New Orleans authors. Our favorite is Do You Like Groceries and Crunchy Things?, a delightful collection of food reviews from first-grade foodies.

All photos taken by Maria Degtiarenko, barista and photographer

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October 3, 2016

Introducing El Pilar

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The history of El Pilar is traced back to the 1800s, well before coffee production had become an important part of Guatemala’s economy in the 1850s. El Pilar is located in the high mountains of San Juan Sacatepequez with elevations between 1,500-2,000 meters above sea level. The farm has changed ownership over the years, but current owner Juan Chen has preserved the original varieties grown on El Pilar, typica and bourbon. Many of the coffee trees on this farm have been growing for more than 70 years, and some of the taller trees require a ladder for coffee to be harvested.

We like the warm, sweet tea-like qualities of El Pilar, and the subtle floral and citrus notes. As always, this coffee comes to us from our partners at Madcap Coffee Co.

Tasting notes: Floral, sweet tea, citrus and spice
Producer: Juan Chen
Region: San Juan Sacatepequez
Variety: Typica
Altitude: 1,500-2000 meters
Processing: Washed and patio dried

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September 26, 2016

Introducing Hunkute

Hunkute just might be our favorite Ethiopian coffee of the year, and we’ve had some great ones. With a bright lemonade quality and floral and tangerine notes, Hunkute is a delightful hot or iced coffee. As espresso, Hunkute is like a mouthwatering, juicy-sweet taffy candy (think Starburst fruit chews), and when incorporated with steamed milk is reminiscent of freshly baked glazed lemon cookies.

This coffee, roasted by our partners at Madcap Coffee Co., comes from an organic cooperative in Wonsho, Sidama, in Ethiopia. The Hunkute Cooperative is comprised of roughly 2,000 small farmers who grow their coffee nearby. Hunkute falls under the umbrella of the much larger Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative, which provides support to more than 70,000 farmers at 47 cooperatives throughout Sidama. While this is a limited release coffee, we plan on keeping it in our lineup as long as we can.

Tasting notes: Lemonade, floral, bright, tangerine
Producer: Hunkute Cooperative
Region: Wonsho, Sidama
Variety: Heirloom
Altitude: 1950 meters
Processing: Washed and dried on raised beds

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