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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October 24, 2016
Staying Out Past Our Bedtime for a Good Cause
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
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
Altitude: 1,500-2000 meters
Processing: Washed and patio dried
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September 26, 2016
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
Altitude: 1950 meters
Processing: Washed and dried on raised beds
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September 12, 2016
Current Mammoth Coffee Lineup
Here at Mammoth Espresso, we take a lot of pride in serving you the freshest possible coffee. You won’t find a giant urn of anything. In fact, no coffee is made until you’ve ordered it, allowing us to serve you a cup of coffee at the peak of its flavor.
And while by-the-cup brewing promotes freshness, it also gives us incredible flexibility in the variety of coffees we can prepare for you. Walk in right now and you’ll find five carefully curated coffees that can be brewed to order. What’s more, those five coffees can also be iced coffee, each brewed on demand in about three minutes.
If you’ve visited us on a few occasions, you may have noticed our coffee lineup changes with some regularity. This is, in part, to keep our offering interesting and to expose coffee seekers to wonderful coffees from all around the world. But it’s also due to seasonality. Since coffee is an agricultural product, it’s harvested at different times throughout the year. Our lineup reflects those changes in seasonality so you’re always enjoying it in its prime.
So with that in mind, here is our current lineup of coffees, all expertly roasted by our partners Madcap Coffee Co. in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In addition to our pour over bar, we give all coffees a rotation as our featured guest espresso. We encourage exploration in coffee, and we love questions.
Chocolate, creamy and berries
Variety: Bourbon, Caturra and Cataui
Citrus, melon and fruit punch
Variety: SL 28
Tropical and citrus, sparkling acidity, jasmine
Region: Thika Distric
Variety: SL 28 and SL 34
Elefante (El Salvador) **Limited Release**
Peach, tea, berries, floral and lime
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September 12, 2016
Karinga is a beautiful Kenyan coffee with big aroma, subtle tropical flavors, citrus and notes of jasmine. It boasts a sparkling acidity and a clean, lingering aftertaste, and performs equally well as hot or iced coffee.
In Kenya, many farmers are what is known as “smallholders,” meaning they produce a relatively small amount of coffee (sometimes as little as a few bags) and deliver their coffee cherries to a cooperative. The cooperative, often referred to as the “factory,” is charged with processing, sorting, marketing and selling the coffee produced by hundreds of nearby smallholders.
In this instance, the Karinga Factory, located in the Thika district just north of Nairobi, represents nearly 1,000 members. Coffee grown in the area is almost exclusively SL-28 and SL-34 varieties, with a small amount of Ruiri 11. In addition to processing and selling the coffee, the Karinga Factory provides training and assistance to farmers via its field committee, which includes an agronomist who makes regular farm visits to ensure a high standard of quality. When members deliver their coffee cherries to the factory they are paid a base price, and at the end of the season after the coffee has been sold, 90% of the profits are evenly returned.
The Karinga Factory and all of its member farms are situated at 1900 meters above sea level, where coffee is grown in rich, red soil ideal for the varieties being produced. The air here is cooler in the evenings and the sun is plentiful during the day, perfect conditions for fermentation, washing, soaking and drying the coffee.
Karinga was roasted by our partners at Madcap Coffee Co. in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We hope you enjoy this coffee as much as we do.
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September 7, 2016
Acalli Chocolate: Bean-to-Bar in New Orleans
The coffee business shares many similarities with that of chocolate. In each, the subject at hand is the seed of a tropical fruit that is carefully harvested, fermented, dried and roasted. They’re even grown in similar regions, and, in some cases, by the exact same people.
At Mammoth Espresso, we’re fortunate to work with the folks at Acalli Chocolate, a New Orleans chocolate maker producing world-class, bean-to-bar chocolate. This bean-to-bar process means owner Carol Morse and her small team work with farmers at origin to build relationships and directly source cacao. She then uses a roaster to separate the inner beans from their husks, and grinds it in a stone wheel grinder for days before tempering the chocolate to perfection. This all happens in Carol’s workshop in Gretna, before the chocolate is hand delivered to her retail partners throughout New Orleans.
We’ve carried Acalli Chocolate bars since opening in March of this year. New Orleans residents and visitors alike have responded positively to the quality of Acalli’s bars, and also their unique story delivering bean-to-bar chocolate right here in New Orleans. We’re now excited to offer a new bar from Acalli that is available immediately in our shop: the Barataria Blend, which is available with or without cacao nibs and sea salt.
The Barataria is a blend of El Platanal and Norandino Tumbes cacao from Peru. It is a dark, 81% chocolate blend with a deep, fudgy profile with subtle red berry notes. With cacao nibs and sea salt, the Barataria has a pleasing crunch and added complexity. The Barataria is made from organic cacao, Louisiana cane sugar and sea salt.
These new bars are available in a smaller size than what we’ve offered previously in the shop, and also at a lower price point, so you can enjoy a quick chocolate snack along with your coffee or tea. We absolutely love them and we know you will too.
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September 3, 2016
One of the most stunning examples of quality we’ve seen this year has been Elefante, a highly prized variety from the farm of Gloria Rodriguez in El Salvador. Elefante is a new coffee variety that was discovered on Gloria’s farm in the western municipality of Apaneca. The coffee tree that grows this unique variety is similar to a bourbon variety, yet has some similarities in leaf spacing and branches to a typica coffee tree. The density of Elefante’s fruit is double the weight of bourbon cherries, and the juice it produces is generally quadruple what would come out of a coffee cherry when squeezed.
Our roasting partner, Madcap Coffee Co., is the exclusive U.S. supplier of Elefante. As you might expect, this outstanding coffee is in extremely limited supply. We’re offering Elefante as a pour over with some 12 oz retail bags available for purchase. The coffee is noted for its intense sweetness, great body and floral and tea-like notes. Look for sweet peach, berry and lime in the cup.
Gloria Rodriguez is a third generation coffee farmer who has produced several of the most heralded coffees to emerge from El Salvador in recent years. In 2008, Gloria produced a coffee on her farm in the western municipality of Apaneca that went on to win the nation’s Cup of Excellence competition. From that time, Gloria and her family have worked with Madcap to deliver some outstanding coffees to the U.S. specialty market. In addition to Elefante, we’re also carrying Gloria’s El Porvenir, an excellent coffee in its own right.
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August 31, 2016
Antigua is a small city in southern Guatemala surrounded by volcanoes, the largest of which is Volcán de Agua. This towering volcano stands at more than 3,500 meters and, when not hidden by cloud cover, dominates the landscape.
The Mayans called this massive volcano Hunapu, and it’s the same name that Luis Pedro Zelaya uses to refer to the coffee producers that farm mostly Bourbon variety coffee in the nutrient-rich, volcanic soil of Antigua. Luis is a fourth generation farmer and owner of the renowned Beneficio Bella Vista. Luis works with nearly 300 farmers in the area to deliver ripe, sorted coffee that’s processed to perfection.
Many of the world’s best coffee roasters purchase selections from Beneficio Bella Vista, including our roasting partner, Madcap Coffee Co. The green buying team at Madcap has sorted through and tasted numerous lots from Luis at Beneficio Bella Vista, and this Hunapu coffee is a special selection from this area.
The tasting profile of Hunapu consists of intense sweetness with notes of chocolate and cocoa, a creamy body and hints of citrus and berry. It’s terrific as both hot or iced coffee, as well as espresso, where more fruit and floral qualities are expressed. We’ve also got retail bags of Hunapu for brewing at the home or office.
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August 29, 2016
What’s an Iced Dirty Chai and Why is it the Drink of the Summer?
Our iced dirty chai is a delectable pairing of tea and spices, sweetened just enough and blended with creamy milk and a perfect shot of espresso, all served over ice. A lovely balance of indulgence and utility (it does contain a doubleshot, after all), the iced dirty chai was quick to become (and continues to be) the drink of the summer.
The origins of chai are traced back to India, where it’s a wildly popular beverage with regional variations. The drink grew out of the massive tea economy brought on through British colonization and the British East India Tea Company. Whereas the Brits would combine black tea with milk and sugar, Indians made tea their own by by adding native spices like ginger, cinnamon and clove.
At Mammoth Espresso, we use chai made by our friend Bapi at MyChai in Bend, Oregon. The chai is all natural and made with organic black tea and cane sugar, along with vanilla, molasses and a blend of spices. We combine this with milk from Mauthe Farms in McComb, Mississippi, or our housemade almond milk, and serve it up with a doubleshot of espresso in a tall cup of ice. The result is a refreshing, sweetly spiced iced beverage with enough espresso to put some pep in your step.
We love it, and we think you will too.