Sunday, August 18, 2013

First Crack

It is about 380 degrees in the lime green coffee roaster at Water Street Coffee Joint when a sound much like popcorn popping becomes audible. The natural gas powered drum roaster turns as the CO2 leaves the water in the coffee beans release steam creating the popping sound. The beans darken and expand in size.

This is one of 20 coffee bean varieties on site destined for the Water Street cafes or one of 250 wholesale accounts. The beans are roasted to order. “Always look at the packaging for the ‘roasted on’ date to determine freshness,” said Seth Chapman, Roast Manager at Water Street Coffee Joint. Accompanying the freshness, Water Street take great care with consistency - “It’s as important as quality and roast profile,” said Chapman.

There is a trend developing where coffee is sourced from a specific area of a specific plantation. The terroir of coffee shows through in your cup. They taste and test daily – sometimes 10 batches from the same region to select the beans they sell. Beans are harvested around the globe at different times, so the roaster gets the green beans into the facility right away. It’s as fresh as possible.

A new product for Water Street is their hand bottled chilled coffee. They began selling it at the Kalamazoo farmers market, and it is now available at all of their café locations.

Water Street Coffee Joint also gives back to their community. In honor of their 20th anniversary, they made a special blend. Twenty percent of sales from that coffee are donated to a different community organization each month. From February to July Water Street was able to donate over $1500; recipients include: the Specialized Language Development Center (SLDC), Kalamazoo Nature Center, Common Grounds Community Garden, Activewater, Kalamazoo Public Library, and Community Living Options. The donations will continue throughout 2013:
August - YMCA
September - Kalamazoo Junior Symphony
October - Kalamazoo Book Arts Center
November - YWCA
December - Kalamazoo County Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Council

Although this is their most recent set of donations, Water Street has been giving back to the community since their beginning in 1993 to organizations such as Open Roads, Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center, Girls on the Run, Kalamazoo County Land Bank, Fire Historical & Cultural Arts, Volunteer Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Gospel Mission, and Kazoo School, to name a few.

Additional festivities to celebrate this milestone Anniversary will occur throughout 2013 including the launch of a new and improved website and a 20th Anniversary Party on September 28 at their Downtown location.

This the second of a series of posts about a foodie trip that I took in the Kalamazoo area. Thanks to Water Street for the breakfast and roasting demonstration.

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roasting coffee

what coffee looks like after first crack
quenching - sprayed with a mist to stop the roasting
local food served for our breakfast and at the cafes

even the flowers on the table were local

1 comment:

  1. Automatic machines for coffee roasting allows coffee to be roasted at different temperatures which has allowed consumers to choose the perfect blend of roasted coffee according to their taste.

    Finn Felton

    Kopi Luwak