This week’s picture captures some of the action that went down at the Big Eastern Barista & Brewers Cup regional coffee competition this past weekend at The Cotton Room in Durham. This event featured talented baristas from the entire east coast including a strong field of local competitors from the Triangle. I took the above picture while Tim Jones of Jubala Village Coffee in Raleigh was competing in the Barista competition. The huge crowd looked on while Tim presented his espresso drinks to the panel of judges. Tim did an incredible job and secured 4th place among the highly competitive field earning him a spot at the national barista competition to be held in Seattle this April. You can view the rest of my photos from The 2014 Big Eastern Barista & Brewers Cup Competition here.
Tag Archives: Coffee
I snapped this week’s photo yesterday during my early morning visit to the new Yellow Dog Bread Company. Yellow Dog is located in the redeveloped strip mall located at the corner of Franklin & Person Street in downtown Raleigh. This area is undergoing an incredible revitalization and is quickly becoming a hot spot of local activity downtown. While I typically pick up a baked good during my visits, on this particular morning I stopped in for a quick cappuccino made by my friend and local coffee aficionado AJ. Yellow Dog uses beans from Lamplighter Roasting Co. out of Richmond, VA and the drink AJ crafted for me with their espresso was fantastic.
I’ve made several visit to Yellow Dog in recent weeks to try their various breads, cookies, and other baked goods and plan on sharing a full overview in a featured post on the blog in the very near future. In the meantime make sure you check this place out. It is quickly becoming one of my weekly “must visit” spots!
Did you know there is a great local coffee roaster located right here in North Raleigh? It’s called Raleigh Coffee Company and they are creating some excellent coffee roasts and making a big impact on the local coffee community here in the Triangle. I first tried their coffee this past winter through the Raleigh Coffee Club and have since become a big fan of their roasts. Overtime I started following them on their social media feeds through twitter and facebook and grew to appreciate how they both support the local community and strive to educate the consumer about coffee in a friendly and approachable way.
Raleigh Coffee Company’s roasting facility is tucked away in very cool nook behind the retail space of North Raleigh Meat House in the Quail Corners shopping center along Falls of Neuse Road. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to stop by their headquarters and talk to Raleigh Coffee Company founder and owner Joe Bland. I went there hoping to learn more about the coffee he is roasting and his mission to bring great coffee to the community and foster the local coffee culture in the Triangle. I left there with my head filled with new coffee knowledge and feeling inspired by what this company represents.
Joe started Raleigh Coffee Company back in 2012 after spending years home roasting and tweaking coffee profiles in his spare time. He initially sold his coffee through an online store, but as his customer base grew he obtained the space at the Meat House to roast out of to increase production to meet the increased demand. Since then he has already started selling his coffee at various retail locations and restaurants & cafes throughout the Triangle.
It was great to hang out in this space surrounded by all the coffee equipment and get a better understanding of how a small local roaster operates. Joe was great and took time to explain to me the process he goes through to obtain quality beans and the nuances of working with the coffee roaster to get the timing and temperature just right to develop the desired flavor profile. But making great coffee is just part of the mission.
On the morning I stopped by Joe was roasting up some Ethiopia Yirgacheffe. This coffee can be described as complex with fruity notes. It is naturally processed coffee. Naturally processed coffees typically have heavier mouthfeel, lower acidity levels and intense, exotic flavor profiles. He also had some Tanzania coffee he had roasted the day before. The Tanzania is a bolder earthy coffee that makes a great espresso with bright notes of lemon and dark chocolate making for what Joe described as a multi-layered orange, lemon, and chocolate espresso shot.
Joe used some of these beans to create a pour over coffee as well as shots of espresso to demonstrate how the different methods highlighted the coffee differently. He also gave me a sample of the beans to experiment with at home and I made some incredible iced coffee with the Yirgacheffe using my AeroPress. In addition to the Tanzania and Yirgacheffee, Raleigh Coffee Company also roast coffee from Costa Rica, Guatemala, and even offers a Honduras decaf.
Raleigh Coffee Company is also very active in the community and spearhead different “Bean Projects” throughout the year. These projects are initiative designed to generate support for charitable causes through funding for inspiring ideas and needs locally, nationally, and globally.
In February Raleigh Coffee Company teamed up with Love Wins Ministries for a Valentines Day coffee and coffee bag special. $5 from each bag went to benefit the homelessness in Raleigh. This past June, Joe and his friends created Team RCC – a team of 20 athletes that competed in the Ironman Raleigh 70.3 triathlon. The team used the event to help raise money for the “We Build People” campaign for the Triangle YMCA to help fund scholarships, for kids of all ages, to attend a multi-sport summer camp.
There are also two future projects planned for later this year. This Fall Raleigh Coffee Company will serve coffee alongside some greatest local chefs in Raleigh at the American Cancer Society’s “Raleigh Roundup” event on October 19th at Marbles Museum. Then this winter they will have a Christmas Bean Project. A big initiative to help raise money for Help One Now. The funds will go towards a playground for a community in Haiti.
I truly enjoy the Triangle’s great local coffee scene and feel fortunate to have a great local roaster in our community like the one Joe has created with Raleigh Coffee Company. I highly recommend you pick up a bag of their beans or stop by one of the local cafes & restaurants serving their coffee and give it a try.
You can currently find Raleigh Coffee Company coffee being served at the Undergrounds Café in the NC Museum of History in downtown Raleigh, Grounds in downtown Cary, the Cowfish restaurant in North Hills, and the Village Deli in Wake Forest. Bags of their coffee beans can be purchased at The Meat House in Raleigh and Cary.
For more pictures from my visit my Raleigh Coffee Company check out my flickr photo album.
It is time once again to cheer on the Triangle’s most talented baristas as they put their skills to the ultimate test at the next Thursday Night Throwdown (TNT) latte art competition this Thursday, February 28th at 7pm. The event is hosted by Counter Culture Coffee and the great people at Jubala Village Coffee in Raleigh. As always, these throwdowns are a celebration of the local coffee culture and feature the areas best barsitas from the many great local coffee shops throughout the the Triangle. It is a friendly competition open to all (cost $5 to enter) and is free to watch.
What is a Latte Art Throwdown?
This is how it works: baristas put their names in a hat and are selected at random to go head to head creating espresso coffee drinks featuring identical latte art designs which are then compared against each other and judged by a three person panel made up of local coffee experts. Judging is typically based on four categories:
1) Aesthetic Beauty
3) Color Infusion
4) Degree of Difficulty and Creativity
The winner moves on to the next round to compete again until an ultimate champion is crowned. The purpose of a throwdown is to cultivate a coffee culture that respects presentation and quality – and of course having a fun time doing it! The winning barista not only wins bragging rights, but he/she also wins some great prizes! This month’s throwdown will be particularly special as baristas will be working with Jubala’s new espresso machine, the La Marzocco Strada! This machine is special in that it allows the baristas to manipulate the amount of pressure pushed through the coffee which can result in different qualities being pulled out of the bean leading to different flavors being expressed.
TNT Event Details
– Date/Time: Thursday February 28th 7-9pm
– Location: Jubala Village Coffee – 8450 Honeycutt Road – Raleigh, NC
– Open to the public
– $5 for baristas to enter the competition
Jubala Village Coffee Wins Square Wallet Challenge!
In case you missed it, earlier this month Jubala was announced as a winner of the Square Wallet Challenge by Visa. Jubala was one of only twenty small businesses in the US to win this award. Square Wallet is a moblie payment application for customers that enables them to find neighborhood businesses and pay using only their phone. Congratulations Jubala!