Tips for getting the most out of your coffee.

You have taken the time to select your coffee and now you have brought them home. Now how do you store your coffee?

Here are some helpful tips for storing your coffee so that you get the most out of it.

The original packaging does a pretty good job keeping your coffee beans fresh.
When you purchase coffee from Red Cedar Coffee Co. you will notice a one-way valve on the front of your bag. This valve releases gas from the coffee beans while keeping oxygen out of the bag.

The foil bag protects the coffee beans from moisture and light. It is always best to open one bag of coffee at a time.

Grind your coffee right before you brew.
To maximize the lifetime and flavors of your coffee you will want to grind your coffee right before brewing it. Coffee grinding releases gases and aromas which are important when you brew coffee.

Keep your coffee at room temperature.
Coffee beans can be sensitive to temperature, moisture, and air.

Store your coffee away from spices as coffee can quickly absorb odors. If placed in a cabinet, be sure it is away from the oven.

We suggest keeping your coffee beans at room temperature out of direct sunlight.

While there are various opinions around this topic, we feel that freezing coffee does not help your coffee in the long term. Freezer burn, the potential for packaging to develop micro cracks, condensation and then forgetting it is in the freezer, it is best to keep your coffee at room temperature.

Airtight containers are coffee’s best friend.
The best way to keep your coffee fresh is to remove the air from your storage container. We are fans of the AirScape. The AirScape container has an inner lid with air-valve that forces air out and locks freshness in. The AirScape works great for both whole bean and ground coffee which makes us love it even more.

BEREA, OH-Red Cedar Coffee Co. will hold the groundbreaking ceremony for their new coffee roasting facility on Thursday, July 29 at 10am at 1185 West Bagley Road, Berea.

The new facility will serve as Red Cedar Coffee Co.’s headquarters and house their coffee roastery, green coffee storage, coffee & espresso bar and drive-through. The new location will allow Red Cedar Coffee Co. to offer coffee specific events and educational opportunities.

“We are extremely excited about the opening of our new coffee roasting facility. The building will act both as our headquarters and a home for all coffee lovers in the community.” Says Anne Denton, Director of Sales & Marketing.

The building has been designed by Michael Molchan, AIA of Makovich & Pusti in Berea and is expected to open in early 2022.

About Red Cedar Coffee Co.

Red Cedar Coffee Co. is a specialty coffee roaster based in Berea, OH. Founded in 2005, Red Cedar Coffee Co. has supplied wholesale and retail customers nationwide. Coffee offerings include direct trade, Fair Trade certified organics, blends, Swiss Water Processed decaf and flavors. For more information, please visit: www.RedCedarCoffee.com.

###

Coffee is grown in over 50 countries, between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. This area is known as the “Bean Belt” or “Coffee Belt.” It is estimated that there approximately 25 million coffee producers worldwide.

WHAT IS FAIR TRADE?

Fair Trade is a movement that began in the 1970s as Max Havelaar in the Netherlands. The goal of the fair trade movement is to protect and impower producers. In 1988, Mexico became the first coffee origin to sell as fair trade.

Fair trade coffees are typically grown by members of a cooperative. The members are guaranteed a minimum price to protect them from the volatility of the coffee market.

Producers must meet social, economic, and environmental standards in order to maintain their fair trade certification.

THE IMPACT OF FAIR TRADE

Fair trade’s goal is to help provide a more sustainable livelihood for producers and to expand business partnerships.

Fair Trade USA reports that since 1998, sales of Fair Trade Certified coffee has generated over $600 million on financial benefits to coffee producers.

Once the coffee is sold, most of the proceeds go directly to the coffee producers. A small portion, however, will be used for the Community Development Funds.

The Community Development Funds provide the cooperative an opportunity to financially back quality and equipment improvements (i.e., depulpers, solar dryers, farm renovations) or social projects (such as education, clean water projects and health care).

RED CEDAR COFFEE CO AND FAIR TRADE CERTIFIED

Red Cedar Coffee Co. has been roasting Fair Trade Certified organic coffees since 2008. While not all fair trade coffees are certified organic, we have chosen to roast Fair Trade coffees which also carry the organic certification.

Our Fair Trade Certified organic coffees carry the Fair Trade Certified seal on the front label.

Summer calls for colder coffee. Of course, you can enjoy these beverages year-round. Cold brew and iced coffees are brewed differently. So read on to see which option is best for you.

COLD BREW

Cold brew is brewed using cool or room temperature water which results in coffee with lower acidity and a smoother taste. This is because cold brew bypasses a chemical reaction that occurs when hot water hits coffee grounds. This means cold brew is easier for those with frequent heartburn or sensitive stomachs.

Coffee is ground coarse and will steep in water for 12-24 hours. After the coffee has finished steeping, the resulting liquid is coffee concentrate. You will want to mix the coffee concentrate with water, milk, or milk alternative to create a ready to drink beverage.

We recommend a ratio of 1 part coffee concentrate to 3 parts water, milk, or milk alternative. However, feel free to experiment with your preferred ratio.

Cold brew does not mean that you must drink your coffee cold. Just add hot water to your coffee concentrate and you can enjoy a hot cup of coffee.

Cold brew coffee can be made using the Toddy Cold Brew system and the concentrate can stay in your fridge up to 2 weeks.

ICED COFFEE

This is brewed with hot water and is more acidic than cold brew. Traditionally this was done in restaurants as a quick way to serve iced coffee.

The reason this coffee is more acidic compared to cold brew is that there is a chemical reaction that occurs when hot water hits coffee grounds.

Iced coffee can be made in a Chemex or drip coffee brewer and then cooling the coffee down in the fridge. Pouring hot coffee directly over ice and lead to more bitter flavor and weaker taste.

COOL DRINKS WITH COLD BREW

Cold brew gives you the flexibility of creating unique beverages and mocktails.

  • A cold brew coffee float is cold brew coffee with a couple scoops of ice cream.
  • To make a mocktail, add syrups and a dash of bitter and serve in a rocks glass.
  • Mix tonic water and cold brew to create a coffee tonic. Experiment with different types of tonic water flavors or add cherries for a touch of sweetness.

Contrary to what some suggest, there is no one “coffee” taste. Rather, there are endless taste based on geography.

Single origin coffees are beans that are sourced from a coffee farm, cooperative or region. These coffees differ from blends which are a combination of beans from different regions or countries.

Similarly, to the wine industry, single origin coffees offer a distinctive taste based on where the coffee is grown, factors including soil, climate, and processing method all affect the taste. In the wine industry, this is referred to by the French word terroir, the taste of place.

Coffee shares many similarities to the wine industry. Like the definition above, coffee can be impacted by environmental changes and the taste can change year over year.

The taste of coffee can also be impacted by how the coffee producer processes their crop after the harvest. For instance, Costa Rica is known for their honey processed coffees, Sumatra for giling basah, and Kenya for washed coffees.

We will use the Coffee Flavor Tasters Wheel to discuss flavor in the coffee industry. The goal of this Tasters Wheel is to help create a tool that coffee roasters, importers and producers could use to discuss and evaluate coffee.

Single origins provide a great opportunity to compare the unique characteristics of coffee from around the world. Look for single origin coffees that have been roasted as a medium roast as that roast style highlights the uniqueness in the coffee.

We have outlined some of the broad characteristics of coffee depending on where coffee is grown. Each region, however, does have a wide variety of tastes which is why we are presenting two coffees in each regional category for comparison.

AFRICA

Pleasant acidity and full rounded body. Often described with wine and fruit notes.

Ethiopian Harrar: Wine-like fragrance, hints of blueberry

Tanzanian Peaberry: Bright, smooth, sweet, delicate

LATIN AMERICA

Smooth and well balanced. Chocolate or caramel notes are often present.

Guatemala Antigua (Central America): creamy, smooth, caramel

Organic Peruvian (South America): Light bodied, flavorful, elegant

THE PACIFIC

Full body, earthy with herbal characteristics. These are some of the most distinct coffees.

Sumatran Mandheling (Indonesia): Earthy, full bodied, distinct

Java Estate (Indonesia): Lively, rich, malt, sweet

If you would like to explore the taste possibilities in coffee, we would recommend trying different single origin coffees.

Job Title: Production Assistant

Job Description: A Production Assistant will join the production team and assist with tasks related to roasting, bagging, and blending our coffee and assistance in delivering coffee to wholesale accounts within our delivery radius. The Production Assistant is a year-round part-time position (approximately 25-30 hours a week). Shifts will be between 9am-3pm, Monday-Thursday.

 Critical Tasks & Responsibilities

  • Assist Coffee Roaster in receiving and roasting green coffee to meet production schedules for wholesale and retail operations.
  • Roast coffee according to specifications set forth by the Owners and Head Roaster.
  • Accurately label, weigh, flavor, blend, bag, grind coffee while upholding quality and visual standards set forth by the Red Cedar Coffee Co. team.
  • Accurately pull customers’ orders and assist with deliveries as needed.
  • Maintain a clean and presentable workspace.
  • Help track the inventory of labels, bags, and other items related to production.
  • Thoroughly clean bins, tables, warehouse area and machines according to schedule.
  • Help maintain coffee production and sanitation records.

Required Competencies and Qualifications

  • Prior work experience required. 
  • Great problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to remain productive and on task while working alone.
  • Must be punctual and reliable.
  • Ability to focus on tasks in a busy, loud environment.
  • Thoroughness, high productivity standards, and attention to detail.

Desired Competencies and Qualifications

  • Assist in the cleaning of roasting accessories (coffee bins, production materials, etc.).
  • Coffee Roasting Machines and Grinders: aide in the upkeep of production equipment.
  • Perform daily maintenance as needed for optimum machine capability.
  • Participate in periodic extensive cleanings of roasting equipment.
  • Properly record and follow SOP protocols.

Other Requests:

  • Must be able to lift 50 lbs. and stand for long periods of time. The majority of shifts are spent standing.
  • Must be able to stoop and kneel.
  • Respect the privacy of information regarded as sensitive and proprietary to Red Cedar Coffee Co.
  • Understand that this is a growing company and help enhance a company culture of professionalism, positivity and teamwork.
  • Excellent interpersonal relations skills.
  • Representative brand ambassador when working with vendors and customers.
  • Be flexible and be a team-player.

How to Apply:

Send your resume to jobs@redcedarcoffee.com or complete an application. Applications are available in the office.

Have you ever cleaned your coffee maker?

If you are like most, the answer is likely never.

It is easy for overlook your coffee brewer and grinder as equipment that needs to be cleaned.

By regularly cleaning your brewing equipment you help extend the life of your coffee brewer and grinder. Plus, you can continue to enjoy great tasting coffee.

CLEANING THE COFFEE BREWER

Coffee brewers often require cleaning in two areas: removing scale in the water tank and removing coffee oils from the sprayhead/brew basket.

Coffee oils are left behind after each brew cycle and can be tricky to remove. But please, do not clean your brewer with vinegar! Not only does it make it extremely difficult to remove the vinegar afterwards, but vinegar can void your coffee brewer’s warranty. Rather, equipment cleaners are designed to dissolve the buildup of oils and are fragrance free.

Descaling powder works in both espresso machines and coffee brewers. If you notice mineral scale build up in your water tank and on the heating element, it is time to clean the tank. Mineral scale builds up over time from the calcium and magnesium that is left behind in the water. If you are noticing that your water is not getting hot enough, or you see flakes of scale floating in the water tank, it is time to use a descaling powder.

Cleaning powders address the need to clean coffee oils from the sprayhead, brew basket and carafe. The cleaning powders do not leave a flavor residue behind in the coffee maker. Cleaning powders are great for removing tough coffee stains from your favorite mug. If you notice oils at the bottom of your Chemex or Hario drip pot, mix some cleaning powder in with hot water and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing.

CLEANING THE COFFEE GRINDER

Most coffee grinders are not designed to be taken apart for cleaning. With electrical motors and burrs water cannot be used to clean grinders. A word of caution: do not grind rice to try to clean your coffee grinder.

Grinder tablets are specially formulated to draw out the coffee oils from around the burrs and can help prevent clogging. All you have to do is run one packet of cleaning tablets through your grinder, and a little bit of coffee afterwards to remove any bits of tablets left behind by static.

We recommend cleaning your coffee grinder once a month. However, if you are often grinding dark roasts or flavored coffees, you may want to clean your grinder more often because these beans are oilier.

CLEANING AN ESPRESSO MACHINE

Espresso machines can be the trickiest to clean. Espresso Machine Cleaning Tablets are designed for easy rinsing and cleaning of the inner working of your espresso machine. Each model of espresso machine has a different frequency of cleaning schedule so you will want to look at your machine’s user manual and follow the directions outlined by the manufacture. Espresso machine brushes are specially designed to clean the group head and espresso machine screens.

By taking time to clean your brewing equipment you will be able to continue enjoying great tasting coffee at home.

Brewing a great tasting cup of coffee does not require a lot of fancy equipment. With a few tweaks you can get great tasting coffee from any coffee maker.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you brew the best cup of coffee.

Use freshly roasted coffee.

Look for coffee roasters, like Red Cedar Coffee Co., instead of grocery store coffee brands. For some grocery brands it may have taken 6-9 months for the coffee to work its way through their distribution system from being roasted to being placed on the store shelf. By comparison, you can enjoy coffee from a local roaster just days after it was roasted.

Pay attention to water.

Start off with good tasting water since coffee is approximately 98% water. Filtered or spring water can improve the taste of your coffee.   

Clean your grinder and coffee maker from time to time.

Use specially formulated equipment cleaners to make sure your coffee maker brews good tasting coffee. Please, do not use vinegar to clean your coffee maker! Click here for more information on cleaning your coffee maker and grinder.

Weigh out your coffee beans. 

We are often asked “Do you use a measured or heaping scoop of coffee?” Using a digital kitchen scale helps to brew coffee with consistency and accuracy. It is a small step that is extremely helpful to make sure that you are replicating the same brewing recipe each time. Oftentimes a brewing recipe will show a brewing ratio such as 1:16 (one-ounce coffee grounds to 16 ounces water). We find that the brewing ratios of 1:14, 1:15, 1:16, 1:17 works well for most.

Using a pour over? Consider weighing your water, too.

The Chemex and Hario drippers are great ways to brew coffee but can be very difficult to eyeball the right amount of hot water. Place the pour over, filter and coffee grounds onto a digital scale and then tare out the weight. Then, you will want to weight the amount of water you are using (pour the hot water over the coffee grounds). Again, with the help of a digital scale you can with brew consistently.

Grind your coffee before brewing.

Did you know coffee begins to start losing some of its flavor and aromatics as soon as it is ground? Grinding your coffee beans fresh is one of the best ways to brew a more flavorful cup of coffee. Burr grinders are best because they grind coffee consistently.   

Use the correct grind style for the coffee maker you are using.

There are several grind styles when it comes to grinding your coffee. To name a few there is fine, auto-drip and coarse. You want to make sure that you are using the correct grind style for your brewing method. This is important because if the grind is too large, you will end up with a weak cup of coffee. If the coffee grind is too fine for your coffee maker then you end up with a bitter, over-extracted cup of coffee. Most drip coffee makers and single serve units work well on the auto-drip setting. If you are using a French press or Toddy cold brew system, you will want to have your coffee ground coarse.

Preheat your coffee carafe, Chemex or French press prior to brewing.

This is helpful especially during the colder months when heat loss is more noticeable. Heat up some hot water ahead to time and pour it into your coffee maker’s carafe, or your Chemex or French press before you brew. The hot water will take the chill out of the coffee maker and your coffee will stay hotter for a while longer. After sitting for about 10 minutes, pour out the hot water and then brew your pot of coffee. This trick also works great for travel mugs.

Carefully store your coffee. 

Coffee beans can be sensitive to temperature, moisture, and air. Keep your coffee in an airtight container at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. Avoid storing your coffee in the freezer or refrigerator.

Happy brewing!

Did you know coffee begins to start losing some of its flavor and aromatics as soon as it is ground? Grinding your coffee beans fresh is one of the best ways to brew a more flavorful cup of coffee.

If you like to have the flexibility of grinding for different brewing devices or wish to get the most flavor out of your coffee, you may want to consider grinding your coffee before brewing.

BLADE VS. BURR GRINDERS

When it comes to choosing a coffee grinder you have two options.

Blade grinders are ones that have a whirly-style blade (like spice grinders) that spins to grind the coffee bean. These grinders can heat the coffee as they operate due to friction. Many blade grinders have a button that must be held down to grind; depending on who is grinding the coffee, it is harder to achieve a consistent grind on a blade grinder.

Burr grinders have two revolving abrasive surfaces (“burrs”). Burr grinders slice through coffee beans more consistently which is best for brewing flavorful coffee. Look for a burr grinder with numbered settings. This will help grind your coffee consistently.

ELECTRIC OR HAND GRINDER

Electric coffee grinders are plugged into an electrical outlet. These grinders take up more kitchen counter space, and most models provide the option to keep some coffee beans in the hopper. Some grinders have timers so you can replicate your grind time.

If you have the need to travel with your coffee grinder, or do not have the kitchen space, you may want to consider a hand grinder. These grinders are manual which means you are the grinder’s motor. Some brands, like Hario, have burr hand grinders.

WHY WE PREFER BURR GRINDERS

Burr grinders help you brew coffee-shop quality coffee at your home or office. They grind the coffee consistently which takes out any guesswork. These grinders are sturdy, and most will serve you for years to come. That is why we recommend burr grinders.

MAINTAINING YOUR GRINDER

Oils accumulate over time and using the Full Circle grinder cleaning tablet can help you get the most life out of your coffee grinder. If you are grinding dark roast coffees or flavored coffees, you will want to clean your grinder on a more frequent basis.

The grinder tablets have been formulated specifically to remove the coffee oils and residue on the grinder’s burrs and can also prevent jamming of the grinder.

Here is a short article that explains how jams occur and how a little cleaning can prevent them.

The Full Circle grinder tablets we carry in the Tasting Room are food-grade safe and are the same quality of cleaner we use for our grinders.

On Monday, November 23, 2020, Red Cedar Coffee Co. will launch a coffee named Yellow Jackets Java in partnership with Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio.

Proceeds from the sale of Yellow Jackets Java will benefit the YJ4th Year Scholarship Fund. The fund provides support to students who have positively contributed to the BW community and who demonstrate financial need. It is typically awarded to seniors to help them finance their final semester of study at BW, ensuring they are on track to graduate on schedule with their classmates.

Yellow Jackets Java is available exclusively online through December 2021.