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.

Visit our Employment page for more information.

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.

At Red Cedar Coffee Co. we consider the digital scale as the secret weapon in coffee brewing. Put away the tablespoons and little scoops, and instead use a scale.

Not only does a digital scale take the guesswork out when using a pour over brewer, it helps prevent issues of using too much coffee when using a drip coffee maker.

Weighing ingredients = consistency

Brewing using a digital scale helps to brew coffee for consistency and accuracy. Coffee roasts have different mass which makes measuring by scoop or tablespoon tricky. The digital scale avoids this problem.

Oftentimes a pour over brewing recipe will show a brewing ratio such as 1:16 (one-ounce ground coffee to 16 ounces water). The range for coffee brewing is 1:14 to 1:18. The less water used will brew a stronger cup of coffee, the more water used will brew a lighter cup.

When you find your preferred brewing ratio by using a digital scale you will be able to brew with consistency.

How to use a digital scale for pour overs and emersion methods

For pour over and emersion (French press, cold brew) brewing methods you will want to follow these steps:

  • Place the pour over brewer or French press onto the digital scale
  • Tare (or zero out) the pour over or French press
  • Add the desired coffee grounds into the pour over or French press
  • Tare (or zero out) the coffee grounds
  • Add the desired hot water into pour over or French press

Using the digital scale means you have more control in the amount of water you use. This can be helpful when using a 40 oz. Chemex to brew only 16 oz.

How to use a digital scale for drip coffee brewers

For a drip coffee maker, you can still use your digital scale:

  • Place your flat bottom coffee filter onto the digital scale
  • Tare (or zero out) the coffee filter
  • Add the desired coffee grounds onto the coffee filter

Grams vs. ounces

There are countless digital scales models on the market. Some digital scales, like the Hario brand, measure in grams. Other digital scales allow you to switch from grams to ounces.

Scales that measure in grams will give you a more precise weight when it comes to measuring the weight of water. This is particularly helpful for the Chemex.

Select a digital scale model with the unit of measurement that is easiest for you.

Happy brewing!

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.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM:

How the Red Cedar Coffee Rewards program works: Earn one point for each dollar spent on a 14 OZ/16 OZ bag of coffee purchased directly from Red Cedar Coffee Co. Earn 200 points and receive a reward good on your next visit (expiration dates apply). Reward value is $15 off a 14 OZ/16 OZ bag of coffee. Points and rewards expire 18 months after they were earned.

  • In Store: Enter your phone number into our register’s keypad.
    • By providing your phone number you will start earning points towards a future reward.
  • Online: Opt in to order updates/marketing during the checkout process and provide your phone number.

Track Your Progress

Enter your phone number on this website to see your point balance.

PROGRAM RULES:

  • No purchase necessary.
  • Points and Rewards are linked to the participant’s name and phone number. Purchases (points and rewards) may not be transferred to another participant.
  • Points expire 18 months after they have been earned. Rewards cannot be redeemed if points expired.
  • Points are not awarded on gift certificates when purchased (points are issued as the certificate is redeemed on qualifying purchases); sales tax; gratuities; gift sets; corporate and wholesale orders. Only valid on purchases made at the Red Cedar Coffee Co. retail store and at Red Cedar Coffee Co.’s online store.
  • Only one reward redemption can be made per visit. Reward redemption cannot be combined with any other offers or discounts. Our program may from time to time have certain other benefits and/or restrictions that apply.
  • We reserve the right to change or discontinue this program at any time without notice.
  • Employees are not eligible for our program.

Offers and Discounts

From time to time we may provide special discounts and/or offers outside of our Red Cedar Coffee Rewards Program offers to certain members who qualify for these benefits.  Offers are not transferable and cannot be combined with rewards or other discounts or offers. Offers have a limited time in which they can be redeemed.  Please check the offer for details and restrictions. If not specified otherwise all offers expire within 30 days of issuance.

Red Cedar Coffee Rewards FAQ

Does it cost anything to join the Red Cedar Coffee Rewards program?

No, enrollment in the Red Cedar Coffee Rewards program is free.

How do I enroll in the Red Cedar Coffee Rewards program?

  • Online: opt into Red Cedar Coffee Rewards program on the online store to enroll and provide a cell phone number.
  • In store: Enroll by providing your cell phone number at the checkout.

What items qualify for the Red Cedar Coffee Rewards program?

14OZ and 16OZ bags of coffee purchased directly from Red Cedar Coffee Co.

How are points calculated?

Enrollees earn one point for ever $1 spent on a qualifying purchase. (one point for each dollar spent on a 14 or 16 oz. bag of coffee)

Can I give my points/rewards to a friend or family member?
No, Red Cedar Coffee Rewards points/rewards are not transferable.

Can I share my Red Cedar Coffee Rewards membership with a family member or friend?

No, the Red Cedar Coffee Reward account is individual and non-transferable.

Can Red Cedar Coffee Reward enrollees be combined?

No, Red Cedar Coffee Rewards accounts cannot be combined.

Where can I find my points balance?

To check your Red Cedar Coffee Rewards point balance, simply go to this website and enter your phone number. You will receive a code that will allow you to login and see your points.

What can I use my reward on?

Reward are good on a 14 OZ or 16 OZ bags of coffee purchased from Red Cedar Coffee Co. Your reward is available after your have accumulated 200 points and is good on your next visit.

Do points and rewards expire?

Points and rewards expire 18 months after they have been earned.

I made a purchase at the retail store and have enrolled in Red Cedar Coffee Rewards. Can I make a purchase online and receive points?

Yes, the Red Cedar Coffee Rewards is linked to the phone number you used to enroll. Provide the same phone number when you make a purchase online, opt in to “claim” your points and the system will update.

What is does it mean to “claim” points?

Claiming points means you want the points added to your Red Cedar Coffee Rewards profile. You must claim your points during your transaction for it to apply to you.

What does “redeem” mean?

You may redeem your reward when you have received 200 points. Rewards may be redeemed online and in store.

Rewards may only be redeemed in full ($15).

What happened to the Frequent Buyer Program?

Red Cedar Coffee Rewards was introduced in spring 2020 to replace the Frequent Buyer Program (paper card system). The Frequent Buyer Program was retired at close of business on June 30, 2020.

Have you noticed coffee has changed? Coffee has changed…specifically, the way the coffee has been processed at the farm/micro-mill.

Coffee has traditionally been processed one of two ways, washed process or natural process. Both provide unique flavor profiles.

When clean water is abundant coffee producers may use a washed process to separate the fruit from the coffee bean.

Where water is lacking, a producer would use the natural process and allow the coffee to dry under the sun naturally.

Times have changed due to innovations in processing equipment at the farm and coffee roaster’s request.

Costa Rica has led the innovation by combining elements of the washed and dry processes. This new process is called the honey process. By adjusting equipment such as depulpers at the mill, producers can choose how much fruit they want to remove off the coffee bean. These changes can also impact the way the coffee tastes once it’s been brewed.

Many ask if honey is used in the coffee process. The name “honey process” comes from the honey-like fragrance (called “miel” in Spanish) of the fruit drying on the coffee bean.

We are pleased to offer three outstanding honey processed coffees:

  • White honey: most of the fruit is removed off the coffee bean. (Example: Costa Rica Finca Dragon)
  • Red honey: partial fruit is removed from the coffee bean. It will have a bit more body compared to the white honey. (Example: Costa Rica Pie San)
  • Black honey: the coffee cherry is peeled but the fruit remains on the coffee beans. Depending on weather condition, it can take 7-14 days for the fruit to dehydrate off the coffee bean. Since the bean is absorbing sugars during this time the coffee will be full bodied, complex and with natural sweetness. (Example: Costa Rica Finca las Torres)

These honey processed coffees are available in the Red Cedar Coffee Co. Tasting Room and online.

In our retail store we are often asked about acidity in coffee. While there’s not a one size fits all approach to answering this question, we have outlined a few points to consider.

The term “acidity” is used a few different ways in the coffee industry.

  1. Acidity can be used to describe the bright and tangy sensation that differentiates higher-grown coffee apart from lower-grade coffee. Tasting notes may describe acidic coffee as sour, citrus, tangy.
  2. Acidity can be used to describe the unpleasant stomach irritant that some coffee drinkers may experience. Sometimes it is due to the reaction the body has to caffeine.
  3. Acidity can be measured on the pH scale, which uses 7.0 as an indicator of neutrality. Numbers over 7 are lower-acid and numbers under 7 are more acidic. Black coffee is considered low on the pH scale around 5.  By comparison, lemon juice has a pH around 2, water is around a pH 7, and baking soda is around pH 9.

There are a few ways to limit the amount of acidity in your coffee.

  1. Choosing coffees that are roasted as medium to dark roasts can reduce acidity in the coffee. However, the darker the roast the more it masks what makes the coffee unique (the origin or “terroir”) and the roast style becomes more noticeable. For darker roasts you may see tasting notes that describe the coffee as bittersweet and dark chocolate.
  2. Try coffee origins (regions) where the coffee tends to have less acidity such as Sumatra, Peru, Colombia or Mexico.
  3. Cold brew your coffee. There’s a reaction that happens when hot water hits the coffee grounds. But using cool or room temperature water and slowing down the brewing process (you need 12-24 hours to brew your coffee) you can reduce the amount of acidity in your coffee. By using the Toddy Cold Brew System that we have in our Tasting Room, you can brew a coffee concentrate that you can keep in your refrigerator. You can add milk, milk alternatives and water to the concentrate to make a ready to drink beverage. If you prefer hot coffee, add hot water to the concentrate and you can continue to enjoy a cup of hot coffee.
  4. Brew using a Chemex Coffee Maker. The paper filters are approximately 20-30% thicker than most paper filters. Chemex Coffee Filters are double-bonded and filter out acidity, bitterness, fats and sediments.

COFFEE RECOMMENDATIONS

A few coffees to consider that have lower-acidity:

  • Sumatran Mandheling (medium roast)
  • Fair Trade Certified Organic Mexican (medium roast)
  • Fair Trade Certified Organic Peru (medium roast)
  • Full Moon (dark roast)
  • Fair Trade Certified Organic Sumatran Italian Roast (dark roast)

BREWING EQUIPMENT RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Toddy Coffee Maker*
  • Chemex Coffee Maker*

*both models sold in retail store