Our Rainforest Alliance friends decided that they loved Charleston as much as we do, and wanted to host the cupping competition here again! This year we knew what to expect, so it definitely went a lot smoother, and everyone could relax and enjoy the coffees. We had two days of preliminary cupping, with 75 rainforest certified coffees from Central America and the Carribean.  We had 12 official “cuppers” here another two days where the coffees were critically scored based on sweetness, uniformity, and cup cleanliness. These were long days of cupping 5 cups of each coffee, totaling 375 cups of coffee sipped and graded. This whole process of grading the coffees really helps to emphasize a link between social, ecological, economic sustainability and quality. After the cupping event, the farmers receive feedback about their coffee, how it was roasted, and how it scored.

All in all it was a fun group and everyone did a great job. After the work was done, we all got to enjoy a fun family style dinner at the always delicious Two Boroughs Larder.


Everyone that attended this years cupping! photo


In the process of cupping and grading the coffeeIMG_1773


Marty, the leader of the cupping, has an amazing beard, so we decided we needed beards as wellIMG_1798


Dinner at Two Boroughs LarderProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 preset



We got to attend the Roasters Guild Retreat 2013 in Roanoke, West Virginia a couple of weeks ago. It started out with a very exciting 9 hour road trip, with many stops for food and stretch breaks. We stayed at the Stonewall Resort, surrounded by lakes and mountains, it was quite peaceful.nature


There were a few familiar faces from Barista Camp, and a lot of new ones. We were all on separate teams, and each had a “punny” team name related to any roasting terms. i.e. “Drop it like its hot”


Our classes started on Friday, with round table discussions about micro lot farming, and whether this was an actual benefit to farmers or not. This was a really great talk led by Kim Elena Ionescu with Counter Culture Coffee. The next lecture was all about the science of coffee and its development in the roasting process. This was led by SCAA Coffee Science Manager Emma Bladyka, and she definitely knew what she was talking about. We discussed the break down of sugars in coffee as it roasts, and what gives it the nutty, chocolaty, or acidic taste.


It wasn’t all lecture in West Virginia though. We had a very useful defect cupping class, where we actually cupped coffees with common coffee taints. From moldy bags, ferment, “rio” or dirty tasting, to unripe coffee beans. This wasn’t the most pleasant coffee cupping experience, but at least we got to spit it out. Then there was a roasting competition, where once roasted, you got to make your own brew blend. We had 4 origins of coffee (Ethiopia, Guatemala, Mexico, and Indonesia), which were all roasted with your assigned team. Then we picked which roasts we liked the best, and tested out different ratios of coffees to create different flavor profiles in our brews.

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After a long hard day of competitive roasting and tasting some not so good coffee defects, there was a sunset boat cruise around the lake with some new friends. There may have also been a moon bounce party later…….never too old to moon bounce.



We had a really good time at the retreat, and hopefully we will be able to make the next one in 2014!

roasters retreat

Last Sunday, May 12th, was our first official Second Sunday. We were fully expecting it to down pour and get rained out, but it ended up being a really nice day. We were set up on the corner of Fulton and King with a few cafe tables serving up coffee.

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We had a lot of people come by who had never heard of us and were interested in learning about the local roasting. But we also had a bunch of great friends who came by to support the Good Coffee Company, we really loved getting to see all of you!


It was so hot, and it’s only get hotter, so we plan to have a lot more cold brew coffee for the summer days. We are also planning on having some chocolate covered espresso beans, and some desserts that will incorporate some of our brewed coffee.


Thank you again to everyone who came out to see us last Sunday, we are looking forward to June’s Second Sunday!

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