What your morning cup of coffee went through to get to you.
Grown. Harvested. Dried. Milled. Graded. Exported. Imported. Roasted. Brewed.
And these are just the basic steps!
That afternoon pick-me-up represents more than a caffeine jolt to get you through the day. It represents people. People who put time and intention into the work they do. There is a farmer in Ethiopia, Indonesia, or Brazil (most likely with the whole family) putting care and effort into growing coffee trees and hand picking coffee cherries at their peak ripeness. At coffee mills people spend days drying, processing and hand sorting beans for quality control. Pulling out the beans with defects. Exporters and importers aim to get fresh crops to roasters as soon as possible. Dealing with slow cargo ships and customs.
Roasters study the numerous elements that contribute to flavor and how to draw it out; roasting in a way that does not burn the beans, but also does not leave an unpleasant under-roasted flavor. In coffee shops, baristas experiment with temperature, time, and brew methods to find the best combination for pulling out all the flavor that exists within each bean.
Two things we value at Smalltown Coffee Co. are people and quality. The people who put care and intention into each of these steps. We could buy cheaper coffee to roast and brew for you. It goes through the same process our coffee goes through. However, the process is run mostly by machines and chemicals, and the goal is more quantity with less quality for more money. The people who are putting in the hard work get paid very little in the end. The beans are sprayed with chemicals for maximum growth and defective beans (mentioned above) are left in the mix to produce mass quantity instead of quality.
Where people and quality are valued the price is higher. Whether that is time, energy, emotion, or money. To us, the cost is worth it. People are worth it. The results are worth it. Each person in the process earns a fair wage, and we get to enjoy truly incredible coffee.