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We draw inspiration for new products at the Beekman 1802 Mercantile from all over.  The owners of Java Love Roasters are city transplants who are pursuing their passion in upstate NY (this story sounded familiar).  And after tasting their small-batch-roasted, fair-trade coffee, we asked if they would like to develop a Beekman 1802 Signature coffee blend.

When developing the coffee, we wanted to use the same type of beans that would have been available to William Beekman—the kind he would have sold in the original Beekman Mercantile.

The concept for the Beekman 1802 Mokha Java Blend stems from the first coffee “blend” ever created. The Dutch were the first to begin commercial cultivation of coffee trees on Java (part of the Dutch East Indies) in the 17th century. This Java (from the Indonesian phrase Kopi Jawa) was strong, black and very sweet. The Mokha side of the equation comes from the name of a major Yemen port used  by the Dutch during the 17th century – the port of al-Mukha (Mokha, Mocca, Moka, Mocha); and the coffees coming from this port were traditional Arabian beans – fruity with a lively acidity.

The Mokha brings the earthy, fruity, brightness and the Java brings the contrasting full-bodied, mellow, and spice notes to the blend. Thus, a roughly equal blend of these two beans yields a smooth-drinking coffee with brightness and complexity of taste.

We invited a group of people to the roastery to help choose the final blend in a process called  “the cupping”.  Similar to a wine tasting, you are testing for the bouquet and the mouth taste of the blend.

 

Cupping Process—Why Do We Cup Coffee?:

Great coffee is about the combination of many factors including color, flavor and aroma. Coffee “cupping” is a lot like the wine tasting – it’s simply taking time to analyze the coffee. It is also used by importers, growers, roasters and many people in the coffee industry to determine crop quality and characteristics, and grading of the green coffee beans.

One of the first things you’re looking for are the two basic elements for evaluating coffee: acidity and body (you can also sense sweetness and finish).

Acidity is about how bright and lively the coffee tastes – basically your first impression.

Body refers to the fullness or richness of a coffee. It is the secondary impression, often called the “finish.” A heavy-bodied coffee will taste full, thick and syrupy, even “chewy” on the tongue, and the impression will be lasting.

These two elements are combined to describe the coffee. The first evaluation is usually “light,” “medium” and “heavy.”  This is why you often hear coffee referred to as “heavy bodied, with medium acidity,” “light bodied, with good acidity,” etc.

Cupping also helps you learn how to describe coffees – taste and aroma descriptors to help you describe the tastes and aromas you experience.  Does the coffee taste sweet, tangy or mild?  Do you taste small hints of chocolate, vanilla, smoke, or cinnamon? The possibilities are endless.

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Whether up early to do farm chores or get the Mercantile ready for business, a good cup of coffee is important fuel for the day.  Watch out Starbucks!

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  • By: Sue Tolbert

    I am very excited to try and then fall in love with the Beekman coffee. Some would say I’m addicted to a rich full flavored coffee. Can’t wait, hum, maybe we could try a cup in East Lansing. See you guys soon. sue t.

  • By: Delia

    Sweet Maria’s coffee distributors in Oakland, CA have a wonderful Kenyan right now. Very sweet and smooth, almost like caramel.sshhh don’t tell everyone or it will be gone before I can order more….I am looking forward to your blend!

  • By: laurie

    Really looking forward to giving this a try! I suspect in the “cupping” process the tasting is done black, without cream or sugar, yes? Look forward to seeing you in York, ME. Oh, I’m so delighted you’re coming to Maine! I have a small farmstead (Uriah Dyer -1792), about 2 hours north of York, where I’ve been raising my daughter. I’m working hard to hold on to it too. Really really inspired by you two, having had a previous life in merchandising, design and styling myself. Hope to follow in your footsteps in some way!

    • By: Dr. Brent

      No, we are not planning this. There are a lot of chemical solvents used in the decaffeinating process

      • By: Katie

        I’d like to go ahead and applaud that choice! Although I understand why people want to drink decaf, there is just too much STUFF that gets added in. It’s nice to see you ensuring that it’s just the beans and the roasting in this case, and no little extras.

  • By: Linda Schnell-Leonardi

    I am a tea drinker. Even as such, I too was lured to this coffee. I had the privilege of working next to Christine on the farm. I listened to the story, I smelled the delicious aroma, each time a sample cup was given to the farm tour guests. At last I did it, I asked for a taste test for me. I put it to my lips, and tried it. It was heavenly. Just as described, it had that wonderful flavor and clean finish. The smell of the coffee got my attention, the taste will keep me. I can say that now I am both a tea and coffee drinker.

  • By: Teri

    I heard this whole story from Christine on Sunday. Fascinating and it makes me wish I loved coffee.

  • By: Sarah Beekman

    I may need to have this. Sounds wonderful. But would you ever have whole bean available?

    Thanks,
    A Coffee Snob

  • By: Alison

    These guys are right down from our farmhouse and their coffee is amazing! I’m so excited you paired with them as you are two of my favs! Please sell the coffee and mugs in their flagship local:)))

    • By: Sarah Beekman

      That’s a good point, Alison! Will the coffee/mugs be available right at the Mercantile? (I am also local.)

  • By: Suzanne Koba

    Tasted this while at the Harvest Fest, highly recommend this coffee. Great flavor, not too strong, not too weak. Perfect!

  • By: jennifervizzo

    My favorite morning smell is coffee brewing. Your store(s) must smell heavenly.

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