Are all of your offerings from current crop? I see quite a few coffees with review dates that go back to 2014-2015.

January 8th, 2017

The simplest answer is yes.
Part of what we try to do is offer consistency, plus rock star coffees too, that will never be seen again.

Some coffees have the full pedigree of the farm etc.  Others are CP Select for instance. CP select (Coffee Project) requires us to keep cupping coffees from different sources to stay in the same place in the cup. Its just WAY the heck simpler to re-brand those than try to manage endlessly changing info.

Bottom line on that is the more things change the more they stay the same.

Others would be Malabar Gold, La Minita, Felucca Blend that we’ve had around forever, but are obviously not from 1997. But similarly held to QC standards and continuity.

Similar thing with Decafs. Not the same crops but importers’ QC and cupping on our end keeps things in a bracket of expectation, that hopefully never drifts too far out of line.

And ALL the coffees roll over and over and over. Sometime we will get a gap between past crop and new crop where a coffee disappears for a while. OR we’ll start to blow out beans as Uncertain Blend when needed to manage inventory flow to meet with new crop.

And, some regions like Sumatra have an endless flow of imports, growing and picking, while others like Colombia have stronger cycles of crop and fly crop.

It’s a whole thing. Deadly dry stuff. Inventory management. But same as managing any other yearly crop.

So…  yes, some of the Rock Stars get reviews but then disappear forever. Some of the long time branded standards get reviews but which we’ve been monitoring for a decade or so. Others come and go before anyone jumps in to write anything.  Doesn’t mean they aren’t great, they just haven’t had as much exposure over time.

How long do I Let Coffee Rest?

January 16th, 2016

Letting them rest for about 24 hours is good. Depending on the coffee a few days may develop additional flavors.  Simpler coffees like Costa Rica a day/two is fine. More complex coffee like North Africa can gain a lot with a few more days.

Two things are happening. In the short term grinding and brewing coffee straight of of a roaster won’t allow the water to saturate the beans as well. While the water is trying to saturate the beans, gasses are simultaneously push the water out/away.

So no gas = no pushback.

In the longer timeframe, it’s a bit like the appeal of leftovers. Or aging scotch or cheese. Time works it’s magic to mellow/enhance. Take it too far! like a week* and you’re on the way to stale coffee, but less than that, a few days or so, and you’re good.

Store the beans in a jar or a zip baggy. Doesn’t have to be fancy. You’ll want to use it up inside of a week anyway. If you do go with a jar wash it out between batches. Coffee oils are oils, and oils go rancid.

BTW, if you aren’t seeing oils on the surface of the beans now, you may see them in a day or so.

Ever notice the beans clinging to the plastic walls of a grocery store beans hopper? That’s not a sign of quality. It’s a sign of nasty oil in a dirty bin.

* Caveat on this. There ARE times an espresso blend will get held back an absurdly long time. But espresso is to coffee as Quarks are to Newtonian Law. Espresso is a whole other magical beast.


What’s So Special About Jamaican Blue Mountain?

October 14th, 2015

A customer asked,  “What’s so special about Jamaican Blue Mountain that drives the price to $60 a pound?  It’s not the taste…. and quite honestly it was no better than our favorite Guatemala CP Select.  So, what’s so special about Jamaican Blue?”

CoffeeProject: It’s partly the same thing that makes Kona Coffee taste so good, scarcity and marketing.

Both really ARE good, but as you pointed out, so is a really nice Guat. or many others.  In Hawaii’s case they’re good AND picked by OSHA protected labor that pay US taxes.

Scarcity plays a role too… Jamaica produces in a year what Brazil forgets to sweep up. So there’s a lot less JBM out in the market.  Same thing… really good- nice and nutty and delicate when done right.  But a few thousand barrels compared to a few thousand FREIGHTERS skews the value.

It’s definitely worth smoking a fifty dollar cigar or drinking a hundred dollar bottle of wine sometimes. Good things aren’t good for no reason.  Kona/Jamaica really ARE pretty great, but the runner ups are so pretty great too that there’s often not a big enough difference to justify being spendy on those things all the time.*

Coffee is also affected by who YOU are.  YOU change the taste and relationship of your coffee by how you feel.

Funny Story- We sometime get people back from their Hawaiian honeymoon. Best days of their lives, Hawaiian beaches, amazing hotels, and coffee. And they want another cup of THAT.

That’s a tall order.

That’s a $9,000 cup of coffee.

…But yeah, we can come close.  :)

( * …Scotch though… don’t skimp.  Chances are a pricey bottle of Scotch is going to be worth it )

It’s All About Saturation

September 11th, 2015

It’s all about saturation.
The longer water is in contact with coffee, the more is extracted. Finer grounds equal more surface area to extract from.

…The hotter the water, the more extraction. But TOO much extraction leads to bitterness…

Things will be less bitter if you take control of these things.
That means if you can’t stand the heat- then coarsen up. Or spend less time together…

The opposite if this is insipidness. Your coffee doesn’t want that either. You want a nice relationship with your coffee; you want great body in the morning… a nice mouthfeel, …and rich is good too… Right??

If THIS is what you want to wake up with, then you NEED to listen to your coffee. Your coffee WANTS to be awesome for you. Listen to it. It’s saying to you let’s go somewhere… GO there. Your coffee loves you. It’s telling you to…

Adjust your grind,  go hotter or cooler accordingly.  Spend quality time together…

Do these things.
And surprise your coffee with some roses sometimes too, just because.

Earthy Or Cocoa Flavor In An Espresso Roast

August 28th, 2015

I prefer earthy or chocolate hinted flavors in espresso. I’m considering to do mixing with thes $7-$9/lb.  Any others you’d recommend to get that earthy or cocoa flavor in an espresso roast (in to 2nd crack before cooling)? 

Sumatra Mandheling CP Select
Eth Nat3 Limu Nigussie Lemma Edeto & Sons
Kenya AA Rukira Nyeri
Indian Monsooned Malabar AA

You have some good choices there with which to build some good blends.  Include some Colombian or Brazil, to even it out a bit.  Those are usually beans that provide a nice base to build on like our Colombia Reserve del Patron which has some cocoa notes,  or the Brazil Nossa Senorra de Fatima which is a natural with a nice, round body.

Give Malabar Gold another try.  Let it rest for 4-5 days or so before brewing, and you’ll find a lot of the earthy, cocoa notes you’re looking for. Also try Felucca Blend as a shot. You’ll find a lot of earthiness, along with a hint of cocoa and a punch of fruit.  It’s a favorite.

If you’d like to jack up the cocoa, add something like a little Uganda Bugisu Sipi Falls (A)  or Uganda Bugisu Sipi Falls (B)  Both are  beans with a big cocoa punch.  It’s not, however, a regular on the menu–it’s one of those beans we stock when we find we really like a specific lot.  You can play a bit with our ready made blends, or add it to one of your own blends to up the cocoa notes.  If you’re looking for more body, you might try the Ethiopian Harrar CP Select in place of the Limu.

As to roast levels, go to a full city to full city plus–that’s just into second crack, and perhaps letting it JUST begin to ramp up.  The Monsooned Malabar is one exception–take that right into an unapologetic second crack, otherwise the flavors can be a little too funky.  Do your blending post roast so you can roast each bean to your preference.  It also allows you to adjust the percentages on the fly and experiment with the blends shot by shot.  Keep notes so you can remember what works and what doesn’t.  Youa can use small canning jars to hold a single roast of each bean then play during a brewing session–once you’ve figured out a blend you like, put together enough for a week or two.

August 11th, 2015

I enjoy coffee that is dark and rather strong so I am roasting to a French roast level – almost ebony. Could you recommend a bean or beans that I should try that will do well with a French roast and that will have a very bold flavor?  – I brew with a chemex, but I am trying to get to almost an espresso taste. It is working fairly well hot frothed milk.


Glad to hear that you’re enjoying the roasting experience!
If you’re looking to roast to a really dark stage, it’s best to shop for very hard beans, so look for a SHB or HB designation.  That will help get you started.  Two on our list right now are the Brazil Organic Nossa Senhora de Fatima SHB and Guatemala Huehue  ASOBAGRI.  Other coffees that you might like at that level of roast include Flores, Nicaragua Segovia, Ethiopian Harrar, and Monsooned Malabar.  Monsooned Malabar is quite popular in espresso blends, giving it a funky base note.  Some folks like it straight–but you’ll have to try it and see what you think about that.

If you’re trying to approximate espresso, I’d suggest trying some blends.  Think of a blend as a musical chord–you want some high notes, from coffees like Costa Rican, Guatemala, or Kenya. You also want some middle notes from Guatemalans (they can go both ways), Brazilian (which is often used as a base for espresso blends–and the Nossa I mentioned above is stellar for that purpose), or a Colombian, and finally you want some bass notes from the Monsooned Malabar and/or an Ethiopian for heavy body with fruity notes, if that’s your preference.  Try starting with 40% Brazil, 10% high notes, 20-30% middle notes and the rest bass notes, and then adjust from there till you find what you like.  Really, there’s no substitute for experimentation when you’re searching for your perfect espresso blend, and the bonus is that it’s really fun to try.  When working on a blend, I put all my coffees into little glass canning jars, line them up, and then add a little bit of this/that and adjust till I have it the way I want it.  Keep notes to help you remember what you did.  Keep in mind that all of your coffees don’t have to be roasted the same way.  When you’re blending, you might want to give your Costa Rican a lighter roast to get more fruit out of it, and dark roast your other coffees.  Again, experiment to see what appeals to you.

Chemex makes an awesome brewer, but if you are shooting for aproximating espresso, I’d suggest getting a stovetop espresso maker or an Aeropress.  Either one of those will give you a closer approximation to what you’re looking for than the Chemex will, and will cost less than an espresso machine.  If you want an Aeropress, email us.  I seem to recall seeing one around here somewhere–we used to carry them.  I bet we could come up with one for you.

I hope that’s enough to get you started.  Feel free to email with other questions if I missed something.


How To Create An Espresso Blend – Simple Startup

July 31st, 2015

I’m looking to create my own blend for espresso and I like the character notes of the Monsooned Malabar. I primarily drink lattes and don’t like a high level of acidity in the espresso – what would you recommend I blend with the Malabar, and in what quantities?


Monsooned Malabar is great in espresso, you’ll love the bass notes and the slight funkiness.  Use this at no more than about 20% of the blend, at levels greater than that, the funkiness may get to be too much for you. Your taste may differ, so play with it and see what appeals to you.  With a Monsooned Malabar, one favorite way may be to blend it with a Natural Brazil and a really fruity Ethiopian, Harrar for a heavy body, or Yirgecheffe for a bit of a lighter touch.  For percentages, start with maybe 60% Brazil, 20 Monsooned Mal, and 20 of the Ethiopian.  Then adjust for your own taste preferences.  Centrals also work very well in espressos, giving them a little bit of sparkle.  You’ll like the Nicaragua Segovia, it has an undertone of almond that works well in Espresso.  The Costa Rica La Magnolia will be a bit brighter, and nice–but use it in smaller amounts.

You can also use a high quality Colombian as a base, like our Reserva del Patron.  Try that with the same mix as above, and see what you think.  Another easy way to get a good blend would be to use our Felucca blend, and then add a little Monsooned Malabar to it.

When constructing a blend, use the little half pint canning jars filled with each kind of roasted beans, and then start playing with ratios from there along with a notebook to keep track of what works and what doesn’t.

Feel free to email us with questions, we’re happy to help.

Head of Programmes World Animal Protection Netherlands Statement on Kopi Luwak

June 23rd, 2015

” As NGO, World Animal Protection cannot formally endorse a product, but we have worked with CTB, visited plantations from which they source and the standard they use has been developed with our advice and guidance – we see this as a model of how a standard for kopi luwak should look like.  Moreover, UTZ Certified has recently banned the use of caged animals for coffee production within their code, meaning that all UTZ certified suppliers of CTB are now checked under this criteria in order to maintain their certification. “

Signed, Dirk-Jan Verdank
Head of Programmes World Animal Protection Netherlands

See the signed statement Here

and Here

WAP visited the origin company giving advice and guidance for collecting, foraging, and processing of the Wild Kopi Luwak beans. Regarding accreditation, their statement is on black and white and signed by the Head of Programmes, Dirk Jan Verdonk. ( see links above )

CTP,  The Coffee Project’s partner in promoting Wild Kopi luwak cares about the source and origin of coffees and therefore cooperated with World Animal Protection (WAP, before WSPA) to develop a way of collecting/foraging and processing which matches the needs of the Luwak living on and around the plantations and the jungle of Sumatra.

Wild Kopi Luwak is collected exclusively from monitored Arabica farmers, therefore all The Coffee Project’s Wild Kopi Luwak is traceable to the Gayo coffee farmer.

There are 131 registered collectors who provide this coffee each of whom forages on their own Certified farm, brings their coffee to a central facility in the village of Berewang Dewal.  In this facility collected Wild Kopi Luwak is checked against a quality standard by the Head of Collection.

MORE information on Wild Kopi LuwakTraceability can be found on CTB’s website



BasaBali is Helping To Preserve a Language

June 21st, 2015

You can help too.

AND help to draw attention to CAGE FREE, WILD Kopi Luwak.

Can something kind of goofy like Kopi Luwak be fun AND Ethical too? AND help others?

Yes is can.

There was a whole hullaballo about kopi luwak that you’ve probably seen…

June 8th, 2015

Thanks for the article. We’re aware of the controversy.  For many years The Coffee Project sold Kopi Luwak from our contact in Indonesia who we trust completely, but the bad press caused us to stop selling. We recently found a source of certified traceable beans and started up again.

After a period of working together with WAP (World Animal Protection Foundation) and UTZ Kapeh to ban “caged” Kopi Luwak, they achieved a great success:

UTZ and Rainforest Alliance won’t certify producers that keep civets in captivity to produce Kopi Luwak.

These are the people The Coffee Project are working with.

“As NGO, World Animal Protection cannot formally endorse a product, but we have worked with CTB, visited plantations from which they source and the standard they use has been developed with our advice and guidance – we see this as a model of how a standard for kopi luwak should look like. Moreover, UTZ Certified has recently banned the use of caged animals for coffee production within their code, meaning that all UTZ certified suppliers of CTB are now checked under this criteria in order to maintain their certification.”

So We’re confident they are free animals, and now we have documentation should anyone question it. Kopi luwak is a fun silly thing, but definitely all the fun got sucked out of it for a while.  Bad news is that Bad Press is hard to overcome. Hopefully people will find the CoffeeProject Kopi Luwak page in the process of doing research for raw kopi luwak Coffee.