a look at our coffee program and what makes it exceptional
In Celebration of International Coffee Day (September 28th) we want to delve into the details that make our coffee program exceptional. With our mouth-watering eatery menu and breathtaking baked goods, we probably could have gotten by with merely decent coffee. However, we’ve had the opportunity to serve Counter Culture Coffee since the day we opened our doors, and because of this we’ve fallen in love with coffee in a way we didn’t think possible.
Keepin' it fresh.
We order and receive shipments of coffee from Counter Culture every week. Our baristas love the variety that comes through our shop. We cycle through different single-origin coffees, limited release blends, and year-round blends.
These coffees come from different origins and are ripe for harvest during different seasons, depending on their relationship with the sun. In most cases, after coffees are harvested and processed, the green beans are roasted and sold by Counter Culture within four months.
After it’s roasted, coffee has around six months when it can be brewed. For maximum vibrancy and best results, you should only buy the freshest roasted beans and use them within a month. We get fresh coffee every week and never use or sell anything further than two weeks off-roast, except for some East-African coffees whose flavors tend to open up closer to ten days off-roast.
As soon as you grind coffee, volatile compounds that affect the aromatics and flavor begin to escape into the air. You should brew coffee within thirty minutes of grinding in order to capture all that goodness. At our locations we always grind right before brewing.
At the Table we work diligently to ensure you get the freshest, most vibrant cup of coffee possible. One way we do this is by only serving fresh-batch, drip-brew coffee. We pay attention to characteristics of the coffee other than just whether or not it’s still hot!
Coffee is the seed of a fruit, so it makes sense to have coffee taste fruity and pleasantly acidic. Please note—this is perceived acidity. The actual pH of brewed coffee is less than that of a banana. Furthermore, we do not use flavored coffee. The flavors on our retail bags are merely guides to help you understand the flavors and mouth feels you’ll experience. Here’s what our friends at Counter Culture have to say about tasting notes:
“So where do the flavors come from if they’re not added? Much like wine or beer, coffee can have many different inherent flavors based on where or when it’s grown, how it’s processed, how it’s roasted, the variety, and even how it’s brewed. Roasted arabica is one of the most chemically complex beverages out there and has thousands of unique chemical compounds that result in many different flavors. So when we say we’re tasting notes of strawberry in a coffee, we’re tasting either the same, or very similar, compounds that you find in actual strawberries.”
Check out their Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel, a tool used to help make sense of what’s happening in our mouths and on our palates when we drink coffee.
FUN FACT: 80% of taste comes from your sense of smell, so enjoy your coffee for here or take a moment to pop that lid off your to-go cup to really enjoy it!
Every month we feature a new drink. It may be hot, iced, syrupy, milky or just straight-up amazing black coffee. Whichever it is, it’s a great way for our customers to try new things that we’re excited about. We often use seasonal ingredients or flavors, like when we do pumpkin spice in October or incorporate lavender in the Grey Lady (a tea latte; not all features involve coffee). All of these featured drinks open a door to new experiences and keep you engaged with our exceptional coffee program!
This month we want to feature one of our absolute favorite coffees of all time. Kushikamana is a single-origin from the Central and Eastern Provinces in Kenya. Here are some specifics from our friends at Counter Culture:
“Through a project initiated by Counter Culture, small-farm owners in different parts of Kenya's growing regions started working together to discuss and test new techniques to improve the quality of their coffee. These historically independent growers chose the name Kushikamana, which means ‘connected’ in Swahili, to represent the unity of their group. This selection has a classic profile of coffees from Kenya—blackcurrant, citrus, and savory notes—but with a clarity not found in many Kenyan coffees.”
While Kushikamana is brilliant hot or cold, we’re featuring it on ice because it’s still hotter than blue blazes here in the South. We use a method called Crash Chilled Iced Coffee, which tends to result in sweeter, more balanced flavor and a more pleasant mouthfeel. Its body is a bit heavier than Japanese-style flash-brewed iced coffee, though not quite as heavy as cold brew.
We will be giving away free double shots of SOE (single-origin espresso) on Friday, September 28th. We’re proud of our espresso and excited to share it with you in celebration of International Coffee Day. If you snap a pic of your free espresso and Instagram it with the hashtag #coffeedayatthetable, you will be entered to win a bag of our superb single-origin retail coffee from Counter Culture (limit one per customer)