The Fellow Playground is your space to play – to brew a cup, share a tip, take a class, or just talk shop. Each month we select five coffees from roasters we are excited about to feature in our store.
February is the month of love, and boy do we love our new coffee line-up. California, Missouri, New York, and Arizona roasters are represented along with our first ever international roaster…oh hey Canada!
Ready to geek out on coffee?! Brew yourself a cup and get lost in the delicious jargon below
Bay Area folks – If you’re looking for a fun date on Valentine’s Day, bring your favorite honey into the Fellow Playground for our Brew For Two Day! Buy one of our 22-gram test tubes of the beans below and get a second free.
VERVE COFFEE ROASTERS
Santa Cruz, CA | Founded in 2007 by Ryan O’Donovan and Colby Barr
Fun Fact: Verve has eight locations between Santa Cruz, SF, LA, and now Tokyo!
Coffee/Origin: Flora Ramos, Guatemala
Notes: Juicy, Custard, and Plum
“Often the unsung heroes in the coffee supply chain, women play an integral part in all that goes into cultivating, harvesting, and processing coffee but often see little recognition for their work. As such, we’re excited to highlight this exceptional micro-lot from Flora Ramos from an equally exceptional Guatemalan micro-region, Huehuetenango. In Huehuetenango, where the tail-end of the great American Cordillera spills over from Mexico (where it’s referred to as the Sierra Madre de Chiapas), Huehuetenango is the only Guatemalan growing area characterized not by volcanic soil, but clay-loam soil.
Thanks to dry, hot winds that blow across the border from Mexico’s Tehuantepec plain, Huehuetenango can produce coffee as high as 2,200 MASL with no threat of frost, like in other Guatemalan growing regions. Flora carefully picks coffee cherries at a precise 22.5 – 23 brix to ensure maximum ripeness before mechanically de-pulping, fermenting for 40 hours and drying on patios for 25 days.” – Verve Coffee Roasters (@vervecoffee)
THOU MAYEST COFFEE ROASTERS
Kansas City, MO | Founded in 2012 by Bo Nelson and Bill Holtzhueter
Fun Fact: Their name derives from a quote in East of Eden by John Steinbeck: “Timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.’”
Coffee/Origin: “Cold Start” Guama Danta, Honduras
Variety: Lempiras, Caturra, Catuai, IHCAFE 90, Catimor
Notes: Caramel Apple, Bakers Spice, and Balanced
“Surrounded by sweetgum forests and a sheltering mountain range that form a perfect climactic bubble, Guama Danta has an ideal, mild coffee growing climate. Farmers have been taking advantage of these conditions for the last four generations, consistently producing high-quality coffees. Surrounded by forests and reaching altitudes of 1,700 meters ASL, Guama Danta has all of the necessary conditions for growing high-quality coffees. The wet and dry seasons are well defined, ensuring proper flowering and fruit development ahead of the January harvest. Many producers have small coffee farms of 1.5 hectares or less at altitudes between 1,500 and 1,700 meters ASL. The region’s loamy soils are planted primarily with the leaf rust-resistant variety Lempira. Guama and fruit trees provide shade for the coffee, as well as refuge for local wildlife. Many local farmers also maintain small orchards within their farms to produce fruits for their own consumption.” – Thou Mayest Coffee Roasters (@thou_mayest)
Brooklyn, NY | Founded in 2017 by Lance Schnorenberg and Tobin Polk
Fun Fact: Sey is “yes” spelled backward!
Coffee/Origin: Windrush AA, Kenya
Variety: SL-28, SL-32
Notes: Blackberry, Pineapple, and Mango
“Windrush is a medium-sized Estate (400 acres of coffee) on the very high and steep slopes of Kiambu County. The estate is famed for its exceptional tea and coffee growing. In fact, it is the only estate remaining in Kenya that exclusively farms the most traditional of Kenyan varietals: SL28. Altitudes reach well over 2200 masl where the tea grows, and coffee production averages an altitude of 1750masl. The Windrush/Yara Estates are among the oldest remaining estates in Kenya. In 1971 ownership was transferred from the original White Kenyan owners to Indigenous peoples, in line with land reforms across the country from the 1950s. The estates are now managed by locals trading as the Gatatha Farmers Co. Ltd.
Windrush itself is quite distinct in the Kenyan landscape – colder and wetter with lush riverine valleys, plenty of dams and ancient fig trees – and as such a healthier more drought resistant ecosystem. Great farm management practices include digging soil pits to retain rainwater and prevent erosion and planting bluegrass as ground cover for the same reason. Processing is traditional, cherries go through a disc depulper, parchment coffee is fermented in traditional concrete tanks before washing and overnight soaking.The clean coffee is then moved to skin drying beds overnight before raised-bed sun drying for a nice seven days.” – Sey Coffee (@seycoffee)
PRESTA COFFEE ROASTERS
Tucson, AZ | Founded in 2012 by Curtis Zimmerman
Fun Fact: Presta began as a coffee cart operation called Stella Java.
Coffee/Origin: Santa Teresa, Panama
Variety: Caturra, Catuai
Notes: Red Fruits, Blackberry, and Floral
“Finca Santa Teresa is blessed with rich black volcanic soil, a high altitude location, and favorable weather patterns associated with both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans; this results in coffees of singular quality. The Finca is located along a series of beautiful valleys and ridges which create a variety of micro-climates and give individuality to each of their lots. The Finca is located at 1400-1800m and the coffee planting is interspaced by live barriers, streams, and broad sections of virgin forest. Squirrel monkeys and many of the 600 species of birds in the area are often seen in and around the Finca. Adjacent to the farm is the La Amistad International Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site jointly managed by Panama and neighboring Costa Rica. FST operates a best practice approach to all of its activities.” – Presta Coffee Roasters (@prestacoffee)
49TH PARALLEL COFFEE ROASTERS
Vancouver, BC Canada | Founded in 2002 by Vince Piccolo
Fun Fact: Piccolo also owns side-project Lucky Donuts, which shares a retail space with 49th Parallel’s cafe in Vancouver!
Coffee/Origin: Kayon Mountain Guji Ethiopia
Notes: Floral, Aromatic, Pear, and Kumquat
“This is a new, 240-hectare farm (established in 2012) with the aim of producing top quality coffee in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. Historically, Guji coffees have been exported as coming from Sidamo, but after many years of lobbying the Ethiopian government for a geographical distinction, it is now possible to separate it. While the cup profile is quite similar to Sidamo coffees, there’s certainly something more in the terroir of Guji – no doubt due in part to the soaring altitude coupled with a nice diverse mix of heirloom Typica varieties.” – 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters (@49th)