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The Making of Eddy Steaming Pitcher by Fellow

Perfecting Steamed Milk: The Making of Eddy Steaming Pitcher

By | Coffee, Design

With no moving or electrical parts, one would think a steaming pitcher would be a breeze to engineer and manufacture. No complicated PID controller like Stagg EKG. No first-of-its-kind vacuum pump like Atmos. Easy, right? Right.

At least that’s what we thought when we started on this journey into steaming pitcher land. Named after the whirlpool effect in water, Eddy took two years to complete from start to finish. We decided against the path of least resistance and chose to swim upstream, if you will, because we knew we could make a serious statement in the saturated pitcher market if done correctly. Each of Eddy’s unique features was born from extensive user testing with baristas. Coincidentally, the features the baristas requested posed major manufacturing challenges which, after countless prototypes, we were able to conquer.

We sat down with Eddy’s product manager, Hanna McPhee, to talk about the user feedback loop, manufacturing woes, and the final product we couldn’t be more proud to share with you. The two-year process was well worth the wait.

Fellow Eddy Steaming Pitcher for latte artWhat was your role in bringing Eddy Steaming Pitcher to life?
My role centered around researching and prototyping Eddy’s unique design features by observing specialty coffee shops and baristas in action. I wanted Fellow to have the best understanding of what baristas like about the current milk pitchers on the market and what they didn’t like. We then took this industry feedback and went to the drawing board to see if we could actually make a physical product that included everyone’s requests and feedback. This part was extremely tricky and the main reason it took us two years to engineer Eddy.

What inspired Fellow to dive into the espresso tool world?
Obviously, our origin is pour-over brewing equipment but we dipped our toes into drinkware with Joey. As we got into the mug game, we quickly realized we wanted to make cups that made it easier to serve milk-based drinks and pour latte art. When we started engineering this new line of drinkware called Monty Milk Art Cups, we decided to design in tandem a thoughtful steaming pitcher for creating latte art both at home and in the café. Fellow always gets very excited when brainstorming new coffee products, but we won’t make something unless we truly believe we can add our special touch to make something better than what’s currently on the market.

Eddy Steaming Pitcher pouring latte art into a Monty Milk Art Cup by FellowWhat are these differences that set Eddy apart from other pitchers?
In both form and function, Eddy is very different. From a functional perspective, the most defining feature is the sharp front crease. It’s a giant bend that goes almost all the way down the front face of the pitcher. Most steaming pitchers have this little gullet as I like to call it. It’s what you see on a pelican or some type of bird that catches fish in its beak. When pouring, the gullet creates two different flow rates which isn’t necessarily intuitive to both home baristas and professional baristas. Obviously, when you use a product for a long time, pour after pour, you get used to this change in flow rate. With Eddy, we wanted to try something different and see if we could keep the flow rate consistent from the start, which would lead to a more intuitive pour for the user. The sharp crease on Eddy did result in a faster pour because now the milk is all going at one speed. However, we do think that we accomplished creating a more intuitive drawing tool. This sharp crease combined with Eddy’s unique fluted spout, gives you more control and a better understanding of what happens with the milk when your hand moves.

From a form perspective, we worked very closely with industrial designers to visually create something that’s unlike any other pitcher out there. We’re always trying to keep in mind designing for both specialty cafes and home kitchens. This product should be something you are proud to leave on your counter or beside your espresso machine and not something you want to hide away in your cupboard.

What was your user testing process?
We created many different prototypes and had several cafés around the Bay Area use the product in the café behind bar. This was really important because wanted them to use Eddy in the same workflow they would during normal service hours. After every new production round, we’d bring the new, more polished version of Eddy back to our test cafés and start the process all over again. In addition to café use, we interviewed many different barista champ competitors via Skype and also had them send pictures of how they hold their current steaming pitchers. I have a file on my desktop with dozens of close-up photos of people’s hands holding different pitchers. It’s a little creepy to be honest.

How did Eddy’s design morph after giving the different prototypes to baristas?
Every feature of Eddy was impacted by user testing but the ribbon handle, measurement aids, and stainless steel thickness stand out the most in my mind. We kept hearing over and over again that milk waste was a really big concern for small specialty cafés. To help mitigate waste, we added measurement aids inside of Eddy to ensure precise milk pours. We also got feedback from a bunch of different baristas about the importance of thickness for a steaming pitcher. They wanted to be able to easily gauge how hot the milk was inside of the pitcher. These conversations directly impacted Eddy’s thickness. Lastly, and probably most importantly, our user testing lead us to our ribbon handle. When we first started making this pitcher, our goal was to make the end all, be all handle. This was going to be the best handle that you could ever dream of. What we quickly realized is that how baristas hold a steaming pitcher is pretty personal. It’s like how you hold a pencil or paintbrush. So instead of taking a hard stance on the perfect handle, we did a complete 180 and switched our stance to making a universal handle that would be flexible for all pouring styles. With the open-ended ribbon handle, Eddy can be manipulated and held anyway the barista chooses.

Eddy Steaming Pitcher Ribbon HandleAny hiccups during the design process?
So it turns out that when metal is cylindrical, it doesn’t like to bend into a sharp crease. It took many, many versions of the product samples to be able to have front crease without the pitcher literally splitting in half.  This becomes even harder to do when you are trying to make thousands of consistent creases.

It was also a challenge to figure out a way to make the ribbon handle as consistent as possible, as we wanted the handle distance from the body to be a very specific measurement based on feedback from users.

Do you think Eddy will be showing up in a barista champs competition near you?
Definitely. I think the fun part about latte art and milk-based drinks is that baristas are always coming up with incredible new techniques and cool new ways to perfect the process. Eddy is another tool to help push the boundaries on what baristas can do. Really, at the end of the day, it’s about having fun and taking pride in your coffee craft and Eddy helps support that.


Eddy Steaming Pitcher is available in graphite and polished steel and in 12 oz and 18 oz sizes. Grab one for your collection!

Fellow February Featured Roasters

Stole Our Hearts | February Featured Roasters

By | Coffee, Featured Roaster

I mean, the title says it all, doesn’t it? It’s no secret that we here at Fellow crush hard on some of our favorite coffee purveyors. And when, if not February, could be better to spill our hearts? We’re spellbound by the synthesis of time, relationships, heart, dedication, and skill these roasters have lovingly put into their craft, and we want to shout it to the world!

All month long we’ll be featuring coffee from the following heartthrobs:

BLIND TIGER COFFEE ROASTERS
Philadelphia, PA | Founded in 2013 by Charlie Biando
Fun Fact: Charlie is also an accomplished breadmaker and offers his homemade bread at his coffee pop-ups.

Blind Tiger Fellow Featured RoasterCoffee/Origin: “Flowers Vol. 2” (Ecuador)
Variety: Caturra, Typica, Yellow Catimor
Process: Washed
Notes: Sweet magnolia, jasmine, cherrywine

“Finca Angamaza is located in Conganama, Loja, Ecuador and run by Angel Capa Carrion. The farm sits at an elevation of approximately 2,080 m.a.s.l. and consists of 19 hectares in total, 2 currently in coffee with plans to plant another 2 hectares. Of those 2 hectares currently in production, 25% are planted with Caturra, 10% Typica, 40% in San Salvador and 25% in Yellow Catimore. Upon arriving at the wet-mill, the coffee is fermented for 36 hours and after washing, the coffee is dried from anywhere between 8-10 days, depending on the weather conditions. Around that time, a local association of growers was formed to help market and find buyers for their coffees; they even brought in agronomists and technical assistance as offered by the local municipality. This was a huge factor in motivating Angel to produce higher quality coffees. He succeeded and is now receiving higher prices for his lots. for buyers who value and appreciate his efforts.” – @blindtigercoffee

Shop this coffee!

BRANDYWINE COFFEE ROASTERS
Wilmington, DE | Founded in 2013 by Todd Purse
Fun Fact: All of Brandywine’s bags are stamped and screen printed by hand with original designs by Todd himself!

Brandywine Fellow Featured RoasterCoffee/Origin: “Romance Coffee” (Ethiopia)
Variety: Heirloom
Process: Natural and Washed Blend
Notes: Green gummy bear, mango, bing cherry, and milk chocolate

“Romance Coffee is a limited release blend paying homage to the artists of the romance comics of the ’50s and ’60s. This sweet blend of Ethiopian coffee brings out a silky smooth body and flavors of strawberry that you can’t get enough of!” –@brandywinecoffeeroasters

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GARDELLI SPECIALTY COFFEES
Forli, Italy | Founded in 2014 by Rubens Gardelli
Fun Fact: Rubens is a consistent heavy-hitter in the Italian coffee competition scene and even placed 2nd in the World Brewers Cup in 2014!

Gardelli Specialty Coffees February Featured RoasterCoffee/Origin: Uganda Mzungu Project
Variety: SL 14, Nyanzaland
Process: Natural
Notes: Cherry, prune, blueberry, dark chocolate, kiwi, and rum

“Competition leads to innovation and this coffee is the fruit of that labor. 2 and 1⁄2 years after his pioneering World Brewers Cup single tree lot, Rubens Gardelli is proud to present this unique coffee from Uganda. Forging close links with the farmer Alex and forming an export company with close friend Dison has allowed complete traceability and control from tree to cup. Originally a small competition lot, this project grew to encompass all of five small farmers production. A natural processed coffee, intensely sweet, with lots of dark chocolate and cherry — it’s a delicious and an amazing representative of Ugandan specialty coffee. The indigenous nyanzaland varietal and SL14 are grown at 1900 masl and processed using a proprietary natural method which is completely new and unique to Uganda. This coffee was presented for the first time by Rubens Gardelli during the 2017 Italy Brewers Cup and it was brewed by Michael Manhart, where they won first place!” – @gardellicoffees

Shop this coffee!

HEART COFFEE ROASTERS
Portland, OR | Founded in 2009 by Wille and Rebekah Yli-Luoma
Fun Fact: Before moving from Finland to the US and starting Heart, Wille was a professional snowboarder!

Heart Coffee Roasters Fellow Featured RoasterCoffee/Origin: Ethiopia Halo
Variety: Heirloom
Process: Washed
Notes: Honeysuckle, jasmine, sugarcane

“This is Heart’s second year purchasing Halo and we couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome it back. We received this sample and it was reminiscent of all the things we loved about this coffee in 2017 and we’re sure you all will love it too! It’s florally and sweetness can only be topped by the fact that it is such a wonderful contrast to other Ethiopian coffees on our menu. The Halo Bariti co-op was founded in 2012 by former members of the work co-op. Halo is located in the southern part of Ethiopia’s Gedeo Zone. This remote, wild, part of the country has been mostly untouched by modern development. Members of the Halo co-op bring coffee to the washing station from land as high as 7550 feet above sea level. This extremely high altitude produces some of the most amazing coffees in the world.” – @heartroasters

Shop this coffee!

PASSION HOUSE COFFEE ROASTERS
Chicago, IL | Founded in 2011 by Joshua Millman
Fun Fact: Besides specialty coffee, Joshua is also deeply passionate about music and attempts to weave this into operations at Passion House wherever he can. Sometimes he will let an employee create a playlist to accompany a particular coffee offering, and then sell it with a thumb drive of the music!

Passion House Fellow Featured RoasterCoffee/Origin: “Cafe con Amor” (Costa Rica)
Variety: Caturra, Villa Sarchi
Process: Honey
Notes: Honey, Sweet Cream, Milk Chocolate

“Café Con Amor is a high-altitude farm in the mountains of Naranjo, Costa Rica. The volcanic soil is perfect for growing Caturra and Villa Sarchi varieties of specialty coffee. Growing under the shade of orange, mango, níspero, guaba, lemon, guayaba and sweet plantain, these tropical trees add rich organic material that transfer to the aroma, complexity and citrus notes of this amazing coffee. Café Con Amor is a high-altitude farm in the mountains of Costa Rica, grown in rich soil under the share of many tropical trees. The volcanic soil is perfect for growing Caturra and Villa Sarchi varieties of specialty coffee. Orange, mango, níspero, guaba, lemon, guayaba and sweet plantains add rich organic material that transfer to the aroma, complexity and rich notes of this specialty coffee. The final product is a clean cup with a smooth honey sweetness, citrus tones, and balanced acidity” – @passionhousecoffee

Shop Passion House’s coffees!


February is a busy month in the Playground! Check out what’s coming down the pipeline here and make sure to follow us on Instagram for real-time updates.

Monty Milk Art Cup for latte art by Fellow

Picasso Your Pour: Why Parabolic Slopes Are Better For Latte Art

By | Coffee, Design

A cousin to our Joey Mug, Monty Milk Art Cup is our newest double-wall ceramic drinkware. While Monty can absolutely be home to brewed coffee—our [X] and [XF] Drippers fit perfectly on top of the latte and cappuccino sizes—the design features were specifically engineered for pouring beautiful espresso drinks. So what’s Monty’s secret? A hidden parabolic slope which helps you Picasso your pour by lifting crema to the top without disruption.

First, let’s breakdown the difference between a parabolic slope and a non-parabolic slope. Think back to your algebra days. The slope that’s hidden inside of Monty is similar to the graph created by a quadratic function. The U shape is a welcoming, gentle home for your freshly frothed milk. A cup or a mug with a non-parabolic slope often has sharp 90° or 45° angles. The care put into your milk is instantly mitigated by the hard bottom.

Parabolic slope vs non parabolic slope for pouring latte artNow, let’s talk about the pour. Good latte art has strong definition with bright white milk and dark brown crema. Not so good latte art is often described by baristas as “blown out” because the white and brown mix together to form a lazy tan. To achieve this necessary definition, crema needs to be to lifted to the surface fully intact. This provides a solid canvas to draw on with your milk. The key to getting great contrast is steering clear of turbulence. If you’re pouring milk into a squared, non-parabolic bottom, the milk will inevitably crash into a wall or corner creating turbulence and disrupting the crema. However, if you’re pouring milk into Monty’s parabolic slope, the rounded bottom helps maintain surface tension until you are ready to break it up and start the lines for that beautiful inverted swan with a triple tulip head that everyone loves so much.

Apart from the parabolic slope, our product team kept cafés and baristas top of mind throughout the entire design process. The sizes—latte, cappuccino, cortado, and demitasse—were chosen specifically for espresso-based drinks. We also specifically designed these cups to be square on the outside for convenient stacking in cafés or on an espresso machine. The latte size stacks with the cappuccino size while the cortado stacks with the demitasse. Also, unlike our Joey mug, Monty is dishwasher safe.

Monty Milk Art Cup for pouring latte art by Fellow

Thanks to the very important parabolic slope, Monty is your canvas to Monet your milk. We want to see you van Gogh to town with beautiful latte art. Share your photos on Instagram and tag us for a chance to be featured!


Shop the Monty Milk Art Cup family here!

January Fellow Featured Roasters

Instant Hits | January Featured Roasters

By | Coffee, Featured Roaster

Since the beginning of the 20th century, caffeine lovers have been tinkering and tasting in the pursuit of making coffee completely soluble, delicious, and convenient. In other words, “instant.” Let’s admit it, the results have never really lived up to the real thing. At least, until now…

Ladies and gentlemen, this month at Fellow, we’re excited to share with you the crème de la crème of the latest and tastiest developments in the instant coffee game! For January, we’re offering coffee from some of our finest domestic roasteries, who not only bring us delicious beans but have also teamed up with the most innovative minds out there who have taken instant coffee to the next level.

Stop in and see how far instant coffee has come (or just grab your usually delicious bag of beans)!

CAT & CLOUD + STEEPED COFFEE

Cat & Cloud Coffee and Steeped Coffee for Fellow Featured Roasters

Whole Bean Coffee
Who: Cat & Cloud in Santa Cruz, CA
Coffee/Origin: El Salvador San Nicholas
Variety: Pacamara
Process: Honey
Notes: Orange Juice, Pineapple, Almond Biscotti

“We love buying coffee at auctions – they’re fun, the producers get a great price, and we bring home delicious coffee for our customers. For example, we bought this coffee for about 500% over FairTrade prices, and for us it’s worth it (don’t worry, we won’t mark it up that high for you). This coffee was purchased from the El Salvador Chalate Best Cup Auction. Scoring in the Top 10, this coffee is a honey-processed Pacamara from Finca San Nicholas that is citrusy, sweet, and all around delicious. It has a little bit of complexity while being a coffee that we’d love to drink every morning.”

[Shop this coffee!]

Instant Coffee Pairing
Partner: Steeped Coffee in Santa Cruz, CA
What: Freshly ground and nitro-seeled inside of compostable packaging
How: Steeps like a tea bag in 8 oz of hot water for ~5 minutes
Coffee/Origin: Colombia, Brazil, Ethiopia

Variety: Caturra, Yellow Bourbon, Heirloom
Process: Natural, Washed
Notes: Caramel, Berries, Chocolate

[Shop this coffee!]

CANYON COFFEE + SWIFT CUP COFFEE

Canyon Coffee and Swift Cup Fellow Featured Roasters

Whole Bean Coffee
Who: Canyon Coffee in Los Angeles, CA
Coffee/Origin: Ethiopia Limu Kosa

Variety: Heirloom
Process: Washed
Notes: Jasmine, Peaches, Molasses

“We’re big fans of bringing out the chocolate and caramel in the coffees we source. And Limu Kosa is no different. In the specialty coffee world, Ethiopian beans are commonly roasted lightly and are known for and revered for the resulting bright acidity, strong floral and fruit notes and near tea-like consistency cups. We think these kinds of coffees and roasts are amazing—but it’s not the style of coffee we really love drinking every morning, black.

For that reason, we let Limu Kosa cook a little longer in the roaster, allowing its natural sugars to develop and caramelize. The result is a bean that carries that smooth chocolatey body we love about coffee, with super tasty expressive notes on top. As your cup of Limu cools, notice how the flavors develop over 20 minutes! We’ve tasted it evolve from caramel to peach to jasmine flower to honey. It’s really a beautiful coffee!”

[Shop this coffee!]

Instant Coffee Pairing
Partner: Swift Cup Coffee in Lancaster, PA
What: Using a proprietary process, Swift Cup Coffee carefully brews the coffee to a very flavorful concentrate before slowly dehydrating the coffee through freeze drying
How: Mix with 8-10 oz of filtered water
Coffee/Origin: Celinga Village, Bangua District, Ethiopia
Elevation: 1780-1860 Meters
Process: Washed
Tasting Notes: Cacao Nib and Peach

[Shop this instant!]

CIRQUE  + VOILÁ
Cirque Coffee and Voila Fellow Featured Roasters

Whole Bean Coffee
Who: Cirque Coffee Roasters in Tulsa, OK
Coffee/Origin: Brazil Benedito

Variety: Yellow Bourbon
Process: Natural
Notes: Strawberry, Rhubarb, Glazed Puff Pastry

“Rancho Sao Benedito is located in the rolling mountains of South Minas just outside the small rural town of Carmo de Minas. The region has quite recently become renowned for its award-winning quality, producing some of the finest lots Brazil has to offer. The farm as an average elevation of 1200 masl. The estate was found in 1954 and is now run by Marcio Heleo de Carcalho Junqueira, his three siblings and a team of 20 staff. Benedito has long been recognized for impeccable quality and has placed as a finalist in the Brazilian Cup of Excellence 7 times since 2002!”

[Shop this coffee!]

Instant Coffee Pairing
Partner: Voilá in Bend, OR
What: The best specialty coffees around the world in pre-extracted soluble form
How: Add coffee to an empty cup, add 8-10 oz of water at preferred drinking temperature, stir & voilá
Coffee/Origin: Colombia Las Araucarias
Notes: Black Currant, Cacao, Allspice

[Shop this instant!]

INTELLIGENTSIA + SUDDEN COFFEEIntelligentsia and Sudden Coffee Fellow Featured RoastersWhole Bean Coffee
Who: Intelligentsia in Chicago, IL
Coffee/Origin: Kenya Kunga Maitu Estate
Variety: SL28, SL34
Process: Washed
Notes: Lemon, Nectarine, Watermelon

“This year we have introduced the Kungu Maitu Estate line of coffees from single farms on which growers process their own coffee and control every variable that affects quality. The second farm in this year’s Kungu Maitu Estate lineup is the Wangera farm of Njeri Kagio. Njeri is 79 years old. She owns a car, but prefers to walking five kilometers to and from her farm each and every day. There, she roves up and down the steep hillsides pruning trees, spreading manure, applying nutrients, and picking and sorting coffee cherries. The trees, some of which Njeri planted more 50 years ago, are aligned in perfectly manicured rows. Their full, healthy boughs stand in such stark contrast to the neighboring farms that even a first-time visitor can immediately tell which trees belong to the Wangera farm. Her eighth of 10 children, Stephen Kagio, returned to the farm a few years ago to help his maitu introduce a few technological improvements and other small adjustments to produce truly spectacular coffee. We had the great good fortune to meet Stephen and Njeri last year, and are thrilled to introduce their coffee to our lineup. Her resilience and youthful spirit and his fine-tuning are both reflected inWangera’s coffee, which was good enough to earn the best newcomer award for the farm at our second annual Extraordinary Coffee Workshop in 2018. We have no reason to doubt that our new 79-year-old partner, her son, and their Wangera farm will continue to bring beautiful things into the world for years to come.”

[Shop this coffee!]

Instant Coffee Pairing
Partner: Sudden Coffee in San Francisco, CA
What: Single-origin beans brewed with a revolutionary secret method and then freeze-dried in small batches
How: Add to 8 oz of hot or cold water and stir
Coffee/Origin: Flecha Roja, Costa Rica

Process: Washed
Notes: Citrus, Stone Fruit, and Molasses

[Shop this instant!]

REANIMATOR + SWIFT CUP COFFEE
ReAnimator Coffee and Swift Cup Fellow Featured Roasters

Whole Bean Coffee
Who: ReAnimator Coffee Roasters in Philadelphia, PA
Coffee/Origin: Peru Satipo

Variety: Caturra, Bourbon
Process: Washed
Notes: Marzipan, white grape, and rose

“This is our second year purchasing and roasting coffees from the Pangoa Cooperative in the Junin region of Peru, which we visited for the first time last year with Aleco Chigounis of Red Fox Coffee Merchants. Aleco and his team have been doing more work in Peru than any other coffee importers, and investing in regions and producers that had been previously unknown in the specialty world. While the coop once had nearly 1,700 members, warfare in the 1980s and 1990s reduced that number drastically. It has now stabilized around 680-700 members, who are all producing some of the best coffee in the country. We appreciate the coffees coming from Pangoa for their clarity and unique sweetness. They tend to be more refreshing and light on their feet than coffees from other growing regions in Peru, and that holds true with this lot. We’re tasting refreshing white grape, with a marzipan sweetness, and floral rose character. It’s a really special, fresh, and delicious coffee.”

[Shop this coffee!]

Instant Coffee Pairing
Partner: Swift Cup Coffee in Lancaster, PA
What: Using a proprietary process, Swift Cup Coffee carefully brews the coffee to a very flavorful concentrate before slowly dehydrating the coffee through freeze drying
How: Mix with 8-10 oz of filtered water
Coffee/Origin: Ethiopia Duromina
Process: Washed
Tasting Notes: Lemon, Cocoa, and Sandalwood

[Shop this instant!]


Come on and in and try them this INSTANT!

Barista Hustle x Fellow Tamper

Barista Hustle x Fellow | A New Partnership

By | Coffee

If you made it this far, then you must have seen a social media post announcing a Barista Hustle and Fellow partnership. What? Huh? We’re here to explain.

Fellow is now at the helm of Barista Hustle Tools, an offshoot of Matt Perger’s Barista Hustle brand. Fellow is not Barista Hustle nor is Barista Hustle Fellow. Fellow is now leading the charge of Barista Hustle Tools, or BHT, as we’ll often refer to it by. Still confused? Stick with us for a few more paragraphs.

Barista Hustle has been a strong voice in the coffee industry since its launch in 2015 by world champion brewer Matt Perger. Starting first as an education platform, Matt quickly realized great tools were missing from his teaching arsenal. Barista Hustle proceeded to launch three coffee tools that could stand up to the rigor of professional use and elevate technical precision without unnecessary complexity.

Barista Hustle x Fellow Partnership

As of today, the reigns of Barista Hustle’s product line has been handed over to Fellow under the name of Barista Hustle Tools. Where Barista Hustle is the brainchild of a coffee prodigy, Fellow is the brainchild of a product design fanatic. This partnership will enable Barista Hustle Tools to produce even more durable, precise, and fairly priced tools for baristas, coffee professionals, and enthusiasts around the world.

“We reached out to Fellow to expand the line of our tools because their knowledge of product design and manufacturing is first class,” said Matt Perger. “One of my goals with Barista Hustle has always been to solve barista pain points and expand accessibility. I’m confident Fellow, under the Barista Hustle Tools name, has the know-how and talent to make this happen.”

While Matt and Barista Hustle will still be heavily involved from the ideation side, Fellow is taking over engineering, manufacturing, distribution, and sales. The current product offerings– the BH Tamper, BH Pitcher, and BH Cupping Bowls –are now available to purchase from the just-launched Barista Hustle Tools website (BaristaHustleTools.com), as well as through Fellow’s wholesale team and San Francisco retail store.

“We’re excited to work with Matt on a regular basis to collaborate and push on new product ideas. His depth of coffee knowledge is staggering,” said Jake Miller, Fellow’s founder. “2019 is set to be a big year for new products under the Barista Hustle Tools name.”

Barista Hustle Tools x Fellow Product Line

How will this impact the flow at Fellow? A short but honest answer…it won’t. Business as usual will proceed on the Fellow side of things, and all Barista Hustle Tools news will take place over on Barista Hustle’s Instagram feed. Fellow production and distribution timelines will not impact Barista Hustle Tools’ production and distribution and vice versa. If you have any remaining questions, please send us a note at hello@fellowproducts.com.

We couldn’t be more excited to take over the ship of Barista Hustle Tools’ today while continuing to work with Matt and the BH team on developing innovative products for 2019. Head to the sparkling new website to see the current offering of gear!

How Vacuums Prevent Coffee Staleness

How Vacuums Prevent Coffee Staling

By | Coffee

Coffee storage and freshness are influenced by a confusing mix of variables that greatly affect how long your beans stay tasty. We’re a big fan of vacuums as a means of extending your coffee’s shelf life (if you couldn’t tell from our new Atmos Vacuum Canister). Here’s a handy guide on coffee freshness that explains why vacuum canisters are so effective at keeping your coffee fresher, longer.

Why is oxygen so bad for coffee beans?
Oxygen is bad for coffee, snacks, or pretty much any perishable item because it makes things stale through a process called oxidation. To set the stage, we define “staleness” as the loss of desirable flavors and aroma, and/or the creation of undesirable flavors and aroma. When oxygen comes in contact with a molecule, it removes an electron from the molecule. This is called oxidation. The molecule that loses an electron becomes unstable and reactive, which then results in the loss of flavor or creation of an undesirable flavor.

For coffee beans, oxygen negatively affects VOCs (volatile organic compounds). VOCs are chemical byproducts of roasting that evaporate quickly. They are generally considered good because they contribute to aroma.³ When oxygen comes in contact with VOCs, they become unstable and result in coffee losing its aroma.

Oxygen also affects lipids, which are the coffee oils in the bean. Oxidation turns lipids into peroxide which contributes to rancid taste notes.7

Fellow Atmos Vacuum Canister for Coffee
What’s a vacuum container and how does it help with oxidation?
First off, let’s define what a vacuum is. A vacuum is a closed system in which pressure is less than atmospheric. In order for this to happen, you need a constant amount of space (i.e. a rigid container) where air particles are removed.

There’s a lot of airtight containers/bags out there that get rid of some air, but these aren’t necessarily a true vacuum. An easy way to tell if you don’t have a vacuum container is if your container shrinks (i.e. is it a bag or does it have a lid that collapses into the container). If your container shrinks, it is not a vacuum and will not decrease the pressure below atmospheric.

But why is pressure so important?
Oxidation speed (the rate of oxidation) depends on pressure.¹A reaction occurs when two molecules collide. If there are more molecules in a smaller area, the chances of collision increases and the reaction happens faster.

Air is a mixture of nitrogen, CO2, and oxygen. For the oxidation reaction, we care only about the pressure of oxygen – or the partial pressure. The partial pressure of oxygen is the fraction of oxygen in the air, times the total pressure of the air. The partial pressure of oxygen can be changed by changing the fraction of oxygen in air (i.e. nitrogen flushing) or changing the total pressure of the air (i.e. vacuum chamber).

Fraction of Oxygen in Air x Total Pressure Air = Partial Pressure of Oxygen

Here’s an example of this equation for calculating the partial pressure of oxygen:

—————-

What is the partial pressure of oxygen in a) atmosphere and b) a half vacuum?

Fraction of O2 in air = .2095

Total pressure of atmospheric air = 101.325kPa

Total pressure in half vacuum air = 50.66 kPa

Fraction O2 x Total Pressure = O2 partial pressure

.2095 O2 x 101.325 kPa = 21.23 kPa

.2095 O2 x 50.66 kPa = 10.61 kPa

Therefore, O2 partial pressure a) 21.23 kPa and b) 10.61kPa  

——————–

From calculating the partial pressure of oxygen in a half vacuum, we can conclude the oxidation rate at full pressure is twice as fast as the oxidation rate at half pressure, which is the environment Atmos creates. Although oxidation and freshness have a very strong correlation, because there are other factors at play like degassing, the relationship is not linear. If it was, we could say Atmos slows the oxidation rate by 2x, and therefore extends coffee’s shelf life by 100%.

We landed on the conclusion that Atmos extends coffee’s shelf life up to 50% due to the many variables that go into how fast a specific bean goes stale (origin, roast, how many times you open your canister, degassing, etc.)

What happens to the degassing rate of coffee in a vacuum?
If vacuum chambers affect gas on the molecular level, then it’s important to consider how vacuums affect coffee degassing. When coffee is roasted, gases form inside the bean. After roasting, gases (mostly carbon dioxide) start seeping out. When coffee is a few days old and very fresh, a bulk of the carbon dioxide formed leaves your beans. Because vacuums create a pressure gradient, CO2 degassing will occur quicker than at full atmospheric pressure. When we first started designing a vacuum canister, we wanted to make sure this didn’t harm the flavor profile of coffee or its ability to stay fresher longer.

Our conclusion was twofold. First, 40% of CO2 in coffee escapes within the first 24 hours. Most of the degassing happens very quickly in the first few days after roasting.² By the time you get your coffee, it has probably already done a bulk of its degassing so vacuum canister effects on CO2 are minimal.

If you do get your coffee extremely fresh (1-3 days off roast), a vacuum canister will degas coffee quicker, which in theory, is a negative outcome because degassing too quickly can also lead to the loss of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that create aroma. However, as we talked about earlier, it turns out those same VOCs, along with lipids, are the molecules most affected by oxidation. Oxidation is the primary reason for coffee staling.5 When assessing the impact of fast degassing versus oxidation, it is clear oxidation has such an overwhelming impact on coffee’s flavor that protecting your beans from oxidation is significantly more impactful than preventing a small increase in the degassing rate.

Since this is a sealed environment, will this mean there is a buildup of CO2?
We’ve received a few questions about CO2 buildup in Atmos compared to in a bag with a standard one-way valve. Commercial coffee bean bags with CO2 degassing valves are designed to relieve CO2 pressure buildup and prevent bag rupture, not to necessarily keep coffee fresher for longer. In a vacuum chamber, the pressure is low enough that CO2 buildup is not a concern. CO2 in the air around the beans is non-reactive and will not affect the flavor of the coffee. CO2 does, however, affect your coffee’s flavor once you start brewing, so make sure to bloom your bed of grounds before brewing!4

Can I put Atmos in the freezer to store coffee?

You can freeze Atmos but it’s not the best use of the product. Since coffee beans should be frozen in individual servings as to not refreeze and freeze beans continuously, Atmos doesn’t make the most sense. Atmos is intended to hold multiple servings, so it would be a waste of space in your freezer to put only one serving of beans inside. Placing Atmos in the freezer will also eventually reduce the life-span of the vacuum seal.

Atmos Vacuum Canister Coffee Storage
Additional questions?
We hope this answers your questions on vacuums, coffee freshness, and Atmos Vacuum Canister! As always, we will continue posting our research as we receive questions from customers and the coffee curious. If you have additional questions or comments reach out to hello@fellowproducts.com, so we can continue serving up the latest and greatest coffee information!


REFERENCES

1.) Cengel, Y. A., & Boles, M. A. (2012). Thermodynamics An Engineering Approach. McGraw-Hill Science Engineering.

2.) Illy, A., & Viani, R. (2005). Espresso coffee: The science of quality. Amsterdam: Elsevier Academic Press.

3.) Rao, S. (2014). The coffee roasters companion. Canada: Scott Rao.

4.) Raper, A. Is Your Coffee Too Fresh? Retrieved from https://clivecoffee.com/blogs/learn/is-your-coffee-too-fresh.

5.) Sage, E. (2017). What is the Shelf Life of Roasted Coffee? A Literature Review on Coffee Staling. Retrieved from http://www.scanews.coffee/2012/02/15/what-is-the-shelf-life-of-roasted-coffee-a-literature-review-on-coffee-staling.

6.) Schenker, S. (2000). Investigations on the hot air roasting of coffee beans. Zürich: ETH Zürich.

7.) Smith JP, Daifas DP, El-Khoury W, Koukoutsis J & El-Khoury A. (2004). Shelf Life and Safety Concerns of Bakery Products: A Review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 44(1):19-55.

Fellow Atmos Vacuum Canister for Coffee

A Q&A with the Inventor of Atmos Vacuum Canister

By | Coffee, Design

Fellow’s latest product, Atmos Vacuum Canister, launched in September with the important mission to keep coffee fresher for longer. The minimalist canister looks simple, but the science and engineering inside is no joke. Drew Cosgarea, Fellow’s Product Development Engineer, invented Atmos during his junior year of college at Stanford and spent the next four years working hard to bringing it to market. To celebrate our newest engineer on the Fellow team, we had Drew dig up old photos from his college days and then sit in the hot seat to answer all things Atmos and dive deeper into what’s exactly happening inside the most effective coffee canister out there.

What’s the origin story of Atmos?
During the last quarter of my junior year (spring of 2014), I was in a class called ME203 at Stanford. This is a popular design and manufacturing class where you have ten weeks to come up with a physical product idea, make multiple prototypes, and then present a “finished” version at the end of the quarter.

And how did you land on coffee storage?
My class project corresponded to a time where I had just recently started drinking coffee. I’d buy a bag on the weekend and use it all week, but by Friday, the bag tasted off. I realized that a good product could be something to keep my bag of coffee fresher for longer.

What was the first prototype like?
I made the first version of Atmos in that class, except that it had a hand pump. At the end of the class, we presented at an expo in the d.school where about a couple hundred people came and looked at all the products. Someone came up to my table and said he’d actually use this but didn’t like the separate pump. So I went to the professor of the class, David Beach, and told him I can make the vacuum canister a lot better. I asked him if he’d be willing to mentor me to turn Atmos into a real product.

He said it would be a really hard thing to do, but if I committed the time, we can do an independent study the fall of my senior year. I knew I wanted to put a pump into the lid and power it with a twisting motion, which as far as I know, has never been done before. During the study, we iterated through a series of prototypes starting with literally just cutting components of a fish tank pump. But by the end of the independent study, we had a functional, machined proof of concept. No fish tank pumps required!

Atmos Vacuum Canister Drew Cosgarea

Atmos Vacuum Canister by FellowWhat happened after graduation?
Well, I moved to Arizona for a year to train full time for the 2016 Olympic Swimming Trials. I got extremely bored during that time, so I continued working on the project while training. I worked on the CAD and eventually raised $25,000 from a couple different investors, basically friends and family, to help me get the patent on this. I eventually got the patent for a vacuum sealable container with an internal pump mechanism. This is the only internal curved vacuum pump. There were no designs for curved pumps that could be integrated into a lid.

Where does Fellow come into this whole story?
So by now, it’s 2017 and Atmos had been an idea of mine for three years. I spent the last of the money on the patent application, and I was running out of steam. I was about ready to give up on the project when I had a conversation with Professor Perry Klebahn from Stanford. He encouraged me to not walk away, but instead, chat with Jake at Fellow who was in his launchpad class in the d.school a few years back. So I headed to Fellow’s old office in the Dogpatch and met with Jake for the first time. Coincidentally, Fellow had been wanting to make a coffee storage vehicle for the past few years and Jake was excited to add my technology to Fellow’s portfolio of products.

How did Fellow help bring Atmos to market?
Fellow officially took on the Atmos project January of 2018. A side note, I had always referred to this product as Hypo (comes from “hypobaric” which means low pressure and the name Atmos didn’t come along until July of this year). The final naming process took about a month, but I’m so glad it ended up the way it did. Anyways, Fellow and Branch Creative worked for months to create the beautiful design ID and iron out kinks. Then in June, I actually joined the Fellow team officially. This was not the intention when I passed off Atmos, but something kept drawing me back to Fellow and I was excited to design new products with them.

My first day at Fellow was a flight to Taiwan for factory visits. I got to see the mold tooling for the curved pumped piece. This curved pump is the foundation of my invention and a huge headache, so it was pretty rad to see this in real life. Ever since getting back from the trip, I’ve been improving on the design and guiding production ramp up through launch at the end of September.

Atmos Vacuum Canister Protoype

Why is Atmos better than what’s on the market currently?
At the time of invention, there were no vacuum canisters that didn’t require an extra pump. There are also some other non-vacuum coffee containers out there, but they’re total gimmicks. Here’s why. When you roast coffee, a bunch of compounds form that make it smell and taste good. Oxygen comes in and steals electrons from these compounds, which makes them smell and taste bad. This is called an oxidation, and it’s the reason coffee goes stale. How quickly oxidation happens depends on the pressure of the oxygen. Again, pressure. It’s a fundamental principle of chemistry. If you’re not storing in a vacuum, you’re not slowing oxidation. Frankly, non-vacuum containers are no different than leaving your beans in the coffee bag and folding the tabs down. Not to mention, Atmos is beautifully designed and minimalist. The whole idea is you can’t tell there’s a pump inside.

Fellow Atmos Vacuum CanisterDid you have any big hiccups while making Atmos?
I would say there were at least four times that I wanted to totally ditch the project. There were times when the only thing that kept me going was knowing that I borrowed money from my friends and family. I didn’t want to let them down.

How do you feel now that your baby is finally out in the world?
It’s super satisfying. To be able to see the entire process from the original idea to the industrial design to the marketing campaign to fulfillment, it’s pretty magical. I never imagined it was actually possible.

How many Atmos’ did your mom buy on launch day?
Sheila Cosgarea bought six. A set of the clear glass and a set of the matte black stainless steel.

What are you going to store in Atmos?
I’m definitely going to put full bags of coffee in the 1.2 liter glass size. I like to see the label and remember the tasting notes that I’m drinking. Also, specialty bags are so well designed, why would you cover them? Also, when you put a bag of coffee inside, the bag also gets vacuumed sealed!

What’s next in your product inventing pipeline?
From Atmos’ idea conception until the product shipped, it took me four years. I would say now, my goal is to cut that down to eight months for the next Fellow product. That’s why I’m here. They have the resources and mentorship to learn how to do this along with an incredible brand that I’m excited to design for. (Note: We did not pay him to say this. Although, he is on our payroll…)


Thank you, Drew! If you didn’t already know, Atmos is a pre-order product shipping in mid-November. Right now, we have special pre-order launch deal – buy two, get one of equal or lesser value for free!

SHOP ATMOS VACUUM CANISTER

Fellow September Featured Roasters L

Coffee With A Cause | September Featured Roasters

By | Coffee, Featured Roaster

Running a quality coffee roastery these days is no small feat! There’s the cost, of course, trying to keep prices reasonable and still pay for inventory, rent, employees, maintenance, and taxes. There’s the quality control and skill development required to actually deliver a good final product. There’s the pressure to stay relevant and make sure you are making a good brand for yourself (not to mention all the Instagramming). There’s the setbacks that come naturally with owning a business.

Now take all this, and throw giving back to the community in the mix? That’s truly impressive, to say the least! This month we are celebrating some of our favorite coffee roasters who have worked making the world a better place into the very fiber of their business models. From going completely solar, to fighting human trafficking, to giving ex-inmates a chance at a new start, to empowering the farming communities that grow the very coffee they use, these five businesses have truly gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Come join us in our appreciation for these real-life superheroes who not only provide us with delicious coffees but also think outside of the mug and truly make a difference in the world!

EQUATOR COFFEE & TEAS
A shining example of accountable, transparent, sustainable business practices

Fellow Featured Roasters EquatorHomebase: San Rafael, California
Founders: Helen Russell and Brooke McDonnell in 1995
Coffee/Origin: Ethiopia
Variety: Heirloom
Process: Washed
Notes: Peach Nectar, Ginger, Candied Lemon

Cause: “Equator’s philosophy on coffee is built from a question: how do we create value from our perch in the coffee supply chain, standing at the intersection between local and distant coffee communities?

This question that continues to frame our narrative as we strive to grow a business that values the stakeholders in both communities with respect for the people, the process, and the product. Equator believes that quality underlies economic and environmental sustainability, and this is the pillar of our approach. We support environmentally sound certifications, as well as practices that produce the highest quality coffee while securing a dignified life for those who produce it.

In 2011, we formalized our commitment to sustainability by becoming a certified B Corporation, making Equator the first California coffee roaster to do so.”

Shop this coffee / Follow @equatorcoffees


KICKAPOO COFFEE ROASTERS
Harnessing the power of the sun to give back to their community, near and far

Fellow Featured Roasters KickapooHomebase: Viroqua, Wisconsin
Founders: Caleb Nicholes and TJ Semanchin in 2005
Coffee/Origin: Kenya Mbeguka
Variety: SL-28, Ruiru 11
Process: Washed
Notes: Persimmon, Kumquat, Sucanat

Cause: “Every year we donate five percent of our profits to initiatives that strengthen rural communities. Our roastery is located in a tiny town in Wisconsin. It’s where we live and work and raise our families. Our coffee farmers are located in some of the most remote places on the planet, small villages in the highlands of Central and South America and in Africa.  They’re our community, too.

In summer 2015, Kickapoo became one of the first coffee roasters in the world to take its power from an on-site solar array. With the exception of our vintage Probat G30 gas-powered roaster and winter heating, our entire roastery, offices and production floor are powered by an 80 panel, 25-Kilowatt solar array. Switching to solar power fits with our overall strategy and commitment to reduce our carbon footprint as well as our mission to be a farmer-focused company. Our producers are already feeling the impact of climate change. In addition to fluctuations in weather patterns and growing seasons, climate change exacerbates the spread of plant diseases like la Roya, a fungus that has become endemic in every coffee growing region in the world and threatens to change how and where coffee is produced.”

Shop this coffee / Follow @kickapoocoffee


3-19 COFFEE
Creating space for creative people in their community

Fellow Featured Roasters 3-19Homebase: San Francisco, California
Founders: Chris Dollries and Mike Weaver in 2016
Coffee/Origin: Santiago Lopez, Honduras
Variety: Bourbon, Catuai
Process: Washed
Notes: Orange, Melon, Chocolate

Cause: “We believe in a creative and approachable coffee experience. 3-19 Coffee Roasters seeks out relationships that will build upon our three passions – Coffee, Art, and Community. Before we sold a single bag of coffee – we spent a week in a rural coffee community in Honduras drawing, dancing and painting a wall mural celebrating culture and life. We’ve taken this concept of creating opportunities in art and building community through coffee to our home communities as well. Check out Lilac Alley in the Mission for a mural of a Guatemalan Quetzal drinking coffee – a result of supporting local SF-area artists!

Our goal is be the glue and the window to the coffee supply chain, with a unique twist on celebrating individuality and art. For us, this means we have strong relationships with coffee farmers, coffee drinkers and those communities. By valuing what is important to each, 3-19 hopes to build a strong community that encourages expression and doing good by others.”

Shop this coffee / Follow @319coffee


BIG HOUSE BEANS
Giving second chances

Fellow Featured Roasters Big House BeansHomebase: Brentwood, California
Founders: John and LeeAnn Krause in 2014
Coffee/Origin: Guatemala Cubulco
Variety: Caturra, Catuai, Bourbon
Process: Washed
Notes: Chocolate, Almond Butter, Raisin

Cause: “We believe everyone has second chances. Big House Beans Specialty Coffee Roasters not only sources and roasts the best coffees out there, but seeks to provide opportunities to anyone who has a vision for their future and a heart to work hard. We are a small business focused on true, equal opportunities. We hire, mentor and teach skills to the “least desirable” yet hard working women and men because why not?

Every person is different, but we all have a purpose. We believe in birthing potential through highlighting diversity. We source unique coffees to keep the spectrum wide, allowing each one to flourish in its own way. We believe that of people as well. That is why the main goal of Big House Beans is to empower individuals through unconditional love and opportunities. To caffeinate and embrace our community through every bag of coffee. From the bloom to the last sip.”

Shop this coffee / Follow @bighousebeans


ST. CLARE COFFEE
Helping to protect and empower the humans who need it most

Fellow Featured Roasters St ClareHomebase: San Francisco, California
Founder: Kevin Bohlin in 2016
Coffee/Origin: “Sister Moon” Bolivia / Honduras
Process: Washed
Notes: Rich, Chocolate, Nutty

Cause: “St. Clare Coffee is a sister venture from Saint Frank Coffee in San Francisco and our mission is simple: pursue joy and quality of life through relationships in coffee.  St. Clare fulfills this vision by engaging and empowering the potential of disconnected communities through coffee.

We diligently source and develop delicious coffees from remote and isolated communities from the Yungas of Bolivia to the Northern Highlands of Thailand. We work alongside the Not for Sale Campaign, a San Francisco-based non-profit that focuses on battling human trafficking and sex slavery in developing countries to not only provide financial support but to help provide survivors of sex trafficking a route to learning barista skills and becoming a functioning part of society. Moreover, we partner with global and local Bay Area groups for restoration and building opportunities. Choosing traceable and sustainable specialty coffee, St. Clare makes the world a better place, yet we can do more. It just starts with a cup of coffee, enjoy!”

Shop this coffee / Follow @stclarecoffee


 

Corvo EKG Electric Tea Kettle

What’s The Point of A PID Controller In An Electric Kettle?

By | Coffee, Design

Minimal and modern with a single button and a sleek LCD screen, Stagg EKG and Corvo EKG’s base is hiding something very powerful inside: a PID controller. A proportional-integral-derivative controller is a control loop feedback mechanism widely used in industrial control systems. The PID controller continuously calculates an error value as the difference between a desired setpoint and a measured process variable and applies a correction based on proportional, integral, and derivative terms which give the controller its name.1  Or in much simpler terms, EKG’s PID controller is basically a mathlete with a TI-84 calculator constantly running equations to determine the most efficient way to reach your goal temperature.

“An everyday example is the cruise control on a road vehicle; where external influences such as gradients would cause speed changes, and the driver has the ability to alter the desired set speed. The PID algorithm restores the actual speed to the desired speed in the optimum way, without delay or overshoot, by controlling the power output of the vehicle’s engine.”2 Well before cruise control, the original application of PID controllers was for the automatic steering systems for ships in the early 1920s. So if you ever want to drop an impressive factoid while brewing up a pour-over, you can say your Stagg EKG or Corvo EKG has the same technology as ocean liners.

If your electric kettle has a traditional thermostat, it heats up by overshooting the goal temperature, and then it drops below the goal temperature to cool off. All kettles (that we’re aware of) have a simple on/off controller. So, the power is either at 100% or 0%. Again it overshoots, undershoots, overshoots, and undershoots until it gets close to the goal temperature. Charted on a graph, it would look like spiking zig zag lines or the stock market crashing and rebounding day after day. This is not efficient and in reality, your “hold” is just holding at a degree or two below and above, flipping back and forth.

Now onto the EKG family and the two reasons EKG outperforms everything else on the market. First, Stagg EKG and Corvo EKG use a PID controller (much like your fancy $20,000 espresso machines), so the zig zags are less drastic and resemble a curve leveling off at your goal temperature. This lends itself to a more accurate output. In addition, those other kettles just have on/off mechanical relays (remember from above, either 100% or 0% power). Fellow’s EKG line is able to do a little something called “Pulse Width Modulation” using a non-mechanical approach. PWM uses series of on/off pulses to vary the duty cycle, the fraction of time that the output voltage is “on” compared to when it is “off.” This PWM action allows us to maintain temp much more accurate compared to a standard mechanical relay that is clicking on and off around the set point. Oh, and that also means Stagg EKG doesn’t have that annoying mechanical on/off click that drives baristas crazy.

Okay okay… so what does this mean in terms of actual performance? After running countless tests, we can say with confidence that the EKG family’s PID controller heats and maintains water temperature to +/- .3 degrees Celsius. This is three to four times more accurate than the leading electric pour-over kettle available on the market today. In one series of tests, we compared Stagg EKG to the leading variable temp pour-over kettle (to be nice, we won’t name names).

The test: 600 ml of water set to hold at 200°F.

Although both kettles have an average temperature of essentially 200°F over the course of testing duration (averages can be misleading), the standard deviations tell a very different story. Stagg EKG has a standard deviation of 0.27°F while the leading pour-over kettle comes in at 1.06°F.

As you can see from the plot, Stagg EKG is bouncing between about 199.5°F and 200.5°F (blue line), while the leading pour-over kettle ranges from a low of below 198°F and a high of over 201.5°F (red line). The competitor kettle turns on (100%) overshoots the set point, then shuts off (0%). The water cools down to 198°F and then the kettle clicks back on (100%). The result is relatively drastic swings in temperature even though you’re technically in hold mold. Stagg EKG, through PID and PWM is able to do micro adjustments that make it hold temp three times more accurate in this experiment.

Stagg EKG vs. Leading Variable Temp Pour-Over KettleWhy should the inner-workings of an electric kettle matter to you? The fourth wave of coffee has been forecasted as “the science of coffee.” As we learn more about coffee, users seek more resolution on their brewing parameters as seen in many third wave shops employing techniques such as Total Dissolved Solids, brewing by weight, and using coffee brewing smart technology. Stagg EKG and Corvo EKG provide users the ability to manipulate temperatures with to-the-degree precision to easily control the brewing temperature. This empowers users to experiment and explore all the varying degrees of extraction for coffee and tea. Both Stagg EKG and now our latest product, Corvo EKG, have a brew range of 104°F to 212°F (40°C-100°), can hold the set temperature for 60 minutes, and most importantly, are the most accurate variable temperature electric kettles on the market.

Corvo EKG Electric Tea KettleStagg EKG Electric Pour-Over Kettle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coffee Processes Augustt Featured Roasters Line-Up Fellow

The Process | August Featured Roasters

By | Coffee, Featured Roaster

Like wine, spirits, and many commodities, after it is harvested coffee undergoes varying degrees of process and management before it gets roasted and ends up in our hands. In a culture where cost and convenience have risen to the top of the priority pile, it is easy to overlook this crucial component of the brew we buy.

However these days, thanks to roasteries and businesses which tend to work more directly with coffee farms, value transparency, and champion the craft of production, we now have more understanding in what’s in our cup.

This month, we are excited to highlight the exciting and dynamic world of coffee processing! From fully-washed beans (common) to beans which have been left to dry on the tree (rare), we are offering a spectrum of delicious coffees which have been processed in a variety of ways, to give us the chance to see all the things this special bean can do. We hope you enjoy this delicious and unusual line-up as much as we do!

TIM WENDELBOE | WASHED PROCESS
Oslo, Norway | Founded in 2007 by Tim Wendelboe

Tim Wendelboe Coffee Roasters Fellow Featured RoastersCoffee/Origin: Kenya Kapsokisio
Variety: K7, SL-28, SL-34
Notes: Green Apples, Cooked Fruit, Raspberries

“This coffee is grown and hand-picked by the cooperative members that are all smallholder farmers. After picking the coffee with their family members and neighbors they deliver and sell the coffee cherries to the wet mill where the good coffee cherries are separated from the inferior ones by hand sorting before the coffee gets processed. Then the cherries are de-pulped by using a 4 disc Aagard disc pulper. The parchment coffee is dry fermented for 24 to 48 hours and rinsed with clean water midway through fermentation. Then the parchment is washed and graded before it gets soaked for up to 24 hours before drying. The clean coffee is dried on African elevated drying tables, partly covered with shade nets.” – Tim Wendelboe (@timwendelboe)

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KLATCH COFFEE | WET HULLED PROCESS
Rancho Cucamonga, CA | Founded 1993 by Mike and Cindy Perry
Klatch Coffee Roasters Fellow Featured RoasterCoffee/Origin: Sumatra Mutu Batak
Variety: Ateng, Jember, Garundang
Notes: Cacao, Cedar, Bell Peppers

“The Sumatra Lintong Mutu Batak comes from selected producers surrounding the town of Lintongnihuta in the Provinsi Sumatera Utara (Northern Sumatra Province). This specific area is located on the southern shores of Lake Toba, which is the largest volcanic lake in the world. The soil around the southern part of the lake is volcanic which leads to exceptional terrain for growing coffee. The town of Lintong Nihuta sits on a plateau that ranges from 1000 meters with a few farms to around 1300 meters.

The producers of this coffee are small farmers who have been recognized by our staff to produce exceptional raw material. These selected farmers run small two to four-hectare plantations with each hectare consists of approximately 1,000 coffee trees. The farmer grows, harvests, and de-pulps the coffee on the farm. After de-pulping he stores the coffee overnight, allowing it to ferment and washes the following day. After washing the farmer will briefly dry the coffee to remove the moisture from the exterior of the parchment and delivers the coffee to the production facility.

After the coffee is dried to 12 to 13% moisture content in the greenhouses, the coffee will be delivered to the warehouse in Medan. It is inspected and graded again upon arrival to ensure no errors were made during processing. The coffee is then warehoused for 2 months. Then it goes through the final grading, hand sorted, bagged and ready for export. This coffee scored an impressive 94 points from Coffee Review.” – Klatch Coffee (@klatchroasting)

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LITTLE AMPS COFFEE ROASTERS | RED HONEY PROCESS
Harrisburg, PA | Founded 2011 by Aaron Carlson

Little Amps Coffee Roasters Fellow Featured RoastersCoffee/Origin: Costa Rica Finca El Chilemate
Variety: Bourbon
Notes: Chocolate, Grapefruit, Lemongrass

“Las Lajas began producing honey coffees in 2008 by necessity, after an earthquake temporarily cut off their access to water.  The Chacons knew of natural processing techniques used in other countries and figured it was worth a shot to try in Costa Rica to avoid losing a bulk of their farm’s harvest.

Aside from being leaders in their field, the Chacons are very environmentally minded and are one of the only certified-organic mills in their area.  Their preference to honey processing also enables them to cut back on water usage while processing coffees, as they don’t have to soak the beans as long as a fully washed coffee would require.” – Little Amps Coffee Roasters (@littleampscoffee)

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CHROMATIC COFFEE CO. | TREE DRIED PROCESS
San Jose, CA | Founded 2012 by Hiver von Geenhoven, Wendy Warren, and James Warren

Chromatic Coffee Roasters Fellow Featured RoastersCoffee/Origin: Brazil Boia
Variety: Bourbon
Notes: Fresh Fruit, Nougat, Chocolate

“We have been so happy working with Ronaldo, Natalia, her Father, Jose Maria and the lovely folks of the Santa Luzia Farm. In this wild dried-on-the-tree lot, we are greeted with very fresh fruit, followed by sweet flavors of toffee-nougat, and a lovely chocolate note that rounds out really nicely with dried fruit qualities in the finish.” – Chromatic Coffee Co. (@chromaticcoffee)

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BLACK & WHITE COFFEE ROASTERS | NATURAL PROCESS
Wake Forest, NC | Founded 2017 by Kyle Rampage and Lem ButlerBlack and White Coffee Roasters Fellow Featured RoastersCoffee/Origin: Burundi Mutana Lot 39
Variety: Bourbon
Notes: Strawberry, Tropical, Passionfruit

“The Long Miles Coffee Project started in 2013, when Ben and Kristy built their first washing station, called Bukeye, at the base of Gaharo hill and is home to 921 plantations and 104,747 trees. This station processes coffee from four “hills” in the area: Gaharo, Ninga, Munuinya and Rugoma, keeping each unique lot separated. It also washes coffee from other surrounding hills including the Mutana Hill area. We are excited to offer Lot 39 from Long Miles Coffee Project, featuring their natural process. Mutana Hill has rich sweetness of tropical fruits balanced with light acidity and silky body.” – Black & White Coffee Roasters (@blackwhiteroasters)

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What’s your favorite process? Stop by the Playground all month long to brew up one of each and quiz our Fellow Brew Guides on the different processing methods!