Tagged "stoked"


Coffee Guide: The Affect of Altitude on Beans

Posted by Nik Stopsack on

Have you ever been in a coffee shop or a grocery store and noticed your favorite bean has an elevation on its description?  Or have you seen coffee labeled Altura, SHB, and HG?

 The altitude at which a bean is grown has an affect on the beans flavor. Coffee grown at higher elevations tends to be of higher quality, and with that high quality comes more complex flavor notes than coffee grown at lower elevations.

 The difference in flavor and quality is due to two factors, water and temperature. At higher altitudes cooler temperatures slow down the growth rate of the coffee plant. At a slower growth rate the plants focus more on reproduction. The plant then devotes more energy to bean production which in turn produces more of the sugars that create those amazing tasting notes in your favorite coffee. Higher elevations also have better drainage than places lower in the watershed. Better drainage leads to less water in the beans concentrating the flavors created by the sugars.

 So what altitude should you look for when picking out beans? Well its really up to you and your flavor preferences. Beans that are grown at higher altitudes, above 1,300 meters (4,500 feet), tend to be more “acidic” and translate to flavors like fruits and berries in the cup. This may be labeled as SHB, super hard bean, or Altura, which is Spanish for height. If you are looking for a coffee that is more mellow and has a smooth taste a bean grown at a lower altitude would be best. Take a look at the chart below and use it as guide to find your new favorite bean.

 

Sources:

cns.usps.com

http://www.perfectdailygrind.com/2015/06/how-does-elevation-affect-coffee-and-its-taste-in-the-cup/

http://www.scribblerscoffee.com/flavor_effect_of_altitude

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STOKED Mobile in Park City

Posted by Claire Botsford-Allain on

Last week we brought STOKED Mobile from Hood River, Oregon, to Park City, Utah. From 160 feet to 7,000 feet, STOKED Mobile trekked through mountains and cities to serve coffee to some pretty crazy adventure-seekers.

Ever been on a helipad? Ever been on a helipad serving coffee? Ever been on a helipad serving coffee while it's puking snow outside? Well, after doing all three at Powderbird's season kick off party I have to recommend the experience to any thrill seeker with a palate that prefers coffee and that extra jolt of adrenaline that comes from doing the surreal.

Sure, I may have been about a foot away from driving our beloved van off the helipad and getting the generator to stay on while snow was blowing so hard our footsteps were covered within minutes were challenges in and of themselves, but being able to have a party inside of a van fueled by our delicious single origin Ethiopian Espresso was totally worth all of it.

Another cool thing about Park City is that so many of the outdoor retailers and awesome brands that make the apps, technology, gear and equipment that we use when we get outside are based in Park City. We even got to hang out with a few of our friends at Mountain Hub and POC. They got to experience a pretty awesome coffee break!

 

 

 STOKED Mobile is a pretty awesome embodiment of what we are all about. As outdoor enthusiasts and thrill seekers we know that getting good coffee wherever you are can be a challenge. That's why we want to bring the stoke to you. Whether it's with our instant coffee, STOKED STIX, or with our sick van, we want to be able to fuel your next adventure wherever you are. The coffee culture is super interesting, and I love being a part of it, both as a barista and a lover of coffee, but oftentimes the experience is confined to a coffeehouse. We are breaking through that limitation, come get stoked with us!

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ROADSIDE COFFEE: The Very Clever Dripper

Posted by Claire Botsford-Allain on

This edition of Roadside Coffee was curated on the road, where some turns take you to more corn fields, some to vast mountain ridges, and some to the completely avoidable miscalculation of an empty gas tank. Ever been driving for so long that you wonder when the next sign of civilization will be? The only reason you may wonder this is probably because the gas needle is cozying up next to "E," but otherwise the  scenery, the wind through the window, and the musing that goes along with any type of travel is quite enjoyable. With a lack of civilization though, comes a lack of good coffee, that is unless you brew your own.

Facing a twelve hour drive? Seven hour drive? Three hour drive? Regardless of how long your trip is, ask yourself what difference will a ten minute brew stop make? Time-wise, not a bit! Morale-wise, all the difference! Don't get that gas station sludge, unless you can actually stomach it, then go for the gold and cash in on the convenience of our modern age (that's what it's here for).

Seriously though, ten minutes is all it takes. A Jetboil can boil water faster than I can grind my beans and using a Clever Dripper will actually change your life. These clever brewing apparatuses are big enough to brew more than one cup if you're lucky enough to have a co-pilot and easy enough to use even when you're standing. They're actually easy enough to use when you've run out of gas in the middle of nowhere and your hands are so cold you can barely tell you still have fingers and the only good thing in this world is the cup of jo that you've brewed for yourself. That easy. Pretty impressive in my opinion.

 Gas off, coffee accessories out. I like to grind my beans first, seeing as my Jetboil has consistently beaten me every time no matter how fast I try to crank. If you're using a camp stove or other small backpacking apparatus for boiling water it will take a few minutes longer, go ahead and start that water now. If you're a fanatic about getting that paper taste out (I am admittedly so) do a quick rinse of the paper filter you've placed in the Clever Dripper, regular water works fine, and dump the water out over some thirsty plants. If you don't mind a bit of paper aroma in your coffee then carry right on, you little speedster. You'll want to have your Clever Dripper on a flat surface or you can hold the handle (if you set it on top of your mug it will let the water through). If you have your beans ground already then you're ahead of all of us, add those grounds to the Clever Dripper and once your hot water is ready pour it over the grounds. You can eyeball the amount of water, weigh it out if you have a scale handy, or measure it by volume before boiling. I find that brew times for darker roasts will be shorter, around 90 seconds and up to 2 minutes. Lighter roasts I like brewing for about 3 minutes. If I have a utensil handy I'll give it a stir at about one minute. Once time is up, place that Clever Dripper on top of whatever drinking vessel you have anointed as the chosen one and let it drip away. The coolest thing about the Clever Dripper? You can lift it up and it stops the drip, making sharing a full brew super easy. Talk about the age of convenience.

I'm a traveler and a coffee loving gadget geek, a mixture that is hard to combine heterogeneously at times. I like trying out different coffees with different brew methods, and some work better than others. I'm not just talking about the roast or type of coffee, but also the kinds of situations you will find yourself in. Travelling always calls for adaptability and flexibility and learning to adapt your brew method can make your trip better in many ways. While you CAN bring your ceramic V60, there may be a better option for your travelling needs. The Clever Dripper is awesome for road trips, train trips, trips where you have space, but want something lightweight and easy to use wherever. You could probably even take it backpacking and just loop it onto the outside of your pack, it sure is light enough, but an Aeropress or instant coffee (STOKED STIX anyone?) may be a better option. Join us next time for another perusal into the world of brewing everywhere.

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The 2016 San Francisco Coffee Festival

Posted by Claire Botsford-Allain on

What does one encounter at a coffee festival? This may seem like a ridiculous event for some, but for others, like myself, it is anticipated with fervor. The San Francisco coffee scene constitutes not only those who work in specialty coffee, but also general caffeine lovers, which come in all shades of enthusiasms and commitment. Being a part of the coffee scene in SF is about the mingling of professionals and casual drinkers, the mix of baristas and customers, and everyone in between and outside. It is events like this that bring together the wise and the novices, and make us realize that even if we think we know it all, we aren't even close.

Apart from running into familiar faces, everyone from high school best friends, who wanted to attend a fun non-alcohol-centered event, to old coworkers still doing what they love, it was particularly awesome to see what everyone has been up to, what they're roasting, what they're drinking, who they're visiting. As much as I would love to be able to visit all of the multitudinous coffee shops, cafes, and roasters that exist in such a vast city as San Francisco, there are only so many hours in a day and only so many hills I can pedal up, not to mention (milli)grams of coffee that is healthy for me to consume. There were 20 different roasters at this year's San Francisco Coffee Festival, which happens to also be the very first annual event of its kind in the Bay Area. This event unified roasters based in North Bay, East Bay, it even brought roasters from all the way out in Sacramento and of course from the city itself. This year was the inaugural year for the San Francisco Coffee Festival and it completely sold out. That is pretty darn cool.

Representatives from all across the coffee-world were present, from Intelligentsia and Blue Bottle, the notorious bigwigs, to Strauss Family Creamery and the delicious Donut Savant. What is coffee without the proper accompaniments? All the awesome roasters that have saturated the market with truly amazing coffee did not hold back. Algorithm Coffee Co, Andytown Coffee Roasters, RoastCo, Temple Coffee Roasters, and so many others were confidently representing their coffees. Henry's House of Coffee came out with a honey processed Sumatra and Algorithm's natural processed Ethiopian Ayehu is still one of my favorites. Granted, an hour into it I was nearly cracked out from all of the samples I had (have you tried to say no to an Andytown Snowy Plover or Temple's Geisha from Panama rated 96 on Coffee Review?). Can you imagine a bunch of hyped up baristas fervently talking about coffee while also trying to hold their hands steady enough to give and/or receive a sample? It was comedic and poetic and entirely avoidable, but like I said, saying no simply is not an option.

Even if you had never heard of any of the roasters there, it would be impossible not to be excited. These people work so hard and put so much passion into what they do on a daily basis that it translates into the amazing cup of coffee that you bring to your lips. When the owner of Andytown hands you a Snowy Plover herself or you bond over a mutual love for coldbrew with RoastCo baristas that's when you realize what this business of coffee is all about. We just want to bring people together and give them something awesome that we made. You don't have to know the difference between washed and natural process or what the different species of coffee are, you just have to be willing to try something that someone has lovingly and purposefully created.

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