The February box is here and what’s more, it is bursting with amazing coffee from a Roaster we have worked with a few times before. The reason we come back to this team is because they believe in quality, commitment, being fair and doing things the right way. Welcome back The Barn (Roasted in Berlin!)
For those that may be trying The Barn for the first time, please tell us a little bit about The Barn.
From our first café and the first bag of coffee we roasted, we had one simple priority: to provide the best coffee experience possible. We focus on making our coffees better and better: no compromises - just great beans. Our coffees are single origin and lightly roasted to showcase specific flavour profiles and to present each farm we work with individually. When we work with a producer, we commit to their coffee and the way they produce it. Our priority is always quality and sustainability - both environmental and financial. Our sustainability initiatives include water projects in Brazil, investment in sustainable methods in Ethiopia, and the forest we are planting alongside innovative producer Daterra. We are always looking to make a difference with the producers we work with and we are committed to buying coffees at prices that fully reward their efforts. The reward for us is coffee with incredible flavour.
Our approach requires attention to detail at every step: from sourcing green beans from the best producers to developing perfect flavour during roasting. Our coffees are always single origin and always lightly roasted. This lets the inherent flavour of the beans shine and is crucial to the creation of a memorable experience. We choose coffees that score 86 points and above, at which point there is an amazing spectrum of flavour. In the cup, this means our coffees offer complex profiles with sweetness, acidity, balance, and structure.
At our cafés, we aim to create spaces where coffee lovers can sit down, take a moment out of their day, and truly enjoy the flavour of coffee. With European Coffee Awards for Best Speciality Coffee Roaster and Best Independent Coffee Shop, it is incredibly satisfying that our approach resonates with the whole coffee community.
How is the continued growth going, locally and globally!
Since the upheaval of the Covid pandemic, we have seen so many changes in the coffee drinking habits of our community. This was a great opportunity for our roastery and we love that people are enjoying our coffee across the world. The level of enthusiasm we see from customers brewing coffee at home shows just how much the specialty landscape continues to develop.
Alongside, our physical locations remain the places where we can connect directly with our community and in January we were incredibly excited to open the doors to our latest location in Berlin. In recent years, it has been amazing to reach more and more international locations, but Berlin is still our home. Staying close to our roots will always be important and every bag is proudly stamped with a simple message: Roasted In Berlin. Our latest space is in a whole new area for us, close to the historic Checkpoint Charlie. If any of the Bean Bros community are in Berlin on the 15th of February, stop by for our opening party!
Any competition news, ambitions, support for people?
We are always supporting our staff to develop and test themselves. Among the team today we count competitors of barista championships, brewers championships, cup tasting, latte art, and everything else in between! This year, we are incredibly excited that one of the newest members of our sales team will be part of the Ecuadorian team at the World Brewers Cup in Chicago. Hailing from a family of coffee growers, there is no one more passionate or knowledgeable than Karla and we will all be wishing her luck come April.
In Berlin, our summer Olympics is a chance for both our café and roastery staff to enjoy competing and put their skills to the test - mostly fun, but a great launch pad for further competition. Every year, we also host the annual Comandante Championship at our café in Dubai - this one is all about brewing with our first choice hand grinder and making the most of one individual coffee. Check out our Instagram for some views from the event in Dubai two weeks ago!
How good is the Low Caf, Laurina tasting? Is this a great alternative to ‘processed’ decaf and is the caffeine low enough for those that prefer the decaf feeling?
Our latest Low Caf is seriously good! The caffeine question has been one we have asked ourselves for many years - for those who are sensitive to caffeine or for those who just want to enjoy the flavour of coffee at any hour, reducing caffeine can be attractive. Unfortunately, we have never tasted a decaffeinated coffee that we would be happy offering alongside the other coffees in our portfolio. The decaffeination process is disruptive to the coffee bean by definition, and this changes the way coffee roasts, brews, and tastes.
In comparison, our washed Laurina from Volcan Azul tastes as good as any other Costa Rican coffee and we can roast to a profile that brings out the best possible flavour. With just 0.3-0.5% caffeine content - compared to more than 1.4% for typical Arabica coffees - Laurina really does feel like a significantly different experience, while still tasting delicious. In the cup, it offers soft poached pear and stone fruit, smooth shortbread, chocolate, and vanilla.
We are so confident in the flavour, we are currently offering our Volcan Azul Low Caf alongside a Caturra and a Geisha from the same estate in a special Triple Box - there is no compromise in flavour with Laurina!
Great selection for this month, for each of the coffee being featured please could you share some detail
Kabingara AA, Kenya
Over 800 smallholders deliver their ripest cherries to the Kabingara Factory, a washing
station owned by the local cooperative. With an altitude of 1750 metres, conditions help nurture sweet, dense coffee cherries with the wonderful character that lets Kenyan coffee stand apart. Our AA lot is fully washed and fruit-forward in the cup. Bursting with fresh flavour, expect the luscious note of fresh blackcurrant and fragrant hibiscus, with the rounded sweetness of stone fruit. The acidity is prominent but well balanced by a sugary finish.
This exceptional coffee is a cornerstone of our Rwandan collection. We have been working
with Justin Musabyimana for more than 8 years - visiting the farm and seeing his dedication on many occasions - and every season we are excited to taste Mahembe once again. This season our Red Bourbon lot is clean and precise, showing off the care and dedication that we have seen up close. Reminiscent of fine black tea and morello cherry, as it cools the sweetness of chocolate and comforting warmth of nutmeg add depth.
Volcan Azul Natural, Costa Rica
Volcan Azul is located on the edge of the Poás Volcano, where coffee has been planted onfertile soil since the mid-19th century. Alejo Castro Kahle is a passionate producer who has set a goal to produce some of the best coffees in the world. Our naturally processed coffee has flavour notes of dried figs, blueberry, and apricot. Fragrant vanilla and lavender will appear as it cools. This is a complex cup with superb balance, displaying all of Alejos skill and dedication.
La Colina, Guatemala
This is the third season we have worked with Antonio Medina. Named for its steep elevations, La Colina - The Hill - is situated within a beautiful landscape of oak, cypress, and pine. As the third generation of his family to farm the land, Antonio realised his dream of producing coffee in 1991. With flavours of milk chocolate, citrus and macadamia, La Colina is well balanced, with sweetness and acidity in harmony. As it cools, expect lingering notes of cranberry and nougat.
Corazon de Jesus, Costa Rica
John Alvarado has been instrumental in changing the reputation of coffee from this part of Costa Rica. Once overlooked, a focus on sustainability and modern processing styles is starting to show off the beautiful terroir of this area. Processing the day after picking is not typical and it adds sweetness and flavour to the cup profile - the “Reposado Style.” We were blown away by the texture of this washed coffee: with rich flavours of chocolate ganache and ripe fig. Full and balanced on the palate, notes of vanilla appear as this coffee cools.
Mohamed Ali Natural, Ethiopia
When Ethiopian laws changed to allow smaller farms to export directly, we began an exclusive partnership with producer Mustafa Mohamed Ali. Located in Jimma at high elevation, this coffee grows in the shades of pristine forest. Each coffee we feature from Mohamed Ali is beautifully expressive. Our natural lot has rich flavours of strawberry, chocolate, and stone fruit. The note of peach blossom is pure Ethiopian! Roasted for espresso, we pull juicy shots with a creamy mouthfeel. What we love about our Ethiopian naturals is their intense fruity flavour and gentle levels of acidity.
Any closing remark you would like to make to our subscribers?
We are so happy to be collaborating again with Bean Bros. Our shared passion is all about offering the best coffee out there and to all Bean Bros subscribers our message couldn’t be simpler: when you taste our coffee, we want you to embrace the moment totally. We want you to brew, sip, and remember. Those moments with coffee are magical.