Monday, September 28, 2009

Back Home!

The boys are back in town. (Sing along!) After a long weekend, splitting ALL of our time between sipping espresso and driving between the places where the espresso-sipping took place, the boys are back in town and properly-caffeinated.

I, on the other hand, find myself stuck in this land of abundant quality coffee, Portland, Oregon. You're jealous, I know. So, keep an eye out for a new voice on the blog. I'm handing over the reins to one of the boys still at The Hub.

So, dear Hub-ers, I will miss you all! But will see you again soon, because coffee not at The Hub is just not quite as good!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Geekin' out in Seattle!

Some of The Hub crew are geekin' out in Seattle this weekend! Coffee convention! Look forward to some exciting changes, both minute and extreme, in the coming months.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Round 2: Latin Love

It's time for Round 2 of the coffee lineup!

Two-week blocks seem to have worked out nicely, so coffee lineups will continue rotating on that same schedule. For those of you who especially liked the coffees we featured for Round 1 of the rotation, we have one last batch of recently roasted whole beans for you to come in and buy so you can continue brewing up your favorite coffee at home! If you don't already know, we sell in 12 oz. portions; and, depending on which coffee you choose, pricing varies slightly. That goes for the Ethiopian Sidamo Amaro Gayo (sweet, syrupy blueberry, orange marmelade, peaches), which we sell for $15.00; and the Kenyan Nyeri Karindundu (another syrupy one, tangy, lemon acidity, sweet sugar on the finish), for $14.25. Can't guarantee the last of these coffees will be here for long, so come in and get some while you can!

And now for Round 2! We've decided to feature strictly Latin American coffees this time. These three coffees are all of the Bourbon varietal of the Arabica coffee species. All of these coffees show an extreme balance in the cup when it comes to their depth, complexity, mouthfeel, acidity, etc. as is typical of quality Latin Americans. This will be an experiment of sorts, as this round of coffees will provide an opportunity for you to experience and taste the varied effects of growing region, otherwise known as terroir, and processing, the various methods of depulping and drying the coffee beans.

We have two El Salvadors, each very different in the cup, and a Guatemalan that tastes simply surreal. You'll notice that the first of the coffees is a repeat from Round 1, but we've chosen to feature it in a different light - as a single-origin espresso. It will also continue to be a french press option, however we were very impressed with the coffee as espresso, and we'd like to give our customers a chance to enjoy it as we have. I've provided a listing of the three coffees below, along with a sneak peak at cupping notes and general information about the coffees and/or their farms.

Round 2
Through September 27

El Salvador Finca Nejapa Santa Marta - smooth, sweet, and truly well-balanced. A perfect representative of the beauty of washed Latin American coffees. The one coffee of Round 2 that is not fully-washed in the depulping process, lending it what I would call a lower-toned acidity and a flavor of darker fruits in general.
(Daily press/Single-origin espresso)

El Salvador Finca San Jose 408 - this is a coffee I have yet to try. However, this is a lot of coffee that Barefoot has purchased in previous harvest years, and I must say it is a personal favorite. You can find Barefoot's cupping notes on this year's harvest on their website here.
(Daily press)

Guatemala El Socorro y Anexos Palo Blanco - green grape, apple, and apricot sparkle up front, backed by smooth creamy notes of butterscoth. This is truly a farm that tops the charts year after year. Upon our opening, we featured a coffee from El Socorro that won the distinction of 4th place in the Guatemala Cup of Excellence competition. Now, we have the pleasure of featuring a much more affordable cup from the same farm, produced with all the same love and attention of a world-class coffee.
(Daily press)

It all starts on Wednesday, as we will be receiving our first fresh roasts of these coffees tomorrow afternoon. Come by and experience truly exceptional coffee!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Coffee weather at last! Changes abound.

The first hint of Fall graced our fine city this evening. A swift sprinkling of rain rolled over The Hub as the sun fell closer and closer toward the horizon. Ahhhh. Sighs of relief and comfort; it was a wonderful change from the relentless Nevada heat, if you ask me. A calming cool fell over the coffee shop on this particularly slow Saturday evening, renewing my spirits and motivating me to take the lull in business as an opportunity to fine-tune the many things in the shop that require an occasional fine-tuning. I couldn't have asked for a more peaceful evening.

With perfect coffee weather just around the corner, we have equally exciting changes constantly taking place in the shop. As many of you may know, the list of goodies being offered at The Hub are growing: new seasonal scones from Dish Café; tasty croissants, muffins, and maple-bacon scones from Walden's Coffeehouse; not to mention the many amazing teas we now have from The Tao of Tea.

On the espresso front, there has been a slight change in the house blend, The Boss, that you all know and love. Rest assured, it is still the same tasty, quality-roasted blend of coffees from Barefoot Coffee Roasters, but the seasonality of coffee calls for slight changes in blends offered by any roaster as they run out of certain harvests throughout the year. New harvest East African coffees have finally made their way into Barefoot hands. And just in time for the new harvest Ethiopian Sidamo Amaro Gayo (which we have been serving up both as french press and single-origin espresso!) to replace the waning harvest of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Dominion that was previously being used in The Boss. Same complex, sweet, tantalizing espresso, with a slight tweak of flavor specifics. Ask us about it, and we'll talk you through the tasting experience upon your next visit!

We've also been playing around with our top-of-the-line La Marzocco GB-5 espresso machine's temperature stability capabilities. A mouth full, I know. Generally, espresso ''should'' be pulled using water at a temperature between 198-202 degrees Fahrenheit. However, as is quite typical of us third-wave coffee pioneers, we're not afraid to break custom, playing around with temperatures as high as 204/205 degrees Fahrenheit when pulling our espressos.

There are various reasons for playing around with brew temperature. One example: certain characteristics of the espresso, notably brightness/sweetness and body/texture, tend to change inversely with temperature differences. A higher temperature, in general, yields a brighter/sweeter, perhaps more complex, espresso. A lower temperature, in general, yields a rich, syrupy body/texture, but a more mellow, perhaps smoother, flavor. To all of our avid espresso drinkers, see if you notice a difference, see if you can pinpoint that difference, the next time you order an espresso from The Hub. And speak up! Baristas are there to talk to you about what you're drinking!

We're super excited to keep improving, constantly stepping up our game, for all the coffee drinkers of Reno. See you at The Hub!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Butter Capps and Baple Macon Scones

Updates two days in a row! (I think this is a new record for me.) Quite necessary though, and here is why...

Yesterday divulged a little secret about our goodies at The Hub. Walden's Coffeehouse is taking good care of the people of Reno, providing freshly-baked pastries from scratch both at The Hub and at Walden's. We raised the bar one notch higher today with some baple macon scones! (Maple bacon, actually... but that's not as fun to say.) And yes, it sounds crazy. Because it is. It is crazy good! I hope everyone has a chance to come in and try a baple macon scone over the coming weeks. By that, I mean I hope everyone has the desire to wake up a little earlier than usual so they can beat everyone else with similar intentions to The Hub to try a baple macon scone!

And it was a beautiful day in espresso land today. The Ethiopian Sidamo Amaro Gayo single-origin espresso (what a mouthful...) was finally gaining the recognition it deserves. Left and right, we were brewing single-origin espresso straight up, for cappuccinos, for lattés, and, best of all... drumroll please... for some tasty Butter Capps! Like butter cup, but it's a cappuccino! Get it?! HA! Anyhow, it really is quite the tasty little cappuccino.

"What is in a Butter Capp?" one might say. Well, let me break it down for you: single-origin Amaro Gayo espresso, shining through all silky and sweet with flavors of orange marmelade, blueberry, and spice; add a pinch of maple pumpkin butter, a beautiful partner for the spice and marmelade of the espresso; and top it off with a cappuccino's worth of delicately-textured organic whole milk. Hubadub. The final product is an extremely well-balanced, smooth, sweet, and creamy cappuccino that tastes like something between pumpkin pie filling and creme brulee, with a hint of sweet blueberry coming through in the finish. Delightful.

If you're not as enthusiastic about it all as I am right now, well... go back and read it all over again because I think you missed something!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Teas and Goodies

Fancy shmancy at The Hub!

Moving right along. Had a wonderful day at The Hub! Fresh new goodies and a fancy new tea selection have made their presence known. Our sister coffeehouse, Walden's Coffeehouse, located at Mayberry and McCarran in Reno, has stepped their game up a notch (stay tuned for more on the Walden's front). Being the good sibling coffee shop that we are, The Hub gets a little kick-down of home-made goodies to tempt our wonderful customers: fresh from scratch, home-made croissants, warm and flaky goodness; not to mention sweet and crunchy yogurt parfaits, made with a Walden's house blend granola.

And teas! We gave in to the many requests from all those beloved fans that may not be as coffee crazy as we are and started brewing up some fancy teas! Fancy teas at two dollars a cup. Or a cute little tea pot's worth for three dollars. Now, we've always had teas to offer our customers, but we've gone soft and we've now made it an obvious choice. Look for the teas beneath our beautifully hand-crafted pastry case just as you step into the garage!