What Is Specialty Coffee?

What Is Specialty Coffee?

What is Specialty Coffee? Great question. Depends who you ask!

It means many things and has been a decades long conversation in our industry. I have written and talked about coffee beans as specialty by using the basics from SCAA standards. Here's my definition based on my experience as a member of the SCAA/SCA (Specialty Coffee Association): Specialty coffee is coffee that is free of primary defects in a 1-pound sample and with a notable taste. This definition best serves Fidalgo Coffee's needs and goals, but the story keeps going. For example, a cappuccino is to me the essence of specialty coffee as a finished beverage, which is where the specialty coffee retailer picks up the story. One of my favorite traits that I see alive and well in specialty coffee in America is the pursuit of making it better. Better beans, better coffee. Better roasting, better coffee. Better grinder, better coffee. Better water, better coffee. Better coffee maker, better coffee. Specialty coffee centers on the ingredient and then technique. The quality standard flows from the farm to the cup. I like to break it down into four parts--Producers, Importers, Roasters and Retailers.

PRODUCERS

This is where the story begins. The Farms, the Processing of the fruit, the Mill and the Exporter. Each of those steps are part of complex operations mostly organized as Cooperatives. Fedecocagua Coop is a a good example from Guatemala.

IMPORTERS

The Importer works with the Producer at country of origin. At Fidalgo Coffee we use Royal Coffee who is a Specialty Coffee Importer. Royal Coffee only imports specialty coffee. They send their representatives to coffee farms, producer cupping labs and mills to evaluate, cup and sample coffees before making purchases. Fidalgo Coffee relies on its Importer to source coffees to specification for our roasts, blends and single origin offerings. Fidalgo Coffee also uses Royal Coffee to facilitate our direct purchase of the Tierra Nueva farm's entire crop in Honduras each year. Fidalgo Coffee's relationship with Royal Coffee Importers gives our company advantages with reliable supply chain, consistent quality and in meeting sustainability goals such as verification of shade-grown farming, organic and fair-trade certification.

ROASTERS

That's what we at Fidalgo Coffee are. When we go to coffee country we are introduced as Roasters. Fidalgo Coffee is a specialty roaster. Our part in this industry is near the end of the story for the coffee beans. We put the finishing touch on the coffee by roasting, blending and packaging the coffee. Each roaster has a different personality. At Fidalgo Coffee we roast from light to dark and we practice Post-Roast blending. Which means roasting the different coffees in a blend separately and then blending the coffee. Our quality standard means that we blend immediately after roasting. Never holding roasted coffee in tubs for later blending days later. All Fidalgo Coffee is roasted and then packed immediately after roasting. Why? Because the enemies of coffee are air, light and humidity. We want to get those beans in the bag immediately to allow the aromatics to condition inside the bag. This helps our customers make delicious espresso.

RETAILERS

Roasters can also be retailers and vice versa. At Fidalgo Coffee we sell coffee direct at www.fidalgocoffee.com and from our Roastery Retail Shop & Tasting Room at 856 North Hill Blvd, Burlington, WA 98233. Open for retail sales Mon-Fri 10am-3pm. Fidalgo Coffee serves its customer as a supplier of quality coffee and as a resource of brew expertise and equipment guidance. Fidalgo Coffee also serves customers through its distributors and wholesale coffee customers who are espresso bars, cafes, restaurants, resorts and grocery. Fidalgo Coffee supports cafe owners by providing coffee trainings, menu support and espresso workshops. All with the goal of quality in the cup or as we like to say, the "perfect cup of coffee".
February 23, 2021 — Darryl Miller
2021 Tulip Festival Blend is Here!

2021 Tulip Festival Blend is Here!

Spring into 2021 with our next seasonal coffee, Tulip Festival Blend! Roasted dark to bring out smooth, bold, and full notes. Certified Organic, Fair Trade, Shade Grown and Kosher. Available in 12 oz and 2 lb offerings. 

This year's poster features artwork by Jennifer McGill, jamcgill.com

At seventeen, Jennifer received an art grant from Western Illinois University, and focused exclusively on art at The Art Institute of Chicago & The American Academy of Art, studying watercolor with the late Irving Shapiro, graduating with honors in 1990. During her final year, Jennifer received the Union League Civic Arts & Foundation Scholarship for Fine Art. Later on she discovered her father attended the Art Institute of Chicago 27 years earlier!
She has received numerous prestigious art and design awards, and won a range of art competitions. Her work is worldwide with collectors, products and installations. Jennifer’s career includes working as a Designer and Illustrator for Enesco, Bunnies By The Bay, and Dillon Works.
When purchasing a bag of Tulip Festival Blend, 5% of proceeds from this Artist Series label coffee will go to The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, a Washington State Non-Profit Organization. 
Learn more about the 2021 Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Here: tulipfestival.org
January 06, 2021 — Ellya Camarillo
Finding a coffee your family can agree on shouldn’t be complicated

Finding a coffee your family can agree on shouldn’t be complicated

There’s already enough for families to debate these days. Beyond traditional subjects of religion and politics, my household now has a daily discussion around the amount of screen time allowed, when/why/who gets to leave the house and who gets to control the remote when we’re home. Sound familiar?

Life is complicated enough, let’s take one potential debate off the table: coffee.

Here’s a quick guide to compromise:

We’ll start with my wife: she likes darker roast coffees. A great example is Fidalgo Seacost Blend. It’s a lovely brew, and perfect for the coffee drinker who adds something to their cup, perhaps a splash of eggnog?

Me on the other hand, I take my coffee black and prefer a lighter roast like Fidalgo 9 Bar, (which is in our grinder this morning). I absolutely love it. She scrunches her nose.

For the record, our 9-year-old appropriately prefers hot cocoa.

So, what’s the middle ground? How do we ensure our days start in harmony, before the pressures of quarantine life set in? Our household happy place is with Café Centro, Sunset Blend or Fidalgo Gold.

These three coffees fit into what we in the coffee biz call house style blends. Not too dark, not too light, but just right.

It’s inevitable we will all feel additional stress as the holiday season settles in (especially amid a pandemic). Fidalgo Coffee is here to take one potential pain point off the proverbial table and replace it with comfort and joy in your cup.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Darryl Miller, President and CEO 

November 18, 2020 — Darryl Miller
Coffee Business in the Covid-19 Economy

Coffee Business in the Covid-19 Economy

2020 has brought a new series of hurdles for those working in the coffee & food industries.

This has people questioning, has coffee consumption changed during the pandemic? 

Here are some interesting findings from the National Coffee Association's latest report: 

  • Just as before the pandemic, the vast majority of coffee drinkers (about 80 percent) drink coffee at home, but more than one-third miss visiting coffee shops. More than half of Americans have already returned to coffee shops or plan to do so in the next month.
     
  • 75 percent of coffee drinkers say the pandemic has not changed their coffee consumption.  For those who have changed habits, the most reported change is making more coffee at home.
     
  • App-based ordering, including delivery, rocketed up 63 percent amongst those who drank coffee in the last week.  Drive through ordering increased 13 percent amongst those who drank coffee each day.
     
  • Consistent with measures recommended in NCA’s June 2020 COVID-19 reopening guidance, to feel comfortable and increase visits to coffee shops consumers most want to see visible precautions like workers wearing gloves and facemasks (48 percent) and mandatory facemasks for all customers (44 percent). 

Our team is here to help. How can we serve you today? Contact us at:  Orders@FidalgoCoffee.com 

Source: https://www.ncausa.org/Industry-Resources/Market-Research/NCDT/Coffee-Consumers-COVID-19-Road-Map-to-Recovery

 

November 16, 2020 — Ellya Camarillo
Summer Breeze is out NOW!

Summer Breeze is out NOW!

Say hello to the taste of summer with Fidalgo’s new seasonal blend, Summer Breeze.

Available June 1 online, and in a grocery near you . . .sip the notes of cherry, caramel, apple cider, and pear.  Summer Breeze is a medium-light roast. It is smooth and easy drinking. At Fidalgo, we especially love to brew this coffee as espresso because it naturally produces a beautiful and luscious crema and toffee mouthfeel.

At Fidalgo Coffee our mission is to bring joy to all with quality coffee that’s good for people and good for the planet. Summer Breeze is fair trade, organic, and shade-grown. 

Just like summer, this seasonal blend won’t last forever. Order your cup of sunshine today. We hope you enjoy our new Summer Breeze so much that you plan and buy extra for “an escape to summer” during the long winter months. 

How can we serve you today? Contact us at Orders@FidalgoCoffee.com 

June 02, 2020 — Ellya Camarillo
Sunshine in a Cup

Sunshine in a Cup

Give your customers their first taste of summer with Fidalgo’s new seasonal blend, Summer Breeze.

Available June 1 in 12 oz. or 2lb bags. Choose from whole bean, drip grind and custom grind upon request. Summer Breeze is sunshine in a cup. Its a medium-light roast, smooth and easy drinking. Your customers will sip the notes of cherry, caramel, apple cider, and pear. 

At Fidalgo Coffee our mission is to bring joy to all with quality coffee that’s good for people and good for the planet. Summer Breeze is fair trade, organic, and shade grown. 

Just like summer, this seasonal blend won’t last forever. Order Summer Blend today and start offering your customers their new favorite. 

For the world’s best coffee, syrups, sauces, cups, and personal service, Contact Us

We look forward to serving you.

June 02, 2020 — Ellya Camarillo
Ready to Sell Summer?

Ready to Sell Summer?

Welcome to June!  In anticipation of summer, Fidalgo Coffee is delighted to bring our taste of the season, Summer Blend to your grocery store.

With the rush of increased business and all you are doing, have you considered the many ways customers can incorporate coffee into their grocery list?  The longer, sunny days, plus so many still working from home, offer more ways to enjoy coffee: 

  • Hot coffee in the morning,
  • Iced coffee in the afternoon,
  • Cocktails around the BBQ,
  • As an ingredient with baked goods throughout the day.

As our business partner, let us know how we can assist you in merchandising and serving your customers with Fidalgo Coffee.  Let’s discuss strategies to make this summer sizzle with sales.     

How can we serve you today? Contact us at Orders@FidalgoCoffee.com

June 02, 2020 — Ellya Camarillo
7 Tips for Pick Up Only Service

7 Tips for Pick Up Only Service

As our business partner, the Fidalgo team is delighted you opened this email. Why? Because you’re about to receive an awesome deal!

For a limited time, Torani operators receive commission-free use of Joe, the #1 rated mobile ordering and loyalty app for coffee operators. Simply mention you heard about this special offer from Torani and Joe will not charge you commission for 90 days. The 2.95% transaction fee does apply. To learn more about the 90-day special offer Click Here

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our commitment to you is to consistently provide savvy ways for us all to win. To keep your cash register ringing, we are happy to share this 1:43 video Joe produced detailing 7 Tips for Pick Up Service. Loaded with helpful ideas, we hope you take a moment to watch and implement these best practices.

At Fidalgo Coffee, our mission is to bring joy to all with coffee. For the world’s best coffee, syrups, sauces, cups, and personal service, Contact Us

 

June 02, 2020 — Ellya Camarillo