Last week Jessica and I were invited to attend a coffee tasting by our friends at Craft Coffee. Michael Horn, the creator of whatisfresh.com, started craftcoffee.com about a year ago to help spread quality, artisanal coffee. Subscribing members to Craft Coffe receive a tasting selection of coffees every month, handpicked by Horn’s team. As the emphasis on the importance of locality and sustainability grows, we all pay a premium for specialized, local and organic, and artisanal ingredients, and Michael Horn is making coffee one such product.
Despite our high respect for artisanal products and the people who craft them, the craft of making coffee often winds up as an afterthought. In New York, there’s definitely a growing market for quality coffee, but the craft of making coffee is still underrated, especially in many restaurants. In a city where everyone is seeking out craft beers, artisan cheeses and homemade pickles, Horn saw an opportunity to introduce coffee and brewing coffee into that realm of specialty products.
Craft sells all fair-trade coffee that comes from roasters all over the United States. Every month they select several coffees to mail to subscribers. The Craft team’s process for tasting coffee and selecting the beans is extensive and in many ways similar to wine tasting.
At the event last week, Jess and I had the opportunity to taste the three different coffees Craft is offering in their holiday gift boxes. Michael’s team of coffee tasters and brewers had laid out some of the foods that they found notes of in each of the coffees. These included some fruits, nuts and also a peanut butters sandwich. Jess and I didn’t get all of that, but we did love the coffees we tried. Hopefully we’ll both soon develop a more sophisticated coffee palette, but for the time being we were happy to walk away with our gift baskets of fresh coffee beans.
You can check out Craft Coffee’s website at craftcoffee.com to learn more about what Michael and his team are doing all over the country to change the way we consider, brew and drink our daily cup of coffee.
© 2011 Jonathan Meter and Jessica Hertle