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COLOMBIAN NARINO – FINCA SAN ANTONIO – NILSON DIAS – NATURAL PROCESSED

A very exotic Colombian offering. This is a slow dried natural, meaning plenty of ferment and fruity tones in the cup profile. Uneven roasting and high chaff, beans like these are changing the coffee game and you will either love or hate them. For a natural fan, this lot is terrific and a perfect example of the processing.

Nilson Luis López Dias, who owns and manages San Antonio, is at the center of the Buesaco success.  In addition to managing his own farm with 25 acres cultivated with coffee, Nelson and his wife Cielo have been helping an export company called Inconexus sources coffee from producers in Buesaco who are now selling coffee in the COE auction. The partnership has helped producers gain access to technical support for best agricultural practices, improve quality, increase earnings from coffee sales, and strengthen the family’s livelihood.

San Antonio, located in the community of Medina Espejo in the municipality of Buesaco within the department of Nariño, Colombia. Two volcanos (Doña Juana in the north and Galeras in the south) are responsible for many of the rich mineral traits found in the soil composition.  Nariño’s proximity to the equator also means intense exposure to the sun (relatively constant and powerful year-round), which influences the cherry maturation rate. The municipality of Buesaco, which has an interesting micro-climate caused by warm air that rises from the canyons at night and acts like a protective blanket for the coffee plants.  As a result of these combined attributes, coffee plants passively absorb the sun’s energy during the day and then come alive at night when the conditions are less harsh. This translates into concentrated flowering and long cherry maturation periods. All of these factors produce exceptional coffee frequently rewarded in the Colombia Cup of Excellence, including the 2017 first place coffee from Medina Espejo.

Tasting Notes: 
Great and very lively red fruit tones, a bit of floral, a little hint of citrus all combining with a traditional Huila undertone (jammy, nutty and chocolaty). Great light to medium roast coffee. Lighter roasting will really promote the more floral aspects of this cup along with the red fruit and acidity. As one pushes closer to 2nd crack, the acidity mellows considerably, the body gets much larger and its more jammy bodied qualities come out with plenty of fruit tones retained. Dark roasts are a little edgy and muted.

Roasting Notes: 
A little more challenging to roast with its higher chaff and 2-3 color shades while in the roaster. Good news, it tastes great from light to borderline dark. We would error on the lighter side rather than risk it hitting 2nd crack (besides a single pop or two). We liked it best stopped just at the end of 1st crack, which leaves a light-medium roast profile on the beans. Many will like it a bit darker with that jammy body, if that’s the case, get real close to 2nd crack or upon first pop, cool it out. 48 hour setup on this guy really help smooth it out.

See Our Full Coffee List!

COLOMBIAN MAGDALENA FTO – SIERRA NEVADA

A super fresh great tasting Colombian certified up the wazoo! A new region that we have not had coffee from before but after tasting this lot, will keep an eye out for other arrivals.

Coming from family-owned farms organized around Asociación de Productores de la Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, a producer association with 32 members who live in the municipality of Ciénaga within the department of Magdalena, Colombia. Members of ASOPROSIERRA promote agro-ecology principles to improve the quality of their coffee while taking care of their natural resources.

Tasting Notes: 
This cup has just about everything I personally love in a Colombian. A little soft fruit tone upfront with just a little hint of sweet acidity balanced with a nice nutty caramel tone and finishing with a little bakers chocolaty factor. Smoother than most and without that very dry nutty and  herbal tone that one commonly sees out of Colombia. Clean, smooth and rich coffee; a great everyday drinker.

Roasting Notes: 
A great medium to dark roast coffee. Light roasts promote a little too much raw acidity and will not develop the lovely caramel/chocolate tones in the cup. Medium roasts are soft and balanced with a sweet edge. Darker roasts will be a much heftier cup chopping out all the acidity and most of the soft fruit, still very tasty but less exotic.

See Our Full Coffee List!

COLOMBIAN BCT PREMIUM HUILA TIMANA

A very tasty aggregate lot from a micro region in Huila called Timana. Although some of our past Huila offerings have most likely contained some Timana beans, this straight chop out of Timana is fantastic.

All grown above 1600m (high altitude) and consisting of 2 Arabica strains; Colombia and Cattura.

Created by our favorite Kona expert Mr. Stewart (who also has some awesome Colombian buddies), he was also behind our older Colombian Dulima offerings if you liked those.

Tasting Notes: 
A very nice super clean Huila cup! Buttery textured and complex; strong semi-sweet traditional walnut/chocolate tones balanced with with a little brightness and soft fruit tones.

 A very nice super clean Huila cup! Buttery textured and complex; strong semi-sweet traditional walnut/chocolate tones balanced with with a little brightness and soft fruit tones.

Roasting Notes: 
Easy to roast; a nice medium roast is where these beans will shine. Works at light and/or dark roasts but looses a little balance. Light roast will have much more floral and soft fruit balanced with a dry nutty, dark roasts are much thicker and bittersweet, low acidity and nutty/chocolaty/smoky type profile.

CHECK OUT OUR FULL COFFEE LIST!

BRAZIL PREMIUM NATURAL FAZENDA PRIMAVERA

We knew it was only a matter of time; Fazenda Primavera won the recent pulped natural cup of excellence for Brazil, the #1 spot. It was a Pulped Natural Geisha (that ended up selling for $140/lb). Really shows the quality of the operation. Although this is not the winning COE  lot, it is a fantastic high scoring Red Catuai which they took great care to produce.

Following his father’s footsteps, producer Ricardo Tavares has dedicated his life to the coffee industry. As an innovator, he promotes and supports new coffee practices.

I first met Ricardo Tavares about five years ago and have since been stuck on his coffee. Coffee is in this man’s blood and one can see his passion within minutes of talking with him. Although he is mostly in with Brazil’s larger farming models, he had worked over the last 5 years to bring a very boutique edge to some smaller lots, working with guys like top-end Panamanian farmer and processor Garciano Cruz to improve their smaller high-end lots.

Fazenda Primavera is located in the municipality of Angelândia, Minas Gerais. The farm altitude is between 1000 to 1050 meters above sea level, which promotes the cultivation of specialty coffee.

Furthermore, the climate also provides favorable conditions with average temperatures between 68 and 75 °F annually and precipitation of 3 to 4 ft. Fazenda Primavera has state of the art installations including a very large drying patio, 14 electric dryers, and equipment for processing fully washed coffees. The farm cultivates predominately Red and Yellow Catuaí (95%), but it is slowly introducing new varieties such as Novo Mundo. The farm certificates include Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, Minas Coffee and Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association.

Tasting notes:
A wonderful lot and a great single origin drinker. Very clean cup, a soft acidity at lighter roasts gives a sweet floral edge balancing with a hint of soft fruit and a little chocolaty edge; a little nuttier as the cup cools. Medium roasts start bringing forth a little nuttier profile with less of a floral aspect. Right around second crack was smooth and a bit fuller bodied, nutty/caramel/chocolate with just a hint of caramel, floral and fruit in the aromatics but not in the cup. A sweet edge to this coffee no matter the roast level.

Roasting Notes:
One almost cannot screw it up. Clean enough with good depth of flavor and sweetness to please a lighter roast drinker. Lighter roasts will be the only ones with a little acidity to them. Medium roast is the most balanced, great mix of soft fruit and caramel/chocolaty undertones. Dark roasts are great for a darker roast fan, on the sweeter side with minimal sharpness and smoky chocolate-like cup profile.


SEE OUR FULL COFFEE LIST!

Warm up with Smoky Grey BCT Blend

"Smoky Grey" black tea

Dear Tea Lovers,

Here in Wisconsin, we got so excited about melting snow and increasing sun… only to be hit with more bleak winter weather this week.

The seasons are shifting, the first flowers are appearing, and we know that the worst of the cold is behind us; but even in the springtime, mornings are often dreary, damp and chilling. Recently, I have fallen in love with our new tea blend – Smoky Grey, a mix of soft and subtle Earl Grey and Lapsang Souchong teas – because it is really warming and invigorating, especially in gloomy weather. We mix up Smoky Grey right here at BCT, and we are eager to share the pleasant cheerfulness of this unique blend with everyone.

Earl Grey tea is typically served with lemon, not milk like all other British teas. But some folks also like it with milk, especially steamed milk like a latte. They often add vanilla and lavender flavors and call this scrumptious beverage a London Fog, an appropriate name because it is a lovely sparkly pick-me-up in the chilly North Atlantic mist. Adding the smoky Lapsang Souchong into the mix amplifies the warming powers of this tea, and imbues even more rich silky body into the cup. In this blend, both the bergamot and the pine smoke flavorings are complimentary and rather subtle, delivering a flavor profile that is very soft yet still leaves a fuzzy-tingly sensation on the palate. It brings a smile with every sip.

Try our new Smoky Grey BCT Blend – on sale today!

And keep your eyes open for more interesting new arrivals and BCT-exclusive blends. I am looking forward to exploring the exciting world of premium teas with all of you!

Cheers,
Tyler (BCT “tea trader”)


RECIPE: How to make a London Fog

Perhaps a little smoky flavor in your Earl Grey Latte makes the taste even more reminiscent of London – ha! This charming silky-sparkly beverage will give you a warm cheery moment, a little break in the clouds.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon Smoky Grey Tea
  • 1/2 cup hot water (212°F)
  • 1/2 cup milk (or almond milk or other milk substitute)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract and/or lavender extract
  • 1-2 tsp honey or sweetener of your choice

Instructions:

  • Steep tea in water for 3-5 minutes (depending on strength preference)
  • Mix tea with frothed milk (if you do not have a frother or steamer, warming milk on stove top will also work)
  • Stir in sweetener and vanilla/lavender
  • Enjoy!

Tips: Brewing Coffee



Now that you have roasted your coffee perfectly, how can you be sure to get the best taste when you brew it? Consider these factors:

Types of Coffee Brewing Equipment:

Auto Drip, Espresso, French Press, Pour Over, Percolator… there are no right or wrong answers, just different methods for different preferences.

We love the Chemex pour-over coffee brewer, and so many of our customers do too. This specially-designed one-piece glass flask is stylish, easy to use, and it makes a stellar pot of coffee, very clean and very quick. Their special paper filters are designed to trap most of the bitter elements in coffee, and all of the larger sediments, making a cup that is clear and consistent. This video shows how it works!

chemex coffee brewers
We use Chemex coffee brewers every day!
sampling new coffees and testing roast levels

Or try the amazing AeroPress – make a single serving of strong espresso coffee without any fancy equipment! The secret is simple, a combination of a hand-plunger and a thick filter that creates just the right amount of resistance to make a high-pressure extraction. It takes some elbow grease, but less contact time with the grounds produces a cup with the rich body and lower acidity that everyone loves about espresso – definitely very satisfying! – without any expensive machines or dangerous steam.

Kenneth Davids, author of Home Coffee Roasting: Romance and Revival and editor of coffeereview.com says “When used properly, AeroPress produces a better espresso shot than many home machines that cost twenty or thirty times as much.” If you are an espresso lover, you will be very impressed by this fantastic specialty coffee-maker – check out the AeroPress!

Whatever brewing method you prefer, always be sure that all equipment is cleaned thoroughly. After each use, rinse your equipment with hot water and dry it with an absorbent towel. Check that no grounds have been left to collect on any part of the equipment and that there is no build-up of caffeol, coffee oils. Such residues can impart a bitter or rancid flavor to future cups of coffee.

(Check out all our Coffee Makers here)

Grind:

Next you will want to be sure that you have the right grind for the brewing method. Over or under extracting can cause your coffee to taste bitter or flat. Use a much more consistent and effective burr grinder instead of a blade grinder, if possible. We have created a guide so that you can learn about the recommended grind level for your equipment, and adjust your grinder accordingly.

(Check out our Grinders Here)

Water:

The water in your coffee is very important, second only to the coffee itself! Unpleasant strong odors or tastes like chlorine can ruin a nuanced cup of specialty coffee. Use filtered or bottled water if possible. If tap water is your only option, let it run for a few seconds before filling your coffee pot and use only cold water. To eliminate chlorine odors completely, you may leave tap water in an open pitcher for a few days and chlorine will gradually evaporate out. Do not use distilled water or softened water – naturally-occurring minerals impart subtle flavors in water, and water without them is noticeably dull-tasting and unsatisfying.

Ideal water temperature is between 195-205°F. Get a variable-temperature kettle or just use a thermometer to check your water temperature. Or remember the general rule that water reaches its max boiling point at 212°, so when water begins to boil just take it off the heat and let it stand to cool for a little less than a minute and it should be within the ideal temperature range.

Brewing Strength:

In general, use 1-2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every 6 ounces of water, or 5-10 grams in every 175 milliliters. Please note that using metric weight measurements is always more accurate than old-fashioned volume measurements like tablespoons – but since everyone has different tastes, it seems fine to generalize “a little more than one tablespoon” of grounds for one medium-sized mug of coffee. To make a full pot of coffee in a 10-cup Chemex, we recommend about 10 tablespoons (40-55 g) of fresh grounds into up to 50 ounces (1500 mL) of water.

Always consider your brew method – french press and percolator require less grounds than auto-drip or pour-over – and adjust to suit the specific coffee beans and your personal taste preferences. Whatever your strength preference, for the most consistent results be sure to always weigh your grounds using a digital scale, and keep notes in your Roaster’s Journal. You will have to experiment to find the sweet spot for each unique bean, but with experience you will begin to notice regional tendencies. For example, we often use about 20-30% more grounds when brewing mild Hawaiian coffees. Additionally, many home coffee roasters prefer to use less grounds for high-acid light roasts (like Kenyans) or more grounds for thick-bodied dark roasts (like Indonesians).

Brewing Time:

The amount of time that the water is in contact with the coffee grounds is another important factor affecting the taste of your coffee. Of course, different brewing methods require different brewing times. In a drip system, the contact time should be approximately 5 minutes, but for a french press it should be limited to just 2-4 minutes. For espresso, coffee grounds are in contact with pressurized steam for only 20-30 seconds, whereas cold brew will usually steep overnight, 12 or more hours. If the taste of your coffee is not optimal, it is possible that you are either over-extracting (brew time too long, will tend to taste bitter) or under-extracting (brew time too short, will tend to taste flat). Experiment with contact time to find the cup that suits your tastes perfectly.

One Last Tip:

NEVER reuse coffee grounds. Once brewed, the desirable coffee flavors have been extracted and only the bitter undesirable stuff remains. But if you like to avoid waste, one great way to utilize depleted coffee grounds is as nutrient-dense and easily decomposed fertilizer. It is very beneficial to potted plants or garden beds; wet grounds may be sprinkled directly on top of soil, or mixed in with other compost.


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Tips: Grinding Coffee



Does the grind of your coffee really make that much of a difference? Absolutely it does! Every brewing method works differently and requires a different grind level. Over-extraction or under-extraction may lead to a disappointing cup even if the beans themselves are top-notch, so learning about the correct grind level for optimum extraction is very important for coffee connoisseurs.

“Extraction” is the pulling of flavors from coffee beans into water. All sorts of compounds end up in your cup, some dissolving in shorter contact with water and heat, others requiring much longer exposure. To get the best cup, it is necessary to extract the right amounts of the right compounds, and to avoid the bad-tasting ones (even the finest coffees will turn bitter if over-extracted!). Over-extracted coffee tends to be very bitter while under-extracted coffee tends to taste flat. Different extraction methods require different amounts of ground coffee, different amounts of contact time – see our brewing tips here – and especially different grind levels.

When trying new coffees, you may need to experiment with contact time and amount of grounds to find the cup that suits your tastes perfectly, but if you frequently feel that your coffee is “too bitter” or “too weak,” consider adjusting your grind level first. Here are guidelines that will help you decide the best grind level for your brewing method.

Don’t know what grinder to use for your freshly home roasted coffee beans? Check out how to choose the best coffee grinder.


See our top quality coffee grinders

BCT’s “Guide to Grinds”


Coarse Grind – Chunky, similar to potting soil. Recommended Brewing Methods: French Press, Cold Brew, Percolator, Cupping

Medium Coarse Grind – Less chunky, like bread crumbs. Recommended Brewing Methods: Chemex, Flat Bottom Drip Machines

Medium Grind – Approx size of Kosher salt. Recommended Brewing Methods: Cone Drip Machines

Medium Fine Grind – Between Kosher salt and table salt, like coarse sand. Recommended Brewing Methods:AeroPress, Siphon Machines, Vacuum Pots, Single-Serving Pour Over

Fine Grind – Like table salt or crystal sugar. Recommended Brewing Methods: Espresso, Moka Pot

Very Fine Grind – Like powdered sugar or flour, often called “Turkish Grind.” Recommended Brewing Methods: Turkish

If you have a Baratza Virtuoso or Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder, they have some great guidelines on their website for specific settings that are very helpful.

These are just general guidelines and everyone has their own personal preferences. Let us know if there is a grind that you like for a specific brewing method.


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Home Roasting Tips & User Guides



Crafting the perfect cup of fresh coffee is easy, convenient, and affordable with home coffee roasters. There are countless methods for roasting green coffee beans, but for those who are seeking an exciting new hobby in home roasting, those embarking on the flavor adventures of tasting different specialty coffees every day, an automatic home roasting machine makes this adventure easy and accessible .

There are two types of roasters: Fluid Bed Roasters such as the FreshRoast SR models are similar to hot-air popcorn poppers, with a glass roasting chamber that makes it easy to watch and stop the cycle when beans reach the desired roast level; Drum Roasters such as the Behmor 1600 Plus and the Gene Café have a larger metal screen drum that rotates and tumbles the beans as they are roasting.

All of the home roasting equipment carried at Burman Coffee Traders is top quality, just different volumes and mechanisms to suit different needs. Fluid bed roasters are very popular because they are lower priced and able to roast a modest batch in a speedy 7-20 minutes, and they are easy to clean and maintain. We recommend the SR500 to newbies, and we have a special article all about the benefits of these easy-to-use, family-sized machines.

Drum roasters allow larger batches and roast beans more evenly and consistently, and they give more control over the entire process than the simple fluid bed roasters. They are also significantly more expensive, but are a good option for anyone who wants to share or sell a few of their freshly roasted beans (but please note that none of the home roasters are designed for large-scale commercial roasting).

For any type of roaster, the basic steps are similar:

pouring green coffee beans into roaster

Fill the Roaster:

For best results, always fill roaster with the same measure of green coffee beans (the measure varies from roaster to roaster, it is about 2.5-6 ounces by weight in the FreshRoast and 10-16 ounces in the Gene/Behmor).

With a fluid bed roaster, the more coffee you roast, the hotter it gets. However, too much coffee per batch may cause the roast to become uneven and the roaster to overheat. We recommend always staying within the manufactures guidelines. With a drum roaster, the less coffee you roast, the hotter it gets and the faster the roast time. We recommend weighing your coffee precisely to get consistent results.

Set the Time or Profile:

Knowing how long the beans should be roasted is a matter of practice – different coffees have different requirements, and every machine has its own unique roasting curve. But each machine has a variety of settings – each model has a different approach to controlling the settings, and we recommend reading the appropriate user guide, listed below. For every home roaster, we recommend maintaining a Roasting Notes Journal to ensure consistency.

Watch and Listen:

Green coffee beans gradually turn yellow, then brown, then as the roast progresses they more rapidly darken until they become black. A pleasant smell gradually rises out of the roaster, though it becomes pungent and noticeably burned and smoky if the roast goes too far.

The beans will pop or “crack” twice during the roasting process. For many home roasters, it is easy to judge correct roast level by listening to these cracks. For most beans we generally recommend aiming for a medium roast, which can be anywhere between the “first crack” and the “second crack” – anything before first crack will be underdeveloped, after second crack will be a dark roast and smoky flavors will overpower the unique nuances of special coffees. Read more about the spectrum of Coffee Roast Styles, or if you feel like you still need a little more info about how to judge when a roast is ready, read “Home Coffee Roasting for Beginners.”

Cool Down:

All home roasters also have an automatic cooling period. This allows the beans to cool enough to handle, and allows the equipment to cool and prepare for the next batch. After the cooling period, the coffee is finished roasting, but before grinding and brewing, it is best to let it “set-up” for at least 24 hours.

It cannot be overemphasized how important it is to utilize the cool cycle every time. Please remember that all of our models are home roasters, not intended for commercial scale, and it is critical to allow cool down between batches – overheating caused by too many consecutive batches may trigger thermal protection features, which will require the roaster to be reset by the manufacturer and may void the warranty.

More Roaster Use Notes:

All roasters are sensitive to your home voltage, so it helps to use a circuit that is not being used by other appliances at the same time that you are roasting. Fluctuations in voltage may cause roast times to vary, so be sure to watch carefully, especially with a new roaster.

Never leave a home coffee roaster unattended. Think of it as similar to frying bacon – it can and will burn if left unattended.

DETAILED HOME COFFEE ROASTER TIPS & USER GUIDES

Follow these links for guides for each specific model of home coffee roaster. For the convenience of all customers, we also have guides for several discontinued models.



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How to Choose Green Coffees?



With Burman Coffee Traders’ huge selection of Premium Green Coffee Beans, it can be challenging to decide which ones are best for your personal tastes and roast preferences, especially for beginning home coffee roasters. We want to make it easy and fun – so in addition to providing detailed roasting and tasting notes for all of our coffees, we also have a bunch of educational articles, and a few specific suggestions for newbies too!

Many home roasters choose coffees based on their favorite coffee regions, or unusual exotic strains, or specific processing methods that create their preferred cup profile. If you are just beginning to embark on your flavor adventures, we recommend that you start by sampling our 3 lb Bundles. Bundles are frequently changing, but always highlighting some of the best beans in our warehouse each season.

Our Popular Bundle will have 3 of our customers’ favorites, the best-selling beans of the season.  This bundle will always have coffees with balanced flavor profiles familiar to mainstream coffee lovers – but not boring! – these will be examples of some of the finest premium coffees in the world.

chalkboard, 3lb bundles list

Ready to try something more exotic?  The Special Bundle will introduce you to widely varied flavors, some of which may be surprising if you have been drinking stale pre-roasted coffees all your life.  Curious about coffees that are spicy, citrusy, floral, nutty? Intrigued to discover notes of honey, melon, blueberry?  Yes, please!

If you love dark roasted coffees, the Dark Roast Bundle is a must.  We choose a good mix of different coffees from different regions, but you can be confident that all of them will be rich and creamy with earthy, smoky, sweet spices flavor profiles. The coffees in this bundle are always perfect for dark roasts and espresso, but they also have their own unique qualities; we recommend that you try these fresh and exceptional beans just a bit lighter than your usual very dark roast, to maintain some of their distinctive origin flavors.

decaf bundle
We also have a Decaf Bundle and
sometimes other unique bundles seasonally

After exploring some of the bundles, you will begin to understand which flavors and roast profiles appeal to you most, and you may feel ready to select individual coffees.  Sometimes the Full Coffee List can be a little intimidating with 60+ varieties, many with unknown regions and unpronounceable names, but never fear! – we have filters that can help you to identify which beans are best for your tastes. The filter tools at the top can sort by the characteristics you are seeking – washed, natural, fruity, dark roast, or continent of origin. If you would like to see all coffees originating from a specific country, we recommend selecting “Shop by Origin” in the Coffee drop-down menu or just doing a search.

You may also want to check out Green Coffee Beans on SALE – we frequently rotate our sale specials, to encourage our customers to try out some of our newest and most exciting offerings.

Scan down the list to see a short description of each coffee, click “more” then “view product details” or just click on the name of the coffee to read tasting and roasting notes. Tasting and roasting notes are very important – many of our specialty beans may be unique and different than what is typically expected from their region. Sometimes there are also stories about the estates and growers, or more info about the specific cultivar.

And if you are looking for a very particular variety or just want to chat about premium green coffees – call us!  We love to talk beans.


NEXT: Buy some Beans!


More information on Green Coffee, Raw & Unroasted Coffee Beans

Learn about the Basics of Home Coffee Roasting and How to Use a Home Coffee Roaster

The terroirs of Growing Regions, specific Strains or Cultivars, and the Processing Methods used after harvesting – all affect the taste and roast characteristics of each unique green coffee.


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