The coffees offered at BRIDGE COFFEE CO. are very specifically selected to help you bridge from your love of coffee to a new appreciation of why you love it.
Additionally, Fair Trade is extremely important to me. I want the farmers that work so hard, laboring to provide me with this fantastic product get what they deserve as well. Knowing that Fair Trade certification is difficult in underdeveloped countries, I want to work with distributors who feel as strongly as I do to make sure the farmers are taken care of.
Wherever possible, I will provide certified organic coffees. Just like Fair Trade though, it is sometimes difficult in underdeveloped countries to have the systems in place to provide the certifications. In some cases, farmers will sacrifice the quality of the crop to become organic certified. When it comes right down to it, I will choose quality over crux. In many regions, farmers are naturally organic farming, without the certification. Again, the bottom line is, quality wins out and I work with distribution and traders with like-minded philosophy.
When you are buying coffee from BRIDGE COFFEE CO., please note the flavor profile of each of the beans. I have selected coffees from four different continents with flavor profiles that will give you an idea of what to expect from there. Conversely, each of them are such great coffees on their own right. If there were two coffees from neighboring areas and one was a lower grade to the next, I chose the latter. These coffees have typically scored 87 points or better. Each are cared for meticulously. Most of these beans sold by specialty coffee roasters are in the $19-$25 range per 12 oz. bag or more!
The act of roasting a coffee bean dramatically affects the taste and character of the coffee. I love salmon. I will eat it as sashimi, baked, poached, grilled, smoked, whatever. Each method of cooking it (sashimi aside), will change the character of the salmon. Poached salmon tastes dramatically different than smoked. Like different cooking methods, different roasting methods have an effect on the taste of coffee.
But, much more dramatically, how long a coffee is roasted, will significantly change the flavor of the coffee. Many people equate thinness and boldness of coffees to how dark roasted they are. The darker the roast, the more bold it must be. Not necessarily so. I have had some very light roasted Kenyan coffees that would knock you out of your socks how bold and powerful they are.
The point of craft roasting coffee is to bring out the very best from the specific character of that bean you are roasting. Unlike salmon that I love, most coffee beans do not have the flexibility of being roasted to different temperatures and have enjoyable results. Some coffees are subtle and blasting them with a lot of smoke would decimate the subtleties beyond comprehension. On the other hand, some beans with caramelization of the sugars and a touch of smoke do quite well when roasted darker. The goal is, using the roast to 'add-to' the character of the original coffee bean. Think of it like smoked salmon; not much smoke and you taste more of the original salmon, too much smoke and it is hard to distinguish the smoke flavor from what actually it is in. The goal is to find the balance where the roast of coffee bean compliments the character of the coffee.