The race is on among roasters to to create unique tasting experiences in tight packages for the most curious of consumers.
One popular tack is to take a single micro-lot purchase of a particularly exciting coffee, package the roasted product in smaller bags, and sell them at a premium. Some recent examples that come to mind are Intelligentsia’s Cafe Inmaculada collection, and the Perc Coffee Roasters Top Shelf series — both of which have been critically acclaimed as stupendous coffees.
Roasters are also now digging even deeper, creating packages with small quantities of multiple varietals from a single farm, creating the opportunity for side-by-side comparisons, or at least a comparative tasting experience (See Madcap’s Varietal Series and 1,000 Faces’ Red & Yellow Microlot Series).
Now comes Milwaukee’s Stone Creek Coffee, which has launched a series called Case Studies. The series similarly features coffees from a single farm, but here the focus is on milling process. Stone Creek took a single yellow caturra coffee from Finca San Sebastian in Antigua, Guatemala, processed three ways at the forward-thinking farm: washed, semi-washed and natural. Before it was a tightly packaged consumer product, the comparative concept came from barista training.
“I just wanted to have this available so I could show our baristas how different processing styles affected the flavor of the coffee,” says Stone Creek Director of Coffee Christian Ott. “It kind of evolved from there to the box set.”
The Case Studies box set is available beginning today. The company has limited the quantity to 250 boxes, although single pound bags of the coffee with one of the processing methods are also available. Ott says more creative box sets are on the way: “This is just one of the amazing partners we’re working with,” says Ott. “In fact, I’ve got two or three more in the works.”