Seed to Cup
HOW WE SOURCE AND ROAST OUR COFFEE
Switchback Coffee Roasters believes that coffee is special and the proper time should be taken to carefully handcraft this coffee into a beautiful creation. We believe that coffee should be cared for from the start, which is why we work with the best coffee producers and importers to find the best quality green coffee. We choose to roast it with the utmost care in hopes to share it with the world.
We are always on the lookout for fresh new coffees and make it a priority to keep quality, sustainability, and transparency on our mind.
Our coffees are some of the best because we source the highest of quality green coffee and roast them to their highest potential. Roasting coffee is a process and we understand it takes time to create the best cup of coffee, which is why we spend hours tasting through hundreds of coffees so that we can bring you the best quality coffee. The coffees we choose could present an incredible natural expression of terroir, encompass exciting and unusual flavors, or simply be a great cup of coffee. However, they all have one thing in common - they excite us beyond no end.
Coffee is more than just a drink, each cup holds an incredible story and a chain of passionate human beings all working together to produce something extraordinary. Because of this, we ensure that we work with importers and producers that share the same values as us. One of our most important values is sustainability, making it something we look for in coffee producers and importers. We hope to cultivate a sustainable business, whether that is partnering with environmentally conscious farmers or paying a livable wage to coffee pickers. These practices preserve the future of the coffee industry and protect the livelihood of the millions of people that work in the coffee industry across the world. Ensuring that we have sustainable practices requires transparency, which is why all of our coffee can be traced back to a single farm or co-operative.
As coffee roasters, we strive to highlight the flavors that are naturally inherent in our coffees. We believe that coffee contains its full potential the moment it is picked from the coffee tree and our job through the roasting process is to keep as much of that potential as possible. We ensure we properly develop our coffees during the roast, by locking in complexity and sweetness, but avoiding over roasting so you can taste the coffee not the roast. As a result, we craft deliciously sweet, vibrant, and complex coffees for everyone to enjoy everyday. Get a more in depth look at the process below.
THE COFFEE CHERRY
Seed to cup is the process which the coffee cherry undergoes from when it first ripens, to after is has been roasted, ground and extracted into your cup of coffee.
Once the coffee cherries are harvested from the coffee plant, they are ready to be processed. Depending on natural resources available, they are either natural, washed, or honey processed.
TYPES OF PROCESSING
Processing break down Natural processed coffee is typically produced in Africa where the climate is drier. The coffee cherries are laid out on large concrete patios and dried in the sun.
Washed processed coffee is mostly produced in regions like Mexico and Guatemala where they have access to more water. In this process, the cherries are sent through a processor that removes the flesh (known as the mucilage) of the cherry through washing them.
Honey processed coffee is a rarity, but when done the mucilage of the cherry is left on during the drying process.
SORTING & RATING
After the coffee is processed, the cherry seeds are sorting according to weight, color, and size for uniformity.
Specialty coffee seeds are then rated by a coffee grader before exporting to the US. When the seeds arrive, they come in heavy burlap cases that are unloaded into the roastery. At this point the coffee seeds are a pale green color.
SMALL BATCH TESTING
Our roasters will begin by testing smaller batches of coffee before roasting an entire coffee type. When roasting our coffee beans here at Switchback, we roast to the point of caramelization (sugar extraction) from the beans, which means that our beans are a true medium roast.
Once the beans are roasted they are bagged and delivered by our roasters to both locations and offered on our retail shelves as well as behind the bar on two espresso offerings, batch brew, ice coffee, and three pour over offerings!