Last weekend, the Molieri Brothers, our roaster, John, and one of our newest baristas, Jeremy, represented GreenStreet at the annual Mid-Atalantic/Northeast Coffee Conference in Pawtucket Rhode Island. MANE provides a venue for people on all sides of producing coffee to come out, hang out, and geek out about every aspect of our favorite beverage.
We talked to Jeremy Behne, one of our wonderful baristas, about the event. This was his first time going to a professional coffee roasting conference. Despite having several years in the coffee industry, working his way up to us through the Starbucks system down in the south, he’s never had experience with a gathering like this before. Through his unfiltered eyes, here’s his report of the weekend:
It was a really great mix of people from different experiences in the coffee world. There were a lot of baristas, who really wanted to dive into ways of brewing coffee, but also a lot of really experienced roasters. There was a guy there who was able to name the origin and type of coffee just by tasting it.
There was one cool activity in which we were given three types of coffee without knowing what they were, and had to guess which brewing method would be the best for them. Our group actually won! We were chemex prime- espresso A in a chemex bowl Ethipoian yirgacheffe.
There lectures on problems encountered in origin countries during the growing process. Right now there’s a huge issue of a fungus called rust, which plagues a lot of South American growers. When this happens, farmers have to either prune down the plant until it gets to a point where the fungus doesn’t affect it anymore, which is incredibly time and resource costly and sacrifices a huge percentage of crops, or they have to plant an entirely new type of plant that will hopefully be more resistance. This is obviously a huge setback to so many farmers because coffee plants take so long, 2-3 years, to bear fruit. It’s costing lots of farms much-needed money.
We also did some really cool experiments in washing methods. Typically there are just a few ways of processing methods, washed and semi-washed. The washed and semi-washed are typically done with water, but at the conference, they did two batches where they washed them with milk and orange juice. The difference was incredible. The one done with milk was so good, possibly the best cup I’ve ever had, but it aged horribly. After sitting out for two minutes, it was awful. The one done with orange juice was really sharp and acidic!
Thanks Jeremy for the commitment to attend the conference and the time to talk about it!
For more information about the MANE coffee conference, head over to the Official Web Page.