We travel the world in order to offer a unique coffee and tea experience to our customers. From treks through the lush, green coffee estates of Costa Rica to the cafés of Italy, you can see and taste the diverse, worldly influences. Throughout our journeys, we have forged relationships with family-owned coffee estates throughout Central and South America, Africa, and Indonesia. These strong relationships at origin assure quality and consistency of product and price. Ensuring that the growers we work with are successful and prosperous is also of utmost importance to us, so we guarantee a price, set far above international fair trade standards, is paid directly to them.
Great coffee is also inherently produced by sustainable methods. We work only with growers who value the economic, social, and environmental conditions of their farms and communities. Although we offer a large selection of organic, Fair Trade and Rain Forest Alliance certified products, everything that we offer, certified or not, typically falls within these same guidelines. Because of the premium, artisanal nature of the coffees that we source, and the direct relationships we have with the growers, we are able to assure that every coffee we offer is produced with utmost sustainability, and is always procured at price much higher than fair trade standards.
We’re very discriminating about the coffees we choose and buy right from the beginning, and we take quality control very seriously. Cupping, whether at the source or in our own cupping room, assures that the coffee we serve and sell possesses the same quality, aroma and taste that we diligently tested it for before purchasing. When unroasted green coffee arrives at our roasting facility, we roast it in small batches to fine tune the perfect taste profile before we approve it for shipping.
You may have seen or heard our tagline somewhere along the way – born of a simple desire: to offer the finest coffee and tea available. Well, that’s not just an empty promise. And because of it, we want to educate you on some of the practices we adhere to in order to ensure that every time you purchase one of our products, you can rest assured that it is simply the best that is available.
One of our core principles here at Hubbard & Cravens is to treat coffee like the seasonal product that it actually is. Like those of us here in Indiana know, you can’t compare a tomato grown in your own garden during the summer months with one that you purchase from your grocer in February. It’s just not the same. It may surprise some people, but the same is true for coffee; it is a seasonal product just like produce.
Each coffee growing region experiences a rainy season. When it is over, blossoms will grow on the coffee bushes’ branches, and eventually, a cherry will grow. Nine months later the cherry will ripen and become ready to pick, after which comes washing, drying, milling, sorting (which can take up to three months), and finally, shipping. After all of this, the coffee is at its absolute peak of freshness, with beautiful acidity and mouthwatering flavors.
However, as the months go by, these wonderfully special, fresh coffees start to lose their unique characteristics and become bland; not nearly as noteworthy as they once were. Luckily, as times goes by, the seasons change and new harvests become available from elsewhere in the world. Our goal is to introduce and educate our customers on coffee seasonality; it is a simple and easy way to ensure the absolute best possible coffee experience, day in and day out.
So which coffees are in season, and when? While it’s dependent on when the coffee shrubs flower, which can be affected by drought or heavier than normal rainfall, in general, Northern-hemisphere coffees (for instance, Central America) are at their best between May and October, and Southern Hemisphere coffees (South American and African coffees) are best from November through April. Places located directly on the equator (such as Colombia, Kenya, and Sumatra) can enjoy multiple harvest seasons.
Think of this as an opportunity to branch out and try new things; to keep your coffee experience interesting and ever-evolving, all while knowing that you are drinking the finest and freshest coffee available.
Each coffee has its own unique characteristics and nuances of flavor. Bringing them out requires an artful touch, skilled judgment, and well-trained eyes and ears. Our Roastmaster’s expertise is crucial to ensuring that each and every coffee we source is roasted to its full potential. Subtle variations in roast time, temperature and airflow allow each coffee to reach its peak flavor.
Roasting coffee is a science as well as an art form. We demand a consistent quality from the coffee estates we buy from, but so many factors, including even the weather, can alter the chemical makeup of green coffee and the roasting process. Our two gas-fired roasters have a direct weather satellite link, allowing them to adjust to changing atmospheric conditions. Our roasting technology allows us to record every batch, ensuring consistency each and every time. These factors enable us to have complete control over the roasting environment, accommodating the differences in growing altitudes, processing methods, bean size, density and moisture content.
We also understand that timing is critical. After coffee is roasted to its ideal taste profile, it is cooled and then carefully, but quickly, packed to seal in the fresh-roasted aroma and taste. The time between the roaster and air-tight packaging is less than an hour, and then it is shipped to its final destination within 24 hours.
With twenty-three years of experience under our belts, along with an uncanny ability to adapt to changes in consumer trends and preferences, our roasting practices are steeped in knowledge and a sincere reverence for the products that we source, develop, roast, and sell.