Coffee 101: The Discovery of Coffee

Coffee 101: The Discovery of Coffee

We’re back with our second post in our Coffee 101 Series: The Discovery of Coffee! Coffee has a long and interesting history, including dancing goats, smuggling and bouquets of flowers spiked with coffee seedlings. Coffee is native to Ethiopia, in Africa, where it is still a popular part of local culture and traditions. Today over 12 million people in Ethiopia are involved in coffee production. A common phrase in Ethiopia is “buna dabo naw,” which translates to “coffee is our bread.” Evidence of humans drinking coffee can be traced to the middle of the 15th century in Yemen’s Sufi monasteries. It is not known who actually discovered coffee, but there are several interesting theories and stories.   One story credits the discovery of coffee to a Yemenite Sufi mystic who was traveling through Ethiopia. He noticed some very energetic, lively birds and decided to sample the red berries he saw them eating. He quickly felt the energizing effects of the berry. Another tale tells of a man named Omar, who was exiled from Mocha to a desert cave. He was starving and only found red berries from a small shrub to eat. They tasted bitter so he tried roasting, and later, boiling them. The fragrant smelling liquid he created from boiling the berries kept Omar alive for many days, allowing him to eventually return to Mocha with his “miracle drug.” In the tenth century, coffee is said to have been eaten and fermented into wine. Ethiopian tribesmen used the coffee berries as an energy ball, crushing and mixing them with animal fat to sustain them on long journeys. The...
Women in Coffee: Malawian Coffee Farmers

Women in Coffee: Malawian Coffee Farmers

Here at Winans Chocolates + Coffees, we brew three main types of coffees: blends, single origins and flavored coffees. Blends are a blend of different single origin coffees. For example, our Winans Blend features coffee beans from Colombia, Costa Rica, Indonesia and Kenya. Single origin coffees are from a single geographic region within a specific country, like Colombia or Costa Rica. Flavored coffees are made by adding flavor extracts to create specific aromas and tastes, like our Highlander Grogg which boasts a rich butterscotch and caramel flavor. We’d like to highlight one of our single origin coffees in this blog post, Malawi Mzuzu. This coffee comes from the northern region of Malawi, a country in southeast Africa. The flavor profile of this coffee is described as a clean, bright cup with notes of citrus and peach.  Malawi Mzuzu coffee beans are grown by family farmers in the Mzuzu Coffee Cooperative Union. This coffee cooperative has 3,000 members, 25% of them are women. The cooperative emphasizes gender equality and strives to empower women through coffee farming. The co-op does this through their Women in Coffee Programme and focuses on improving access to land for women, encouraging women in decision making at cooperatives and promoting the employment of women in the cooperative. The cooperative supports community improvement projects such as the construction of a hospital with the help of coffee premiums. They also work to improve the quality of life of their members through sustainable farming, production and processing. They promote Fair Trade certification and are working towards organic certification. The Mzuzu cooperative also works to make sure that their members...
What I learned at SCAA

What I learned at SCAA

Hello! My name is Courtney, I’m the social media manager for Winans Chocolates + Coffees. I was fortunate to be able to attend the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Expo last weekend in Atlanta, Georgia. This was my first time attending the expo and I was excited to learn and so happy to be traveling with Winans co-owner, Joe Reiser, our roaster, Brenda Cook, and our barista educator, Natalie Schaurer. During the expo I shared my experience on Winans Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, using the hashtags #‎SCAA2016‬ ‪#‎WinansBehindtheScenes‬ ‪‪#‎WinansatSCAA2016‬. Now I’d like to share a little recap of my favorite moments as well as what I was able to learn at the expo.   WEEKEND FAVORITES Tastings: I loved tasting so many types of coffee. I quickly lost count of the tastings I actually had! A lot was prepared in a way that I do not normally drink coffee: as a pour-over. It’s a different way of brewing coffee and I really enjoyed it! I tried numerous single origin coffees, as well as some fun new edibles, like sugar coating the rim of coffee drinks, smoothies, toddy (cold brew coffee), nitro (also cold brew coffee, but on tap like beer) and lots of chai tea. I also was able to sample coffee cherry tea. This tea, called cascara, is an herbal tea made from the dried husks of coffee cherries. It’s a popular drink in coffee producing regions. It reminded me of a rich, fruity, black tea. Meeting new people: I met so many new people at SCAA! It was fun to talk about coffee and to...
Coffee 101: What is Coffee?

Coffee 101: What is Coffee?

We’re starting a series of blog posts here on Joe on the Go! to share one of our biggest passions with you, coffee! We’re calling this series Coffee 101 and we’ll cover everything we can think of related to coffee. From how to order a coffee or espresso based drink at Winans…  to how coffee was first discovered… to how we roast coffee today. We’re excited to share our enthusiasm for our favorite drink and hope you are too! Let’s start with the very basics. What is coffee? Coffee means a lot of different things to different people, but not everyone knows where coffee comes from, or that a coffee bean isn’t actually a bean at all! The “bean” which makes delicious beverages enjoyed by many, is actually the seed of the coffee berry, called a cherry. Coffee cherries grow on trees in the Coffea species. Most of the coffee trees grown for human consumption are Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora var. robusta. The beans used at Winans Chocolates + Coffees are arabica beans, as are 70% of the beans consumed worldwide. The majority of robusta beans grown are used to make instant coffee. Coffee trees are tropical, evergreen plants that grow in between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer (coffee connoisseurs refer to this area as the bean belt!). The trees do well in areas that receive 40 to 60 inches of rain per year and grow best between 1,300 and 1,500 meters in altitude. Coffee trees flower continuously throughout the year, so it’s common to see flowers, immature green fruit and bright red, ripe...
DIY: Burlap Coffee Bag Art

DIY: Burlap Coffee Bag Art

  Want to add rustic charm to your home? Would you like to proudly display how much you love coffee? Burlap coffee bags from Winans are a great way to decorate your home and showcase your love of java! After emptying them of their beans (did you know coffee beans are green before they’re roasted?!) we sell our burlap coffee bags for $5 at Miami County Winans stores. These bags are great for creative home crafts and DIY projects. We’re going to show you how to make some burlap coffee bag art to adorn your walls. This DIY is a great introductory project for working with burlap. Check out our Pinterest board, DIY: Burlap Coffee Bags, for more crafty ideas!     The materials you need for this project should be readily available at your local craft store. Buy your burlap coffee bags at your local Winans! 🙂 To frame one burlap coffee bag you will need: Large stretched canvas Burlap coffee bag Masking tape Scissors Staple gun Staples Gather your materials – let’s get crafty!     The first thing you will need to do is cut your burlap to fit your canvas frame. The frame that we used was 24 x 36 inches. We were able to cut our burlap bag down the left and right seams and the bottom seam, essentially separating the front of the bag from the back. What size you need to cut your burlap will be determined by the size of your canvas. Be sure to save your scrap burlap for other crafty projects! To attach the burlap to the canvas frame, we...

Make Winans Part of Your New Year’s Resolutions Part I: Coffee

  If one (or all!) of your New Year’s Resolutions for 2016 involve making healthier choices, including coffee in your daily routine can be a great addition. A study published by the American Heart Association in November 2015 found that folks “who drank three to five cups of coffee per day had about a 15 percent lower [risk of premature] mortality compared to people who didn’t drink coffee.” Decaf drinkers saw added benefits as well. When comparing coffee drinkers to non-coffee drinkers, those who regularly enjoy a cup of joe are less likely to have type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. Coffee drinkers also have fewer cases of certain cancers, heart rhythm problems, and strokes. In addition to giving you a mental boost and improving your mood, coffee beans are full of nutrients and phytochemicals (plant chemicals that help our bodies protect against certain diseases and illnesses). Coffee can also improve your daily workout. The caffeine in coffee can improve your reaction time and coordination as well as increase your speed. Caffeine can also increase the concentration of endorphins in your brain, those awesome hormones that produce a “runner’s high.” The healthiest way to enjoy coffee is to drink it black, without milk or sugar. If you like espresso, you could try an Americano, which is espresso diluted with hot water until it has a similar concentration as coffee. Not a caffeine fiend but still want a healthy hand crafted Winans beverage? Try one of our açaí smoothies, made with Sambazon açaí puree. It’s a delicious tropical smoothie full of antioxidants. We also serve a variety of fruit crushers...