How to Garden with Burlap

How to Garden with Burlap

We go through a lot of burlap bags here at Winans! Every week we roast approximately 2,000 pounds of coffee! The green coffee is delivered to our roastery in downtown Piqua in large burlap bags. These burlap bags weigh roughly 150 pounds and are full of our specialty green coffee beans. You can buy our empty burlap bags in our stores. Burlap is a wonderful item to use in your garden! It is inexpensive, biodegradable and has a myriad of uses: Burlap Uses in the Garden 🌷Loosely cover plants with burlap to provide a little frost protection, or wrap evergreens that are prone to damage from the weight of heavy snow. 🌷Create a burlap barricade to stop deer and rabbits from nibbling on your fruit trees and bushes in the winter. 🌷Hang a length of burlap over a veggie bed to create shade when the summer sun is just too hot for crops like salad greens. 🌷If you’ve prepared a new garden bed but you’re not ready to plant it, you can use pieces of burlap cloth over top (weighed down with rocks) to prevent weed growth. 🌷Use burlap instead of pre-formed coir liners in your pots and planters and save some money. Hold it in place with binder clips. 🌷Disguise ugly pots and containers by wrapping them in burlap. 🌷Block drainage holes with scraps of burlap. This will allow excess water out, without leaking soil. 🌷Old pieces of burlap work great for dragging mounds of yard waste, like piles of fall leaves. 🌷Burlap can also be used instead of fabric for many garden decorations. Our Favorite Burlap Garden...
How to Craft with Burlap

How to Craft with Burlap

Here at Winans, we have a plethora of burlap coffee bags! Every week we roast approximately 2,000 pounds of coffee! Green coffee is delivered to our roastery in downtown Piqua in large burlap bags. These burlap bags weigh roughly 150 pounds and are full of our specialty green coffee beans. Burlap is a great item for craft and sewing projects! It has a unique texture and many bags have interesting farm and co-op logos printed on them. You can buy our empty burlap bags in our stores. These are some of our top tips and tricks for working with burlap: Tips + Tricks ✂ Burlap is messy! If you can, cut your burlap outside, as the fabric sheds everywhere. Be sure to clean the dust from your scissors and sewing machine regularly too. ✂ Use a rotary cutter or very sharp fabric scissors to cut thick burlap. ✂ Follow the thread grain to cut straight lines and add a little extra space for your seam allowance as burlap tends to fray. ✂ Use a heavy-weight thread, the thicker your thread, the easier it will be for your stitches to grab onto the burlap weave. ✂ Line your burlap with interfacing or a heavy, stabilizing fabric to give your project structure. ✂ Finish raw edges with a zig-zag stitch to prevent fraying, you can also use a liquid sealant like Fray Check to stop tears or holes from spreading. ✂ Use a high setting to iron burlap, it helps get rid of wrinkles. Our Favorite Burlap Crafts:  DIY: Burlap Coffee Bag Art Burlap Coasters and Placemats Burlap Coffee Bag Pillow...
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...