Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A Good Day for Coffee

by Elizabeth Courville, intern

February 3, 2018 was a good day for coffee in Southern Louisiana; not just any coffee, but specialty coffee to be exact. Specialty grade coffee refers to the use of beans that are produced in special and ideal microclimates. The SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) makes the standards and scores coffee beans on a 100-point scale, with anything above 80 being graded as “specialty.” The specialty coffee industry in the U.S. is growing more and more each year, but Baton Rouge has been a little behind on the game… until now.

The Cafeciteaux Cupping at Java Mama
The Cafeciteaux Cupping at Java Mama

Cafeciteaux Coffee Roasters out of Baton Rouge hosted a free/public coffee cupping and tasting at Java Momma. Steve and Chris are fairly newer to roasting, but don’t let that scare you off – they are producing some delicious coffees. Participants got to taste 3 of their coffees which included their new, outstandingly balanced and tasty Guatemala San Pedro La Lagunana single origin. Their coffee can be found in multiple local grocery stores here in Baton Rouge including Calandro’s Supermarkets, Redstick Spice Company, Oak Point Fresh Market and Alexander’s Highland Market.

In the same weekend New Orleans hosted the kick-off of Coffee Champs. This was the US Coffee Championships qualifying event hosted by the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America). A $17 ticket bought you access to 2 days-worth of tasting both sponsor and competitor coffees, information sessions with some of the best roasters in the country, learning how to brew - by true professionals, barista competition viewing and tons of awesome merchandise.

Exploring the Roaster Village
Exploring the Roaster Village

In the “Roaster Village” there were two local roasting companies based out of Louisiana – Rêve Coffee Roasters (locations in both Lafayette, and one opening up in the White Star Market in mid city Baton Rouge) and also French Truck Coffee (multiple locations in New Orleans, and one in mid city Baton Rouge). Rêve Coffee Roasters is a specialty coffee company that micro-roasts every batch and ships the beans on the day they are roasted – guaranteeing some of the freshest coffee that you will ever taste. French Truck is another local roasting company that uses super fresh beans and roasts in small batches. Representatives from Light House Coffee could be found perusing around Coffee Champs as well. Light House Coffee is a specialty shop with a cause, that is looking to open its doors in March 2018. Light house will be hiring and helping refugees and displaced people coming into Baton Rouge.

The schedule for Coffee Champs looked like 10:00am-6:00pm days, followed by after parties at local New Orleans coffee shops. It was certainly a caffeine packed weekend! There are a lot of new and exciting things happening in the Baton Rouge coffee world! Give these local specialty shops some love whenever you get the chance! Your taste buds will thank you later.

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