In its continuing quest for a more local and sustainable offering at the highest quality, Old Edwards Inn and Spa has partnered with Highlands’ only micro-roaster, Mountain Fresh, located just 100 feet from the hotel to provide the coffee for all the resort’s food and beverage venues.
Mountain Fresh Grocery—a stylish specialty food store and eatery turned artisan, all-organic coffee roaster—imports beans from around the world and roasts them in-house, producing single-origin brews as well as creative blends.
On March 20, 2013, two of those roasts made their way into the culinary offerings at Old Edwards, and are now poured at Madison’s Restaurant, Old Edwards Club and all other venues throughout the resort. This partnership comes as Old Edwards prepares to open the doors on a new coffee café and bar on property, called Art’s at The Lodge
. The coffee café, named for owner Art Williams, is slated to open May 11, 2013.
Mountain Fresh co-owner and master roaster Don Reynolds oversees the company’s coffee operation, which is located center store providing aromatic and visual appeal for Mountain Fresh patrons. Old Edwards Executive Chef Johannes Klapdohr and Chef De Cuisine Chris Huerta paid several visits to the roaster to witness the operation and discuss options for the Old Edwards offering. Working with Reynolds and co-owner J.T. Fields, they tested several varieties of bean profiles and came up with the perfect brews.
The Winning Beans
: Brazil Daterra Blue
for regular coffee and Brazil Santos Swiss Water Decaffeinated
—Swiss Water being a natural decaffeination process (explained below.)
Chef Johannes says, “The choices where made based on quality, flavor, origin and balance of complexity, providing us with a coffee selection that pleases the broad palette of our respective guests.”
ROASTER DON REYNOLDS DISCUSSES THE CHARACTER OF THE SELECTED VARIETALS
Brazil Daterra Blue.
Daterra Farms is a remarkable force in the Brazilian coffee
world, and the entire coffee world in general. Here we find one of the most innovative coffee cultivators, where each step is scrutinized, rethought, reinvented. It is more of a coffee research
institute than a farm! Well, that's not true ... like all farms the coffee tree predominates, but here we have each plot marked off in terms of what "experiment" is currently being conducted to improve cup quality. When I visited there were plots of huge 20 foot tall "native" coffee trees, then pure Catuai cultivar
, Mundo Novo
and other cultivars I have never encountered. And then there were the old traditional cultivars, Typica
and pure Yellow Bourbon
. They blend the various plots, like a vintner might blend their grapes from within a farm, to get the desired results. They sell these blends (such as Sweet
Collection, Reserve, Santa Columba, etc.) but I usually prefer the pure Yellow Bourbon cultivar over the others. Interestingly, this year along with the Yellow Bourbon coffee, the Sweet Blue Daterra was a real standout.
The dry fragrance has strong almond character in the lighter roasts, and in darker roasts is a little turpeny and pungent as well, laced with bittersweet chocolate. The wet aroma is darkly sweet but also pungent and peppery. The lighter roasts are very syrupy and sweet. It has a mild blueberry note in the cup, but this is obscured quickly by chocolate roast notes, even as light as City+ roast. There is a nutty dryness throughout the roast spectrum, almond with that almond skin effect in the finish. Chocolate alkaloids create a pleasant bittering finish at full city roast level. It's not a super complex coffee, but has nicely integrated qualities, and the body has a nice slick, syrup texture. I will be testing some fairly light roast single origin espresso to see if I can coax that transitory berry note out of it. It's a very clean cup for a Brazil, and sweeter in general than the Yellow Bourbon lot we have offered.
Brazil Santos Swiss Water Decaf
This Brazil decaf cups nicely, showcasing typical Brazil notes of nut skin with well-balanced acidity and dried fruit sweetness. Roasting this coffee to full city brings out bittersweet cocoa and roasted peanuts in the dry aroma. More dark chocolate and sweeter nuts are released at infusion, culminating in raw almond, toasted grain, and cocoa nibs on the break. This is a surprisingly sweet cup, with a profile consisting of demerara sugar, toasted sesame and nut, and a note of dried stone fruit. There is a slight dryness up front, but not an unpleasant one. More like that of black tea. This is a really nice cup on its own and would also make a great backdrop to an espresso blend. The coffee is decaffeinated using the Swiss Water Process, which is a natural decaffeinating process.
Swiss Water Process
The Swiss Water process was originally developed in Switzerland in the 1930s and is now used commercially by The Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Company of Burnaby
, British Columbia
Green coffee beans can be immersed in water to extract their caffeine but this will also extract desirable oils and other solids from the bean resulting in less flavorful brewed coffee. The Swiss Water process method attempts to overcome this difficulty by using water saturated with these desirable coffee components thus reducing or eliminating their extraction during the decaffeination process. Water saturated in this way is referred to as green coffee extract or GCE. It is created using a separate batch of green coffee beans that are immersed in water and then discarded. The GCE is then filtered to remove only the caffeine from it. A fresh batch of green coffee beans are then immersed in the GCE to remove caffeine but retain other components. The process of filtering the GCE to remove caffeine and immersing the beans is repeated until the beans are 99.9% caffeine free by mass. This process takes 8 to 10 hours.
Chef Johannes says, “The Mountain Fresh coffee will be roasted to order to ensure the freshest coffee quality possible.”
High resolution photos available upon request.