La Marzocco Cafe News: March – Thank you Atlas Coffee Importers and Welcome Onyx Coffee Lab!

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of good coffee and inspiring education as we have hosted Atlas Coffee Importers at the La Marzocco Cafe. With just a week left in their residence, Atlas will introduce their third and final coffee menu on Tuesday, February 27, which explores coffees from the African Great Lakes Region. On Wednesday, February 28 at 3 pm come listen to a trip report that will focus on gender equality and coffee cooperatives in this region. A selection of coffees will be served including Congo Muungano, Burundi Shamba, and Rwanda Abakundakawa Hingakawa.

Then on Friday, March 2 at 10 am Atlas’s final event will feature some of their key producer partnerships in a coffee tasting and discussion on what it takes to communicate across time zones and cultural distances. Come taste and compare sample roasts received by Atlas to the roasts of Atlas customers, including Counter Culture, Coava, and Equator.

We are so humbled by the enthusiasm and hard work that Atlas poured into their residence. With just over one month to plan, they rolled out an impressive line-up of events, menus and signage that cohesively tells how Importers can bridge the gap between producers and consumers of coffee. Their passion for what they do as Importers is extremely evident and we are so appreciative to the entire Atlas team for all the work that went into their residence, and for the work they do each day. Special thanks goes to Atlas Founder Craig Holt and COO Jennifer Roberts for creating the opportunity, Chelsey Walker-Watson who’s hours of work and attention to detail made this residence run so smoothly, Drew Billups for taking on the role of Roaster and to each Atlas team member who helped with events, set up and take down. We are so grateful!

If you haven’t yet, stop by to taste Atlas’s coffees or attend a class – their menu will be served through March 5.

Next up, we’d like to welcome Onyx Coffee Lab out of Northwest Arkansas as our Roaster in Residence for the month of March!

Onyx Coffee Lab was born back in 2012 to husband and wife team, Jon and Andrea Allen. Onyx is a roaster and retailer with a simple mission – to source the best green coffees in the world, roast them to their fullest potential, and serve them prepared with love and humility. Jon and Andrea continue to oversee the quality and scope of every aspect of their business – from green buying to roasting to customer service – but they cultivate an environment where their staff can grow, learn and contribute.

“We love new things and are constantly pushing our sourcing, roasting, drink-making and service to meet customers where they are while reaching beyond what we think is possible. We never settle for good enough, and it’s evident in every cup. Seattle is America’s original coffee audience, and to have an opportunity to share our point of view on coffee and service to such a community is a dream.”  – Onyx Coffee Lab

Onyx’s menu will feature two coffee blends – Southern Weather, to be brewed via batch brew and Geometry as espresso. In addition, four single origin coffees will be offered, rotating weekly so guests will have the opportunity to try each coffee as both espresso and pour over. Onyx gets creative on their menu with drinks such as the Sprochata – espresso, horchata syrup, cinnamon and oat milk, and the Black Salt Mocha – Ecuadorian chocolate, black salt, espresso, and milk. As a sweet bonus, most drinks on the menu will be garnished with a small treat ranging from sugar cookies, to chocolate, to dehydrated orange slices.

To launch their residence, Onyx is hosting a latte art throwdown with a stacked line-up of sponsors, and a Southern-style crawfish boil. This is an invite-only event. To receive an invite, guests must be signed up for the La Marzocco Cafe Locals Newsletter. Latte art throwdown rules and information can be found here.

Be sure to follow along with us on Facebook and Instagram as we update all events and menu changes during Onyx’s residence.

We will begin serving Onyx Coffee on Tuesday, March 6.

La Marzocco Cafe News: February – Thank you Kickapoo Coffee and Welcome Atlas Coffee Importers

As we prepare for our next Resident at the La Marzocco Cafe, we’d like to remind our Partners that applications for our 2018-19 month-long residencies are due by 11:59 pm PST on February 15, 2018. We are eager to review each application and look forward to offering the Seattle community – and beyond – another year of exceptional coffee!

For the past month, we have been proud to serve coffee from Kickapoo Coffee Roasters. Kickapoo launched their residence with a laid-back latte art throwdown followed by a panel event that brought the important issue of farmer compensation to the forefront of conversation. We commend Kickapoo for their dedication to higher and fairer farmer compensation. Kickapoo’s signature drinks have delighted our palates and their coffee flights have challenged us to see how diverse coffee can be. We’re so grateful to owners, TJ Semanchin and Caleb Nicholes, as well as Jamie Lamonde, Alex Stoffregen, Scott Lucey and the entire Kickapoo team who worked so hard to implement this residence. Thank you!

Our next Resident, Atlas Coffee Importers, a Seattle based company celebrating 20 years in business will begin on Tuesday, February 13. Atlas has been instrumental to many of our past Residents throughout their green coffee buying process. Hosting them as a Resident will give us the opportunity to spotlight the work of an Importer and what that means in the world of specialty coffee.

Jennifer Roberts, COO at Atlas Coffee Importers states, “As Importers, much of our work is done behind the scenes and hidden from coffee consumers. In fact, importers play a critical role in the supply chain. We serve at various points as gate-keepers, advisors, match-makers, paper-pushers, financiers, negotiators and risk-managers. We are looking forward to stepping out from behind the curtain to share some of this important work with Seattle’s coffee-drinking community.”

Atlas will also be taking on the role of roaster during their residence! Drew Billups, Director of Education & Quality Control, will be roasting all of the coffee for service. They have curated a menu of coffees to highlight relationships with some of their favorite producers. Their own espresso blend, Rosebud, will be served throughout the residence, coupled with a selection of single origin coffees that will change weekly. For a little indulgence, the Plant Magic Affogato will be available – made with Rosebud Espresso poured over Frankie & Jo’s beloved Date Shake Ice Cream, it’s not to miss!

A full line-up of events and presentations have been planned throughout Atlas’s three week residence that will highlight the work that goes into the sourcing, logistics, and quality control work of Importers. We’ll see how an Importer works cohesively with coffee producers and roasters towards the collective goal of putting a delicious cup of coffee in the hands of consumers!

We highly recommend making plans to attend “Coffee and The Invisible Hand” on Saturday, February 17 at 9 AM. Author Dave Eggers will be present with his new book, The Monk of Mokha, an incredible true story of Mokhtar Alkhanshali’s mission to bring Yemen’s coffee to the United States and how Atlas helped him achieve it. Mokhtar will speak along with Craig Holt & Melissa Kelley from Atlas Coffee Importers, and cups of his coffee from Yemen will be available for purchase. Pictured below – a panel discussion that Mokhtar and Craig did in Yemen in 2014, when they first met.

More information about this and all events with Atlas Coffee Importers will be up on our Facebook Event Page and our Event Calendar.

With just one week left in their residence, be sure to come try Kickapoo Coffee’s menu. We’ll be serving it through Monday, February 12, and will then welcome Atlas Coffee Importers on Tuesday, February 13.

Exploring Uganda: A morning with Atlas Coffee Importers

La Marzocco USA

1553 NW Ballard Way, Seattle, WA, 98199

August 22, 2014 at 10:00 AM

To the east of Kenya and north of both Rwanda and Tanzania is Uganda, a coffee origin that you don’t commonly see on the shelves of your local cafe. When we think of East African coffees, our minds tend to focus on places like Ethiopia, and other more popular regions. However, La Marzocco USA is excited about the work our friends at Atlas Coffee Importers are doing to bring coffee from Uganda to our attention.

On August 22, we will host Atlas and some of their partners from Uganda. Speaking at the event will be Katherine Nolte of the NGO Twin. As their website mentions, Twin is a “pioneer and leader of the fair trade movement, working to build better lives for the poorest and more marginalized in the trading chain.”

Along with Katherine, we will also hear from Pascasie, one of the women who works for the Bukonzo Joint Cooperative in Uganda. Pascasie and Bukonzo are part of a program that focuses on the inclusion and participation of women within coffee communities. You can read more about this great project in Uganda here.

We will also be cupping and tasting eight different coffees from Uganda. The cupping will be led by Atlas’ cupping lab team, Drew Billups and Gavin Tull-Esterbrook. Cupping with Drew and Gavin is always a treat as it is guaranteed to be both delicious and very informative.

The presentation will start at 10 AM, sharp. Please RSVP for this event here. 

 

Bukonzo Joint Cooperative’s Story
In the spring of 2011, we received a sample from Bukonzo Joint and found a lot of unrealized potential in the coffee quality.  At the time they were just in the process of applying for Fair Trade and Organic certification and producing only natural (drugar) and farmer washed coffee.  We continued to correspond with the group for several months and eventually were able to partner with Twin to help manage our first purchases in early 2012.  The quality was lower than we had hoped but we saw a tremendous amount of dedication and responsiveness in this group that inspired us to continue our efforts.  We purchased coffee again in 2013 and saw a big improvement as the central washing stations started to come on line, but still had some problems with sorting and milling.  Again, the group was eager to hear how they could improve and acting on our feedback, our 2014 arrivals have been by far the best Ugandan coffees we have seen.

We are hoping to participate in their ongoing mission to bring more of the quality control and processing in-house by building out a larger warehouse/mill and on-site cupping lab.

Below: Atlas on a visit to Uganda

Bukonzo 1 Bukonzo 2

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