specialty coffee for the Berkshires and beyond
Tunnel City Coffee roasts its specialty coffee in small batches using different roasting techniques for each variety, from our lightly roasted Brazil Peaberry to deep and dark Sumatran. Finely tuning these specifications helps us to coax the potential flavors out of each coffee and let their best qualities shine.
It all starts with each coffee’s country of origin.
Where a coffee is grown affects taste just as much as anything else in the process. Two climates result in two different coffees, just like a Florida orange possesses different taste characteristics than a California orange.
The forested Yirgacheffe region in Ethiopia is responsible for some of the finest coffee in the world, and the Doi Pangkhon region in Thailand is now making strides in the coffee world with its mild climate and ideal growing conditions.
Farmers we trust
We choose coffees not only by taste, but also by their sustainability and effect on small coffee farmers. Tunnel City sources its coffee with regard to the small farmer who often does not produce enough coffee to afford the organic certification process. This farmer, however, takes care to produce coffee in a way that is sustainable, responsible and results in the best taste possible. We trust this farmer and love the coffee he produces, and we want to bring it to you.
Organic is a popular word in the food world today, and for good reason. With so much information available to us about the harmful effects of pesticides, we are wise to big corporations finding less than admirable shortcuts to producing their goods. We know exactly how each of the coffees we roast in small batches is grown and processed before arriving at our North Adams, MA roastery. We do our homework to find small farmers whose methods we trust and coffee we want to drink.
One of our favorite coffees to roast dark and feature at our shops is our Guatemalan Huehuetenango, produced by the Sustainable Coffee Association of Guatemala ASDECAFE. The organization is made up of individual farmers and cooperatives working together to safeguard small farms and family operations while producing some of the finest quality Arabica coffee in the world. ASDECAFE champions local job creation, business transparency and environmental conservation, thanks to its population of members of the maya-mam ethnicity, people deeply connected to protecting the earth. Coffee produced by ASDECAFE is certified Fair Trade Organic and a fine choice, which is why you'll find it in heavy rotation at our shops.
PART II—ROASTED IN THE BERKSHIRES
Once we receive a shipment of green (not yet roasted) coffee, we roast it as soon as possible to maintain optimal freshness. Roasting is all about knowing which flavors to extract in each coffee, and which to roast out. Just a few minutes in the oven leaves the sweet lemon and candied pecan flavor of our Brazil Peaberry intact. A lingering experience in the oven coaxes notes of roasted almond and dark chocolate to the surface in our Guatemalan Huehuetenango.
Part III—Grinding & Brewing
Grinding is one of the most crucial steps in preparing the best possible cup of coffee. Grinding too soon before brewing releases the gases inside each coffee bean, and with that, its signature flavor. The final step in the process is brewing. There are as many brew methods as varieties of coffee, and each of them serves a different purpose. The French press steeps coarse coffee grounds in hot water, leaving the oils intact to produce a richer flavor. The Chemex or other pour-over systems offer a simple way to brew a single cup with intense flavor and potency.
Ask our baristas about home brew methods, roasting techniques, our offerings, and anything else about Tunnel City Coffee that you would like to know more about.
Live far from the Berkshires? Start a conversation with us by emailing Sydney Lester at firstname.lastname@example.org.