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Uptown Tunnel Coffee

Celebrating connections in specialty coffee

Celebrating connections in specialty coffee

Learning coffee origins through farmer-roaster relationships

This is an exciting time for specialty coffee roasters because of our deepening relationships with the farmers who produce our coffee. Our connection with farmers is a crucial partnership built on trust and trying new things to achieve great results, and what we do would not be possible if not for the growers.

The Triunfo Verde Co-op in Jaltenango, Mexico grows coffee that thrives in the lush climate of the Triunfo Biosphere Reserve.

The Triunfo Verde Co-op in Jaltenango, Mexico grows coffee that thrives in the lush climate of the Triunfo Biosphere Reserve.

With these stronger relationships come transparency and traceability, which allow us to to learn the story behind each coffee before we roast it. Our Mexico Jaltenango Chiapas is a microlot coffee produced by the Triunfo Verde Coop, whose farmland is situated near the largest cloud forest in mesoamerica, an ideal growing climate for coffee. In Chalatenango, El Salvador, farmer Jose Armando Portillo grows coffee that we love for its balance of bright citrus and sweet, creamy flavors. We know that he comes from a long line of coffee farmers with traditions so powerful that they have “coffee in their blood.” These are the farmers we want to support, who take care of their natural environments and fold coffee farming deep into their family histories.

This knowledge informs the decisions we make while roasting, from differences in farming and processing techniques to climate and experiences with roasting past lots from farmers. Though roasting is an incredibly important part of the process, appropriate brewing techniques ensure that we realize the true potential of every coffee. Baristas at our newest coffee bar, Uptown Tunnel Coffee, prepare all drip coffee as individually brewed pour overs to bring out the best possible flavors in each cup. With this slower, manual brew, we can more easily pick out the flavors that make each coffee special, and start dialogues with customers about the stories behind our coffee.

With coffee consumers increasingly interested in where their coffee comes from, attention shifts to coffee farmers and their individual stories, as well as the growing techniques that make their crops unique. Specialty coffee today feels like a celebration of coffee and its providers, connecting us all in a way not previously possible. We are proud of its evolution so far and excited to be part of where it is headed.

Welcoming wellness with superfood lattes

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Welcoming wellness with superfood lattes

Health food should be an enjoyable everyday habit and not something you have to force yourself to like. This rules out the cardboard granola bar with tooth-cracking flecks and seeds from all walks of life. Something with antioxidant-rich organic spices would hold our attention, which is why we launched Saku wellness lattes at Uptown Tunnel Coffee in Williamstown, MA.

Saku wellness lattes are made with organic spices like turmeric, beetroot and matcha.

Saku wellness lattes are made with organic spices like turmeric, beetroot and matcha.

We chose these latte blends for taste, but all three three healthy varieties—turmeric, beetroot and matcha—are superfoods with near magic powers. They can be prepared hot or iced, and customers get the full benefit of the organic spices in either choice.

The turmeric in Saku’s Golden Orange latte contains circumin, an anti-inflammatory powerhouse used as a medicine in eastern cultures for centuries. Indonesians drink it every day with ginger, honey and lemon as the homemade health tonic jamu. In Hindu culture, turmeric is considered a sacred spice. The Ruby Ginger and Ruby Cocoa lattes contain heart-protective beetroot, which also provides a healthy dose of vitamins A, C and folic acid. Warming cocoa and sweet coconut milk make both beetroot lattes perfect for an end of day indulgence. Vanilla Maple Jade is packed with antioxidants from matcha and tastes more like a cozy hot chocolate than an immune boosting superfood.

Saku wellness lattes at Uptown Tunnel Coffee are definitely a win for those seeking a beverage with complex flavors and good for you super-spices. Maybe someday, all health food will taste this good. Until then, we’re steering clear of sawdust squares posing as granola bars.

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