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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.

Uptown Tunnel hosts poetry night with WordxWord April 20

Uptown Tunnel hosts poetry night with WordxWord April 20

A lot of poetry is born and raised in coffee shops. Join WordXWord and Tunnel City Coffee on April 20 at 6:30pm to celebrate National Poetry Month. What better way to honor the art of words than to surround ourselves with coffee and literature? 

Poets hoping to read at the event should pre-register to guarantee a spot. Those who recite a poem related to the theme of coffee or cafe culture automatically enter into a raffle to win a $50 Tunnel City Coffee gift card.

Baristas will serve samples of Tunnel City’s small-batch specialty coffee roasted at its new Norad Mill facility in North Adams, MA, and a just-launched menu of hot and cold specialty mocktails. Full-sized mocktails like lavender lemonade and Mexican spiced mocha will be available to order at the event, as well as the shop's traditional espresso and tea creations. 

Berkshires-based poet community WordxWord will be featured at this special evening of poetry alongside Tunnel City at Uptown Tunnel Coffee, located at 81 Spring St. in downtown Williamstown, MA.  

Tunnel City Coffee runs three shops in the northern Berkshires, one inside Mass MoCA, another inside the Williams College bookstore and its flagship shop on Spring St. in Williamstown. Tunnel City operates its own roasting facility inside the historic Norad Mill of North Adams. To learn more about Tunnel City Coffee, stop in or contact Sydney Lester at sydneylester@tunnelcitycoffee.com/. 

Uptown Tunnel Coffee launches mocktails and Vinyl Night with Toonerville Trolley Records

Uptown Tunnel Coffee launches mocktails and Vinyl Night with Toonerville Trolley Records

Tunnel City Coffee welcomes the public to escape cabin fever with an evening of great coffee and great music at its newest Williamstown cafe, Uptown Tunnel Coffee at 81 Spring St., on February 24 from 6-8pm.   

Uptown will launch its first menu of specialty mocktails during Vinyl Night, which will become part of Uptown’s permanent offerings. Williamstown staple Toonerville Trolley will also sell records from its collection, as owner Hal March works to sell off most of the precious vinyl he’s amassed over the years.

Coffee and vinyl go hand in hand, so it was only a matter of time before they came together at Uptown Tunnel Coffee.

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Folks joining in on Vinyl Night will find punk, free jazz, reggae and industrial noise records for sale. March prides himself on offering music for every kind of listener, from heavy grunge to soft jazz. Like thoughtfully prepared specialty coffee, there is a unique and valuable quality to a vinyl record that other music media cannot match.

“A collector wants a record because it’s unique,” says March. “It’s not just the music. It's the entire package; the cover, the nostalgia—these records are historic.”

With such a deep appreciation for music in the northern Berkshires, as shown by the annual Solid Sound Festival, FreshGrass Festival and the powerful presence of jazz, chamber and world music at Williams College, Uptown Tunnel Coffee looks forward to celebrating our collective history in vinyl with local musicians and music disciples.

“Maybe those who attend will pick up a new record and expand their horizons a little bit,” said Tunnel City Coffee barista and vinyl lover Ian Everhart. “I really like that this is a collaboration of different small businesses in the Berkshires. We’re all small businesses and there’s no reason we can’t all work together to improve our area and create things for people to do.”

For more information visit the Facebook event page

 

Tunnel City opens new roastery in historic Norad Mill

Tunnel City opens new roastery in historic Norad Mill

Tunnel City Coffee finds a new home for its roasting operation in the newly renovated and deeply historic Norad Mill in North Adams, MA. The new location provides more room for Tunnel City to roast its specialty coffee and create offices for marketing, human resources and professional development.

Along with moving its roastery to the Norad Mill, Tunnel City’s recent expansion includes opening its third cafe, Uptown Tunnel, inside in the Williams College bookstore. 

“Our new space at the Norad Mill will become Tunnel City’s primary location for teaching staff about alternative brewing methods, coffee production and espresso techniques,” says Tunnel City Coffee owner Paul Lovegreen. “We’re extremely excited to move into a community of artists, craftspeople, small manufacturers and entrepreneurs at the Norad Mill.” 

Building on history
The oldest industrial mill in town, the Norad employed several thousands of people in the late 1800s and was operated by the Adams Woolen Company and Crane Co, among others. New owner and Berkshires native David Moresi looks to dust off the cobwebs of this significant piece of North Adams history. “The history of the Norad Mill inspires my desire to grow opportunity for the people and economy of North Adams,” says Moresi.  “It used to be a driving economic engine back in 1863, and we want to bring that mill town spirit back.” 

For a town built on forward-thinkers and tireless work, breathing life back into the old Norad Mill is a direct representation of the kind of positive change happening in North Adams.

“Lots of people in the community were employed at the Norad Mill, and we are already seeing job growth within businesses here,” says Moresi. “It reminds us that our history can bring us into the 21st century as a thriving city.” 

Opportunity in the Berkshires  
Tunnel City Coffee employs young professionals, artists, musicians, photographers and individuals interested in learning the art of roasting, brewing and serving specialty coffee. It is a community in itself, a microcosm of a town like North Adams or Williamstown.

“There are so many good people in this community who want to work, and we lose something when we don’t provide jobs for them,” says Lovegreen. “By moving into the Norad Mill, we hope to create even more jobs for people who are tech savvy, skilled in graphics or marketing, or don’t necessarily fit into the service industry—Our young people don’t necessarily have to move away anymore.” 

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Tunnel City’s reach now extends to three stores in Williamstown and North Adams.

Spirit of the mill town
“With Tunnel City, we are working towards bringing back the spirit of North Adams with small manufacturing,” says Moresi. “We are growing a community of diverse and growing businesses that can come together and compliment each other.”  

By tapping into the energy of passionate people actively involved in making their community better, both Tunnel City Coffee and Moresi and Associates hope to create a positive culture of growth and forward movement for the town of North Adams and beyond. 

“Being in an actual mill, you are surrounded by people who are interested in what they’re doing, and it’s fun to be in that environment,” says Lovegreen. “People here leave work and lead interesting lives, and their jobs make them even more interesting. I love being surrounded by that passion.” 

Norad Mill owner David Moresi of Moresi and Associates and Tunnel City Coffee owner Paul Lovegreen in Tunnel City Coffee’s new space at Norad Mill. Photo by Sydney Lester   

Norad Mill owner David Moresi of Moresi and Associates and Tunnel City Coffee owner Paul Lovegreen in Tunnel City Coffee’s new space at Norad Mill. Photo by Sydney Lester

 

Tunnel City: Now Serving Sweetwood Retirement Community

Tunnel City: Now Serving Sweetwood Retirement Community

Local partnership evolves out of residents’ regular trips to coffee shop

WILLIAMSTOWN — May 22, 2017 — One way to make residents feel at home at Sweetwood of Williamstown Retirement Living Community is for them to get their favorite coffee without having to drive to get to it. That’s why Tunnel City Coffee now serves residents coffee and pastries in their Sweetwood Café.

On the first floor of Sweetwood, directly across from the front entrance, a variety of homemade pastries and different blends of Tunnel City Coffee will be offered on a daily basis. The coffee will also be available during select events hosted by the community.

The demand was apparent when administrators noticed how many residents and how often they get together at the Spring Street coffee shop. While the staff enjoys seeing the same round table occupied by six to eight gentlemen enjoying a cup of specialty coffee every morning at 11 a.m., the group now has the opportunity do so in their own living quarters.

About Sweetwood Retirement Living Community:

Sweetwood of Williamstown, located in Williamstown Massachusetts, is situated in a quaint and renowned arts and education community in the spectacular Berkshires. It is an assisted living facility that offers one and two bedroom apartments with full kitchens, large bedrooms and walk-in closets with a flagstone patio, a greenhouse and a 24-hour on-site health center. Sweetwood is more than a retirement community — it is home. Sweetwood is located at 1611 Cold Spring Road in Williamstown. For more information call (413) 458-8371 or visit sweetwoodliving.com.

About Tunnel City Coffee:

Tunnel City Coffee has been pulling espresso shots in the small college town of Williamstown since 1992. Along with making top quality espresso drinks, Tunnel City is known for roasting specialty sustainable green coffee in the Berkshires with trails, streams and timeless vistas as a backdrop. Beans are purchased from various developing regions and grown by small farmer owned cooperatives and selected for its above average quality — sold by the pound or brewed in the energy and vibrancy of Spring Street. The company is also a purveyor of pastries made daily in its scratch bakery.

Over the past 25 years, the company has grown in sales, location and employee base. With the addition of a cafe on the MASS MoCA campus, Tunnel City Coffee will begin serving beverages out of the new Spring Street Bookstore in the fall.

For more information and to learn more about retail and wholesale opportunities, visit TunnelCityCoffee.com or call (413) 458-5010.

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