This past Thursday my farm to table classmates and I traveled to Red Hook in Brooklyn to tour Joe Coffee Roastery. This was one of many field trips we take throughout our program at ICC, viewing different individuals and companies passionate about their product and farm to table practices. I personally had never been to a coffee roastery before, so I was excited to see the process in action.
When we first arrived, we walked around the building and toured the facility. There were bags on top of more bags of coffee beans, waiting to be roasted, ground, and turned into delicious Joe’s Coffee. We also saw the massive coffee bean roaster they use for roasting their product. The roasting only takes approximately 9 minutes from start to finish, but it is very tedious to make sure all the beans are roasted evenly and at the correct temperature. The guy in charge of roasting the beans would smell the product almost every 30 seconds, making sure the coffee was roasting accurately. We saw them making a batch, and the smell was nothing short of amazing. Once we saw this, we got to roast our own personal batch in a smaller roaster. We then took the beans and ground them up and drank our own batch. It was one of the best cups of coffee I’ve ever tasted.
After we learned about roasting coffee beans, we got to do a tasting of the different beans they source to make Joe’s Coffee. The process of tasting coffee is called “cupping”, and it involves smelling the steeping coffee, then slurping the coffee from a spoon about three times. The louder and more aggressive you slurp, the more accurate tasting you achieve. It’s not an attractive process, but it’s what works best when tasting coffee. It was so interesting trying the different beans, comparing them and analyzing their specific taste. We were also feeling pretty great and energized by the time we finished!
The tour of Joe Coffee Roastery was an incredible experience. Learning how a green coffee bean from Columbia turns into a piping hot cup of joe was beyond interesting. I’m so glad we got to travel to the roastery as a class, and I’m looking forward to the field trips to come.