Costa Rica Chacón Black Diamond: Roaster Series Coffee #6

Category Archive: Coffee

Costa Rica Chacón Black Diamond: Roaster Series Coffee #6

Posted by on September 2, 2022

Oscar and Francisca Chacón are third-generation coffee producers committed to quality and innovation. They are among the very first farmers in Costa Rica to produce Honey and Natural process specialty coffee.

In 2005, they joined the brand-new “micromill revolution” and bought their own depulper to have more control over the quality and the price they received for their lots. “At first, we didn’t know what we were doing,” Oscar explains. “We were just experimenting.” That experimentation led to some of the most exciting new flavor profiles they had ever tasted. Now, the Chacóns produce a wide range of Honey process coffees, modulating the drying time in order to create different effects in the cup.

In 2008 an earthquake wiped out water and electricity to their area mid-harvest. Unable to run the depulpers or wash the mucilage off to produce Washed lots, Francisca took inspiration from her knowledge of African coffee production and quickly built raised beds on the property.

These days, Las Lajas focuses on several variations of both Honey and Natural process:

  • Yellow Honey: Coffee is turned hourly on raised beds for a few days, then transferred to a greenhouse and turned regularly.
  • Red Honey: Coffee is turned several times a day and dried for longer in the greenhouse.
  • Black Honey: Coffee is turned once a day.
  • Perla Negra Natural: Coffee dries directly in the sun for 10 days, rotating constantly, and then is transferred to bags and left for 2–3 days before being moved to raised beds.
  • Alma Negra: Drying starts in the greenhouse for a few days. Then it is brought to the greenhouse and piled up at night and moved to the raised beds during the sunshine hours.

Perhaps most notable is their Black Diamond process. What makes this different from the rest is the drying process. It is still a honey process, but the drying period takes anywhere from 15 to 22 days. They begin with rigorous harvesting standards, followed by depulping, and then dried with superficial humidity for one day on raised beds.

The beans are then moved from raised beds to the drying patio. This process takes more attention than the rest of their honeys because of the slow drying process. They need to constantly check the temperature and movement of the beans to avoid heating. The goal is slow dehydration, much slower than usual, as to not allow the temperature to rise suddenly. Oscar explains the inspiration for the process came from the way coffee seeds are dried for nurseries. Slowly drying them without compromising the embryo. Avoiding high temperatures allows the sugars of the mucilage to cold crystal, producing a sweeter, more clear, and bright coffee with the Diamond process.

We love this coffee for its delicate balance of decadent brownies, rooibos tea aromatics, and raspberry-like sweetness. We’re delighted to share this coffee with you!

This coffee is the sixth release in our Roaster Series, sourced and roasted by our head roaster Daniel Lopez. Check out our Roaster Series page to learn more about this project!

Rwanda Sholi Washed & Natural Coffees

Posted by on June 1, 2022

The Abateraninkunga ba Sholi cooperative (meaning ‘mutual assistance’) was originally established in 2008 by 30 women and received official recognition in 2013. In 2014 they received funding to build their own washing station, and in 2015 received their Fair Trade certification. Today the cooperative is made up of 400 farms, 3 washing stations, and 451 members, 196 of which are women.

In 2016 the cooperative received a grant to build a community center and a health center to serve its members and other local residents. The nearest hospital is over 45 minutes away on poor roads, so services for things such as malaria, parasites, pregnancy check-ups, and basic first aid that the health center can provide are invaluable. The community center also provides education on nutrition, cooking, and gardening in order to combat childhood malnutrition.

In November 2019, members of our team traveled to Sholi with our partners at Atlas Coffee Importers. They cupped their coffees and toured one of the processing stations, a farm, warehouse, and the health and community centers and formed lasting relationships along the way. We’re excited and proud to offer this exceptional coffee that has done so much for the community from where it hails. As one of our newest relationship coffees, we are taken with its dark fruit characteristics mixed in with the classic base of spices and deep sweetness that the region is known for. Innovative thinking, attention to detail, and great growing conditions point to a very bright future, indeed.

We’re thrilled to present these two similar (but definitely different) Fair Trade specialty coffees, side-by-side. Both of these coffees are the same varietal, from the same farming cooperative, harvested at the same time, but they’ve been processed in very different ways, to give each its own wonderfully distinct flavors and attributes.

The Rwanda Sholi Washed has a buttery mouthfeel, with croissant and figgy pastry characteristics, paired with a base of spices and chocolate sweetness that the region is known for. The Rwanda Sholi Natural, by contrast, was processed in a naturally drying style, which results in a fuller, more syrupy body than the Washed.

This Natural has comforting raisin cereal flavors, topped with the airy citrus of lemongrass tea and delightfully tart and sweet berry notes. We hope that by tasting these two cups together, coffee lovers can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for coffee processing, and also for the incredible coffees coming out of Rwanda!

New Signature Coffees from Frothy Monkey Roasting Company

Posted by on May 11, 2022

The Signature Coffee line at Frothy Monkey is getting a facelift and new additions.

Introducing two new members of the Frothy Monkey Roasting Company’s Signature Coffee line – Howler and Midshift. We can’t wait to get these two coffees in your hands or in your cup! Patience and lots of #FrothyLove was poured into the creation of these additions to the Frothy Monkey family of coffees. We’re proud to offer a new espresso roast and half caff option to our customers in our Nashville, Franklin, and Chattanooga cafes, Coffee Perks members, and to our wholesale and online customers. 

As a part of this new launch, we’ve also revamped our Signature Coffee Bag Designs and renamed some Frothy classics. French is now Brute, and Unwind is now Eventide! Read on to find out more about these exciting updates.

New Signature Coffees

Howler – An Elevated Espresso Roast

12South has been our workhorse coffee for drip, espresso and cold brew for many years. Once we started using Cold Brew blend for our kegged and canned Frothy Monkey Cold Brew Coffee, it wasn’t long before we set our sights on developing a coffee specifically for espresso. 

We started with a natural Brazil and a washed Peruvian coffee. Because coffee availability changes seasonally, the blend will change over time but retain the same tasting notes. Our goal was to create a chocolatey and smooth taste profile with subtle fruit notes. We roasted it specifically for a more balanced, approachable shot that decreases the sharp acidic and bitter notes we tasted while brewing other coffees as espresso. What we created is a smooth experience that pairs perfectly with milk. 

The roasting development for Howler took about a month, and was made in small test batches. It challenged our roaster’s and came with a lot of trial and error while we dialed in the correct ratios. These tests included experiments in blending the coffee beans pre-roast or post-roast, ratio variance, and roast time. The process was drawn out further because each batch needed rest for 5-7 days before our roasters could taste the product. 

Now that ratios are dialed in and larger batches can be roasted, we have already started serving Howler in our espresso drinks at Frothy Monkey cafes in Nashville, Franklin, and Chattanooga. If you’re a regular and you recognize the taste of your favorite 12South coffee, you may have noticed! The main difference is that Howler is less acidic, but still so delicious. Because Howler is roasted “lower and slower” it reduces that acidic punch and blends well with your favorite milk option or provides a smoother experience on its own. 

So, why “Howler” you say? Naming this espresso blend was so fun. We tried some word play with Nashville being the Music City, but things like “harmony” and “melody” didn’t fit. We played with location titles and street names and ultimately leaned into our name. So how can we use a monkey name in a cool and modern way? 

When someone threw out “Howler Monkey”, we loved it. Ironically, Howler monkeys are native to Central & South America where a lot of our coffees are imported from and it was a great way to convey the  energy espresso gives you with an expressive “howl”. Our production team members have even started “howling” every time we roast a batch.

Midshift – A Half Caff Coffee Blend

We’re ecstatic to bring a new half caff option to the line of Frothy Monkey Signature Coffees. Without sacrificing flavor and quality, we developed Midshift to offer a more low-key experience for those who want a little afternoon kick, or coffee to sip on through the whole day.

Our friends in the specialty coffee industry inspired and supported us through the development of our half caff roast. Our partnership with Swiss Water Decaf had already produced great results in our Eventide decaf roast and gave us the confidence to pursue a half caff option. 

We used our chemical-free, decaf Swiss Water Process coffee and blended it with a washed Ethiopian coffee. The bright and juicy flavor components of the Ethiopian, balanced out the darker cocoa notes from the Swiss Water Decaf. 

We combine both coffees in a 50/50 blend, after roasting and cooling them separately. This is why you may notice some color differences amongst the beans when you open a bag of Midshift. 

For the name we wanted to evoke the feeling of shifting gears, not fully slowing down, and not ramping yourself up. That afternoon coffee that will get you through the day without keeping you up at night. This coffee is perfect for the folks who are caffeine sensitive, but still want to enjoy a really tasty cup with a little more kick than a full decaf. We also found it to taste amazing with fruit forward desserts, like strawberry pie!

New Names for Old Classics

French is now, Brute!

French Roast has been a staple in the Frothy Monkey Signature line for some time now, and we couldn’t be more proud of how delicious it is. It’s perfect in its approachability and its lovely dark and lucious qualities. By renaming this roast, we wanted to ensure pre-conceptions about French roasted coffee weren’t a concern for consumers and make the bold, full-bodied profile take center stage. We aren’t changing the formula, just the name. 

Brute’s new bold, black look really represents the coffee’s flavor profile. Brute also is a little cheeky in its French reference to the gorilla, ‘la brute’, and ironically named after the “Brute” buckets we use to transfer or store coffee throughout the roasting process.  

Unwind is now, Eventide!

Don’t worry, if you were a big fan of Unwind, this is the same product! With a different name. Nashville’s favorite decaf coffee just got a little facelift. 

While taking the time to reassess the Signature Coffee line design and name, we could see a pattern emerging among the coffees. If you think about the coffee line in the context of our all day-cafes, you can see a pattern emerge for a full-day of coffee. Start your day with the Howler or 12South and get a sip in the mid-day with Brunch or Brute. Midshift is perfect for a mid-afternoon kick, and now Eventide will be your non-caffeinated evening (or anytime) sip when you want that delicious coffee flavor.

Seeing the new line together, the half caff and decaf needed a bit more differentiation, so the name Eventide was proposed. It’s a bit of a nod to nautical language for “evening”, but really a good example of when you’re in the groove, no caffeine needed, and just need a little something to enjoy during “smooth sailing”. Unwinding looks different to everyone and coffee might not fit in to that picture, so this new name should give consumers a bit more context to this friendly roast. 

We have been waiting for this day to arrive and we are proud to reveal our updated line of signature coffees from Frothy Monkey Roasting Co! We would love to hear your thoughts and welcome your feedback. Take a look at the full line up in our online store!

Want to learn more about the new design? Keep your eyes peeled for a post coming soon on the minds behind the new look for Frothy Monkey Roasting Company Signature Coffees.

Local Nashville Cold Brew Coffee

Posted by on May 2, 2022

The only cold brew coffee roasted, brewed and canned in Nashville, TN.

Why is our Cold Brew So Good?

Locally Roasted Specialty Grade Coffee

No matter what you’re brewing, baking, or cooking the quality of ingredients makes a difference! At Frothy Monkey, we prioritize quality – in experience and in products. In order to bring you the best cup, we only roast and brew specialty grade coffee. This includes any of our cold brew, signature coffees, blends and specialty series coffees.

Coffee beans, just like many other food products, are graded depending on their quality. Specialty grade coffee is the highest bean classification. When coffee is graded, professionals look for consistencies in features like bean shape, size, and ripeness. The more defects in each batch, the lower grade it is given. 

Because higher grade coffee requires more care and attention to produce, we have the opportunity to build working relationships with farmers and purveyors that share similar core values, to Frothy. When sourcing our green coffee, we focus on partnering with farmers who practice sustainable farming, fair-trade practices, and unique farming or drying methods. 

Ripe Coffee Fruit
Mature coffee plant being harvested
Roasted whole bean coffee

Locally Produced Cold Brew

While coffee is not a Tennessee crop, it is the home to the roasting, brewing, canning, and distribution of Frothy Monkey Cold Brew! Our product is the only cold brew coffee who’s entire production is done here in Nashville. Of course, we couldn’t do it without our partnership with Jackalope Brewing, who brew and can each can at their brewery right here in Nashville. 

You can find Frothy Monkey cold brew at your favorite cafe, and a participating Kroger near you! To make it easy to locate, we’ve created a cold brew locator map. Take a peek at our location pages or locator map to find fresh cans in your neighborhood. 

How It’s Brewed

The process of making cold brew coffee is different from quick brewing methods requiring hot water.  General brewing guidelines for coffee and tea suggest the higher the water temperature, the less time it takes to extract the best flavor. Because brewing cold brew coffee steeps in lower temp water, it requires more time. 

Cold Brew creates a slightly different flavor profile because the solubles from the grounds are extracted slower. Many people comment that cold brew is smoother, less bitter, and sometimes more sweet than a typical drip brewing method. 

There’s a lot of fun science involved in brewing and our Frothy Monkey Roasting Company friends are more than happy to go more in depth about the geeky, albeit cool, chemistry behind it. It’s chemistry and science, and it’s delicious!

Cold Brew Coffee is Great for Most Diets

Need to Stick to Your Diet Plan? 

Hot and Humid days call for something refreshing and energizing, but many beverage options are loaded with sugar or calories. Grab a can of Frothy Monkey cold brew to enjoy a refreshing sip without worry of breaking your diet! 

Cold Brew is naturally calorie, sugar, and gluten free, which makes it ideal for vegan, paleo, keto, and gluten-free diets. Coffee is also 0 points for Weight Watchers and fits seamlessly into those who follow a mediterranean diet.

Canned Cold Brew Coffee is a Great Travel Partner

Anywhere you can go, cold brew can go, too! The convenience of cold brew cans makes opportunities to enjoy, endless. When packed in a backpack or cooler, don’t forget the ice or cool packs to keep your cold brew fresh. Because cold brew is not carbonated, you won’t have to worry about our product going flat.

Imagine reaching the summit of your favorite hike and cracking open a can to cool down. Maybe you need something refreshing during a long bike ride or a little pick me up to hide in the stroller on a family walk. We see you parents out there! 

Coffee’s natural caffeine is a great alternative to energy drinks pumped with artificial sweeteners and flavors. Grab a can or 4-pack before your favorite activity and you’ll be ready to rumble. If you’re close to a cafe, you can always stop in for a cold brew when you dine in or to go! Because most of our cafes have a patio and are close to a neighborhood park, you’re only a few steps away from enjoying your brew in the sunshine. 

How to Brew Cold Brew Coffee at Home 

While we love seeing your face in our cafe, we understand not all morning routines can accommodate an extra stop. If you’re craving cold brew in your morning routine we can help! To stock up for the week, visit your local cafe on Mondays for $4 off 4-packs of cold brew coffee cans. You can also locate the closest Cold Brew retail partner by using the Cold Brew Coffee Locator Map!

If you want to take matters into your own hands, it’s easy to brew at home! With our Cold Brew Coffee Brewing Guide and a bag of our Cold Brew Blend, you’ll be a few steps closer to building your morning bev like a professional. 

Brazil Serra Do Cabral Tropical Microlot Coffee

Posted by on March 23, 2022

We’re always thrilled to offer new, exciting coffees from one of our oldest partners at Ecoagrícola, and this new “tropical natural fermentation” processed coffee is definitely one of those. Full and nutty and mouth-coating, reminiscent of walnut butter, this coffee features the ample sugariness of nougat and malted chocolate, all under the wonderful top-note-fruitiness of rich grape preserves. 

This tropical microlot coffee is another perfect snapshot of Brazil’s future in groundbreaking specialty coffee and we couldn’t be more honored to be roasting it. Our friends at Ecoagrícola in the Serra do Cabral, who are pioneers in developing revolutionary coffees, have delivered this wonderfully different and amazing taste profile.

Ecoagrícola is a specialty coffee grower and exporter, being the pioneer and exclusive producer at one of Brazil´s most regarded origins, the Serra do Cabral, in Minas Gerais. They pursue a legacy of outstanding sustainable work, with large nature reserves, rich and protected bioma, springs and waterfalls. They’ve farmed these lands since the 1970’s, mostly in forestry, and started to grow coffee in 2006, achieving a high quality and sustainable production. During this journey, they were able to partner with amazing specialty roasters from all around the globe and achieve many quality and sustainability awards, such as three Cup of Excellence and RainForest Alliance prizes.

Papua New Guinea Baroida Estate

Posted by on March 1, 2022

The Baroida Plantation, located in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, was founded by Ben Colbran in the 1960’s. Ben first purchased the land from a native man named Taro & they were amongst the first people to cultivate crops in these valleys. In 1965, the government encouraged the early settlers to start growing coffee as a long term sustainable crop. Ben, with the Baroida Plantation, started to plant coffee trees, becoming one of the first coffee producers and exporters of the Eastern Highlands.

Like the spirit of Baroida, the Colbran Family is now in its third generation, with Ben’s son Nickel and grandson Chris running not only the Baroida plantation, but sourcing coffee from throughout a vast supply chain network of both estate and smallholder growers around them.

The Baroida plantation sits at the apex of the Lamari River Valley and Mount Jabarra range. The plantation itself sits at about 5,550 ft above sea level, amongst thousands of hectares of cleared land with former colonial coffee estates surrounding them (now run by native landowners) and flanked by mountains (up to 7,500ft) filled with smallholder coffee producers. After some 50 years working with the estate and smallholder producers of this region; providing extension & agronomy services in the early years and more recently by building roads, bridges, schools and runways, the people of the Lamari Valley have built an enormous respect for the Colbran family as well as finding well needed markets for their coffee.

Baroida produces about 200 tons of export quality coffee each season; this is without question one of the finest and most unique single estate coffee you will get in PNG. This particular washed coffee has a wonderfully earthy but effervescent tea flavor, reminiscent of a nice clean oolong. It has papaya-esque tropical fruit sweetness and a juicy mouthfeel, followed by the warming, complex aftertaste of tomato jam and baking spices. This PNG is wild and adventurous, but also smooth & sweet, and it’s the perfect eye-opening coffee for the burgeoning coffee connoisseur. 

El Salvador La Cumbre Pacamara Natural Coffee

Posted by on February 24, 2022

At first sip, a cup of this Pacamara hits you with the crisp, bright malic acidity of a fuji apple. Then, it deepens into rich dark cherry and sweet brownie notes, leaving you with a complex and adventurous coffee experience.

Sourced from the same farm as our El Salvador Red Bourbon, Finca La Cumbre, this coffee is carefully hand-picked and processed naturally, giving it resounding fruit flavors and exciting levels of depth and body. You might notice larger, less-dense beans than you’re used to. These are indicative of the Pacamara variety. Big and hollow, but full of flavor!

Emilio López Díaz and family

Finca La Cumbre comes from the highest portion of Emilio López Díaz’s family farm, El Manzano. They’re at the forefront of experimenting with new processes and cultivars in El Salvador, and we’re so honored to be able to roast this extraordinarily clean red bourbon for you!

Ethiopia Suke Quto Pulped Natural

Posted by on February 3, 2022

Through the innovative farming and processing initiatives at his Suke Quto farm, Testfaye Bekele has been one of the folks largely responsible for putting Guji specialty coffee on the map. 

Tesfaye Bekele, the founder of Suke Quto Farm

While the Guji zone was dominated by cattle farmers, he sought new ways to make coffee popular in Guji. “I don’t consider myself to be a coffee farmer, because coffee is everything to me. All my time and energy are placed into the beans that I harvest and process.” Tesfaye Bekele explains.

At the Suke Quto Washing Station, the washed coffees are pulped with an Agared machine. This is a pulper that has no mucilage remover. The coffee beans are fermented for about 35-48 hours (depending on the current weather) in fermentation tanks. There are three lagoons to store the wastewater. Suke’s natural coffees are dried between 9 and 15 days on elevated beds.

Tesfaye focuses on environmentally friendly coffee and on the economic growth of the community. In other words, people should get a living income from sustainable coffee production. Tesfaye also initiated a community project that aims to renew local schools. With a handful of dedicated coffee roasters, Tesfaye has built a new school building in the neighboring village Kurume.

This pulped natural offering is another testament to Suke Quto’s wildly successful approach to the crop they love. Sort of a mix between traditional washed and natural processes, this coffee has all of the beloved attributes commonly found in both styles, while boasting the incredible regional notes from the Guji zone. Fruit-forward while still being mellow and richly sweet, we taste lots of apricot and stone fruit with a bit of melon, plus cane sugar and confectionary sweetness, followed by the satisfyingly smooth finish of black tea.

It’s a wonderfully balanced array of different attributes, and we’re thrilled to once again offer you this exceptional coffee from one of our favorite producers.

Love Letter: Limited Edition Coffee Blend

Posted by on February 3, 2022

Love is in the air at Frothy Monkey, and we’re celebrating the best way we know how!

This Valentine’s Day our roasters have concocted a delightfully indulgent coffee blend, pairing our fruity & full-bodied Natural Ethiopia Tiqiset Wakqo with a sweet & smooth Washed Guatemala, resulting in a voluptuously chocolatey, strawberry treat. 

Perfect for an intimate, intentional pour-over or for a morning-after automatic drip brewer, our Love Letter blend is sure to be a cup of coffee you’ll swoon over. We’ve even made the Love Letter coffee bag “to/from” customizable, just like classic Valentine’s Day cards of old, and a perfect gift for the valentine / galentine / palentine in your life. We’ll happily hand-write names on the “to/from” lines before we ship it out. 

Order by Tuesday, 2/8 to ensure arrival by Valentine’s Day!

Our coffee roasting team in Nashville operates on caffeine and good jams and they’ve compiled an extensive and eclectic playlist to enjoy while sipping Love Letter!

El Salvador La Cumbre Red Bourbon Coffee

Posted by on December 17, 2021

Chocolatey and buttery, yet citrusy and vibrant, this fully washed El Salvador Red Bourbon is deeply complex while still being approachable to novice coffee tasters. We love it for its incredible balancing act, keeping its richly layered notes of orange and red fruit in harmony with the classic nutty toffee and milk chocolate attributes that make El Salvadorian coffees so satisfying.

Finca La Cumbre comes from the highest portion of Emilio López Díaz’s family farm, El Manzano. They’re at the forefront of experimenting with new processes and cultivars in El Salvador, and we’re so honored to be able to roast this extraordinarily clean red bourbon for you!

Frothy Monkey