Thursday, March 06, 2014

Tour of Joe Coffee Roastery in Red Hook

By: Amanda Neal
Professional Culinary Arts plus Farm-to-Table

As part of my Professional Culinary Arts plus Farm-to-Table program, my class is given the opportunity to go on field trips to get a better sense of individuals and companies who are passionate about farm-to-table practices. Our most recent trip was to Joe Coffee Roastery in Red Hook, Brooklyn. 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 transformed into delicious Joe Coffee. We also saw the massive coffee bean roaster they use for roasting their product. The roasting only takes approximately nine 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 smells the product almost every 30 seconds to ensure the coffee roasts accurately. We watched them make a batch, and the smell was nothing short of amazing. Once we saw this, we were given the opportunity to roast our own personal batch in a smaller roaster. We then took the beans, ground them up and sipped on a fresh hot cup of Joe from our own batch. It was one of the best cups of coffee I’ve ever tasted.

After we learned about roasting coffee beans, we did a tasting of the different beans they source to make Joe 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.

Learn more about Professional Culinary Arts plus Farm-to-Table here:

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