Varietals, Blends and Roast Levels
By Roaster Philip Grant
Varietals The word "Varietal" in coffee culture refers to a specific country and region within that country; it is not a blend of two or more coffees. CPR offers the following varietals from the great coffee-growing countries of the world: Columbia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Java, Sumatra, and the world beyond!
CPR purchases the freshest green Arabica coffee beans, mainly from the above countries; but most importantly, we purchase what cups best from our brokers. Being a micro-roaster, we buy less than ten bags of any varietal on any particular order (unlike larger coffee dealers who purchase 50-100 bags of one varietal).
Mike and I frequently travel to the San Francisco Bay area and cup these coffees in advance of their arrival to our port and roastery, thus ensuring extraordinary cup quality.
Blends CPR has a coffee blend for every palate. Much like the wines from our vast wine region, our blends may be bright and crisp like a zesty Chardonnay, but they must also have depth like a fruity Zin, dark and rich with flavor.
There is no perfect roast level for all coffees because changes in
climate, rainfall, and soil conditions where the coffee is grown all affect coffee. For example, if Sumatra experiences a drought, the roasting profile I normally use would not do it justice; therefore, changes to the profile have to be considered.
CPR's lightest roast is known as a "City Roast." The next darkest is our "Full City Roast," followed by our slightly darker "Espresso Roast." Our "Italian Roast" is darker still, with the very darkest being our "French Roast," which is almost black.