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What Is 'In Season'?

Coffee’s seasonal harvest cycle keeps us on our toes, but also offers a lovely range of coffees to get excited about throughout the year. 


Most coffee growing regions have a single harvest window once per year. For Northern Hemisphere countries like Mexico, Costa Rica, Ethiopia and more, that timeline is typically from about December until March. Coffee cherries will start to fully mature and need to be selectively picked over a series of passes, similar to how apples and other fruit ripen. Once the coffee is picked, it has to be dried and processed and is then stored in a warehouse awaiting a few more steps before being exported. These fresh coffees will start to arrive in the USA as early as April, but often higher quality coffees take a little longer. 


We usually see coffees from Kenya, Ethiopia, and Mexico arriving earliest, with El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras soon after. They’re then featured on our menu starting in June and will last until the winter months, when the menu shifts again to focus on Southern Hemisphere coffees. We limit the time these coffees spend on our menu so that we can ensure fresh, tasty experiences for you all.


Katy (Lead QC + Production Roaster), and Ashley (Business Manager) visit the Cerro La Cruz farm in Costa Rica, 2023


Those of you that have been buying from us throughout the years will be very well familiar with these shifts that occur. But some of you might be new to this idea, or find that maybe your go-to coffee doesn’t quite taste the same throughout the year. The main idea to keep in mind is that most coffees have a shelf life or window of time when they are tasting best. Fresh coffees are more explosive, lively, and have a really smooth mouthfeel. As their freshness window wanes, they begin a process of degradation where the green coffee starts to fade and, once roasted and brewed, will taste more dull. We obsess over spreadsheets and inventory projections to help keep our menu colorful and delicious. 


When it comes to our blends, this seasonal shift presents some challenges to creating a consistent product. Over time, we have honed in on several key sourcing projects that help us line up similar flavor profiles from very different growing regions. For example, in Creamery we use El Salvador from approximately July to January, and Peru for the remainder of the year. Uniquely, Colombia actually has two harvest cycles, so we’re able to get our base Creamery coffees year round from there! We also have a library of roast profiles that we rely on to tweak and modify components in the blends so that they continue to shine year round. 


Gorgeous coffees are fleeting, temporary, and such a sensory wonder to experience. Whether you’re a diehard Creamery drinker or someone who loves the floral notes of a Yirgacheffe from Ethiopia in the June bloom, know that we are working tirelessly to capture the best, seasonal flavors each coffee has to offer!

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