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The Art and Science

Behind Roasting Exceptional Coffee

Our roaster starts off by selecting only the highest quality, specialty-grade coffees from coffee growing regions around the globe. This ensures that the cup quality they attain will exceed your expectations each and every time you drink a cup of coffee. Prior to bringing in any coffee it must pass rigorous group guidelines and quality standards performed in their lab. They meticulously roast, cup and score each of the coffee samples before committing to a single bag of coffee for production. Of course, the solid relationships they have with their buyers have been built over the years and they have significant amount of confidence and trust in the buyers recommendations. After selecting their core line of coffees, the real fun begins - blending, roasting, branding, marketing and distributing.

Sourcing great coffees from reputable growers and processors is only the beginning. Our roasting company produces all of their great coffees with one of the most eco-friendly roasters in the world. Their roaster has nearly 80% reduced emissions when compared to traditional drum roasters and an estimated 20% reduction in annual fuel consumption. Rather than collect the chaff produced during the roasting process this roasting technology utilizes it as a fuel source which results in smarter energy efficiency. The benefits of producing coffees with a Hybrid Coffee Roaster are two fold; a reduced impact on the world around us and remarkable cup quality & clarity.

To take their environmental commitment a step further they also purchase wind energy subsidies to power their roasting plant. So our roasting company can now honestly say they are 100% Wind Powered. Going green is a big part about who they are and what they do at Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company. They take steps year in and year out to improve upon their daily business practices to make sure they are walking the walk. As new technologies become available you can be sure that they will stay on the cutting edge of the green movement.

There are seven process control elements that we have implemented to achieve consistent results that you can taste.

1) Green Coffee Procurement

2) Sample Roasting & Analysis

3) Blend Development & Cupping

4) Silo System Programming

5) Roasting & Batch Logging

6) Color Scoring, Sampling and Tasting

7) Packaging

Of course, even with all of the science and technological advancements that have been made over the course of history in the coffee roasting industry, some things just cannot beat experience. The Artisan approach to the roasting process is still a very large part of what defines the quality and craftsmanship of their coffees.

Their Roast Master has taken his years of experience and respect for perfection and translated it into wide varieties of signature blends and delightful origins that can found in hundreds of locations around the region.

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What is the difference between arabica and robusta beans?

Arabica beans and robusta beans are two different species of coffee grown commercially for consumption as coffee. The general differences are those of taste, the conditions under which the two species grow and economic differences.

Taste: Arabicas have a wider taste range, between varieties. They range in taste from sweet-soft to sharp-tangy. Their unroasted smell is sometimes likened to blueberries. Their roasted smell is perfumey with fruity notes and sugary tones. Robustas taste range is neutral to harsh and they are often described as tasting grain-like, such as oatmeal. Burnt tires is the description that I personally find most accurate. Their unroasted smell is often described as like raw-peanuts. There are high quality robustas on the market but they are rare and reserved exclusively for the best robusta containing espressos.

Production Conditions: Arabicas are delicate, they require cool subtropical climates, lots of moisture, rich soil, shade and sun. They are subject to attack from various pests and are extremely vulnerable to cold temperatures and bad handling. Arabicas also must be grown at elevations of 600 to 2000 meters. Robustas are hardier plants, capable of growing well at low altitudes of 200 to 800 meters. They are also less subject to problems related to pests and rough handling. They yield more pounds of finished goods per acre at a lower cost of production.

Economics: Customs and trade, supply and demand over the course of the last 150 years has determined the relative values of arabica vs. robusta beans. Generally speaking, the best coffees are all arabicas and the highest quality blends are pure arabica blends. They are also the priciest. In the U.S. you will generally find arabicas in the coffee store and specialty food shop, and robustas in the supermarkets. Jars of instant coffee are almost exclusively robusta. In Italy, home of espresso, the very highest quality brands are pure arabica, and like here, the popular-priced goods are blended with robusta beans. Because "Imported from Italy" can make an ordinary supermarket quality Italian espresso a "gourmet" coffee in the U.S., you will find robustas in some Italian brands offered for sale in the United States. The coffee you like is a very personal thing. You may find that you really prefer the all-arabica blends, or you may feel comfortable with something less just because you like it. That's OK. The American marketplace, thanks to the Specialty Coffee movement here, is now rich enough in roast types, species, varieties, blends, brews, grinds, and price points to have something for every taste and pocketbook. I should also mention that Arabica does not equal quality. Over seventy percent of the coffee grown throughout the world is arabica. Much of it is substandard so do not assume that just because you are buying arabica you are getting a quality coffee. One other side note that must be mentioned is that Robusta has approximately twice as much caffeine as Arabica. This may be an issue for some people when choosing their coffee.

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