I’ve been asked a lot lately when we’re going to have something to sell. I think that’s a normal question to ask and I’m very thankful that our family and friends are so eager to help us out by buying our coffee. But it’s just not quite ready yet. And since just selling ‘something’ to our homies is not what we’re about, we’re waiting until we make everything just the way we want it. Building a physical product with all the right touch points takes a little bit of time. I hesitated to write this post because I was scared to let you in behind the curtain again now that we’ve “officially” launched. But I will, so come on in. Before we can offer anything for sale, we have to make sure the coffee is great, the delivery is great, and your whole experience is great.
The coffee. If you’ve watched any of our videos, you probably already know that Mike has roasted very consistently and deliberately for the past 6 months. By consistently I mean I’ve given him no breaks. All week long he knocks roasts out, morning and night. By deliberately I mean he tries to adhere to Scott Rao’s roasting principles as closely as possible. Mike is practicing with a goal in mind. In our case, he’s getting closer to roasting a consistently awesome bean. He’s already had some great roasts. But our belief is that when you’re trying to sell something, it has to be consistently great. If you like what we got, you should be able to order it again and get the same awesome taste. We’re close.
The Delivery. The other challenge for roasting coffee is that it’s a crop. Because it’s a crop, the same beans from the same farm are not available all year long. That makes sense if you think of coffee growing in seasons. This also means we can sample lots of coffees from lots of farms. But the challenge again is delivering a consistent coffe product to market. For us, that means we want to be able to offer the same type of flavor even if we can’t get the exact same bean.
The Experience. Enter the cactus. This is where our naming comes in. We’ve decided to name our roasts after the different cacti that grow in Arizona. They will each represent a style of roast. A category more than a specific bean from a specific region. That’s normally how single origin coffee is sold. You buy from a specific farm in a specific region. But most of my friends don’t know where Ethiopia is, which farms have gesha coffees, or what natural processing is. But they do know they want great coffee.
So we’re trying to bridge the gap bewtween great specialty coffee and the common man by removing the language barrier. It doesn’t mean the farm and the region isn’t important. It means categorizing them by that is sometimes prohibitive to entry into specialty coffee for folks. We’re going to remove the barrier by naming our roasts after cacti and then explaining the category.
We’ll start with the King Cup and the Saguaro.
The King Cup is an Echinocereus triglochidiatus, also known as a hedgehog cactus. It’s a small to medium sized cylindrical cactus native to Arizona and Mexico. This mounding cactus prefers the shade and has bright reddish-orange flowers, whose colors are similar to our logo. The King Cup will be our just plain category. A refined, elegant taste that satisfies the needs of the greatest coffee afficianado and even the gas station coffee drinker who wants their coffee black and has never had a cup taste the way it smells. This is where we can get you to go in order to experience what incredible flavors specialty coffee has to offer.
The Saguaro is the famous cactus of Arizona. Its shape inspired our logo and needs no explanation. It’s a Carnegiea gigantean, named after Andrew Carnegie and is native to Arizona and Mexico as well. A saguaro without any arms is called a spear. The tallest saguaro ever recorded was a spear down near Cave Creek and it was 78 feet tall. That is one massive cactus. The saguaro is going to be our coffee that we think goes well with cream and sugar. That’s how most people pick their coffee: How do you take it? With cream and sugar or just plain? The Saguaro will hold up to cream and not compete with sugar. But if you prefer it plain, the Saguaro will give you some deeper flavors to enjoy.