If you are like most of us here at Tiny Footprint Coffee, you grew up drinking Root Beer Floats every now and again. Our nostalgia for childhood summers got us thinking…what if we added a coffee twist to this classic recipe?

 

After a little R&D (not a bad gig if you can get it), we’ve crafted a subtly sweet, but with more kick version of the summer favorite: the cold press float. Along the way with a simple change in proportions we were able to make a more accessible version of the most iconic coffee dessert: the affogato.

 

The affogato is a traditional Italian dessert. Served in chilled glasses all day long, it is revered as a sweet way to combat the unrelenting heat of Italian summers. We have reimagined it in 2 different ways, but first, we present you with a classical affogato recipe.

 

Traditional Affogato

Consisting of two ingredients, the affogato is traditionally served with a vanilla (or plain) gelato, then drenched in espresso, (affogato means drowned in Italian). It’s quite simple, scoop one (or two) dollops of gelato (or ice cream) into a dish. Then place the dish directly under the spout of your espresso machine and watch the ice cream start to melt in the face of 200-degree espresso.

Alternatively, if you enjoy your gelato (or creamy substitute) less melty, capture the espresso in a cool demitasse before pouring,.  Try it both ways, that way you get to eat two.

 

For those of you, like most of us, without the latest dual boiler PID controlled espresso machine (or some lower tech facsimile) sitting on your counter, don’t worry, we have a solution.

 

 

Cold Press Float & Chilled Affogato, the affogato reimagined

 

These two recipes are Tiny Footprint Coffee’s modern and more accessible take on the traditional Italian dessert. The differences between the two desserts are subtle, but significant. Think cappuccino versus latte.

Tiny Footprint Coffees Twist - The Cold Press Float

Tiny Footprint Coffees Twist – The Cold Press Float

The Float is similar to the classic Root Beer float recipe you loved as a kid and hopefully still enjoy from time to time. The Cold Press Float Consists of 2-3 scoops of ice cream added to 8-12oz of cold brewed Cold Press coffee. If this seems like a lot of Cold Press, just cut it with some water or cream so you can get to sleep tonight. We’ve used Nitro Cold Press in these pictures since, lets face it, we’re addicted, but traditional Cold Press works just as well.

A Traditional Affogato

A Traditional Affogato

 

 

The Chilled Affogato

 

Simply, the Chilled Affogato is a traditional Affogato made with Cold Press instead of Espresso. The ratio is the same,  1-2oz of Cold Press followed by 1-2 scoops of your favorite ice cream (or gelato).

 

 

Happy Dessert-ing!

Las Lajas Benefico Ecologico Honey Series 2016

In honor of our third year offering coffees from Las Lajas Beneficio Ecologico (and because we thought it would be fun) we are offering 3 micro-lots in succession over the summer and fall. Each coffee is a unique variant of their proprietary honey (aka miel / pulped natural) milling process. Miel processing occurs when the skin of the cherry is pulped leaving most of the fruit intact before the coffee is naturally dried on raised screens. These three micro lots, yellow, red and black, are a chance to taste the difference that seemingly small changes in processing methods have on the cup. Although the cherry from each of these micro-lots have intrinsic flavor differences in the cup, they are small. The three originate from principally the same place: small farms (owned by Las Lajas’s) planted with similar tree varieties, and harvested red cherry only with the assistance of refractometers to measure sugar content.

Examining Drying Coffee Cherries

Examining Drying Coffee Cherries

With a fair amount of the growing variables equalized, variation in processing remains as the main determinate in the differences we taste. In this case, the coffees are turned less frequently during drying as we move from yellow to red to black. The frequency of turning the beans directly correlates with the flavors: as the beans are turned less, the notes in each coffee move darker in citrus tone and deeper in body while trading off some traditional Costa Rica clarity and brightness.

First up, is a small four 70-kilo export bag micro-lot Yellow Honey process from Finca El Chilamate. In Las Lajas’s yellow honey method, the pulped coffee cherry is frequently turned during solar-drying on raised screens.

Second, is another small 4 bag micro-lot, this time Red Honey processed from Finca Guachepelin. The Red Honey coffees are turned less frequently, only about 3 times per day.

Last, but not least, is a larger 10 bag Black Honey processed micro-lot from Finca La Mirella. Black Honey coffees are only turned once per day.

If we get enough interest (let us know), we will offer a flight of all three roasted on the same day later this fall.

LAs Lajas family

Las Lajas, located in Sabanilla de Alajuela, in the Central Valley region of Costa Rica, is owned by third generation coffee farmers Dona Francisca and Don Oscar Chacon. Their story is one of success forged by entrepreneurial genius meeting necessity as the mother of invention. Faced with the existential threat of severely low coffee prices in 2000 (known in the trade as the “The Coffee Crisis”) they turned to organic production to increase the value of their crops with the goal of preserving the land for future generations. In 2006, they started milling their own cherry in micro-lots to control quality from tree to export. This step gave them a platform for deeper understanding of how their production methods affected flavor and the infrastructure to innovate their way out of losing an entire crop after a 2008 earthquake that left them without electricity and water. By adapting water sparing natural-dry methods (and in subsequent years pulped- natural techniques) from Africa and Brazil, Dona Francisca and Don Oscar not only saved the harvest and their staffs’ jobs, they built the foundation for new ecologically-friendly coffees with a growing worldwide audience.

A Brief Description of an Influential Seed

How much do you know about coffee? Sure, you pour yourself a cup every morning, maybe you can pull a decent shot of espresso. But what about the growth of coffee, before the roasting, before it makes it into your coffee cup there are hours of labor and and dollars dedicated to the production of coffee. Coffee beans are the seeds from coffee cherries, a small tart and sweet fruit. Harvesting coffee cherries at peak ripeness is a job that can only be done by hand. The sweet red and yellow cherries ripen at different times, depending on altitude, temperature, soil acidity, sun exposure, and other factors. Even on a single tree, the cherries don’t even ripen all at once, which means that farm workers will pick any given tree five or more times in a single harvest.

Coffee cherries are volatile little fruits, and even the mildest change in environment can throw off their flavor and potentially ruin an entire harvest. Considering its delicacy, coffee has an astonishingly powerful effect on the cultures and infrastructures of the countries where it’s grown. The coffee trade creates an economy almost unparalleled in agriculture; in fact, coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world. But coffee is threatened; with every pound of carbon released into the atmosphere, the delicate environment that coffee thrives in is left vulnerable.

Here at Tiny Footprint Coffee we work our hardest to stabilize coffee’s environment by removing carbon from the atmosphere with every pound of coffee we sell. Luckily there are others who think like we do. One example I’d like to introduce to you is Cloud Forest Coffee Farms.

 

The Mission Behind Cloud Forest Coffee Farms

 

Cloud Forest Coffee Farms (CFCF) is an association of coffee and cacao farmers in northern Ecuador. Tucked high up in the cloud forest, a high altitude rainforest, they have a focused mission of implementing reforestation through agriculture, hand in hand with education. You may remember Tambo Quinde, an organic coffee farm and educational trail whose Indiegogo campaign we supported this past winter. Tambo Quinde is one of the original farms in the association and an ideal ecotourism destination. Recently CFCF began working with Mashpi, an artisan and organic, cacao farm. These relationships and collaborations create a template for other farmers to follow. By creating precedents for sustainable farming and environmental restoration, CFCF opens the door for other farmers who may have been hesitant about taking the first step towards sustainable farming.

As we always say: this is a place you can visit, just ask.  Ecotourism promotes education and cultural exchange, as well as, creating jobs in the local economy that are in harmony with the forest. The beauty and diversity of Ecuador makes Cloud Forest Coffee Farms the perfect destination and interaction with the visitors allows the CFCF team to educate and spread the word about the origins of your morning cup and the environmental challenges facing coffee farmers.

The Beautiful View from Cloud Forest Coffee Farms

The Beautiful View from Cloud Forest Coffee Farms

Cloud Forest Coffee Farms is pushing boundaries with its high altitude sustainable farms. The team is experimenting with different aspects of reforestation in worn-out cattle pastures adjacent to beautiful nature preserves. The organization is hopeful that over the long term, their efforts will result in a complete restoration of the damaged ecosystem in which they are working. The team began planting hardy nitrogen-fixing species of trees to begin reconstructing the cloud forest canopy and regenerating the soil. As the forest begins to heal, more hardwood varieties will be strategically planted for optimal coffee conditions.

 

 

A Brotherly Collaboration

 

Did you know that Tiny Footprint Coffee and Cloud Forest Coffee Farms are related? Tiny Footprint Coffee was founded in 2010 by Alan Krohnke and his partners. At the same time, Alan’s brother, Brian Krohnke, was working on a reforestation project in the Mindo Cloud Forest in Northwest Ecuador. A little brainstorming and calculation led to the creation of Tiny Footprint Coffee with the Mindo Cloudforest Foundation as the enabler of its carbon-negative business plan. For every pound of Tiny Footprint Coffee bought since then, the Mindo Cloud Forest Foundation receives a portion of the profit to purchase and plant carbon-removing trees and restore damaged areas of the cloud forest.

A Peek at the Ripening Coffee Cherries growing at Cloud Forest Coffee Farms

A Peek at the Ripening Coffee Cherries growing at Cloud Forest Coffee Farms

Since Brian expanded his sustainability horizons with Cloud Forest Coffee Farms, Tiny Footprint Coffee is proud to support this beacon of sustainability. We’d like to invite you to get involved too!

Although, Cloud Forest Coffee Farms is a relatively new initiative, it is fueled with passion for the environment (and quality coffee and cocoa) and a drive lead the way in creating a sustainable, restorative agro-forestry economy in the Andes. One of its coffee farms delivered their first commercial crop this past spring. Currently they are in the middle of their second harvest and, by the looks of it, we have a lot to look forward to.

 

Keep updated on Cloud Forest Coffee Farms by liking them on Facebook or Twitter, and signing up for their email list.

 

 

Since it’s beginning in 2010 Tiny Footprint Coffee has prided itself on maintaining local roots. Over the years, we’ve found homes in several coops and marketplaces around the Twin Cities, Longfellow market is just one example of the eclectic mix of locations that dedicate their shelf space to our carbon negative coffee.  Tucked into the quaint neighborhood on East Lake Street, Longfellow’s (as it’s informally known), has become a fixture shopping stop for residents of south east Minneapolis. Priding itself on a diverse mix of staple and specialty produce, Longfellow’s strives to keep business local. Family owned and community based Longfellow’s focuses on sourcing native Minnesotan brands.

Terry Mahowald, the General Manager at Longfellow’s, sat down to talk with us about the benefits of buying local, “We enjoy having local businesses here and our customers respond positively to local products.  That is why Tiny Footprint Coffee is a perfect fit for us.” A perfect fit indeed, becoming available in 2014, Tiny Footprint Coffee has grown immensely in popularity.  “We have customers who come to our market just for Tiny Footprint Coffee,” says Mahowald. If you’re looking for the widest variety of bulk options for our organic coffee, Longfellow’s is your best bet. They carry 16 different varieties of our beans in their bulk bins.

Beyond Longfellow’s community dedication, they also maintain a substantial amount of organic and ethically sourced items. Not only do they carry organic and fair trade products, Longfellow’s also makes sure their customers understand the benefits of buying green. They provide information about organic produce and tips on how to prepare sustainable meals. The staff is full of smiling faces and they’re willing to lend a hand whether it be choosing a piece of produce or planning a menu for a dinner party.  To further encourage buying local, Longfellow’s recently launched a new website providing an archive of information, trivia and recipes.

They have flattering words for us as well, “The Tiny Footprint customer support is fantastic.  The employees of Tiny Footprint are always here, helping, or cleaning up their display. We never run out of the coffee because deliveries are every week. So you know it’s fresh” says Terry. Such a compliment means a lot to us here at Tiny Footprint Coffee. Developing lasting relationships, friendships really, with our customers is an integral part of everyday life here at our roastery.

So stop in to say “hi” and grab a bag of coffee. You’ll be supporting a locally owned business, and a delicious coffee that helps fight climate change with every cup.