THE KALADI WAY DEPENDS ON SHADE AND A CLEAN BEAN

When our beans begin life, they’re born on small farms and fed by soil, water and filtered sunlight. All plants need sun. Without it, photosynthesis can’t take place and nutrients can’t be produced. But, there’s sun, and then there’s sun; that’s why we source our beans from specific growers.

Modern monocraop farms grow their beans in full sun. This causes the crops to overprduce and encourages pests and disease, resulting in what’s known as the “green desrts.” To make matters worse, the beans are then processed in the “dry” method of leaving them out in the sun. This produces dirty flavors because the cherries ferment and mold under the hot sun.

Our growers use a different, time-honored method. They plant the coffee in the shade of tall trees where the bushes thrive. When picking time comes, the cherries have had a great start. But a great start is only half the equation; the way a bean is processed is as important as the way it’s grown and that’s where wet processing comes in.

Plentiful fresh mountain water is used to gently wash the berries, removing the pulp and skin from the seeds quickly. The beans are then sorted by their quality (we like the best!). Finally, the clean beans

ROASTING

Believe it or not, we use nothing but air and displaced heat to roast our coffee. Here’s the 411.

NORMAL DRUM ROASTING

  • Beans are roasted in a hot metal drum, tumbling about in an uneven mass.
  • Chaff and debris collect on the hot drum surface, creating tar.
  • Beans cook unevenly and are coated with dirty tasting tars.

THE KALADI WAY OF ROASTING

  • Beans are roasted in the chamber via convection heat (air + heat), cooking more evenly throughout.
  • The beans roast in a vigorous column of hot air without touching hot surfaces, cleaning the beans so there is no tar or scorching.
  • When optimum bean temperature is reached, the roaster shuts off the heat.
  • Cool air immediately flows into the chamber. This cool air lowers the bean’s temp within minutes, thereby locking in the aromatic compounds that give it its flavor.

ALWAYS AIR ROASTED

Coffee roasting at Kaladi is a radical departure from traditional drum roasting. With a design that dates back to the 1800s, these drum roasters cook the coffee beans in an enclosed cylinder that is heated from below. The drum reaches a high temperature that scorches and tars the beans, often producing a burnt, bitter taste.

We go a different route. We use the Sivetz Single Pass Fluid Bed Air Roaster with convection heat to roast our beans. The Sivetz avoids burning the beans by a process we like to call Precise AIR Roasting. The roaster is accurate to one degree, maintaining a precise roast every time.

Moreover, with Precise Roasting, each coffee’s unique flavor profile can be targeted with the exact temperature necessary to bring out its unique characteristics which can be consistently reproduced, roast after roast.

So the next time you’re wondering how we get that great Kaladi taste, just remember that it’s thanks to the air we breath.

BALANCE IS EVERYTHING BUT AROMA IS KING

There are three basic components that affect the flavor of coffee: body, taste and aroma. Body refers to the weight of the coffee, or mouthfeel. Taste is the physical sensation when coffee hits our tongue. Aroma is the scent of the coffee as it reaches our olfactory system, the nose.

It’s a simple physical reaction we experience every day, but the process of taste is actually fairly complicated, and, while each component is important, aroma is the aspect that gives each coffee its unique personality.

Aroma is the most diverse element in coffee. Of the 1,000 or so chemical compounds that make up the flavor of coffee, around 80% of those are aromatic. That’s pretty complex, especially in relation to other beverages. It’s about three times the number found in wine.

A coffee’s flavor starts off with the chemical make-up of the bean, but it’s the roaster’s artistry that unlocks a bean’s potential and ensures that the flavor is balanced between body, taste and aroma.

THE FRESHNESS FACTOR

Body and taste are relatively stable components since they do not change much over time. Aroma, however, is a volatile component since it dissipates quickly after roasting. Because of this, we always recommend freezing. Contrary to what you might think or have read, freezing preserves aroma without harming the beans.

We store our beans at -10˚F to make sure every package sold is at its peak of flavor.

A NOTE ON ACIDITY

When most people describe the kind of coffee they’d like to drink, they usually as for coffee that’s smooth, not bitter or acidic. But acid, as defined by coffee pros, is a necessary part of a coffee’s character. Basically, a good coffee should have good acids.

If that’s confusing, think of it this way: a coffee’s acid is like a soda’s carbonation—without it, the soda would be flat and bland. The same with coffee—without acid, your coffee would lose its liveliness. The trick (and you knew there was going to be a trick) is to find the balance between acidity and flavor and, once more, that’s where a good roaster shines.