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  • Penny Hieb

Roaster Profile: Blue Ridge Roasters

There's something rare and magical currently roasting in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northeast Georgia, and trust me, you don't want to waste precious time and let a special opportunity like this pass you by. For a limited time only, Blue Ridge Roasters, a gourmet, artisanal coffee roaster based in Clarkesville, Georgia is offering up a micro lot of carefully selected Brazillian Jazblu Peaberry coffee, roasted to order.

Peaberry coffee beans occur in less than 15% of coffees harvested, and is the result of a rare genetic mutation in which only one seed develops inside of

a coffee cherry rather than the usual two. Standard coffee beans have a compressed flatter appearance. Peaberries, by contrast, are smaller and rounder. Because the peaberry is rare and separating them from typical coffee beans is particularly labor intensive, a certain mythology has evolved around the peaberry. It is reputed by some to be sweeter, more flavorful and have a slightly higher caffeine content.

The Jazblu Peaberry blend offered by Blue Ridge Roasters is grown in the Cerrado Mineiro region of Brazil at an elevation of approximately 3200 feet. Coffees from the Cerrado Mineiro region are known for intense aromas, notes of caramel, gentle acidity, and a heavy body. Growers from the region commit to a higher standard of farming practices and, as a result, there is increased traceability in the coffee produced. Details such as farms of origin and processing methods are transparent. Blue Ridge's peaberry blend is sourced from two different farms in the region and is naturally washed post harvest.

Blue Ridge roast master and owner, Julie Adams, is fully committed to the idea of transparency and sustainability when she considers the growers her company does business with. She even takes it a step further by working closely with farmers to ensure that the women employed in the coffee production receive equal pay. I only recently became acquainted with Adams through an online coffee related forum, but I could instantly sense her enthusiasm and passion for her coffee business, as well her genuine all around optimism. I naturally wanted to learn more about what Adams was up to with Blue Ridge Roasters and sample some of her company's carefully sourced, freshly roasted coffee.

Blue Ridge roasts every bag of coffee to order and ships the next day. Adams subscribes to the belief that coffee is at its prime development phase four days after roasting. Her process is set up so that customers receive their shipment just in time to experience the coffee's flavor at its peak. Adams describes herself as a "self starter" and has put a lot of thought and research into her business model and roasting practices. She is constantly willing to learn in order to bring unique products to her online clients and local coffee drinkers. Customers can choose from several roasting profiles: light, city, espresso, Italian, etc. There is also an option to add flavoring if a client so desires. My personal recommendation after tasting the roast, however, is to forgo added flavoring and experience the complex notes already present in this microlot of Brazilian peaberries. Adams is especially adept at the nuances of the roasting process, and let me assure you, the natural flavor of the coffee already speaks for itself. A full one pound bag sells on the Blue Ridge website for $16.99 and can be ordered at https://blueridge.coffee/ While you are on the website, check out the gorgeous handmade mugs crafted by local potters available for purchase. No doubt, your cup of Brazilian Jazblu Peaberry will taste even better served in a one of a kind mug hand made on a potter's wheel.

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