When we saw that the Albuquerque Yelpers were holding a special event at Prismatic Coffee this past Sunday, we knew we had to go. Not only because Prismatic is killing it in the roasting game (and they’ve only been open since spring), but we thought this would be a great place to mingle with fellow coffee aficionados!
We’ve been to Prismatic at least a dozen times and Loren and his staff are always kind, welcoming and knowledgable without making you feel like you’re asking a dumb question. We learned some awesome tidbits about Prismatic and the coffee world that we would like to share with you today, so if you’re interested to hear about the roasting process keep on reading!
Prismatic Coffee was our first hands-on experience with bean roasting and it was interesting to hear how special each batch is, along with some fun facts about the different types of roasts. Loren has a passion for what he’s doing and we love how scientific coffee can be – he and co-owner Tertia both have microbiology degrees!
So, after smelling a few of the bags of beans (they smell so earthy and each so different), he put some in the Giesen coffee roaster – first fun fact: getting the roaster from the Netherlands took him nearly 9 months! We definitely think it was worth it and if you’ve ever tried their coffee, you know it is too.
Slowly but surely he took us through each step of what a bean goes through. From the first crack (when it goes from green to roasted beans), which sounds like a cackling bonfire to the “dark roast” which is something they’ve prided themselves on NEVER doing in their coffee shop. Here’s why: dark roast is a term that huge coffee shops use to control the taste of their coffee no matter where in the world you are. So from Toyko to LA to London you can guarantee that the company’s coffee is exactly the same. Kinda like if you get a McDonald’s hamburger anywhere in the world. The problem with that is then you never fully get the flavor profile of the bean, where it came from, the notes that make it different, etc. It’s so dark that it has a burnt popcorn smell as it’s roasting, definitely not appetizing. Loren joked that you could even have a cup of coffee that tasted like dirty socks if you wanted to…we’ll pass on that one today.
So, after each patch is roasted (they roast twice a week at Prismatic), they actually don’t serve it to you fresh from that day. Why would a coffee roaster not serve you fresh coffee!? But, that’s just it. It’s not the fresher the better in the case of coffee. It actually makes most sense to wait four days before using it at the shop. Simply put, while the beans are sitting in a closed container for those four days, they’re actually releasing more CO2 and getting better and better. Good things come with patience. So, next time, if you find yourself buying coffee beans at Prismatic or any other coffee shop, don’t look for the “freshest batch” or if you do, then at least wait a few days before using it. You’ll be so thankful you did.
We learned so much about coffee from Loren’s presentation that really opened up our eyes and dispelled some myths about the coffee we were so used to before we realized the true craft behind it all. But, don’t worry we’re still learning (just like we said, this blog is focused on learning about the craft and is judgement-free). Hopefully, this has given you a better understanding on why people are paying $6 for a hand-crafted cup of coffee nowadays. There’s so much more science that goes into making a craft coffee and once you’ve tasted it for yourself, you’ll never want to reach for the cream and sugar again.
Wanna grab some coffee?
EDITOR’S NOTE: And if you want to learn more about Prismatic Coffee, we’ll be doing a feature on the amazing things they’re doing! Look out for that one in the next few weeks. We want to give it the attention it deserves, so this will be a special one. As always, thanks for taking the time to read our blog today and let us know if you want to learn about something specific for next time on Coffee 101! Lastly, if you do visit Prismatic, feel free to hashtag your photos as #dailycoffeerun so we can see what you enjoyed!