Tag Archives: California

Cafe Hounding: Verve Coffee

Verve Coffee Roasters
816 41st Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Phone: (831) 475-7776

http://www.vervecoffeeroasters.com/

Awesome service, attention to coffee, and people.

Kris checked this place out when stopping through Santa Cruz while galavanting through California per usual.  The life of a professor… The atmosphere at Verve is relaxing in true Californian style.  Plenty of natural light and wood and metal decor reminiscent of Urban Outfitters in its layout.  The shop is located only a couple of blocks from the Pacific Ocean, which undoubtedly adds to the tranquil feel.

The beans are roasted next door in their own facility – it appears they also sell wholesale across the country. Check out their website to make sure. Verve is among the most raved about roasters in the continental US and their baristas are talented enough to consistently make a splash at the annual SCAA barista competitions.  Unfortunately for Kris, during his visit the top baristas were actually in Houston competing in the SCAA annual competition on the national stage.  The staff are super fun and friendly and the wifi is very, very free.

Two paws up for this place.  We look forward to continuing to sample their coffee throughout 2012!

– Cafe Hound

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Woof News: Winter 2010 Update

2010 is upon us and what began as a graduation gift idea between professor and scholar has now evolved into a means of stimulating interest in the specialty coffee industry and in its entire supply chain –

– from farm level decision makers who must decide how to react to how global climate change is impacting their growing season and yields;

– to cooperatives who must decide how to integrate IT solutions into their business processes;

– farmers who must choose between numerous certification choices;

– exporters who must decide what price is a ‘fair’ one at which to sell their prized beans;

– importers who must navigate an increasingly competitive specialty coffee market;

– specialty roasters who must communicate their value proposition to a growing market segment;

– shops trying to differentiate their brand and product from the Starbucks baseline and from other shops claiming to provide the ‘gourmet’ experience;

– to end-consumers who seek clarity and consistency of quality despite all of the contingencies that must occur before the latte art is disturbed by the first sip.

Cafehound.com was launched early this fall as an online medium for Krislert Samphantharak and Matthew Maher to communicate and share their knowledge and experience with each other more than anything else. It began as an incremental journey to explore various portions of the supply chain in detail and encourage participation and collaboration with some of the major actors in the specialty coffee industry.  Before long, Café Hound was able to secure interviews with roasters, importers, shop owners, professional baristas, farmers and people involved on the academic/research end of the soft commodities market.  Given the very positive response that the website has received and as a consequence of very promising content in the future, Café Hound has decided to begin institutionalizing some processes.

1. Custom blend releases on occasion to generate publicity and raise funds for charity

2. Regular café reviews  spanning the globe with occasional guest postings from our friends and associates abroad

3. Spotlight pieces that investigate particular segments of the supply chain with specific attention to farmers, importers and roasters.

4. Academic themed reviews of literature empirically evaluating aspects of the soft commodities market, especially coffee and specialty coffee

5. Newsletter updates

6. Creating a non-profit organization to provide a legal basis for managing funds and further enhancing our ability to provide value to entrepreneurial agricultural producers and children in the developing world.

Regards,

– The Hounds

Interview: Chuck Patton – Bird Rock Coffee Roasters

Name: Chuck Patton
Title: Owner, Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, La Jolla, CA
Birthplace: San Diego, CA
Hometown: Pacific Beach community. Went to elementary, junior high and high school within a few miles of present day Bird Rock Coffee Roasters retail location.

La Jolla Light festivities.

La Jolla Light festivities.

Background

Cafe Hound: Where does your passion for specialty coffee come from? When was that?
Chuck: I started drinking a lot of coffee in high school just for the buzz.  Several years ago, my wife got me a home roaster and I spent a lot of time experimenting with different beans from Sweet Maria’s until the hobby grew into a business.
CH: Tell me about your entry to coffee industry.
Chuck: I bought a one pound fluid air roaster for about US$3,500 and began a home delivery service. I also sold my coffee at the La Jolla farmers market.
CH: How many years of experience do you have in coffee industry?
Chuck: I started the business in 2002.
CH: Did you work for other coffee establishments before starting your coffee business?
Chuck: No. I was self taught.
CH: What was the first location of your business?
Chuck: I did not have a location at first.  I roasted out of the VFW on Turquoise because they had a health permit.  Then, I rented space in a restaurant that is now out of business on La Jolla Blvd.  I converted his wine bar into a coffee bar for morning business but it did not do well.  I chalked it up to a learning experience.  Then, I rented a coffee kiosk on Turquoise behind Albertson’s and operated out of there as the smallest licensed coffee wholesaler in California.  Then, I bought the business of a guy who was burnt out.  It included a list of wholesale accounts and a Probat L12 but, operated out of Miramar.  So, we did that for about a year until we moved here.
CH: Who were your initial clients?
Chuck: Most of our clients are from Bird Rock, La Jolla, and Pacific Beach.


Pony spotting at BRC

Bean & Drink Talk

CH: Where do you buy your beans from?
Chuck: Different brokers. If we are buying directly from farmers, we still need to work with an importer and exporter.
CH: Do you roast your own beans?
Chuck: We roast our own.
CH: Do you sell wholesale or online?
Chuck: Yes, we do wholesale and also sell online.
CH: How often do you order beans? How often do you roast?
Chuck: We roast 5 days a week and order coffee at least twice a month.
CH: How do you name your blends?
Chuck: We only have two blends. We focus on single-origin coffee.
CH: What are your top 3 favorite roasts of the recent past?
Chuck: First, Ethiopia Amaro Gayo city roast. Second, Panama La Esmeralda city roast. And third, Costa Rica Micro-lot full city roast.
CH: What is your favorite drink?
Chuck: Coffee.
CH: What drink is the most sold at Bird Rock?
Chuck: Lattes.
CH: Are there any interesting stories behind your drink names?
Chuck: Trophy wife and sugar daddy are self-explanatory considering the area our café is located.

P1000231

Looking Ahead

CH: Do you have any plans for expansion?
Chuck: Secret.  No comment.
CH: So…what’s next?  Beyond the business, what else you would like to do through your work?Chuck: We are currently working on a water filtration project for some of the farmers we are working with in Huila. I will return to Colombia next month to install the second generation of prototypes in a few of the farmers’ homes. I believe we have a responsibility to the farmers we buy coffee from that goes beyond simply purchasing “Fair Trade” coffee so we will focus on projects like this in the future.
CH: What else do you want to tell our reader?
Chuck: We are continuing to seek out and purchase high quality coffee directly from farmers so we are increasing our travel time as we begin to develop relationships with farming groups.
CH: Thank you for sharing your interesting story with us.

Business Information

Bird Rock Coffee Roaster 5627 La Jolla Blvd., La Jolla, CA 92037 Tel. 858 551 1707 www.birdrockcoffeeroasters.com

Special Thanks

We would like to thank Chuck and the good folks at Bird Rock Coffee for roasting the beans used in the first release of Kris/Maher Blend. Maher also wants to thank all of the employees for keeping him caffeinated and happy over his last year of residence in Pacific Beach, especially Hector, Jocylynn, and Tony. Maher knows he’s forgetting the two dudes that used to make sure he got his morning espresso as he rushed to school – unfortunately, the key word was “rush”.

Photo credits: cafehound.com and http://www.lajollalight.com/life/258652-taste-of-bird-rock

 

Bird Rock Coffee Roasters

http://www.birdrockcoffeeroasters.com

5627 La Jolla Blvd.

La Jolla, CA 92037

858 551 1707

HRS: Mon-Fri 6am-6pm; Sat-Sun 6:30am-6pm

Background

Name: Chuck Patton
Title: Owner
Birthplace: San Diego, CA
Hometown: Pacific Beach community

· Went to elementary, junior high and high school within a few miles of present day Bird Rock Coffee Roasters retail location.

Cafehound.com: Where does your passion for specialty coffee come from? / When was that?

Chuck: Started drinking a lot of coffee in high school just for the buzz.  Several years ago, my wife got me a home roaster and I spent a lot of time experimenting with different beans from Sweet Maria’s until the hobby grew into a business.

Cafehound.com: Tell me about your entry to coffee industry.

Chuck: I bought a one pound fluid air roaster (~US$3,500) and began a home delivery service; selling my coffee at the La Jolla farmers market.

CH: How many years of experience do you have in coffee industry?

Chuck: Started the business in 2002.

CH: Did you work for other coffee establishments before starting your coffee business?

Chuck: No. Self taught.

CH: What was the first location of your business?

Chuck: Did not have a location at first.  I roasted out of the VFW on Turquoise because they had a health permit.  Then, I rented space in a restaurant that is now out of business on La Jolla Blvd.  I converted his wine bar into a coffee bar for morning business but it did not do well.  I chalked it up to a learning experience.  Then I rented a coffee kiosk on Turquoise behind Albertson’s and operated out of there as the smallest licensed coffee wholesaler in California.  Then, I bought the business of a guy who was burnt out.  It included a list of wholesale accounts and a Probat L12 but, operated out of Miramar.  So, we did that for about a year until we moved here.

CH: Who were your initial clients / client profile?

Chuck: Most of our clients are from Bird Rock, La Jolla, and PB.

Bean talk

CH: Where do you buy your beans from?

Chuck: Different brokers. If we are buying directly from farmers we still need to work with an importer and exporter.

CH: Do you roast your own or purchase from a wholesaler?

Chuck: We roast our own.

CH: Do you sell wholesale? Online?

Chuck: Yes/Yes

CH: How often do you order beans? How often do you roast?

Chuck: We roast 5 days a week and order coffee at least twice a month.

CH: How do you name your blends?

Chuck: We only have two blends.    We focus on single-origin coffee.

CH: What are your top 3 favorite roasts (country, degree of roast, specific origin/farm if possible) of the recent past?

Chuck:

Country

Most specific Origin

Roast (degree of roast)

Ethiopia

Amaro Gayo

City Roast

Panama

La Esmeralda

City Roast

Costa Rica

Micro-Lot

Full City Roast

Drink talk

Favorite Drink: Coffee

Most sold at Bird Rock: Lattes

CH: Are there any interesting stories behind your drink names?

Chuck: Trophy wife and sugar daddy are self-explanatory considering the area [our café is located in]…

Looking Ahead

CH: Any plans for expansion?

Chuck: Secret.  No comment.

CH: So…what’s next?  Beyond the business, what else you would like to do through your work? (Training initiatives, Farm visits, Educational programs, Environmental programs, etc…)

Chuck: We are currently working on a water filtration project for some of the farmers we are working with in Huila.  I will return to Colombia next month to install the second generation of prototypes in a few of the farmers’ homes.   I believe we have a responsibility to the farmers we buy coffee from that goes beyond simply purchasing “Fair Trade” coffee so we will focus on projects like this in the future.

CH: What else do you want to tell our reader?

Chuck: We are continuing to seek out and purchase high quality coffee directly from farmers so we are increasing our travel time as we begin to develop relationships with farming groups.

End of interview.

Special thanks to Chuck and the good folks at Bird Rock Coffee for roasting the beans used in the 1st release of Kris/Maher Blend. Maher also wants to thank some the employees for keeping him caffeinated and happy over his last year of residence in Pacific Beach: Hector, Jocylynn and Tony. Maher knows he’s forgetting the two dudes that used to make sure he got his morning espresso as he rushed to school – unfortunately, the key word was “rush”.

Photo credits: Cafehound.com and http://www.lajollalight.com/life/258652-taste-of-bird-rock