Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Desk Coffee: The Shredder

I first sampled Desk Coffee at the new Whole Foods Market here in Richmond, Virginia. Tom Thorogood, a former barista from Can Can Brasserie, was giving samples of several varieties of their coffee. Tom is arguably the best barista in Richmond, so with high expectations, I gave the coffee a try.

Beyond Tom's recommendation, Desk also has a great marketing hook. All of their coffee bares the name of a piece of office equipment (The Shredder, The Eraser...) or uses other office related terminology.

The Company

Desk is an acronym for David, Emily, Stephen and Kelly. The four principals, coffee lovers, spouses and longtime friends boast 15 years of coffee industry experience with Blanchards and Advance Coffee Tech Services, both based in Richmond.

Further flavoring their unique professional experience Stephen and Emily are classically trained orchestral musicians while David is an investor and Kelly is an interior designer.

The Beans

I contacted Desk Coffee Company to find out more about the process they use to select their beans. Stephen was happy to explain the four main criteria used to create Desk Coffee's range of products.

  • Quality - You must have great beans to make a great cup of coffee.
  • Sustainability - They focus on coffee that is grown sustainably and follows fair trade practices.
  • Availability - In order to provide customers with a consistent product, the beans must be available throughout the year and into the future.
  • Price - They strike a balance between quality and affordability by sourcing coffee at prices that allow them to offer their product to consumers at realistic prices.

Stephen also explained that Desk Coffee's roastery is certified organic, which means the roasting process is organic from start to finish. Not all of their coffee is labeled organic because sourcing organic beans can be extremely difficult and expensive. The processes used in farming coffee beans is by-in-large organic, however, the process of organic certification is often too expensive for many farmers who live from crop to crop. Therefore, Stephen believes it is more important to source beans that are sustainable and fair trade.

The Coffee

I like my coffee dark so for this review I sampled The Shredder, which is labeled as a "dark, bold blend". Based on the description I was expecting the coffee to rip my head off, but it turned out to be an extremely smooth, drinkable and almost delicate coffee. The flavor is rich with hints of nuts and chocolate. However, there was not a single hint of bitterness or acidity.

This is a great everyday cup of coffee for me. I will certainly be trying some more of the offerings from Desk Coffee. All of their products are available online at www.deskcoffee.com.

At $10.99 per pound Desk Coffee is a great value in high end coffee. I give The Shredder a 9/9 value to quality rating.

1 comment:

  1. I will have to check this out. Thanks man.