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Co-Roasting Spaces — Building Coffee Communities

Announcing the first in a quarterly series of cuppings at Bay Area CoRoasters, Berkeley, California: Tuesday Dec 5, 10am. See below for details and reserve your space on our Facebook page.

Co-roasting spaces such as Bay Area CoRoasters (or CoRo for short) are crucial businesses in the specialty coffee industry, providing an entry into the expensive business of roasting. Co-Ro offers memberships to coffee companies who then receive scheduled time on one of the four roasters on their production floor of their West Berkeley space.
 

An affordable beginning for new roasters

Co-roasting spaces give young companies time to practice, learn and build their business, before making the large investment of time and money in finding their own space, setting up machines, and acquiring the necessary permits. 

“Our goal is to provide all of the infrastructure and capital intensive equipment for you to start a coffee business,” said Floy Andrews, co-founder and CEO of CoRo. “All of that investment is shared by different brands.”

One of four roasters available on the CoRo production floor. Image courtesy of  Bay Area CoRoasters .

One of four roasters available on the CoRo production floor. Image courtesy of Bay Area CoRoasters.

CoRo is also in a position to keep their roasting space up to date. “We’re really focused on having the newest technology,” Floy said. For example, “we’re switching out the afterburner with a thing called a Vortex which is a water quench mechanism. It collects the dirt in the smoke, and its strained into a bucket. It’s not toxic - it’s actually good for your plants. Afterburners release a lot of CO2 and [the Vortex] aligns more with the values of Co-Ro.”

Building a Coffee Community

But CoRo is so much more than simply an affordable way to roast. In keeping with the spirit of the Bay Area where they are located, CoRo has a mission to create a community. In addition to the four roasters available, the CoRo space offers members a QC lab and a cupping room. Here they hold events and offer their members training and development on their journey as coffee professionals.

CoRo offer classes in roasting and production. Image courtesy of  Bay Area CoRoasters .

CoRo offer classes in roasting and production. Image courtesy of Bay Area CoRoasters.

Regular cuppings are held in the CoRo Cupping Room. Image courtesy of  Bay Area CoRoasters .

Regular cuppings are held in the CoRo Cupping Room. Image courtesy of Bay Area CoRoasters.

Then there’s the “Green Wall”, a space for importers to leave greens samples of their coffee for roasting, cupping and comparison. “The way green coffee is distributed, traditionally, is sort of out of sync with the way these small roasters operate,” Floy explained. “Our Green Wall is our first endeavor in connecting small roasters to a range of importers. It plays into the community space function of Co-Ro.”

The Green Coffee Wall at CoRo. Image courtesy of  Bay Area CoRoasters .

The Green Coffee Wall at CoRo. Image courtesy of Bay Area CoRoasters.

CCS and CoRo Community Events

At CCS we believe strongly that community is essential to the growth and sustainability of the specialty coffee industry, so we're excited to announce two initiatives:

CCS Quarterly Cuppings at CoRo

Colleen will be running quarterly cuppings in the cupping room at CoRo! The first will be next Tuesday December 5 at 10am. Join us for a cupping of Late Harvest Hondurans from Santa Barbara, plus Colombian coffees from Huila and Tolima. Contact Colleen to learn more, or sign up on our Facebook page.

Roasting Q&A with Matt Hassell

Matt Hassell, Buyer, Sample Manager and QC Director at Collaborative Coffee Source, and former roaster for George Howell Coffee, will be answering your roast questions starting immediately after the cupping at CoRo next week. The Q&A will begin at midday Tuesday Dec 5 and run until midday Tuesday Dec 12. Whatever your roast quandary, Matt is here to help. Post your question on Twitter to @collaborativeCS and use the hashtag #ccsQandA.

CCS' New Design Profile

If you've experienced the process of growing your hair out from a short hairstyle to a longer one, you understand exactly what is meant by the "awkward growing out" period. This year CCS is creating a new design profile because we want to better and more simply communicate the work that we do. Design is a language that connects with the senses; it conveys meaning through images and style in a way that is intuitive. It does some of the work in communicating that words cannot.

CCS' new icon is the Right Whale, which got its name from whale hunters who appreciated it for having all the qualities that they needed. Just as the whale hunters viewed this specie as the 'right one' we believe our customers and suppliers are confident in us based on the quality of our work and products. We aim to find the right coffee supplier and coffee for the right roaster and vice versa.

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Like CCS and its partners, the Right Whale species is divided into southern and northern groups that travel the ocean between the continents and always live within tight-knit communities. Whereas the Right Whale is distinctive and a bit odd it its looks and smile, we've been told that we're a bit odd and unique. We take this to mean that we're noticed for having a different approach to specialty coffee and are appreciated for it ;).

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In the coming months, look out for the whale and its distinctive dark blue colour. The blue was chosen to both contrast and complement the playfulness of the whale while simultaneously conveying the complexity of our industry and the professionalism that our team strives for.

Our new typography - which you will initially see more in our price lists, print and posters - is inspired by the trade industry: it's a moderate and sober use of typography that used to be found on inventory lists from the 1930s until the 1980s, that we are repurposing for ourselves now.

We are now going to focus on unveiling a brand new website that will hopefully launch by the end of the year. The aims for it are to be easy to navigate, interactive, and containing all the information that you're wishing for in an accessible format.

A big thank you for your ongoing support!

- Melanie & the rest of the CCS team

CCS IS HIRING!

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The Collaborative Coffee Source (CCS) is looking for self-motivated individuals to join our team

If you have any of the following, get in touch!

- Industry Experience (must)
- Cupping skills
- A Lab & Quality control background
- Are Service & Sales oriented
- Are self-driven, organized, a people-person
- Have outstanding communication skills

We are a quality and education focused green coffee sourcing company founded in Oslo, Norway and are concurrently expanding from our New York headquarters to cover more of the North American market, as well as from Shanghai to better serve our rapidly growing Asian markets.

CCS currently sources coffee in nine countries from Central America, South America and East Africa. We serve roasters from all over North America, Europe and Asia.

Send your cover letter and CV to robert@collaborativecoffeesource.com.