In addition to being pioneers of specialty coffee in the Washington, DC area, Snail of Approval winner Vigilante Coffee is also dedicated to increasing the coffee knowledge of both retailers and consumers. Working from the perspective that coffee should never be intimidating, Vigilante has developed a special “Lab Series” designed to present the world’s most interesting coffees in an intimate, engaging, and comfortable environment.
During a special Slow Food DC Lab Series on July 23, local Slow Foodies learned all about Panamanian Gesha coffee from Ninety Plus Coffee, a single-origin, single-variety grower and producer in both Panama and Ethiopia. In addition to the rarity of this particular varietal, the Gesha coffee’s uniqueness also comes from the special natural processing methods Ninety Plus uses to emphasize and preserve the bean’s flavor and aroma characteristics.
Along with producing award-winning coffees, Ninety Plus is known for their ecological and sustainable cultivation methods, principles Vigilante Coffee also embodies.
Owner and founder Chris Vigilante explained during the event that he personally visits each and every producer the company buys from and when possible, imports beans directly from the source, allowing growers to recoup a higher percentage of profits. This hands-on approach is also an avenue for encouraging and sharing sustainable business practices, enabling Vigilante to offer harvest incentives for producing higher quality beans.
Director of Retail and Marketing Austin Redington demonstrated four different ways to brew these special Gesha coffee beans, including cold brew, espresso, aeropress, and siphon. Each method highlighted different aspects of the coffee’s unique flavor profile that participants could compare and contrast.
Lab Series participants were fortunate enough to take home their very own sample of Gesha, roasted during the class by Vigilante’s expert roaster Franklin Ventura. Each coffee that Vigilante offers is specially roasted on site at their Hyattsville location, according to what level of roast will showcase the best of that bean’s flavor and aroma profile.
This special Lab Series was a great way to learn why Vigilante is known for their award-winning, single origin coffee and there’s much more to learn!
Vigilante Coffee offers classes at their Hyattsville location several times a week that are open to both wholesale partners and the general public. Classes cover everything from different brew methods to coffee cupping to latte art basic. Find out more on their website at: http://vigilantecoffee.com/classes/.