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red bay coffee

4 mins read

A Breakdown of Coffee Ingredients from Guatemala, Burundi, and Brazil

We all know that coffee can come in various flavors (here’s looking at you french vanilla coffee), and the beans can come from different countries.

You may know that Brazil is the largest producer of coffee in the world. But do you know what makes Brazilian coffee different from Colombian coffee?

Before we get too ahead of ourselves, let’s focus on three coffee beans: Guatemala, Burundi, and Brazil.

The Capital of Guatemala is “G”

Actually, it’s not. It’s Ciudad de Guatemala—but I bet I confused your brain enough to entice you to keep reading now. While I’m positive you’ve heard of Guatemalan coffee, do you know what makes it different from others?

Guatemalan coffee typically has a full-body flavor aided by hints of chocolatey cocoa and a sweetness akin to toffee. Depending on the growing region means that there will be slight changes to the taste of the coffee.

Coffee from Guatemala comes from one of seven regions: Fraijanes Plateau, Antigua, Highland Huehuetenango, Rainforest Coban, Volcan San Marcos, Nuevo Oriente, and Atitlan.

Each one of these coffees will have distinguishing characteristics in its flavor profile. Antigua coffee (one of the most popular kinds of Guatemala coffee) has a complex flavor profile while having hints of cocoa.

Highland Huehuetenango coffee tends to have a fruit-forward flavor, a floral aroma, and a sweet taste that stays on the palate.

Despite the fact you may be buying “Guatemalan coffee,” you have quite a choice in what you want to be drinking. We recommend our Carver’s Dream if you’re going to sip on some Guatemalan coffee.

Kenya Find Me A Burundi Pun?coffee

 

 

If you’re looking for a coffee that will have hints of fruit flavors, then this is the one for you. Burundi is often described as having a delicate berry flavor, rich body, and a floral smell with hints of pineapple, blueberry, or citrus.

While Burundi coffee isn’t one of the leading powerhouses of coffee, it offers a delightful and delicate taste. Much like other coffees, Burundi coffee has different growing regions. The central areas are Buyenzi, Kayanza, Ngozi, and Muyinga.

If you’re looking for a delicious Burundi coffee, you can always try Motherland coffee!

Brazilian Coffee is Extraordinary

coffee

We’ve already established that Brazil is the coffee kingpin. Most of the Brazilian coffee that you’ll find is Bourbon Santos; the name is due to the coffee being shipped out of the port of Santos. Coffee from Brazil is known to have a nutty flavor with a hint of chocolate.

Brazil also exports roughly 90% of the world’s espresso beans! All of those lovely macchiatos you’re buying most likely have Brazilian espresso beans in them!

Are you intrigued by Brazilian coffee? Don’t worry; if so, try the Brazilian Cake Lady blend.

Red Bay Coffee, strives to create beautiful coffee, fair relationships, and delicious living experiences every single day. Contact them at 510-399-2441 or email at care@redbaycoffee.com.

4 mins read

Wondering How to Brew Delicious Coffee Without a Coffee Maker?

Minimalism, tidying up, tiny houses, capsule wardrobes—taking a less-is-more approach to daily living has become a part of modern culture. However, the same can’t always be said for the culture of caffeine.

Perhaps you embrace the minimalist movement, travel frequently, camp often, or maybe, you’ve recently discovered a broken coffee maker. Whatever the reason, in this article, we’ll show you 3 easy ways to brew amazing coffee without a coffee maker.

3 Ways to Make Coffee Without a Coffee Maker

The Stovetop Method

What you’ll need: Coffee (coarsely ground, 1 to 2 tablespoons per cup), water (8 or more ounces per cup), a pinch of salt, and a pot or saucepan.

Remember: You’ll need 1 to 2 heaping tablespoons of coffee for each 8-ounce cup. Stick to this ratio if you want to brew more coffee. Since water evaporates when it boils, add a bit more water than you think you’ll need.

  1. In a pot, heat the water and salt over medium heat until bubbles begin to form around the edge.
  2. Stir the coffee and water together to ensure the grounds won’t clump together.
  3. Boil the mixture uncovered for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir occasionally, so the grounds won’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  4. After the coffee has boiled for a few minutes, remove the pot from the heat and let it steep for about five minutes, allowing the grounds to settle to the bottom.
  5. Use a ladle or pour the coffee into a cup gently to let the grounds stay in the pot. A few grounds will likely end up in your cup, so you might not want to finish that last sip.

The Faux French Press Method

Coffee Maker

What you’ll need: Coffee grounds (preferably coarse-ground), hot water, a tablespoon, a deep bowl, and a mug.

  1. Pour one tablespoon of coffee grounds per cup into your bowl.
  2. Fill the grounds with boiling water, allowing it to completely saturate them.
  3. Add enough hot water to cover the servings in your bowl. Let it sit for four minutes.
  4. Once the grounds have settled, gently press them to the bottom of the bowl with your tablespoon.
  5. Pour the coffee slowly into your mug, using the spoon to keep the grounds in the bottom of the bowl, so they don’t fall into your mug.

The Coffee Bag Method

Coffee Maker

What you’ll need: Ground coffee, hot water, coffee filter, string (just make sure it’s not waxy), and a mug.

  1. Measure out a single serving of coffee grounds and pour it into the filter.
  2. Make a small pouch by closing the filter tightly and tying it with a length of string, leaving one long end hanging outside your cup just like a teabag.
  3. Heat water with any method you have at your disposal, such as a kettle, pot, or even a cup in the microwave.
  4. Put the coffee bag you created into an empty mug.
  5. Make sure you do not overfill your cup with hot water as you pour it over the coffee bag.
  6. The coffee should steep for about four minutes. You may adjust the time depending on how strong or weak you want your brew.
  7. Be sure to discard the filter before drinking.

Red Bay Coffee strives to create beautiful coffee, fair relationships, and delicious living experiences every single day. If you have questions about their products, contact them at 510-399-2441 or email care@redbaycoffee.com. Visit their website for wholesale and other inquiries.

3 mins read

Red Bay Coffee Celebrates Almost a Decade in Business

Keba Konte, a renowned artist and successful food entrepreneur with deep roots in the specialty coffee and hospitality industry, founded Red Bay Coffee Roasters in 2014.

red bay coffee
Keba Konte (center) Humble but magical beginnings 8 years ago (Source: Red Bay Coffee)

The idea came from his time as a San Francisco artist’s collective that opened Guerilla Cafe in Northern Berkeley. They held art shows and were the first to serve Blue Bottle Coffee. At the time, Konte was a novice when it came to coffee.

He soon grew uncomfortable with the colonial undertones of the specialty coffee industry after opening Chasing Lions. He began noticing that the farmers, primarily people of color, did the majority of the labor yet received minuscule pay, while young, white hipsters owned the roasters and coffee shops.

So, he left the collective and built a “garden room” off his garage in Oakland and taught himself how to roast coffee beans with YouTube videos. A year and a half later, in early 2014, he founded Red Bay Coffee.

red bay coffee

From there, Konte’s vision became the forefront of the fourth wave of coffee—a firm commitment to ensuring coffee production is not only high quality and sustainable but a vehicle for diversity, inclusion, social and economic restoration, entrepreneurship, and environmental sustainability.

Since then, Red Bay Coffee has been hiring and serving people from all backgrounds, striving to be inclusive and diverse of those traditionally left out of the specialty coffee industry, particularly people of color, formerly incarcerated individuals, women, and individuals with disabilities.

Red Bay Coffee Headquarters (Oakland, CA )

Their commitment to underserved communities has allowed people to find a home in Red Bay Coffee. When the pandemic hit in 2020, the coffee shop was able to stay alive through “Buy Local” and “Buy Black” initiatives.

It shows that the company is much bigger than the coffee it serves. It is a sober environment where people can gather, exchange ideas, and connect with the community.

8th Anniversary Special Blend

red bay coffee

How are they celebrating this incredible milestone? By offering a Limited Release Special Edition Bag of Anniversary Special coffee designed especially for their anniversary. This bag is only available until the end of February.

This roast blends fruits-forward Guatemalan and Burundi coffees to deliver a bright, fruity cup with a rich, warm body and chocolate-cherry notes.

To learn more about Red Bay Coffee, visit their website.

6 mins read

Black Owned Coffee Business Sees 350% Increase In Online Sales

With so many people forced to stay at home because of the pandemic, Red Bay Coffee, a Black owned coffee business with six retail outlets and a roasting plant, is seeing a huge spike in e-commerce coffee sales.

In fact, Keba Konte, the owner and founder of Red Bay Coffee, located in Oakland, California, said e-commerce sales have spiked a whopping 350% (not a typo). Previously, that was the smallest segment of its various revenue streams.

black owned coffee
Keba Konte

The spike stems from the fact that much of its Silicon Valley audience is now drinking coffee at home and having their coffee beans shipped directly to them.

“Then there’s another group who were drinking our coffee at our cafés, and we had to close most of them,” Konte added. They too have turned to having their coffee beans shipped.

Its six cafes normally generate about 35% of its overall revenue, but that has dipped considerably. Moreover, grocery sales are also up, though he laments that it’s always a challenge breaking into new supermarkets.

About 17% of its overall sales stem from supermarkets including Whole Foods and Safeway. It’s also sold on Amazon AMZN and CoffeeGoGo, and 95% of its sales stem from people from California.

Its six retail stores including three in Oakland, two in San Francisco, and one in Richmond, California, were all shut down for a time. But two in Oakland have reopened for curbside dining and mobile orders.

Its coffee is roasted in its plant, adjacent to one of its Oakland retail stores. Its two largest selling coffees are King’s Prize, a single-origin Ethiopian coffee and East 14th, a Tanzanian coffee named after a large street in Oakland in a tough neighborhood that was renamed International Boulevard.

At that retail store in Oakland, it also has a 7,000-square foot venue where it offered events such as live music, films, and held weddings, in what Konte described as an “industrial chic design.”

“We did 250 events last year,” said Konte, who is 53-years-old. All have been forced to close because of social distancing rules due to the pandemic crisis.

The pandemic has scaled back its business, other than e-commerce sales. “Our office coffee service shut down overnight, the events came to a screeching halt, and the cafes all shut down,” he noted.

One innovative move of Konte’s was introducing a mobile van coffee service, prior to the pandemic striking. “Half of that was luck,” he acknowledged, “and half of it was having the foresight to understand the value of a mobile option.”

He’s been parking it near heavily trafficked supermarkets such as Costco and Trader Joe’s and business is booming there. “It’s been a lifeline and great brand exposure,” he said.

Moreover, he expanded what it sold on the van beyond coffee to include cases of its tea products and cartons of oat milk. “We sold it through six-foot distances and cashless transactions on the van, “he said.

He’s already acquired a second van and is looking into launching it this summer.

He’s also introduced bulk sales via e-commerce. For example, its five pound-bags of coffee are selling very well as people stock up with groceries at home.

Konte has a varied coffee background. He founded Guerilla Café in North Berkeley, California in 2006 and spearheaded serving Blue Bottle Coffee, now a well-known national chain.

But what Konte really wanted to do was start his own coffee company. He launched Red Bay Coffee in 2014 because he wanted to bring “specialty coffee to a more accessible, broader, more diverse audience previously not catered to.”

Konte thought it was important for an African-American-owned coffee company to thrive. “Coffee is Africa’s gift to the world. It originated in Ethiopia. Coffee is, in a sense, our heritage,” he pointed out.

Red Bay Coffee, he noted, is one of the few coffee companies in the U.S. that is “marketing to African American people.” On its social media sites, about 60% of its followers are African-American women, and approximately 50% of its traffic at retail stores is African-American customers.

Raising enough money to start it required ingenuity and fortitude. Eventually, Konte raised $7 million through a combination of bootstrapping, crowd funding through Kickstarter and WeFunder, convertible notes from angel investors, and most recently, venture capital funding.

At its height, Red Bay Coffee had 70 employees, but when the pandemic curtailed business, it cut back to 20 employees. When the pandemic hit and stores closed, retail sales plummeted 85% but with some reopened, it’s down about 40%, he said.

The pandemic has forced it to become more efficient than in the past. “In the future, we have the muscle to push ourselves into various channels, and yet we’re still small enough to be nimble to adapt to the current environment,” he said.

Source: FORBES


Related: Black Owned Coffee and Tea Businesses


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2 mins read

How This Black Owned Coffee Business is Thriving Through a Pandemic

Red Bay Coffee is a Black-owned, wholesale specialty coffee roasting company based in Oakland, California.

They import and have direct relationships with coffee farmers in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Indonesia, Guatemala, Brazil and Colombia.

The company was founded by Keba Konte, who launched it out of his home back in 2014.

Keba Konte

Pre pandemic, Red Bay served as a community hub hosting events, including food popups, concerts, magazine releases, panel discussions, and self-care festivals.

During the first few months of the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent “stay-at-home” mandates,  business slowed dramatically. Red Bay experienced a drastic reduction in their wholesale office service and cafe service. This prompted the decision to refocus on selling via their website and doing more social media marketing.

Before the pandemic, e-commerce was the smallest segment of Red Bay’s various revenue streams. Now, as a result of so many people being forced to stay at home, online sales have grown 350%.

The increase stems from the fact that much of its Silicon Valley audience is now drinking coffee at home and having their coffee beans shipped directly to them.

“Then there’s another group who were drinking our coffee at our cafés, and we had to close most of them,” Konte added. They too have turned to having their coffee beans shipped.

The pandemic has forced it to become more efficient than in the past. “In the future, we have the muscle to push ourselves into various channels, and yet we’re still small enough to be nimble to adapt to the current environment,” he said.

Visit Red Bay coffee online and subscribe to their monthly service.