You may recall that I recently attended the Atlanta Culinary Tour of Inman Park and the Old Fourth Ward a while back. Last week, I was fortunate enough to hang out with the folks at Atlanta Culinary Tours as they explored Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters. Once again, Atlanta Culinary Tours provided an entertaining and educational adventure in the world of food.
Batdorf & Bronson is a company based out of both Olympia, Washington, and right here in Atlanta. The two branches work very closely with one another, right down to performing calibrations via Skype to ensure identical taste across the United States. The company has a commitment to ethical and responsible coffee. Not only do they use fair trade coffee, they also order coffee directly from the plantations where the beans are harvested. Additionally, they use 100% renewable energy, including natural gas and solar energy.
If you haven't heard of Batdorf & Bronson, you may have heard of their coffee shop in downtown Decatur: Dancing Goats. The name comes from the story of how coffee was first discovered. According to legend, an Ethiopian goat herder noticed his flock dancing energetically after eating little red cherries.
Batdorf & Bronson coffee is also brewed at some of my favorite places around Atlanta: Highland Bakery, West Egg Café, Bakeshop, Murphy's, Miller Union, Watershed, Ria's Bluebird, Alon's, and Aurora, to name a few.
Batdorf & Bronson also supplies coffee to Cacao, an Atlanta-based chocolatier.
The tour was led by Jason Dominy, Batdorf & Bronson's Head of Bean Knowledgy (yes, that's a real word) and all-around coffee enthusiast. No, "enthusiast" seems like a bit of an understatement. This dude has a tattoo of a coffee bean; I think it's safe to say he pretty much lives and breathes it.
Jason's passion for the subject at hand made it interesting and relevant to everyone in the room...even the one or two people who said they don't drink coffee!
We learned about the entire process from harvesting to roasting, which included an explanation of equipment that I had never seen before.
Yep, the roaster had an Elvis figurine on it. I'm telling you - these guys have personality!
I was really excited to learn about the burlap sacks that the coffee comes in. Sounds silly, I know, but trust me...they were beautiful.
Best of all, guess what they do with the bags once the beans are used? They sell them to benefit Coffee Kids, an organization that provides resources like healthcare to the coffee plantations. Affordable burlap and a good cause? I might need to make myself some new patio furniture pillows...
We finished up the tour in The Lab where Jason, an award-winning barista, demonstrated serious hand-brewing skills.
We concluded our tour with the most incredible iced coffee I've ever had.
If you live in the Atlanta area and enjoy coffee and/or learning about socially responsible agriculture, I highly recommend this tour. The next one is Wednesday, August 10th at 7:00 PM. Tickets are $25, and the roastery smell alone is worth that price! Be sure to check out Atlanta Culinary Tours' website for more information.
Have you ever toured a coffee roastery? What kinds of things did you learn?