This holiday season, we are giving thanks to our partners and clients by sending them speciality coffee from our friends a Velodrome Coffee Company. We chose Velodrome as a partner for this project not only because of the devotion to their product, but also because of the strong values they have as a company.
Brice Sturmer, owner and roaster at Velodrome Coffee Company, believes in personally traded coffee. What is personally traded coffee? It means that Brice has a personal connection to the farmer that grows the coffee. He either has met the farmer, been to the farm, or has a trusted partner that has been to the farm. Brice chooses to only roast personally traded coffee in order to have transparency, consistency, and find new ways to improve the coffee. It also allows him to support farmers that have a positive impact on their communities.
You may be familiar with “fair trade” and “direct trade” when you see coffee packaging. While they can seem like a stamp of approval that you can trust, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the roaster has met the farmer or has any type of personal relationship with them. While they may be purchasing directly from a farm, they likely don’t understand the needs the farmer has or vice versa.
Personally traded coffee creates more benefits for the farmer and the roaster. That way better coffees can be grown, roasted, and served in more excited ways.
"Farmers work extremely hard to produce the finest coffee they can and we want to present it to our customers in the best way possible."
At Headway, we help build businesses, not just products. So when we see someone like Brice taking a similar approach in a totally different industry, we take notice. We’re thrilled to share a passion for excellence and couldn’t be happier to work with him on this collaboration. We love his focus on listening to customers and farmers in order to create a better cup of coffee.
Each growing season produces a slightly different result in the cup, but working with a coffee from the same farm over time allows a roaster to gain a better understanding of how to best roast the coffee as it changes and evolves. Building stronger relationships with farmers creates an increase in consistency year after year.
"When we create friendships with farmers we can ask them to try something experimental for us. We also have access to any information we need about a particular lot on the farm. The more info a roaster can gather the better understanding I will have when I roast."
For Velodrome, the goal is to highlight the most intriguing aspects of a coffee. Brice looks for a nice development of sugars to gain sweetness, but also try to be aware of any off flavors so he can remove them through a more refined roasting process.
This coffee comes from one of the most sustainable and environmentally focused estates in Papua New Guinea. Brice has personally met the estate manager, Vijay, and we are inspired by his mission to produce the cleanest tasting coffee possible from the region.
Brice had the honor of visiting the Schippers on their farm this month to continue growing his relationship with them and gain a better understanding of the coffee he will be purchasing. You can see footage from the Guatemala in the video!
"There's something special about walking among the trees ripe with coffee and knowing you'll be roasting that same seed in a few short months. - Brice Sturmer, Velodrome Coffee Company"
We are so grateful for everyone who helped make this collaboration happen. We want to thank Brice from Velodrome Coffee Company for giving us the opportunity to work with him to create a personalized gift for all of our partners. Alex from Loure for helping film both in Marquette with Jacob and even traveling with Brice down to Guatemala this month. Finally, we want to thank everyone at Headway for the designs, writing, giving feedback, packing boxes, and shipping out the coffee.
Happy Holidays from all of us here at Headway. We can’t wait to continue the journey with you in 2018!
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