We’ve Moved!

No, no, not our store.  That’s in the same location in downtown Grass Valley where we’ve been for over 30 years now.  We do however have a new website, and our blog is now incorporated into it.  Look for us from now on here.  All the older posts will be there too, so don’t worry, you won’t miss a thing!

Weekly Newsletter: Maui Grown


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504Maui Grown

Today marks the halfway point of the month of November–although the weather has felt far more like early September, hasn’t it?  The one day that I wore a sweater this week, I was far too warm.  What a nice problem to have in November: a string of sunny days.  This morning I had the opportunity to watch my daughter receive a character award, for compassion.  Isn’t that a great reason to get an award?  She was delighted to be recognized, and she beamed as she shook her teacher’s hand.

A blurry phone photo of a proud girl.

A blurry phone photo of a proud girl.

I do love the holiday season, and especially the Thanksgiving reminder to be grateful for what we have.  In the next few weeks we will be hosting a few giveaways on our Facebook page, here, to say thank you to all of you, our loyal customers.  You are the reason that we are in business, and November is a good season to pause for a minute and say thank you.  Today I am thankful for another blue sky day, gold leaves that crunch underfoot, and a little girl’s joy.

This week we have a Hawaiian offering for you, from the island of Maui.  These arabica typica beans are grown on a large estate just north of Lahaina.  You can visit their website here, and they have a YouTube video of the process from farm to cup here.  The video is particularly interesting, because it shows both a wet-processed coffee and a natural coffee, as we discussed with our two Balinese options last week.  Keep in mind that this is a first world operation, very mechanized, and very different from the small farm and hand picking method used in much of the world.

This Maui Grown is brought in green, as are all of our coffees, and roasted right here in our store.  It has a medium body, bright clean flavor and it cools to chocolate tones.  This comes one hundred percent from Maui, and it is the only plantation on Maui, so it’s a unique bean.  If you love the smooth flavor of a Kona coffee, you’re sure to love this Maui Grown too.

Enjoy a cup on us today by using the code thank you*.  In other news, we have had so many requests for Eggnog Lattes that we started serving them early this year.  Eggnog Lattes, Peppermint Mochas, Hot Apple Cider and Hot Chocolate with Mini Marshmallows are all being offered now.  While the weather is still good, come on in and try your favorite holiday drink.  I’ll be sipping Maui coffee this week, and enjoying memories of our Hawaiian trip last January.  Cheers!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Maui Coffee.  Code expires on 11.21.13.  Limit one free cup per customer please.  Valid only at Carolines Coffee Roasters, 128 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA.  Code/Offer has no cash value.

Weekly Newsletter: Organic Balinese


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Fall Leaves Header 2Organic Balinese

I had the loveliest time last night, chatting with two old friends.  The three of us have known each other over twenty years, since our high school days.  There is nothing quite like the comfort of talking to other mothers who know your mother, know your family, know your story and your history.  You don’t spend time explaining: you get to move immediately to the heart level and talk about how you are really doing.  It is so refreshing for all three of us to get to connect as friends, mothers, wives and women.  What a privilege to get together with these two women.

Gift Basket GiveawayWe have discovered that at this time in our lives, the easiest time to get together is after the kids are in bed, in the evening.  And even then we can only make our schedules coincide every third month or so.  For years we met over coffee, and perhaps someday we will again.  In the meantime I will drink to Lindsey and Betsy this week as I enjoy my morning cup of coffee.

You too can drink to friends old and new this week with some great locally roasted coffee.  How is that for a segue?  We’ve got a fun coffee option for you today.  Last week I wrote about how our Organic Timor is a wet-processed bean.  Well this week Trace, our roaster, decided to let you taste the difference that processing can make to a coffee.  We have two Balinese coffees brewed this week (#2 and #3 in the pump pots), and the biggest difference between them is that one is a natural, or dry-processed coffee, while the other is a washed bean.

With a wet-processed bean, as we discussed last week, the fruit is removed by washing before the bean is dried.  In dry-processing, the red cherry is left intact while drying.  This causes a natural fermentation to occur, and a natural coffee tends to have much fruitier flavors when it is brewed.  These two Organic Balinese coffees prove this to be true, with the washed one (#3) tasting bold and full-bodied, like a classic Indonesian coffee.  The natural (#2) has notes of fruit, wine and berries.

We are doing something different this week with our free cup, so that you can sample both of these coffees.  When you use the code red cherry*, we will give you two four ounce cups, so that you can try these side by side.  If you come in tomorrow, you will also be able to participate in the downtown Holiday Open House event.  Over thirty participating merchants, including yours truly, will be kicking off the holiday season with promotions, sales, and fun activities.  We will be giving away the gift basket pictured above (full of gourmet goodies!) to one lucky winner.  You can enter your name tomorrow, and we’ll choose the winner on Monday.  Good luck!
–Holly Fike     

*Code good for two four ounce cups of Organic Balinese: one washed and one natural.  Code expires on 11.14.13.  Limit one time per week per customer please.  Valid only at Carolines Coffee Roasters, 128 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA.  Code/Offer has no cash value.

Weekly Newsletter: Fair Trade Organic Timor


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Halloween HeaderFair Trade Organic Timor

Happy November!  November always seems like the start of the holiday season to me.  It’s not here yet, but the early birds are beginning to think about Christmas.  Yesterday we had a blast celebrating Halloween with all the preschoolers who showed up for the Downtown Trick-or-Treat event.  There were some mighty cute costumes, some of which you can spot on our Facebook page here.  My favorite was a little puppet, who was so well supported that her dad could actually pick her up.

All of our staff were dressed up and ready to greet you for Halloween!

All of our staff were dressed up and ready to greet you for Halloween!

This week’s coffee is from the country of East Timor, a brand new country, having established independence from Indonesia in 2002 (see the BBC country profile here).  East Timor has had its tumultuous times in the last eleven years, but these farmers have persevered, succeeding in bringing their coffee to an American market.  This coffee is from a cooperative of small farms, and is grown at high altitude.

Fair Trade Organic Timor is a washed arabica green bean, which we also refer to as wet-processed.  This means that water is used to remove the fruit from the bean, as opposed to a dry-processed coffee, where the fruit remains intact.  Once the fruit is removed, these beans are sun-dried, in the traditional method.  The processing method can change the flavor of the coffee, so the method used will effect what you taste when you drink this Timor.

This Timor has a tangy sweetness, which cools into cocoa tones.  You can emphasize the chocolate flavors if you try it with a piece of Halloween candy, like I did yesterday.  We brewed a French press to sample it right out of the roaster, and while everyone else noted a pleasant acidity, and sweet fruity tones, I was tasting chocolate with each sip.  With or without a chocolate bar, you can’t go wrong with this East Timor coffee.  It’s easy to drink, with less body than last week’s Sumatra.

You can try this Fair Trade Organic Timor on us this week by using the code Halloween candy*.  You might sound a little out of date for the first week of November, but you’ll get a free cup of coffee out of the deal.  I hope that you enjoy this shiny new month and stay open to possibility and change this next week.  Tomorrow we’ll be busy with all kinds of kid events, so we’ll definitely start the day with a good dose of coffee.  Enjoy!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Fair Trade Organic Timor.  Code expires on 11.07.13.  Limit one free cup per customer please.  Valid only at Carolines Coffee Roasters, 128 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA.  Code/Offer has no cash value.

Weekly Newsletter: Fair Trade Organic Sumatra


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Upper Twin Lake Header V2Fair Trade Organic Sumatra

There is so much to talk about this week.  Our new espresso machine was installed on Wednesday night, and we’ve been enjoying pulling shots on a lever machine.  As an added benefit, we bought a new grinder also, and it is much quieter.  We are keeping the second grinder as a single-origin espresso, so look for that to be set up soon.

He caught a fish!

He caught a fish!

We had a wonderful camping trip last week here: many thanks to all of you who wished us well.  It was a great time of enjoying the fall colors, eating good food, sitting around a campfire, bike riding, and fishing.  We even found time to visit Travertine Hot Springs.  I’m sure that Jack and Trace would have listed the fishing first.  It was Jack’s first time fishing with a reel and he and Trace each caught at least a trout a day, which was enough to cement Jack’s love of fishing forever.  Caroline and I enjoyed spending time together walking, fairy-house-building, exploring, bike riding, and taking photographs.

The only downside to our trip was the cold.  Although it was up to 65 during the day, it got quite chilly at night, like 11 degrees Fahrenheit.  Needless to say, we seriously enjoyed our coffee each morning.  In fact, by the third day Trace and I were beginning to wonder if we brought enough!  We were drinking last week’s special, the San Agustin Colombian.  We’ve carried it for years in the store, but I don’t think that I’ve ever enjoyed it more than as it warmed my hands, sitting around the campfire..

This week we’re flying across the South Pacific from Colombia, to the northern part of the Indonesian island of Sumatra.  This Fair Trade Organic coffee is grown in the highlands here and processed by a cooperative.  The farmers are committed to the environment and to keeping their land fertile and avoiding landslides through training in new farming and land management techniques.  If you have a browser that can translate for you (the page is written in Indonesian), you can read about them here.

In the cup this coffee is earthy and nutty, full-bodied, and a bit cleaner than other Indonesian coffees.  I’m taking a pound home to enjoy for the next week.  It is also low in acidity, which to me means that you can drink more of it!  Use the code third day* to receive your free twelve ounce cup this week.  Whatever you do this week, enjoy good coffee!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Fair Trade Organic Sumatra.  Code expires on 10.31.13.  Limit one free cup per customer please.  Valid only at Carolines Coffee Roasters, 128 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA.  Code/Offer has no cash value.

Weekly Newsletter: San Agustin Colombian


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Fall ColorsSan Agustin Colombian

Haven’t the fall colors been great lately?  The above picture was taken from the porch at the New Moon last week, and I’ve seen similar color all over the county.  Today we are out of town, out of internet access, camping on the eastern side of the Sierras.  Hopefully I’ll have great pictures to share next week.  Our kids have a week off of school, and we’re all looking forward to getting away as a family.  They made sure that we have marshmallows packed, so it’s sure to be a good trip–for the kids anyway.
Trace and I may be more pleased that the fresh roasted coffee is tucked in the camper, along with our favorite French press.  There’s nothing better than hot coffee on an icy cold morning.  Somehow I doubt that we’ll find much other morning warmth at the 6500′ elevation where we’re planning on camping.  I’ve packed gloves, my down coat, and a scarf and hat.  Between that and a cup of coffee, I should be okay.
While we’re out of town, our featured coffee is our San Agustin Colombian.  This is a co-op of farmers in the Huila region of Colombian, in the southernmost part of the country.  Here they grow great coffee, which has several times won the Colombian Cup of Excellence.  We’ve carried this Colombian for years, and this year the burlap sack is marked with “25 anos” for the years they have been producing this coffee.
This Colombian has a beautiful aroma, and Trace light-roasts it to bring out the smooth and rich flavor.  In the Huila valley, coffee ripens throughout the year, and some farmers are able to run more than one farm, with the cherries ready to be picked at different times.  It’s a unique region, with a unique coffee.  It roasts very consistently, which is indicative of the care that goes into processing these beans.  We are proud to have carried it for most of their twenty-five years.
Perhaps you are somewhere warm this week, or still at work in Nevada County?  Whether you are on vacation or comfortably ensconced at home, I hope that you are drinking good coffee.  Use the code marshmallows packed* to try a cup of this San Agustin Colombian on us.  We’ll be back next week.  Enjoy!
–Holly Fike  
*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of San Agustin Colombian.  Code expires on 10.24.13.  Limit one free cup per customer please.  Valid only at Carolines Coffee Roasters, 128 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA.  Code/Offer has no cash value.

Eight Year Old Espresso


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This is what I love about Carolines Coffee Roasters: we are a family business.  On Wednesday night we were training employees on our new lever espresso machine, and after they all left, I offered to let Jack try to make a drink.  Step by step we crafted a latte, while Aunt Becky chronicled our progress with her camera.  Here’s a synopsis of our time, in a few pictures.  Enjoy!

Jack Espresso 1 textJack Espresso 2–Holly Fike

Weekly Newsletter: Organic Nicaragua El Paraiso


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Espresso Machine HeaderOrganic Nicaragua El Paraiso

What a week!  We’ve had the fun experience of training employees on our new espresso machine.  Look for it to be installed soon: we’re going old school, back to our roots, to a lever machine.  No fancy buttons, just levers and knobs.  We have such great camaraderie among our staff that it was a joy to practice on the new machine together.  Tonight the other half of the staff will be visiting our garage to play with it: I’m sure that it will be another good time.  You can see the pictures on our Facebook page here.

Can you spot Dad and Grandpa watching in the background? Three generations of Fike men.

Can you spot Dad and Grandpa watching in the background? Three generations of Fike men.

I enjoyed the evening, but my favorite part was letting Jack try and make a drink after everyone else left.  He was standing on tiptoes the whole time, using both hands to pull the lever.  I even showed him how to steam milk.  Aunt Becky took pictures of the event, and I’ll try to post them to our blog later today.  He made a beautiful latte, and he was so proud of himself.  We didn’t have any decaffeinated beans, so he only got to try two sips (a wired eight-year-old at 8 pm would be bad!).

This week we have a new Organic Nicaraguan coffee for you.  This family owned estate has been in the same family since the president of Nicaragua was deposed in 1979.  His lands, which encompassed the entire territory, were divided among the local farmers.  Now this El Paraiso estate is run by the children of the original owners, and under the name J and M family they grow an excellent organic coffee.

This Organic Nicaraguan is roasted light so that you can taste all the chocolate-y and nutty flavors of the bean.  I may have had too much of this coffee today (is that possible?) since this is one of my favorite flavor profiles.  It has a medium body and the flavors linger in your mouth as you sip.  I highly recommend this with a chocolate bar for a treat.  Mmmm.

I hope that you all enjoy your weekend.  The fall colors have been splendid lately.  Last night we had a marvelous meal at the New Moon Cafe, sitting outside on the front porch.  It was relaxing and calm after the day I spent with first graders at Bishop’s Pumpkin Patch.  Not only was the food fresh and seasonal (chanterelle mushrooms!), but the view was of a gigantic maple tree ablaze in red and orange.  What a beautiful place we live!

If you’re out looking at the autumnal splendor, stop by and try a free cup of this Nicaraguan on us.  Use the code excellent organic*.  Organic Nicaraguan would be a great accompaniment to a view-the-colors-drive.  However, if you’re more the sit at home type, check out the great fall pictures on the Outside Inn blog.  Either way, enjoy good coffee!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Organic Nicaragua El Paraiso.  Code expires on 10.17.13.  Limit one free cup per customer please.  Valid only at Carolines Coffee Roasters, 128 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA.  Code/Offer has no cash value.

Weekly Newsletter: Costa Rican La Pastora Tarrazu


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Fall Leaves HeaderCosta Rican La Pastora Tarrazu

Have you enjoyed the fall weather this week?  I certainly have.  The leaves are piling up in the corners of the parking lot and calling out to be crunched.  I’ve never outgrown the joy of stepping on a wind-blown, dried out and crackly red leaf.  My path in the fall meanders down the sidewalk as I try to step on each one.  Childish but satisfying–and my kids love to stomp along with me.

Costa Rican bagThis week I was camping for three days with my son’s class.  They went on a caving adventure exploring the California Caverns, and then had the opportunity to explore a Native American dwelling place here.  The weather was perfectly dry, although there was certainly an autumnal chill to the air each morning.  Great weather for coffee.

I took last week’s featured coffee, the Sustainable Mexican Nayarita, camping with us, so I’ve only had a day to sample this Costa Rican La Pastora Tarrazu.  I’m playing catch-up today both with my coffee sampling and in the office.  Not a bad problem in exchange for three days in the outdoors.

Tarrazu is a region in Costa Rica known for it’s high-quality coffee.  It is in the same canton as the capital of San Jose.  If volcanic soil seems like a recurring theme in these e-mails, this is another instance where great quality coffee is grown on the slopes of a dormant volcano.  It is grown at a high elevation, and qualifies as SHB.

This La Pastora Costa Rican has smooth flavor that is typical of Tarrazu coffees that we’ve carried in the past.  I always feel like Tarrazu Costa Rican beans are a good introduction to specialty coffee: they are easy to drink with a light brightness that most people enjoy.

As I’ve sipped this coffee this morning, I noticed that the aroma was tremendous, with strong chocolate notes.  The taste was light, and it almost melts away in your mouth: very light body.  You could drink this all day long, and it would make a great iced coffee in the summer–or on a hot October day.

Thanks to the talented Mr. Grady Fike, graphic designer extraordinaire (see his portfolio here), our weekly newsletter has a new look.  He’s also been working on a new website for us, so look for that to be coming soon.  We’ll post a link on our Facebook page when it’s up and running.  In the meantime, come enjoy a cup of this Costa Rican on us by using the code in red above: stomp along*.
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Costa Rican La Pastora Tarrazu.  Code expires on 10.10.13.  Limit one free cup per customer please.  Valid only at Carolines Coffee Roasters, 128 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA.  Code/Offer has no cash value.

Weekly Newsletter: Sustainable Mexican Terruno Nayarita


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Camping HeaderSustainable Mexican Terruno Nayarita

I’ve been camping with little Caroline’s first grade class for the last 24 hours or so.  What a fun time!  Yesterday the kids rotated through crafts and activities and then finished the evening with dinner, skits and smores.  Then this morning I brewed at least a half dozen French presses of coffee (I like to take this one camping), while the kids drank hot chocolate.  After more crafts and a bit of packing up, here I am back at work.  Well actually I went home and took a shower first.  Inevitably if I come to work in grubby clothes, thinking I can hide in the office, I get called out front multiple times.  Murphy’s law.  Thus the trip home to change.

Please forgive me if this newsletter is rambling.  I had a wonderful time, but I did not get much sleep.  Luckily this week’s coffee has lots of interesting characteristics to share.  First of all, it included on the bag a link to www.trackyourcoffee.com. I’ve never seen this website before, but it’s a great concept.  If you would like to track this Mexican, the code on the burlap is 016-2729–001-X-LAA-SS2.  I know it’s long, but if you cut and paste it, you can learn more about exactly where the coffee originated.

I’ve also got a great link for you to learn more about this Terruno Nayarita.  If you click here, you will learn that the word “terruno” means my land, or homestead.  This coffee comes from the state of Nayarit, on the western coast of Mexico.  Nayarit is just north of the popular resort destination of Puerta Vallarta, which some of you may have visited.  Coffee, however, is grown far inland, at a much higher elevation than the coastal playas.  This coffee was grown on the slopes of the now extinct Cerro San Juan volcano, an ashy soil that coffee plants love.

When Trace roasted this earlier in the week, we all commented on how warm and toasty the aroma smelled.  It seemed like a perfect fit for a cool fall morning, of the sort that we have been having around here.  I would definitely recommend it if you have any plans to go camping in the next month.  The taste is nutty like roasted hazelnuts, with a sweet, almost chocolate-y, finish.  The beans are labelled SHG, strictly high grown, which is evidenced in the consistency of the roast.  It’s a beautiful coffee.

Next week I will be gone for three days camping with my son’s class, and I will be bringing some of this Mexican along.  I might even sneak in a few chocolate bars from Cello Chocolates–it would be a perfect early morning match.  As the month of October begins, I hope that you are all enjoying good coffee on these cool mornings*.  That is our code for a free cup of this Mexican this week.  Enjoy!
–Holly Fike

*Code good for one free 12 ounce cup of Sustainable Mexican Terruno Nayarita.  Code expires on 10.04.13.  Limit one free cup per customer please.  Valid only at Carolines Coffee Roasters, 128 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA.  Code/Offer has no cash value.