The lastest from Gregorys Blog

How to do the brew... Gregs Way

Posted on June 8, 2017

We’re sharing our guide to making the ultimate summer drink at home. With these simple steps you’ll go from avid coffee drinker, to home barista in no time.

 

Who says you can’t make your cold brew and drink it too?

 

What you’ll need:

Coffee, 32oz Mason Jar, filter/strainer

cold brew.jpg

 STEPS

  1. Coarsely grind 100 grams of coffee and place it in your brewing vessel (this can be a jar, a french press, or really anything you can put a lid on).

  2. Pour 750 grams of room temperature, filtered water onto the coffee and close your container.

  3. Leave it on the counter and wait 12 hours (go to bed, if you’d like).

  4. Strain the coffee through a filter of some sort. A paper filter will give you the least grit, but maybe you’ve been doing this in a French Press all along, and you can just pour it out. Or maybe you have a very fine mesh strainer laying around. Or maybe you’ve been using a Toddy-style filter that works like a tea bag: perfect.

  5. Pour over ice and enjoy (this recipe brews coffee at a strength specifically meant to be diluted by ice).

  6. Enjoy!

    The cold brew should keep for two weeks in your fridge. 

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

               

Meet the man behind the roasts

Posted on May 28, 2017

 

Gregg Roberson

Head Roaster Extraordinaire

 

 

So how did it start? What were your earliest experiences of coffee?

 

My first personal experience trying to turn green coffee into a drinkable roasted bean was in my kitchen. I tried a couple methods; a stove top popcorn maker with a built in stirrer and in the oven basically heated to the max on a perforated cooking sheet. I couldn't find a perforated sheet that wasn't made for industrial size ovens so I ended up taking a cooking sheet we had already and drilled lots of little holes in it. The popcorn maker was a suggestion from Sweet Maria's website which is a great place to start for people trying to get ideas for different home roasting methods. The perforated cooking sheet was a suggestion from Blue Bottles book that we have in the Training Center. Neither method got good results but was still very interesting and fun to do. I still have my 'first roast' beans in a jar in my kitchen.



What sparked your interest in coffee roasting? How what point did you know that you were meant to roast coffee for a living?

 

A couple years before I got the Head Roasting position, I had made a conscious decision to try and make coffee my career. Before that I had worked in coffee off and on for 7-8 years just to make ends meet. Luckily when I started in the coffee world I was surrounded by people who were excited and wanting to share their excitement with others. That excitement plateaued when I first moved to NYC but was reinvigorated with getting a job at Gregorys Coffee. With that new spark of interest, I realized that roasting was the next step into my coffee knowledge journey.  

 

 

 

What are some of the trends have you observed in coffee roasting over the years? How has GC roasting changed since its inception.

 

Oh so many trends have come and gone. When I was a kid I remember making Folger's at home with my Dad and then using that same coffee in a percolator with my Grandmother. When I started drinking coffee myself, Starbucks was about the only coffee out there if you weren't wanting to make it yourself. You could find places but they were few and far between. But it was all dark roast or darker roast coffee. No one had heard of Cold Brew, everything was Iced Coffee. I try not to but I pretentiously correct people on that all the time. But with the emergence of Third Wave coffee and more and more people realizing that you don't need to burn the crap out of the coffee, many doors were open.

At GC, we are riding that Third Wave. We like to let this extraordinary coffee speak for itself without it being styled by roastiness (not a word) or smokiness. Our roasting hasn't changed too much though from when we started other than the fact that we've personally gotten better at hitting the objectives we are aiming for in a particular roast. We still have a lot to learn so experimentation of new coffees and blends is a big thing for us.

 

Whats the day by day process behind your roasting team?

 

Everyday is a bit different but when it comes to it we are a team and other than a few exceptions (the roasting itself, asking Maciej nicely to order more green coffee) everyone is expected to do everything. Some of the jobs are a bit more strenuous then others, like weighing out all the green coffee to be roasted for the day. That's 3,000ish pounds divided up in different bins with a scoop that does about 3 pounds at a time or getting the 150 pound bag light enough that you can lift in an pour the beans onto the scale. Just saying I count that as my workout for the day. But there is tons of little things to be done; sticker/weigh/package/seal retail bags, weighing out buckets, grind/weigh/package cold brew, receiving orders, doing donuts with the forklift, chasing pigeons out of the warehouse. The list goes on and on.


Other than roasting coffee, what are the other facets in coffee interest you?

I guess this goes pretty hand and hand with roasting but I've been trying to work on my palate for a long time. When we are roasting a new coffee 3 different ways that are only 2 degree F different or tasting 8 different coffees from the same region, being able to taste the little thing can be difficult sometimes. Sometimes they punch me in the face and it makes my job a whole lot easier. Outside of coffee, I like to smell anything before I taste it or when I'm cooking I'll try the ingredients as I go.


What have been the most notable moments that have shaped your career?

When I did my first coffee tasting 13 years ago, I told the person leading the cupping that the coffee tasted like dirt and they didn't tell me I was wrong. Instead we had a discussion about what that could mean and broke it down further. Even learning terminology like 'earthy' to say it taste like dirt but in a nicer way. But learning that every's taste is a little different so getting as many opinion as I can from super tasters to the laymen are really important to me.

When I went to the Roaster's Guild of America's annual retreat, I had never roasted coffee on a proper roasting machine. While you are there, they split you up into different groups for the competition that is also happening that weekend. When my team found that out, they very lovingly pushed me into the fire. Everyone was so helpful and eager to answer any questions that I could come up with. A lot of amazing things happened for me that weekend but one of my biggest take aways was a conversation between 2 guys on my team who had each been roasting coffee for 30 years. While discussing how to get what we wanted out of the provided coffee for the competition, they both had completely different ideas on how to approach the roast. We ended up doing both of them and they both provided a different kind of sweetness that we ended up using in final blend for the judges. And yes, we won.

The last big one was getting to go to origin. Actually getting to go to Honduras and see they whole other side of the coffee world (i.e. farms, washing and processing stations, drying beds, packaging green coffee) was extremely eye opening as to the extent and distance that these beans have to go through in order to make it to a customers cup. I've always been pretty hardcore about not waisting coffee but now when I see beans on the floor I'm like "Aw man! Some worker somewhere making next to nothing carried you up a hill on their back, you were shipped and made the journey over seas on a boat, managed to get trucked to our warehouse, were roasted, shipped again to stores and... almost made it". I just feel sad for the bean not fulfilling it's destiny.

 

How has the evolution of Gregorys shaped your individual coffee career?

 

When I started at Gregorys, we only had 3 stores. That year we doubled to 6 and its been crazy ever since. But without this growth, most of the people who work for this company would even have jobs now that we are up to 23. The more stores we opened, the better and better it would be for the company has a whole to roast it's own coffee. Basically growth equals opportunity for people who want it. Personally, working at Gregorys took coffee to a whole new level that I never knew about before. I had taken all the extra coffee knowledge classes that I could at my other coffee jobs but Gregorys really takes it to a whole new level. Before Gregorys, I never saw coffee being a career but a combination of opportunity, being surrounded by good hardworking people who also have a passion for coffee, dedication, and the trust of a man with big ideas made that possible.

 

 

1407 Broadway Doors are Open

Posted on May 15, 2017

Today we open the doors of our newest shop at 1407 Broadway. This location is our 23rd in the New York and Jersey City area.

  

 

 

With opening a new shop there are the typical considerations of what that means: growth/expansion, goals, market or industry foresight. A new store for the Gregorys Coffee family ultimately affects everyone. From our team roasting all our coffees, to the bakers at our commissary who begin each day at 7am, to team members in shops and a small core team behind the scenes, no one goes untouched.

 

A new store for us means ways to advance, innovate, and perfect the process. No two stores are the same. With each open comes a different set of rules, and 1407 Broadway gave us the opportunity to try new things. By lowering our counter and removing certain barriers between our team and the guest, we've created a more intimate experience. Our team loves talking coffee and these changes will allow for more conversations to be had. We know you'll love it.

 

For Lovers of Coffee + Music

Posted on May 2, 2017

If you’re a fan of music and coffee give yourself a pat on the Bach. We’ve curated a list of iconic songs with killer coffee references. Get ready to take some notes this’ll just take a minuet.

 

1. 

Metaphors for days - "Black Coffee" hits with the intuitive line "Black coffee, the African queen / part of the Afro-American dream."



 

2.

 

Any song that mentions Star Trek (obviously) makes me smile. The Beastie Boys do it in two songs.

Their overall ability to "stick to themes" is mesmerizing.

 

3.

 

FUN FACT: Simon came up with the "Clouds in my coffee" line on a cross-country flight. She explained the meaning of the phrase, saying: "Clouds In My Coffee are the confusing aspects of life and love. That which you can't see through, and yet seems alluring... until. Like a mirage that turns into a dry patch. Perhaps there is something in the bottom of the coffee cup that you could read if you could (like tea leaves or coffee grinds)." source

 

4. 

 

In one of his first singles from 1962, this lyrical genius was lingering over his final cup before having to leave his lady behind.

 

5. 

 

Coffee is NOT a euphemism for something else, Frank Sinatra really sings adorinngly about coffee in “The Coffee Song.” 

 

Brewing on the Aeropress

Posted on April 17, 2017

 

Brewing coffee at home, or at work, can be as simple or as complicated as you choose to make it. The aeropress, our brew method of choice makes a delicious cup of coffee, it’s how we brew all of our single origins.

 

It offers consistency by way of the fact that if you follow the recipe, you'll get great-tasting coffee every time. The Aeropress is not only reliable and consistent, but also beyond awesome in output of flavor. Sounds strange, but only because the world's a cruel mistress and scarcely admits such a compound of inviting adjectives.

 

 

   

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Introducing the New Cascara Fizz

Posted on March 29, 2017

Coffee is a fruit, and the seed of that fruit is dried, roasted, and used to make the tasty drinks you love. So what happens to the rest of the fruit? Well, sometimes it’s thrown away, and sometimes it’s used for fertilizer, but recently more and more people are trying to take advantage of the complex flavors in that dried fruit and skin and using it to make drinks. Enter our cascara fizz:

 

 cherry diagram

Quick lesson: Cascara, means “husk,” “peel” or “skin” in Spanish.

 

We’ve taken advantage of the complex sweetness offered by that dried coffee cherry (think rich dried fruit like date or, well, cherry) by making it into a syrup, which we’re topping with sparkling spring water and serving on ice. It’s refreshing, it’s different, and it’s yet another example of the wonderful world of flavor that coffee has to offer.

 

 

 

Sure to be a hit in the summer. Tell you what you think, tag us on Instagram @gregoryscoffeee or tweet us Twitter.

What We're Pressin'

Posted on March 1, 2017

 

We’re loving the line-up of new single-origins now available in all our shops.


Single-origin: (adj.) used to describe a coffee that comes from one lot, farm, region, or country.

 

 

 

 

Every few months we switch around our single origin board to present three distinct coffees from different coffee growing regions all around the world. Each cycle Maciej, our Director of Coffee, puts in immense effort sourcing new coffees that WOW.

 

These three new single origin coffees do just that:

 

AMACA (Asociación de Mujeres Productoras Agropecuarias del Cauca) is the name of an association founded in 1999 by 80 women coffee farmers, and has grown to 140 members from 3 villages in the El Tambo area of Colombia. This coffee comes to us through Cafe Imports and their Women Producers Program, which they are developing to “[empower] women along the global coffee supply chain by creating equity, empowerment, and access to a wider market”.

 

This is a really nice, classic Colombian coffee, with a deep chocolate taste, clean acidity, and a little warm spice.

 

Karurusi from Burundi is a coffee from the wonderful Mpanga mill, owned by Jean-Clement Birabereye, who built it in 2008. Its tasting notes are green apple, plum, butterscotch. This coffee is supremely balanced and should be especially delicious as espresso at our Special Project location. It has both chocolate/caramel/butterscotch sweetness and outstandingly complex acidity (apple, citrus, all of that).

 

SOPACDI (Solidarité Paysanne pour la Promotion des Actions Café et Développement Intégral) is a cooperative of 5600 farmers in Kivu, with a recently-completed washing station (the first in the region) in the town of Minova.


It’s a super-clean, super complex coffee. It tastes like candy, but not in the overly sweet way some natural coffees do. Worthy of mention: SOPACDI coffee is Fair Trade!

The Coffee Buzz at Special Project

Posted on February 6, 2017

It's been less than five months since the doors to our new cafe opened at 649 Broadway and all this excitement won’t be wearing off anytime soon. Our new shop located on Broadway and Bleecker, is the ultimate ‘cool + smart’ cousin you always wanted to hang out with. Equal parts personality and charm, this shop breathes in a new look in comparison to others, but still with great coffee. The counter tops are lined with crisp, white marble and lush flora hangs all along the ceiling. It's definitely a happy place!

This new space gives us the opportunity for fluidity and inventiveness. Our very own Gregory Zamfotis was recently featured on Sprudge.com, 'Gregory’s Coffee: Behind The Glasses With Founder Gregory Zamfotis'. In the article he says "our newest shop features a blends menu, single-origin espressos, single-origin espresso-based drinks, and signature drinks based on our rotating list of coffees. We want it to be a bit more fluid and not as fixed."



Here, experimentation is key.

 
The Basset Hound 

  • The Basset Hound is a twist on a cortado. With apricot preserves, unsweetened cocoa powered, espresso & 4oz of steamed milk

 

 The Espresso Collins

  • The Espresso Collins, this tall dark and handsome drink has juniper syrup, lemon juice and a double shot of espresso, it's served with soda water to top over ice.

 

The Lovebird

  • The Lovebird is a 11 1/2 oz drink served to stay in a clear glass chalice. Parts pineapple, lime, orange bitters and flash brewed ice coffee, it's topped with sugar on the rim and fresh pineapple for garnish.

Executing Latte Art With Well-Steamed Milk

Posted on January 5, 2017

Great lattes are built upon great espresso, but you can't have a great latte (or great latte art) without great milk. During our trainings at Gregorys, we evaluate milk through two of its qualities - flavor, and texture.

 

 

 

In order for the milk to taste great, on top of being really tasty milk to begin with, it needs to be heated to the proper temperature - somewhere around 150 degrees. This will ensure that the lactose (the sugar that's found in dairy products) breaks down - meaning we'll be able to taste it more! In order for milk's texture to be great, we make sure to aerate the milk only when it's cold, precisely making tiny bubbles in the milk - or microfoam.

 

 

Once we have properly aerated and heated milk, we incorporate it into the espresso. The pouring technique will dictate the latte art that is created in the drink, and latte art can only be executed properly with well-steamed milk. So it really is a beautiful cycle of proper preparation begetting lovely presentation, priming your tastebuds for a wonderful sensory experience.

 

 

 

- by Director or Education, Bailey Arnold

New Coffee Flights at Special Project

Posted on December 30, 2016

Our Special Project location now boasts two new items on the menu. We’re excited to introduce the ‘One & One’ and ‘First Class Flight’. Whether you’re excited by the idea of learning about coffee through comparing different brew methods or just want to try something slightly different and delicious, we think you’ll have a good time with these.

 

Similar to a beer or wine flight, a coffee flight consists of two or more drinks served together as a set. Our ‘One & One’ is served as a single espresso alongside a single cappuccino - this highlights the way in which the flavors of this particular espresso shine in milk. In the First Class Flight, the same single origin coffee is brewed as espresso as well as filter coffee, highlighting the different ways the flavors of that coffee reveal themselves across two different brew methods. And since our Special Project shop rotates single origin coffees, you’ll be able to experience these flights with a different coffee every few weeks.

 

One & One

 

First Class Flight

 

Both flights offer two drinks, served on a small serving wooden board that holds the glassware alongside a glass of sparkling water for palate cleansing. You can studiously compare them or just enjoy; it’s as academic a tasting exercise as you want it to be.

 

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