George Yost, Alpine Coffee owner has personally spent more than two years in Cameroon over the past 12 years. We are the exporter, importer, broker and roaster. This allows us to pay above market prices to our farmers, and still bring our customers real value by eliminating so many middlemen, and their markups. Our goal is simple. We just want to make the best tasting coffee at the lowest price possible.
Alpine searches the world for the best coffees. We direct source any time we can and when we can’t we buy from source. (Some countries don’t allow Direct Trade) It adds a lot of cost to buy in small quantities from Coffee Brokers. We travel to the source countries.
Most roasters can’t buy full containers at source. This is what helps Alpine keep your cost down. There are many other benefits to buying directly from farmers. We prefer to work directly with a group of farmers. We go there and we find what we can do to make their lives better. Sometimes it is solar electricity so kids can study at night. Sometimes it could be organic fertilizer. In most cases they can always use help establishing a certified organic program, and we like to introduce new disease resistant trees.
We try to be good neighbors, and help where we can. In turn we will be able to buy their entire crop year after year. This keeps the coffee very consistent, and since we offer so many single origin coffees it is really important we buy from the same farms. To maintain our consistency.
In each exporting country there are more than one region coffee is grown. Each region has certain flavor notes that differ from one region to the next. (Ethiopia is most famous for their three distinct areas) And farm to farm and even year to year there are noticeable differences. Our Owner George Yost who is a certified SCAA Q Cupper makes the buying decisions. In many cases he is cupping in remote areas with no labs, and sometimes he uses a simple open fire and a pot. The best coffees often come from lesser known areas.
After cupping, grading and buying, all coffees are shipped to Englewood CO, for roasting.
Every single cherry is handpicked by our farmers. Then carefully sorted to ensure only the highest quality beans end up in our roaster in Denver, Colorado. This endeavor shapes every step of our process, from partnering with our farmers to roasting by hand, to serving your customer with the best coffee.
Our Roasting Process
The Mile High City altitude provides a slower roast. Slow is always better. The slower we bring the beans to temperature, the more consistent they are throughout the entire bean. Our Probat 90 solid cast drum roaster preferred over any other roaster ever made for Artisan Coffee. Our Production Manager Jason Goettsch, is certified from SCAA and is a certified roast master and has been in the business for over 13 years.
In Cameroon, we painstakingly cup every bag of coffee we buy. The farmers there do their own wet processing. In many countries the cherries go to a wet mill and are mixed to form basically one grade of coffee. In Cameroon each farmer keeps their coffee separate. Sometimes this leads to major defects we need to sort out, but it also leads to a lot of micro lots with spectacular flavor you would not get if the process changed.
We cup over 2,000 samples, each year. Each bag is numbered, and a corresponding sample from that bag with the same number goes to the cupping room. We sell off the low grades, and have only the best grades that end up with an Alpine Logo on the bag.