Featured Coffee: Nicaragua La FEM

In Blog, Fair Trade, Featured Coffee, News // on March 24th, 2015 // by // No comment


This month we feature coffee from La FEM (Fundación Entre Mujeres, or Foundation Between Women), from Nicaragua.  Based in Estelí, a state just east of Managua, the Foundation Between Women is a collective of tradeswomen, educators, and farmers whose one purpose is to empower and support women in what remains a largely male dominated culture.

In their own words, the women of La FEM believe in the right of women everywhere to be free from sexual and domestic violence.  They promote reproductive rights and women’s health, protection of natural resources, and economic autonomy for all women.  The scope of La FEM is wide, and includes women’s health initiatives, literacy projects, political organization, and economic development projects.  Most members of La FEM support themselves and their families by growing coffee.  They are also subsistence farmers, and have recently been developing trade schools for girls.

In about 2010, our Cooperative Coffees partner Just Coffee Coop from Madison, WI connected with La FEM, and were immediately struck by the strength and resourcefulness of the women, most of whom are single mothers.  One of La FEM’s biggest struggles since their foundation in 1995 was building a reliable pipeline to the global coffee market.  Just Coffee shared this story with Heine Brothers’ and other Coop Coffees members, and without hesitation we laid the foundation for a partnership with these farmers.

The ensuing years have been a struggle for the farmers and our relationship.  As with all other coffee farmers in Central and South America, the women of La FEM have been hit hard by la roya.  In 2013 the coffee leaf fungus reduced yields in Estelí by 50% to 60%.  The crisis nearly broke the coop.  With the 2014 harvest things appear to be turning around, both for quality and total production.  We’re very pleased to offer one of the tastiest coffees we’ve  purchased from La FEM since 2011.  It is very smooth, with a medium body and little acidity.  Overall, a nice clean coffee, that is nutty, a bit spicy, with a soft cocoa  and cherry aftertaste.  This makes a great breakfast coffee, or one that you could sip on all day.

For more on the organization called La FEM, check out the excellent video produced by our partners at Just Coffee Coop and Higher Grounds Trading Co.


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HB-Veterans Parkway Grand Opening!

In Blog, Deals, Events, News // on March 13th, 2015 // by // No comment


HB-Veterans Parkway will be open for business on Monday, March 16 2015!

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Thursday 6am – 9pm
Friday 6am – 10pm
Saturday 6:30am – 10pm
Sunday 7am – 9pm

Come check us out during opening week for these deals:


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The Potter’s Field DVD now available at Heine Brothers’!

In Blog, Community, Louisville, News // on January 27th, 2015 // by // No comment


What happens to the homeless when they die?

The Potter’s Field documentary follows a group of high school students from here in Louisville who volunteer to give burial services for the homeless, unknown and otherwise indigent members of our community.

Directed by Edward Heavrin,

Proceeds to the DVD sales at Heine Brothers’ and Vint go to the Coalition for the Homeless and St. John’s Center.

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New Pockets & Wraps from Najla!

In Blog, News // on January 22nd, 2015 // by // 2 Comments

One of the most-requested items that we get from customers isn’t a coffee from a certain growing cooperative, or an exclusive pastry from one of Louisville’s many great bakers – but a good, hearty wrap that is full of flavor, made with ingredients that are wholesome and natural. We talked to Najla Asward, owner of Najla’s Cookies, to begin exploring what this would look like coming from them.

Several things were important to us in this. Using natural ingredients – if we have to Google an ingredient, it is probably not something we want in our food. Offering options that everyone can enjoy, from vegans to meat-loving carnivores, is also high on the list. Easy preparation, so that our baristas can quickly prepare the item to help you get to your next stop on time, is important as well.

Najla came back with 2 different items, and they both knocked my socks off. Both are animal-free products, and as the lone vegan on our leadership team, I was excited to see the reactions from the rest of the group. They LOVED them! Najla listened to what we wanted, experimented in her kitchen, talked to other culinary professionals in Louisville, and brought us something even better than we could have expected.


We’re excited to launch these new pocket wraps in all Heine Brothers’ and Vint locations this week. Heine Brothers’ is committed to sourcing as many products as possible from local vendors, and through building these relationships, offering you the best that is out there. More varieties of the pocket wraps are in the testing phase (including non-vegan and gluten-free items), so stay tuned for those.

From Najla:

Creating these vegan wraps has been a labor of love. When the opportunity came to resume production I was not sure what the final product would look like. At Najla’s, our mission is and always will be to create premium hand-crafted specialty foods that don’t contain high fructose sugar, preservatives, trans fats , etc. We were challenged because to source ingredients without a lot of these over-processed ingredients required a financial commitment to pay more for better ingredients. Our commitment is to toast each tortilla by hand. Why do you ask? Because our tortillas contain 5 ingredients – flour, water, oil, salt and sugar and most of the other significantly cheaper options contain more ingredients I can not pronounce. We chose to squeeze fresh limes because we believe you can and should taste the difference in our Special Sauce for the Breakfast Wrap. We use organic tofu, organic ketchup and organic salsas and non-GMO canola oil because it really matters to us. We thank Stanley Chase from the Louisville Vegan Jerky Company for his creativity and Amanda from Strecker’s Vegan Foods for her vegan advice. We hope you enjoy what we have created as much as we have enjoyed making them. Even if you are not a vegan, we hope you will try them. We mean it when we say, “we are proud of what’s inside.”

Thank you for your trust in us.
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Ethiopia Sidama Natural

In Blog, Featured Coffee, News // on January 21st, 2015 // by // No comment


This month we are featuring our natural processed coffee from the Sidama region of Ethiopia. This isn’t one of our newest offerings. It’s certainly not unique to Heine Brothers’.  It’s not even a “seasonal”; we are usually able to stock this coffee year round.  But these facts and the general ubiquity of the name Sidama (aka Sidamo) among specialty coffee roasters make this coffee no less remarkable.


In fact, among Heine Brothers’ offerings, Ethiopia Sidama is always atop my list of favorites.  It speaks volumes to the expertise and ingenuity of the farmers (nearly 80,000 of them) organized under the Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (SCFCU) that they are so well known in the coffee world, and produce such a unique and interesting cup profile season after season.

This natural, or dry processed, coffee is handled with the fruit on for the drying stage of processing.  The whole cherries dry in the sun for weeks until the desiccated skin resembles fruit leather.  Processing with the fruit on can be tricky, but when done carefully creates one of my favorite flavor profiles for coffee: big bodied, strong notes of candied fruit, wine, dark chocolate and other wonderful things, with a soft citrus acidity that makes the whole cup sparkle.


The farmers of Sidama Union have been processing this way for countless generations, and have it down to a science.  The coffees they produce are known for distinct blueberry, watermelon, or strawberry up front, followed by a soft wave of semi-sweet dark chocolate in the finish and aftertaste.  My favorite way to enjoy this coffee is in a Chemex, but its incredible complexity means it will be delicious by any brew method.  I make it nearly every day.

The rest of the HB Roastery crew is tired of this grinning idiot waltzing around the roastery exclaiming, “This coffee is sooo good!  So good.”  But, you know what?  I don’t care.  It’s my fave.  I tell them so, and now I’m telling you.  Hope you enjoy.



Available in-store and online.


  • Founded in 2001
  • Compromised of 80,000 members



  • 1700-1950 meters above sea level


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The Weekly Juicery now at HB-Blankenbaker Pkwy!

In Blog, News // on January 12th, 2015 // by // No comment



Heine Brothers’ Coffee Partners with The Weekly Juicery at Blankenbaker Parkway Location

Louisville, Ky. (January 12, 2015) – Louisville-based Heine Brothers’ Coffee (Heine Brothers’), which celebrated its 20th Anniversary in October, has partnered with Lexington-based The Weekly Juicery to open a cold-pressed juice bar in the interior cafe of the Heine Brothers’ location at 805 Blankenbaker Parkway in Middletown. This is Weekly Juicery’s fourth retail location, and its second Louisville location.

Founded in Lexington in 2011, the Weekly Juicery is a full-service retail juice bar with cold-pressed juices, shots, superfood smoothies, and raw foods. The company cold-presses alive, raw juice in small batches for optimal nutrition and does not cook (pasteurize) or treat its juice with high pressure processing (HPP) to extend the shelf life. Weekly juice deliveries and juice cleanses are also available.

According to Mike Mays, Heine Brothers’ President, “We’re excited to partner with The Weekly Juicery to provide hand-crafted juice to Heine Brothers’ customers and bring this amazing product to the Middletown area. I personally am a big fan of their product, and both of our organizations share a similar commitment to operating responsibly and sustainably so this is a great fit from a cultural perspective. Plus our partnership is another good example of two Kentucky businesses working together.”

Kimmye Bohannon, Founder of The Weekly Juicery added, “I started this business to make the experience of drinking healthy, cold-pressed juice accessible to many people. We share our juices, smoothies and foods daily in our juice bars. Every Juice Guide is ready and able to behind our juice bar to share cold-pressed juices and smoothies to heal your body, and soothe your soul. Our bartenders offer alive, hand crafted concoctions full of life force energy to fuel good health and vitality. In addition to sharing life force with our customers, we have a solid commitment to sourcing our produce from our local soil. This produces the highest quality, nutrient dense juice, and supports our small local growers in every market.”

The Weekly Juicery will operate in the bar area of Heine Brothers’ Blankenbaker Parkway interior cafe. Heine Brothers’ will no longer serve wine and beer at this location.

In celebration of its 20th Anniversary, Heine Brothers’ also recently announced the launch of its new customer loyalty app, Heine Brothers’ Perks. Customers can now leave their wallets at home and pay with their phones, earning rewards along the way. For every $50 spent using the app, you’ll receive $3 toward your next purchase. Plus, you get $2 just for signing up.

About Heine Brothers’

Heine Brothers’ is a 100% fair trade and organic coffee roaster. We opened our first shop in October 1994 in the Highlands neighborhood of Louisville, KY, and now have 13 shops and a mobile Airstream espresso bar, all in Greater Louisville. From the beginning, Heine Brothers’ has been committed to operating responsibly and sustainably – donating to numerous community groups, recycling, being founding members of the world’s 1st fair-trade coffee buying cooperative, buying locally. We are committed to continuing to deliver remarkable coffee shop experiences while staying true to our vision of making a difference in Louisville. For more information, please visit or follow us @HeineBrosCoffee.


Mike Mays


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Open Interviews being held for the new HB-Veteran’s Parkway!

In Blog, Events, News // on December 23rd, 2014 // by // No comment


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Holiday Blend 2014

In Blog, News, Seasonal Drinks // on December 5th, 2014 // by // No comment

holiday blend photo_1

The whole family is stuffed full of turkey dinner. The adults are all leaned back in their chairs around the dining room table, and my little brothers are running around the house or lounging on the couch, impatient for pumpkin pie and my Nana’s famous pound cake. The desert plates finally appear, along with hot, steaming mugs of Heine Brothers’ Holiday Blend, much to the delight of my family. They love it when I bring my work home for the Holidays!

This moment actually got its start way back in October, when our Head Roaster, Alec Risch, and the rest of the Heine Brothers’ roasters started talking about creating this year’s Holiday Blend. What varieties do we have on hand this fall that are really exciting? What kind of flavor profile do we want to create for our customers to enjoy around their Holiday tables, special celebrations and office parties?

Holiday Blend needs to taste great black, for that uncle who would never dream of putting anything in his coffee. But it also needs to taste great for your mom, who likes a little coffee with her cream and sugar. It will need to stand up to sweet desserts and savory dinners, to salty cheese logs and spicy gingerbread cookies. That’s a pretty tall order for one coffee!

I asked Alec how he gets started on such a daunting project.

What is Holiday Blend all about?

“Holiday Blend is supposed to be a crowd pleaser. So, when we sit down and start thinking about blends that people will enjoy during the Holidays when it gets dark early and it’s usually cold and rainy, sometimes snowy, people want something that is going to be comforting and easy to drink. We wanted something that was going to have a lot of body, just enough acidity to set all the other flavors off, but mostly sweet, smooth and chocolaty. Something that will compliment all the holiday flavors that people enjoy.”

So, how did you choose this year’s component coffees?

“We looked at all the coffees that we have on hand this fall, and decided that we have these Peruvian coffees that meet all these requirements. We roast them to different profiles to highlight those different qualities, and we end up with a blend that has body, is super smooth, has a little bit of smokiness and roasty character, but still has a little fruity sweetness, reminiscent of a candied cherry or a ripe stone fruit.”

After you choose the component coffees, then what happens?

“We cup and we talk, and we make adjustments, then we cup and we talk some more, and we make some more adjustments. And at the end of a week or two, we land on a coffee that we’re all happy with.”

I enjoyed that process a lot! It’s my first year out at the Roastery, and it was fun to be involved in the creation of a new blend. You guys kept tweaking the percentages of each coffee just a little bit and we’d all stand here with our cups and say “sure, it’s good, but does it taste like CHRISTMAS?”

Yup. It can take a long time to settle on a final blend, and the changes can be really small, but we want to make sure that it comes together just right.

What’s in this year’s Holiday Blend?

“It’s three coffees, all from Peru. It’s our washed Peru from Sol y Café in the northern part of the country. And it’s also the natural processed Peru from a tiny little co-op called Coyona which is also in the northern part of the country near the Ecuadorian border.

But it’s three coffees?

“One of them is a French Roasted Peru. French Roast is actually just a roast style. It’s the darkest coffee that we roast at Heine Brothers’. It’s roasted to highlight the body and the natural sweetness of the Peruvian coffee, with the addition of that extra smoke from the lengthy roast.  We achieved those flavors by using both French Roasted Peru from Sol y Café, and also a lighter roast of the same coffee.  Three roast profiles of two coffees that come together to make Holiday Blend. “

Weeks of thoughtful work by our dedicated Roasters that will all come together in a hot cup of Heine Brothers’ Holiday Blend. We hope that you enjoy your Holiday Blend moments with family and friends this year!

holiday_blend_webHoliday Blend is now available online and in-store!


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Tibetan Monks to Create an Interfaith Prayer for World Peace Sacred Sand Mandala during the Thanksgiving Holidays at HB-Douglass Loop!

In Blog, Community, News // on November 24th, 2014 // by // No comment

Tibetan Monks to Create an Interfaith Prayer for World Peace Sacred Sand Mandala during the Thanksgiving Holidays at Heine Brothers’ Coffee Location

From Tuesday, Nov 25th through Saturday, Nov 29th Heine Brothers’ Coffee at Douglass Loop will host a group of Tibetan Monks of the Drepung Gomang Monastery as they create a Sacred Sand Mandala as a special Thanksgiving Gift for the community.

Louisville, Ky. (November 24, 2014) – Heine Brothers’ Coffee, which just celebrated its 20th Anniversary last month, will host visiting Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery as they create an Interfaith Prayer for World Peace Sand Mandala at the Douglass Loop location, 2200 Bardstown Road, 40205.  The five-day long event will begin Tuesday, November 25th with an Opening Ceremony from 3:00 to 4:00 PM.  It is an offering of thanksgiving for peacemaking efforts during this season and prayer for an end to violence around the world.

Work on the Sand Mandala will continue every day including Thanksgiving (see schedule below) until the Closing Dissolution Ceremony on Saturday, November 29th from 1:00 to 2:00 PM.  The Monks will also be offering various crafts and gifts – many that are fair trade items made by the monks and the Tibetan refugees they support – for sale throughout the event.

This free event is open to the public.  Donations are welcome.


“Mandala” means “world in harmony”.  The Tibetan sand mandala is an ancient Tibetan art form for which the Monks of Drepung Gomang are renowned.  This Interfaith World Peace Mandala invokes dialogue and the work of nonviolent peacemaking and compassion – thereby promoting the well-being of all sentient beings.  The creation of the sand mandala begins with an Opening Ceremony in which the tour leader, Geshe Yonten Gyatso, and the visiting monks chant prayers for peace, compassion and healing, accompanied by the music of cymbals, drums and horns.  After the design for the mandala is laid out, the time consuming and delicate process of placing millions of colored sand grains onto the intricate design begins – a process at which the monks will work over the 5 days.  At the Closing Ceremony, which includes prayers and chanting, the mandala will be deconstructed, swept into a colorful pile – symbolizing the impermanence of all things.  Finally the sand will be ceremonially dispersed into the flowing waters of Beargrass Creek to spread the prayers for world peace and the compassionate energies of the mandala to the world.

Throughout the week visitors will also be able to purchase unique items the monks will be offering for sale – including jewelry, shawls, gemstone beads, ritual items, and other objects, many created by refugee Tibetans and by monks from the Monastery.

This group of Drepung Gomang Monks, hosted by the Drepung Gomang Center for Engaging Compassion, are on tour throughout the United States to share the message of compassion, to demonstrate the artistic accomplishments and endangered culture of the Tibetan people, and to generate funds to feed and educate the 2000 monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery in India.  For more information about the Drepung Gomang Monastery, the tour and their mission, please visit  For more information about DGCEC, the hosting and local Tibetan dharma center, please visit or the center at 411 N. Hubbards Lane, 40207.

Daily Schedule for the Mandala

Tuesday, Nov 25, 3pm – 7pm – Opening Ceremony 3pm – 4pm

Wednesday, Nov 26, 8am – 4pm

Thursday, Nov 27 (Thanksgiving Day),         8am – 12:30pm

Friday Nov 28, 8am – 12:30pm

Saturday Nov 29, 10am – 2pm – Dissolution Ceremony 1pm – 2pm

For more information contact Anne Walter at 502-619-1652 or

About Heine Brothers’

Heine Brothers’ is a 100% fair trade and organic coffee roaster. We opened our first shop in October 1994 in the Highlands neighborhood of Louisville, KY, and now have 13 shops and a mobile Airstream espresso bar, all in Greater Louisville. From the beginning, Heine Brothers’ has been committed to operating responsibly and sustainably – donating to numerous community groups, recycling, being founding members of the world’s 1st fair-trade coffee buying cooperative, buying locally. We are committed to continuing to deliver remarkable coffee shop experiences while staying true to our vision of making a difference in Louisville. For more information, please visit or follow us @HeineBrosCoffee.

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The Center for Women and Families Holiday Gift Card Drive

In Blog, Community, News // on November 24th, 2014 // by // No comment

Now through December 12th, we’re collecting $25 gift cards for The Center for Women and Families! The Center offers services to all survivors of intimate partner abuse or sexual violence here in the Louisville area, and these gift cards help empower their clients to do their own holiday shopping. With your generous support they hope to provide gift cards to 1,000 families this year! Drop off a gift card to your barista.


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