When Heine Brothers’ Coffee and Vint Coffee merged in 2011, there were a lot of questions – both from the staff and the community – over what the merger meant for each brand. Over the last 4 years, we have worked hard incorporating the best aspects of each brand in to our overall company, but also keeping Vint Coffee’s Clifton coffeehouse as a unique, focused “test kitchen” for Heine Brothers’ here in Louisville. We were excited this year when our Vint Coffee baristas mentioned wanting to compete in CoffeeFest Chicago’s “America’s Best Coffeehouse Competition”, and are proud that they were selected to compete this weekend in the competition.
The competition includes 6 shops, each with teams of 3, that compete for an hour. There is a pop-up café set up on the tradeshow floor on the Navy Pier – attendees go through the line and order from a limited menu. The baristas are judged on drink quality, customer service, and teamwork – all things that are needed for running a successful and fun café. Our 3 person team – Danielle Burns, Kevin Morgan, and Erica Brown – are excellent baristas behind the bar at Vint, but wanted the experience of working together in a different setting, so we had several test runs in our drink training center at our roastery. Other HB & Vint baristas and managers were invited to come out and test them – ordering drinks, asking questions, critiquing the experience – and we think they are going to do great!
The limited-menu includes two signature drinks that use products by some of our favorite Louisville locals – our Vint Julep includes sugars from Bourbon Barrel Foods, and the Butchertown Fizz includes the Ginger Beer from the new Butchertown Soda. Both of these are available right now at Vint Coffee – come in and try them out!
Vint Coffee will be competing today (Friday June 5 2015) at 2:35pm (1:35pm in Chicago). Good luck Erica, Kevin, and Danielle!
Being a good community partner is something that has always been important at Heine Brothers’ Coffee. As a company, we donate brewed coffee, give gift cards, and help sponsor and promote activities of countless schools, churches, neighborhood groups, environmental groups, and many other non-profits here in Louisville that are doing some really great things for our community.
Because of this, we also attract a lot of people that are community-focused and want to work for a company where this is important. We set up quarterly volunteer opportunities for our staff, and regularly have 20+ employees offer to donate their own time to do good here in Louisville.
Our volunteer opportunity in April coincided with Give A Day – Mayor’s Week of Service here in Louisville, and we chose one of our favorite groups in town – Olmsted Parks Conservancy – to work with. We’re lucky to have such an amazing public parks system here in Louisville, and our employees wanted to help keep them as healthy and vibrant as possible.
We’re proud to say that our very best ideas often come from our own baristas. The baristas at HB-Chenoweth Lane first introduced the Heine Brothers’ family to cold brewed coffee 5 years ago, and we have loved it ever since. This exceptionally smooth coffee is brewed by pouring cold water over ground coffee, and letting it steep for 12-16 hours. No heat in the brewing process means less acid is extracted from the beans, and the result is rich, velvety and refreshing.
This summer we’re happy to announce the arrival of Dog Days Cold Brew at all Heine Brothers’ locations. Named for the sultry, hot days of summer, this blend of Nicaraguan, Sumatran, and Ethiopian coffees is sweet and smooth, with a nutty aftertaste that just won’t quit.
Cold brew coffee is not only delicious, it’s also about the simplest way that you can brew coffee at home. Just pour cold or room temperature water over ground coffee in your french press, a pitcher or a jar and stick it in the fridge overnight. Then pour through a fine strainer, or a coffee filter, and you’re done! The resulting coffee concentrate is tasty as it is, or you can dilute it with water or milk to taste. Come pick up a bag of Dog Days at your local Heine Brothers’ Coffee location to enjoy at home.
We hope that you’ll come in and cool off with a cup of Dog Days this summer!
Available by the cup and bag in-store, and also available by the bag online.
Looking for Brewing Instructions?
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.
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,
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.
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.”
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
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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 http://heinebroscoffee.com/ or follow us @HeineBrosCoffee.