Happy National Coffee Day! We here at Water Street love that there is an entire day dedicated to this wonderful bean. From sourcing to roasting to brewing, we love everything about coffee and we especially love sharing it with you! And that’s why we thought today was the perfect day to release our newest Water Street creation in celebration of a day that’s all about coffee.
Now introducing Water Street Fusion Coffee!
The first in this line is a Michigan Peach Infused Guatemala Antigua. With tasting notes of stone fruit, caramel, and yams, this coffee is a truly unique flavor experience that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s also made using a process that is all our own.
Due to the porous nature of green coffee beans, there is often a concern that the taste or smell of whatever materials or environment the beans are stored in will transfer to the bean itself over time. For example, a green coffee bean that has been stored in burlap bags for too long can become ‘baggy’ and end up tasting like burlap when it is brewed. Obviously, in that case, this is not a desirable feature for a coffee, but what if we infused the beans with something delicious?
It turns out, since 2012, coffee roasters all over the world have begun to experiment in this way by aging coffee in a whiskey barrel, storing green beans with spices like cinnamon, or trying other infusing techniques to change the taste of a coffee bean during processing. The resulting popularity of these experiments created some very special coffees and heralded the addition of an entirely new category in the 2016 Best of Panama Competition dubbed “Innovation Coffees”. It also sparked some creative genius at Water Street Coffee Roaster.
Our Roastmaster, Seth Chapman, began working with our owner, Mark Smutek, a couple months ago to start their own coffee processing trials.
“Since peaches are in season in Michigan, we decided to make a Michigan peach puree and let it soak into our Guatemala Antigua coffee,” Seth said. “We used 26 pounds of Guatemala to 26 pounds of ripe Michigan peaches and chose the Guatemala because of its relatively forgiving profile. It created a nice canvas for us to see what exactly the puree does to the beans.”
After soaking the beans in the peach puree, the Guatemalan beans are left to dry for about 48 hours resulting in a green bean that is now so brown it looks as though it’s already been roasted.
“A lot of attention and care is needed to evenly dry the beans while avoiding fermentation and other improper drying issues,” Seth noted. “But while it is drying, the puree sticks to the outside of the beans and allows the peach flavor to leach into every single bean. The resulting cup tastes strong of peaches. It ended up being an all-natural, local, and fun way to add an interesting dynamic to our roasted coffee.”
In the future, Seth plans to continue Water Street Fusion Coffee by experimenting with other infusions like the whiskey barrel aging mentioned before, spices, and other seasonal fruits. In the meantime, the Michigan Peach Infused Guatemala Antigua is a limited time offering with only 28 bags total being sold between the shops and our online store.
With just a hint of fall leaves in its aroma and a buttery finish on the tongue, we think that this coffee is perfect for these first cool days of autumn. Don’t miss out!
Introducting ARP at Water Street Coffee Joint
It’s September at Water Street! To us that means seeing the return of study sessions at our tables as students return, fall drinks making their debut again, and of course, our new food menu hitting the cafes. This year we are also excited to announce our second time partnering with Animal Rescue Project (ARP). It’s coffee to the rescue! For the entire month of September, you will find one pound specially labeled ARP bags of our West Coast Breakfast Blend on the shelves at all of our cafes. For each of these bags of coffee sold, Water Street will be donating $4.50 to the shelter to help fund the care and maintenance of all of the animals they rescue.
Who is Animal Rescue Project and what are they all about?
ARP is a local animal shelter that opened in October 2010 at 219 Peekstock Drive. After giving the building a face lift, improving drainage and ventilation, and installing all the equipment needed to care for their furry friends, the shelter started on a passionate journey to save homeless pets one at a time. ARP provides medical care and safe housing, as well as adoption services for potential owners all with only 50 experienced volunteers! Today that number has grown to over 150 volunteers and the entire organization is completely volunteer run and sustained by fundraising and donations.
With every pet that is rescued, ARP has a 4 Commitment Policy:
They are a no kill organization. They believe that every pet has a right to life as well as human care and companionship. Euthanizing is used only when a pet has been diagnosed with an incurable disease that severely limits the quality and duration of their life. It is never done out of a need for space.
They provide a lifetime safety net for every animal they adopt out. If a pet loses their home any time after adoption, ARP readmits the animal to the rescue program and begins again to look for their forever home.
They rescue without borders. Their program considers all homeless dogs and cats regardless of regional, state, or national origin.
Pets are their only priority. They rescue pets regardless of health status and provide the best possible medical care to cure or reverse conditions brought on by prior living conditions. They also use 95 cents of every dollar received toward the rescue, care and placement of homeless pets. Volunteers provide and perform all administrative tasks so that the maximum amount of funds can be used on each pet.
How can we help?
ARP has a number of ways you can help contribute:
Volunteer and help ARP by walking dogs that need more exercise as they age to stay healthy, hang out and socialize with their cats, clean out cages and living areas, or ask about office related work.
Donate to offer financial support.
Adopt a pet and give some lucky pet a forever home!
Advocate for ARP on your Facebook or other social media by spreading their message and mission that all animals deserve to be loved in a good home.
For the month of September you can stop by any Water Street Coffee Joint and know that the bag of coffee you bought for your morning cup of joe is making a direct contribution to the organization!
We will also be providing FREE dog treats through our Portage Drive-Thru with any purchase all month long – so bring your pup by for a visit (tip: you can purchase your special ARP bagged coffee through the drive-thru as well).
Special ARP Label bags are also available for purchase on our website!
Want to find out what the animals are up to or what events are going on? Visit ARP’s Facebook for pictures, updates, and more. Open visiting hours at the shelter are Monday through Friday from 2-7pm and Saturdays from 11am-4pm and they love visitors – they’re especially in need of foster families and dog walkers right now! For more information or to get in touch with ARP about opportunities to get involved please visit their website animalrescueproject.org or call 269-492-1010.