It's Happening at South Jersey Java

From Seed to Cup

A Coffee Bean's Journey  

The journey of a coffee bean from seed to cup is a long adventurous one!  It begins high in the mountains of tropical countries like Mexico, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Sumatra (pictured), or even America where coffee grows in Hawaii.  There are two basic types of coffee trees: Arabicas and Robustas. Robustas are hardy, high-yielding trees that grow at lower elevations in the tropics like Brazil and Vietnam.  They yield low-quality coffee with a harsh astringent taste. However, they are useful in some aspects of the gourmet coffee trade.  For example, some use robusta beans in espresso blends to enhance the crema.  Arabicas are delicate trees that yield top-quality coffee.   They're grown in high elevations, usually above 3,000 feet, but best in altitudes of 5000 to 6000 feet!  This makes the journey to the best coffee farms on muddy, steep, treacherous roads an adventure in itself.

Each coffee bean begins as a beautiful white flower. Then, the flower gives way to a green fruit, and then finally a ripe, red cherry.
The best way to  harvest the cherries is by hand, so only the ripest, highest quality beans are processed. Indeed, since coffee cherries grow in various stages of development, this is the only way to ensure consistency and quality.  After harvesting, the coffee beans (actually the seeds of the cherry) are processed to remove them from the cherries. This is either done by a "dry" method where coffee is dried out on large concrete drying "patios" or by a "wet" method at a factory.  After being separated from the pulp of the coffee cherry, the two halves of coffee seed, called "beans," are then sorted both by machine and by hand.  This sorting process removes imperfections and separates the beans into grades. For example, in Colombia, the top 3 grades are Supremo, Excelso, and Milds.
Unroasted but processed coffee is called “green coffee,” and it's in this form that it's exported from the origin countries in 100 pound burlap bags.  Green coffee beans can be stored in warehouses for about a year before losing the top end flavors.

Next comes roasting!  When coffee is roasted, its lifespan will decrease especially when exposed to air.  This is why the roaster must be close to the consumer and package the coffee as quickly as possible.  For the "FRESHEST CUP", the following procedures are practiced at South Jersey Java.  After roasting, all our beans are rested for at least 24 hours.  This gives time for the tremendous change that has transpired to settle in and provide optimum flavor.  We believe the maximum time that roasted coffee should be exposed to air without grinding and brewing it is 4 additional days post roast.  That's why all the coffee served here comes with a 5 day fresh guarantee.  Next comes the grinding, this should not happen more than 3 hours prior to brewing coffee.  Once coffee is ground up, the air has a greater effect on the taste (more surface area of the product is exposed).  Finally, coffee is brewed and should not sit more than 5 hours. 

From this point on, the quality of the coffee you drink is up to you!  How you store, grind, and brew your coffee can make your coffee taste really good or really bad!  Soon we'll post more tips on storing, grinding and brewing coffee. 

Until then do us and you a big favor and come drink your coffee right here at South Jersey Java!

Coffee History

Coffee trees were reportedly discovered growing wild, thousands of years ago in Ethiopia by nomadic tribesmen. Legend has it that a goat herder named Kaldi could not find his goats one night. The next morning, he noticed his goats near a small bush with red berries, jumping and running about. Upon trying some of the berries himself, he felt revitalized and was soon dancing with his goats. All coffee trees, the world over, are descended from these Ethiopian trees. The literally billions of coffee trees on the planet today can each be traced back to this area.

Coffee was first cultivated on the Arabian Peninsula around the 12th century, and the Arabs who first roasted and brewed the drink called it, “qahwa” from which we now have the word coffee.

The first coffee houses were established in Constantinople in the 15th century around the same time that the Arab-influenced, Muslim Turks conquered that city and renamed it Istanbul. From there coffee made its way to Europe via trade through Venice (see image below of St. Marks' Square in Venice circa 1600). In the 17th century, the Dutch smuggled coffee plants out of Mocha, a port on the Arabian Peninsula, and transported them to Sri Lanka and the East Indies (such as Java, Indonesia) for their own cultivation and trade.

In the 18th century, coffee was brought to Brazil and the Americas for cultivation in the tropical highlands.

The rest is, as they say, history. Today, coffee is the most popular beverage in the world. It is the second most heavily traded commodity in the world – second only to the world’s other addiction: oil.

The Definitive Arnetta Blu

Introducing The GRIND Video Performance Contest

Click the Pix - The Grind Website

Arnetta Blu - Video

Arnetta Blu - 10/22/2010
South Jersey Java Spotlight Peformance

November's First Friday Event - A Tribute to Luther Vandross

A Night with Luther Vandross

Luther Vandross was undeniably one of the most significant vocalists ofour time. Since the 1981 platinum-selling release of Never Too Much,Luther’s recording career spanned over two decades and resulted in alifetime of chart topping hits. Through the 1980’s, he recorded astring of platinum albums, including Forever, For Always, For Love, BusyBody and The Night I Fell In Love. He scored his first Grammy Award in1989 with “Here And Now.” 2003’s Dance With My Father received 4 GrammyAwards and has generated worldwide sales exceeding 3 million copies.Collectively, Luther’s body of work has sold in excess of 30 millionsrecords worldwide, winning eight Grammy Awards, numerous Soul Train,BET, NAACP Image Awards and American Music Awards. 

Worth a night of tribute at South Jersey Java, right?

The GRIND Video Performance Contest

Arnetta Blu - Two Sold Out Shows

Arnetta Blu Performs Live at SJJ
Ms Arnetta Blu

Friday night's live performance from Ms Arnetta Blu was a celebration of all that is good in music.  The diverse crowd was treated to stirring renditions of songs familiar made brand new and fresh.  The songs were eclectic - Armetta Blu repertoire is wide and varied.  Somehow however, when seen as a whole they revealed much about the artist's sensibilities.   She brought a family and long time friends and associates.  She also made new ones with her vibrant talent and humble spirit.  During the evening, Ms Arnetta Blu offered a BASKET up for a raffle to make a positive contribution to Robin's Nest, a local charity.  The winning number was 863596.  To the person holding that ticket please pick it up at South Jersey Java at your earliest convenience.


Coffee-Catering-Community Survey

Take my Survey: Coffee Catering Community

First Friday Events - Ladies Sing the Blues....and Dudes too!

First Friday Event

SJJ Java & Jazz Nite
October 1, 2010
$8.00 cover