Looking for a new dining experience in Santa Rosa? Look no more. Pearson & Co. have you covered for dining out, eating in, or catering an event of any size. Committed to the freshest ingredients, Pearson & Co. roast and slice their own meats daily along with baking fresh focaccia every morning. Their meatloaf, eggplant parmesan & grilled salmon are sure to please any palate, and don’t forget to try their astonishingly delicious Chocolate Pudding for dessert, paired with Taylor Maid Farms Sweetwater Espresso. Find them at 2759 4th St. or 2500 Mendocino Ave. in Santa Rosa. Check their website for hours and prepared to be wowed by their menu.
Two weeks ago we returned from Guatemala with a renewed sense of purpose. Our trip clarified our vision and pushed us to rededicate ourselves to our mission: connecting our love of coffee through community while supporting organic agriculture.
For those of us with decades in the coffee industry, traveling to coffee-growing communities at “origin” was a professional and personal pilgrimage. Having spent years at this end of the coffee chain where we roast, package, brew, and serve a product that only grows in distant lands around the equator, the chance to walk through coffee farms, smell jasmine-scented coffee blossoms, and rake coffee parchment on sun-dried patios was a full-circle experience for us, a dream come true.
We are indebted to our incredible hosts, Brian and Thomas from InterAmerican Coffee, who planned the perfect itinerary fit for the geekiest of coffee geeks: small-holder farms, coffee estates, big cities, small towns, professional cuppings (tastings), and café-laced colonial cities.
While reflecting on our trip, Brian said his favorite moments were watching our team huddle on long bus rides to strategize about how we would use our experience to build a better company and ignite progress for our industry.
In the coming weeks, that’s exactly what we’ll be sharing with you on this blog: the ways in which Guatemala impacted us and how you can partner with us to push our industry forward. Stay tuned.
My Linea VS Linnia love story takes place in Santa Rosa California. I believe it to be a rare and exceptional story so I am obliged to share it today. My story mixes falling in love with a woman and falling in love with an espresso machine. To this day when I introduce my wife to a coffee professional, which is often, I get a smile because her name, though spelled differently is pronounced the same as the beloved Linea.
When we met I was unaware of the espresso machine she shared a name with, but shortly after we were married I was given the chance to run a small cafe which happened to be one of my dreams. I had the opportunity to work with the espresso machine before taking the job and though I found my differences with the owner to be vast I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to run a coffee program with the La Marzocco Linea as the backbone.
Not only did I learn more about life, love, and marriage that first year of being married and running a cafe, I learned so much about coffee and espresso. Though I have moved on from that occupation, I still work in the Specialty Coffee Industry and am overcome with nostalgia when I see a Linea sitting in a cafe wondering if the barista understands and appreciates the machine they get to work with. Though the Linea will never compete with Linnia, I rather enjoy telling the story that my wife’s name is shared with one of the best espresso machines ever made. *Story written for La Marzocco’s Linea Love Campaign
Located in the historic Sonoma square since 1994, “The Basque” is a delightful hangout for locals and visitors alike. From 7am to 6pm you’ll find tables inside and out filled with contented folks enjoying award-winning French inspired breads and Danish pastries, as well as light breakfast fare, soups, salads, and sandwiches. To go with, guests can enjoy Taylor Maid Farms coffee by the cup or as an espresso beverage, as well as wines by the glass. For local businesses, coffee may be purchased in airpots to go along with favorite morning pastries. And for those with a hankering for a sweet or sourdough loaf, but can’t make it to the bakery, not to fret…Basque’s breads are available in fine markets in Sonoma, Napa, Santa Rosa, and Sebastopol! For more info, go to www.basqueboulangerie.com.
The winning barista will choose between two coveted prizes: a trip to a Guatemalan coffee farm with Taylor Maid Farms or a high-end espresso machine.
A panel of technical and sensory judges will evaluate contestants on a range of areas including knowledge of coffee harvesting and processing techniques; taste, volume and texture of espresso; and presentation of drinks including latte art.
Each Oliver’s Market will host a semi-final competition featuring their best baristas, sending one winner onto the Final Throwdown. All events are open to the public with the following schedule:
Oliver’s Market, Stonypoint Semi-Final: January 7th, 2-3pm
Oliver’s Market, Montecito Semi-Final: January 8th, 1-2pm
Oliver’s Market, Cotati Semi-Final January 9th, 2-3pm.
Final Throwdown: Taylor Maid Farms Organic Coffee, January 17th, 6-8pm
The competition reflects a growing global awareness of the professionalism and technical skill-set required to make specialty coffee, a movement chronicled in the New York Times’ December 31, 2012 article: “Learning to Create the Perfect Cup of Coffee.”
The professional barista movement will also be on display at Barista Nation in San Francisco on January 19th, a forum for professional baristas to gather, share best practices, and take their artisanal coffee skills to the next level.
The trip to Guatemala will take place in early February with the goal of building closer relationships with coffee farmers and learning more about farm-level coffee processing.
I want to take a moment and wish everyone a wonderful holiday and happy new year! 2012 was a transformational year for Taylor Maid Farms. We looked at everything and questioned how and why we do what we do. Our supply chain became more solid and we began to consistently offer seasonal coffee delivered at the height of their flavors. We began offering coffees we never had before, including India and Bali. This gave our fans and customers a chance to experience coffee from more farms than ever before.
We began the addition of our Coffee Bar and the job title Barista finally became part of our company. This addition has allowed us to present our products as we intend and gives us a test ground to be able to support our business partners. It makes my day to come to work and order a TMF Cappuccino!
Our focus on education and the structure of our training has helped us elevate the skills of those who serve and sell our coffee. We have also been able to develop our team like never before.
Last year was good for Taylor Maid Farms. 2013 will be incredible! The opening of our new production and coffee bar space at the Barlow will allow us to share with you our passion for coffee and all that goes into it. We will also be celebrating Taylor Maid Farms’ 20th Anniversary! We have lots of ideas and ways to celebrate with you and for you, realizing that we are here because of you!
Thank you for the years of support, for sticking with us, and for pushing us to be a better company.
WATER STREET BISTRO
In the heart of downtown Petaluma you’ll find Water Street Bistro, run by Stephanie Rastetter and her amazing crew. Their French-inspired cuisine is oh-so-good. From a beautiful piece of salmon to garden fresh veggies & delectable baked baked goodies, you won’t be disappointed, as ALL of her regulars will attest! Let’s be clear, Stephanie is a very hard worker and her food shows it. Nice wine? Good beer? Yes, and yes. But you can also pair your meals with a beautiful latte or a nice cup of Sonoma Roast. But, sshhhhhh: Water Street Bistro isn’t big, or on the main street, so join in with the in-the-know Petalumans and get down there. Located at 100 Petaluma Blvd. North, Petaluma, closed on Tuesdays. See more at www.waterstreetbistro.net.
FRESH BY LISA HEMENWAY
French-inspired produce and specialty foods market? Gourmet deli and art gallery? Coffee bar with incredible house-made pastries? Yes, yes, and yes! Fresh by Lisa Hemenway is all of these things and more. Enjoy fresh pasta, salads, sushi, and entrees prepared to go, or dine in at the lovely seated restaurant or patio. We suggest a delectable morning pastry paired with a cup of TMF’s Sonoma Roast, or an afternoon treat accompanied by Sweetwater espresso. You can also purchase our coffees in bulk or cans in the marketplace. Visit them at 5755 Mountain Hawk Way in Santa Rosa, or online at freshbylisahemenway.com where you can see menus, view upcoming events, find out about catering, or peruse some of their recipes!
Cyndi became a fan of Taylor Maid Farms after tasting our coffee at local institutions like Wildflower Bakery and Sebastopol Cookie Company. Upon hearing about our naming contest, Cyndi suggested “Coleman Valley”- the name of a scenic Sonoma County biking trial. We loved Cyndi’s idea, so we ran with it! Her name inspired a titular epiphany for Taylor Maid Farms’ Roastmaster Joshua Shaw, creator of our new espresso. With Coleman Valley in mind, Josh pondered the espresso’s juicy-sweet flavor profile. And then it hit him. There was another iconic biking trail whose name would capture the essence of our espresso: Sweetwater. And that, friends, is the name that just felt good in the soul. True to our word, Cyndi won 25 lbs. of espresso for home consumption, a treat she is already sharing with colleagues. “I served Sweetwater Espresso today at a work meeting…French pressed with oatmeal cookies. Somehow everyone said yes to whatever I asked! It must have been the coffee.” Must have been.