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a cup of cultivar

August 22, 2011

The co owners of Cultivar Coffee, Jon and Nathan, obviously love coffee. The years they spent as baristas and roasters give them a practical working knowledge of how cafes work from the ground up. They are self educated and learned from reading barista magazines and trial and error.  Jon went to Indiana to work with Alliance World Coffees and had contact with  Intelligentsia coffee in Chicago. Nathan stayed in Texas and went to barista jams and explored the coffee scene in Austin which allowed them to see all that coffee has to offer.

 After hearing their vision we could not wait to taste Cultivar’s coffee. The espresso they brought us was tangy, balanced and sweet. Jon’s shirt read, I heart espresso, and this is the obvious core of the cafe. They offer an espresso flight which allows the customer to taste the house espresso and one guest espresso, Heart‘s stereo. The two espresso’s displayed the differences and tastes that bounce off the tongue and distinguish the best coffees. This side by side comparison serves as a catalyst for customers to talk about coffee and identify the quality that Cultivar produces. It also allows them to see what they should expect coffee to taste like from other cafes in the area.

 The guys at Cultivar recognize that they are a small cafe that can not sustain direct trade coffee, like many new cafes, but they do recognize the importance of treating farmer’s well and knowing the stories of those who grow their beans. Therefore they work with Mercanta, an importer that takes care of farmer’s with a living wage and health care while producing delicious beans. Jon is very excited about the level of beans that we have to work with today. Due to agricultural and financial changes the coffee we can taste today is leaps ahead of the past. Jon said the trend of lighter roasting really showcases this quality. In reference to the trend of lighter roasting, John says its because we actually want to taste what is in the beans now, because they are grown and processed so well. When asked about their favorite coffees, Nathan spoke sentimentally of an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe that smelled of strawberries even before it was roasted which only got more intense in the cup.

 Cultivar are also an example of the benefits of a well-connected and supportive active coffee community. With an area as as expansive as DFW, there is lots of opportunity for roasters to focus on their neighborhood without having to worry about hurting someone else’s business, providing an opportunity to work together for everyone’s benefit. To buy better beans they work with Avoca, who owns a sample roaster, to cup and taste the coffee before they buy it. This sharing of resources allows them to only buy coffee they love. They’ve  been able to call other shops, such as Cuvee in Austin, and get advice about specific situations or problems that they’ve not experienced before. Jon and Nathan want to see more camaraderie form in the coffee world and are excited to be apart of barista jams and educational events.

 While their focus is mainly on espresso, Cultivar also serves french-press and are planning to begin a manual- one cup at a time program soon. This will allow the full flavors of their lighter roasted beans to be tasted. Its very important to them to educate consumers and prove their abilities through having customers taste the difference in their coffee.

 So that you can taste the difference at Cultivar I am offering another coffee giveaway. I’d love to hear what yall are interested to know about coffee in the area.

Leave a comment with your input and you’ll be given a chance to win your own bag of Cultivar Coffee!

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Katy permalink
    August 22, 2011 4:53 pm

    Great review!!! I will definitely be visiting this coffee oasis soon to enjoy some of their beautiful latte art!

  2. Ronnie Mosley permalink
    August 22, 2011 7:05 pm

    Loved the review, can’t wait to try them out. The pictures were wonderful!

    I’d like to know more about how to differentiate between coffee that’s been correctly roasted versus those that are not.

  3. Eric Wentworth permalink
    August 22, 2011 8:01 pm

    Next time I’m in this part of Texas I’ll definitely stop by. Sounds like a terrific place.

  4. thelattelady permalink
    August 23, 2011 12:20 am

    Jon and Nathan do a great job, be sure you plan to stay long enough to have two cappuccinos, one just isn’t enough.

  5. Bianca Manago permalink
    August 24, 2011 9:45 pm

    Great review – great pictures. I became interested in coffee due to its ability to influence issues pertaining to social justice. I love seeing companies like this and their efforts towards socially responsible business. I know you generally work in the DFW area, but if you ever get down to College Station you should tour What’s the Buzz Coffee Company and come meet with GCQRI. (http://gcqri.org/) What’s the Buzz is a great local roaster!

    Thanks for writing!

  6. Drake permalink
    August 26, 2011 4:37 pm

    Great review!

  7. laura lau permalink
    August 27, 2011 8:04 pm

    I would really be interested in tips on how to differentiate and define the many tastes in my coffee. I know the coffees I like and don’t like but I never know how to describe them.

    Ps. I’m in love with your blog

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