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Coffee Compendium

This page contains information about grinds, roasting, terminology, our beans and more. If you have any questions that aren't answered on this page please don't hesitate to ask!

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Grinds and Brewing Equipment

This chart will help you determine which kind of grind to request for your preferred brewing method.

Grind Best For
Whole Bean
Coarse Chemex / French Press | Cold Brew
Medium Coarse Chemex / French Press | Pour Over | Drip | Cold Brew
Medium Chemex / French Press | Pour Over | Drip | Cold Brew | Syphon | Aeropress / V60 | Percolator
Medium / Fine Grind Pour Over | Drip | Syphon | Espresso | Aeropress / V60 | Percolator
Espresso Grind Syphon | Espresso | Aeropress / V60 | Percolator
Turkish Grind Espresso | Percolator | Turkish
Roast Levels

This chart will help you determine which kind of roast to request for your preferred flavor profile.

Roast Level Flavor Profile
Italian Thin Body / Burnt & Smokey Notes / No Origin or Varietal Flavor / Low Acidity
Full French Full Body / Spicy Flavor / Burnt & Smokey Notes / Weaker Mouth-Feel / Lower Acidity
Light French* Medium Body / Roast Dominant Flavor / Bitter Notes / Lower Acidity
Full City Plus* Medium Body / Shift of Origin & Varietal to Roast Flavors / Chocolate & Caramel Notes / Lower Acidity
Full City* Medium Body / Balance of Origin, Varietal & Roast Flavors / Chocolate & Caramel Notes / Lower Acidity
City Plus* Light Body / Fruity & Sweet / Highlights Origin & Varietal Flavors / High Acidity
City Light Body / Floral & Sweet / Highlights Origin & Varietal Flavors / Citrus Notes / High Acidity
Cinnamon Light Body / Floral / Notes of Citrus & Toasted Grain / High Acidity
Learn more about our beans.
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Name Origin
(Decaf Organic) Peru Santo Domingo - Swiss Water Process Peru, South America CCOF OrganicFair TradeUSDA Organic🕚
(Elite Tier 1) 100% Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee - Grade 1 (Certified) Jamaica, Caribbean 🕚
(Elite Tier 1) 100% Kona Coffee (Kona Certified) United States, North America Fair Trade
(Farm Gate) Brazil Salmo Plus - 12 Farmers Brazil, South America Fair Trade🕚
(Organic - Fair Trade) Colombia Cauca Juan Tama Excelso Ep Colombia, South America Fair TradeUSDA Organic🕚
(Organic - Fair Trade) Mexico Chiapas Mexico, North America Fair TradeUSDA Organic🕚
(Organic) ** Top Pick ** Guatemala Huehuetenango Shb Ep Guatemala, Central America CCOF OrganicUSDA Organic🕚
(Organic) Honduras Pacavita - Supports Farm Los Lesquines Honduras, Central America CCOF OrganicFair TradeUSDA Organic🕚
(Organic) Sumatra Weh Ilang Gayo Indonesia, Oceania Rain Forest AllianceUSDA Organic🕚
Costa Rica Jaguar (Supports Endangered Jaguars Habitat) Costa Rica, Central America Fair Trade
Ecuador Loja Santa (Supports Small Farmers) Ecuador, South America 🕚
Guatemala Sierra De Las Minas (Supports Jade Reserve) Guatemala, Central America Fair Trade🕚
India Monsooned Malabar Aa India, Asia 🕚
Indonesia Sulawesi Toraja (Supports Small Farms) Indonesia, Asia 🕚
Kenya Ab Lenana (Supports Small Farmers) Kenya, Africa
Panama Balboa Shb Ep Panama, Central America 🕚
Papua New Guinea Lahamenegu Red Mtn (Supports Small Farms) Papua New Guinea, Asia
Rwanda Isimbi (Rain Forest Alliance Certified - Supports Small Farmers) Rwanda, Africa Fair TradeRain Forest AllianceUSDA Organic🕚
Shack Cold Brew Blend (The Brew) Various, Asia
Shack Dark Roast Blend Various, Various
Shack Espresso Blend Various, Various
Shack Medium Roast Blend Various, Various
Shack Turkish Blend Various, Various
Vietnam Robusta (Small Family Owned Export Business) Viet Nam, Asia 🕚

Learn about the various ways to process green beans.

Process Description
Washed The coffee cherry is pulped by a machine, removing the red or yellow outer skin of the cherry. Washing method is the most common and often produces the highest quality coffee.
Pulped Natural / Honey This method in which the fresh coffee cherries are de-pulped but dry without washing. The remaining golden, sticky mucilage is reminiscent of honey, which is where the process gets its name.
Natural / Dry Unwashed or natural sundried refer to the same method of processing that usually involves drying coffee cherries either on patios or raised beds in the direct sun.
Double Fermented Farmers de-pulp the cherries immediately after harvest and place the mucilage coated seeds in fermentation tanks.
Swiss Water Process Decaffeination. Using the Swiss Water Process, the coffee beans are soaked in caffeine-free green coffee extract, allowing the caffeine to be extracted from the bean and into the solution while the flavor components are retained in the beans. The now caffeine-saturated green coffee extract is then processed through activated charcoal to remove the caffeine, thus becoming caffeine-free again and ready to extract caffeine from a new batch of coffee. The coffee beans are then dried to their originating moisture level and re-bagged. The Swiss Water Process results in coffee that is 99.9% caffeine free.

Learn more about coffee certifications and understand how your coffee affects the world.

Certification Definition
4C is a code of conduct that coffee producers sign up to follow. It gives producers sustainable and traceable practices and principles for economic, social, and environmental aspects of the production of coffee beans.
Bird Friendly
Bird Friendly certified means it gives farmers a higher price for their coffee if they utilize biodiversity in their production methods. This would mean the farmer retains natural foliage cover and utilizes natural conditions to grow their coffee and encourages quality habitat for birds and other wildlife. This of course means less production and a higher amount of farmer care to produce these coffee beans.
CCOF Organic
CCOF is a nonprofit organization that advances organic agriculture for a healthy world through organic certification, education, advocacy, and promotion.
Coffee Quality Institue
Since 1996, Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) has worked to improve the quality of coffee and the lives of people who produce it. Quality is one of the most important variables that influence a coffee's value. However, many producers do not have access to the tools and support they need to understand the quality of their coffee, improve that quality, access markets that reward that quality, ultimately enabling them to make more informed business choices. That's where we the Coffee Quality Institue comes in.
Fair Trade
Fair Trade helps producers in developing countries to achieve sustainable and equitable trade relationships. Typically this increases the cost in exporters but is designed to improve social and environmental standards. This is loosely regulated and infractions are not enforced aggressively.
Rain Forest Alliance
Rain Forest certification means the coffee was produced by farmers or companies that work to protect the environment and workers rights. Works with UTZ Certified coffee.
USDA Organic
The National Organic Program (NOP) develops the rules & regulations for the production, handling, labeling, and enforcement of all USDA organic products. This process, referred to as rulemaking, involves input from the National Organic Standards Board (a Federal Advisory Committee made up of fifteen members of the public) and the public. The NOP also maintains a Handbook that includes guidance, instructions, policy memos, and other documents that communicate the organic standards.
UTZ Certified coffee is the largest program for sustainable farming of coffee in the world. This program works to achieve reasonable agricultural practices, social and living conditions, farm management, and environmentally sustainable. Works directly with Rain Forest Alliance. Both of these organizations work to slow or prevent deforestation, climate change, systematic poverty, and social inequality.

What do all these terms mean?

Term Definition
Acidity Acidity is the bright / dry sensation that you taste when you drink coffee. Acidity is not a sour sensation and is not a defect. It is a good thing typically. At best it is a sweetly tart vibrancy that lifts the coffee and pleasurably and stretches its range and dimension of tastes.
Body This describes the physical properties and tactile sensations perceived by the mouth such as the sense of heaviness or mouthfeel as the coffee rests on the tongue. Characteristics may include the sensation of oiliness, graininess and wateriness.
Q Grade This signifies an independent verification of quality. The green coffee samples are sent to 3 licensed Q Graders, which are professionally accredited cuppers, and are cupped and scored. In the end... it's just three opinions. A high Q grade does not necessarily mean a better tasting bean.
Limited Release This is just the Roasting Shack trying a new product. If you like it, let us know by e-mail and we will carry it. Please let us know how much weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly you would be consuming. We try all different kinds of coffee to give you variety. We will add it to our carry list if it seems that the coffee has a following.
Organic Organic coffee is produced with no artificial chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. This makes the risk of producing coffee more prone to environmental and insect damage. Certified organic increases production costs and overall costs throughout the supply chain. To be organic the coffee must be 95 percent grown under organic conditions. If we add an organic to our list of ethically sourced it means we can trace down its origin to the farmer or small co-op.
Cause Supported If the coffee is used to assist a cause that betters or protects the environment or animal species. This can also mean the coffee supports a non-profit group that the coffee distributor or the Roasting Shack supports. You can find specifics in the description of each coffee.
Ethically Sourced The Roasting Shack is committed to supporting ethical farming and production of coffee crops. We aim to carry coffee beans that can be traced back to the farmer or co-op it originated from. We strive to support programs that improve the quality of life for those who are producing coffee at the family, farmer group, small co-op level. We understand that many of the below coffee labels are not strictly regulated but we also know they do improve the quality of life of the farmer and in many cases benefits the environment. If you don't see a globe next to one of our coffee choices it means we could not validate the coffee producer or the exact farming conditions the beans came from.
Direct Trade Direct Trade sources from small coffee producers direct. This also increases the cost of the coffee bean but typically directly benefits the small farmer or co-op.
Farm Gate Farm Gate allows small coffee producers the ability to get premium prices for coffee quality. This benefits the farmer directly and avoids co-ops that don't reward the farmers for high quality coffee crops. Some co-ops don't share the premium prices with its members directly or at all.