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Brian & Linda Travel to Africa – Part 1

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This summer Brian and I had the privilege of traveling to the country of Tanzania in Africa. We went with Younglife Expeditions where we did a mission project in a Maasai community, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, went on safari and yes squeezed in a trip to a beautiful coffee plantation. One blog Is not enough space to share all of our incredible experiences we had in Africa, so over the next few posts I will share some highlights of each experience.
If you are a Bergies fresh roasted beans fan you may be aware that we have always carried a Tanzania Peaberry bean in our shop which has always been a customer favorite.


At the Arusha Coffee Lodge Plantation we were given a private tour of the grounds by our very informative guide Nassoro. We learned that even after 9 years at Bergies we still have things to learn!

If you are not familiar with the term “peaberry” it simply means the fruit of the coffee plant has produced only one seed in the cherry. Normally, the cherry has two seeds that generally make a flat side to the bean. A peaberry tends to be smaller and rounder than traditional beans. You be the judge to decide if you can detect a taste difference.

We tried to guess before opening the cherry which ones would be peaberries, Brian had more success than I did at picking the correct cherries while they were still on the bush that were peaberries! Apparently, only about 5% of the crop will be peaberries. These beans are then separated from the rest to be sold as peaberry coffee.

We also observed the crop being harvested by hand. These workers are almost exclusively women and are paid approximately .50 per kilo of beans harvested. An efficient worker could make about $5.00 per day in a country where the average wage is $2.00 a day. A few of the potential hazards at this plantation included the possibility of running into wild baboons and dik-diks (a small antelope).


After we completed walking the grounds and examining the plants we were treated to Nassaro roasting some beans for us and then he prepared us a delicious cup of Tanzania Peaberry right from the roaster. What a delicious treat.

In addition to being a working plantation, The Arusha Coffee Lodge is a full-service boutique hotel that offers a unique experience for any coffee lover. We did not stay at the lodge on this trip but we would love to return someday to stay as guests! What more could a coffee lover ask and you would be guaranteed a great cup every day!

If you enjoyed this recap stay tuned I will be posting in the next few weeks more about our wonderful experiences in Africa.
We appreciate you and your support of Bergies Coffee Roast House.
With thanks,
Linda

What’s happening this summer?

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We already have started the month of August, can you believe it? Time goes so fast and things are changing so quickly here in the Heritage District.
The two construction projects directly North of us are in full swing with one project set to open in October. At Bergies we have had a few changes also this summer. Our garden is in a bit of disrepair as we deal with our temporary fence and construction issues .No worries though, a lot of new ideas will be to implemented outside once we have a real wall on our North border. In the mean time come in and check out improvements to our outdoor area and great new products.

New items for sale in the shop include Bergies mugs from Deneen Pottery pictured in the photo above. Each of these mugs are hand thrown and unique. They are available in two color options and would make a great gift for any Bergies fan.

We are also selling our signature cold brew in a concentrate. It is packaged in a custom 32 ounce refillable growler. You never need to miss out on one of your favorites with this easy to transport growler. The concentrate is designed to mix to taste with ice, water, or your preferred creamer. The growler is also refillable at a discounted rate. If you prefer to make your own at home our cold brew blend in whole beans are also available. If you haven’t been in to buy whole beans recently we have a great new look with our custom designed Bergie’s coffee bags. New look but no worries The bag discount on whole beans still applies.
If you are looking for something educational or relaxing in the next few weeks we Have three more classes scheduled this summer. Brian will be teaching brewing basics/discover your roast in August. Or if you just want relaxing fun come on in to do a coloring class or coffee mug decorating with friends. You can get details and costs on our website or call or come into the shop.

Last but not least you can still enjoy live music every Saturday and Sunday Morning on our patio. We have our misters plus and evap cooler now. The heat may be getting you down but we will continue to lift your spirits with a great drink and a smile with your next visit. You can also look forward to evening music returning in September and some more pop-up events to be announced soon. So get in here and experience the Bergies difference!
As always we appreciate you,
Linda
Bergies Coffee Roast House

Have You Connected with Our Bergies Community?

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Community, in my opinion is one of the things that make our town and our shop special. Here at Bergies it is part of our mission to foster that community feel with every customer that walks thru our doors. I hope you have experienced this personally.

A unique opportunity to celebrate community and give back to a great cause is scheduled for Saturday, May 21st.  This will be our 2nd annual “Pop Up Restaurant” held under the stars on our beautiful patio.  There is an amazing new menu featuring Peaches and Whiskey as the theme.  Intrigued? Be sure to check out all of the details and purchase your tickets at:

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/peaches-and-whiskey-pop-up-tickets24759878463

Hosting a pop up, showcasing local artists and musicians, coffee education classes and trivia nights are only a few of the many events that help make us more than a coffee shop. Our community is the reason we strive to provide you more than just a great cup of coffee.

We are amazed at how our business has changed in the last seven years.  We will always remain committed to roasting great, small batch, artisan coffee daily. In addition to our daily business, the connection to our community continues to grow and enrich us. We love to see the appeal of our business to a multi-generational level. Seeing our customers taking time to enjoy relationships, have quiet time, or catch up with work projects affirms our desire to continue to create a unique coffee house environment.

In addition to our day to day operations, Brian and I have the priviledge to meet regularly with other Heritage District merchants and Gilbert town leaders to convey the input we receive directly from our customers regarding their thoughts on our district. We know that no matter what changes may be on the horizon, Bergies remains committed to fostering our community gathering place.
We consider ourselves blessed to be part of this district and to call Gilbert our home. We greatly appreciate your continued support of our Mom & Pop shop and we will continue to work hard to provide you a great product, service and experience. We look forward to serving you soon.
Linda

Ask Me About My Favorite Bergies Beans

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Happy March the weather is certainly trying to make us believe its almost summer again! The good news is our garden is in full bloom and we have great shade on the patio for you to enjoy. No worries, our staff is always ready to serve you a great hot or cold drink depending on your mood or the weather.


To challenge our barista’s to be their best we are doing a March promotion with them to better educate our customers about our beans. You will see the staff wearing a t-shirt throughout the month that say “Ask me about my favorite Bergies beans” You can help us out by asking them this question. Their answer should not be “because it tastes good”. Of course this is a given, we love all of our beans. We love the opportunity to share our knowledge about the roasting process at Bergies and to educate you the customers about it too.
Since human nature seems to be to gravitate toward the same thing we would like to challenge you to branch out a bit and try something new. Of course we would love to sell you a pound but if you don’t want to make that commitment we always have half pounds and sampler sizes available.
A few suggestions if you would really like to treat yourself and you like something unique our Maui Mokka is a great choice.
This is a premium bean so it costs a little more but well worth it. It has very definite chocolate and tobacco notes that are
a treat to the taste buds! Also, for our cold brew lovers we are now selling our house blend cold brew beans for home preparation. Complete with simple instructions on how to prepare this favorite yourself.
In the shop we have updated our coffee display shelf for easier browsing and we are also working on new custom packaging that we hope will be on display very soon.
I certainly don’t want to leave out our tea drinkers. We are expecting a shipment any day of our great loose leafs that not only have our regular flavors but several new delicious teas made especially for the warmer time of year. Don’t forget we also sell our teas in tins for home consumption.
We hope to see you soon to pick up your beans and or your favorite drinks. Please take a few minutes to enjoy the garden and the wonderful life we enjoy in Gilbert, Arizona, and be sure to “Ask Me About My Favorite Bergies Beans”!
As always, we greatly appreciate your patronage, Linda

Is There A Special Espresso Bean?

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Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of questions from customers about espresso. They usually ask something along the lines of, “how do I know if it’s an espresso bean?”. For various reasons, people want to get what they believe is a special bean used just for espresso.
Here’s the thing, there is no such thing as an espresso bean. The truth is, any bean can be used to make espresso. The idea that an “espresso bean” exists is really nothing more than a misnomer.
Basically, espresso is more of a brewing method than anything. But, what you use as the bean is really a matter of opinion. Now generally speaking, espresso tends to be roasted darker than most coffee – but it doesn’t have to be.
At Bergies for instance, we use a three bean blend. We prefer to roast it to a darker medium roast. If we decided to change one of our bean components, it would still be our espresso blend. What makes it espresso is when it is ground fine and put through the espresso machine. In fact, if you took our espresso blend home, it would make a fine regular brewed coffee.
If you’re looking for espresso to use in baking, meat rubs, or what not, it really doesn’t matter what bean you use. Any type of bean would be good for chocolate covered coffee beans, for example. So the next time you go on a search for espresso beans, remember you can use just about any roasted coffee bean that you’ve enjoyed in the past.

Giving Back Through Your Coffee Purchase

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A few years ago, Linda, Cristian and I had the opportunity to host members of the Ugandan Orphans Children’s Choir.

We were busy and grumpy about having to give up our weekend, but these kids needed a place to stay.  It was the Super Bowl weekend and  they were more interested in watching the Dennis the Menace movie with my wife than the game of the  year with me.

Needless to say it turned out to be a fabulous weekend and we were blessed by the experience. As a result, our family connected with Childcare Worldwide, an organization that empowers children in the developing world. Their mission is to feed and educate children in an effort to give them the tools they will need as adults to make their countries a better place.

This year Bergies has  jumped on board with this noble cause through coffee.  Uganda produces wonderful coffee so we have chosen to sell Uganda Bukonzo Select. This coffee is fair-trade organic (If you are not familiar with this term it means that workers are paid a fair wage for their coffee at the time of harvest).  This particular coffee is produced by 1200 members of the Bukonzo Tribe  on the slopes of the Rwenzori Mountain. We have kept the roast light, and  I hope you will find it quite tasty.

All of the profits from the sale of these beans will be donated to help families provide a source of income and food for themselves.  We will be purchasing things such as a small business pushcart, a pack-o’-piglets or a gang of goats.  Not handouts but opportunities to grow a small business.  For additional information on this organization check out:

childcareworldwide

As always we so greatly appreciate all of you. If you haven’t seen our Christmas video please take a minute and check it out. We had a lot of fun making it and hope you enjoy watching it.

On behalf of the Bergies team, thank you,

Brian

Happy Thanksgiving

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Just a quick note to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving.
It’s hard to believe it’s the holiday season again. We are taking
time to reflect on how thankful we are for so many abundant
blessings in our lives. A huge part of our blessings are directly
related to this funky little place we call Bergies Coffee Roast House.
When we opened almost seven years ago we never could have
imagined what was in store for us. Not only have we learned so
much about the coffee business, roasting, running a small business,
being a part of this historic district, to name a few. We are most
grateful for the many relationships we have developed over the
years with you our amazing customers.
We can never say enough how much we appreciate the continued
support of our incredible Bergies community. It’s because of you
that we continue to strive to be better and hold on to what makes
this little “shack” a place people love to come to. We always want to
give you the best possible product, but even more importantly
continue to provide a place to be part of a community.
So think about leaving the electronic devices home this week
and come down and share face to face time with the people
who are important in your life, read a good book, meditate, do
homework , watch the birds or make an effort to meet a new friend.
Please join us this week in reflecting on all we have to be thankful
for right here in Gilbert, Arizona. A great place to visit or better yet live! Many thanks, Linda

Summer is over, Time to heat up your Coffee

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Now that summer is over and the weather is cooling down, it’s time to start shelving those cold coffee drinks. Instead, the time to has come to resume drinking your favorite hot coffee. There’s nothing like a hot cup of coffee with the winter season approaching.
In the morning, I like to have a nice medium to light roast coffee along with my breakfast. It’s a great compliment to the early morning routine. I typically like a good Latin American bean, such as Nicaraguan or Costa Rican. It’s a good way to get a jumpstart on your day.
As the day progresses, if you’re looking to get a mid-day pickup, a smooth, darker roast is often in order. Something like our Sumatran or Papua-New Guinean coffee is a solid choice. They’re a bit milder and less acidic. And, they’ll help you get through your afternoon and finish the workday.
After dinner, for those of you who crave that sweet, dessert drink, a nice mocha latte or caramel latte will hit the spot. But, if you don’t want to have caffeine that late in the day, you could always brew up our swiss water decaf bean. You’ll get the benefit of delicious coffee, without the caffeine to affect your sleep.
Finally, for those of you who really want to cap off the evening, our coffee goes great with Irish Whiskey, Kahlua, Bailey’s, and other tasty coffee-friendly liqueurs. Even without the alcohol, a hot cup of coffee will go a long ways towards warming your heart and soothing your soul.

Coffee on the Road

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We are at that time of the year when there is just one last holiday left before fall makes its appearance, and the cold of winter will quickly be the topic of our conversations.

This holiday for us is Labor Day, and like most people I know, we will spend a good part of our time sitting behind the wheel, driving long hours to enjoy the most of our last celebration of the summer.
If you are like me, then you too, enjoy a good cup of coffee on the road, pouring steaming hot from a thermos, and having the heady aroma of excellent coffee as your traveling companion. The secret of this is picking the right type of coffee for the road. Here are some of my suggestions.
Pick a coffee that is low in acid, which most often means a dark roasted type, like Italian, French or Spanish. Another option is a Sumatra that is roasted on the dark side, or perhaps some PNG, or
even some Hawaiian, as these three coffee beans have naturally low
acid, and are well known for their long cup life. If you don’t love at lease one of these three, then try a Peru, or even a Yemen Moka. Any other coffee runs the risk of going sour in your thermos just after half an hour of pouring it in.
Having a good thermos is as important as having the right bean with the right roast. It must keep a good, tight seal, keep your coffee hot, and be easy to use inside your vehicle. I know there are some fantastic travel mugs that hold a lot of coffee, but they don’t have the ability to keep your coffee hot for extended periods of time, while heading down the road to parts unknown! Having a smaller travel mug is a good idea too, since you are more likely to finish your cup while the coffee is at its best, and at the same time keeping your coffee in the thermos, where it will stay hot longer, with less risk of becoming bitter.
I hope these tips help you out, and make your trip an enjoyable one.
Ken Feighner aka “Coffee Ken”
Thank you Ken, our guest blogger. Check out Ken’s reviews
of coffee shops around the country at coffeeken.com