Welcome to The Street Mix, Verve Fam.
Every month, we want to share this e-zine with you to showcase you and what’s important to you. We want you to know what’s going on in other departments that you might not normally have visibility to, to learn about each other as people, and to celebrate one another and all of your accomplishments. Did you qualify for a cool competition? Tell us about it! Take an amazing photograph? Show us! Concoct an awesome beverage with stuff already in your store? Share the recipe with the rest of the crew! We may be spread across the cities, stores, and departments, but we’re all here for the sense of community coffee creates - and we want you to help us shape that community! Shoot your submissions over to firstname.lastname@example.org. Maybe you have a cool idea for something else you want to see here - let us know! We want to know what you want to see and matters most to you. Let’s hear it, folks!
Get to Know Some New Verve Managers...
Congratulations to our new Nor-Cal Regional Manager, Nasarae Johnson!
Nas was introduced to third-wave coffee by Chromatic Coffee in San Jose. As the chef for the cafe, she developed a fond appreciation for coffee and the people it brings together. The more she learns about coffee, the more Nas realizes there’s more to learn - and she’s so excited for the journey! She loves all things food and beverage - from the kitchen to the dish pit. In her spare time, you can catch Nas roller skating and shooting short films with her sister and housemates. We’re excited to welcome you into this new role and chapter, Nas!
Congratulations to our new Roasting Manager, Eric Farrugia!
Eric has had a wild and fortuitous coffee journey, and we’re stoked for all the great things he’s bringing in his new role of Roasting Manager here at Verve. After spending years learning to roast by hand from the masterful Head Roaster at Seattle’s Cafe Vita, Eric crisscrossed the Pacific Northwest in a camper van, taking in the sights, rock climbing in the wilderness, and exploring all there is to explore. With his spirit invigorated, Eric found himself at Verve, where he started as a Production Roaster, was eventually a Roasting Supervisor, and is now settling into his new role. With his passion for crafting roast profiles, we can’t wait to see what cool stuff Eric has in store for us.
What’s Happening at Verve...
Roasting & Production
For the first time since Verve's inception, there will be no roasting on a Probat. The Loring roaster will begin serving amazing coffees beginning in November! We’ll have the same great taste, with awesome new espresso specs to follow. We’re also really proud of moving production into a space all of their own! This includes a dedicated packaging space for the new Fraction Pack machine and grinding station, along with 3 weigh and fills to increase capacity. We’re also super stoked to share that with the support of the production team at large, the e-commerce team has been absolute warriors during the last six months. Our web demand skyrocketed when the shelter in place orders went into effect and the production team stepped up and delivered. Way to go, folks! We couldn’t be more grateful.
We tried to pin down what we’re excited about in retail, and well, it’s … EVERYTHING! The official launch of matcha! New fall food items! Our new indoor service model! We keep it pretty exciting around here. We’re really proud of how everyone has adapted to the new service model so well. Touching base with the teams and sharing experience and feedback across the stores has been extremely valuable. Each location is unique with a different flow and different challenges, and everyone has risen to the occasion to make it work. Our baristas are what make the cafes shine so brightly! It's exciting to see the business building back up each week. It's been such a bumpy road and 2020 has definitely thrown a lot at us but we've shown we're resilient and it's great to see us bouncing back. Thank you all!
Specialty Coffee Industry News...
The Global Coffee Festival will take place virtually this year on October 30th (spooky)! It’s totally free, and you can sign up here to watch coffee lectures and learn about the newest and grooviest stuff happening in the international specialty coffee industry. SCA Expo is slated to be rescheduled for September or October of 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted coffee farmers who were already subject to economic difficulties before the pandemic. Sustainable Harvest, a Portland, Oregon based importer, has created a relief fund that gives money directly to farmers in 5 countries. Read more about it in Barista Magazine’s August/September 2020 issue. The Wond’ry, an Innovation Center at Vanderbilt University, has created a Coffee Equity Lab that allows students to research how climate change, social justice, and global trade intersect with the coffee industry. The lab is offering a free lecture series this Fall. The next lecture, On Being Black In Coffee with Phyllis Johnson and Alicia Adams, will be October 15th at 4PM CT (2PM PST). You can register here!
Employee Spotlight. Get to know your coworkers!
This month, we chatted with Dario Jackson, manager of Market, about his views on the specialty industry, what he’s reading, and his life before working at Verve. Little did we know, he’s a Rubik’s cube virtuoso (and much more).
Q: How has the way you think about things changed in the last six months, if at all?
A: The last six months have really made me aware of how adaptable people are. I think that is such a valuable skill and one I think we should all be more willing to polish. Roll with the punches ya know?
Q: What’s surprised you most about working in specialty coffee?
A: Ever since starting in specialty coffee, I've seen many videos and posts on how "elitist" this world is. They are dead wrong. Specialty coffee is full of nerds, artists, craftsmen, and genuinely caring good people. Just about everyone I've worked with has been so down to earth.
Q: Do you have any book recommendations?
A: Jimmy Corrigan: The smartest kid on Earth by Chris Wave. It's a fantastic graphic novel.
Q: What’s your secret talent nobody knows about?
A: I have solved almost every type of Rubik’s cube.
Q: If you could gain a new skill in 10 minutes, what would it be?
A: I think I would probably choose to gain the skill of carpentry, I think it would be just so amazing to build something people can keep for generations.
Q: What was your first job?
A: Cutco...door to door Salesman. "Excuse me, may I come in and give you a presentation of these fine knives?"
Hello, Fall! (by Naida Lindberg)
- 80g of Chai Concentrate
- 1/2 of a Martinelli's Apple Juice
- Top with Cinnamon
- Same Chai and Apple Juice
- A full glass of ice but pour 1/4 of Topo Chico on top to change the mouthfeel
Pizza Toast (by Malaya Gold)
Toast one slice of bread, then pop in the oven with tomato jam, cheddar cheese, chives, prosciutto optional. Bake until the cheese is melted.
Matcha Tonic (by Lyndia McGauhey)
- Fill a cup with ice
- 1 bottle of fever tree tonic water
- Topped with a matcha "shot"... (3.5g of rishi matcha, hand whisked with 50g of water)
This month we’re celebrating some talented baristas showcasing their sweet skills in the upcoming Glitter Cat DiGiTiTiON!
Glitter Cat is a nonprofit working toward excellence and inclusivity that gives underrepresented coffee professionals an opportunity to attend many industry events! All categories regarding sensory scoring will be judged based on the judges’ ability to replicate a contestant’s recipe and then assess for the accuracy of flavor descriptors and tactile quality. Competitors will be developing their own blends.
Kat Natividad of 41st will be participating in “Cup Tasters” and showcasing her impeccable palate.
Josh Agbayani of Seabright will be competing in the category of “Coffee and Booze” — essentially a bartending lens and application on coffee.
The winner of each category will be sent on an origin trip to one of Colombia’s most renowned farms, La Palma y El Tucan — when it’s safe again.
In the coming weeks, all competition updates will be posted on the Glitter Cat Instagram page - keep an eye out!
Thanks for giving our inaugural zine edition a read! We're excited to continue bringing this content to you, and as a reminder, need your feedback, wins, insight, and excitement to have awesome stuff to share with you all every month! Hit us up at email@example.com with your ideas!