In the last interview, Marilyn Nugent and I spoke about how she and her husband Joe become coffee importers. They purchase and import complete crops of Kenyan coffee.
In this interview, I dig into the world of coffee a bit more in an interview with Joe. We talk about what their Synergy coffee actually is. What additional options they have to create coffee because they import a complete crop, and where you can find them locally.
I’m so excited that they have their coffee here at my workspace at Groundswell.
Listen to my Interview with Joe Nugent
Images and Links for Joe Nugent and One Ounce Coffee
You can find more information and order One Ounce Coffee at OneOunceCoffee.com
Scroll down the home page to see the coffee cherries Joe described in our chat.
Takeaways from My Interview with Joe Nugent of One Ounce Coffee
When you see flavor profiles listed in coffee, the flavors are created from the soil, the water, and the elevation. These are the elements that build a beautiful bean. Talented roasters are then able to bring out specific attributes and flavors of those beans.
Coffee experts explain that the quality of a coffee mainly occurs before it’s ever harvested. How and where it is grown is critical and
Complete Transcript of My Interview with Joe Nugent of One Ounce Coffee
Kim: 00:01 You’re listening to Space Coast Stories, a podcast with interviews and stories from people and businesses on Florida’s Space Coast. I’m your host, Kim Shivler. Thanks for joining me.
Kim: 00:16 Hey everybody. Welcome to Space Coast Stories. I’m your host, Kim Shivler, and today I’m here with Joe Nugent. We’ve been talking to Joe and Marilyn who own One Ounce Coffee, and for those of you that love that cup of joe in the morning, this is an episode you have to hear whether you’re a Newbie to the whole coffee experience or really are someone who knows your stuff. You’re gonna. Learn something today. I mean for me, I love coffee. I’ve been drinking it. True story since I was two years old and that’s another whole story I’ll give you at some point, but I didn’t really understand these aspects of different types of coffee. We talked to Marilyn about blended versus single origin and we’re going to talk to Joe about something I definitely never heard of called Synergy on your website. Joe, you talk about synergy as a type of coffee. Explain that to us please.
Joe: 01:19 Synergy is something that we’ve come up with actually after the fact of importing all of our Kenya green beans in the various grades that they come in from the mill and we realized we had these separations and that’s the way we normally purchase coffee here in the US as as roasters purchase it in, say a grade, a, b, grade c grade, et cetera. And when we first tried the Kenya coffee from the farm, it wasn’t in all the separate grades. It was all of the grades mixed together because we purchased it and we tasted it just freshly harvested from the farm and it was still in the parchment stage, which means its, its actually been depulped and it has a thin little skin layer over the bean and then that gets dried and that’s the stage that we purchased it at before it actually went to the mill where the skin is taken off. The bean is kind of shined up, make it look pretty, and then it’s also graded by size and weight. And so we decided to go back to the way it was naturally from the farm and put all those grades back together because that’s the way we first tried this coffee with all of the various grades mixed together, brought it home from Kenya, we put it in our blender to get the skin off the parchment and get it clean so that we could roast it and we would roast it in that stage and then drink our coffee and we loved it and we fell in love with the coffee, drinking it that way. And so the Synergy idea is that, okay, well that’s all of the various grades mixed together and we don’t have that option here in the U.S. because most of the time people are the roasters and people who sell coffee or are buying a particular grade, not the multiple grades. And so we decided to put it all back together and go from there. We call it Synergy because it, uh, it’s the mix of various grades and each grade of coffee has its own particular taste characteristics. And so when you mix it together, you get something that’s very unique and as far as we know, we don’t know of anyone else that’s doing this, uh, as of yet. And so we’re, we’re feeling like we have a, a real niche in the market at this point with our product called Synergy.
Kim: 04:21 And the reason you’re able to do that is you’re buying a complete crop and blending yourself, correct?
Joe: 04:27 That is correct. We purchased the entire crop that the farmer harvested, should say farmers and um, that, that is the way that’s getting accomplished. Otherwise we would purchase like any other importer which would buy for instance, a bag or multiple bags of grade a, grade a, b, grade c, etc. So, uh, in our case, we purchased the entire lot that he harvested. We got all the grades, the ones that were high quality and, and ones that, you know, people really want to get as roasters to produce an end product for themselves here, as well as the lower grades that most specialty coffee roasters are really not interested in. Those lower grades typically go to bigger coffee companies that use it. For what is called grinders, they roast it, they grind it up, they put it in there, you know, their basic coffees that they offer in their, in their offerings.
Kim: 05:39 So that’s like maybe what you would buy at the grocery store and the generic aisle.
Joe: 05:43 Exactly. Correct. Correct. Yeah. The specialty market is much more specific about what they want and they’re very particular. They almost everyone will require a sample of it, of what they’re going to purchase as far as a green bean goes before and they do the roasting before they’d actually purchased any quantity of it. You know, we’re looking to move into completely into the specialty coffee area, but we know that’s going to take some time and we feel that, uh, in the meantime, the uniqueness of the synergy product is I’m gonna maybe kind of keep us going and maybe catapult us into that next level of coffee.
Kim: 06:31 Well, I know for me this is a very educational because I think many of us understand that coffee beans come green and then they roast them because we’ve heard of roasters. I don’t think some of us had any idea. I know that it actually has a parchment around it that has to be removed, so I think there’s quite a bit of the process there that goes on behind the scenes before even those of us who like specialty coffees ever see what happens behind the scenes.
Joe: 06:59 That is correct. Absolutely. There’s a quite a process. Um, it’s, it takes a lot to get it to the point where it’s drinkable for us, especially in the us because we’re, we’re very particular in the us and about our coffee and it seems that we’re only going to get more particular reaching for perfection in our drinks that are, the thing that keeps us going throughout the day
Kim: 07:26 Many of us, again in the U.S. we think of central and south America quite often about coffee. And how would you compare, is there any flavor comparison or difference that we would want to think about or look at when we’re thinking of Kenyan coffee?
Joe: 07:43 Yes, absolutely. Um, and as you pointed out there, there is a different flavor characteristic to every coffee, wherever, whatever region it has come from, whatever part of the world it’s come from, even within the same country, the, uh, that particular single origin as it, as you may call it, is, can be different from the western part of the country to the eastern part two, the more mountainous part and the coffees that we offer that are the Kenyans, they come from a higher elevation. So they’re harvested at about 6,000 feet and that has a certain effect of course. And there are a lot of the specialty coffees are looking coffee roasters that are looking for that high elevation grown coffee. Also if there’s some shade as well that’s protected the, uh, the trees as they’ve been growing, just has it another effect on the quality of the bean and the, uh, most of the experts from what we’ve been told, we’re not at this point, but we’re, we’re hoping to be there someday.
Joe: 08:58 Uh, have said that 70 percent of the taste and quality of the coffee has to do with the way that it is handled prior to harvest. So all of the fertilization usually, you know, a, um, a natural fertilizer that is, is used and then just the water element, the fact of being high elevation, the water that it receives during that time all effect the quality of the coffee. And then the most important thing is the proper timing on harvest because the coffee grows on the tree as a, what looks like a cherry. And if that cherry is not red and ripe, like you’d think of a cherry that, you know, we would normally have in our fruit salad. It’s just too soon, you know, because it’ll be green. It will be not fully mature. It’s going to lack a little bit of the highest quality of tastes that it could possibly have.
Joe: 10:10 So that’s the critical point up to right at that stage. And then the other 30 percent of the, the taste factor and the other characteristics come out in the roasting end. So the roasters can kind of in some ways manipulate the flavors that are in the coffee and you have to have a really discerning palate to be able to do that. And um, it, it does help to, you know, to have that kind of a, a roaster who’s able to pick those things out and get it just to the proper place where it’s going to attract a lot more coffee drinkers and as far as it being different from say, Kenya being an African coffee versus say a South American. And often that is the differences. There’s a higher elevations. There’s, there are some that are of course, high elevation in South America and so on and Central America.
Joe: 11:19 But, um, just the, the ground that it’s grown in, you know, uh, just the soils and, and then, uh, just the way it is is, is handled. Uh, often the, the africans are just a little bit lighter in. They have a lean towards a fruit easier kind of taste where you’d think, wow, this is more like a tea. Then I coffee. But it has a often a citrus kind of taste along a chocolatey and even like cocoa taste to the beans. So we kind of aim for those kinds of things that are a little different than, you know, where the other origins of coffee
Kim: 12:08 And when you say that it has a citrus or a cocoa aspect to it, when we’re talking coffee that is actually just coming from the soil and the elevation as opposed to wine where we think of, we may be tasting something because of the way it was cured in the cask, etc. Correct.
Joe: 12:27 Correct. Absolutely. It is different than the wine example that you brought up, but it is precise that you, the way you said it in the soils and uh, the way it’s been harvested. And then of course the, the, uh, the proficiency and the ability for the roaster to be able to really focus in on those particular highlights of the, of the taste of the tasting notes as they call them.
Kim: 12:54 I just wanted people to understand you’re not adding flavor. Not like that kind of thing where you go out and see some flavored coffee. this is just natural within the beans themselves.
Joe: 13:06 That is correct, yes. We don’t have any flavored coffees in our offerings at this point.
Kim: 13:12 I do notice however, that you have branched out and it’s not just Kenyan coffee on your website. So tell us a little bit about what brought in or what made you want to bring in the Costa Rcan coffee and the Ethiopian coffees.
Joe: 13:26 The other, uh, origins, single origin coffees that we have are because not everybody likes a Kenyan coffee quite honestly. We’re okay with that. You know that not everybody’s going to like the Kenyan and so we have tried to round out the flavors that are available out there. So we have, as you mentioned, the Costa Rican and we have Colombian and we have Ethiopian and those, those just help people to be able to compare also to our particular Kenyan. We, we often, when we’re doing tastings for a potential customers and that various markets and events that we do, we side by side taste test them so that everyone has a fair ability to judge whether the Kenyan is what they really like or whether one of the other origins is their preference.
Kim: 14:22 So then as we start to wrap up here, you mentioned events. Why don’t you tell us where people can find you
Joe: 14:29 For the most part? Right now we have an online store on our website which is OneOunceCoffee.com And we are starting to get some of our coffees into local shops right now our Kenyan is available with Anaya Coffee here in Melbourne. Mike Anaya, the owner, is using it for his coffee shop as well as for a new coffee shop that he’s opening in the Eastern Florida State College Campus. And he’ll be using our Kiplal coffee line there. And then also we do go to various events such as art craft, wine festivals, those kinds of events where we, uh, set up a booth and we have tastings. And we have our, our products there that we can retail, we’re looking to try to get into more businesses, both businesses and churches actually that would offer our, our coffees to their constituents to the people in their offices, uh, and, and uh, congregations in the churches. So that’s another place, but little by little we’re getting the word out there and people are getting interested in starting to put our, put our coffees out there and available for their clientele that come in their stores.
Kim: 15:56 And I can say, uh, this is one of my favorite coffees and it’s something I enjoy very much. those of you who know me know I work out of Groundswell here in Melbourne and we have the coffee right here. So if you come to do an interview with me, you will be able to enjoy a cup. We’ll do a link and a shout out to Anaya. They are also one of my very favorite places in town. Their breakfast tacos with the cashew cream on Tuesday is about my favorite breakfast thing in the world. Thanks so much for joining us again on Space Coast Stories. And thanks for being here with me, Joe. I really appreciate it.
Joe: 16:34 Well, thanks for having me on the program. Kim,
Kim: 16:37 Join me next time where I’ll be interviewing another cool business owner or someone with a story here on Florida’s Space Coast. I’m your host, Kim Shivler. See you next time. Bye.
Kim: 16:51 Join us next time for another episode of Space Coast Stories. You can find the show notes and other information at SpaceCoastStories.com. The views of the guests on this show are their own and don’t necessarily represent the views of the show owners, host or company. Thanks for listening to Space Coast Stories.