Coffee and bleu: Q&A with Jesse Walters, founder Camacho Coffee

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At bleu, we love coffee. The smell. The taste. The swirls of half-and-half in our mugs. To us, coffee is a pick me up at any point of the day. Needless to say, we take coffee seriously. Our coffee supplier, Camacho Coffee does too. We chatted with Camacho Coffee’s founder, Jesse Walters, to learn more about the coffee selection process.

What coffee blends do you supply to bleu?

Pressed carries Colombia Excelso “Camino Real” and Columbia Decaf- Sugar Cane Process

bleu Market carries Guatemala Grand Quetzal and Columbia Decaf- Sugar Cane Process

How does a restaurant’s coffee blend selection happen?

I start with our grocery store bestsellers, (Organic Peru, Colombia, and Highlander Grogg) and then get their opinions.  Everyone is different and likes certain origins and flavors. After I get their input, I try to match with their taste buds accordingly.  If they already have experience with coffee in their business, I try to match up to what they sell most.

What does the average coffee drinker like to sip on? Dark roast? Medium roast? Maybe a blondie?

It’s all over the board!  We’ve landed on 8 flavors we carry because of their success in our market.  They are Organic Peru, Guatemala, Colombia, Highlander Grogg, Hazelnut, Madagascar Vanilla, Colombia Decaf, and Hazelnut Decaf.

I also bring in some random bags to experiment with.  I’ve used Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, and some others just for fun.  One bag is around 150 pounds. I sell until I run out and then get another one.

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Cafes and restaurants vary though. Some cafes have customers that are avid hazelnut and vanilla drinkers, while others only want the bold stuff. It’s just trying to find the best fit for their customers, even if that means carrying multiple roasts/flavors.

Bonus!  Camacho Coffee’s best grocery store sellers are:

  • Organic Peru (Mild). Flavored with hints of baking spice, milk chocolate, and floral undertones. A smooth drinking coffee.
  • Colombia Excelso “Camino Real” (Bold). Notes of lemon acidity, black walnut, maple syrup, and bakers chocolate.
  • Highlander Grogg. Flavored with maple syrup and a hint of whiskey.

What is your favorite part about choosing a coffee program for a restaurant?

I love the education behind it. I’m still learning every day about coffee, and talking with others about it is just fun. I enjoy teaching others about the coffee world, from agriculture to the coffee beans being shipped to my door, to our roasting process and how we differ from other roasters.

Which coffee blend do you keep at your house?

Usually the experimental ones! I want to make sure they’re good before I sell it to the public.  My wife and I have some good (and not so good) mornings with the roasts I bring home.