Here at Community Coffee Company, we pride ourselves on making the world’s best coffee. To do this, we only use the top 10 percent of Arabica coffee beans in the world. You may ask – How do we get these coffee beans?
This is where Carl Leonard comes in. Carl is the Vice President of Green Coffee Procurement at Community Coffee Company and joined the company in 1983. He is a Licensed Q Grader, a professional cupper accredited by the Coffee Quality Institute and is a certified cupping judge of the Specialty Coffee Association of America – that means he knows his coffee!
From our beans to the best way to brew a cup, Carl is ready to answer all of your coffee-related questions. Submit your questions for Carl through Facebook, Twitter (use hashtag #AskCarl) or right here on our blog. While we gather your questions, take some time to get to know Carl!
Q: What’s your typical work day like?
A: A good percentage of my day is spent communicating with green coffee producers, cooperatives, exporters and importers that supply us with excellent coffee. We have deep-rooted relationships in many coffee regions that ensure we are always able to source the best coffees the world has to offer. It is by partnering and developing relationships (that in some cases go back for more than 50 years) that we have been able to continue to live up to the quality our loyal customers expect.
Q: What is green coffee?
A: Green coffee describes coffee beans that have not yet been roasted.
Q: What is cupping?
A: Cupping means tasting coffee. It is a procedure practiced throughout the coffee world and it can be relatively easy to learn; however, only through many years of repetitive practice does an individual become astute at this essential art to determine the best coffees. Through many years of practice, the cupper develops palate memory, which means the brain, mouth and nose work together to develop an exact memory of what the best coffees should present in aroma and flavor. Each coffee, from different growing areas within each origin, can present a uniquely different aroma and flavor profile; they can even present a different mouth feel. To date, only human sensory perception has been able to comprehend the fine distinctions of each coffee grown in different areas within each origin, and no machine or electronic equipment has been able to duplicate this art.
A good percentage of my day also is spent carefully evaluating and cupping the coffees that we have chosen to go into our special blends. This skill was initially handed down to me and others at our Port Allen Roasting Plant from Bill Weber, a dedicated evaluator of our coffees who spent almost 50 years at Community Coffee Company. These evaluating and cupping skills are practiced daily and are often attended by our Chairman of the Board and Owner, Matt Saurage, President and CEO David Belanger, and Board Director, H. Norman Saurage III.