Ask Carl

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 ArabicaCarl R Leonard 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.


  1. Kathy Eanes
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Is there a difference in New Orleans Blend coffee and the Coffee & Chicory coffee available in my store? I’ve been dying to ask this question so, thank you!

    • Posted January 2, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Permalink | Reply


      There is no difference in the coffees besides the name. The reason for the change is due to newer customers understanding the difference between our other blends and the unique taste profile of this great coffee. Hope this helps!

      • Posted January 2, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        Yes, it does! Thank you for clearing that up because I was convinced I was missing something because the packaging never says “New Orleans Blend”. I found a package in a different Kroger in Memphis over the holidays and was so excited! Just my opinion but, I think if it calls itself “New Orleans Blend” and below that specifically says “Coffee & Chicory” or maybe “Our Famous Coffee & Chicory Coffee” ,that explains it well. One we don’t have here that I’ve wanted to try is “Holiday Jazz”. Thanks for your reply!

  2. Roger Deshaies
    Posted February 22, 2013 at 6:49 am | Permalink | Reply

    When will we have New Orleans Blend in K-CUPS????….anxiously waiting.

  3. Joshua
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Carl speaks of Bill Weber, He once did a commercial around 1990, do you know where that can be found? I’ve checked out the youtube page and elsewhere. He was my grandfather and I know our family would love to see it again.

  4. Posted April 19, 2013 at 8:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

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    Many thanks for providing this info.

  5. Mike Barberito
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 3:30 am | Permalink | Reply

    QUESTION. HOW LONG WILL AN UNOPENED BAG OF COMMUNITY COFFEE STAY FRESH? Is it true when storing coffee in your fridge stays fresh longer? I am storing for approx. 1 year
    thank you.
    Mike B

    • Posted November 8, 2013 at 9:02 am | Permalink | Reply

      You can check the bag for specific storage lengths but in general unopened coffee can stay fresh for approximately 9 months. However, storing in your fridge does not necessarily lengthen the freshness of your coffee. In general, oxygen and moisture is coffee’s enemy. Air-tight, moisture resistant containers do help. I’d recommend our Fresh-O-Later canister.

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  1. […] many people have asked us, “What does that really mean?” We’re bringing in Carl Leonard, our resident coffee expert, to explain why Community Coffee selects only the finest beans for its […]

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