Caffe Ladro Roasts Up Passion In New Blends
The passion from Seattle’s premiere coffee roasters are always finding new ways to push the envelope, evolve, and create better synergy between them and coffee farmers.
Caffe Ladro’s Sinergia Project highlights this effort.
This month, Ladro Roasting, under the direction of CEO Jack Kelly, released the “Singergia Project: Better Together” – a project “designed for bringing coffee aficionados exquisite and unique coffees delicately roasted to create a high-end blend greater than the separate coffees,” according to Caffe Ladro.
The idea is to bring the best of each origin coffee to maximize sweetness, acidity, and body.
I recently got my hands on October’s release, featuring two Kenyan coffees: Kenya Kaumandi and Kenya Ichamara.
The incredible aroma first hits you as you grind it. Ladro describes the coffee as Assam tea, Lemongrass, and Key Lime… I simply describe it as delicious. You got to try it!
Here’s a recent Q&A with Caffe Ladro CEO Jack Kelly about the Singeria Project.
Q: Your latest blend of two single Kenyan origin coffees is elegant, complex, full of body… what makes this project uniquely different from your other coffees?
The Sinergia project is designed to bring two exceptional coffees together to create a incredible experience not available through one micro-lot.
Q. These coffees are first roasted separately and then blended…How does post-roast blending allow you to amplify the taste you’re looking for?
By roasting separately we can highlight individual characteristics of a coffee. Sweetness, body or acidity can be increased by the roast style. Then we blend the two coffees and get amazing balance.
Q: This project is emphasizing its positive engagement with local coffee growers. How is this project impacting small coffee farmers?
In Kenya, the individual farms are incredibly small. Usually measured by numbers of trees (200ish is common) instead of hectares. We pay very high premiums for better quality which makes dramatic improvements in quality of life!
Q: For your customers who are discovering your specialty coffee and buying bags of coffee: What recommendations do you have for brewing these coffees at home?
For these “special” coffees we recommend v-60 or Kalita pour over. Chemex is also a great choice to highlight clean flavors.
Q. You started Caffe Ladro in 1994. What inspired you to start your coffee business?
In 1986 I was an intern at NOAA and contemplating my choice to become a marine biologist. I was running a small espresso bar in Ravenna and having a blast. Coffee was already a big deal in Seattle and so I decided I wanted to start my own business. Uptown Espresso opened in 1987. I sold it 7 years later and started Ladro in 1994.
Q: What was the Seattle Coffee Scene like in the mid-1990s? What’s different today?
In the 90's the cafe scene was all about espresso and milk drinks. Now it's more brewed coffee and micro-lots. Of course today, competition is fierce in Seattle. You need to know want you're doing to be in the business now!
Q: Caffe Ladro had tremendous growth over the years in Seattle, what aspect of your growth are you most surprised about? What are you most proud of?
I'm most proud of Ladro's roasting program. Our coffee quality is exceptional now and our relationships with our producers are profound. It truly motivates us to do a great job.
Q: What’s been most rewarding to you when working with farmers?
The perspective when I travel to Origin and meet producers. It's humbling and rewarding. They are so grateful and generous. It's like we are part of their families.
Q: Learning a little more about Jack. What did you do before coffee?
Since I was 20 years old Coffee is all I've ever done! I owned my first cafe at 21 years old. I've always worked for myself. I've never done a resume!
Q: What do you use to brew coffee at home when you’re half-asleep?
When exhausted at home, I brew coffee with a Bona Vita brewer into a Chemex. Fool proof.
Certainly Caffe Ladro exemplifies the amazing quality and passion of Seattle coffee's coffee roasters.
If you haven’t done so already, check out Caffe Ladro's Website For More Info – Click Here to Find Their Seattle Area Locations