March 6, 2012

CUSTARD OR BUST: La Colombe Torrefaction

Share:

Last coffee roaster on the tour. I was super excited to see these guys because on of our favorite employees, Matt Waxman, is from Philadelphia. Matt wrote me an awesome note about a year ago telling me about this coffee he loved from his home town. He brought us some samples to try. I loved that he was engaged with this stuff and promised we’d go next time we were in Philadelphia. So this visit was a long time coming.

We saw a bunch of stuff here we’d never seen before. These guys do a serious amount of coffee volume. They sell primarily to restaurants and hotels, very different from the cafe-oriented roasters we’ve visited in the past. See that green thing Rolando is looking at? That’s their coffee bean silo. Really impressive scale, I’d never seen anything like this. I think Rolando and I liked those factory tour shows when we were kids. You know, the ones where they teach you how candy is made. So this stuff is always exciting to see.

We saw a bunch of other things we’d never seen in the past.

See Rolando in that picture? This is serious stuff. You might have to enlarge the photo. We’d never seen anything near this scale of production. Most of their coffees are blends. This was unique for us as well. They roast all of the beans in their blends at the same time. The other roasters we’ve toured roast each bean (e.g., Columbian vs. Brazil) separately, then mix them post-roasting. At La Colombe they roasted them all together, at the same time.

Here was another thing we hadn’t seen before. They “de-gas” their beans. After roasting and grinding they allow the beans to sit out for 3 days to allow carbon dioxide to escape. We’d never seen anything like that before. Most of the roasters we’ve toured raced to bag the beans as fast as possible. This was a totally different mindset.

While most of their coffee has been blends, they now have a sub-label called Atelier that is focusing on single origin coffees. These are what we’ll likely feature at Clover if we bring them in to the guest slot. Although I’m sort of thinking I’d be interested in what folks would think of La Colombe blends in the guest spot. We’ve played in the past with the idea of sharing really different coffees with you all. You might remember after a trip to Michigan and drinking my grandmother’s Folgers I was thinking of bringing some onboard the truck.

The aesthetic sensibility was refined and well developed. Really simple, really classy. The stores were exquisite. Sort of a french/ european vibe. Very carefully thought through.

A final adventure. They were playing with beans from Haiti and trying to roast these beans with their skin still on. Rolando and I hadn’t seen beans like this before. We tasted them. The skin was sort of papery, not very flavorful.

Recent Posts

January 26, 2023
The Pizza Friday Box gave us an idea: calzones! Ayr has been making these at his house and texting us photos. They’re big and saucy and so good. Basically a stuffed pizza/turnover situation with origins in 17th century Naples.
January 18, 2023
As you might know, we love feedback. Survey Day is a tradition that harkens back to the first days of the food truck, over 10 years ago. If you got a card in line today at Clover, or if you ordered on the app today, click here to take the survey. Huge thanks for helping us improve.
January 13, 2023
Thanks all who joined for the first public food dev meeting after Covid. Phil did a great job pulling it all together. If you’re a customer, farmer, vendor (or Clover staff member) reading this, you are invited to Food Dev! These happen Thursday afternoons at the HUB and they’re where all new food ideas are born. Just make sure to sign up – spots are limited.
January 5, 2023
House-made carrot lox, hearty vegetable stews with bread and pickles, Tunisian breakfast bowls, a pizza party kit, and a dream of snow, all in one box. Our Snowed In Box is back. This was Greg’s idea back in 2020. He thought it would be cool to make a box that was equally whether eaten after snowboarding or cozied up on the couch watching a movie.
December 21, 2022
We’ve been getting a lot of requests for the ability to gift a friend Clover Meal Boxes. After a lot of late night tech sessions, we have a way to do this! Yay! I’ve been looking and seeing a few of you have started to discover this feature and are starting to gift away. So cool to see.
December 16, 2022
If you’re a weekly meal box subscriber, you may have noticed way fewer plastic containers in your deliveries recently.When we started the program, we were in the pandemic, new to this whole home delivery thing, and a big concern was making sure that nothing spilled inside the boxes. So we relied on post-consumer recycled containers (aka plastic deli containers) for a lot of the items.
December 13, 2022
We’ve been getting back into the merch game. First up: squash shirts. I thought it would be fun to celebrate the diversity of the squash world. Although butternut is probably the squash you see most in the grocery store, there are actually over 100 types of squash, all with their own patterns, colors, and textures.
December 6, 2022
The Bridgewater is back!! This is probably the most requested sandwich on our menu. Michelle who runs our social media says she reliably gets one message per week asking when it will return. In 2015, Paul and Bryan came up with this sandwich as an homage to the jalapeño poppers at The Charlie Horse, a now-closed tavern in their hometown of Bridgewater, MA.
December 6, 2022
I love the holidays. I love the lights, I love the traditions, I love ornaments and pine needles all over the floor.  I love the movies (“Muppet Christmas Carol”) and the books (“A Child’s Christmas in Wales.”) I love the good songs, I love the schlocky songs (if you’ve never heard “Suzy Snowflake” or “Dominic the Donkey”, stop reading right now and click through.)
December 1, 2022
It was inevitable. Our meal box program had to find its way into restaurants at some point. A bunch of you have been asking if we can sell “on demand” meal boxes in our restaurants – for those times when you have last-minute dinner guests or forgot to subscribe by the deadline. So we’ve been easing into the process of combining one part of Clover with another.
November 28, 2022
Brussels Sprouts are extra sweet this time of year, and King Brussels, in his infinite wisdom, has cooked up a Brussels Week in our meal boxes. Every single subscription box will contain a recipe inspired by brussels! This is the first time we’ve explored a seasonal theme across our entire lineup and we’re excited to dive in.
November 19, 2022
This was Jane’s last week at Clover. We’re wishing her the best in her next steps (but also not so secretly hoping she comes back!)