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Crossing the Damen Divide: Goose Island x Metic Coffee

This Saturday (3.23.19), we’re excited to tap into our latest coffee-beer collaboration: Damen Divide! This Dunkelweizen coffee-beer is especially exciting because it marks our first time teaming up with friends and neighbors, Goose Island, not only to produce a coffee-beer but also to learn from their extensive expertise and resources.

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Our relationship with Goose began mostly across the counter. Located just down Fulton and across the titular Damen Ave, members of Goose’s team frequent our #metricwestfulton cafe; we, their taproom. After some pleasantry and product trading, their team invited us down to kick the tires on something more than just a pint. Paul Cade, one of the brewers who led the project, commented, “the value in collaborating is working and learning from a group of people with a different set of skills.” Paul gets at what attracted us to developing Damen Divide. Having crafted delicious coffee-beers in the past, this was our first time working at this scale and bringing our coffee to a new style they wanted to explore. Dunkelweizens are a less well know wheat beer with rich-coloring, dark malts: a beer that was frankly foreign to most of our team. With Goose's help, we learned from their set of skills what we needed to find the perfect coffee pairing.

[Goose Island's Paul Darnaby Cupping in our Lab]

Due to its darker Vienna or Munich malts, Dunkelweizen profiles traditionally consist of toffee, banana, and clove notes. Our coffee palates immediately drifted to Central America in search of a traditional but nuanced flavor to compliment this style's robust body. After a group cupping, all parties landed on a coffee from one of our relationship producers in Honduras, Denis Enamorado. Working with Denis going on four years, we already knew his 2018 lot was special; it burst with pear, mango, and molasses notes that also just so happened to pack the perfect sweet characteristics we sought for this beer. Rather than competing with the “malt base… and the hint of banana from the yeast,” as Paul put it, Denis provided a soft pop to the Dunkel's depth. From there, the Goose flock took to point but generously kept us involved, even allowing us even to help brew the mash (the base) of Damen Divide and experimenting with different recipes of how exactly to introduce the coffee into the brew.

[Metric's Connor, @kondorfalcon, (me!) Stirring Malt at Goose]

[Metric's Jess, @jess_salgado, Assessing Damen Divide Variations on Goose's Tap Deck]

Now several months later and with a lot of consideration, work, and relationship churned into this beer, we’re ecstatic to share Damen Divide with you. Helping commemorate the launch, we'll have retail bags of a custom Damen Divide blend available as well as the opportunity to add a Hellion cold brew sidecar to your 16oz pour of Damen Divide (while supplies last). And if that's not enough, Goose and ManBQue’s own, Jesse Valenciana will be barbecuing German-style brats with a Honduran twist. So this Saturday at 5 pm, join us at our neighbors to share some good times and flavors!

A Full Bouquet: Lonesome Rose Pop-Up

How we partner with others is a common theme at, here, Metric Coffee. As an eclectic group of individuals, you can usually find us discussing our various interests. A through-line, connecting our idiosyncratic tastes, is the humans who unabashedly express themselves through their craft. Collectively we admire the confidence that comes through others’ work, and we work to apply it to our own, whether it be at origin, at HQ, or beyond.

[Image courtesy of @lonesomeroseforeve]

Lonesome Rose (one of the beyond) is a partner of ours we’ve been crushing on for a while now. From confident design to flavor, we're proud to be associated with Lonesome Rose's specific service of "approachability and openness." Since opening last year, we’ve proudly provided LR with their custom “Lover’s Blend,” and now, furthering our rapport and admiration, they’ll be slinging a curated menu of their tacos at our cafe this Saturday (from 8 am to 3 pm).

Along with these delicious tacos, our wild bunch of #metricwestfulton baristas curated three signature-drinks exclusively available for the pop-up! I sat down with Dom (@domrod7) and Ty (@honeyprocessed.destruction), two of the humans who helped craft the drink menu and after sharing some smiles about the excitement for Saturday, they laid out the details. “I was envisioning the perfect fusion of Tex-Mex heat and spices with coffee,” Ty explained: the coffee needed to provide a complimentary backbone to fuse properly. Dom simply recalled an image he had in mind while experimenting: a cowboy out in the plains just stewing and drinking coffee. This imagery and intentionality helped corral delicious ends:

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A Prickly Pear Tonic

A sparkling balance of Proyecto Cabanas espresso, prickly pear concentrate, citric acid, and a little sweetener all for a concoction Ty likened to your morning “juice.”

A Hot Horchata (with an optional shot of Quantum Espresso)

Dom insisted that LR’s signature horchata be featured on the bar, articulating, “chai goes perfect with breakfast and tacos with horchata,” so think of it as your morning, Tex-Mex chai.

A Draft Horchata Aguilar

A delicate but nutty cold-brewed coffee harmonizing with the spice of the horchata over its rice milk’s round sweetness.

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We’re thrilled to be sharing our space with such inspiring humans! “Saturday morning, I want [West Fulton] to feel like it feels at Lonesome Rose on a Saturday night,” Dom eloquently summarized all of our sentiment. Come by #metricwestfulton between 8 am to 3 am for community, creativity, and a carefully-thought menu— just like Lonesome on a Saturday night.

Subscription Spotlight No. 2: Nelson Chaves

In November, we launched our first subscription spotlight highlighting a pair of experimental lots from our friend, Alma Pineda. Today we’re excited to share the newest entry in our ongoing series of previews for Single Origin and Roaster’s Choice Subscribers, Colombia Nelson Chaves.

(Coffee Producer and fellow Bears fan, Nelson Chaves)

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Nelson Chaves is a producer we’ve developed a rapport with over several years of collaboration. Speaking with our co-owner and green buyer, Xavier described Nelson as a “quiet and humble spirit,” who at least initially was cautious of an anonymous, American roaster (like Xaiver). Now, four years later and with the precedent set, X ruminates about the gained trust and comfort the two shared on his most recent visit to Colombia. “Revisiting Nelson and shaking his hand [most recently], I felt more firmness in his embrace, one that reminds me of any time I circle back with a friend from long ago; a connection I quite cherish with the relationships made across my years of travel.”

(View from Nelson's La Esperanza)

This most recent trip came with more than just mutual “confidence and excitement.” Xavier noted the development of Nelson’s craft since that first, skeptical meeting. “A few minor, but important changes were made since we last saw each other. One of these is a new de-pulper [for processing] which was an investment made in part by Metric and Azahar and the addition of building a parabolic dryer with African-Style raised beds.” These advancements in Nelson’s process bring a whole new nuance to his coffee. This year, his lot of Caturra and Castillo varietals pop mirroring almost Kenya-like juiciness and radiating lush notes of raspberry tea, rosehips, and orange zest.

Beyond amazing coffee, this most recent origin trip also offered an opportunity for us to connect with Bernardo, Nelson’s father. Until this year, “[Bernado] was like the Wizard of Oz- I knew he existed but never saw him or knew anything about him other than this name.” The mythic Bernardo operates a coffee estate, Palo Seco, adjacent to Nelson’s. Like his son, Bernardo produces some fantastic coffees; however, Bernardo’s are often seldom available. Without going too far into spoilers, we’ll simply tease, that while you’re sipping your Nelson Chaves, you should start to get hyped for even more radiant coffees coming soon from these hillsides and their shared, family craft.

(Nelson and Bernardo, son and father)

Today, we’re excited to start sharing Nelson’s newest crop with you! It encompasses so much of what we love about working in coffee. It’s a product of our humans mending relationships with other passionate humans to yield beautiful coffee through an evolving, collaborative process and trust that’s imperative to healthy direct trading. Now, if you’re enticed to grab Nelson Chaves as soon as possible, stop by our #metricwestfulton cafe, where it’s currently featured on drip AND single origin espresso.

Not in the neighborhood? Check out our Single Origin & Roaster’s Choice Subscriptions to see if there’s an option for you! If you’re taking the patient route, expect to see the fruits of Nelson's work available next week!