Merry New Year & Happy Christmas - what!

Are you looking for great, last-minute and very cool presents? It doesn’t involve another trip to the Post Office or playing hide-n-seek with the FedEx driver. Just a quick stop at the shop. We are open until 4 pm on Christmas Eve for you procrastinators (is there an amateur class of crastinators?)

With the exception of Christmas and New Year’s Day, we are open during our normal business hours.

Our gift cards are probably the best coffee deal around. $25 buys you a $30 card, $50 gets you a $60 card and $100 buys you a $130 gift card. Nothing says Happy Holidays like lots of great tasting coffee from The Grind. Please remember to ask for your FREE coffee drink with the purchase of any gift card.

Need a cool mug or four - buy three and score a free mug to round out the set. And, in case you missed it - ASK for your free coffee drink when you buy at the shop anytime through January 31.

Instead of milk and cookies, leave something for Santa he’ll really like - coffee and a biscotti. And it is not too late to leave the jolly old guy some of The Grind’s award winning coffee. The Brazil de Minus and Nicaragua Cafe Diego took home awards in the Espresso and Pour Over categories, respectively, in last year’s Golden Bean competition. If you’re lucky, it might even move you off the naughty list.

The Grind’s Whiskey Series is available for the holidays. The boss is offering four different beans right now. They are the Salted Caramel Whiskey Barrel, Glen Moray 25 year, RUA and Virgil Kane. Green coffee beans are stored in whiskey barrels the precise length of time to soak up the aroma and nuanced flavor of the liquor. The price is $25 a pound and if you purchase one of each, you can choose either a travel mug or ceramic mug AND don’t forget, a FREE coffee drink of your choice.

A special thanks to our customers and partners during this holiday season. We hope you have a blessed and safe holiday season.

Loyalty Program

We are pleased to announce a tremendous loyalty club for our frequent customers. What’s not to love - drink the best coffee in town and rack up loyalty points which can be used toward coffee drinks, bagged coffee and neat merchandise.

To start, simply stop by the shop to pick up a loyalty card. For every dollar you spend at The Grind you’ll earn 1 loyalty point. Each and every 50 point block earns you the coffee drink of your choice. The points keep accruing and at 100, you get 25% off bagged coffee. At 250 points you may select either a pound of coffee, a t-shirt or a mug (travel or ceramic) to call your own.

Gift Card Deal

This is worth mentioning twice. A holiday gift card from The Grind is the best way to spoil your favorite caffeine-craving friend, co-worker or family member. Three denominations make it easy to pick the right one. AND, what a deal! The $30 gift card costs $25, the $60 card goes for $50 and the $125 card is $100. We’re not done yet … pick up your cards at the shop and score a free 12 ounce latte or regular coffee.

No Need to Search for Cold Brew Nitro

The taste and texture of The Grind’s cold brew nitro is a treat no matter the season. It is a unique taste, less bitter, full bodied, and naturally sweet. If you are new to the cold brew fan club or a seasoned pro, you can find our cold brew nitro at the following locations in the low country.

Southern Barrel Brewing, 375 Buckwalter Place Blvd (Bluffton)

Java Burrito, 1000 William Hilton Parkway (Hilton Head Island)

World of Beer, 30 Shelter Cove Lane, #140 (Hilton Head Island)

Mahogany Reef Juice & Java, 24-G Palmetto Bay Road (Hilton Head Island)

Coming Soon

The Lodge, 78 Greenwood Drive (Hilton Head Island)

Salt Marsh Brewery, AKA Fat Patties, 203 Bluffton Road (Bluffton)

Barista Part Two

 

Once in awhile, we have a coffee extremist that has an unusual request but we always accept a challenge. With great coffee can potentially come great difficulty. That is where our customer education comes into play. The coffee culture is constantly coming up with new inventions and creations and we do our best to keep in-the-know. We never cease trying to please our customers! If you happen to be a creature of habit, we definitely suggest trying new things. You may come to find you can have more than one favorite beverage or bean. The coffee business gets tough when hiring new employees. We take our training processes and procedures seriously and require our baristas to feel the same way and express it through their work. We constantly work on our consistency behind the bar, testing new ideas and solving problems. Over the past two years, we have done trials of different roasts. Critical factors include different temperatures and beans, duration of roast & rest times, and roasting profile curves. These factors translate into a quality cup of coffee. We carefully recruit importers, distributors and farms and select the best beans, syrups, milks to ensure we are serving our community with nothing shy of the best!

 Our community means everything to us and we push ourselves to make sure we are meeting your wants and needs. We have expanded our coffee offerings to give you a variety of beans to taste, love and share. Not to mention, we cater to your favorite brew style. Whether you prefer the convenience of a Keurig K-Cup, the crema from the Nespresso pods, the pre-weighed packs for a full pot and so much more. Our coffees are available at the Bluffton and Hilton Head farmers market each week, fundraisers, private events, concerts, local annual festivals, local restaurants, breweries and coffee shops and of course here with us at The Grind. Our baristas love to be a part of anything that ties into our beautiful community and you can find us just about anywhere!

 We hope you get the chance to get to know our baristas and let them do what they love by showing you a one-of-a-kind coffee experience!

 

Life of a Barista

The skills of a barista go much further than just serving a cup of coffee. A dedicated barista understands the importance of making each customer’s day start in the best way possible by doing the following: Remember each drink, create a special friendship by saving time on a customer’s favorite brew, welcoming customers to the shop, getting to know the customer and educating them on what makes our coffee special.

We take great care of everyone who stops by our shop by giving them a personal and unique coffee experience. We train our baristas to multitask and handcraft our pour overs and lattes while maintaining the outstanding taste and hand-poured art. Coffee knowledge is something we take pride in because we know the attention to detail is often missing in this industry. We love to share what we know about our shared passion … coffee!

We can’t wait to show you the full potential of The Grind through at our new location - due to open within the next several weeks. It will be worth the wait; everything you’ve been waiting for and then some! We will have plenty of indoor seating; comfy chairs for those of you needing a more relaxing coffee break, a section for coffee dates with friends and family as well as a conference room to discuss all of your important meetings topics. We will have the first local coffee shop drive-thru also up and running offering a traditional menu and a better option for those in a hurry. A pour-over station will be set up at all times equipped with fresh ground beans of your choice, scales and timers to guarantee the perfect cup made just for you. Most of you love to see the The Grind “behind the scenes” meaning every step before you take the first sip. The roasting process, grinding, packaging, labeling, extracting and pouring. Our new location will allow you to see every bit of it, in an open yet separated area. We look forward to hosting you in our new digs.

Before the Pour

In the information to use or lose box …

That morning cup of coffee. Almost makes you want to go back to bed just to wake up again for another first cup of the day. But wait, not every cup of coffee is equal. Brewed coffee varies in flavor and chemical make-up. Most of these changes are determined before you pour—from the bean, to roast, to grind and the brew method.

There are hundreds of chemicals in a cup of coffee. The major elements, including those with health impacts, are caffeine, chlorogenic acid, trionelline, kahweol and cafestrol. Don’t worry, no quiz today.

To a coffee tree, caffeine is an onboard insect repellent. To us humans, it enhances perception, reduces fatigue, improves alertness, may even help long term memory and boosts metabolic rate and energy expenditures. Current dietary guides suggest no more than 3 to 5 cups a day—the equivalent of 400 milligrams of caffeine.

Chlorogenic acid was mentioned recently in this blog so I’ll keep it brief. It’s the good stuff and lowers risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Trigonelline is a bitter alkaloid that helps protect the brain from damage by blocking cancer cells, combating bacteria and lowering blood sugar and total cholesterol.

Kahweol and cafestol are diterpenes and make up the bitter taste of coffee and are found in the oil from the bean. They’ve been linked to preventing cancer cells from developing. Unfortunately also linked to raising serum levels of LDL cholesterol. If you make coffee with a paper filter or drink darker roasted coffee, the diterpene content is minimized.

On the bean side of the equation, there are around 68 types of Coffea that produce fruit (the beans are really the seed of the fruit). Two form the commercial foundation for coffee, arabica and robusto. Of the two, robusto has more caffeine. It makes sense, robusto is grown at lower elevations where insects thrive. Arabica is grown at higher elevations and contains more trigonelline and diterpenes.

During the roasting process sugars and fats degrade, amino acids and sugars combine to produce the wonderful flavors and aromas we’ve come to know and love. Medium roast beans contain more of the beneficial phenols and dark roast beans have slightly less caffeine.

Brewing coffee is a combination of time, temperature, pressure and turbulence. To over-simplify, grinding to expose the maximum surface area produces higher amounts of caffeine and flavor. Brewed for too long or at too high a pressure will over-extract very bitter taste elements. Brewed at too low a temperature will produce a weak, sometimes grassy taste.

Pick your brew method: Steeping (French press or pour-over), filtering (paper filter or other filter that traps sediment and oils), pressurization (espresso) or boiling (Turkish).  If you enjoy the creamy mouth-feel, avoid using the filtration method. It is the oils that create the crema consistency.

Information Sources:

The Coffee Bible www.coffeeandhealth.org

How to Science up your Coffee National Institutes of Health

 

Festive Pairings

The Grind is developing and taste testing many coffee and food pairings. Eventually this will be offered as a gourmet tasting event at our new shop—but right now we are in the research phase.

There’s no reason you can’t experiment this holiday with  your own pairings. Here are a couple we enjoy. Baked ham with a cardamom/nutmeg/coffee fines rub with a full-bodied bean from El Salvador or Nicaragua.  Or a sheep’s milk blue cheese with drizzled honey paired with a classic espresso or dark roasted bean.

 

Travel Mugs for Coffee and Tea

Just Arrived! New, streamlined travel mugs are perfect for coffee and tea. 16 ounce capacity and it really keeps your favorite brew fresh and hot. Includes a built in stainless steel tea basket which pops out for cleaning. Twist-on cap with an easy-seal gasket prevents leaks. So toss it in your backpack, purse or briefcase. Our travel mugs are available in black, green and gold. Price is $20. Buy two and get 20% off your next purchase of coffee beans.

Haitian Blue Mountain

At the risk of repeating myself - The Haitian Blue Mountain coffee has been well-received by our customers. This is a specialty bean with unusual and wonderful taste elements.

A couple questions have come up that I’d like to answer. The Blue Mountain bean is an arabica varietal that probably came from Ethiopia in the 17th century along established trade routes. This varietal has found tremendous commercial success in Cameroon, Papua New Guinea, Kenya, Jamaica, Hawaii and Haiti.

The blue mountain varietal is not trademarked. The Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is only grown on two plantations and that trademark is rigorously protected.

It takes about three years for a tree to begin bearing fruit (coffee cherry) and may continue to produce for up to 30 years.

This bean, like most grown in the northern hemisphere is a seasonal harvest, with harvest running from November to February.

If you have questions about anything you see in the blog space, just ask away.

Bluffton Coffee & Chocolate Fest

We’re all in favor of anything coffee - but coffee and chocolate is a match made in heaven. And folks in the lowcountry will have a chance to sample the best of the best on Saturday, December 8th.

The Tea Room is sponsoring the first annual Coffee & Chocolate Fest. Come on by the green next to Gigi’s Boutique on Calhoun Street anytime from Noon to 4 p.m. Expect to be amazed with the wealth of taste sensations as coffee and chocolate meet.

We’ll have a number of tasty brews available that will complement a variety of chocolates. Try a full-bodied medium roast from Ecuador with a bit of milk chocolate or our Nicaragua Cafe Diego with dark chocolate - the smoky notes blend perfectly with the slight bitterness of the chocolate. Ok, so you get the idea - mix them up and have fun. We will also have Espresso bean truffles and 12 pack espresso bean chocolate wafers for sale made especially for us by Turoni Chocolates in Savannah!

Enjoy free samples and tastings from all vendors. This is a rare opportunity to sample great, fresh-roasted coffee from many area coffee roasters and shops.

The event is free to attend although you may want to check out the festival specials available for purchase.

Nespresso Pods for Resorts & Restaurants

Let The Grind help you promote your brand! Do you run a restaurant or resort? Are you interested in further highlighting your brand? Would you like your customers to see your company’s LOGO every time they make a great tasting cup of coffee at home or at their place of work?

The Grind’s restaurant and resale sales & services include private labeling and the development of a proprietary coffee blend. Or you can select a single origin bean and ‘make it your own’. This is available on Nespresso pods, K-Cups and bagged coffee (8 and 12 ounce).

A one-time set-up and art fee is required for the Nespresso Pods and K-Cups. Please allow 2 to 4 weeks for approved art and production of your private label foil pod caps. For more information, please contact Ian at (843) 580-1882.

12 Beers of Christmas

Yes, I said beer - but not just any beer. Two of the most popular coffee beans from The Grind are used in two tasty and unique beers made by Southern Barrel Brewing in Bluffton. Starting on December 7 Southern Barrel will kick-off 12 Beers of Christmas at their brewery, located at 375 Buckwalter Place Blvd.

On December 13, stop by to enjoy a pint or two of Brettanomyces Coffee & Cherry beer made with The Grind’s Kenya coffee. And on December 17, you can enjoy their Frozen Barrel Stout with our Rwanda coffee beans.

The 12 Beers of Christmas are only available in the pub so stop by for a couple beers with friends.

Coffee Benefits Confirmed

So maybe confirmed is a little strong. But several recent studies have determined there are health benefits to a cup of coffee or an iced latte. One such study (Journal of Medicinal Foods) suggests that lighter roasted coffee contains more chlorogenic acid. This acid is a potent antioxidant and is linked to the reduction of inflammation. The researchers are understandably careful in attributing too much importance to any single chemical. Diseases born of chronic inflammation include heart disease, cancer and neurological diseases such as Alzheiner’s. These diseases are progressive and often develop over a span of years making the role of coffee difficult to accurately evaluate.

Coffee beans grown at higher elevations have more polyphenols, including chlorogenic acid. And since most high altitude beans are arabica variants. This includes beans grown in Central America, Colombia, Ethiopia and Kenya. (*)

What does this mean to you? Well, if you are looking for a another reason to drink coffee - here it is. If you’re looking for a reason not to drink coffee … why are you reading this article?

(*) The Coffee Lover’s Bible, Dr. Bob Arnot

Spike Your Brew

Add a favorite liqueur to your holiday coffee drinks for a special treat. Liqueurs, like other food items, expand the taste profile of some beans more than others. Add Bailey’s Irish Cream to an espresso or dark roast Nicaragua Cafe Diego. Or try Grand Marnier with a full-bodied bean from Columbia. The orange citrus liqueur brings out the sweet cacao notes of the coffee. Another favorite is Frangelico with Ecuador coffee. The soft nutty (hazelnut) flavor of the liqueur carries the coffee flavor from the tip of the tongue to the last lingering sip.

Use sparingly to avoid overwhelming the coffee.

Give the Gift of Awesome Coffee!

Christmas is just around the corner. And that means great parties, busy schedules, hectic shopping and kids home from school (yikes!). Count on the folks at The Grind to keep you and your friends and relatives energized through the season.

Gift certificates are available for purchase online or by stopping in the shop. If you purchase at the shop, you can order a free coffee drink. We gotta keep all of you Santa’s healthy and happy.

$30 gift card costs $25

$60 gift card costs $50

$125 gift card costs $100

Black Friday

Stop by the shop this coming Friday and cash in on a huge savings! Buy a bag of coffee - whole bean or ground and score a free hot or cold coffee drink. A 12 ounce and 16 ounce is the same price with the purchase of a bag - FREE. In case your are wondering, buy two bags and get two free coffee drinks. The free coffee does include the Whiskey Series beans or the Haitian Blue Mountain.