ritualistic roasting: One Village Coffee

coffee is complex—it's "kick" is brought upon by a chemical reaction with hot water which, when perfectly calculated, delivers a pleasant aroma + sharp, unique taste that varies per bean, per region, per roast. This is just one drip of the knowledge we gained while visiting One Village Coffee's headquarters + roastery in Souderton, PA. There, guided by General Manager, Andrea Hackman, Director of Coffee, Steve Hoffman, and Director of Sales + Marketing, Victoria Perez, we toured a world of coffee—sipping on samples of their single-origin roasts from Africa, Asia + South America, all while discussing One Village's history, mission + roasting rituals.

hg:  we read One Village Coffee was inspired by a team trip to Africa + Honduras. Tell us a bit about how visiting those areas culminated in the creation of One Village.

andrea:  when our family visited Africa + Honduras, we met coffee farmers + experienced the beauty of the local community. The more we got to know each other, the more we discovered…

"…we shared a common, human desire from this life: a desire to better ourselves, our families + those around us."

That experience inspired the name and launch of One Village Coffee, which is still family owned + operated today. We would say our “Village” is the growers, the roasters (us!) and the people who love the experience of drinking a great cup of coffee.

hg:  why did you choose coffee as the means to bring communities together?

andrea:  coffee is a naturally welcoming drink. People gather around it and share themselves with one another. It enhances the experience amongst friends + family and provides an ice breaker for new relationships. You may be French Pressing on a Saturday morning with your partner or out grabbing a latté with a friend, but coffee is there promoting warmth, enjoyment + connection. 

hg:  One Village’s community involvement extends far beyond your local zip code. How do you give back not only locally, but internationally as well?

victoria:  we partner with Fair Trade USA and COMSA Co-Op in Honduras on various projects. This year we donated $1 of every November purchase of Artist Blend (a blend composed predominately with beans from the COMSA Co-Op) to the Orchard School Project. The Orchard School is a pilot program to empower children to learn how to grow healthy foods. We could go on forever, but you can read more about it here.

hg:  from what regions do you source your coffee beans? What steps do you take to ensure quality?

steve:  coffee grows in dozens of countries in the ‘coffee belt’ around the equator, but the bulk of our coffees come from Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Indonesia (Sumatra and Java) and Papua New Guinea. Simply put, we ensure quality by tasting, tasting, tasting…gathering data…and tasting more. Before we even decide to buy a green coffee our roasting team carefully evaluates it through cupping, the coffee industry's method of tasting. In our roasting machines, we use software to log data from every roast. That data, along with regular quality control cupping, keeps our coffee tasting great.

hg:  how often do you travel to these coffee growing regions to research new roasts?

steve:  last year I traveled to Costa Rica and this year I plan to visit Honduras + Colombia. My dream destination is Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee and the home of my favorite coffees. I'll get there soon!  There is so so much for a roaster to learn at origin, it's eye opining and mind expanding to say the least. Ultimately our goal is deeper than just a trip to a farm, it's broad + multilayered. Our aim is to build transparency and trust at every level of the coffee supply chain, from coffee producers, to exporters, to importers.

"We owe them our livelihood, our passion, and our dreams."

hg:  how do you remain environmentally conscious throughout the harvesting/roasting/sales process?

victoria:  we source organic coffee when we can. We donate chaff (it is the light coat of a coffee bean that falls off during roasting) to local farms. We compost all those used coffee grounds here at the office. We just installed an energy efficient roaster called the “Loring Smart Roaster” that utilizes about 80% less energy than most roasters. We package our coffee in compostable bags. We are a B Corporation and carry USDA Organic certified coffees, so you can feel safe regardless of how intimately you know our efforts.

hg:  where can we find One Village Coffee? Are there cafés in the Philly area that brew your roasts?

victoria:  for bags of One Village Coffee, you can stop at any Whole Foods. For a brewed cup, we recommend you stop by Hawthorne’s or Morning Glory and order a cup of One Village Coffee alongside your drool-worthy brunch. Honestly, most local grocery stores + many local coffee shops have One Village Coffee available. I bet you will notice now!

hg:  tell us a bit more about your roasts themselves. Is there a discernable style, flavor or note to your roasts that may not be found in other brands? What are some popular options from your lineup (+ what’s your personal favorite)?

steve:  our roasting style is all about balance. Some of our coffees are roasted a bit lighter, some a bit darker. No matter the roast level, a balance of flavor components is always the goal. Balance of the unique origin characteristics with bittersweet roast development; balance of acidity, sweetness + body. Artist Blend is our most popular coffee, it’s a melange—a blend of medium + dark roasted Organic and Fair Trade coffees mostly from Honduras. Ethiopian coffees are my favorite!

hg:  your website features a detailed brewing guide—showcasing the various ways coffee can be brewed. Which of these methods is your personal preference? Any quick tips you can pass along?

andrea:  my personal favorite is a Kalitta Wave. It is straightforward, quick and produces a clean cup of coffee. Quick tips for brewing—grind size matters! A general rule of thumb—if your coffee tastes bitter, try a coarser grind setting. If it tastes weak or sour, try a finer grind setting. It’s fun to play around with various grind sizes and discover what setting you like best for your favorite brew method.

victoria:  the Hario V60 pour over cup is my favorite. I French Pressed for years and was intimidated to wrap my hands around those fancy looking gooseneck kettles and try a pour over method. I found familiarity in the clean, sludge free, cup a pour over produces-like a drip cup, but better. My tip? Invest in the coffee gear, all of it: grinder, kettle, scale, pour-over cup. It is life changing.

hg:  you’ve also partnered with Victory Brewing on a special Victory Village brew. What was it like transferring your coffee experience into the beer realm? Are there other notable partnerships or collaborations?

steve:  brewers are flavor freaks like us! We've had a ton of fun working together and educating each other about our respective beverages.  It's impressive how much they want to explore coffee and try new brewing concepts. We've been making a beer called Victory Village every fall for 6-7 years now with Victory. This year we also partnered with them on Java Cask, an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels with coffee. We highly recommend you all go straight to Victory and try right now (it is a limited release). More to come on partnerships…follow us on Instagram for the latest!

hg:  where can we learn more about your story + products, as well as follow along on updates on new roasts + partnerships or events? (Social media, website, etc.) 

victoria:  you know the deal: visit our website, like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram. But honestly, the best way to connect with us?  Experience a cup of coffee every morning in your home, discover your personal coffee ritual + inspire others to do the same.  You can experience coffee like we do.

follow One Village Coffee on Facebook or Instagram, or visit their website for more information + brewing tips via their blog! Pick-up a bag of your very own One Village Coffee at participating retailers, such as Whole Foods or Wegman's!

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