Tag Archives: coffee beans

The Sustainability Groove

Roaster Profile: Larry’s Coffee

Larry's Coffee roaster group

Sure we all wish and strive to have sustainable habits in our homes and professions, but how often do we not put our time/money where our mouths are? One of our roasters has no problem answering that question. Larry’s Coffee, based in Raleigh, North Carolina, is entrenched in the “sustainability groove”. From where they source their green coffee beans, to their solar powered roasting facility, to their veggie-oil powered delivery bus, Larry and his team have dialed in creative ways to make sustainability the standard.


First the beans! When ordering from Larry’s Coffee, we don’t have to ask “what are your current Fair Trade coffees?” All of Larry’s Coffees are Fair Trade, Organic and Shade Grown; all of them! Founder, Larry, believes coffee can be used to joyfully make the world a better place. We resonate with this sentiment of coffee with a higher purpose.


Larry finds that Fair Trade is twofold; It’s a way to fund uniquely delicious coffee beans and at the same time creating business opportunities where everyone in the supply chain gets paid fairly for their product. Larry pioneered this model by helping form the Cooperative Coffee organization, which is a group of U.S. roasters that work together to import green coffee beans into the United States with a focus on ethical trade practices.

Then the roasting facility! Here’s the list of everything Larry’s Coffee is doing to lighten their Carbon and Water footprint:

Veggie oil from Piedmont Biofuels powders their coffee bus for local coffee deliveries.








Solar collectors heat the roasting facility and main offices.

Larrys Coffee Roasting facilities







They also let the sunshine light up their roasting facility with a “clearstory.”

Composting coffee waste to be used in the veggie garden.

Rainwater harvesting, with 4 tanks that can collect up to 2500 gallons of water to run the bathrooms and water the plants.

And this is the shortlist. See more here.

This month in your Coffee Crates, you’ll find Larry’s Honduras Comsa lightly roasted bean that makes for an elegant brew with notes of apple crisp and caramel.

Oh and by the way, did we mention their coffee is also delicious? No compromises here!

Thank you Larry’s Coffee for sharing these great photographs with Coffee Crate.

Coffee Crate, what’s it all about?

We believe that coffee tastes better when there’s an empowering story of love and respect that connects us to the origin of the beans.

We are an online coffee subscription and gift service, providing carefully curated roasts from local North Carolina roasters, delivered every month to your door. We work with roasters who connect with the story of where their beans come from, and who uphold ethical standards of sustainability and labor. In this way, we curate the highest quality beans and carefully package them with creativity and love.

We continuously taste an assortment of beans from local roasters who take pride in their craft and strive to produce uniquely delicious coffees. We place an emphasis on working with roasters who work directly with the farms. Some of the growers are engaged in community empowerment, such as women owned cooperatives, local education and community health.

When selecting beans for Coffee Crate, our emphasis is on the virtuous delight of not only an ethically sourced product, but also one that activates the senses of our body and mind.

Together with a locally crafted goodie, we deliver delicious right to your door.

What’s the Diff?! Dynamite Roasting explains coffee process. Washed, Honey, Natural!

What’s the Diff?!?!

Have you ever wondered why coffee bags are sometimes labeled with a variety of descriptions for “process”? Wet, dry, washed, sun-dried, partial washed, oh and were the honey processed beans dipped in honey? All of this lingo can be quite perplexing at times. After Coffee Crate‘s recent visit to Dynamite Coffee’s roasting facility in Black Mountain, North Carolina, I felt like I had a better understanding of the nuances of the different methods of processing coffee. Andy Gibbon from Dynamite breaks it down into 3 basic categories: Washed (wet), Honey processed (partial wash), and Natural (dry, unwashed). It started making sense why one coffee could taste really clean, bright and super fruity (Washed) and another coffee might be heavy and sweet (Natural).
coffee plant : coffee process
coffee plant : coffee process

Coffee Processes explained

“After a coffee is picked, a decision must be made by the farmer as to how the bean will be processed. The choice may be made based on tradition or available resources, or to develop a new flavor in the coffee. In general, there are three processing methods used to dry coffee, with each developing very different flavors in the bean. 
Cupping at Dynamite Coffee Roasters : coffee process
Cupping at Dynamite Coffee Roasters : coffee process
Natural (or dry) process:
The natural process produces coffee that is heavy in body, sweet, fruity, and complex. Whole coffee cherries are sorted and laid out on a patio or screen to dry before the dried fruit is removed by a milling machine. The natural process is often used in countries where rainfall is scarce and long periods of sunshine are available to dry the coffee properly. 
Coffee process: pulped and natural processed, drying
Coffee process: pulped and natural processed, drying
Washed (or wet) process:
In the washed process, coffee is sorted by flotation before being fermented in a large tank of water. This causes the pulp and mucilage to break down so it can be rinsed away with water. The seed is then dried in the sun or by mechanical methods.
Coffee process : coffee wet process
Coffee process : coffee wet process
This process results in a coffee that is cleaner, brighter, and fruitier than natural processed coffee. Most countries with coffee valued for its perceived acidity, will process their coffee using the washed process.
Coffee Process : coffee sun drying after wet process
Coffee Process : coffee sun drying after wet process
Pulped Natural/Honey Process:

The pulped natural method consists of pulping a coffee, but limiting the fermentation stage, leaving some of the mucilage intact.  This results in a beverage that has characteristics of both a natural and washed process coffee. 

Coffee Process : honey processed
Coffee Process : honey processed

It is often sweeter than washed coffees, has some of the body of a natural coffee, but also retains some of the acidity of a washed coffee. This type of processing can only occur in countries where the humidity is low and the coffee covered in the sweet mucilage can be dried rapidly without fermenting.”

Andy Gibbon, Dynamite Roasting Co. explains the difference between coffee process methods


Here’s some of the pics from my Dynamite Coffee visit!

Josh Gibbs , partner at Dynamite Roasting Co. and Stu Helm, Asheville Food Fan checking out the roaster 23 kilo machine from US Roaster Corp in Oklahoma City
23 kilo machine from US Roaster Corp in Oklahoma City with lovely custom red accents.
Andy Gibbon, partner at Dynamite Roasting Co. and Stu Helm, Asheville Food Fan prepping some single origins for sampling. It’s smells like someone is baking a fruit pie! Oh and brewing coffee.