A Whirlwind Year
2014 was kind to us. But we were definitely on the move! Here’s a quick look back at some of the highlights:
We opened our second retail location in June in the City of Brotherly Love. We love being in the city and being part of the welcoming neighborhood of Washington Square West. If you haven’t come by for a visit yet, you should! (249 S. 13th Street)
Q Grader Certification
Jess Steffy, coowner of Square One Coffee, earned her Q Grader Certification at the very end of 2013. She spent 2014 using those skills to continue educating our staff and assisting with quality control. According to the Coffee Quality Institute, a Q Grader is a highly trained and calibrated coffee expert who professionally grades coffee using Specialty Coffee Association of America cupping protocols. These Q Graders must pass a rigorous six day course comprised of three day examinations to earn their certification, comprising of 20 sections on coffee related subjects, such as green grading, roast identification, coffee cupping, sensory skills, and sensory triangulation. There are currently about 4000 licenced Q Graders worldwide. Congrats Jess!!
We currently have four baristas on staff in our Duke St. cafe who have earned their Barista Guild of America Level 1 Barista Certifications! This certification requires baristas to properly extract a shot of espresso, describe its flavor profile accurately, and make a cappuccino according to SCAA standards, demonstrating their understanding of equipment and mastery of coffee.
We traveled with Cafe Imports to Minas Gerais, Brazil in August, visiting coffee producers and tasting some of the best coffees coming out of Brazil this year. Incidentally, one of those coffees was the Brazil Santa Lucia, which we selected for Hadassah’s barista competition coffee. Speaking of competition...
Hadassah Wilson, our Director of Education, competed for Square One at the Big East Regional Barista Competition again this year, finishing 2nd in the highly competitive Northeast region! This earns her a bye into the semifinal round at Nationals in Long Beach, California in February. Stay tuned!
Barista Magazine Cover
We were thrilled to see Jess on the cover of Barista Magazine for their October/November issue. There was also a wonderful interview and feature story on Jess and Square One. If you missed it, you can still check it out here (article starts on page 60): http://baristamagazine.epubxp.com/i/387289
Good Food Award Winner (2014 and 2015!)
After being a finalist for our Kenya Gatomboya in 2013, Square One was honored to receive a Good Food Award in 2014 for our Guatemala Acatenango Gesha. Then, in 2015, we received our second Good Food Award, this year for our Ethiopia Kore Kochore. Read more about the award here GFA Blog
2015 and Onward…
We’re already eagerly anticipating what 2015 has in store for our company. Part of this excitement comes from our brand new roastery. Our new space (still in Lancaster) is 4,000 square feet and will include a training lab for barista education, an SCAA Certified Cupping Lab, our main office, and our roasting and production operations. We’re moving in this month and starting full-time production in the space by February 1st.
Thanks to all of our customers, friends, and family for making 2014 such a raging success! Here’s to an even brighter 2015!