Emeryville, Calif. (October 21, 2014) – On Nov. 4, Allegro Coffee Roasters (ACR) brings a new craft coffee experience to Berkeley. Located inside Whole Foods Market’s new store at 10th and Gilman, ACR connects guests with small lots of specialty coffee and a highly skilled team of passionate coffee experts with whom they can share the experience. This is ACR’s second location; the first opened last year at Whole Foods Market in Brooklyn, New York.
ACR is built to serve an exceptional cup of coffee. Beans are roasted on-site in a gas-fired Loring™ drum roaster, one of the most precise and environmentally-friendly roasters available. The Loring roaster works with a hybrid combination of hot air and gas, which reduces energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 percent. After roasting, beans head to one of three Mazzer grinders (of the three, two are dedicated to the house blend and one features a rotation of single origin espressos. Terroir plays a big role in these single-origin coffees, allowing customers to experience the true “taste of a place™”). Finally, a La Marzocco Strada EE 3 Group espresso machine is used to pull each shot; this new model of machine requires a highly skilled barista to get a proper pour.
Whole Foods Market and Allegro Coffee hired Jeremy Stone to bring ACR to life at the Gilman store. Stone comes to the position with great expertise in coffee: how to roast to bring out specific flavors, how to grind, cup, taste, blend with milk – all the bean-to-mug processes required for an exceptional coffee experience. Stone joined Whole Foods Market as a Specialty department team member in 2011 and became a coffee specialist in 2012.
“Coffee is a nearly all encompassing passion of mine and I love to bring new coffees and techniques to people to help them find their perfect cup,” said Stone. “I spend my free time haunting coffee shops, chatting up baristas and roasters, and sharing what I learn with my friends.”
ACR’s house blend is Espresso 924, a mixture of beans from Guatemala, Malawi and Ethiopa that come together nicely for a tasty flavor and consistency that blends well with milk. The flavor profile offers notes of cherry, toffee, peach and honey. In a nod to the local punk rock scene, Espresso 924 is named in honor of Gilman Street’s own 924 Gilman, the famous all-ages, volunteer-run music venue and art space.
In addition to traditional espresso drinks like cappuccinos and lattes, ACR customers can order Nitro cold brew coffee on tap, hand-brewed Chemex, French Press, or a Hario V60 single cup pour-over. Each brew method requires unique calibration and a high level of skill from the barista, who must ensure proper brewing time and extraction.
Small lot, single origin coffees are sourced on a seasonal basis. Allegro Coffee’s own Sourcing Director Darrin Daniel travels to small, responsibly-run coffee plantations and co-ops around the globe to bring these unique blends back to ACR. While these farms may not grow enough coffee to supply Allegro Coffee’s entire operation, they yield enough of these limited lots for customers to enjoy at the ACR venue in Berkeley. Customers can check out Daniel in action on Dark Rye: http://www.darkrye.com/allegrocoffee.
Stone says, “Coffee is all about respect – the farmer’s respect for the land, the green buyer’s respect for the farmer and the co-op, the roaster’s respect for the bean, the barista’s respect for the roasted bean and the customer. Baristas are the link between the farmer and the customer. They can tell a story with the drink they create – the barista might not be able to talk much with the customer about the coffee, but the story comes to life in the cup.”
An initial list of coffees available at ACR includes:*
Ethiopia Queen City Harrar
Organic Colombia Organica AAA Micro Lot
Organic Guatemala Asuvim Micro Lot (Rainforest Alliance certified)
Costa Rica Santa Rosa 1900
Guatemala La Bolsa Nogales
Decaf Organic Ethiopia Homacho Waeno
Organic Ethiopia Homacho Waeno Espresso
Java Sunda Hejo
Sulawesi Toarco Peaberry
ACR is serving organic Clover dairy products (local to Northern California) in lattes, gibraltars, and cappuccinos. Baristas will make syrups in house for flavored coffees.
Customers are invited to attend regular cuppings (coffee tastings) and in-store events to celebrate the single origin coffees and the house blend. Events will be listed on the store web page, wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/gilman, and Facebook page, facebook.com/WFMGilman.
The 47,800 square-foot Whole Foods Market store located at 10th and Gilman Streets in Berkeley opens on Nov. 4. This is the second Whole Foods Market location in Berkeley, and the 40th in Northern California. Customers can subscribe for newsletter updates at wholefoodsmarket.com/newsletters.
*subject to seasonality, availability, and change.
About Allegro Coffee Company
Allegro Coffee Company was founded in 1977 in Boulder, Colorado. It is one of the first certified organic roasters in the country. Whole Foods Market acquired Allegro in 1997; since then Whole Foods Market has offered Allegro’s coffee as its signature house roast. In 2013, Allegro opened its first official Allegro Coffee Roasters craft coffee venue at Whole Foods Market in Brooklyn, New York. Earlier this month, Allegro’s Organic Continental Blend won a blind taste test conducted by Consumer Reports’ ShopSmart Magazine, for whole bean roasts. Find Allegro Coffee Company online at Facebook.com/AllegroCoffeeCompany.