© 2024
Touchy Coffee, LLC
TC FAQ 01.14.21
Writing Matthew Loiacono
Photography Michael Valiquette
Location Troy, NY

What is Touchy Coffee?

Touchy Coffee is a coffee roasting project from the team behind Superior Merchandise Company, a cafe in Troy, NY. We aim to satisfy our physical and emotional need for transcendent coffee and to shine a light on the hands that make it all possible. We place heavy emphasis on care for all aspects of the coffee value chain. We work tirelessly from our corner of the world to make decisions that support the entire chain, choosing to weigh a farmer’s origin story and context heavier than their coffee’s cup score. With every sip, we hope to remind you that coffee is not just a commodity, but rather a miracle.

Is this a blend? / Do you have blends?

So far, we’ve never blended coffees from different origins, farms or producers. We believe that the future of coffee farming is wholly dependent on supporting smallholder farmers and family estate level producers. The coffee production landscape is so wide, varied and open that with some effort and intention we can source coffee that displays elegance, quality and structure which stands on its own and deserves to carry the face and name of its producer.

Do you have espresso beans?

Our favorite shots of espresso are pulled with roasted coffee that inherently has a balanced presence – enough acidity to be remarkable but not overpowering, enough roast development to promote a lush mouthfeel and enough character to leave a lasting, lingering impression. Most of our offerings are delicious brewed as espresso, some more bright and intense than others. We’d be happy to run down our current menu’s potential for espresso preparation with you, just send us a note! 

Is your coffee organic / fair trade / shade grown / bird friendly?

We believe that certifications such as Organic, FairTrade, bird friendly and otherwise can be helpful for transparency in the supply chain BUT we’ve found most smallholder farmers can’t afford the price tag and infrastructure to be certified. Our solution to this is developing long term relationships with highly specialized importers that deal directly with the farmers we buy from to ensure proper farming practices are being employed and that fair payment is being delivered. As we move forward, we’ve made a concerted effort to buy coffee from the same producers year-over-year which provides incentive to farmers to continually maintain and improve their work and gives the expectation that the coffee will have a home to go to. We often work with farmers that are “practicing organic” and will note that on product pages in our shop. 

Is your coffee dark roast?

Generally speaking, our coffees are roasted on the light side of “medium”. One big problem we’ve found with the coffee supply chain is that there’s no official standard of measure of roast level, so if you’d put our coffee next to another roaster’s, it would be difficult to measure the roast level. Our roasts are intentional and aim for developing the inherent simple sugars and acids in a coffee without imparting any trace of roast. Finding exceptional green (raw) coffee, treating it with care and roasting it just enough to display its unique qualities is the recipe we employ to match our vision of an ideal coffee world.

How should I interpret the data table for each coffee?

Name: The name that we are referring to the coffee by – we almost always use the farmer's name when possible (or defer to their preference).

Region: As precise a location as we can find for where it is grown.

Grown by: The farmer's name OR number of farmers contributing to the lot.

Elevation: The elevation at which the coffee is grown – this isn't always an indicator of quality BUT,  as with grapes/wine, the higher the elevation, the longer it takes for the fruit to mature, the more stressed the plant is to send sweetness, the more complex the result!

Varieties: Which arabica (general coffee species) variety/varieties (we avoid saying "varietal" because in coffee it holds a different meaning than in wine) make up this lot.

Processing: What processing method the coffee has been through and any special notes about it.

Taste Notes: The triad of flavor impressions we assign to the label, last one being a feeling.

Sensory: A collection of sensory notes and feelings to give a bigger picture of the coffee.

Exporter / Co-op: The name of the entity at origin that works directly with producers – if not listed, it's usually the importer acting as both the exporter and importer.

Importer: Who we worked with to source the coffee.

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