Annapolis, Maryland-based Ceremony Coffee Roasters made quite a name for themselves at this year’s Coffee Fest New York, by taking home the 1st place trophy in the “America’s Best Espresso” competition for their Single Origin Kenya Igutha Espresso, along with the 2nd place trophy in the “New Product Showcase” for their unique “Barrel Conditioned Series” (BCS) of coffees.
While the Kenya Igutha has been available for sometime as an offering on their pourover coffee bar, it wasn’t until January 2013 that Ceremony started developing the roast profile for use as a Single Origin Espresso. From the first shot it became apparent they had something special on their hands. As an espresso, Kenya Igutha gives the lucky recipient aromatics of clover honey and sweet tobacco which transition in to a cup full of currants and a lively citrus acidity. When the time came to choose which espresso to compete with, the decision was unanimous. Trainer and Quality Assurance Manager, Jonathan Knaup was tasked with being the barista to pull the competition shots. The contest utilized a bracket system, so each round consisted of randomly chosen roaster match-ups. During each round, three shots were pulled for three different judges, and they evaluated each shot and decided who would move on to the next round. After a journey of a few unanimous decisions in favor of Ceremony, with a few split decisions thrown in, Ceremony reigned supreme. Within the following days, they sold out of that espresso, due to the overwhelming demand.
Ceremony has also, over the past several months, been developing an as yet unheard of conditioning technique, where carefully chosen green coffee is conditioned in various wine and whiskey barrels. The initial idea was the brain child of Director of Wholesale, Ronnie Haas. To help bring this idea to reality, Head Roaster, Andy Sprenger employed his prodigious roasting skill, to create an amazing cup of coffee that explores and challenges how the coffee industry views process, profile and the vulnerability of the green coffee bean. What started as an experiment has escalated into one of the most sought after and talked about products they have yet to release. The reason for such a reaction has everything to do with the intriguing flavor profile that each bean/barrel combination creates. Each experiment is extremely limited in quantity, and no two have been the same.
Ceremony Coffee Roasters is located in Annapolis Maryland. For the past 10 years they have been dedicated to sourcing the best beans from responsible farmers, roasting them just long enough to open up the maximum amount of flavor and brewing them so that the resulting cup reflects all of the hard work that went into every step of the process.