Members of the Hillsdale College community in Hillsdale, MI, can’t resist the magnetic pull of Zingerman’s Coffee Company, an Ann Arbor–based wholesale roaster that supplies the high-quality brews at AJ’s Café and Jitters. Bon Appétiters had the opportunity to tour the operations, and Chris Glasow from Zingerman’s treated a group of students to a special coffee class.
Hillsdale Team Gets Insider’s View of Zingerman’s Coffee Company
When Marketing Coordinator William Persson and the Hillsdale marketing team recently had an opportunity to tour the Zingerman’s facility and learn more about how the coffee gets from across the world to their campus, they jumped at the chance.
Upon arrival a barista welcomed the group with complimentary beverages and then Managing Partner Steve Mangigian began a very special private tour. Zingerman’s, he told them, focuses on three distinct phases in coffee production: sourcing, roasting, and brewing. Showing the team the back room, Steve explained that this is where the staff receives and roasts sample beans imported from Central America, South America, East Africa, and Indonesia. Zingerman’s has strong relationships with each producer and works with them to set prices that ensure they earn a fair profit.
Next Steve showed the group where raw beans are stored and roasted. Zingerman’s roasts its beans daily, using a single-pass drum roaster that relies on both conduction and convection. Each roast varies based on the beans’ geographic origin and that region’s particular terroir and characteristics. Steve said the roasting process is always being tweaked because coffee flavors change as new crops develop. It’s a process of continuous trial and error.
With respect to brewing, baristas enjoy the freedom to play and experiment, with encouragement to take customers’ direct feedback into consideration. With a philosophy that prizes the welcoming, approachable, and accessible aspects of coffee, there’s an understanding that tastes vary and should be respected. The company offers eight different brewing methods including Chemex, pour over, and AeroPress, each of which highlights different flavors in each roast.
The group also learned more about the sweet side of the Zingerman’s business. Handmade confections pair perfectly with coffee, and a similar level of care that goes into sourcing the coffee also guides the creation of their candies as well. The Bon Appétit team was proud to learn more about this relationship, and are appreciative that they get to showcase the company’s coffee and candies at AJ’s and Jitters.
Lucky Hillsdale Students Attend Special Coffee Class
After a few Bon Appétiters visited the Zingerman’s Coffee Company roastery, Chris Glasow from Zingerman’s and the Bon Appétit team teamed up for a special cupping class at Hillsdale College. Upon their arrival, attendees received a small gift of Zingerman’s coffee, courtesy of the Bon Appétit team, to take home. Chris then provided a notecard and guide to different brews. Throughout the session, he explained the various brewing methods and how each process produces a different flavor profile. After learning essential coffee vocabulary, the group tried samples, describing the flavor in terms of acidity, body, finish, and complexity. They learned that taste is about 80% aroma and 20% actual taste. The consensus on favorite brewing methods? Results from the V60, AeroPress, and siphon pot stood out above the rest!
Submitted by Danielle Lee, Social Media Content Generator, and William Persson, Marketing Coordinator