VINE & WALNUT, OUR ODE TO AUTUMN
NOW ROASTING: VINE & WALNUT AUTUMN 2022
Each fall, we roast a blend in a medium style that brings us home to our original coffee shop in Berkeley. It was here, at the corner of Vine & Walnut, where Mr. Peet first served his famous hand roasted blends. Blending is an art inherent to our coffee-roasting ethos, and we created this blend from a trio of coffees sourced from Burundi, Yemen, and Sumatra to encapsulate the essence of autumn.
THE PERFECT TRIO
This deeply dimensional medium roast blend features a natural processed coffee from Yemen that brings rich notes of date, adding autumnal sweetness to the cup. Wet-hulled Sumatra Batak lends its complex, big body and warm spice to signal our entry into fall, while a washed coffee from Burundi balances the blend with essence of toasted marshmallow and touch of cranberry tang, perfectly suited to brighten in the length of the shortening days. This fall, we recommend tempering the chill in the air with the warmth of this traditional blend.
HOW VINE & WALNUT MAKES AN IMPACT
The Indo-Pacific component of this year’s Vine & Walnut blend hails from the lush terrain surrounding Sumatra’s Lake Toba, a region famous for its coffee. Inconsistent adoption of best practices, however, affected crop yields. Peet’s Sourcing with Impact project, implemented by supply chain partner Olam, focuses on providing educational support through participatory learning in agroecological topics, including the use of tools like hormonal traps for environmentally friendly pest management. Farmers are organized into groups of 20–25, with a male and female designated as Lead Farmers acting as guides. Each group manages a demonstration plot that teaches best practices through hands-on learning, which the farmers then bring home and apply to their own coffee plots. Through this training, farmers will have the tools to become even stronger stewards of their land, improve their productivity, and build resilience.
NOTES FROM THE PEET’S ROASTERY
While we still roast every batch of every coffee we sell by hand, Vine & Walnut has a special place in our hearts. This year’s blend highlights carefully selected coffees from Sumatra, Burundi, and Yemen. Upon inspection at arrival, the green Yemen and Burundi beans had aromas of berries and dried fruit, whereas the sweet fragrance of the Sumatran batch reminded us of the soft wood notes of a freshly trod forest floor.
The test batches roasted with a fast, 12 ½ minute medium curve. While the Burundi and Yemeni beans behaved well together, the Sumatra was surprisingly delicate—roasting fast and achieving color at least seven degrees earlier than the others. It took three batches to really pin it down, one of the reasons we put so much effort into test roasting. Each batch demands perfection.
On cupping, Burundi’s cranberry notes hit first, followed quickly by classic Yemeni date and bolstered by Sumatran syrupy spice. The surprise this year was the toasted marshmallow finish—try a cup before adding any sugar, the sweetness is already there. We couldn’t resist making a batch of cold brew, and this year’s blend really sings. Cheers to fall!
— John Nicolini and Michael Madden, Roasters