Ukiah based coffee company wins top awards in prestigious national roasting competition.
Black Oak Coffee Roasters won two Gold Medals for its single-origin coffees at the 2016 Compak Golden Bean North America. Gedeb Lot 002, an Ethiopian coffee, won gold in the single origin pour over category. Banko, another Ethiopian coffee, took the gold in the single origin espresso category.
The Golden Bean Competition, the largest coffee roasting competition in the world, received over 700 entries from roasters across North America. The pour over drip (a single brewed cup of coffee) category received over 200 entries. Each coffee was evaluated in a blind setting by a panel of industry professionals and only one gold medal was awarded in each category. Black Oak’s gold medal winner for pour over, Ethiopia Gedeb Lot 002, stood out for its sweetness, acidity and unique flavor balance.
In the single origin espresso category, the judges blind evaluated over 80 espresso entries to award a single winner. Banko, another Ethiopian, noted for its vibrant berry characteristics, won gold in this category.
Both of Black Oak’s winners hailed from a small area of Southern Ethiopia, from cooperative societies near the town of Gedeb. Each lot is certified Organic and contain a mix of heirloom varieties grown by smallholder farmers. Black Oak’s website, blackoakcoffee.com, contains more information on the coffees as well as an online store with free shipping on purchases of $25 dollars or more.
Started in 2012 by Ukiah native Keith Feigin and Jon Frech, Black Oak Coffee has been slowly spreading its wings outside of the local market with placements at Bi Rite Market on 18th Street in San Francisco, numerous Whole Foods Markets, and Oliver’s Markets in Sonoma County. Black Oak Coffee is served at major technology hubs in the Bay Area as well, including Airbnb Headquarters in San Francisco, Oracle Headquarters in Redwood City, and Dolby Headquarters in San Francisco. Feigin notes “we are proud to bring recognition to our company, our hard working employees, and to our hometown with these awards.”
The two competition winning coffees, however, are a bit of a pet project for Feigin, Frech, and head roaster Steve Cuevas. “We all have those moments where the flavor of something you taste gets imprinted in your head. We strive to find coffees that make this kind of impression,” notes Frech. The roasting team at Black Oak meets daily to select, taste and refine each coffee, keeping meticulous notes and making fine adjustments to develop the coffee’s flavor. According to Cuevas, we are looking to “maximize sweetness and origin character with our roasting.”
Both gold medal winning coffees are available for tasting and purchased at Black Oak Coffee Roasters cafe at 476 N. State Street in Ukiah. Black Oak Coffee is also available for sale in the Bay Area at Bi Rite Market on 18th Street in San Francisco, select Whole Foods Markets, Other Avenues Market on Judah Street in San Francisco, Driver’s Market in Sausalito, M.H. Bread & Butter in San Anselmo, Oliver’s Markets in Sonoma County, and exclusively in Los Angeles at Paper or Plastik Cafe on West Pico Boulevard.