When my wife Bindu and I purchased our Wells Coffee cups last Sunday at Wells Coffee Co. located in a cool little district near downtown Fort Lauderdale on NE 2nd Avenue, I didn’t think anything could make their already amazing coffee taste even better, but somehow these cool mugs did.
Actually Brandon, who owns Wells Coffee with his wife Nicole and who all coincidentally have the same Wells last name, gave us the cups, but I promised I would not mention publicly that he is giving them away for free.
When my wife and I tasted Wells Coffee for the first time, we were immediately dedicated fans. Wells is the only coffee we drink and several trips to Italy have made us coffee snobs. Coffee can be so much more than just that morning beverage on the go as Brandon’s grandmother taught him so many years ago. For many coffee lovers, it is a morning ritual.
The basic coffee factoids are that coffee comes from coffee plants which are cultivated in 70 plus countries around the world. The beans start out as berries which are picked and then processed and then are roasted at which point they are referred to as beans. Where they are grown, which ones are picked, how they are processed and ultimately how they are roasted makes all the difference in how that coffee tastes, how dark it is and how it is textured once those beans are ground and brewed into a beverage.
I was interested to know more of what Brandon Wells had to say about their amazing coffee, so I asked him.
Sachin: How are your beans sourced?
Brandon Wells: We source our beans based on relationships with importers who have demonstrated that they know all the info we could possibly hope for and more at the farm level, i.e., pricing, varieties, processing, producer etc…
Sachin: How do you assess and choose the best quality?
Brandon Wells: Quality is determined by us once we’ve had a chance to sample roast the coffee and cup them.
Sachin: How do you choose countries of origin?
Brandon Wells: Country of origin influences our choices based on what’s in season.
Sachin: Do you create your own blends?
Brandon Wells: We have 4 blends and then a couple seasonal blends. We create all of these on our own. They range in roast degree and application i.e., espresso and filter brew.
Sachin: How does a bean become Wells worthy?
Brandon Wells: A bean becomes Wells worthy based on a few different criterion:
1 – Quality (how does this coffee score). We have an internal way of grading everything and a process.
2 – Repeatability or Sustainability – is this a one time coffee or could we buy it again the following year. We think it’s important for the consumer to develop a relationship with the coffee we buy.
3 – Transparency – how much information is available at the farm level because we want to know as much as possible.
4 – Desirability – will consumers go for it.
Brandon continues: The main reason to try wells is that we have a coffee for everyone. If you want a coffee that is lightly roasted and is guaranteed to surprise and delight your pallet, we have something for you. If you like dark roasted or medium roasted, we have that too. We’re trying to present something that we believe is special for everyday people.
Wells Coffee Co. is accomplishing that goal. Coffee is the number one export in the world. That means there are coffee experts out there and Brandon’s wife Nicole is one of them. She must be the smart one. Nicole has to coffee what a sommelier has to wine, the highest certificate of expertise, which in the case of coffee is certification as a Q-grader. What that means to me is an assortment of the highest quality coffee brought to my doorstep by someone who knows and cares about what I am drinking. That is what Wells Coffee offers.
My ritual coffee of choice is the Wells No.9 blend, but they also offer more exotic flavors which are certainly worth trying. During the holidays they even have a seasonal ‘Winter Wonderblend’ which we send to all of our friends and relatives as Christmas gifts. It is just such a perfect gift, almost as perfect as those free Wells Coffee mugs. Brandon.
At the end of our interview I asked Brandon, off the record, if his wife married him for his beans? We all had a laugh over one of Wells finest and fun was had by all.
To find out more about Wells Coffee Co. I leave you with a link to their site. Their coffee is available to order online and I don’t know who their design team is, maybe Brandon, but they are designing some really cool merchandise as Wells. It was only in the last five years that Fort Lauderdale started to catch up with the other cities like San Francisco and NYC and have cool coffee shops to hang out in and drink nice coffee. I am glad Wells landed in my neighborhood. As they say at Wells “Drink Deeply”!