Highwire Coffee Roasters

The Howling Wolf in Barista Magazine!


Barista Magazine, for those who don't know (and yes, there is a whole magazine dedicated to Barista antics) is kind of a big deal in our industry. We were super stoked when we heard they wanted to feature nitro brewed coffee for the February-March issue and immediately reached out with our own version of nitro brew, The Howling Wolf.

Click here to read the article where the Howling Wolf is featured and Highwire Coffee Roasters is noted as one of the few roasters around the country who are on the forefront of the Nitro Brew scene. 

Thanks to Tony Serrano and Cody Gordon, both who were interviewed in the article and our own, Chelsea Dier who shot the Highwire photos for Barista Magazine.

And if you STILL haven't tried The Howling Wolf, get over to our cafe on 5655 College Ave or Cafe Underwood on 41st and Broadway, both in Oakland and check it out!


Silver Bud Pu-erh

Silver Bud Pu-erh was picked as a raw white tea on Big Snow Mountain (Da Xue Shan) in 2003 from the Yunnan Province in China, and brought back to Lagunitas, California where it was further processed and refined by David Lee Hoffman. Aged 12 years in his climate controlled pu-erh cave, this tea has us captivated and surprised at what pu-erh can be.

Get ready for notes of dried apricot, honey and pine.

Rich and Alice, our tea experts, had a chance to taste this tea with David at his home and were blown away by it. Not only because neither of them had ever heard of a white pu-erh but also because it presented so well and showed such unique qualities in each steep. 
What we do know is that the raw tea was picked from the broad leaf dayeh variety in Yunnan, China (a well-known tea producing area and the home of pu-erh tea) and made into a white tea. It was then brought back to Lagunitas, California for further processing and aging by David Hoffman in his climate-controlled pu-erh cave. Did we mention that it's a 12 year old tea? Pretty cool!
Unlike the darker, richer forms of Pu-erh that you may already be familiar with, this white pu-erh is soft and smooth with hints of apricot, honey and pine.  It unfolds beautifully with multiple short steeps and has a presence all it's own with one, long steep.  Either way, this tea is something we are super excited to share! 

Highwire Beer and Coffee Collaboration at Jupiter

Introducing Heraclitus!
We would love to announce a super exciting event going down on Tuesday February 10th!
To continue the collaborative effort we started with our POWERHOUSE SERIES Highwire Coffee and Drake's brewer Hal 9000 have teamed up on an inventive and exciting new brew called Heraclitus!
Come on down to Jupiter in Berkley at 3pm-6pm for an awesome meet and greet with Hal and Cody for the SF Beer Week crowd!
Heraclitus will be served in a flight with Drake's IPA and a very special batch of our Howling Wolf Nitro coffee that is brewed with 100% Ethiopia Kochere!
What's So Special About This Beer?
Heraclitus is a beer that represents where two craft industries are now. Rather than putting forward another coffee stout that tastes roasty and chocolatey, we decided to try something new.
This beer is an IPA.
We decided we didn't want the bottom heavy roastiness of coffee. What we wanted to highlight was the subtle nuances and aromatics of our favorite Ethiopian coffee.
We understood that adding coffee to the hot brewing process would just enhance an earthy and roasty flavor, so we instead opted to Dry Hop the beer with this coffee.
This way we would preserve aromatics and delicate flavor notes.
To go a step further, we hand selected hops and malts that would accentuate the flavors we loved about the coffee we selected.
Expect light and sweet flavors that go down nicely. The back end flavor is complimented by a pillowy mouthfeel as well as beautifully complex citrus and just a touch warm caramel. The idea was to not make a novelty beer, but an amazing IPA that could stand on it's own.
We think we knocked it out of the park.  Be at Jupiter in Berkeley Feb. 10th from 3-6pm to check it out.

Free Shipping on all orders over $20!

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to everyone who ordered our coffee, tea and other merchandise on highwirecoffee.com in 2014!  

We dedicated 2014 as The Year of Free Shipping and shipped over 600 orders with no additional shipping charges.

We hope that this helped, in some small way, anyone who enjoys our coffees and teas at home here, in the Bay Area, and around the country.

As much as we would love to continue free shipping on all items, it just isn’t sustainable year after year. However, we are still offering free shipping on any and all items over $20. We sincerely appreciate your business and hope 2015 has wonderful things ahead!

Thanks so much,

--The Highwire Crew 

JOYA GRANDE GUATEMALA starts this week!!!

           Here it is... Our newest coffee to our lineup. JOYA GRANDE! 

        Maple sweetness surrounds this chocolate coated malty texture.                                   

Name of Estate: JOYA GRANDE
Farm Owner: Austreberto Morel Hidalgo
Region: Huehuetenango (La Democracia)
Localization (area): 325 kms. WNW of Guatemala City
Altitude: 4,500 to 6,000 ft. above sea level (1,370 to 1,830 mts.)
Coffee varieties: Bourbon, Caturra, Pache
Quality: Fancy Strictly Hard Bean
Mill processes: Washed, naturally fermented, 100% SUN DRIED
Harvest season: January through April
Finca Joya Grande was established in 1976. It started with a very small coffee plantation and all production 
had to be transported by horses. In 1984, the first roads were built in order to facilitate
access by 4WD vehicles. 
All coffee pulp resulting from the wet mill process is utilized as organic fertilizer. The
water springs inside the farm are protected with vast vegetation in order to preserve the
area and avoid contamination. The farm donates sufficient potable water from its main spring to approximately 25 families of the neighboring village (Chinabaj). The farm works under a strict shade grown policy and also has forest conservation areas that provide shelter to many native fauna a flora species.

Fashion Make-Over 2013

As the end of this year approaches, we want to say goodbye to 2013 with style. We have new retail bags to contain our precious coffee seeds and new serve ware to espress(o) ourselves.  

Katie and I saying goodbye to the old packaging. So bittersweet. 


Katie, bad ass barista and charming individual, and myself have finally finished HIGHWIRE'S new sixteen ounce coffee packaging and graphics. Now, all of our blends have an individual graphic identity along with a new single origin design. In our eyes, doing this work in house continues to capture the spirit of Oakland based business. Starting from scratch with a DIY approach to create a product that truly reflects who we are as a coffee company. Check out the website to peek at the new designs. PS... We are currently offering free shipping with all online orders!!! Or, come to the cafe to see for yourself. 


Robert Myers, co-owner / co-founder of HIGHWIRE COFFEE ROASTERS, has also taken a huge step with upgrading our serve ware. We all agree that Heath Ceramics not only has an incredible look and feel, but better represents our coffee. Is there a better vessel in which to serve our hearty coffees? NOPE.



Why "Highwire"?

Lately, as we've been meeting lots of new people unfamiliar with our company, I've been asked how we arrived at our name. My initial reaction is awkwardness, as the process was not glamorous or sophisticated.

Rich, Eric and I brainstormed for a VERY long time, coming up with lists of names that I'm too embarrassed to try and recall. We had several rules, such as "no puns about coffee, no misspelled wordz, and nothing that plays up the drug abuse angle of coffee or tea consumption". There was also the challenge of how to address our equal love of both coffee AND tea, but ultimately felt that was a dead end for us.

Those of you who know Rich (and to a slightly lesser extent, myself), know that he is a fan of things vintage. We started riffing off electronics and amps but veered way too close to our rule about caffeinated names. Then one day I was listening to some AC/DC at home and came across the tune "Live Wire". This had a ring to it, but was also deep into rule-breaker territory.

I was thinking about conversations Rich, Eric and I were having about roast, and our individual preferences. We felt that the pendulum of preference had swung too widely from deep, dark roasts that favor body and presence over origin character and brightness to the light roasts that showcase origin character and acidity but lack "guts" or body. We had long sought coffee that married both body and origin character. In other words, coffee that was balanced. That's where "Highwire" comes in.

And balance is what we try to achieve with almost all of our coffees (don't worry French Roast drinkers, we got you covered).


Goodbye to some old favorites, hello to new friends

As we roll into November, it is time to bid adieu to some coffees we've come to know and love. We have roasted the last of our Yirgacheffe Kochere, Honduras Tulio Portillo, New Guinea Nebilyer, Costa Rica La Pastora, Guatemala La Providencia and Ethiopia Kossa Limu. Phew! We enjoyed these small batches for the last month or two, and there are a few cups that will linger in our memory for a long time.

This is not the time to lament lost loves however, as there are several exciting new arrivals to share with you.

First, we have purchased a few bags of Blue Nile Yirgacheffe. Bright, delicate, classic. This coffee arrived in our store last week. We expect this to last through mid-december, so check it out.

Next up, the return of Colombia to our menu! Alto de Jesus from Huila brings big body and orange sweetness. So much to like.

Never without a Guatemala (or 5) up our sleeves, November will introduce San Miguel Urias from Antigua. Expect cocoa notes, balance, and pleasing acidity that make the highest grown coffees so good.

Starting Monday, November 5th we will introduce Celebration 2012, our annual blend that allows us to appreciate some of the great coffees that come our way as well as the blender's art that makes it greater than the sum of it's parts. This year the blend is driven by a new origin for us: Burundi. The Mpanga shows great promise, with beautiful floral character and pleasing body. (we'll have a few bags of this available in the store for those who want to try it on it's own).  We think you're going to like this.

For the duration of the Celebration, we will not be roasting Tightrope. Look for a new incarnation in the New Year.

Finally, we have two roasts left of our Kenya Kagumoini. The next tiny lot Kenya will roll out in December. This is a lot to share at once, and we haven't even touched on the amazing new teas...Soon

Coffees of Guatemala

It's no secret that we at Highwire Coffee are huge fans of the coffees of Guatemala. Guatemala coffees are like a good friend - balanced, reliable, and comforting. They often don't get the praise they deserve because they don't preen and demand your attention the way some other origin's coffees do. Instead, they are quietly complete. They deliver heft, mouthfeel, juiciness and balance. For these reasons and more, we love this origin and want to share it with you.

On August 2nd, we will do a one-time roast of three Guatemala coffees that we feel are great representations of the regions in which they are grown. Antigua, Atitlan and Fraijanes share classic Guatemala characteristics, but are quite distinct from each other. 

Your order will contain three 1/3lb bags of these fine coffees, roasted and shipped the same day. We will include a write up about the coffees, regions and farms, as well as our cupping notes from the day. This project is a labor of love that we think you'll enjoy. Supplies are very limited as we are only doing the one roast of each of these coffees. Order yours today.

Introducing Tightrope

 Possibly today, or maybe over the weekend, we will have sold our last pound of Italian Roast. This has been a fairly strong seller over the last year for us at Highwire. So why in the world would we discontinue it? 

Well, first the name. All along we've let our tastes dictate how a particular coffee should taste. When we encountered the ingredients that used to be in Italian Roast we felt they would taste better with a different approach to the roast. We hit it hard with heat up front, but stop the progression before losing the origin character of the component beans. It immediately started to taste more balanced and lively with a sweeter finish. Then we started to bring in better ingredients for that particular recipe. Each of these added dimension to the blend and demanded the taster's attention. Gone was the monolithic flavor profile we had associated with the name.  We also stopped thinking of it as our espresso blend. The Highwire Blend had really shown more balance and body as an espresso, so we went with it. Finally, we could no longer claim anything about the blend was especially "Italian". Rather than pretend that Italy was a point of reference for us, it makes more sense to us to make a break from that tradition and celebrate what this blend has become.

Introducing Tightrope Blend. Now that we have the lively 2012 crop arrivals to enjoy, this blend has evolved into something much more interesting than the sum of it's parts. The Tightrope Blend is an attempt to balance the lively bright flavors of the new crop coffees with the roaster's intention to bring out as much body and sweetness as possible. If you have enjoyed Italian Roast recently, the roast degree will be similar, but the flavor will be more expressive. We think you'll like it as much as we do. We welcome your feedback.