November has arrived and so has RYAN BROS COFFEE DAY as decreed by The City of San Diego and The State of California! We are truly honored and humbled to be recognized by our City and State for our contribution to our community locally and across our State.
It has been 28 years since our humble beginnings operating a special event espresso cart back in November of 1994 at University of San Diego sporting events. From there we moved our espresso cart to our first permanent in-door location at La Jolla Village Square and by way of Old Town San Diego and Columbia Square to our current home at 1894 Main Street in the coolest neighborhood in San Diego: Barrio Logan. Many thought we were out of our minds to move our business into a historically proud Mexican American neighborhood. This was at a time when the idea of gentrification was getting a voice. To many we were the face of that idea, but to us, we just saw hard working people in the neighborhood and working the Port of San Diego. We set our roots and did the hard work. We embraced and supported the community and they supported us. Everyone is welcome here. Our slogan “Life is too short to be bitter” reminds us of every day to enjoy what we do. It has been nearly 20 years now here in Barrio Logan and it is home, and we love where we are at and what we do!
Well, there you have it. The cliff notes to 28 years of business. Check out our POD Casts for the “full” story on this voyage.
Now for the products of the month. Starting with coffee, we are celebrating our birthday month with our fabulous Anniversary Blend. Each year we mix it up and try to bring our fans something special. This year we are digging back into coffee history and lore.
Not to be confused with the chocolate-based mocha beverage, Mocha Java is arguably the world’s most famous and oldest coffee bean blend. A truly multicultural combination, Mocha Java is a blend of Mocha beans from Yemen and Java Arabica beans from Indonesia. Both these beans are regarded for their quality, and when combined together they make for an incredibly tasty cup of coffee.
Yemen Coffee has been grown in Yemen for centuries, but the creation of Mocha Java occurred in around the 17th century when European merchants were first introduced to the beans. The Yemen city of Mocha was a popular port and was a common stop for ships traveling between Europe and Indonesia. The blend was created when sailors returning home to Europe combined beans from the Indonesian island of Java with beans from Yemen.
While traditionally, Mocha Java is a combination of Mocha and Java beans, “true” Mocha Java blends are rare and expensive. Modern blends offer an affordable option for mere mortals. But our customers are not just mere mortals! You deserve the best and that is exactly what we are blending. We only use authentic beans from Yemen and Java.
In the 15th century, Sufi monks discovered coffee in Yemen. They blackened the Yemen coffee beans and then steeped them, creating a drink that allowed them to study the word of God through the night. This practice quickly caught on, spreading to Istanbul, Cairo, Damascus, and Mecca.
By the 17th century, Europe was a major coffee exporter with the port city of Al Mocha at the center of it all. This is how “mocha” became a synonym for coffee. Throughout the next century, Yemen was the sole supplier of coffee. But in 1726, the Dutch colony of Java began to compete with them, growing their own supply and threatening Yemen’s monopoly on the coffee market. Even though Yemen’s market share decreased over the next couple of years, the country continued to grow and export as it always had.
As the 21st century arrived, so did the Yemeni civil war, severely limiting access to coffee beans. Currently, the country is experiencing great humanitarian disaster, as it plunges deeper into civil war. Getting coffee from Yemen has become very difficult.
As for the legendary Java, our friends at Vournas Coffee Trading tell us that “Java is home to Indonesia’s sprawling capital city, Jakarta, which resides far to the west, but it’s the Inje Plateau on the opposite end of the island, in the province of East Java where arabica production has been historically rooted. To this day the majority of Java’s high-grade arabica is produced on the Ijen Plateau on large, colonial estates originally established by the Dutch. The Ijen Plateau is actually closer to the neighboring island province of Bali, just a short trip to the east across the Sea of Bali and benefits from excellent, mineral-rich volcanic soil, proportionate rainfall and a humid, subtropical climate.
Javanese coffee is not typically wet-hulled or semi-washed like Sumatra or Sulawesi origins; rather it is traditionally washed and for this reason is regarded as the cleanest of all Indonesian offerings. We recommend you try your hand at a traditional Mocha Java blend. A few hundred years ago the Dutch went nuts for this stuff and in our humble opinion, a true classic never fades!”
So, make sure to grab yourself some of this great coffee. Our Mocha Java will not disappoint and if won’t last long! It may cost you a couple of extra dollars, but the flavor experience and the timeless historical journey of the “world’s first blend” will impress!
As we approach the holidays, it is time for the annual debut of:
A 20-year tradition that keeps people smiling! A chocolate-baked bean with an aroma and flavor that will keep you brewing! First, we select a special estate coffee from Guatemala, known for its chocolaty notes, slight spiciness, and balance. Second, we roast to a full medium profile. Third, we then take it warm from the cooling tray and move it to the mixing drum. Fourth, we add a special extract of chocolate, caramel, vanilla, hints of cinnamon, and maple. To finish, we garnish with Dutch processed cocoa. The still warm beans are porous and receptive to absorption. The extract and the cocoa are absorbed by the bean and sealed for flavor longevity. There is nothing else like it! Your home, or wherever you brew, will smell like Heaven. We only offer this amazing treat in November and December. Don’t miss out.
For the whole leaf tea of the month, we present a true classic:
The style of 'Breakfast Tea' we enjoy today is said to have been created in 1892 by Robert Drysdale, a Scottish tea master who saw the need for a stronger morning tea to match the protein-rich traditional English breakfast. It is full-bodied, robust, and rich in flavor. Our English Breakfast tea is a blend of organic Full Orange Pekoe and Indian Ceylon teas. It is rich and flavorful. Considered one of the most traditional teas associated with a hearty English breakfast! Truly a great morning companion.
Anniversary Blend, Christmas Roast, Pumpkin Spice drink powder, and English Breakfast Tea. Our offering to you this fine anniversary month of November.
Tom, Harry, and Carmine