The George Howell Coffee Company™ represents a return for George to his roots: identifying, roasting and discovering the highest quality coffees possible. His Terroir™ line of single-origin coffees is the next step in this unfolding odyssey as he presses to extend the limits of quality coffee standards. Terroir™ is based on the simple premise that the apex of coffee quality is represented by single estates, be they farms or carefully focused cooperatives. Experienced wine aficionados understand the concept of “terroir” well—that ineffable combination of region, climate, and craftsmanship that give a wine its unique qualities. This concept is well established in Europe, where it has spread to olive oil, scotch, cheeses, and other fine food products.
George continues to travel to coffee-producing areas to personally identify and source these rare finds and has even begun to arrange for very special small lots directly from producers, hand graded to his quality specifications. Once a coffee is chosen and acquired, it is re-packaged and stored under special conditions, which halts the naturally accelerating degradation process of raw coffee. A coffee harvested nine months or even two years ago can now taste as if it just came off the farm. This is a Terroir™ world-innovation and, while expensive, it promises to revolutionize the world of quality coffee. Terroir™ coffees are also carefully tested and monitored to ensure their quality does not degrade. As always, George roasts with a light touch, one that does not overpower the coffee but allows it to exhibit its natural sweetness.
To date, no other roaster has gone to these lengths for the sake of quality. For George, it is about the thrill of inspiration and about respect—respect for the farmer, both his efforts and results; respect for the coffee, how Terroir™ roasts and packages it; respect for you and your ability to discern a truly exceptional product.