All love stories begin with that little tug on the heartstrings, that tiny inkling that one might have found something truly special. A little sappy, maybe, but for us here at Olympia Coffee, that “something special” has always been our relationships with our farmers and our commitment to improving quality of life for them, their communities, and the entire sourcing pipeline. And so, when it comes to our Sweetheart Blend— a mainstay on our coffee lineup— our farmers are at the very heart of it.
With a certain notoriously saccharine holiday peeking around the corner, we’re waxing sentimental about the origins of our Sweetheart Blend. We’d love to share a few things you may or may not know about this evergreen coffee, as well as some tips on our favorite ways to enjoy it. (Plus, we’ve got a sweet special waiting for you further on in the post– so read on!)
It all began with a truck.
Big Truck, to be precise. From the very start, we wanted to add value back to our producers in a way that would meaningfully improve their lives. With this mission in mind, Oliver (our co-founder and CEO) traveled the world to meet producers and buy their coffee. At the time, 90% of the beans we sourced went into Big Truck, our signature espresso blend. It was a great start, but we still felt frustrated that we couldn’t have the impact for good that we were reaching for. If we wanted to expand our vision, we needed to do things differently.
The “missing middle”
As a specialty coffee roaster, Olympia Coffee focuses on crafting the best-tasting coffees sourced with the highest ethical standards. Typically, coffee farmers have no problem selling coffee on the highest and lowest ends of the quality scale— but that left a range of coffees in the middle of the specialty grade. These weren’t exciting enough to feature as a Micro Lot, but then we had an idea: what if we found a way to purchase the best of these coffees and dialed in on the roasting profiles, allowing us to buy from producers we might not otherwise be able to buy from?
Starting with single-origin
And, with that, Sweetheart was born. We kicked it off as a seasonal, single-origin espresso program, focusing for a couple of months on a specific producer or family farm and telling their story. Perhaps our hearts were in it, but— as often happens when trying something new— we needed to make some tweaks. Having taken a risk working with different coffees than we’d normally source, we struggled to find the flavor sweet spot. How could we get it a bit darker? A bit less acidic?
Sweetheart, the blend
Ultimately, our determination paid off. We adjusted our approach to make Sweetheart a more flexible coffee for our customers. We tailored it to work better with milk-based drinks. And we strove to make it more approachable, a coffee that could shine in an espresso and also play nicely with a drip coffee maker.
In 2021, we turned Sweetheart into a blend, and that’s the Sweetheart you’ll find today in our cafes and online. At the time of writing, we’re sweet on the combination of Guatemala El Templo (Las Minas Lot) and El Salvador Ariz Family Bourbon Natural. Even when our inventory changes and that blend shifts, you can always count on flavor clarity and balance in every bag of Sweetheart.
Love it. Now how do I enjoy it?
That’s the great thing about Sweetheart— you can count on it to deliver with any brewing method. While we’ve got brewing recommendations for espresso and filter, we also think this would be a fantastic coffee to make using an immersion brewing method. Think Aeropress, for example. Or might we suggest French press?
And, with that aforementioned holiday coming up (hello, Valentine’s Day), we’re offering you a fresh way to enjoy Sweetheart. Through February 20th, take 10% off Fellow’s Clara French Press on our online store with the purchase of a bag of Sweetheart Blend.
Give Sweetheart a whirl, and who knows? Maybe you, like us here at Olympia Coffee, will find something to fall in love with.