Hello and welcome to the Brakeman’s Coffee and Supply blog! We are so glad that you managed to find your way to our corner of the internet.
At Brakeman’s, we strive to create an environment that fosters community, produces quality coffee, and allows a place for people to slow down. While slowing down seems counter-intuitive for a coffee shop, Brakeman’s was built around offering a place for the town of Matthews to gather and rest while the rest of life is crazy and hectic. We hope that we are that place for many of you!
We decided to start this blog as a way for our customers to learn more about our coffee, and to offer a glimpse into why it is we in the coffee business do what we do. It all came to fruition with the development of our Feature Program, which centers around featuring different coffee roasters from around the Charlotte area. We have created this program as a way to deepen relationships between the coffee community across Charlotte, and to provide a first-hand look into the many different types of coffee that exist in this world!
The Feature Program made its debut with HEX Coffee. HEX has a storefront in the South End area of Charlotte on Remount Road, but they also have their roastery on Statesville Avenue. We wanted to choose a roaster, as well as a coffee, that would offer a nice contrast to our signature coffee, the Brakeman’s Blend. HEX is certainly well-suited for the job, and every coffee they offer is of the greatest and purest quality.
We are beyond excited to begin the Feature Program with a coffee named after the farmer who produces it: Ivan Molano. Ivan Molano is a coffee farmer in the Tolima department of Colombia. Tanner Morita, one of the owners of HEX Coffee, shared some interesting tidbits on the Tolima department of Colombia.
“Up until a few years ago, Tolima was a stronghold for the FARC, a counter-government, rebel terrorist group. The people of Tolima were caught in the crossfire of this conflict. They were oppressed, their crops were stolen from, any export was almost completely prohibited, and Tolima was regarded as one of the most dangerous areas in the country. Since the dissolution of the FARC, Tolima rebounded towards a thriving district, in large part due to the coffee community. Thanks to farmer Astrid Medina and her Cup of Excellence winning coffee from this region (a producer we [HEX] also work with), Tolima was brought into the spotlight for coffee production and prized for the vibrant, sweet, and oftentimes tropical fruit tones that seem to shine in this area.”
Ivan has had great success as a coffee farmer; however, he says that he is inherently prouder of his 35 years of marriage, his four children, and his ability to provide a future for them through his coffee farm. HEX has been purchasing Ivan’s coffee for two years, and they are eager to deepen their business relationship over the years to come as they continue to buy coffee from his farm.
Ivan Molano has won awards for his coffee, but his humility remains intact, which is highlighted by the fact that he always chuckles when they mention his name at award ceremonies. At the age of eleven, Ivan’s father asked him to name the plot of land the coffee farm would eventually inhabit, to which Ivan came up with “Las Pulgas.” The phrase translates into “The Fleas.”
Currently, Ivan grows a few different varieties of coffee on his farm: Caturra, Castillo, Tabi, and Colombia. The lot that HEX selected this year is a blend between the Caturra and Castillo varieties. Caturra is known for its bright acidity and low to medium body. Castillo is a variation of the Colombia variety of coffee, which is known for having notes of chocolate and cherry. Over the coming years, Ivan plans to plant many more varieties of coffee on his farm.
The Ivan Molano that HEX roasts and that we are featuring is a washed-processed coffee, meaning that the skin and mucilage were removed from the coffee bean, leaving only the parchment and silverskin. It is then washed with water to remove the mucilage. Washed coffee accentuates the taste of the coffee itself, bringing out the flavors of the bean, its origin, and its variety. The Ivan Molano specifically undergoes a 24-hour fermentation period, then dries for three to four days in full shade. After that, it dries for an additional 15 days in “casa elba,” which is a barn that is humidity and temperature controlled with open sides. The tasting notes for the Ivan Molano coffee are lemon curd, strawberry, and mousse.
We hope that you stop in and enjoy the Ivan Molano on drip or espresso––it is truly delicious!
* If you are interested in learning more about HEX and the coffee they offer, you can check out their website here:
*If you are interested in learning more about the different coffee varieties or the different processes that coffee can undergo, you can check out these links: