Brakeman’s Blend

At Brakeman’s Coffee, we borrowed our name and our ethos from the lowly Brakeman. He was the fellow (they were mostly guys in those days) at the back of the long, chugging, barreling train tasked with stopping it on demand. Indeed there was always a nervous and dangerous gap between the demand, the call to stop, and the speeding train actually coming to rest. They weren’t heralded or even noticed, but they were doing brave and important work.

This notion of slowing down and stopping our fast-moving lives is at the heart of our café and all we do, including the creation of our new signature coffee, Brakeman’s Blend. It’s been a slow process, as we carefully selected, sourced, tasted, and created our signature blend. It started as an internal process, but then we invited you, our customers, to join us at cuppings and informal trials until we got it just right. Our thanks to you, the people of Matthews, for slowing down for a minute and helping us make this specialty coffee come to life.

So here it is: Brakeman’s Blend, crafted by a collaborative effort of coffee experts and the very community that welcomed and embraced us so wholeheartedly. It’s a coffee reflective of the environment in which it’s enjoyed–a slow process, driven by community!

Brakeman’s Blend is the perfect combo of two regions that offer some of the world’s most consistent and tasty coffee:  50% Guatemalan and 50% Colombian. While the blend could change a tad seasonally depending on the specific beans we source, it will always hit a specific flavor profile carefully scrutinized, cupped, and prepared by our roaster Toby and our team. It’s a medium roast coffee where we turn to the Guatemalan beans to bring out the lighter roast and the Colombian fullness to accentuate a slightly darker side. The tasting notes we’ve noted are plum, yellow peach, brown sugar, and molasses, but even if you are not into tasting notes, expect a cup of coffee that’s as good as any you’ve ever had!  Maybe that’s subjective and certainly, it’s biased… but we took it so slowly that we think we are close!

We crafted it to work beautifully in both drip and espresso. In our shop it will be the coffee we’ll highlight daily in all of our espresso drinks. You’ll find that the tasting notes are killer in whatever espresso drink you order, from a double shot espresso (our favorite) to a mocha and everything in-between.  We developed Brakeman’s Blend to both complement and enhance the experience our customers enjoy at Brakeman’s, with the hopes that you can brew it at home and think of us as you slow down in your own kitchen.

As of this week, Brakeman’s Blend 12oz whole bean bags are on the shelf in our shop! Come by and grab one. They are $15/bag⁠, or $22 for a 12 oz bag of coffee and a signature red Brakeman’s mug. Moreover, this week when you purchase a bag of coffee, you also get a free drip⁠—any size⁠⁠—so you can taste what you will experience when you brew it at home. Oh, and keep your eye out for future promotions and offers as the holiday’s approach! (Kudos and thanks to Lydia Morgan at Silent Images who designed our bags!)

Brakeman’s Coffee is centered around taking it slow. On the railroad, the engineer was tasked with getting passengers there faster. The brakeman, on the other hand, took up his post at the back of the train, bound and determined to arrive at the next stop safely. Brakemen weren’t exactly cultural icons, yet they quietly did one of the most important and most dangerous jobs on the railroad.
Our mission at Brakeman’s is to approach coffee and life through the lens of community. Both in life and in coffee we’re looking to take it slow, do it well, and bring friends along through the process. With Brakeman’s Blend we offer our friends a moment of pause and a chance to feel the calming ethos of the brakeman in each sip.  From seed-to-cup, many hands have worked to bring our special blend of coffee to life. Now it’s in your hands.  Take it slow.

The Slow Manifesto
This is your life; take it slow. If you rush to your own funeral, you’ll only get there faster. Be a Brakeman today. Hit the brakes; slow the train. Faster isn’t always better. Living life in a rush tempts us to value things and use people. The slow life values people and uses things. Your mother told you you were special; she was right. You are both special and ordinary. How you treat others today can make you extraordinary. Breathe⁠—stop and breathe. Your breaths and heartbeats are numbered, so use them wisely. Share. There’s enough to go around and generosity is contagious. Go new places via the slow route and meet new people. A few will be angry you slowed their pace, but most will be thrilled. Drink the slow cup; it’s the fastest way to peace. The things that quicken your heart and enliven your passion might be missed if you rush past them.
– The Brakeman’s Coffee Team