Posts by Sam Mirto

  1. "What's the Strongest Coffee You Have?"

    One of the most frequently asked questions that we get at Ferris is “What is the strongest coffee you have?” There isn’t really a simple answer to this question, therefore let me give you an explanation of some stuff first…

    When we talk about strength in our coffee, what we’re actually referring to is the Total Dissolved Solids that have been incorporated into the solution (coffee) as a result of brewing. This gets complicated so I won’t go too in depth, but suffice to say that an ideal TDS percentage is in the range of 1.15%-1.350%. This is a measurement of the milligrams of dissolved solids of a substance per liter of liquid.

    There are a lot of factors that can be manipulated in order to hit this percentage, but maybe the most useful for the purposes of this article... continue reading →

  2. Origin Story: El Salvador & Guatemala

    During my second trip to coffee producing countries, I spent time in both El Salvador and Guatemala. This trip was every bit as impactful and memorable as my trip to Costa Rica, but for different reasons - as you’ll see. We started out flying into San Salvador in El Salvador, and that’s where I’ll begin.

    El Salvador is nestled between Honduras and Guatemala in Central America. Before the trip, I was told that the country has some really serious issues with gang violence, which made me a bit apprehensive. As our plane emerged below the clouds during our decent into the country, in the distance I saw the endless ocean, and around me there were mountains, and a volcano as well, which I later found out was the Volcan de Santa Ana. I also noticed many plumes of smoke in... continue reading →

  3. Specialty Roaster Camaraderie

    The specialty coffee industry continues to gain market share against the macro roasters of the world. Whether this is a result of a shift in ethos among the masses and representative of the food and beverage industry as a whole, or a movement that is specific to the coffee industry is up for debate, but no one can deny that people are more willing to pay for quality and sustainability these days.

    The validity of this movement is even evidenced by “macro” producers putting out ad campaigns that claim prowess for their macro status, a move that only indicates that this shift in ethos is on their radar to a point that they now feel threatened. So what is fueling this movement, and what can we do to sustain it?

    In the coffee industry specifically, I see incredible potential for specialty... continue reading →

  4. Specialty Coffee & Craft Beer Parallels


    I feel like this is a topic I talk about all the time, but I don’t ever get tired of it. Coffee and beer end up in the same conversations on the reg, and for good reason. More and more these days, we’re seeing beer people in coffee bars, coffee people in breweries, coffee in beer, cold brew coffee that drinks like beer, skinny jeans, mug clubs, ironic mustaches, merch for days, collabs, bikes, those hats with the short brims, haircuts that are like shaved on the bottom and really long on top….Shoot, what was I describing again?

    The point is there is a culture around the two beverages, and of course the culture is not defined aesthetically like I joked about (I’m actually jealous that I can’t pull off that look, age man…), but it’s defined by... continue reading →

  5. From the Cupping Table: Founders Brewing Company & Grand Rapids Brewing Company


    People need to eat food and drink water to stay alive. It’s not as simple as that though, is it? Even in the most destitute of environments, where getting anything at all to eat or drink is a problem, flavor somehow manages to emerge. In fact, oftentimes it’s in places like this that the most satisfying, balanced, nuanced, and flavorful dishes originate!

    In this day and age, it seems like there is a movement of sorts among the masses. People are seeking more of a connection to the things that they eat and drink. They’re seeking to find the roots of these flavors, and possibly celebrate those humble beginnings while at the same time, simply enjoying the sensations of flavor on a very primal level. This upcoming blog series seeks to do just that. Let’s celebrate flavor, people... continue reading →