It all started with a vision, a love for the mountains, and a deep appreciation for an honest day’s work. In 1988, while on a trek in the Rohrmoos region, near Schladming, Austria, founder and Master Roaster Christian Waskiewicz was inspired with a vision. Having spent much of his life living, skiing, and trekking in the Alps of Europe and the Sierra Nevada of California, both regions known for their beauty, Christian’s appreciation for mountain recreation became the foundation of Alpen Sierra Coffee Company.
Beans from Around the World
Christian has traveled all over the Southern Hemisphere to meet the small growers who produce their coffee to see firsthand what they are selling, but more importantly to engulf himself in the people and the culture. The country of origin plays a large role in the notes and taste of the beans, similar to wine.
Christian’s love of the culture plays into his selection of beans and roasting techniques. Based on the region the bean came from in South America, he can tell you what flavors the region is known for and what each bean will add to your morning cup of joe. For example, beans in Columbia are known for making a mild, smooth coffee with notes of vanilla and caramel. His favorite region is Guatemala, not only for the community of people he has gotten to know, but for the notes of chocolate and spice.
The science behind really good coffee
Christian credits his focus on quality and his interest in the science behind coffee roasting to his German roots, where he was partially raised as a child. Did you know that there are over 1,200 chemical compounds in coffee? Christian says with physics, chemistry, and thermodynamics, beans can be manipulated to bring out different elements of flavor.
Alpen Sierra has roasted at altitude for 30 years, refining their process to bring out the best of each bean right here in the Sierra Nevada In the Tahoe region, roasting at altitude adds another scientific nuance.. One thing Alpen Sierra learned along their journey is that roasting at a higher elevation allows the sugars to gently and fully develop to their optimum level, making for a smoother, sweeter swig in every single cup.
Pairing coffee with food
Alpen Sierra’s coffee can pair well with a wide range of foods, from sweet treats to savory dishes. Here are some classic pairings to try:
- Chocolate: Coffee and chocolate are a match made in heaven. The bitter notes in coffee complement the sweetness of chocolate, creating a harmonious flavor combination. Try pairing a dark chocolate bar with a strong cup of black coffee for a decadent treat. Try Alpine’s Big Blue Tahoe Blend or Dark Roast Dolomiti Blend with Chocolate Shoppe’s Coffee Bark or Dark Chocolate Almond Roca.
- Breakfast Foods: Coffee is a classic breakfast beverage, and it pairs well with a range of morning foods. Whether you’re enjoying Carson Valley Meat’s eggs or fresh bread with 7 Hawk Ranch’s Apricot Jam, a cup of coffee is the perfect way to start your day.
- Cheese: Coffee might not be the first beverage that comes to mind when you think of cheese, but the two actually pair quite well together. The strong, complex flavors of cheese are complemented by the rich, bold flavor of the coffee. Try pairing a sharp cheddar or creamy brie with a cup of coffee for a unique flavor experience.
- Spicy Foods: If you’re a fan of spicy foods, coffee can be a great way to cool down your taste buds. The bitter notes in coffee help to balance the heat of spicy dishes, making for a more enjoyable dining experience. Try pairing Woodsong Herbs Comfort Curry or Mom’s Chili with a cup of black coffee for a delicious and satisfying meal.
For a more in-depth look at chocolate pairings with coffee (and beer!) visit our blog.
Sustainability in business
Not only do they make a great cup of coffee, Christian’s team at Alpen Sierra Coffee Company also administers their business in a compassionate, responsible, and sustainable manner. Alpen Sierra putchases coffee beans from the Cafe Femenino Foundation which is a 100% women-empowered specialty coffee-producing program that brings benefits to homes and communities at origin. Alpen Sierra proudly holds the Fair-Trade Certified seal which represents thousands of products, improving millions of lives, and protecting land and waterways. They also earned the Rainforest Alliance Certification which is awarded to farms, forests, and businesses that meet rigorous environmental and social standards. Lastly, Alpen Sierra coffees are USDA Organic which ensures and verifies the purity of their products!
Alpen Sierra partners with many local stores and roasters in the Northern Nevada region and has been with us since 2020! Ethics, excellence, and sustainability are important values that they embody and look for in their partners.
Available for your next Carson Valley Meat Ranch Box order, Alpen Sierra Coffee is designed for those who love a great cup of coffee and a good adventure, whether at home or in the great outdoors. Want to give them a try? Christian recommends their best-selling Certified Fair Trade Organic Peru Cecanor to start out with. There’s something for everyone in their variety of blends and flavors.
Alpen Sierra is committed to sustainability, ethical practices, and giving back every step of the way. From ensuring their farmers and their communities have access to clean water, education, and medical services, to using their proceeds to support Lake Tahoe non-profit initiatives, everything they do is done with the health of the local and global community in mind. For any questions, contact Christian Waskiewicz at (775) 783-7263 or by email at email@example.com.