There is a science behind coffee roasting and our practices have turned this science into a fine art. Our roasting process transforms finely selected green beans into a truly unique cup of PJ's coffee. We roast our coffee in a small batch process that uses a hot air method. This gives our Roastmaster flexibility, based on the individual qualities of the beans, in order to produce the most flavorful and freshest coffee possible. Each small batch is its own custom roast, not a part of a continuous process. As the beans pop, they double in size and assume the distinctive and rich brown coffee color.
We select only the finest coffee beans - from Sumatra to Ethiopia, from Colombia to Brazil - everywhere the best coffee grows. Plucked by hand at the peak ripeness, the fruits of the Coffee Arabica bush are transported to mills where the beans are expertly removed, dried and hand-sorted before shipping to our Roastmaster.
In founding the city of New Orleans at the mouth of the Mississippi in 1718, France solidified its trade access to the continent. Coffee crops would soon follow and become part of the city's culture, even as ownership of the port would switch from French to Spanish to French and finally to the United States over the course of the next 85 years. By 1840, the port of New Orleans was the second largest importer of coffee in the United States.
Strategically situated where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico, PJ's home of New Orleans, Louisiana has been a key trading post for the past 300 years. Especially for the coffee and cocoa-laden ships entering the United States from the Coffee Belt in South and Central Americas. Some of the world's best coffee is grown and distributed to the rest of the world from this region. New Orleans is regarded as one of the coffee capitals of the world due to its vicinity and deep water port, and is the very first stop for ships coming from Central America.
New Orleans has had a long love affair with chicory, and for good reason... Chicory, the root of a blue-flowered plant, has been cultivated since ancient Egypt; chicory has been roasted, ground and mixed with coffee in France since the nineteenth century (the term chicory is an anglicized French word, the original being chicoree). During the American Civil War, Union naval blockades cut off the port of New Orleans halting coffee shipments. Louisianans looked to adding chicory root to their coffee to stretch out the supply. Though chicory alone is devoid of the alkaloid that gives you a caffeine buzz, the grounds taste similar and can be sold at a lower rate. Chicory coffee was cheap and for this reason, it's been used in times of coffee shortage or economic crisis, like the Civil War and the Great Depression. But if you ask a New Orleans native, it's all about the tradition. In addition to being delicious, the chicory in a cafe au lait (chicory coffee with hot milk) is an essential part of the city's history.