Rick's Weekly Roast


Small Business Saturday started as a campaign launched by American Express on Nov. 27, 2010, to help small businesses gain exposure and to inspire consumers to shop within their own communities during the holiday season. The day became official in 2011 when Washington State mayors, governors, senators and President Obama shared their support for Small Business Saturday. In 2012, American Express amplified the campaign by helping small business owners promote their businesses. The credit card company offered small business owners free personalized ads to spread across the web. That year, an estimated $5.5 billion was spent at small businesses nationwide. By 2013, communities began celebrating the holiday by pledging support to their local businesses and organizations. In 2015, the number of people who shopped at small businesses on Small Business Saturday increased by 8% from 2014 to more than 95 million people and spending reached $16.2 billion. While 2016 and 2017 saw slight decreases in consumer spending at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, 2018 saw an increase to $17.8 billion.

Today, most Americans know what Small Business Saturday is and, of those who participate, nearly all recognize how important the holiday is to their communities.

It’s been ten years since the first Small Business Saturday was celebrated here in the US, but in 2020, it’s an event that’s taking on outsized importance. Traditionally held on the Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is your chance to bring your holiday shopping dollars to independent local retailers, who need those dollars this year more than ever.

Small-business owners love what they do, and they play an important role in supporting their local communities. From providing a hometown feel for localities to working hard to know their neighbors, these small companies do a lot to help others who live nearby in many different ways. When it comes to showing your support for small businesses, it’s important to do so, and not just to help them gain revenue and stay operational. Everything from the local clothing boutique to the corner cupcake bakery relies on the support of loyal customers to keep its doors open, and when you spend money at a small business, you’ll gain plenty of wonderful benefits as well.

These small businesses treasure the relationships they have with all of their customers. They rely on regular as well as sporadic customers to not only help them earn a profit but also to spread the word to others about their company. Because these small businesses need the support of local consumers, you can expect to get friendly, personal customer service. The staff of a smaller-sized business will typically be more readily available to answer detailed questions about the products and services they sell, and they can also order specific items for you to purchase at your request. They also enjoy getting to know their customers, since they’re all an important part of the community they serve. Because it can be more difficult for small businesses to stay relevant, they constantly have to work on adding new products to their shelves and new benefits for their customers. This is a positive thing, since it sparks healthy competition with their larger competitors. It also encourages small companies to innovate, adding unique spins on the things they offer in order to keep customers returning. The products you’ll see at a small business are usually ever-changing in order for them to keep up with current demand. You can also find more personalized, unique items at many small businesses that you won’t see in the big-box stores. By supporting a small business, you’re also supporting the local community. Spending your money there helps to stimulate the local economy and keep business booming within your local region. These smaller-sized businesses help to create and sustain jobs as well as keep the area vibrant and buzzing with shoppers and tourists. The support of the community means a great deal to a small-business owner, and they typically enjoy returning the favor by participating in fundraisers and holding special events to show their appreciation. Coming together to spend your money at a local business shows that you appreciate the things they’re doing for your neighborhood and the services that they provide. The support of the community works both ways when it comes to buying from and owning a small business. Every purchase made from these companies helps the owner provide wages for their workers, keep the lights on, and put food on the table for their families.

Join us today to celebrate the many small businesses of our country! Go out and support your local community! Clink your mugs and fill your pots, today were shopping small businesses quite a lot!

Everyone can make Thanksgiving Safer

This year Holiday celebrations will look a little different, but that doesn’t mean we can’y be together or not enjoy the Holiday.

Here are some tips to help make your Thanksgiving safe for everyone.

Wear a mask with two or more layers covering your nose and mouth secured under your chin, and snug around the sides of your face. Remember to keep a six foot distance (two arm lengths) between yourself and others. Lastly wash your hands often with soap for 20 seconds each time. Keep hand sanitizer with you in the instance you are not able to wash your hands, and make sure it is at least 60% alcohol.

When attending a gathering try to use disposable utensils, napkins, plates, and single use condiment packets. Avoid going in and out of areas the food is being prepared or handled, and make sure if you are the person assisting in food preparation wash your hands in between glove changes and wear your mask at all times.

If you plan on hosting this Holiday season safety is key. Try hosting your Holiday dinner outside if weather permits. If you host inside try to have the windows open. Try limiting the number of guests, and whomever will be attending have a discussion before hand to communicate the expectations for celebrating together. Go over how to stay safe, and what will be expected from your guests as well as whomever is hosting to keep everyone safe abiding by social distancing and cleanliness for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

If you plan to travel this Holiday season make sure to check travel restrictions and guidelines before you go. Get your flu shot before you travel, and get tested for COVID-19. Always have your mask on when stopping to go into public setting and public transportation. Stay at least 6 feet apart from anyone that is not with your household. Wash your hands as often as possible and use hand sanitizer in between hand washing. Try to avoid touching any unnecessary surfaces, your mask, nose, eyes, and mouth. Don’t forget to bring back up hand sanitizers, and masks for your travels.

Lastly consider alternate Holiday celebrating. Host a virtual Thanksgiving for family and friends that do not live with you. Schedule a time to share a meal virtually and have them share recipes, dishes they prepared, and their love and best wishes over a virtual dinner.

However you decide to celebrate this Thanksgiving make it a safe one! We are sending the best of wishes to you and your family!

Happy Quarangiving!

From your favorite Roasters!

Have you ever been at a loss while trying to taste the flavor notes printed on your favorite bag of coffee? While these notes are helpful to experienced coffee tasters, the everyday coffee drinker is often flat out confused what it means when a coffee is going to taste like mandarin oranges, raspberries, and almonds. My goal is to break down this barrier of understanding and help you become and expert at coffee tasting, decode tasting notes into practical and approachable flavor expectations.

Being a good taster means being aware and, like any good skill, lots of practice.

Mentally Building your Flavor Catalog

Think about your experience every time you drink. It doesn’t matter what it is. Just make a mental note about what you’re experiencing. Is it bitter, sweet, acidic, savory? Also think. About the mouth feel, is it heavy or light? Do you like it? Why or why not? Can you relate the taste experience to a memory? This is all the key to becoming a better overall taster. Building a mental archive of these flavor experiences will help you develop a frame of reference.

Practice makes perfect

No-one becomes a Doctor, Educator, or Chef over night. Like a career, developing your palate takes time and dedication. You can practice by working on trying certain flavor families at different times. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with loads of different flavor profiles in one sitting. You can try one profile per sitting, and go from there. For example going to a store and buying multiple varieties of citrus. Lemons, limes, oranges, etc. Smell them, compare how they are similar and different. Try to think of an experience or memory that relates to the flavor profile. Then next time try berries, followed by vegetables, and so on and so forth. Try this same technique with coffee. Light and medium roast coffees tend to have notes of fruit, so this will help build your context in consideration when tasting different coffees.

Think about memories and experiences that these flavor and aromatic sensations recall, because we all have memories tied to food or smells. These can be quite powerful when tasting coffee.

Lastly, coffee and food pairings can be really enlightening as well. Look at your coffee package and buy the foods that are listed as the flavor notes, tasting them alongside the coffee think about the flavor pairing. Do the flavors in the coffee become more intense? Can you pick up the note or are other flavors accentuated instead? This can be really helpful to learn what each flavor translates to as a coffee flavor.


Sensory experiences of taste and smell depends entirely upon context. Learning to taste and identify different flavor attributes in coffee is quite difficult when tasting one coffee without any reference. This is why a mental catalog of different flavor experiences is helpful to determine exactly what it is you are tasting.

“It just tastes like coffee”

Remember that these flavors rarely jump out at you right away and that coffees generally still taste mostly like coffee. How you grind and brew a coffee, how fresh the coffee is, and even the water you brew with can affect how a specialty coffee might taste, and it might be quite different than what someone else with the same coffee might experience.

Soon you’ll be a coffee tasting master.

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Ricks Roasters






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500 Interstate Business Park

Fredericksburg, VA 22405

(540) 373-2432

VRE Cafe

550 Railroad Ave 

Quantico, VA 22134

©2020 by Ricks Roasters Coffee Company


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