Join Us For “Alterra Celebrates Brazil!”

When: Saturday, March 13th 2010 @ 6pm
Where: Sabor Brazilian Churrascaria
Address: 777 N Water St., Milwaukee

Attention Alterra fans! Please join us on March 13th for an exciting celebration of Brazilian coffee and culture. As part of the event we are excited to be having Brazilian coffee farmer Alexandre Gonzaga with us to speak about his work as well as some of the Great Lakes’ finest baristas there pulling espresso shots of Senhor Gonzagas and other single-origin, micro-lot coffees.

Sip and sample authentic Brazilian beverages and appetizers in Milwaukee’s finest Churrascaria, Sabor!

Dance to and enjoy live music from Chicago’s Luciano Antonio & Planeta Azul featuring the Passistas Samba Dancers, as well as Brazilian and world music spun by DJ Marcus Doucette (Chalice in the Palace, 88.9 RadioMilwaukee).

Don’t miss this chance to experience a slice of Brazil here in Milwaukee and a great opportunity to connect with the farmers, baristas and everyone that makes our coffee culture possible! See you there!


This entry was posted on March 11 2010 in the category.
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Brazil Fazenda Sao Domingos

imageWe are very proud to have 2 outstanding coffees from Brazil to offer you this week. They are an extremely limited edition so if you want to try some of the best coffee Brazil has to offer don’t miss this chance!

Alexandre’s Perfect Place

Alexandre Gonzaga has had something to do with almost all of the Brazilian coffee we’ve sourced over the last 10+ years. He’s a coffee farmer, agronomist, exporter, and all around nice guy. His farm in Jaboticatubas, Fazenda Vista Alegre, was the first in the world to use drip irrigation and pioneered the silo-aging process that contributes to the wonderfully complex flavors found in the beloved “Natural Dry” coffee.

Over the years, Alexandre has partnered with other farmers in Brazil who share his passion for quality coffee and have the potential to produce it. When Alexandre first arrived at Fazenda São Domingos in 2003, he spotted a plot of land with poorly managed coffee trees soaking up the morning sunshine. From his perspective, this plot, known as Engenho, had the perfect combination of factors to produce great coffee. This is the “perfect place to produce quality coffee,” he said (qualified with a humble smile), and the folks at São Domingos took his lead. The plot was replanted with new coffee trees, and the soil was restored to promote healthy production.

Seven years later, with the coffee trees in peak production, the Engenho plot produced a coffee that received one of our highest scores out of nearly 100 samples, tasted blind.

This lot was carefully managed by Flavio Batista, the gentleman responsible for São Domingos’ best coffees. It was hand-picked from Catucai variety trees at 1,100 meters above sea level, on an east-facing slope that receives bright, morning sunshine. It was then sorted according to ripeness, dried on Kenyan-style beds, and rested in a coffee house before milling.

The plot was named Engenho after an old sugar mill, but since Alexandre’s vision came to fruition, we prefer the other definition of the Portuguese word engenho - “ingenuity”.

The coffee from Alexandre’s “perfect place” delivers incredible depth and sweetness, full, buttery body, and flavors of custard and molasses.

Flavio’s Reserve

When we visited Fazenda São Domingos last October, Flavio Batista Faria (one of the managers of the farm) took us through a converted house where he stores his best coffees. Every room in the house except for the kitchen was filled with bags of very small lots of very high quality coffees. It was an exciting moment to say the least, especially since the bulk of Brazil’s coffee production is of generic quality and most farmers are interested in one thing – volume. It quickly became clear that owner Danilo de Castro and the folks at São Domingos have something else in mind.

The smell of perfectly dried naturals inside the house was incredible – big, heady aromas of cherries, clove, wine, pipe tobacco and cedar filled each room. We could only hope that these aromas would carry through to the cup, and after tasting dozens of samples in our lab in Milwaukee, we had some very exciting results.

Flavio’s Reserve is a blend of 4 tiny lots from 3 different plots within São Domingos – Serrinha, Serra de Araponga and Alto da Grama – which were chosen not only for their quality, but because they are a particularly lively expression of the unique flavors that come from this region and this style of processing.

The coffee was hand-picked from 6- to 10- year-old Bourbon and Catuai variety trees at the crests of the hills (1,100-1,200 meters above sea level) and sorted according to ripeness. The coffees from the final stage of ripeness (over-ripe, raisiny pods) were then pre-dried on raised Kenyan-style beds - an uncommon practice in Brazil - and transferred to the house to rest until they were ready for final drying, milling, sorting and export.

Flavio’s Reserve features a full, sweet, satisfying mouthfeel, subtle cherry-toned acidity and all of the aromas and flavors that we first smelled in the house. Enjoy!

These two amazing coffees will be our café special through March 21st and will be available online through March 18th. Don’t miss it!

This entry was posted on March 11 2010 in the Coffee Special category.
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Great Lakes Regional Barista Competition 2010

(scroll down a bit and click play)

Where: Discovery World
When: Friday, March 12th - Sunday, March 14th
Address: 500 North Harbor Drive, Milwaukee
Press Release: PDF
Competitor Schedule
Competitor Practice Schedule

Alterra is honored to once again host this annual competition of the best and brightest baristas of the 5-state area!

This year the event takes place over 3 days at Milwaukee’s Discovery World Museum. Come on out to see the Great Lakes area’s (Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio) finest baristas vie for a chance to compete at the U.S. Barista Championship in Anaheim, CA this April.

What exactly does a barista competition entail?

Fifteen minutes, four cappuccinos, four shots of espresso, and four signature drinks prepared in front of a panel of judges. A strong focus is placed on presentation, cleanliness, professionalism, and of course, the quality of the drinks prepared. Find more info about regional barista competitions at

Event Schedule
Friday March 12th - Competition from 11am - 5:30pm
Saturday March 13th - Competition from 11am - 5pm
Saturday March 13th - GLRBC Party @ Sabor 6pm
Sunday March 14th - Finals from 10:30am - 1pm
Sunday March 14th - Award Ceremony from 1:30pm - 2pm

imageWe encourage every coffee enthusiast to come out and experience the fascinating world of barista competitions! Spectators at the event are welcome to step up to the “4th machine,” where fans can sample the coffees, espressos, and signature beverages being prepared by competitors. Come cheer on your favorite Alterra baristas, including the 2009 GLRBC Champ Scott Lucey as well as Colin Whitcomb, Nathan Hoida and Cody Kinart.

The event is free and open to the public. RSVP for this event on our Facebook event page and be sure to invite your friends!

This entry was posted on March 09 2010 in the Alterra Events category.
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Win Tickets to The Milwaukee Rep’s Production of Seven Keys to Slaughter Peak!

Our friends at The Milwaukee Repertory Theater have generously shared several pairs of ticket vouchers with Alterra customers to the upcoming production of Seven Keys to Slaughter Peak and you could be eligible to win a chance to see fact and fiction dissolve into delicious mayhem and hilarity in Joe Hanreddy’s grand finale as Artistic Director.  (Please note: vouchers can be redeemed in advance for any performance of Seven Keys between March 23rd and April 11th.) How can you qualify? Play the Alterra online scavenger hunt!

Here’s how it works:
Look for the logo above hidden somewhere in our webstore (BIG HINT! It’s on one of our coffee pages.)
* Note the individual product page where you found the logo
* Email that page/product name to with the subject line “Seven Keys”
* Include your name, phone number, and mailing address in your email.
* The deadline to enter is noon, Monday, March 15th.
* Our ticket winners will be contacted within 2 days of the drawing.
* One entry per person please.

Click here to visit our online store and start hunting!

Read below for more info about Seven Keys to Slaughter Peak…
Seven Keys to Slaughter Peak
by Joseph Hanreddy. Based on the novel by Earl Derr Biggers and the play by George M. Cohan
March 23 - April 18
Quadracci Powerhouse Theater

imageOn a stormy winter night, a brash pulp-fiction novelist holes himself up in a deserted Wisconsin summer resort to win a bet. He has wagered that he can write a best-seller in 24 hours, and Slaughter Peak Lodge is the perfect place to get his creative juices flowing. Best of all, he’s got the only key – or so he thinks. It’s not long before his night of perfect solitude unravels into a tangled web of criminal conspiracy, romance, intrigue, and murder that could have come straight from one of his novels! Fact and fiction dissolve into delicious mayhem and hilarity in Joe Hanreddy’s grand finale as Artistic Director. Based on (and formerly titled) Seven Keys to Baldpate, this delightful comic caper features The Rep’s Resident Acting Company.

As always, thanks for reading the Alterra News and Events page and keep checking back here for the latest in ACR happenings! Want to stay informed about our coffee specials, events, giveaways and more? Subscribe to our RSS feed, follow us on Twitter and/or join our mailing list!

This entry was posted on March 08 2010 in the Alterra News category.
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Cafes To Close Early, Saturday, March 13th

Saturday, March 13th, Alterra Cafes will be closed early so that our customers and staff can attend the post-GLRBC festivities! We hope you can join us at Sabor that evening as we welcome Brazilian coffee farmer, Alexandre Gonzaga, to Milwaukee. Click here for further details about the event.

Café close times for Saturday, March 13th:
Alterra Prospect - 6pm
Alterra @ the Lake - 8pm
Alterra Mayfair - regular hours, closed at 9pm
Alterra Bayshore - 7pm
Alterra Foundry - 7pm
Alterra Grafton - 7pm
Alterra Tosa - 7pm
Alterra Humboldt - 7pm
Alterra US Bank - regular hours, closed at 4:30pm

This entry was posted on March 05 2010 in the Alterra News category.
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Prospect Cafe Renovation - Early 6pm Close Times Beginning 3/4/10

imagePardon our dust!
Alterra Prospect is undergoing some exciting changes in the months to come, including an expanded seating area, an “outdoor room” and the same great food menu that’s available at our other locations. Some of the minor construction work has already started, and we’ll be in full swing beginning Thursday, March 4th, 2010 at which point the café will be closing nightly at 6pm. We expect the renovation process to last about 4 months and hope that you’ll continue to visit Kate and her crew during the day and our other cafes at night. Looking forward to a new-and-improved Prospect Avenue café later this year! (Check out renderings of the new facility below.)

This entry was posted on March 01 2010 in the Alterra News category.
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