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A One-of-a-Kind Artisanal Coffee Partnership

Watch our 4 part series by The Original Fare and learn more about our partnership with H.C. Valentine here.

Watch the full PBS episode by The Original Fare here.

Learn more about H.C. Valentine here.

Fairmont Sources Top 3% Coffee Beans for New Premium Brew

Whether it’s French pressed, vacuum pressed, drip, pour-over or percolated, North Americans are passionate about their coffee. And none more so than Brett Patterson, Vice President of Food & Beverage, Americas at FRHI Hotels & Resorts, parent company for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. 

Patterson is the man behind Fairmont’s recent announcement that the luxury hotel brand is partnering with H.C. Valentine Coffee Company, an award-winning micro-roasting company based in Birmingham, Alabama that offers high quality, one-of-a-kind brews comprising Fair Trade blends and single origin varietals. Founded in 2007 by William and Hatton Smith, H.C. Valentine is a sister operation to the 118-year-old Royal Cup Coffee and Tea brand. Named after the brothers’ grandfather, an artisan furniture maker, H.C. Valentine was created with the mission to blend the world’s finest cup of coffee. 

“In all of Fairmont’s food and beverage offerings, our goal is to deliver a premium experience with a personalized touch; offering an exclusive micro-roasted brew ensures that promise is honored in each batch of fresh coffee brewed on-property,” says Patterson. “H.C. Valentine Coffee Company is the right choice for our hotels because it provides our guests with a top quality artisanal coffee experience while they stay with us. We embrace and want to share unique and locally-inspired gourmand experiences with our guests in all of our destinations. This is why Fairmont is excited to be the first major luxury hotel company to feature this ‘Signature Blend’ and offer a true ‘farm-to-cup’ coffee experience throughout North America.”

H.C. Valentine’s ‘Signature Blend’ starts with the highest quality of current-season crop Arabica coffee beans. Harvested from the best coffee growing regions in Africa, Central and South America, often on small family farms that have been passed down from generation to generation, the coffee beans are typically grown between four and five thousand feet above sea level. In these higher elevations, the coffee beans ripen slowly, resulting in a higher quality product. 

Aligning with Fairmont’s emphasis on sustainability and locally-inspired experiences, H.C. Valentine is committed to finding farmers who honor sustainable growing practices in order to produce the finest taste characteristics for their growing regions. The brand supports the long-term sustainability of the coffee industry and works with organizations such as World Coffee Research to protect and grow the supply chain of high-quality Arabica coffees through collaborative agricultural research and development. 

“Traveling to remote areas and climbing treacherous hills to meet with the people who harvest our beans is not always glamorous, but it is rewarding. They welcome us as friends. And we take our responsibility to them seriously by partnering with organizations that help bolster the local communities and ensure these farmers will continue to reap great harvests year after year—sustaining their way of life as well as the top-quality raw ingredients we rely upon to sustain our own tradition of excellence,” shares H.C. Valentine’s David Strahl, the man behind the brew. Strahl joined Royal Cup in 2007 to help build the company and create the best coffee one could possibly make, out of which H.C. Valentine was born. 

Alongside Strahl, H.C. Valentine’s award-winning ‘Roastmasters,’ Stacy Hawkins and Brandon Cooley, have studied the science and art behind capturing a coffee’s aromatics at its height to unlock the flavor and personality hidden within each bean. The brand’s ‘Roastmasters’ select beans that have been harvested from the top 3% of the highest graded coffee beans from around the world and blend them in carefully measured proportions, only after the beans have been roasted in single batches and at their ideal temperatures. While the method is more time-consuming, it creates a taste profile that is balanced, richly flavorful and unique.

The ‘Signature Blend’ coffee beans are delivered to the hotels within a few days post-roast, where each pot is then freshly ground and served to guests immediately, guaranteeing high quality artisanal flavor. This new coffee experience is available at Fairmont hotels across participating locations in North America and will be carried through to banqueting as well.

“At H.C. Valentine Coffee Company we pride ourselves on our carefully crafted coffee and that includes not compromising on our standards for the freshest brewing experience. That’s why it is exciting to partner with a hotel company like Fairmont to offer their guests hand-roasted Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee that is freshly ground at each hotel and brewed daily just for them,” says Strahl. “We are honored to share our unique proprietary ‘Signature blend’ with Fairmont guests across the region, featuring specialty-grade beans that are sight-roasted by origin in small batches, and then blended to develop deeply complex and intense flavor profiles unmatched in the industry.”

American Masters of Taste have awarded H.C. Valentine four gold medals in its blind taste tests for its Signature Espresso, Organic; Roast Masters African Savanna; Aztec Roast, 100% Organic; and Inca Decaffeinated Blend. H.C. Valentine has also been named a U.S.A. Beverage Champion for its organic, decaffeinated whole coffee beans.

Our new coffee is currently available at select Fairmont Hotels and Resorts across North America and will continue to be launched at more hotels within the region throughout the year.