By Chris McKinnon


MALDEN (CBS) — It Happens Here, in Malden. It was the first town to tell the colonial government to split from the British empire, was originally called the “Mistick Side” and it was part of Charlestown until 1649.

During World War II, gun batteries were put on top of Waitts Mountain. And from up there, you can easily see New England Coffee, which is headquartered less than a mile away.

New England Coffee used to be a family-run business dating back four generations but was later sold to another family company, Reily Foods.

Inside their Charles Street operation, New England Coffee might have a million pounds of coffee beans shipped in from all over the world on any given day. Once they arrive, the beans are dumped and then mixed depending on the batch, then roasted. 

Next, the beans either get bagged whole or get ground and flavored, before they are tested under strict quality control standards and shipped out to more than 10,000 locations across the country.

Bags of coffee beans are packaged to be shipped out (WBZ-TV).

Mark Woods is New England Coffee’s director of green coffee purchase and quality assurance. He taste-tests the batches of beans to make sure they are of the highest standard.

Thousands of tests are done every week, and Woods explained that these expert “cuppers” are looking for consistency from one cup to the next, to make sure consumers get the product they have come to know.

The team has trained their noses and tongues to notice even the slightest differences between dozens of cups.

“We’re connecting our brain with the sensory taste that we’ve got going in these particular cups,” Woods said.

Coffee samples at New England Coffee in Malden (WBZ-TV).

The process of sniffing, slurping, swishing and spitting sounds like a funny way to test coffee, but there is a method to the madness.

Chris McKinnon

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