I had the privilege of serving some of my recently roasted coffee to my son on Easter. His affection for coffee rivals mine, so I wanted to know what he thought. He sipped, sipped again, looked up and expressed his delight. He said my coffee was “better than anything he was buying in local coffee shops.” I was honored. I’ve been roasting coffee for almost fifteen years, so it was refreshing to realize I haven’t lost my touch.
My coffee is different. I know that. But I haven’t given a lot of thought to what makes it different until now. So here are three reasons I think our coffee tastes smoother than other coffee:
FRESHNESS. I know the “big thing” is to package coffee in nitrogen to preserve the flavor longer. That might work until you open the coffee. Then, it’s business as usual as far as degradation of flavor goes. In fact, I think it will lose its flavor faster. I don’t package my coffee in nitrogen because I don’t want it to last a year in the bag. I want you to enjoy it within a few days of roasting so you’ll get the optimal flavor. That’s what my son experienced and why there are two bags I roasted yesterday with his name on them.
SMALL BATCH. My traditional roaster friends have machines that roast anywhere from ten to fifty pounds of coffee at a time. I can’t roast that much. I can only roast a fraction of that amount. So, I pay attention to the details. The coffee is roasted as needed and never before it is ordered. The only time I roast coffee in advance is for delivery to the one retail location that carries it.
AIR NOT DRUM. I roast on a fluid bed roaster. Rather than being tumbled in a metal drum, my coffee floats on a bed of air inside a glass cylinder. It doesn’t come in contact with metal so there is no hydrogen sulfide formed on the outside of the beans. What does that mean? It means a less acidic cup of coffee. It is much easier on folks who have problems with traditional coffee and much more flavorful for people who just want the best possible taste.
I enjoy having coffee at a number of local shops. They are great at what they do. But it is refreshing to hear someone say my coffee is on par with those other shops. Coffee is complex and there’s more than one way to roast it. I like my way. So do a lot of other people.