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Sitting at the roaster, my desk or behind the counter, I get asked all sorts of questions by our inquisitive customers. Here are a few:
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THAT BIG YELLOW GRINDER?
I smile and explain that it is actually not a grinder, but a coffee roaster and what we do with it is profile roast every bean that we sell.
DO YOU ROAST ONLY BY SMELL?
I love that roasting is a total sensory experience. We use sight, smell, taste, touch and sound. We carefully watch the beans waiting for the first sign of yellowing (the beginning of the chemical reaction that starts to develop flavors). We smell for that point the beans smell grassy. We listen – minutes after yellowing we hear “first crack” – that exothermic reaction when the beans fully release moisture…. we smell again…. we look at the beans…. a bit wrinkly as they begin to expand. Understanding the chemistry behind flavor development is important, but utilizing our 5 senses makes it an incredibly satisfying personal experience.
HOW SHOULD I STORE MY BEANS? IN THE FREEZER?
Beans should be stored in an airtight container (Tupperware is fine) away from direct sunlight. Definitely not in the freezer as the moisture (taking them in and out) can hurt the delicate flavor oils. Coffee can also take on the taste of other items in a refrigerator (again…delicate oils).
MY COFFEE DOESN’T TASTE AS GOOD AT HOME AS IN YOUR SHOP. WHAT CAN I DO? SHOULD I BUY A NEW BREWER?
Well, first, we are professionals!
But seriously, if you’re going to invest in any piece of equipment, let it be a grinder. The grinder is the least sexy but ultimately most important piece of equipment in brewing a good cup at home. Consistency of the grind ensures that you are not OVER extracting some coffee while UNDER extracting other. If you’re buying a brewer, try to get one that is SCAA approved (Bonavita, Technivorm). They are expensive but keep the brew temperature consistent and have proper spray patterns.
WHERE IS YOUR COFFEE FROM?
We source coffee from around the world; Central and South America, Africa, Indonesia and even Asia (Monsooned Malabar). Sometimes, even from the US of A! Do you know what coffee that is? We work with a variety of brokers to ensure not only the highest quality, but also to try and source sustainably while offering farmers higher prices for their superior crops.
I NEVER KNOW WHAT BEANS TO BUY. CAN YOU HELP ME?
Talk to our experienced and knowledgeable staff. They’ll begin by asking you some basic questions….do you generally like light, medium or dark roasts? Do you like chocolate and nuts notes or sweet acidity like orange or strawberry? Blueberry and brown sugar? I would recommend, however, to try something different. You might find a new “flavor” that you really enjoy! And if you try something and don’t particularly care for those flavors? Just return it to us and we’ll be happy to swap it for something else.
YOU NEED MORE SPACE. WHY DON’T YOU EXPAND?
Would love to! But, by the same token, there is something nice and “comfy” about our little shop on Church Street. Share a table…make a new friend.
WHAT MAKES AN ADVENTURE COFFEE AN ADVENTURE….AND WHY DO THEY COST SO MUCH?
Adventure coffees are award winning, rare or other hard to find coffees that I’m constantly on the look out for. Not all “high priced” coffees on the market are worth the price. Oftentimes, they are those particular beans or blends in name only; not worth their inflated price. I carefully source every ADVENTURE bean to ensure its unique flavor is worth the price we pay. I love giving our customers the opportunity to taste these coffees with the assurance that whatever the price may be, it’s worth it.