O U R P R O C E S S
WHY WE LOVE COFFEE
Coffee is one of our modern era’s most pervasive commodity. That natural organic compound from the earth that gives us an extra boost on an “as needed” basis. So extensively over-commoditized that it was merely being used as a means to an end, as it did in the Civil War when it was added to soldiers’ rations and has remained to this day. However, coffee is much more nuanced than merely being utilized as an energy booster, it is a living and breathing organism that is easily influenced by its environmental factors, whether it be in farming and processing techniques, roasting profiles, and finally brewing parameters. At every stage of a coffee beans journey from its source at the farm to your cup, each and every influencer, from the time the flower on the coffee tree becomes pollinated, to how long the coffee bean remains in its cherry before being processed, to the barista using a precise amount of water in a precise amount of time, coffee is changing and being molded by its influencers. It is no different than many of our other cherished artisanal consumables, such as cheese, wine, and alcohol just to name a few. However, coffee is not thought of in those terms. This is where our mischief comes into play because we are tirelessly trying to influence coffee, so that a person drinking our coffee has an experience that becomes a realization that coffee is much more than a mere “pick me up” in the morning. It is an extremely complex organism that deserves the same attention and value that other artisanal beverages receive.
With the backdrop of a viewpoint that coffee deserves an artisanal approach, our process focuses on roasting small batches to control as much of the environmental factors that we can, so that our finished product retains the characteristics from which it originated from. When deciding on a roaster to accomplish our aforementioned roasting philosophy, we ironically decided to remain dedicated to the traditional means of roasting coffee, which meant using a steel drum that rotates over an open flame, as well as utilizing a combination of heat and air that are controlled separately to roast our coffee to perfection. We say “ironically” because we are inherently mischievous, which does not mix well with tradition. However, after extensive research and consultations with other coffee professionals, we came to a consensus: it wasn’t the traditional vessel used to roast coffee that led to its over-commoditization, it was the philosophy of the coffee roaster. In fact, the traditional steel drum method produced some of the most consistent and flavorful coffees when employing a “third-wave” roasting philosophy. The ability of the steel drum to conduct, convect, and sustain heat while using a separate system of air to control that heat accomplished our roasting philosophy in the most effective and efficient manner possible. As coffee already requires a massive amount of resources to produce, and when not cultivated ethically, it can have significant detriments to the environment around it, therefore, we believe that it is our duty to use the least amount of resources to get coffee beans to its final stage, which is to your cup!
For many of us, our elders were our greatest teachers because they had the wisdom to teach us the way we learned and not to teach us the way that they learned or thought we should learn based on “socially” acceptable teaching practices. Since we are all different, and therefore, process information differently, there is not a right or wrong way for someone to learn. The same can be said for coffee, you cannot teach the coffee to be roasted the way you think it should be roasted, instead the coffee teaches you how it wants to be roasted, so that its inherent flavor characteristics are given its best chance to shine. Our teacher is a 12-kilogram Probat coffee roaster named from our greatest elder, our grandmother, one of the founders of Learning Styles, whom we refer to as “Rita the Roaster.”