Experiencing the challenges of the pandemic has had unique impacts on everyone of us around the globe. Things we took for granted, the simple things like grabbing a cup of coffee at your favorite local coffee shop, became a near or complete impossibility. Some people just sucked it up and learned to live with whatever coffee they could they could get their hands on. And some coffee lovers like myself and my partner Jamie, decided life's too short to drink ho-hum coffee. And so our quest for percolated perfection began with a question-- how to make great coffee at home the rule, not the exception?
A Long-Standing Relationship With Coffee
Growing up in New England, it's safe to say I've had a long-standing relationship with coffee in a land where the coffee pots run 24/7. I will confess that until semi-recently, the original chain coffee shop that started in New England was kind of my benchmark for decent coffee. But buy a bag of ground coffee there, try it at home and guess what? It's not the same, is it? That's because the big coffee makers roast thousands of pounds of coffee beans months before you buy them. Then they're nitrogen flushed (sounds healthy) to give them a longer expiration date. And when you do finally put some in your "Mr. Coffee" the night before (we'll talk later about why you're not going to do that anymore another time) and let it sit out until the morning, it's at best hot, and most likely flat-tasting, uninspiring, dull and well, just bad coffee. But what are you gonna do, right? Wrong. Read on...
So You Roast Coffee?
I'd been roasting my own coffee since before the pandemic and Jamie can attest to having been there when I roasted my first highly questionable coffee beans. It smoked up the house something awful! We had a laugh but the taste even then was better than any drive-thru coffee we'd ever had. I was hooked. And being an A-Type personality, I began reading, researching, testing, trying every coffee shop and vendor we could find. Soon I was taking professional training from an accredited coffee-roasting facility and joining a mastermind roasting group run by one of the top coffee roasters in the world. Constant learning is a great way to use pandemic downtime to your advantage.
It wasn't long before my method of roasting coffee had become too limiting and lacked the control I wanted over the process. I needed to be able to fine tune the coffee beans I was roasting and really control the flavor profiles. I thought of those great bartenders that make bespoke drinks to order for each customer. So I purchased a 1KG drum roaster (well two actually, long story) with infinite control over heat, fan and drum speed, all monitored and adjustable by computer. And with the ability to now record each roast, I can recreate roasts I really liked as often as I wanted. Shortly thereafter I was giving coffee to my friends. And they told their friends and people started asking if they could buy some, requesting certain coffees from different regions and varying roast levels. Next thing you know, we're in the coffee roasting business. Isn't that how it always begins?
In the world of commercial coffee roasting, producing 4lbs of coffee at a time isn't even a drop in the bucket. In fact its probably less than what the big guys spill on the floor daily! But I'm good with that. I'm refining my craft, and it is a "craft". It's part science, part artistry and all craftsmanship. Which is perfect for me.
Using our Backgrounds To Create Amazing Coffee
I'm blessed with a creative mind and able hands. I come from a family of artists, musicians, woodworkers and mechanics. The technical part of the roasting process appeals to my craftsman side, while the artistry of creating the perfect cup speaks directly to my fine art background as a nationally exhibited landscape painter.
Jamie has her own amazing talents that go hand-in-hand with mine. An accomplished and professionally-trained chef and baker, she turned her knowledge of food into a successful health coaching career. Additionally, growing farm-to-table organic vegetables and herbs on the farm really helps us appreciate what the coffee farmers in other countries go through. She put her pandemic down-time to good use starting her third business as a real estate agent, all the while managing the administrative needs of our fledgling coffee business. Jamie's tasting abilities from her culinary background has been indispensable when it comes to cupping our coffees and helping identify the flavor notes, hints and aromas of our freshly roasted coffees.
What "Roastwell" Represents to Us
If there's one indisputable fact about coffee, it's that coffee brings people together. We are a nation of coffee drinkers. Heck, we built coffee breaks into of collective daily work experience! Hang out with a cup, talk about, well, anything and just chill for a few minutes before going back to it, whatever "it" is for you. Jamie and I wanted something we could build and enjoy together but just as importantly to share something we truly enjoy with like-minded people. People who place value on having a few simple indulgences in their everyday life. Roastwell Coffee Company believes really fresh, roasted to its full potential, bespoke-crafted coffee should not only taste incredible but should leave an indelible mark on ALL your senses. Just imagine that amazing aroma rising to your nostrils as you open that bag of freshly-roasted-just-for-you Roastwell Coffee. Watch as the incredibly fresh coffee blooms, while silky crèma goodness forms a visual feast for the eyes. You feel the warmth in your hand as you pour that delicious mahogany-colored extraction into your favorite mug. And finally, settling in for your first flavor-filled sip, you mind rests in the knowledge that anti-oxidant polyphenols, free-radical wrestlers even, will soon be coursing through your veins, making you feel that you, YES YOU can Carpe Diem, courtesy of the freshest, organically- grown, ethically-sourced coffee to ever grace the planet! (Insert mic drop here!)
Life's Too Short To Drink Bad Coffee
Thanks for reading our story, such as it is. We extend our sincerest gratitude to you for being a part of our journey through the amazing world of coffee.
Chris & Jamie