Lessons in Coffee at Roast, Inc.
You guys may remember my mention of Roast Inc. as one of my favorite coffee shops in my “Coffee Ramblings” post a few months ago. Well, today you can get a closer look at how they work their magic! My friend and fellow blogger, Tabitha of Life a la Mode is my guest poster today.
Roast hosted a special food blogger coffee cupping this past weekend that, sadly, I was unable to attend. But Tabitha happily volunteered to capture all of the details for me and share them here with you!
Please welcome Tabitha as she teaches us a little about the art of coffee!
~Lessons in Coffee at Roast, Inc.~
by Tabitha Tune of Life a la Mode
There are very very very few things for which I would get out of bed at 8am on a Sunday morning and, turns out, a food blogger get-together plus coffee cupping lesson at Roast Inc. is one of them.
Owned and operated by Brad and Lesa Wood, Roast Inc. is a craft coffee roaster that works with growers from up to 16 different countries who hand-pick the the freshest, ripest beans.
Here are some cool facts about Roast, Inc. and coffee:
• Coffee is a fruit.
• 90% of coffee is washed then fermented to remove any mucilage then left out to dry (e.g. Sumatran coffee tastes very earthy because it’s dried on the jungle floor).
• After the process, coffee beans look green!
• Roast, Inc. tries to buy most coffee farm-direct from growers all over the world.
• Much like wine, coffee should hit the center of your palate, it should taste clean, sweet and uniform and these three traits are what makes specialty coffee.
• All of Roast’s packaging is biodegradable but seals like a foil bag you see on shelves.
After talking to us about what they do, we were split into three groups to get a little more up-close with the various methods of brewing.
This neat little dripper is an immersion method of coffee brewing. Using a paper filter, you first pour a little bit of water into the grounds to let them bloom and get rid of any air bubbles. Then the water is poured into the coffee and it sits immersed for about 3.5 minutes. The Clever has a stopper at the bottom which, when placed on a cup, releases the coffee in a steady stream and the end result is a very clean, smooth brew.
We’re all familiar with this method, it’s that huge machine that hisses and froths milk and produces shots of espresso. We learned how to get the coffee ready for the shots, steam and froth milk and we each made a brew of our choice. I made an Americano, a couple of people made cappucinos and here’s Amanda of An Organic Process with her Nutella Latte which tastes as good as it sounds.
This was the lesson I was most excited about -The Husband and I recently purchased a Chemex but I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out what I was doing so it helped to watch Tim, who works at Roast Inc., go at it step-by-step. This method of cupping also makes a nice, smooth brew but can make up to 32oz of coffee at once and is great if you have company and want to make more than just one or two cups at a time.
It wouldn’t have been a food blogger event without food so big thanks to everyone who came with goodies without which we all would have left Roast really really twitchy!!
While we all chowed down on scones, muffins, sausage biscuits, quiches (both full sized and mini) and dough nuts, Lesa demonstrated the siphon brewing method (which I’ve also written about here). The science experiment looking contraption was fascinating to watch.
When you visit Roast Inc, and want to order the siphon brewed coffee, don’t be alarmed if you don’t see it on their menu because thanks to some loyal, fun-loving customers, it has been renamed the “Coffee Bong.”
You can purchase Clevers, Chemexes and other home-brew gadgets at Roast so you too can have delicious specialty coffee at home. If you’re not sure which beans work well for which brew, just ask! And if you’re like me and you have one of those contraptions at home but don’t know how to use them, let them know and they’ll happily give you advice. You could even bring it in for a lesson from them!
On behalf of all the food bloggers who attended, I would like to extend a huge “thank you” to Brad, Lesa and Tim for a really fun morning and for helping us all perk up! It was great to learn more about a local company and even more awesome to get an up-close look at coffee. For some of us it wasn’t the first time to Roast and for some it was. Either way, it definitely won’t be the last!
4825 Trousdale Drive #211
Nashville, TN 37220