I’m a coffee drinker. I occasionally drink tea when I’m suffering from a sore throat which isn’t often, therefore, coffee is my drink of choice. Not because I need it to wake up and get me through the day, but because it’s my daily ritual. It’s an experience.
My husband started roasting coffee a few years ago. He started by buying raw, green coffee beans over the internet and roasted them with an air popcorn popper. After he melted the top of the popper and burned out the motor, I bought him a coffee roaster for Father’s Day. He’s been roasting our morning coffee ever since and I’ve been reaping the benefits of his new hobby.
So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I was invited to visit a local roaster and help test coffees for a new restaurant that is opening in town.
My friend Hilda Staples is opening Volt Restaurant with Chef Bryan Voltaggio who was the Executive Chef for the Charlie Palmer Steakhouse in Washington, DC. As Volt prepares for it’s summer opening, you can follow their progress from raw, open space to fashionable, high end restaurant via the Volt Blog.
As they have moved from planning the space to planning their menu, their latest adventure was to have a coffee tasting at Dublin Roasters Coffee and I was lucky enough to have a coffee date with Hilda that morning. Since it went with the theme of our getting together, I was invited to tag along.
We tried Sumatra, Tanzania Peaberry, Rica Terazu, Celebes Kalossi, Kenya and Kona beans. The Tanzania Peaberry was my favorite. It was smooth and robust but minus a bitter aftertaste. I enjoyed it black which says a lot since I tend to have a heavy hand with both sugar and cream in my morning cup of joe. Serena Roy, the owner of Dublin Coffee Roasters has a sweet set up. Located right here in Frederick she’s an award winning roaster that roasts just a few pounds at a time. Due to her 10+ years of experience, she uses all of her senses (including, her sixth, intuitive sense) to roast each batch to perfection. Her skill is evident as she provides many of the award-winning blends for the coffee houses here in town.
Coffee roasting is an art form. It’s about balancing the type of bean with the length of the roasting process to balance the acidity with the body that comes from heating a raw, green bean until it cracks open to release it’s oils. When a roasted bean is ground for brewing, the oils are what flavor the water and wake you up every morning.
Volt is still working on it’s signature, house blend and it will also offer different coffees to compliment their seasonally changing menu. The fact that they are putting this much time, effort and energy into choosing coffee, makes you wonder how fabulous their food menu is going to be.
If you’d like to learn more about coffee, check out Sweet Maria’s coffee university. If you’d like to start roasting your own beans, it’s a lot of fun. A pop corn popper is an inexpensive way to try it out but keep something in mind. You would think that roasting coffee would be the most amazing aroma on the planet. It isn’t. It makes burnt hair smell good. Roasting raw coffee beans creates an odor that you don’t want lingering in your home, so make sure you roast outside or when the weather turns, inside your garage.
If you live in Frederick, you can sample Dublin Coffee Roaster’s products at The Frederick Coffee Company and stay tuned for the grand opening of Volt sometime this summer.