Monday, February 22, 2010

Keep those beans a-roastin'

Posted By on Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 4:13 PM

“We wanted to go in the direction of relationships,” says Deborah DiBernardo, owner of ROAST HOUSE COFFEE. With the expertise of roast master Dave Rier, this new north Spokane roasting company is focused on helping people make the connection from farm to cup. If you visit Roast House, you’ll see pictures of the farmers who grew the coffee and learn about their families.
Roast House specializes in high-quality “socially conscious” coffee, meaning it’s Fair Trade, shade grown, organic or relationship coffee, which is produced by family farms or small co-ops.
DiBernardo, active in the Slow Food movement, encourages people to apply Slow Food ethics to coffee: Do you know where it comes from? Is it good for you?

Roast House supplies private-label coffee to coffee houses and retail grocery stores. The Main Market carries a unique Roast House Colombian coffee. After visiting the farm in Colombia, Rier liked the coffee so much he bought the entire crop for the Market. Look for Roast House coffee education classes in the future, possibly at the Main Market.

Latah Valley’s newly established TOM SAWYER COUNTRY COFFEE is part coffee roasting facility, part museum: Along its walls are coffee pots, tins and grinders dating back to the early 1800s.

Gary Thomas Sawyer — yes, he goes by “Tom” — encourages his customers to be involved in blending coffees to suit their needs. Although he focuses on coffee service to businesses and restaurants, you might just leave with a special coffee blend for your next dinner party and dessert recipes in hand if you visit. Keeping his business small and roasting 10-pound batches allows Sawyer to be creative. “I can’t do what the big guys do — and they can’t do what I do,” he says.

Sawyer also offers home coffee roasters, green beans and the training to get you started on making your own “legal, very addicting drink.” He’s so excited to share his passion about coffee that he might even deliver it all to your house. But only if you invite him in for a cup of coffee.

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