Monday, March 19, 2007

Roasting Coda Coffee

Burn, baby, burn. It should be more along the lines of roast, but previous sounds better to me, and I like good intro. My second roastery visit in Denver is to Coda Coffee, a popular local roastery in the center of Denver. Tim, one of two brothers who started the business, the other being Tommy, invited me to come out and visit their roastery during one of the Third Thursday barista jams. Finding their place was rather easy, luckily for me, as they are in a decent sized light industrial park.

When I walk into the roastery, I am stuck by how large it is, I had imagined a small hole in the wall sized place, not a place of this magnitude. They have a pretty good setup for a new company, with a small office, lots of coffee, and a rather large roaster (to me). They have a new delivery van, lots of syrups and other stuff for their customers, so they are more of a one stop shop, which in my book is an added bonus for their clients. But they don’t carry enough extra products to be a distraction from their roasting, a delicate balancing act indeed.

After meeting the crew, and getting the 5¢ tour, Tim showed me the roaster, which as previously stated, is big, with its after-burner, plumbing and all sorts of gear. I got a bit of the process explained to me. We talked a little bit about his roasting philosophy, which is different from anyone I’ve meet. He explains that Coda is a custom roaster, so if you want a delicately roasted, high end, Cup of Excellence winning Brazilian, he can do that for you. On the flip side, if you want an extremely dark roasted, carbony, medium-low grade (they’re not going to sell anything they don’t have pride in), low cost coffee solution, they can work with you too. This fits them into a rather neat little niche, or rather, not, they’re adaptable, expandable, (they come with laser beams on their heads!), and willing to work with just about anyone. Go, go gadget roaster!

We wander around a bit, he showing me some machines, talking about experiences we’ve had in the business, then he lets me in on a special project. We walk to the back of the shop, and through a door marked for the restroom, and into an empty office area. This space will be their new cupping lab, training room, and offices, and maybe a little something extra (you’ll have to ask them). Part way into construction of their new diggs, they’re still excited over the prospect of having dedicated space for each of these activities. To me it’s very exciting to see a company expanding and growing, because you see the workers and owners fulfilling their dreams and ideas.

My overall feeling about Coda is rather positive after this meeting, and I see them filling a gap in Denver that is badly needed. So if you need coffee, no matter the style, origin, or type, I’m guessing that they’ll gladly fill your hoppers with some beans. Good luck Coda.


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