Ritual Gardens, how goes it with roasting? (you ask)

This beauty is what I am roasting on. Built in 1919.

It goes well. You know, I think a few people, myself included thought it was a bit strange that I was interested in roasting. I have been a barista for years (all in specialty coffee shops mind you, I consider myself extremely lucky). I have been doing the retail gig for years. I love coffee, I love pulling a mighty shot of espresso and I love making latte art. Yeah, I will admit it. I love TASTING a cappuccino, and ven making it, but nothing beats pouring a silky smooth, beautifully patterned latte. Seriously. As far as mechanics and aesthetics go.

Anyway, so when I thought about roasting, I was thinking I wanted to understand coffee in a deeper level. I wanted to connect to the process in a more tangible way. Specifically, when I met Javier at Stumptown, I knew I wanted to learn roasting. Javier is from Nicaragua and at the time, I was the only person of color who’s first language was also Spanish. He was stoked, and I was excited to meet him. When I heard him speak about his life with coffee, I really felt connected to him, and the people of (specifically) Latin America. This is the bud that would eventually blossom when I knew Ritual would be roasting in house, and buying their very own green coffee!

Wow, how we are growing up!

SO I hung up the espresso training gloves, or rather, passed them onto to my good friend Baca who is more than capable (ninja!) and walked over to Ryan Brown and said, “I want to learn to roast coffee”. He was the only person that was down from the very start with the LEAST amount of hesitation. It’s a strange transition. But for me, it’s perfect. As much as I know how to schmooze, and talk the industry and hold my own, I am a fairly anti-social guy (see previous post), so roasting is great. I can be picky about who to talk to, I can be “alone with the coffee” and no more dealing with the retail stuff. I could handle that stuff, and sometimes I even enjoyed it, but to have the chance to concentrate on the coffee the way you do as a roaster, is a pretty amazing thing.

Mechanics change, language changes, processes change when you roast…but it’s all great. I love it. I love cupping the coffee a couple of days after I have roasted it. I love tasting what a fuck up can do, or what a mishap or intended deviation from “normalcy” will do to the coffee. Meaning, it’s amazing to see that small changes in the roasting, make big changes in the cup…sound familiar?

The Ritual Gardens is doing great.

Bringing specialty coffee to the gentriying ghetto of the Bayview hood is good right? It is actually. It is weird from a cultural perspective (damn sociology degree) but at least it is bringing good coffee out there…not everyone will want to have access to it, but slowly, it will spill into the streets and more people will hear about it.



~ by Me on June 27, 2007.

4 Responses to “Ritual Gardens, how goes it with roasting? (you ask)”

  1. sociology degree in the house

  2. Gabe:

    First of all… I feel you dog on the whole great opportunity-beauty of isolation thing. But seriously, dude, NY wants you!

    Second: nice blog.

    Third: How about dropping some science on us? Is it all top secret, or can you tell us specifics on temps and beans and profiles, etc?

  3. dude. we are aching for an update here.

  4. Hey man, I’ll be checking my mailbox for some samples. Best of luck.


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