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RoosRoast Coffee FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where do you roast your beans?
loring drawing

A: We roast Monday through Friday on a Loring Smart Roaster at:
1155 Rosewood Street Suite B
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104

Drop by and see how it’s done!

Q: Do you grow your own coffee?

A: No. As much as I would love to, coffee doesn’t grow in Michigan. Coffee grows in equatorial regions all over the world and ripens and is produced and available depending on the seasons and the market.

Q:Where do you get your beans?

A: Buying coffee directly from farmers sounds romantic, but accordingly to friends who actually work in the distribution business, it can be a little like an Indiana Jones movie, maneuvering between corrupt governments and really bad roads. We're game for that but a little busy roasting and making coffee, so for now, we work with people we trust who source good coffees from great farms. We're always talking to our distributors about what's in, what's fresh and trying samples from around the world. We also work with small distributors who do direct and fair trade, even micro financing, in rural communities to make sure the farmer's get a fair price for their precious beans.

Q: Is it true that the best and most expensive coffee in the world comes from monkey poo?

A: Yes and no. There is actually a very expensive coffee from Indonesia called “Kopi Luwak” which is made from coffee beans passed through the digestive system of a small animal called a “Palm Civet”. It’s not a monkey, it’s more like a cat, and we haven’t tried the coffee because it’s unbelievably expensive, so we don’t know if it tastes as great as they say.

Q: Why do great restaurants often have such bad coffee?
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A: Because most restaurants have a coffee service and the coffee service provides them with pre-ground, pre-portioned, pre-stale, pre-nasty tasting coffee ready to be brewed and left to sit till that amount runs out. Coffee should be freshly roast within four weeks, ground to order, brewed with hot, 200 degree clean water with a clean machine into a clean pot. Check out this list of restaurants in Ann Arbor who serve fresh coffee!

Q: What is the best way to make excellent coffee at home?
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Good question and it's not so simple. There are so many variables: water temperature, grind, method, roast date, water ratio, water quality and more. We always say, you have to experiment and find the way you like the best.

However, we do have three tips for you. Check out this blog post on the subject.

Q: Do you have any coffee that was roasted today? How 'bout tomorrow?

A: People get obsessed with roast dates. And we like that because yes, freshness is what distinguishes RoosRoast from stale cheap coffee that's been sitting on grocery shelves for god knows how long. But no need to go crazy! A coffee is just getting into its prime five days after it was roasted. And, after much testing, we're convinced that, if you know the roast date, coffee one month from roast date is actually still wonderful! 

Q: What’s the best way to store coffee?
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A: The best way to store coffee is in your gullet. Drink it up!

Seriously, air and light are the enemies of coffee. That's why pre-grinding your coffee is not recommended. There's more surface exposure to air. But let's say you must grind your coffee and/or you live in the Alaskan tundra and can’t get RoosRoast delivered every week, make sure you store your beans in an air-tight container away from the sunlight. In fact, we sell the perfect container for this. It’s called an Airscape.

We don't recommend the freezer or fridge because it introduces the element of potential moisture and/or other flavors into the equation. Here's more info.

Q: Is it true that dark roast coffee is stronger and more caffeinated?
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A: No, that's a myth! Actually there's also a counter myth that lighter roasts have more caffeine. Also not true! Caffeine is actually a surprisingly stable chemical and remains mostly constant in the roasting process. If you want to get more in depth on this, here's a great article.

All caffeine is not created equal. Caffeine comes to us naturally through the plant-gods and not all buzzes are the same from tree to tree. We find that some coffees are super jittery, some have a smoother buzz and some are nice and mellow.

You know what does have more caffeine, though? Cold brew. People tell us our cold brew is worth like five Red Bulls. But we don't know, we're too jacked up on RoosRoast to drink Red Bull.

Q: Is it true that John Roos met Hillary Swank and Robert DeNiro

A: Yes, deep in RoosRoast (and Michigan's) history is the movie catering era, where John Roos and whoever else wanted to vibe out on a movie set, brought the "off the grid" espresso cart out to caffeinate movie crews while they worked in the wee hours, as movie crews do. Connections were made, hands were shaken. Stars were disturbed by the sound of steam wands.

Q: Did John Roos really sell Subarus?

A: Yes. This is in fact how he started roasting coffee. A bag of freshly roasted coffee was the perfect reward for signing on the dotted line. Pretty soon, people were coming to the dealership not to buy a car but to pick up a bag of coffee. And the rest is history.

Q: Is John still painting?
Painting Illustration

A: From John: "Yes, but its been on the back burner for a while… the coffee’s really been taking off, and I fell in crazy love and had a baby. So its been busy! But I am reinventing my studio space, and will be back at it soon. You’re hopefully also seeing my artwork in new ways, on t-shirts (available at the market), on signs and as new labels on single origin bags."