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The Story of RoosRoast

John Roos


To learn the story of RoosRoast you need to start with John Roos.

John Roos, citizen, promoter and coffee seller, was born in Ann Arbor sometime when hash bash was still cool. Speaking of which, people often think he’s stoned, because he’ll actually listen to people and still rides a skateboard. His dad had a barbershop on Main St and his mom worked in a bank. Deep local.

As a reformed ski bum, poet, artist, consultant chef, and Subaru salesman, Roos learned how to relate through many languages, bohemian subcultures and seriously hyped work ethics. In the kitchen, he developed a chef's palate which is probably why his coffee tastes so good.

Roos is a self-taught artist with a journal by his side at all times. Though he never achieved his dad’s dream of celebrity-chef stardom, since 2005 he’s used his skills to develop RoosRoast into a giant love bucket of coffee and art that goes beyond his singular personhood.

RoosRoast is bigger than a single person right now. But, if you want to know why and how anyone could name a coffee "Lobster Butter Love", the answer lies with John Roos himself.


The Story Behind the Beans

roast meter drawing


Lobster Butter Love

Yeah, it's a weird name for a coffee. This coffee does not have lobsters nor butter in it. So why? Why, John Roos, why? Here's one story which may or may not be true: John came up with the idea while biking along Huron River Drive. His mind went to the most delectable and delicious thing he could think of for his new coffee blend and he began chanting "Lobster, Lobster, Lobster, Butter, Love" while he pedaled madly. (John used to be a chef, he likes food analogies.) The name stuck and so did the bright red lobster logo that confounds and delights all the people. 

About the beans: The blend is Sumatra-based (the rest of the blend is a secret) and has smooth, creamy taste with nutty aftertones, earthy, low acidity which makes it super drinkable. It's a great choice for those who have not had RR coffee and is our most popular coffee BY FAR.


Rich French Neighbor 


John had many lifetimes as a chef. He lived in Miami, Hawaii, Hong Kong, New York, San Deigo. For awhile, he even owned a creperie in the south of France. One weekend, he and his girlfriend went away to the mountains nearby. It was a crisp beautiful morning and the coffee was tasting good. His girlfriend agreed but added, "Probably not as good as that guy's," nodded to the giant mansion nestled in the hills above them. This is that Rich French Neighbor's coffee. The good stuff.

About the beans: This is our version of a French roast -chocolatey, smokey and full bodied.


A-A Cowboy


AA Cowboy LogoPeople think the AA stands for Ann Arbor but Ann Arbor is not known for its cowboys. On the other hand there are lots of cowboys living in Wyoming where John lived for awhile while cooking at a high-end dude ranch called A-Bar-A. He developed this coffee for the ranch when he first started roasting.

About the beans: Honduran origins with notes of buttermilk, caramel and a crisp finish.


Espresso Blend


espresso blend logoNot much of a story except that “beaucoup de mousse” is a reference both to the deep crema we’re always seeking with the espresso shot and John’s time in France where he tried to run a business with only remedial french.

About the beans: The blend is designed to pull well as a super concentrated, well balanced shot but tastes perfectly great as regular brew! We’re always tweaking it, depending on what’s in season. 

Mother Pheasant Plucker

Actually this name was invented by former RR roaster, Brian Barch, who is a tracker, birder and naturalist. Repeating the name frequently and correctly is a test used by police to test alcohol levels in drivers.

About the beans: Roasted north of medium, it’s the Honduran coffee inside that makes this coffee great. Very caramel and just a little dark of medium. Great way to branch out, from Lobster Butter. It's a staff favorite.




Bad Ass Women Blend

badass women logoThe name comes from the ladies at Bona Sera Dinner Club in Ypsilanti - bad ass women who asked John to come up with a special blend for their new restaurant. The logo came from a painting series John did called, "Girls With Guns," when he was living in Wyoming and lots of the ranch girls there practiced skeet shooting. The guns have been edited out of the picture so as not to freak people out.

About the beans: It’s a nice blend with a similar roast profile to Lobster Butter Love but containing some naturally processed honduran which gives it a very unique, fruity undertone.


Portland in the 90s


Portland in the 90's Logo

John actually lived in Portland in the 90s and it was when his (adult) passion for coffee began. (He started drinking Folgers early, practically at his mother’s teat.) This was the era before Starbucks and John was blown away by the freshly roasted, thick dark strong brew he was tasting at places like Stumptown. Coffee culture has since evolved. Dark roasts are out of fashion and a lot of coffee geeks these days are going for zesty fruity pour-overs roasted light so as to preserve all the varietal of the bean. We like that too, but sometimes, heck, you just wanted a friggin’ deep rich cup of coffee. The dream of the 90s is alive in Ann Arbor, at RoosRoast.

About the beans: We used to think Rich French Neighbor was dark but Portland makes that coffee seem like a light weight. This is a truly dark-ass roast with just the right amount of roasty toasty marshmallows before it blows up like a burning asteroid at your kid-friendly bbq party. If you're looking for more of an Italian roast, this is your game.