Toledo Talk

Kickstarter for a local coffee roaster

Looks like I can't embed kickstarter videos here, so check the link for more information.
Long and short of it, this guy makes fantastic coffee, and is looking for a way to grow his business.

For those of you unfamiliar with kickstarter, you can donate money to a cause or project in exchange for goodwill AND nice perks. The person / organization doesn't get any money, unless they hit their goal.

I know times are tough, and it's difficult to ask for money... but if you're a coffee freak like me you might want to support this project! :)

created by upso on Feb 05, 2013 at 03:31:20 pm     Business     Comments: 60

source      versions      1 person liked this

Comments ... #

Had me at coffee.

posted by INeedCoffee on Feb 05, 2013 at 04:04:38 pm     #   6 people liked this

Side note, doesn't Georgettes in Maumee roast their own?

posted by INeedCoffee on Feb 05, 2013 at 04:05:17 pm     #  

Georgette's does, but they aren't anywhere as good as Actual. Don't get me wrong- georgette's is damned good coffee... but Actual? Wow. SO so good.

Fiance and i both went in heavily on the first day of the kickstarter. If you'd like to try their coffee before participating, go to Bleak House and have a cup.

posted by endcycle on Feb 05, 2013 at 04:13:28 pm     #  

I'm a coffee freek. I abhore the acidity of most Starbucks brews. I prefer an Italian Roast most which is less acidic. A Kona is always good. I've tried some of the Guatemalan, Ethiopean and other exotic stuff. Pretty weird. If they will have an Italian roast I'm in. How do I find out?

posted by holland on Feb 05, 2013 at 04:21:58 pm     #  

I've asked through kickstarter. Starbucks has an Italian that's marginal. Andersons has one that's just decent. JavaCabana in Miami Florida is where I was getting the best I ever found but they discontinued it.

posted by holland on Feb 05, 2013 at 04:31:11 pm     #  

UPSO - do you know them/him?

posted by Molsonator on Feb 05, 2013 at 04:42:20 pm     #  

Yes! I am friends with the owner, Lance. He's a really nice young man, that is completely focused on making the best coffee possible. I think if he gets this roaster, that he'll really be able to do something great.

Holland, more info here:

posted by upso on Feb 05, 2013 at 05:07:44 pm     #  

Thanks upso - No Italian Roast

posted by holland on Feb 05, 2013 at 05:17:49 pm     #  

A book he should read is

I have some great ideas for him.

posted by Molsonator on Feb 05, 2013 at 05:18:29 pm     #  

"Looks like I can't embed kickstarter videos here ..."

Yeah, I don't permit iframe HTML code.

Thanks for the heads up about Actual Coffee. We like trying new coffee beans at home, especially from a local roaster. I pledged money to their roaster fund.

"... anywhere as good as Actual."

Are their beans sold strictly through their website, or do they sell them in a store somewhere?

This winter on Saturday mornings at the Toledo Farmers Market, we've been buying coffee beans from Bea's Blend Speciality Coffees. I think she roasts the beans in West Toledo.

If we miss the market and need coffee beans, then we buy them from the Phoenix Earth Food Co-op, but the beans are not locally roasted.

Although it's hard to find around here, my favorite coffee bean is probably Scarlet Tanager, French Roast by Birds & Beans.

A little further away, Zingerman's roasts good coffee at their location near I-94. And in their coffee shop, when you order a cup of java, you also select the brewing method. If you like coffee, this is worth a visit. Their shop sells several types of coffee brewing devices.

About each month, Zingerman's offers a coffee brewing class. "We will take a single coffee and brew it 6 to 8 different ways, each producing a unique taste."

Maybe Actual Coffee and/or one of the local coffee shops can bring this type of coffee education to Toledo. (This area could definitely use more breaducation, but that's another story.)

At home, we like coffee brewed with a French press pot and the basic coffee machine. But our favorite way to brew coffee is with the AeroPress. When I was searching for a new brewing contraption, the Zingerman's baristas recommended this method. But it only produces one cup at a time.

Cold brewed coffee is a nice summer treat. For people who don't like coffee, I think they should try cold brewed. It tastes super smooth to me.

My favorite way to garnish coffee now is with a small amount of heavy whipping cream from Calder Dairy that I buy at the co-op.

I'm looking forward to trying Actual Coffee beans, but I'm not really a coffee fan, and I can quit drinking this beverage anytime I want.

posted by jr on Feb 05, 2013 at 05:41:44 pm     #   3 people liked this

jr congratulations you are their first board member! Ha!

I might have to check out the classes at Zingerman's.

posted by Molsonator on Feb 05, 2013 at 05:46:50 pm     #  

We stick with 8 O'clock coffee here, usually a blend of the regular and some vanilla mixed in. We grind it fresh every night before going to bed.

posted by Linecrosser on Feb 05, 2013 at 07:14:49 pm     #  

Epic, I wish I had a job just so I could buy in and help the guy out.

posted by OhioKimono on Feb 05, 2013 at 07:30:06 pm     #   1 person liked this

It is funny that this came up because I was just going to post asking if anyone knew of a good local roaster who was affordable. We are buying Madcap beans from Plate 21 but $17 for 120z of beans is kinda steep.

Keep meaning to check out both Georgettes and Flying Rhino, but haven't had a chance yet.

posted by Ace_Face on Feb 06, 2013 at 12:51:08 am     #  

We got spoiled by Torrefacto roast in Spain. That makes some smoooooooth cafe con leche, baby. The process for that roast pretty much ruins a roaster for anything else, so it's not something we've been able to easily find domestically, much less locally. But we do need a super-dark roast to mix it with, preferably something with no bitterness and little acidity.

Hope this guy's dream comes true! :-)

posted by gamegrrl on Feb 06, 2013 at 09:42:14 am     #  

The cheap ground coffee (both decaf and regular) from IKEA is surprisingly good. I mix it half and half with Peet's Major Dickason's Blend from the Fresh Market. Maybe I should recall my old coffee grinder (manual, German) to active duty.

The problem I face is one of moderation. I have one honkin' big cup in the a.m. and the same in mid-afternoon. It's hard to not waste coffee when I need relatively little for my fix. :(

posted by viola on Feb 06, 2013 at 10:26:04 am     #  

There is no life without coffee.

posted by holland on Feb 06, 2013 at 11:07:17 am     #   1 person liked this

According to its coffee package, local roaster Bea's Blend offers the following types:

  • Colombian Supremo
  • Honduran
  • Costa Rican
  • Hawaiian (Kona)
  • Kenyan
  • Sumatra/Decaf
  • Ethiopian
  • Guatemalan/Decaf
  • Salvadoran

"Bea's Blend Specialty Coffees - A Home Produced Product"

Located near Westgate. Sold at the Toledo Farmer's Market and maybe somewhere else too.

posted by jr on Feb 06, 2013 at 11:38:13 am     #  

Grounds for thought in BG sells their own roast in the coffee shop, you can also pick up some gently used books there. They also offer delivery of beans in the BG area.

posted by In_vin_veritas on Feb 06, 2013 at 11:51:11 am     #  

Mmmmmmmm...........Calder Dairy.......every one of their products I've had is outstanding.

posted by Foodie on Feb 06, 2013 at 12:23:13 pm     #  

jr, I adore my Aeropress. It seriously makes the best coffee that I have ever had.

I had a pourover cup at Bleak House the other day - I assume it was the Actual Coffee that I had. It was excellent.

posted by kaj on Feb 06, 2013 at 07:40:44 pm     #  

Yup they serve actual at bleak house!

posted by upso on Feb 06, 2013 at 08:36:20 pm     #  

I have been using the Clever Coffee Dripper to make coffee lately and have been very pleased. I have also been thinking about getting an Aeropress for the office because I have heard so many good things about them.

posted by Ace_Face on Feb 07, 2013 at 09:25:48 am     #   1 person liked this

^ nice! Thanks for the tip. I'm looking for a small-quantity method.

posted by viola on Feb 07, 2013 at 10:45:51 am     #  

gah, I hate living with a Maxwell House guy.

posted by nana on Feb 07, 2013 at 10:54:40 am     #   1 person liked this

A lot of my friends have switched over to Keurigs at home, I was temped to as well, but this thread me rethinking.

posted by SensorG on Feb 07, 2013 at 11:01:39 am     #  

We have a Keurig and it just sits on our counter taking up space. The coffee doesn't come out warm enough and gets cold quickly. We use our percolator the most for coffee.

posted by stooks on Feb 07, 2013 at 11:04:40 am     #  

No bells or whistles but it's a quality machine and brews great coffee. We love it.

posted by Foodie on Feb 07, 2013 at 11:16:34 am     #   2 people liked this

The key to well brewed coffee at home is the water temp. Most devices just don't deliver the water to the filter at a hot enough temp (200-205f); the following four SCAA Certified Home Brewers will:

Bunn HG Home Brewer
Bonavita 8 Cup Exceptional Brew Coffee Maker with glass or thermal carafe
Technivorm Moccamaster
Lance Larkin BE 112 Brew Express

posted by bam2 on Feb 07, 2013 at 02:17:20 pm     #   1 person liked this

Found these guys operating out of Bike Works in Sylvania. Info on the site is kind of sparse, but could be interesting.

posted by Ace_Face on Feb 07, 2013 at 03:35:43 pm     #  

"The key to well brewed coffee at home is the water temp. Most devices just don't deliver the water to the filter at a hot enough temp (200-205f);"

Obviously, it must depend upon the type of brewing device used, and maybe machines require a higher temp.

The AeroPress instructions (pdf file) recommend a water temp of 175 degrees F for dark roasts and 185 degrees for light roasts. Since we prefer dark roasts, we strive for the 175 degree temp by using a digital thermometer. Seems like a lot of fuss, especially when it makes only one cup at a time, but it's a nice, high quality treat.

posted by jr on Feb 07, 2013 at 04:32:00 pm     #  

I've concluded that having good freshly roasted beans, ground right before brewing, can overcome a lot. You can drive yourself crazy with all kinds of equipment, but the beans are most important. Mr. Coffee with good beans will always be better than Technivorm with inferior stuff.

posted by Ace_Face on Feb 07, 2013 at 04:45:38 pm     #   1 person liked this

Tried some today, must admit it's the best coffee I've had in a while. Even notches out Flying Joe for my favorite. :)

Wish I could give you more +'s holland.

posted by INeedCoffee on Feb 07, 2013 at 07:39:06 pm     #   1 person liked this

Swung by Flying Rhino today and had a nice chat with the owner. In addition to the coffee, they sell hand dipped chocolates that looked pretty good. I bought a bag of decaf and a bag of dark roast and looking forward to trying them both tomorrow. The chocolate covered pretzel never even made it home.

posted by Ace_Face on Feb 08, 2013 at 10:34:29 pm     #  

Checked for an update on Actual Coffee's fundraiser for a larger roaster.

  • 125 backers
  • $7,730 pledged of $15,000 goal
  • 10 days to go

Actual Coffee tweet, posted a short time ago:

If we can hit $8k tonight on the @kickstarter, I'll be as happy as a clam.

posted by jr on Feb 20, 2013 at 10:51:21 pm     #  

i really hope we can make this happen

posted by upso on Feb 20, 2013 at 11:16:13 pm     #  

.... bringing this back to the front page.

Lance (the guy behind Actual) has been roasting the best beans in town for a while now. You can sample his stuff at Bleak House Coffee downtown or right from his website. Simply the absolute best in town right now. The $25 level gets you coffee, and going up from there has nicer stuff at every level (I did the $75 myself and am considering going up to 300 due to the coffee delivery etc etc).

Please share the kickstarter link wherever you can (FB, the tweets etc) and let's get some incredible stuff brewing. :D

posted by endcycle on Feb 25, 2013 at 12:27:39 pm     #  

Bump. The goal is within reach! If you are on the fence and love coffee the $25 package is a pretty good deal.

posted by brainswell on Feb 27, 2013 at 02:20:28 pm     #  

OK, did my part...come on everyone!

posted by breeman on Feb 28, 2013 at 12:53:39 pm     #  

Their fundraiser experienced a good surge in the past few days.

  • 205 backers
  • $13,139 pledged of $15,000 goal
  • 68 hours to go

posted by jr on Feb 28, 2013 at 01:05:07 pm     #  

This thread just reminded me that I need to walk down to bleak house to get some beans. thanks! :D

posted by endcycle on Feb 28, 2013 at 02:07:38 pm     #  

I jumped in at the $25 level so I can get a pound of coffee. That isnt too much more than a pound of his stuff costs anyway. He is so close, I wonder if there is someone waiting in the wings to make up the shortfall if they are a few bucks shy. Seems a shame to get so close and have it fall through.

posted by Ace_Face on Feb 28, 2013 at 08:57:35 pm     #

Snapshot of fundraising activity. Enlarge image.

By Sun, Feb 24, the campaign raised a little over $8,000. Now it's at $13,470.

posted by jr on Feb 28, 2013 at 09:12:24 pm     #  

jr, my Aeropress came in the mail the other day but I've only made one cup with it so far. Looking on the interwebz, there are ton of different ways to use it. Any suggestions?

Tried both Flying Rhino and Georgettes recently and wasn't too crazy about either. I had a cup of Maddie and Bella's (roasted in Pburg) at Bleak House that was pretty good, so I bought a bag at Walt Churchill's in Maumee. I noticed they carried recently roasted (like within the last four days) Intelligentsia Coffee out of Chicago. Might check that out next.

Also, my Baratza grinder arrived today. I think I am starting to go around the bend on this coffee stuff...

posted by Ace_Face on Feb 28, 2013 at 09:35:13 pm     #  

how do we get this kid his last $1,700?

posted by upso on Feb 28, 2013 at 09:40:36 pm     #   2 people liked this

"Looking on the interwebz, there are ton of different ways to use it. Any suggestions?"

Here's a link that I saved last year, but I've not studied their methods.
These are the top 2 Aeropress methods from the 2012 World Aeropress Championships

These instructions are pretty close to what we do. The key differences are in the amount of coffee beans used and the water temp.
How to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee with an AeroPress

We follow the notes that I took from a Zingerman's coffee shop employee.

  • weigh 16 grams of whole beans and grind
  • invert cylinder on the plunger (as in the second link above)
  • add grounds to cylinder
  • then take 60 seconds to complete these steps:
    • fill 1/3 of cylinder with hot water (we use 175 degree water)
    • stir and then steep for approx 20 secs
    • slowly add more water, rotating cylinder while pouring water
    • fill cylinder to the top with water
  • add filter to top
  • add screen cover
  • invert cylinder to place in mug
  • press slowly
  • drink and enjoy

Some prefer water temps of 185 to 200 degrees. It might depend upon the type of bean roast. We like coffee beans that have descriptions like "dark roast, bold, intense."

16 grams of whole beans was suggested by the Zingerman's employee, but some recipes use more.

Since I like to do some baking, I use a digital scale to weigh my ingredients. If you don't have a digital scale, then measure out slightly less than 1/4 cup of whole beans.

The Aeropress is a simple contraption, but it's possible to generate a wide variety of tastes based upon the values of a few basic variables:

  • water temp
  • amount of beans
  • types of bean roasts
  • coarse grind or fine grind
  • steep time
  • stirring or not stirring

posted by jr on Mar 01, 2013 at 12:34:49 pm     #  

I love coffee, but what is way too much work for a guy at 6am without already havenít drunk a cup or two of coffee.

posted by SensorG on Mar 01, 2013 at 02:19:40 pm     #   1 person liked this

My early-morning low-energy method: use good beans, grind them myself on weekends/vacations, the rest of the time I use preground (which is heresy, I know!). I let a small amount of water build up inside the filter/grounds area, then stir to distribute water and pause the brew cycle. I don't let any water drip through to the glass carafe right away. After the wet grounds have formed a bit of a seal at the bottom of my paper filter (a minute or two), I restart the brew cycle (it's a $20 one-to-four-cup drip coffeemaker BTW). The resulting mug is tasty and full-bodied, from good beans of course.

But if I had time, I'll have what jr is having! :^)

posted by viola on Mar 01, 2013 at 03:32:45 pm     #  

looks like he's super close to hitting his kickstarter goal but there is less than 48 hours remaining!

posted by upso on Mar 01, 2013 at 03:44:10 pm     #  

Ok - now he needs a bit less. Let's do this - he's now only $759 away........

posted by Foodie on Mar 01, 2013 at 04:15:34 pm     #  

$354 to go....

posted by Ace_Face on Mar 01, 2013 at 10:07:50 pm     #  

$204 to go...

posted by GTVT on Mar 01, 2013 at 11:04:04 pm     #  

Ok. He's there. Now, let's have a few more pledges please in case anyone changes their mind or their CC doesn't go through.....

posted by Foodie on Mar 01, 2013 at 11:39:01 pm     #  


posted by GTVT on Mar 01, 2013 at 11:39:49 pm     #   1 person liked this

That's excellent! He seems like a righteous dude.

posted by gamegrrl on Mar 02, 2013 at 02:58:14 am     #  


posted by upso on Mar 02, 2013 at 03:07:22 am     #  

Nice job upso.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I had never heard of the Kickstarter program. Some research shows they've helped many worthwhile projects get off the ground.

posted by Foodie on Mar 02, 2013 at 06:05:31 am     #  

What,s the next step? Does he have a location and timeline?

posted by bobo on Mar 02, 2013 at 09:10:05 am     #  

he sent a thank you video to his supporters and from the sounds of it he's at his brother's wedding this afternoon. I shot him a message and will hopefully have some updates soon. as much of a go-getter as this kid is, I expect he'll be up & running in no time.

posted by upso on Mar 02, 2013 at 07:24:44 pm     #  

Nice of him to take a few minutes to do that. I'm sure the last few days have been upside down for him. Looks like his brother is having a large reception!

posted by Foodie on Mar 02, 2013 at 08:41:36 pm     #