Ross Street Roasting Co., June 2016

This month we are excited to be working with Ross Street Roasting Co. from Tama & Toledo, Iowa.  We heard about these guys from our close friend and fellow coffee blogger Steve, who blogs regularly on his site, KC Coffee Geek.  Steve recommended we check out Ross Street and so we thought we would also let him recommend the coffee that we offered our subscribers as well.  Steve was kind enough to oblige and even introduce our roaster this month on the blog.  Take it away Steve!  

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Tama & Toledo… A bustling metropolis of 2,300 in the heart of Iowa. Located in Tama County, which is best known to locals as the home of the Meskwaki/Sac & Fox tribe and their wonderful casino, it’s also the location of one of the Midwest’s up-and-coming specialty coffee roasters.

When Brian Gumm, owner of Ross Street Roasting Co. in Tama-Toledo, IA reached out to me to send me coffee to review on KC Coffee Geek I was excited. I only knew Tama and Toledo as the place my older brother and his pals would go once in a while when we were in college to lose money! I’m sure a lot of “third wave” coffee folks would assume that rural Iowa is not a place to find good coffee, but if there’s one thing that operating KC Coffee Geek has taught me over the past year or two it’s that I should never, ever judge a book by its cover.

I ended up really enjoying both coffees Brian sent me on that first run in late October 2015. In fact, I liked his Finca Idealista honey process from Nicaragua so much that I bought two bags from him right before Thanksgiving because I knew it’d be a crowd-pleaser for my family and it would work well in my parents’ Mr. Coffee machine. So, yes, I bought coffee when I had 20+ bags of coffee in my kitchen that I was reviewing. That means something, doesn’t it?!

Brian takes his roasting seriously. He sources good beans and uses an Artisan 6M roaster and Roastmaster software to get consistent roasts out of his coffees. The Artisan is a fluid-bed roaster, meaning it uses air convection to roast and coupled with good software and capable roasting skills like Brian’s, it’s a great way to coax out both sweetness and brightness from coffee.

A few months ago I put Brian in touch with My Coffee Pub and they decided to collaborate on this month’s coffee. I had the burden (LOL) of testing four coffees from Ross Street Roasting Co. and I ended up selecting the Guatemala you received in this month’s subscription. Next week we’ll take a close look at the coffee itself and I’ll share my tasting notes with you, so stay tuned!