Saturday, October 23, 2010

Coffee College? I'm going to Jones Coffee Roasters, Pasadena CA

Nestled in a warehouse at 693 S. Raymond Ave (back entrance off Edmondson alley) rests a artisanal coffee lover's dream come true.   The family Jones Coffee Roasters is just that.  In 1994 a passionate family started the wholesale roasting biz (family owns 100 year old coffee farm, Finca Dos Marias in Guatemala) then added a retail sales and hippy-dippy cool hang out for caffeine addicts (connoisseurs) like me.

green coffee beans
The flagship green beans come from the family coffee farm in Guatemala (yes, they have escorted tours) and other sustainable farms around the world.   I was there when Rafael Batiz was roasting 21 pounds of Columbian Decaf.    After tumbling in the roaster 15-18 minutes he pulls a small sample of roasted beans to smell the aroma and check the bean color.  Too long in the roaster, the beans are burnt and bitter.

Rafael Batiz smells the sample beans
It takes experience to know when to release the hopper of perfectly roasted coffee beans. The aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans is a sensual experience and envelopes the entire warehouse.  Ahhhhh......

Rafael Batiz releases the roasted coffee to cool 
Jones Coffee Roasters is open 7 days a week, all coffee drinks made to order, even decaf drip.  Pastries and Friday tamales are good.  Plenty of spots to sip, talk, hang out, open mike and art shows rotate.   Retail bean bar offering 25+ coffee varieties from high to low acid, dark to medium roast, blends and flavor complexity a-go-go.   They have it all and want to educate the art of roasting, brewing and pleasures of drinking handcrafted, top shelf coffee.   There is also a choice of tea for you T-total-lers.   Baristas are really nice and knowledgeable.   Not the corporate *$'s vibe and crappy java.   So delightful, refreshing and fun.

Coffee brewing devices for sale along with my favorite Chemex Classic drip.   They offer Coffee College aka workshops in basic brewing, cupping (proper coffee tasting), and fancier barista artistic blending.

coffee bean sales bar
I introduced myself to one of the owners, Larry Jones.   He gave me the tour, showed me the cool neon hotel sign and I felt right at home (even though it's a 25 minute drive from my home).   Jones Coffee Roasters is worth the time and gas for the perfect cup of Joe.........I mean Jones!

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