On a morning so cold you could see your breath in Fairhope, AL, our bloggers group, Southern Bloggers Jubilee warmed up to a steaming cup of coffee during our January meeting. So, you may say… did the rest of the world. Not really. You see, our coffee beans were freshly roasted, ground and brewed just for us. Our tour of the brand new, Fairhope Roasting Company, was one of our most fun meetings, yet.
We were greeted by owner, Hanson Eskridge and marketing specialist, Mackenzie Chandler. It was a true southern welcome with fresh flowers, breakfast and the smell of freshly brewed coffee. We gathered in their very colorful and welcoming conference room, with mugs that warmed our hands, and settled in to hear the story of how it all came to be. Hanson shared the story of how a little PROBAT roaster came to live in Fairhope, AL.
After attending the University of AL, Hanson Eskridge was given the opportunity to move to Minnesota and took it. It was there that he got involved with the coffee roasting business. Beginning in the warehouse of Bull Run Roasting Company, Hanson soon learned the roasting business from the inside out and returned home to Fairhope in May 2013. With the dream of someday owning his own roasting company, he began roasting out of his garage. In October, after passing the health inspection and acquiring financial backing, a 25 lb. capacity roaster moved to 361A Commercial Park Drive. The doors were opened and they began roasting pure, 100% Arabica beans.
After our introduction to the company by Hanson, we were delighted with a demonstration of the coffee roaster. PROBAT has been the leading coffee roaster for generations beginning in 1888 in Emmerich, Germany. It’s nice to know that only the very best is used here in Fairhope. Hanson explained that coffee is really a seed and before it’s roasted, it is a light green color. It grows in high elevation and at this writing the only place that it grows in the US is Hawaii. One of our bloggers has heard that it will soon be grown in high elevations of California, but it is imported mostly from tropical environments in Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa.
Author and Swim Team Blogger, Karyn Tunks listens as Hanson explains the different temperatures of the roasting process.
Call me silly if you want, but this little tool soon became my favorite part of the demonstration. The tester is removed at different temperatures to test the color of the beans.
Our beans were removed at about 480 degrees.
Oh, how I wish we had scratch n sniff for you about now! I’ve heard a lot of people over the years say that they love the smell of brewing coffee, but this… is more divine than I can express in words.
Cooled and ready for grinding or bagging. Hanson gave each of us a choice of a bag of ground or whole beans of the coffee we witnessed being roasted. It just doesn’t get much better than this, folks!
Their coffees can currently be found in local stores such as Greers, The Garage, Rae’s Kitchen, Fresh Market and at B & B Pecan they also sell Toasted Pecan flavored coffee. If you live outside of our local area (bless your heart), you can still have it shipped to you within just a few days of the roasting. Contact them at:
Fairhope Roasting Company
And, like them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fairhoperoastingcompany