Did you know there is a great local coffee roaster located right here in North Raleigh? It’s called Raleigh Coffee Company and they are creating some excellent coffee roasts and making a big impact on the local coffee community here in the Triangle. I first tried their coffee this past winter through the Raleigh Coffee Club and have since become a big fan of their roasts. Overtime I started following them on their social media feeds through twitter and facebook and grew to appreciate how they both support the local community and strive to educate the consumer about coffee in a friendly and approachable way.
Raleigh Coffee Company’s roasting facility is tucked away in very cool nook behind the retail space of North Raleigh Meat House in the Quail Corners shopping center along Falls of Neuse Road. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to stop by their headquarters and talk to Raleigh Coffee Company founder and owner Joe Bland. I went there hoping to learn more about the coffee he is roasting and his mission to bring great coffee to the community and foster the local coffee culture in the Triangle. I left there with my head filled with new coffee knowledge and feeling inspired by what this company represents.
Joe started Raleigh Coffee Company back in 2012 after spending years home roasting and tweaking coffee profiles in his spare time. He initially sold his coffee through an online store, but as his customer base grew he obtained the space at the Meat House to roast out of to increase production to meet the increased demand. Since then he has already started selling his coffee at various retail locations and restaurants & cafes throughout the Triangle.
It was great to hang out in this space surrounded by all the coffee equipment and get a better understanding of how a small local roaster operates. Joe was great and took time to explain to me the process he goes through to obtain quality beans and the nuances of working with the coffee roaster to get the timing and temperature just right to develop the desired flavor profile. But making great coffee is just part of the mission.
On the morning I stopped by Joe was roasting up some Ethiopia Yirgacheffe. This coffee can be described as complex with fruity notes. It is naturally processed coffee. Naturally processed coffees typically have heavier mouthfeel, lower acidity levels and intense, exotic flavor profiles. He also had some Tanzania coffee he had roasted the day before. The Tanzania is a bolder earthy coffee that makes a great espresso with bright notes of lemon and dark chocolate making for what Joe described as a multi-layered orange, lemon, and chocolate espresso shot.
Joe used some of these beans to create a pour over coffee as well as shots of espresso to demonstrate how the different methods highlighted the coffee differently. He also gave me a sample of the beans to experiment with at home and I made some incredible iced coffee with the Yirgacheffe using my AeroPress. In addition to the Tanzania and Yirgacheffee, Raleigh Coffee Company also roast coffee from Costa Rica, Guatemala, and even offers a Honduras decaf.
Raleigh Coffee Company is also very active in the community and spearhead different “Bean Projects” throughout the year. These projects are initiative designed to generate support for charitable causes through funding for inspiring ideas and needs locally, nationally, and globally.
In February Raleigh Coffee Company teamed up with Love Wins Ministries for a Valentines Day coffee and coffee bag special. $5 from each bag went to benefit the homelessness in Raleigh. This past June, Joe and his friends created Team RCC – a team of 20 athletes that competed in the Ironman Raleigh 70.3 triathlon. The team used the event to help raise money for the “We Build People” campaign for the Triangle YMCA to help fund scholarships, for kids of all ages, to attend a multi-sport summer camp.
There are also two future projects planned for later this year. This Fall Raleigh Coffee Company will serve coffee alongside some greatest local chefs in Raleigh at the American Cancer Society’s “Raleigh Roundup” event on October 19th at Marbles Museum. Then this winter they will have a Christmas Bean Project. A big initiative to help raise money for Help One Now. The funds will go towards a playground for a community in Haiti.
I truly enjoy the Triangle’s great local coffee scene and feel fortunate to have a great local roaster in our community like the one Joe has created with Raleigh Coffee Company. I highly recommend you pick up a bag of their beans or stop by one of the local cafes & restaurants serving their coffee and give it a try.
You can currently find Raleigh Coffee Company coffee being served at the Undergrounds Café in the NC Museum of History in downtown Raleigh, Grounds in downtown Cary, the Cowfish restaurant in North Hills, and the Village Deli in Wake Forest. Bags of their coffee beans can be purchased at The Meat House in Raleigh and Cary.
For more pictures from my visit my Raleigh Coffee Company check out my flickr photo album.