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The SanFranRoaster Blog......

How the San Franciscan Roasters Company Stands Apart From the Rest

Posted by The San Franciscan Roaster Co.

Thu, May, 17, 2018 @ 12:05 PM

Coffee roasting is a meticulously detailed process. Converting green coffee into a delicious roast takes time and precision but most importantly, it requires complete control. As with most things in this modern age, coffee roasting machines have gone on to become more automatic, more computerized in order to produce coffees at a faster pace. But coffee roasting is an art form that benefits from complete, personal control. Coffee roasters are the engines that propel any coffee shop forward. Make sure yours is built to last. The San Franciscan Roaster Company believes in the intrinsic value of handmade machines. Not only are our machines designed and built to last a lifetime, they are also incredibly beautiful. Each roastmaster should feel proud of their roaster, from how it works to how it looks. The San Franciscan Roaster Company can provide this and much more!

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Topics: SF25, coffee roaster, commercial coffee roaster, roaster, tradition, legacy, sf1, who we are, SF75, SF6

Roaster Profile: Bootstrap Coffee Roaster

Posted by Emily McIntrye

Sat, Jun, 21, 2014 @ 13:06 PM

Like many coffee professionals, Micah Svejda didn't set out to dedicate his life to the elusive bean. Nor, years ago in a philosophy program in St. Louis, Missouri, could he forsee roasting on a red San Franciscan coffee roaster in the stately city of St. Paul. "I took a job at Kaldi's Coffee to supplement my income as a teaching assistant," says Svejda, who'd put in years behind the bar in chains like Caribou and Dunn Bros., "and the truth is that I fell in love with coffee and out of love with academia."
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Topics: roaster profile, coffee roaster, commercial coffee roaster, roaster, Successful business, Local, SF6

Roaster Profile: Harbor Perk

Posted by Emily McIntrye

Sat, Mar, 01, 2014 @ 07:03 AM

The story of San Franciscan owner Harbor Perk Coffeehouse and Roasting Company starts like that of many who fell in love with coffee and coffee roasting: Kelly Sposito was unhappily employed in a downtown Cleveland law firm when her husband Jake bought a coffeehouse in Ashtabula, Ohio in 2006. Over the next few years, Jake did a lot of research on coffee roasters, and in 2009 Harbor Perk Coffee moved to its current 100-year-old location where Steve the SF6 creates conversation and where Ryan Sposito, Jake’s younger brother, roasts daily in the busy season.
 
The Spositos are a big Italian family, and Kelly jokes “My husband and Ryan have a natural palate for food and beverages, while I’m a wino.” Working with the highly supportive staff at Royal, and doing their best to educate their clientele gently, they’ve enjoyed exploring many of the single origin and micro lot coffees available. Ryan says, “I tend to like like Africans, especially Yirgecheffes, and I get down with Sumatra as well. Our customers appreciate us selling Fair Trade coffees, and we get a kick out creating fun blends to sell around Ashtabula.”
 
Things for the Spositos were going well until Jake was diagnosed with brain cancer. Kelly says, “Ryan was in college. When Jake got sick, he came home and we taught him to roast so he could take over.” The very communal nature of coffee which they love so much was one of the hardest aspects of dealing with Jake’s illness. “Since Ashtabula is such a small town, everyone knows us and witnessed it from beginning to end. Can you imagine being stuck behind a roaster for 8 hours a day and having to talk about cancer the whole time? But the whole experience really brought our customers and us together as a family.” Jake passed away in August, and Kelly and Ryan carry on his passion at Harbor Perk with a sense of humor and a lot of hard work.
 
Being the only high-end roaster in Ashtabula gives Harbor Perk a unique position in town, and Ohio’s weather cycles make for a different busy season than other roasters—the summer is hopping for Harbor Perk, while the extreme cold of the winter keeps people in their houses (and not buying coffee.) Customers include a lot of Kent State students, and Kelly says, “We let people do whatever they want as long it’s not too crazy.” In the summer Ashtabula has become a tourist destination, which the Spositos enjoy. Business is going well.
 
As many San Franciscan customers acknowledge, care and maintenance of their roasters is easier vs. other makes--but it's still a lot of work! “We take very good care of Steve,” says Kelly. Given his residence in an old building, cleaning the flue is a bit more complicated than usual: the lucky cleaner has to crawl up an elevator shaft, take the entire flue apart, and climb out onto the roof to finish the job. Still, the onerous task has become a bit of a coffeehouse event, with friends helping by bringing along various kinds of equipment to aid the process and cheer it along.
 
With a lot of bravery and a warm sense of community, Kelly and Ryan are moving forward, and one thing is certain: Ashtabula’s got a good thing going in Harbor Perk! 
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Topics: roaster profile, coffee roaster, roaster, Successful business, SF6, ohio

Roaster Profile Series: Espresso Elevado

Posted by Emily McIntrye

Sat, Dec, 21, 2013 @ 07:12 AM

Teresa Pilarz’ coffee roasting company and coffeehouse, Espresso Elevado, opened its doors in March 2011, using a San Franciscan SF1 coffee roaster to get started. In a suburb strategically located between Detroit and Ann Arbor, Elevado is the first quality-focused coffeehouse in the area and, says Pilarz, offers a unique take on coffee with a culinary approach. 
Like many coffee people, Teresa Pilarz has a widely varied background—at one point she taught Spanish, as well as worked in business for years. But through all the jobs she held, her first coffee job during the early 90’s stuck with her. She dreamed of starting her own shop and, being Teresa, started putting action to her dreams by taking classes in coffee, meeting coffee people, and teaching herself the basics of coffee roasting. 
“Our customers have really embraced what we do—whether roasting our own beans to doing our own mixology to crafting our own syrups. One of the things I value in business is innovation and not copying anyone else,” she says, and one of the ways Pilarz and her Elevado team distinguish themselves is by putting together their own syrups using spices, herbs, and simple syrups. The syrups can get rather involved—their holiday Gingersnap syrup has around ten ingredients!
A SCAA Certified Lead Instructor and BGA Level 1 Barista, Pilarz now roasts on a SF6, which she says is “Super easy to clean and maintain, and a real craftsperson’s roaster. Since you don’t have the benefit of digital data logging, it forces you to understand every aspect of your roasting process. We log our own data and use our senses when roasting.” Originally looking for a 1 lb roaster, Pilarz shopped around for a while before settling on San Franciscan and flying to Fallon for further roaster training on her SF1. She says that Bill’s background in artisan roasting played into her decision as well as how helpful he was and the ongoing support he promised. 
Pilarz’ enthusiasm for what she does is undeniable. Look out, Michigan! Here she comes!
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Topics: roaster profile, roaster, SF6, woman roaster

Roaster Profile Series: Little Red Wagon

Posted by Emily McIntrye

Fri, Dec, 13, 2013 @ 11:12 AM

In our first San Franciscan Roaster Series post, we introduce Natalie Van Dusen of Little Red Wagon Coffee! Natalie is a vivacious world traveler who first discovered specialty coffee in 2008 while on a motorcycle trip through South America, when she visited a coffee farm in Colombia and learned to roast on the farmer’s stovetop. She brought some green beans back to San Francisco with her and has been roasting ever since, with a popcorn popper, then a small home drum roaster, then most recently with a San Franciscan 6-pound coffee roaster. She’s visited coffee farms and roasted coffee with farmers in Hawaii, Costa Rica, Panama, Indonesia, and Laos.
 
Natalie is one of three partners who formed Little Red Wagon Coffee in Bozeman, MT, in August 2013. All three moved in the last few years to the lovely mountain views and clear air of Bozeman. (Whitney Metzger is also from San Francisco and Kelly Meredith from North Carolina.) “We’re obsessed with coffee at every step,” admits Natalie, who will be visiting the Managua region of Nicaragua in a week to form direct trade relationships with farmers in the area.
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Topics: roaster profile, roaster, SF6, woman roaster