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The SanFranRoaster Blog......

Roaster Profile: Case Study Coffee

Posted by Emily McIntrye

Mon, May, 26, 2014 @ 12:05 PM

In her mild demeanor and her obvious passion for coffee and community, Christine Herman Rusell embodies the qualities of Case Study Coffee that have seen the business grow from a single espresso cart in 2005 to a soon-to-be three-location coffee establishment in Portland, Oregon. She looks around the spacious downtown location, at the tables full of students chatting and business-people glaring at their laptops, and says, "I just try to choose great coffee and not mess it up, so I can make my baristas' lives easy."
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Topics: roaster profile, coffee roaster, roaster, Successful business, sf1, woman roaster

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