Thursday, March 8, 2012

Adventures in Coffee Cupping at Roast, Inc.

A couple of weeks ago, David and I had the pleasure of joining a group of Nashville food bloggers for a coffee cupping event at Roast, Inc., a locally owned coffee roaster that hand selects their coffee from up to sixteen different countries. The owners of Roast, Inc., Brad and Lesa Wood, are slightly obsessed with their coffee. They can tell you where it was grown, who grew it, how and where it was processed, and precisely when it was brought into the US.

In addition to offering extraordinary coffee for purchase by the pound, Roast, Inc.'s coffeehouse, located at 4825 Trousdale Drive, prides itself as being Nashville's only single-cup brewer. Prior to this event I was really only aware of two single cup brewing methods: French press and Keurig. Turns out, there are many others, including:

                               Chemex                                                         Clever Coffee Dripper

  Aeropress                                                      Siphon pot

Each method yields a cup of coffee with subtle yet distinct characteristics, from the clean and crisp product of the Yama Siphon Pot to the full-bodied, full-flavored product of the Clever Coffee Dripper. My favorite methods were the siphon pot, mainly because I'm kind of a science nerd, and it's super cool, and the Clever because of its simplicity and ease of use.

Roast, Inc. also offers all of the typical espresso based drinks made on a hand-rebuilt Rancilio Millennium Two Group Machine.

I'm sure it was some combination of the exceptional quality of the coffee, Lesa's expertise in roasting and brewing, and the use of milk from Hatcher's Family Dairy, but the cappuccino I had at Roast, Inc. was hands down the best I have ever had.

I almost always add some sort of sweetener when I have a cappuccino or latte, but this was perfect all on its own: wonderfully bold with no hints of bitter or burnt flavors.

Another important note: Roast, Inc. uses only natural sweeteners and flavorings in their specialty coffee drinks, including maple syrup and agave nectar. They even make a Nutella latte with nothing but espresso, steamed milk, and Nutella. It was pretty amazing.

Of course this wouldn't have been a proper food blogger meetup without food. We had quite a spread, including a couple of types of quiche, scones, muffins, doughnuts, and my contribution, sausage and biscuits, with sausage from Peaceful Pastures and biscuits made with buttermilk from Hatcher's Family Dairy (and lard from Peaceful Pastures). I'll be sharing my recipe for biscuits in an upcoming post.

I also had the opportunity to get to know a couple of my fellow Nashville food bloggers a little better, particularly Angela from Spinach Tiger (pictured below) and Lisa from Wine with Lisa. During the event we discovered that we all live in the same area, and that Angela and I actually live in the same neighborhood. It was great to meet you ladies, and I look forward to seeing you again soon!

For anyone in Nashville looking for exceptional coffee by the pound, I highly recommend stopping by Roast, Inc. In addition to coffee by the pound and fresh brewed coffee and espresso, they also carry a full line of single-cup brewing gadgets for your home collection, including Chemex, Clever, Aeropress, and siphon pots. If you're a novice coffee brewer like me, be sure to ask for advice on which methods work best for which coffees. They will be more than happy to help you recreate the perfect cup of coffee at home. Thanks again to Brad, Lesa, and Tim for coming in on their day off to share the passion for great coffee with our group!


  1. Very nice and thank you for including me. I have yet to write my post, because I have been so sick and not able to concentrate. But I will do it soon and also link back to you. As soon as I'm feeling better I would love us to do a casual something something and I'm looking forward to your cheesecake.

  2. lovely article, i love coffee!!!!!

    Happy to follow you!!!! do stop by mine!!!!
    Good Food Recipes

  3. This was such a fun event, and I'm glad I got to meet you!