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I met Chris Curtis online on Twitter, where he was promoting his coffee roasting business. He said that his company roasts on demand, because they want to ensure the best and the freshest coffee on the market. I got some coffee beans from him, and I absolutely loved them.
Chris’s company, Blue Ridge Coffee Crafters is based in Charlottesville, Virginia, but they ship coffee everywhere in North America. They have some of my favorite beans, which made me curious to try them. They roast Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Brazilian Cerrado, Sumatra, and a pleasant surprise for me, their Colombian Supremo, which I didn’t try before.
What I liked about Blue Ridge Coffee Crafters is, beyond the professionalism, and the fast order processing, is the level of accuracy while treating your order. Every order is customized for your needs. You can choose one of their standard roasts, while ordering online: Dark, Full City, or Medium. You can, however, ask them to tweak your roast to a finer degree. My order was a Colombian Supremo Organic roasted to a medium roast of 430 deg F. The result was a medium-light full flavored roast.
I used these beans for my cold brew, and I had the perfect cold coffee. You know cold brew, sometimes is just bland, no excitement for the taste buds. Or it can have a smoke like taste if you use a dark roast. Not with the Colombian beans from Blue Ridge Coffee Crafters. It was the perfect roast, as I wanted it.
Funny story with espresso… My daughter pulled an espresso, without asking me anything about the beans she was using for espresso. Then she complained her shot didn’t have enough crema, and it didn’t taste quite good. I checked her settings, and discovered she didn’t know how to adjust the grind size for a light roast. Once I adjusted it for her to a finer grind, the shot was amazing. I had to pull one for me as well, although it was late in the afternoon. I wasn’t going to use that Colombian for espresso, but after I tried it, I was hooked on.
Blue Ridge Coffee Crafters is looking to grow, and their objective is to reach to those who wish to have their personal coffee roaster. Their equipment allows them to roast to order from 1 lb to 8 lbs per roast, and the roasting equipment is very precise, with accuracy of .25 of a degree. Beyond technology, you still need a good roaster with experience, which is their case. When I spoke to Chris he wanted to point that they never allow the oils to extrude out from the beans during roasting, because it changes the bean’s chemistry and it negatively affects the taste and overall flavor. I replied that this is a personal taste, and many people love darker, shiny beans. Chris’s answer was that he can roast whatever the client wants at the end of the day, but his duty is to do his best to educate coffee lovers to get better coffee.
If you want to chat with Chris, you can find him on Twitter. He is an awesome guy, and you’ll love his coffee.