Truthfully, I’ve always been as much of a fan of the scent produced from roasting, grinding, and brewing coffee as I have of drinking it. Revolution Roasters, which shares a space and provides coffee to Café Ipe in Leucadia, takes all of those sensory experiences to another level.
Stop in on a Saturday morning when owner Dan Scheibe is roasting beans and you will get an up-close look at the process and be completely overwhelmed by the wonderful aromas. I’d also highly suggest picking up one of the brown paper bags he packages his beans in and give it a good whiff, yes, go ahead, smell the bag, it’s amazing. Then order up a cup from Café Ipe as it tastes pretty darn good too.
I sat down with Dan recently to learn more about how this venture came to be and his roasting process.
You grew up in Brazil and Encinitas, do you have early memories of coffee in your life?
In Brazil, when I was a kid, my first experience with coffee was watching my parents and their friends always have a cafezinho after dinner. A cafezinho is a small but very strong cup of coffee, loaded with sugar. It was really tasty and I was always trying sneak sips while my parents were not looking. Later in life, I was turned on to espresso by a friend of mine, Joe Burdo, who introduced me to home roasting coffee beans and making espresso from them. I was really drawn to the process of making the coffee from scratch and the prospect of having freshly roasted coffee.
Was there a moment in your life that awakened your coffee senses and took them to a new level?
I had been home roasting beans for a little while when I went on a trip to British Columbia in 2007 where I met Richard Haverkamp, owner of Backyard Beans in Summerland, BC. I walked into a barn in his back yard, just as he was dropping a batch of dark roasted beans into the cooling tray of his vintage 1979 Probat L12 roaster. After that experience, I decided I would take the time to learn all I could about coffee roasting and how coffee gets from farm to cup.
Roasting coffee is an art, did you have a mentor or were you self-taught??
My friend Richard Haverkamp was a real inspiration in getting me started. I really credit him with giving me the tools I needed to proceed forward with my vision. After that I am largely self-taught. I literally decided to purchase a coffee roaster from a roastery in Maine and figured out the details of roasting on my own.
From what I’ve heard, the actual coffee roasting machine used to roast beans plays an important part in the process, tell me about your roaster.
Yes, that is right. The coffee roaster used to roast the coffee has a huge effect on the coffee being roasted. I believe Probat, a German manufacturer of coffee roasting machines, makes the best quality batch coffee roaster on the market. Our machine is a Probat L12. The advantage of this machine is that it provides superior control and even heat transfer to the coffee, allowing the roaster to coax the best possible flavor from each coffee that is roasted.
I take pride in the fact that there is no automation on my roaster. This means I have to rely on all my senses to accomplish a proper roast. As a result, all of the coffees roasted have a distinct finger print that differentiates our coffees from all others.
If I were to introduce a friend to Revolution Roasters who is more of a mainstream coffee consumer, what blends would you suggest starting them off with?
The act of drinking coffee goes way beyond providing fuel for your brain. It is quite literally an indispensable part of a person’s daily routine. The wonderful thing about coffee is that there is no limit to how detailed you want to be about your own coffee experience.
We pride ourselves in educating consumers about the options they have no matter what kind of coffee they like to drink. By doing this, remove the intimidation aspect. We encourage them to smell and taste the coffee and evaluate the experience based on what their senses tell them. We offer a limited variety of blends and single origin coffees, so the consumer doesn’t get overwhelmed.
In this process, we don’t tell the consumer what is the correct way to enjoy coffee, but rather we challenge them to explore the options and empower them to make an informed decision.
Revolution Roasters is located inside Café Ipe at 970 N. Coast Highway 101, Leucadia. ?Shop hours are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Find them online at revoroasters.com.