Spotlight on George Howell Coffee
Our house roaster, George Howell Coffee, continues to impress with consistency and quality in their roasting. George Howell has built close relationships with coffee farmers around the world and they work closely with the farmers to produce consistently high-quality beans. Delicate inspection and a very careful roasting technique on the part of the George Howell staff leads to the perfect coffee we proudly serve here at Ride Studio Cafe. We visited the roasting facility in Acton, MA to take a closer look at the process.
Past countless rows of corn and vacant fields along Route 2 in Acton, one finds the small town road that leads to the George Howell roastery. The building’s nondescript warehouse exterior might fool visitors at first, but inside is a state of the art roasting facility equipped with the best available brewing devices for taste testing and quality control.
The coffee beans are frozen at a separate facility directly from the farms in order to preserve the freshness of the coffee and to keep the beans at just the right level of maturity required for roasting. The beans will stay fresh in this state until they are pulled off the shelf to be roasted. The coffee is roasted daily in batches to make certain that it is consumed at its peak of perfection.
At George Howell, roaster Matt takes a precise scientific approach to his work. Using specially designed computer software he charts the roasting process as it is happening in order to track the air temperature inside the drum and adjust the roasting time. The roasting process is so sensitive that mere seconds can completely change the flavor of the end product, so Matt’s attention to detail during roasting and the entire staff’s quality control afterwards are to thank for the consistency in George Howell coffee.
The roasting facility is home to two different industrial sized coffee roasters. One machine is lovingly referred to as their “Rolls-Royce.” This vintage German machine is larger in size and is mainly reserved for their smaller batches. Another new and sleeker machine (referred to as their “Prius”) is used for larger batches of their most widely used coffees such as the Alchemy espresso.
After the coffee beans are roasted, they are immediately cooled to ensure that they stop roasting at the intended point. Then, each batch is tested for quality control. A professional cafe setup at the roastery allows the staff to test the coffee on the best equipment available.
Currently here are Ride Studio Cafe we are serving George Howell drip. Right now on the pourover bar we have the Colombian La Piramide, a delightful coffee with rich notes of honey, cherry, and a touch of wintergreen. Up next is the Kenyan Mamuto, a terroir coffee with notes of blackberry, plum, and licorice.
We are thrilled to have had the chance to learn more about the roasting process at George Howell Coffee and look forward to continuing to serve their top quality product with our customers here at the Cafe.