1. How long has Third Coast Coffee been in business?
Joe Lozano began roasting coffee in 1994 and opened Los Armadillos Coffee. Most of his working life had been in restaurants and kitchens so when the opportunity to roast coffee came up, he thought it wouldn’t be so hard to do with the experience he had. That didn’t turn out to be so true, but after much trial and error, he had the opportunity to buy Third Coast Coffee in 2008. We’ve been fine tuning our roasts and expanding every year since.
2. What practices set you apart from others?
We’re an artisan roaster because roasting coffee is an art. Third Coast only roasts coffee to order so you’re guaranteed a fresh cup of with every bag. We control each roast by hand, eye, and nose. Our roasting machines are lovingly maintained 12 kilo drum roasters and we follow rigorous protocol, including set batch sizes for all roasts that guarantees the results we seek. We are part of the world’s only coffee buying cooperative that has 21 roaster members spread throughout the United States and Canada. Our members are committed to sourcing sustainably grown coffees and partner closely with the farmers who grow it. By importing directly from the farmers, the co-op does business in a way that creates a fairer, more transparent and sustainable system of coffee trade that directly benefits the farmers, and their families and communities.
3. How do you source your beans and from where?
As a founding member of Cooperative Coffees, Third Coast Coffee directly imports coffee from small farmer cooperatives throughout Central and South America, Asia, Africa, and Indonesia. We make year long commitments for our green coffee to ensure reliable and steady supply of the many varieties that we offer. We always want to make sure the farmers are effectively rewarded for their efforts. We also want to respect their hard work by crafting the finest roasts possible, extending that dialogue to include coffee drinker, roaster, and grower. Cooperative Coffees goal is to make coffee growing a sustainable and beneficial endeavor for families and their communities. We understand the basic needs of our trading partners and facilitate access to specific expertise to help small scale farmers improve their production capabilities and meet their basic needs. We measure the impact of our relationships not only economically, but also in terms of overall quality of life for our partners and their communities.
4. What are some of your favorite things/departments at Wheatsville?
The donuts! We’re (mostly) kidding. I think we can all agree that love that Wheatsville is a co-op. We know how important is for coops to work with other coops and we’re honored to work so closely with you!
5. Do you have a favorite/cool tips or recipe?
Tip: We always recommend 2 tablespoons of coffee to 6oz of water for any coffee brewer.
For a sweet treat, try
Jes’ Vegan Chocolate Espresso Muffins
3/4 c all purpose flour (or sub oat flour for GF option)
1/3 c brewed Third Coast Coffee espresso
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 c coconut sugar
3 T maple syrup
1 T vinegar
2 T vegetable oil (or melted coconut oil)
1 heaping teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin tin with liners.
2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, coconut sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a medium sized bowl and whisk until well combined.
3. In a separate small bowl, mix together espresso, vinegar, maple
syrup, and oil.
4. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until just combined.
5. Pour batter into the muffin tin filling them about 2/3 of the way.
6. Bake for 15 - 18 min. or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
7. Remove from oven, let cool completely. Top with melted vegan
chocolate mixed with coffee and sliced almonds if desired.
6. Do you have anything new in the works?
We recently acquired our first micro-lot coffee from Peru. Señor Vasquez owns a 4 hectare farm where he carefully looks after his coffee trees, keeps bees for pollination and tries to harvest the ripe coffee cherries when the moon is full. He oversees the fermentation and initial drying process on his own plot before taking them for final processing. We’re going to be buying more specialty coffees from other micro-lot farms in other countries where we source our beans.
If there is anything additional that you would like to share...
At the end of October, Joe will be traveling to Honduras for a soil symposium. Producer partners and roaster partners will meet to combat the Roya fungus, which has been slowly killing crops across the coffee plane. Roya is an airborne fungus that essentially stops the photosynthesis process of the trees and cannot be treated without the use of chemicals and pesticides. This trip to Honduras will test different ways of managing soil, experimenting with seedlings, and trying to combat Roya while still remaining organic. Joe makes several origin trips each year and has visited all of our producer partners over time. Last year he traveled to Sumatra and Colombia while Logan, another roaster has been to visit our Mexico and Guatemala partners.