The coffee roaster at NoFo Roasting Co. (Credit: Jenilee morris)
At the entrance of North Fork Roasting Co in Southold, the intoxicating smell of coffee fills the foyer. The origin of the aroma is not the burlap sacks of raw coffee beans or a brewing pot of drip coffee, but from the enormous new roaster, which hums in the corner.
The 25-year-old machine, which co-owner Jennilee Morris purchased six years ago, allows customers to catch a glimpse of the coffee-making process and see firsthand how their cup of java is made.
“We just moved it to the shop three weeks ago,” said Morris. “I’d been roasting out of my garage for years, so it’s nice to have it in a place where the community can enjoy it, too.”
Morris says the roasting process is of utmost importance, as it allows coffee makers to control the flavor and quality of their brews.
“Having the roaster here allows us to have full control over our product, from the raw state to the beverage being served,” said Morris. “We source coffees from all over the world, so what we decide is what variety of coffee tastes best at what degree.”
What most people don’t know that different variations of coffee have optimal degrees at which they should be roasted. For example, Sumatra coffee has more moisture, so it can withstand a darker roast, whereas some variations lack a suitable moisture content and will burn at high temperatures.
“We have a great Ethiopian Sidamo coffee that’s full of blueberry flavor,” says Morris. “Roasting it at the right temperature is a great way to recognize what coffee is capable of.”
Morris says she hopes showcasing the machine will help educate people about the process while allowing them to see the care that is taken in producing every batch.
“It’s exciting. It’s like seeing how your beer is brewed or how your wine is made,” said Morris. “It’s just another way to learn more about what you’re consuming.”
Jenilee Morris operates the roaster. (Credit: Kendall Stark)