Ithaca, N.Y. — Ithaca Coffee Company debuted new coffee roasts to the public yesterday at its annual open house. Dozens gathered at their Hancock St. roasting facility to learn more about the coffee making process from start to finish.
“We’ve got a lot of neighbors in the area,” said ICC Manager Chris Ganger. “There’s a definite smell associated with roasting coffee beans and I think that the average person finds it really invigorating and pleasant. In the event that people are thinking, ‘What is that smell I keep smelling?’ They get a chance to come in and see where it’s coming from, taste where it’s coming from, and see the value to it.”
Ganger, an 11-year veteran of ICC, looks forward to these open houses as a chance to show the community that premium-coffee making goes on right in their Northside neighborhood.
ICC demoed their House Espresso during the four hour event, the roast itself made of four different coffees from Ethiopia, Sumatra, and Columbia.
Staff loaded 80 lbs. of coffee into ICC’s industrial roasting machine, set at 415°. As the beans fall into the hopper, they absorb the heat from the roaster and the temperature drops slightly.
Now at 280° to 350°, the roaster began to caramelize and brown the beans. At 390° the coffee beans expand and snap. After 14 minutes and at 430° the beans are misted and the roast is complete.
“Since we used to do roasting the back of the store, we had a window so you could look at us throughout the coffee production. Everyone could see the process,” Production Coordinator Steven Finch added. “Now that we have this new location, people ask, ‘Do you still do your own roasting?’ Yes, and a lot more of it.”
The facility also offered a variety of cookies and baked pumpkin bread from the Ithaca Coffee Company Bake Shop, candy, premium coffee samples, and pumpkin cider.
One of the roasts offered, the new Laos Naga blend, is currently packaged for mass distribution. In addition, the Nitrogen Harry Potter brew presented at the event will be available for the public to enjoy during Wizarding Weekend, October 27-30 in the Dark Arts Coffee Crawl.