Coffee is just coffee? Local coffee roaster Ted Jones begs to differ.
In his opinion, even the premium brands of coffee don’t scratch the surface of the blissful, culinary experience one can have with the right cup. That’s why he started Ted’s Riverview Coffee (formerly Riverview Coffee Roasters) a few years ago. He gathers the best coffee beans from all over the world, roasts them just right, and delivers them to coffee lovers in the area—or anywhere, really. Folks only need go to his website to order some. We asked him to spill the beans on his business.
Just how good is your coffee?
TED JONES: Absolutely fantastic. I only deal in the very top 1 percent of all coffee in the world, the very best of the best. It’s hard to get it across. You’ve got to experience it to realize what a difference there is. Coffee is really at its best the first couple of weeks from roasting, but it’s really hard for people to get coffee that fresh. When you get it at Peet’s or Starbucks, you’re getting coffee that’s older. Sometimes the bag of Starbucks that’s sold is up to two years from roasting. The average is six months from the roast date. Also they roast the coffee to a char level. Once you get a taste for nice coffee, and you go back to tasting that, it almost tastes like an ashtray kind of flavor.
Where do you source your coffee?
Really great coffee is seasonal. I’m only getting coffees that are six to nine months maximum from harvest. If I had to pick my top three favorites, it would be Ethiopia, Guatemala, and Brazil. I usually try to keep those three on the menu as much as possible. The Guatemalan is so balanced and pleasing. It’s a great coffee to put in a blend, because it can anchor a blend and give it that traditional aspect that you’re looking for in coffee. Then a really nice Brazilian has a beautiful nuttiness to it. Sometimes it’ll get other flavors like spice and raisin, but really good, nice-bodied coffee without having to be over-roasted. Ethiopia is so amazing because that is the birthplace of Arabica. It’s where the first high-quality coffee trees were found. And many of them are still growing in places they’ve grown for hundreds of thousands of years. You get all sorts of characteristics in [that] coffee that you won’t get in other places.