Northwest Indiana has been awash in craft breweries for a few years, but the newest wave of artisan beverage makers are putting out coffees more complex than any barrel-aged porter or Belgian Farmhouse Ale.
A growing crop of local coffee roasters have sprung up across the Region as part of the so-called Third Wave of Coffee, a long-percolating movement that aims to elevate coffee into an artisanal foodstuff like craft beer.
Coffee by Gillespie in Dyer, Dagger Mountain in Valparaiso, and Maple City Roasters in Michigan City all have been growing as consumers gravitate toward higher quality, more sophisticated coffee. Infusco Coffee Roasters in Sawyer in Southwest Michigan and any number of roasters in Chicago are also making coffee where customers know where in the world the beans hail from and when it was roasted...
Coffee By Gillespie
Lutheran Pastor Christopher Gillespie had been roasting as a hobby, and sharing his coffee with friends and family come Christmas and Easter. He kept hearing they wanted to buy it so he set up a small-batch roastery that delivers coffee in two to four days to customers all over the world. Thanks to the reach of internet, he’s recently make shipments to Hong Kong and London.
“Most of the coffee you drink has been sitting on the shelf for weeks,” he said. “My goal is to make it as fresh as possible.”
All of his coffee, almost all single origin, is roasted to order. His wholesale business serves customers like churches, schools and offices. Many of his customers sign up for subscription services, where they get a different bag a month depending on what he gets in.
“One of the advantages to selling a beverage with psychoactive properties is that people drink it all the time,” he said.
The pastor of Grace Lutheran in Dyer runs Coffee By Gillespie online out of his home. He's hoping to build up the business enough so it could support his work as a minister.
“It’s been a challenge for churches, especially smaller ones that are struggling financially,” he said. “My goal would be to grow the business to the point where it would fund my ability to serve the congregation.”
He works with several importers, paying them Fair Trade wages. He roasts beans to preferred brewing type, whether automatic, French press or drip.
“So many diverse and volatile compounds come out in the roasting process,” he said. “When it’s single origin you can taste different flavor notes when it’s from the same source whether it’s from the spring or fall,” he said. “With most blends, it’s coffee from multiple years, masking almost all the unique flavor.”
Gillespie looks as it as a craft, appreciating the change to hone his skills and introduce people to a better coffee experience.
“With Third Wave specialty coffee, it’s like a guild of craftsmen,” he said.
Source: Coffee roasting percolating throughout the Region | Northwest Indiana Business Headlines | nwitimes.com
When Christopher isn't roasting coffee, he stays busy as a father, a full-time pastor, and a media production freelancer.
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