So, I was in Goodrich, MI visiting some friends (almost family) and knowing I love coffee, they started to tell me the story of a new company right there in little Goodrich. “Shadrach, Meshach and Abeantogo”, and I think the basic name of the company is Abeantogo Coffee.
We made the two mile trip into town and it shared a garage type store front space, garage door and all, right beside a welding shop. We pulled up right in front of the open garage door and I was suprised at the inside of the retail space. It was a nice shop. Nice ambiance and the real surprise was a “pour over” stand where the owner’s father proceeded to make me some fresh roasted Ethiopian Yirg (I think that is what I ordered).
I asked if I could take some pictures of his facility and because his Son, the owner, wasn’t in at the time he declined. Which I just thought was strange to say the least. He really had a nice place. But, then I noticed there was not an espresso machine on site. Just a roaster, a pour over station, and a grinding station. You could choose between a pour over method or a french press. I like the concept, but the coffee is another story.
The beans are dark, dark roasted. Not quite as dark as $B, but close. If you know anything about Third Wave style of roasted coffee, you know this isn’t going to get good. I purchased a pound of Peaberry Tanzanian to take home to the Kitchen Aid Proline grinder and I have used a press pot and a vacpot and I have used several different grind settings. When the coffee was only five or six days old, there was some flavor left, but after that, not so much. The dark roast has just pulled the flavor right out of the bean, which is sad. I had high hopes.
According to the propieter’s father, the owner is trying to sell the beans “nationwide.” Travelling to different conferences and trade shows. I asked if they were a member of the SCAA and he had never heard of the SCAA. Again, I think that is sad, as well. I don’t know the owners history with coffee, but I don’t see how you can get educated in roasting coffee without working with the SCAA at some level, especially at the micro-roasting level. But, then again, if he is going after a nationwide market, he has to have beans that can take the shelf life of months and months and only a dark roast can do that. SO, you sacrifice the quality for the shelf life. Also, a dissapointment was the amount of “flavored coffee.” Everything he had was available in “flavors.” Hazelnut, vanilla…blah, blah, blah. That is fine if your trying to reach the largest audience that you can, but again, it is very Second Wave.
If your the owner and you run across this, don’t be offended. If your making tons of money selling your product in Texas, Flordia and the nether reaches of the USA that is fantastic. But, it has come at a price and the price is quality. Most people, including my friends there locally, who think the coffee is fantastic, have only been exposed to Starbucks, Caribu and Folgers.