In The News
Woodfire Roasted Coffee Company news from around the net — be sure to scroll down to read and view all of them!
Do Cartwheels with Me, A Personal Pursuit of Living in The Giddy: Espresso Tasting Lessons at Wood-Fire Roasted in Reno
We just expanded into the Lake Tahoe market — read it now in Lake Tahoe News: Wood-roasted coffee purveyor expands to Tahoe!
Tahoe Daily Tribune, July 15, 2014 — Wood-Fire Roasted Coffee: Small batch specialty coffees are for everyone
Another fabulous recipe using Wood-Fire Roasted Coffee: Angry Nutrition: Keto Cappuccino Ice cream
Tahoe Daily Tribune, July 15, 2014 — Wood-Fire Roasted Coffee: Small batch specialty coffees are for everyone
Check out the Healing, Yoga and Qigong blog with a recipe for cooking with our coffee! Butternut Squash Coffee Pancakes
NEW! Read about Woodfire Roasted Coffee Company in Specialty Coffee Retailer’s 2014 Annual Roasting Guide.
In One Ear: Wood-Fire Roasted gets national recognition — read all about it now!
Imbibe Liquid Culture Magazine — Drink of the Week: Wood Fire Roasted Ethiopia Yrgacheffe!
Read about Woodfire Roasted Coffee Company owner and roaster Tim Curry in Coffee Talk: RETAILER/ROASTER PROFILE ~ Click here to read article now!
Woodfire Roasted Coffee Company owner and roaster Tim Curry in CNN Money: ‘I haven’t had a vacation in years’ article ~ Click here to read article now!
Wood-Fire Roasted Coffee Company Foregoes Coffee Trends for Coffee Perfection ~ Click here to read Power Press article now!
Woodfire Roasted Coffee Company came in second in the Reno News and Review Best of Northern Nevada in public polling for best coffee roaster. Click here to read more now!
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of Monday’s tornado disaster in Oklahoma. On Tuesday, May 21, 2013, Woodfire Roasted Coffee Company donated 100% of all proceeds to the Oklahoma tornado victims, and KTVN Channel 2 News was there to help get the word out. Click here to watch now!
Reposted from: Reno Gazette-Journal — November 20, 2012
Wood-Fire Roasted Coffee Co. owner in Reno brings out best in world’s coffee beans
Wood-Fire Roasted Coffee Company. The name plainly says what the company does: roast coffee beans over a wood fire. But this blunt description conceals the ways in which, for owner Tim Curry, roasting coffee is a mix of craft and science, a mingling of commerce and passion, and always, a communion of the senses.
In a modest, 800-square-foot warehouse space in east Reno (1,200 if you count the loading bay), Curry works using a red Italian roaster that’s fueled by an aged-oak fire. Wood fire roasting, though popular in Europe, is rare in the United States, where most coffee roasters are fueled by gas.
“It’s a hard way to go,” Curry said the other afternoon, as he loaded a batch of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee beans into the roaster’s hopper. “Wood fire is an inconsistent heat source. The batch can get away from you and burn up.”
So why bother? Why not let a gas roaster do the work?
“It’s like the difference between cooking a steak on a gas grill and cooking it on charcoal briquettes,” Curry continued. “It’s distinct. Wood roasting rounds off the sharp edges and gives the coffee a fuller, bolder, richer mouthfeel.”
Curry sources beans globally: top-grade arabica from Mexico, Central and South America, India, Indonesia, Africa and beyond. Food-grade burlap bags brimming with Costa Rican Tarrazu and Sumatran Mandheling beans squat beyond the roaster.
Curry roasts weekdays — “Only what I need,” he said — and typically has on hand 15 or 20 different single-bean, organic, specialty blend or limited-quantity signature roasts to sell to walk-in customers and to a growing number of local coffee houses and restaurants.
Wine glasses are deployed for taste testing to channel aromas and flavors. Beans always are sold whole, never ground (more on that later). And so they don’t expand while they’re on the shelf, Wood-Fire’s coffee bags have a valve to let off carbon dioxide released by the roasted beans.
“Am I obsessed?” Curry asked rhetorically. “Absolutely.”
The other afternoon, Curry called to a visitor during the roasting of the Yirgacheffe beans. “Come over here, smell this,” he said, proffering a sample pulled from the machine. “They’re starting to have a nice aroma versus when they were green and raw and had almost no smell.”
Timers and Curry’s stopwatch marked segments of the roasting process, one that began with a check of the oak fire in the firebox. “I look at what the coals look like,” Curry said. “Coffee likes a bit of flame and a nice hot coal bed, nice and glowing.”
The bulk of the Yirgacheffe beans in the roasting drum remained above the firebox, where they were cooked by the heat of the flames, by hot air being drawn from the firebox through the drum, and by the radiant heat of the steel drum itself. As the drum rotated, Curry listened closely to the rattle of the beans.
When roasting began, he explained, the tumbling beans produced a muted rattle as they hit the drum. As roasting proceeded properly, they began producing a hard, crisp striking, then a crack as they expanded, doubling in size. At that point, to slow down the temperature increase, Curry closed the firebox from the drum and opened a vent to draw air into the roasting chamber.
Soon, Curry determined the Yirgacheffe batch was completed. He looked: The beans were chocolate brown and releasing a bit of vapor. He smelled: Lemony aromas emerged, along with notes of chocolate. And after the beans had been mechanically sifted in the cooling tray, Curry touched: He could just hold them without burning his hands; they were done.
Signing the bag
Curry opened Wood-Fire 10 years ago this month with his roaster, a $15,000 demonstration model that would probably cost at least $35,000 new today. From the beginning, Curry said, he didn’t want to be a roaster who filled his machine, programmed the settings and walked away, letting electronics handle a process that ideally includes human senses and discernment.
The craft of roasting, the former restaurant manager said, was a ritual he celebrated as much as the ritual of drinking coffee itself, and he wanted to attract customers of like mind — “people who appreciate all the aspects of coffee instead of throwing whatever into a travel cup on the way to the car.”
Some customers stop by Wood-Fire for a pound of beans organically grown on the Sertaozinho farm in Brazil. Others want one of Curry’s signature roasts — he signs the bag — fashioned from beans grown in a small section of a small farm and available in small quantities, perhaps 50 pounds of beans or less.
That’s what Lynn and Eric Kropp of Prunedale, Calif., were doing the other day as they made their way around coffee bags and across a tiled floor smudged with coffee dust. The couple purchased several pounds, including a Guatemalan signature blend.
“We always stop by when we’re in Reno,” Kropp said. “We like the mom ‘n’ pops. When you go to mom ‘n’ pops, they still understand roasting.Corporate places, the roasts all taste the same.”
Wood-Fire also supplies beans to more than two dozen local coffee houses and restaurants, including Cosmic Coffee, Daughters Café, Dish Café, Dreamer’s Coffeehouse & Deli, Great Basin Brewery, Hi Point Coffee & Café, Great Basin Community Co-op, Rise and Shine Farms, Silver Peak Grill & Taproom and Wildcreek Golf course.
Dish Café has been a customer since day one. Today, the restaurant buys Guatemalan, Sumatran and Tanzanian roasts, as well as a French roast that Curry creates for Dish.
“Our coffee is one of the top three things people compliment us for,” said Joe Horn, co-owner of Dish. “At times, we’ve thought about changing to what people say are the cooler, hipper roasters in town, but it always comes down to quality and our customers, so we don’t change.
“Tim’s coffee is deep without being over-roasted. It tastes like coffee is supposed to taste like. He’s knowledgeable and passionate, but he’s not a coffee snob.”
That said, he’s still a champion of arabica standards. Curry roasts about 400 pounds of beans a week, usually in batches of 12 to 20 pounds, though his roaster will handle up to 35. These beans, from the Yirgacheffe to the delicate, finicky Indian Monsooned Malabar, are always sold whole, Curry said, never roasted.
“Grinding increases oxygen interaction on the surface of the bean, which makes it grow stale more quickly. Having a grinder and grinding it fresh is the best way to handle coffee.”
Curry’s approach and roasts have gained him attention beyond Northern Nevada. He now supplies coffee houses in California and Washington State. In early 2011, Saveur, a national food magazine, praised Wood-Fire’s Yirgacheffe roast for its smoothness, lively acidity and “satisfying umami quality like that of buttered toast.”
Later that year, Curry’s Kenya Nyeri AB Gichatha-ini, a signature roast, received 97 points out of 100 in a blind tasting by CoffeeReview.com, a leading coffee buying guide. Judges cited its honeyed citrus aromas, silky mouthfeel and overall complexity.
Beyond his current customers and kudos, Curry said he wanted to open a coffee house, but any expansion will be guided by obsession. “I don’t want to grow beyond the art of what I do.”
Reposted from: JarHoney.com — October 2012
WOOD-FIRE ROASTED COFFEE COMPANY
In my quest to live a RUSTIC LIFESTYLE, I am searching the world for others that follow the same basic ideas that I do. Doing things the old fashioned way, stop to smell what’s cooking and going back to basics. In my search, I have found Tim Curry of WOOD-FIRE ROASTED COFFEE COMPANY as one of them. I just recently did an interview, brewing demonstration and coffee tasting with Tim at his roasting facility in Reno, Nevada. The information he gave was educational but his passion for coffee was very inspiring and refreshing! It is rare to find people who have molded everything that they do because of their passion. It is also rare to talk with people who truly love what they do and want to just share that with the world; because they believe it makes it a better place.
Tim has always loved coffee; there isn’t any particular one thing about it that stands out as far as a fondest memory. When asked why was coffee his passion, he said he did not seek out coffee as a passion, it chose him. Tim did do a little research on roasting but the art was from within him, not from a formal education. After being a lifer in the restaurant business, one day an idea sparked…that day was when he pursued his voice within and ordered a batch of beans off the internet (this was in March of 2001). It was entertaining to hear the story of him receiving the beans and he then roasted the next chapter of his life in a small saucepan on an electric stove in his kitchen. At the moment he tasted the first batch of coffee he roasted, he knew his life would never be the same; he had to make this all work! Thus WOOD-FIRE ROASTED COFFEE COMPANY was born and he officially opened for business in July 2001.
Tim is one of 8 artisan roasters in the United States that practice the age-old process of wood-fire roasting of coffee. He says although it is rare in the USA, it is still very common in Europe. The reason Tim has chosen to use a wood-fire system is because he is a traditional person and likes old world things. Because he is so traditional, Tim only sees possibly expanding his sales just a tiny bit. He says that if the demand for his coffee gets too large for the 1 roaster that he has, he does not plan to jump to the next big level. He feels that once a roaster gets so big that it loses sight of the passion and just looks at the profits, all is lost.
The top note that Tim stressed was that coffee should be treated as a gourmet food and savored. It is offensive to think that people do not treat coffee as a ritual; they just turn on the automatic machine, instantly pour in a travel mug and whisk off about their day. During our demonstration, Tim showed me how to properly brew coffee and cup the coffee so that we may sit and enjoy it while we chatted about his passion. (Check out my article on brewing coffee CUP O JOE). The MOST important point was to “GIVE IT A MINUTE”, so that the flavors you are supposed to taste can fully develop. If you do not “give it a minute”, then you are not allowing the brewed coffee to show its full potential.
The coffee that we enjoyed was cupped two ways, in a small coffee cup and in a white wine glass. Both ways highlighted certain notes, but I think the wine glass was the most intense in both aroma and flavor. This was the first time I have formally tasted coffee, it was quite interesting. Just like wine, you can taste different notes on different parts of your tongue and mouth. I do agree with Tim that even though he and I really just enjoy coffee: drinking it from a wine glass is probably not something we should practice in public (it looks snooty, but I love it).
After talking with Tim, I think I understand why coffee has been around for many centuries. Tim pointed out coffee is one of the commonalities of every culture in the world, next to music and math. Just recently (past 20 or so years), with the boom of espresso-drive-thru-retail-stores, the “RITUAL” has been lost here with your average American. Except for myself, and now Tim, I know of no one that just hangs out and drinks coffee because we just can. Apparently-the other parts of the world still socialize with coffee; here it’s an order a tall latte and run. There is a reason people like Tim have harnessed the art of roasting and continue to uphold the tradition of old world ways. Sometimes we do need to sit back, savor the riches, and “GIVE IT A MINUTE”.
Visit Tim’s website below for more information and to purchase his products.