Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Roast Inc. Celebrates Its Birthday With One Fancy Cup of Coffee

Posted By on Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 5:45 AM

For this week's Food Biz column in The City Paper, I checked in with Brad Wood, who along with his wife, Lesa, owns Roast Inc. coffeehouse. It's in a little shopping strip on Trousdale south of Harding Place near the Crieve Hall neighborhood.

As I wrote before its opening last year, the retail shop was created to brew and serve the exotic coffees Brad had been acquiring and roasting in small batches, first as a hobby and then to sell at farmers’ markets. Roast Inc. focuses exclusively on single-cup brewing. (No lukewarm coffee urns allowed.) Every cup is brewed individually, using a variety of gourmet methods, like the siphon pot.

The coffeehouse has a low profile compared to many java joints in town, but it has built a loyal following. Customers are so loyal, in fact, that they chipped in with elbow grease when the Woods decided it was time to renovate the space to make it more convivial. Brad called it the "28-Hour Makeover" — it started at 3 p.m. on a recent Saturday and ended at 6 p.m. Sunday. Then everybody shared a family-style barbecue.

To celebrate, Roast Inc. will hold a grand reopening 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 29. Brad is bringing out a very special lot from Hawaii, the only U.S. coffee honored by the Specialty Coffee Association of America as one of its 10 international Cups of the Year.

The 20-pound lot is Hawaii Kailiawa Coffee grown by farmer Bull Kailiawa in Ka’u, Hawaii. The Woods purchased it at an auction that benefited the nonprofit Grounds for Health, which fights cervical cancer among women in coffee-growing regions with little access to health care.

Brad is charging $7.50 per cup — but $5 of that retail price will benefit Grounds for Health. And, he said, it really does represent “one of the best cups of coffee ever grown.”

Roast Inc. is at 4825 Trousdale Drive (730-8074). Hours are 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

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