Where Late for the Train coffee is crafted
Where is our coffee roasted?
Part mission control, part heart and soul, our headquarters/roastery is where raw green beans become Late for the Train coffee. Our roastery can be found in our headquarters building off River Run Road along with our latest café, offices, warehouse, and bakery. Few of our customers realize the scale and scope of our roasting operation. We fire up the small-batch roaster in our Ft. Valley/Hwy. 180 café once a week, but our main roastery does the heavy lifting.
We are the ultimate multi-taskers of roasting dark, constantly on the move to keep the big roaster fed. Each step has a sound. The hiss of the green beans sliding into the hopper, the clatter and thrum of the roaster, the roar of the blower, the swish of the cooling bin, and the rattle of roasted beans tumbling into bags. Where does your coffee come from? Now you know.
Why does our coffee taste so good?
Coffee is what we do. We study it, order it, roast it, measure its color, and taste it. We experiment and try every combination. Our blends span a full range of taste experiences. Sometimes you want excitement, sometimes inspiration, and sometimes comfort. Whatever you want or need in your cup, we have a coffee for you. Your coffee tastes good because so much has gone into it.
We carefully select coffees for roasting dark by altitude, varietal, soil and processing techniques. Our goal is to purchase fresh crops seasonally, and to support sustainable growing practices and the coffee farmers themselves. Please see our individual coffee descriptions for more information.
Roasted dark – Brewed Strong
Our motto says it all. In coffee lingo, we roast in the classic Second Wave west-coast tradition – dark, oily and aromatic. Our founder and owner, David, formed his roasting philosophy while working for Alfred Peets in the early eighties. Our coffees surf the Second Wave into the second crack where body, brightness, and flavor become balanced and roast notes become more pronounced. We take our dark roasts, North Rim, Smoke Jumper, and Rez Dawg, just past the second crack, simmering into the smoky sweet spot before dropping them into the cooling bin.. Come over to the dark side. We’re proud to roast our coffee dark and to brew it strong in our cafés.
Flagstaff is high in the mountains of northern Arizona. Roasting at 7,000 feet has its advantages. Baking recipes call for adjustments because atmospheric pressure decreases as altitude increases. Roasting up high lets us work at lower temperatures, taking more time. Roasting more slowly allows sugars and carbohydrates in the beans caramelize into deep, rich, well-rounded flavors, devoid of bitterness, even in our darkest roasts.
We plan our roasts with freshness in mind. To get your coffee as fresh as it can be, online orders received by 7 a.m. MST Tuesdays will be shipped on Wednesdays. Orders after 7 a.m. Tuesday ship the following Wednesday. We roast almost continuously to supply our cafés. Now you know why it says “Mountain Fresh” on every bag.
Want to check out our equipment? We began roasting on a Diedrich IR-24 in 1995 with the buildout of our second cafe, where it is still in operation for our small batches. It shows wear and tear but does a great job upgraded with Cropster, roasting software and a data bridge that allows us compare cupping notes to actual roast profiles. Our heavy hitter for daily production is a fully automated Diedrich CR-50. Nearly two stories high and bristling with tubes, bins, and hoppers, the CR-50 is awesome to behold. It’s computer profiling technology and mechanical controls gives us volume production while maintaining craft coffee attention to detail. An Agtron roast analyzer provides quality control for every roast. Our spacious roastery facility has plenty of room for us to operate and a bunch of capacity for growth. We’d tell you more about how Late for the Train coffee comes into being but then, we’d have to . . .