At the end of October, Glenfinlas Coffee packed its bags and headed off to Nevada to see Alpen Sierra Coffee Roasters at their new roastery in the small town of Minden, Nevada. Located in the Carson Valley, close to the Californian border, Alpen Sierra moved here from their original roastery in Lake Tahoe in 2007.
Founder and roastmaster Christian Waskiewicz gave us a tour of the building in which the entire roasting and packaging process takes place. It’s quite a remarkable place. Large sacks of green coffee beans from Guatemala sat on pallets in the middle of the floor, glass jars, tasting charts and barometers adorned the walls. At one end of the building were packaging tables and at the other end sat two fabulous 25lb continuous ‘San Franciscan’ coffee roasters.
Next to one of the coffee roasters, Christian had arranged for us to try six coffees, including an Indian, a Guatemalan and two Ethiopian varietals (Nekisse and Tchembe). This is where Alpen Sierra’s ‘tasting team’ evaluate each of the new coffees as they come in and from where many of Christian’s recommendations to Glenfinlas Coffee come.
It's always such a pleasure to see where amazing coffees like these are roasted and for us, it was so exciting to experience Christian's knowledge and passion first hand. It was also great to meet his dedicated and talented team for whom the pursuit of producing speciality-roasted, sustainable coffee is so much more than a day-job!