In our ongoing series, we speak to the people responsible for the coffee you enjoy every day. This week, Huckleberry roaster Shelby Williamson tells us why it’s a dirty job, but she’s lucky to do it.

At Huckleberry, we try to keep things inclusive — from the big things, including race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation to the little things like hobbies, music, snack of choice and even, yes, coffee preference. We don’t want to be the coffee company that turns you away simply because you want a little cream and sugar in that tasty, tasty cup of exotic bean water. At the same time, more advanced coffee drinkers can also find plenty from our offerings to engage with. Our team does our best to ensure that there is a coffee in our rotation that will satisfy. Period. Super-charged, juicy fruity, and floral’s your jam? Great! Adventurous for you. Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate? That will be a comforting option.

“Every coffee is a puzzle, and it’s our job to roll into the warehouse at 6 am (thank goodness for caffeine!) and get to work piecing it together.”

Shelby Williamson

Once those precious seeds are sourced, imported, and paid for, they make their way into our warehouse, and the real work begins for our little Huck family. From initial sample roasting for a peek at what those green seeds hold, to a test roast, to roast profile selection, to dialing in on our barista side, Huckleberry leaves no stone unturned when it comes to honing a new lot of beans. Every coffee is a puzzle, and it’s our job here at Huckleberry to roll into the warehouse at 6 am (thank goodness for caffeine!) and get to work piecing it together.

“Roasting isn’t the most glamorous job, though on Instagram it looks like we stop just short of coffee deities.”

Roasting isn’t the most glamorous job, though on Instagram it looks like we stop just short of coffee deities. Hair flowing, slow-motion action shots, beans erupting from our roaster’s drum. It’s a lot of long hours that are filled with dirty, greasy maintenance of our roaster — the heart and lifeblood of our company — quality control after you’re already at your caffeine cap, and sweating to death in the aura of a machine that runs around 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

And in spite of all of this, we still like it — love it, in fact. Huckleberry has somehow managed to rustle up a pack of weirdos who couldn’t imagine doing much else, anywhere else.

— Shelby Williamson, Roaster, Huckleberry Roasters

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