Red Beard Coffee
A Q&A with the Kamloops Small-Batch Coffee Roaster and Owner Nate Johnson
Interviewed by Andrew McWilliam
Q, Andrew: What brought you in to coffee?
A, Nate: My wife introduced me to great coffee. Before this I had no idea coffee could taste that nuanced and delicious. What kept me interested was the level of complexity. No matter how much you learn there is always a new facet of coffee to delve into.
Q, Andrew: Tell us about the name Red Beard?
A, Nate: I have a truly majestic collection of red whiskers on my face. I was born into the beard life. It chose me, I did not choose it.
Q, Andrew: Talk to us about your coffee program… from farm to cup.
A, Nate: Whenever possible we work directly with coffee farmers.
This results in many advantages:
- Far higher coffee quality due to the ability to influence crop selection and processing.
- Assurance that the products are grown and harvested using environmentally sustainable methods.
- The ability to pay the farmer directly, eliminating the middleman and generating as much as ten times what they would get from a co-op or commodity exchange.
- We are working on direct trade relationships with farmers from Brazil, Columbia, Honduras, Guatemala and Costa Rica.
We use only the highest quality coffees available.
Because of the great need for accuracy and control when roasting super high grade coffee, Red Beard Roasters uses one of the most advanced roasting machines in the world. We chose this fully manual roaster designed by Coffee Tech Engineering in Israel for it's ability to give us unprecedented control over all of the variables involved in the roasting process. This results in our ability to create roasts that are at once nuanced and interesting, yet comforting and familiar.
Our coffee is really really fresh.
High quality coffee loses it's rich complex flavour relatively quickly, usually within a few weeks.
Many coffee companies will print a best before date on the bag that is 12 to 18 months after it was roasted! We stamp every bag with a roasted on date instead of a best before date. This way you can be sure that you are getting the very freshest coffee possible.
The process of freshness and precision does not stop there. Taking the high quality roasted bean we profile the coffee to exacting standards. We try hundred of shots in order to get it right. As such we have developed iron stomachs and a super human tolerance to caffeine.
Each time any component of our coffee changes we try it until we have discovered the way to get the absolute best flavours from it.
Each shot we serve is timed and measured precisely and we do not serve anything we are not very very proud of.
Q, Andrew: Where do you see the coffee scene going in the BC Interior?
There is a rising tide of excellence in coffee in the interior. More and more shops are popping up with a focus on quality and a passion for excellence. I believe the specialty food and beverage as a whole is maturing and improving. The thing I find most interesting is the shops here in the interior present the best if coffee in a way that is approachable and accessible, without the conceit or disdain for that I experience in bigger cities with a more established coffee scene.
Q, Andrew: Lastly tell us about where we can find Red Beard beans!
A, Nate: We are a growing company and the list of places our beans are available is ever increasing.
Currently: A majority of our coffee goes to the prairies but more locally you can get it here at the shop in Kamloops (449 Tranquille Rd). Also in Kamloops at Kamloops Innovation Centre and the Noble Pig Brew House. At Good Omens (13616 Kelly Ave) in Summerland. A few other super secret locations upcoming in the lower mainland.
Find Red Beard online for more info!