Roasting Coffee Beans at Booskerdoo Fresh Roasted Coffee Company

by Alice Magdziak • August 10, 2015 • Food, Monmouth, Shore To Please, Things We LikeComments (0)939

We love coffee. Booskerdoo Fresh Roasted Coffee Company loves coffee.  We made some beautiful beans together today.

To be honest, we really just watched them do all the work while we chatted and drank coffee. We loved this behind-the-scenes look and we know there are more coffee fans like us out there who will also want to read all about it.

Booskerdoo is owned by James and Amelia Caverly and has three retail locations in Monmouth County—Monmouth Beach (where they roast all their coffee), Fair Haven (where they bake all their own desserts and snacks) and an outpost in Middletown. Booskerdoo is a made-up word between owners James and Amelia.  I love that personal touch in everything they do, including the name.

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Their mission is to sell and serve only the freshest coffee and coffee beans. When you taste their coffee, you can tell why.  It’s got amazing complexity and body that doesn’t come from beans that were roasted and then warehoused.  This is the essence of coffee that is hard to find anywhere else. We were sipping the Bali variety which was a new one for us.  It’s oaky quality was so light and unique—a perfect medium coffee that was strong but not overly dark.

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We lucked out a while back and were contacted by Julie Markoff from Booskerdoo because they follow us on Instagram and wanted to meet us.  We have been fans of Booskerdoo ever since we got their River City Extension blend at RCE’s Simple Gifts show in 2013. After the initial meeting, we were invited to come see a roasting day.  We went down to Monmouth Beach on Monday morning and talked coffee all morning with Julie, owner James and coffee roaster Mike Costaney.

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James (above) originally did all the roasting himself but once the business side of owning three coffee shops, a busy wholesale business and a mail order coffee empire got to be too much work he took on Mike to help him with roasting.  James and Mike now work together to get each blend and single origin coffee offering just right.  They taste test beans together, compare roasting notes and share new roasting techniques with each other as they work.

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Mike (above) walked us through each step of the process.  The raw beans are first fed into the roaster. The beans are greenish brown before roasting then turn nearly neon green and finally move into the beautiful brown tones that we know and love.

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Based on their tastings when they initially got the beans, they roast them until they reach the perfect color and water content. You could see them change color through this little window above the shoot in the front of the roaster.

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Because beans come from all over the world and are highly influenced by weather, each shipment of beans has to be tested before they roast because even products from the same growers can vary a lot from shipment to shipment.  Mike is a drummer and is currently in a band called Baba Sonya and used to play with River City Extension (check him out in the picture at the top of this article) so we talked a little about how science and art are intertwined in both music and coffee roasting.  You can have lots of technical skill and knowledge but until you sit down with an instrument or start roasting a lot, you don’t really know how to get the most out of what you’re doing.  Mike keeps careful notes on each roasting so that he can study how each type of bean reacts to the roasting process throughout the weeks and months he’s roasting.

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Once the beans are roasted, they are released into this bin and stirred to cool them down.

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James told us that at this point the beans still don’t even taste that great.  It takes about a day to achieve their full flavor potential once the beans are roasted, this waiting period is called off-gassing.  He said that it’s actually an ideal time to ship the beans to mail order customers. The amount of shipping time to most of the country coincides with this period of flavor development so customers really are getting the beans at peak flavor a day or two after roasting.  We can attest to this because we ordered some of their River City Extension blend (you’ve gotta try that one) a while back and opening the box was like sticking our heads directly into a coffee grinder.  The smell was intoxicating. They ship regularly to customers in all fifty states including people who’ve vacationed here and have Booskerdoo shipped all the way to their home in Hawaii. They even shipped beans to the U.S. Embassy in Greece.

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Booskerdoo opened their first location four years ago and are looking to expand again soon.  James said they’re bursting at the seams in their first location (where we visited them) in Monmouth Beach. They’re also looking at buying a new roaster to ramp up their roasting capabilities.  Since they refuse to warehouse their beans, they need to be able to roast everything they need every few days.  The roaster they’re looking at could double their production.

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They’ve recently announced plans to expand their wholesale business into more restaurants and other coffee shops who want this freshest-of-fresh coffee experience.  So, they’ll really keep this new roaster in business when it arrives.

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Did we mention that Booskerdoo also makes all their own baked goods?  Co-owner Amelia Caverly started doing all their baking when their regular supplier went out of commission due to Hurricane Sandy.  We’ve had their key lime pie and chocolate chip cookies and their baked products are really good. Tuesday is Free Cookie Day at Booskerdoo with the purchase of a beverage.  We’re hoping to be able to get to Fair Haven to watch them bake soon. They do a lot of business around the holidays because Amelia’s pies are so popular.

Everyone we met at Booskerdoo was friendly from owner James Caverly to baristas Erin Devlin and Rob Spinelli.

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We even met the head barista, James Kilker, who was busy working on bagging up newly roasted beans for production on Monday.

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Check out all the pictures from our visit with Booskerdoo on one of their roasting days and make sure you stop by one of their locations or order some of their coffee online soon. Follow them on Instagram, too. We guarantee you won’t be sorry you did!

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