Ever wonder what it takes to make that cup of coffee you're drinking?
We're going to provide you with an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at what we do everyday. Ready? Let's go!
It all starts with the beans.
Green beans, that is. We currently get our green beans from about 12-14 different countries all around the world. We get them from places like Brazil, Nicaragua, Colombia, Kenya, Sumatra, to name a few. Each countries' bean has unique roasting qualities that help create the different blends that we offer. Our coffee beans are strictly the best Arabica beans purchased from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms in these regions. Only 2% of all Arabica beans produced meet the specialty grading criteria that makes up our blends. We are very selective to ensure the highest quality standards.
Let's get cooking.
The roasting process is next. We load the green beans into our Probat roasters and cook each batch according to the level needed for that particular bean. Some of our beans are roasted to a medium roast level while others are roasted dark. The beans are roasted for about 13-15 minutes at a temperature of around 400° - 450° F, and then immediately cooled in the cooling pans. Each of our roasters hold 2 burlap bags (about 140 lbs each), but lose about 15% of their weight when roasted due to moisture loss.
Making the magic.
After cooling, the roasted beans are loaded into big steel totes. Each tote holds up to 850 lbs of beans. Then, the totes are rolled over to the blending stations where the "magical creations" happen. Each blend of coffee that we produce has a secret recipe of beans that makes each blend unique and distinguishable in flavor and roast character. We currently have 7 main blends that we produce and distribute across the region. They are: Lock & Dam 11™, Julien's Breakfast Blend®, Nine Mile Sunset®, Shot Tower Espresso™, Cow Tipper™ (flavored), Mississippi Grogg® (flavored), and Sunday Drive™ decaf.
Prefer whole bean or ground?
We have both! After the coffee beans are blended per our recipes, they are either sent to be ground, flavored, or packaged in whole bean form. If the blend needs to be ground, they are sent to the grinding station and then put back into the tote. The blends that need to be flavored go into the flavoring room to be coated and then sent back to be ground or packaged. If the blend is staying in whole bean form, it goes directly to packaging.
Packing it in.
The packaging station is gravity based. The totes are brought up to the top of our packaging mezzanine in an elevator and then tubes allow the coffee to be sent down to the equipment below. Our bagging machine can create and bag the coffee at a rate of about 21 bags per minute. Most of our coffee is either packaged as an 11 or 12 oz bag or a 2 lb bag.
Reaching our customers and fans.
The bags are then boxed or placed on pallets for distribution. You can find Verena Street® coffee at over 700 locations regionally including: HyVee, Fareway, Walmart, Sam's Club, Jewel stores, some smaller grocery stores as well as on Amazon.com and our website and lobby. Looking for a place to buy our coffee? The store locator app on our website will allow you to find a store nearest you.
If you are ever in our neck of the woods, stop by our roasting facility and take a peek into the plant through the floor-to-ceiling windows in the lobby. We would be more than happy to tell you some coffee drinking hints, tips, and advice while you're here. You can even try and buy our coffee right in the lobby!