Florida coffee roasters Bold Bean and Lineage are working together to shed light on the roasting process through unique collaboration
BY ASHLEY RODRIGUEZ
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE
Coffee collaborations between specialty producers are not uncommon. You can nosh on your favorite roaster’s coffee-flavored chocolate bar while choosing between a coffee-infused beer or a cocktail mixed with cold-brewed coffee. But rarely do coffee companies collaborate with one another ”why would you work with someone doing the same thing you are? Aren’t they your competition?
Jarrett Johnson and Zach Burnett, both owners of different coffee roasters in Jacksonville, Fla., decided to turn that idea on its head. On August 15, they will release the same coffee, roasted two different ways, packaged together so that customers can enjoy each coffee roasted to the particular styles of the two brands.
œWe had talked the first time we met about working together more or collaborating in some way so from that first meeting I think we both knew that we’d do something one day, says Zack Burnett, owner of Bold Bean Coffee Roasters, a popular coffeehouse and roastery opened in 2011 in Jacksonville, Fla. œWe have exchanged ideas in the past but have never worked on a project together before.
A few months ago, Jarrett, who is the owner and roaster at Lineage Roasting in Orlando, Fla., approached Zach and the team at Bold Bean and asked if they’d like to purchase a 90+ Kenyan lot with them. After each company roasts the coffee to their preference, they will sell the coffees together in one package. Each roaster will offer a 6-ounce sample of how they interpret this coffee and will sell the bundled coffees at both stores and online.
Although initially counterintuitive, this collaboration showcases the respect each roasters has for the other’s approach to coffee while encouraging the entire industry to move forward and try new things. œOur motivation was not only in getting some potentially great coffee but we also thought there may be an opportunity to collaborate on a bigger level with one of our fellow Florida roasters. Florida’s coffee scene is still incredibly new, and this collaboration allows consumers to do what we in the coffee industry do everyday ”taste things side by side and evaluate the difference. œWe hope to highlight the coffee along with the craft of roasting by sharing with our customers the different approach that roasters may take with the same coffee to result in 2 exceptional but distinct cups. In a market still dominated by ground bricks of coffee and sugar-laced espressos, it can be difficult for customers to understand what specialty coffee can mean. This partnership allows for customers to interact with specialty coffee in a new way and compare coffees that are often difficult for most people to see clear differences in.
Jarrett isn’t aware of any other collaborations like this, and perhaps that’s because this type of partnership can be very risky. œTo roast and put the same coffee up against any other roaster, packaged side by side and sold together, it definitely takes a certain level of confidence in your own skills as a roaster, he says. Likewise, if he puts up an exceptional product and his partners don’t, their work can reflect poorly on him and his product. Both Lineage and Bold Bean have exceptional reputations and are well-respected by their fellow Florida roasters, and both are excited to highlight the burgeoning coffee scene in the Sunshine State. The coffees will be available at both stores and online August 15.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ashley Rodriguez thought that she’d take a break from teaching middle school science and putz around in a coffee shop for a few months. She ended up digging it way more than teaching (and was vaguely better at it). After spending 5 years making coffee in New York, she now works for Sightglass Coffee in San Francisco.