Ross Street Roasting: Award Winning Coffee that Started with a Bread Machine & Heat Gun
Driving through central Iowa in spring is a special time. Field after field and day after day, you see dark black dirt disappear as the green of new life appears. Black yields to green, green yields to brown, brown yields to black, and then back to green. Such is the cycle of farm life in Iowa.
What’s important to remember is that coffee is an agricultural product, especially when you travel through farm country. It’s the combination of agriculture, art, and creativity. It takes the right beans, grown the right way, and roasted with great attention to detail. Well, we introduce you to Brian Gumm and Ross Street Roasting Company.
Almost equidistant between the Missouri and Mississipi rivers, and the Minnesota and Missouri borders is the little town of Tama, where you will find Ross Street Roasting. The population is a bit less than 3,000 heart-of-gold Iowans. Tama is on the north bank of the twisty, turning labyrinth of water that is the Iowa River.
Brian spent years in his garage in Tama, IA mastering the roasting craft with a bread machine and a heat gun. He would park himself there night after night, intently watching the entire process and learning the science behind roasting coffee. After hundreds of hours and many tastings with family and friends, as Brian told us, “it was apparent that I needed to offer my coffee to the public, which is why Ross Street Roasting was born."
Small Town Advantage
Being located in small-town America, many might say that Brian’s at a disadvantage. It’s a lightly populated town in the center of Iowa with not much around him, but Brian saw a total advantage. Real estate was cheap and there was an opportunity to build a business around his community.
So, he located an abandoned ag-feed building just off the main street in the town where Jack’s Feed Store was located. With the building being vacant for over 20 years, Brian contacted the owner and turned it into his roasting operation. Brian knew he needed to pay homage to his local roots and the previous business. So, his first bag of coffee was stamped with the name "Jack's Feed Store," which remains one of his most popular offerings to date.
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We fast forward five years down the road and Ross Street Roasting still holds the same truths it had in its founding days. High attention to detail, roasting brilliance, and coffee that simply tastes amazing. Ross Street has won multiple awards in the annual Golden Bean North America Roasters Competition.
Ross Street Roasting is not like big commercial roasters, nor is Brian Gumm a typical corporate executive. Brian buys his own raw beans, he inspects the beans before roasting, he fires the roaster, he watches the beans change colors and begin to release the intoxicating aroma that comes from the perfect application of temperature and time, and blends to achieve the flavor of mellow and smoothness that is coffee perfection. "Every coffee I make," he said, "is roasted and blended with the hope that it makes your day memorable."
This roaster is a hidden gem in the heart of Iowa and they are exclusively providing the Lokoly Coffee Club an incredible product offering. Ross Street is on a mission to “turn coffee drinkers into coffee lovers," and we are confident that you will love what they have offered.
Listen to the Ross Street Roasting, Behind the Roast Podcast here.
Is This Heaven? No, It's Coffee.
"Is This Heaven? No, It's Coffee." is exclusively roasted for the Lokoly Coffee Club. Roaster Brian said, "this blend represents the hard work ethic so common amongst Iowans, as well as a phenomenon called "Iowa Nice." We're not perfect, but Iowans do have a reputation for being pleasant to be around. So no, it's not heaven - but for Iowans who love their home state, it's pretty darn close." A collaboration with John Bosely, from Bozz Prints. Get the last of these bags in our shop here.
Citrus - Berry - Caramel
Jack's Feed Store
This easy-drinking, crowd-pleaser is a medium roast blend that sparks its inspiration from the old ag-feed milling operation called Jack’s Feed Store. Old Jack is still living and finds his way into the roastery from time to time to bring himself back to the days of selling seed and soil. You’ll find chocolate and subtle fruit notes, along with an earthy, rustic quality, medium body.
Chocolatey - Earthy - Rustic