Iris Coffee Company: a Growing, Woman-Owned, Small Batch Roastery in America's Heartland

At first glance, Pella, Iowa appears to be your typical small town. Located about an hour south of Des Moines, you'll find all of your typical landmarks - a cozy town square, a courtyard adorned with statues of past city leaders, a bustling main street. But as you walk through this Dutch town of 10,000, you realize that there's something special about this place and its proud people. The city radiates culture, friendliness, and a love for family and community.

Iris Coffee head roaster Beth Dierking was born and raised in Pella and in 2015 returned, as so many do, to start a family. She describes herself as a mom first and a coffee roaster second. For Beth, roasting started as an experiment, roasting beans in her kitchen using a thrifted Mickey Mouse popcorn maker. But once she saw that local cafes were sourcing their beans from other cities, she realized that coffee roasting could be more than just a passion project.

When you think “small batch,” a roaster like Iris probably comes to mind. Iris’s retail space, “the Lab,” is nestled in the loft of a bike shop and the location is a local secret. But their coffee can be found throughout Pella, and Iris’s reputation for fresh, flavorful coffee roasts is quickly spreading throughout Iowa and the US.

Unlike most small-to-medium scale roasters, Iris air-roasts their coffee instead of using a drum roaster. Although air roasting methods have been around since the 1970s, only a small percentage of coffee served around the world today is air roasted.

Beth chose to operate an air roaster for two key reasons: ease and taste. It’s much easier to roast an air roaster than a drum alone, which comes in handy during late-night, emergency roasting sessions at the Lab. But the taste is also key. Air-roasted coffee has a pure taste and is less acidic and less bitter than drum roasted coffee. Using this unique method, Iris has been crafting roasts that delight even the pickiest and most skeptical of coffee drinkers for years.

Beth would be the first to tell you that there’s no secret to Iris’s success, just hard work and experimentation. But she recognizes the overwhelming support that her local community has given her and gives back whenever possible. Not because she has to, but because it’s what’s right.

Family, culture, community. This is Pella, Iowa. And this is Iris Coffee Company.

In this box from Iris Coffee Roasters:
  • Tu-Lip (Lokoly Exclusive): Tu-lip is grown in Mexico on Finca La Chilana. This farm is managed by Jennifer. Her family has been growing coffee for over a century and has managed Finca La Chilana since 1978. Iris Coffee Co has chosen to roast this coffee in a checkerboard style. Meaning they roast it to 3 different roast levels and blend them all together to create a full flavor experience.
  • Iris Blend (Roaster's Choice): Iris Blend is a Honduran blend from 2 different farms. The first bean is from the Santa Lucia Family Farm. They specialize in old school coffee growing. Good consistent coffee! The second bean is Finca Conjoe Natural. These 2 brothers are the opposite, they enjoy trying new processing techniques, and experimenting with different variables in the growing process. Iris Blend has been roasted in a traditional blending technique, where each bean is roasted to the perfect flavor profile, then post-roast blended together to create a sweet flavorful cup.
  • Cold Brew Pack: This pack is a single origin from the Finca Conjoe Natural lot as well. When cold steeped for 20 hrs it turns into this amazing red wine sensation. Full of bright acidity, but also a deep roasty goodness.
  • Perfect Coffee Water (x1) (BONUS): The best coffee deserves the best water! We've partnered with Perfect Coffee Water who creates the ideal brewing water to help you make the perfect cup of coffee. Their unique blend of minerals allows you to extract the full range of your coffee’s potential.
  • Plus more!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published