The Woods Coffee launches its own roasting operation

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMay 29, 2014 

The Woods Coffee now has its own roasting operation in Lynden to serve its 14 Whatcom County locations.

Before adding the roaster to the company headquarters in December, coffee served at The Woods had been roasted in Seattle.

"This is one of the biggest things we've done in our 12 years of business," The Woods owner Wes Herman said in a press release. "Roasting all of our own coffee is something we have always wanted to do. Now we can finally say we are, and we are thrilled."

The first cup of in-house roasted coffee was sold in January. The Woods quietly rolled out the coffees before making an official annoncement Thursday, May 29.

Most customers either didn't notice the change or didn't bring it up. Of those who did, the response was very positive, Herman said in an interview.

"Absolutely no one has complained," he said.

To run the new operation, Herman hired a full-time roaster. Shea Hagan has an extensive background in coffee, including working for Portland Roasting and Moka Joe.

A new cupping lab with its own roaster for handling small batches is used to test and evaluate coffees. Herman said it's a scientific process that includes tasting and grading them on a scoring sheet to see how they rank and to meet The Woods' standards.

"We have to continuosly be tasting, testing coffee that comes from all over the world," he said.

These additions will enable the company to roll out a number of single-origin coffees, including specialty roasts around holidays.

The lab also will be used to educate the staff and eventually Herman envisions opening it for craft tasting events.

People already can tour the roasting operation and the in-house bakery. Email info@thewoodscoffee.com to inquire about tours.

The company has started selling whole-bean bags of its coffee at its shops. To promote the launch, The Woods is giving a second bag free with purchase of a bag of coffee from May 31 to June 30.

Reach Debbie Townsend at 715-2280 or debbie.townsend@bellinghamherald.com .

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