The 23-year-old Albuquerque, N.M., coffee roasting company Red Rock Roasters has remodeled its production headquarters and offices to accommodate a brand new coffee tasting room designed to promote curiosity and coffee education among consumers and wholesale clients alike.
With open views to the roastery and warehouse, the classroom-style facility is outfitted with professional cupping tools, a Unic espresso machine and a Curtis batch brewer, along with a wide range of manual brewing devices to support tasting experiments.
On Feb. 11, Red Rock held its first public class in the new space, focusing on roast level and color and how a single coffee roasted four ways affects cup quality.
Red Rock Coffee Director Rachel Langer told Daily Coffee News that public programming will approach from many angles, including focuses on single coffees and producing regions, discussions about certifications, roasting and flavor analysis, and more.
“For the public, we often do comparison cuppings — Sumatra, Colombia, Ethiopia, all roasted to the same level for origin education; or an American mild roasted four different ways; or a given coffee brewed as espresso, pourover, and cold brew — to illustrate how coffee can be manipulated,” Langer said. “If, rather than just telling people that it’s wrong to drink a French roast, I can give them the experience of determining where in the roast process they themselves can detect the most pleasurable development of origin characteristics, then I think I have contributed a set of skills to our local coffee community that they will take into any coffee situation. We want to help coffee drinkers think and taste critically.”
Red Rock worked with Marya Beauvais of the local firm The Design Girl to try to create a clean, contemporary design for the space that makes public guests feel welcome while also putting the focus squarely on the coffee.
Said Langer, “I see my role — as someone who grew up in specialty coffee and has seen so many trends come and go — as a debunker of extreme coffee ideology and translator of marketing jargon, and this space will be the focus of a more inclusive and authentic specialty coffee experience.”
Red Rock Roasters is located at 4801 Jefferson St NE, in Albuquerque, N.M.