In the small city of Newark, Delaware, the dominant style of coffee available to consumers is not exactly of the sort an aficionado might enjoy an hour’s drive away in Philly or Baltimore, respectively.
In September of last year, however, the little college town gained an important resource both for locally roasted coffees and for information about what makes it great when Little Goat Coffee Roasting opened its doors downtown.
“Our shop is a small and cozy space with the roaster in public view, so customers can watch us roast while enjoying a drink,” Little Goat Co-Founder Olivia Brinton told Daily Coffee News. “Having the roaster on display and explaining how the roasting process works is a huge part of our customer education.”
While the company’s name brings consumers into coffee’s legendary origin story, as it were, the company also aims to impart knowledge about each bean’s origins and processing, while also communicating modern-day challenges Little Goat aims to help meet through careful sourcing.
“We believe that one of the most important steps in educating our customers about specialty coffee is providing information about the farms and cooperatives that we purchase our green coffee from,” Brinton said. “We exclusively serve organic, fair trade, and from time to time, Rainforest Alliance certified coffees and take pride in being able to show our customers that the coffee we serve was grown in a sustainable manner.”
A bit more than half of the 950-square-foot space is taken up by the Little Goat kitchen, bar and roasting area, including green coffee storage and a Diedrich IR5 machine, while the rest accommodates customer seating and bathrooms. A Curtis ThermoPro turns out batch brew while full-bodied single-cups descend from Bonavita immersion drippers. Traditional espresso drinks are crafted on a Nuova Simonelli Appia 2 espresso machine paired with Simonelli-made grinders as well.
“The importers we are fortunate to purchase from provide detailed information about the locals and peoples who sustainably nurture and harvest each little gem before it journeys to us,” said Little Goat Co-Founder Joe Lins, who handles most of the roasting while sourcing much of the coffee from Royal Coffee New York. “Envisioning these people and their lives lends impetus to us to focus our concentration and bring their art to its fruition.”
Currently the company provides beans to a handful of restaurants, CSA farm shares and cafes, and one grocery store. By September of this year, they hope to rope in 40 to 60 new accounts within a 50-mile radius of Newark.
Little Goat Coffee Roasting is now open at 16 Haines Street in Newark, Delaware.