Good things come in small packages — an adage as true for the town of LaPlata, Maryland, as it is for each individual seed now roasted on site at Wee Bean Coffee Roasters.
A substantial step up in size from Wee Bean’s initial mobile coffee cart, the 1,200-square-foot Wee Bean coffee roastery and retail cafe opened earlier this spring, a short day trip’s distance south of Washington D.C.
“Roasting in the new space has been a game changer for controlling the variables we once faced in our garage,” Wee Bean Coffee Roasters Owner Erich Herrmann told DCN. “The roaster piques people’s interest and I get a lot of questions about it. I enjoy discussing our coffee and what sets us apart from other cafes in the area. Because we are a farming community, and with the shifts in the culinary world, people are curious about where their food comes from and the journey from cultivation to consumption.”
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The hub of production also serves as both an educational cue and a visual centerpiece within an interior design inspired by Hermann’s travels through Europe, as well as by the town’s railroad and agricultural roots.
Along with contractor John Hall, Hermann and the Wee team refurbished the space, which previously housed an iconic local 1950s burger joint, a Tastee Freez, and a pancake house.
A wooden bar wraps around the perimeter of the retail area, while a patio area provides additional space. A barn door salvaged from a local farm separates the production roasting area, and an open bar counter encourages customers to witness the drink-making process.
A 2-group Slayer Steam X in red and walnut anchors the espresso station along with a fleet of various Mahlkönig grinders. Water poured manually from black Fellow Stagg kettles land in Chemex and Hario V60 brewers for the pourover program. The shop also offers cold brew and locally made baked goods.
Wee Bean also ran an art contest during the pandemic in an effort to keep people connected and actively sharing art via the internet. The result a coffee-themed mural by elementary school art teacher Rachel Proctor, featuring bright red coffee cherries.
Said Hermann, “I am lucky enough to have a talented community around me.”
Wee Bean Coffee Roastery is open now at 6580 Crain Highway in LaPlata, Maryland.