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Volt Coffee is Leading a Specialty Coffee Charge in Northeast Alabama

Volt Coffee

Inside the new Volt Coffee in Southside, Alabama. All photos by Jonathan Vo, courtesy of Volt Coffee, unless otherwise noted.

Alabama roasting company Volt Coffee is helping to spark a small coffee revolution in the greater Gadsen area with the opening of its first brick-and-mortar cafe in Southside. 

Stripes of upbeat blues and reds pop from the shop’s white walls. They tie together coffee bags on the merchandise shelves with the white-topped service bar, where a 3-group Eagle One espresso machine awaits fully powered. 

Volt Coffee Co-Founder and Head Roaster Logan Owens chose the machine in an effort to accommodate beginner baristas without sacrificing quality.

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Photo by Laney Owens, courtesy of Volt Coffee.

“My town is very new to specialty coffee,” Owens told Daily Coffee News. “It’s been a really cool time learning on [the Eagle One] and getting that up and going, and our staff, they’ve killed it. They just grabbed a hold of it faster than I thought that they were going to.”

Nuova Simonelli Mythos grinders paired with Puqpress automatic tampers round out the espresso prep setup for customers at the bar and through the shop’s drive-through window. 

“I don’t want it to matter who’s pulling shots; I want it to be the same quality even when I’m not there,” said Owens. “It’s hard to find people that care about it as much as you do, which is just the nature of any business, so I tried to meet them in the middle and give them equipment that would equip them to handle the volume that we’re pushing out and then also hit the consistency and the quality that I expect from my coffee and from from my business.”

Volt Coffee merch

A Mahlkönig EK43 grinds for Fetco batch brews and Toddy cold brews. When given the time, Owens may also involve the EK43 for manual pourover brews.

A room adjacent to the shop is currently set aside for a future roastery, although for now Owens roasts on a Diedrich IR12 machine owned by Called Coffee, based about 30 miles south in Anniston, Alabama.

Owens and his wife, Shelby Owens, founded Volt Coffee in 2021, roasting initially on an Aillio Bullet roaster for local sales and markets. Sales Growth led to the need for more roasting capacity, while the Owenses continue to balance the tastes of local and regional customers. 

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Photo by Laney Owens, courtesy of Volt Coffee.

“I like to have a wide variety of coffees in our shop, so if someone comes in and they’re looking for something brighter, more fruity, we have that,” said Logan Owens. “But if someone comes in and they just want a dark roast — we don’t necessarily roast dark, but we have beans of a flavor that is similarly dark-chocolate-heavy rather than this honey-process Costa Rica that’s just super bright, super citrusy.”

Alongside the coffee program, Volt Coffee maintains a bakery led by Larissa Wallace, who rotates creative specials such as a s’mores pop tart, coffee crunch cupcakes and an orange roll among staple items such as scones. 

Volt Coffee menu

A youth pastor prior to founding Volt Coffee, Owens is eager to provide more engaging work experiences in Southside. Meanwhile, he wants to broaden horizons even further by cultivating direct relationships with coffee farms, such a recent one with a farm in Georgia-based Alma Coffee’s network.

“It provides something that’s different than just any other establishment where you could go and get a job,” Owens said of the specialty coffee business. “It’s cultivated in a way that people just feel safe, and like their work has meaning.”

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Volt Coffee is located at 1328 AL-77 in Southside. Tell DCN’s editors about your new coffee shop or roastery here