An Extensive Variety of Private Label Coffee in Michigan

A good cup of coffee begins with the product you use. If you own a coffee shop, no doubt you want to serve your customers the most flavorful beverages available. Delicious coffee is what keeps them coming back. Improve your shop’s offerings with our private label coffee in Michigan.

Private Label Coffee | Michigan - Coffee Express Roasting Company

Private Label Coffee | Michigan – Coffee Express Roasting Company

Why private label?  You’ve worked hard on creating a look and feel for your coffeehouse or retail store.  The logo helps steer customers to your place, both in-person and online.  Let Coffee Express Roasting Co. make a retail coffee bag which reflects that image.

One of the best things about choosing us as your coffee roaster is you always receive a quality Michigan locally roasted coffee.

Contact our company to learn more about our selection of private label coffee.

This entry was posted in Coffee.

Medium Versus Dark Roasts Coffee Express Coffee Roasting Company Plymouth Michigan

Some people are deep into coffee understanding, while others will drink any old thing from the pot. Regardless of whether you prefer a mug of finely brewed morning java or you just want to grab a cup from the local gas station, it’s always good to at least have an idea of the different types of roasted coffee.

At Coffee Express Roasting Company, we accommodate a wide variety of preferences.  From super light (stopped at the first hint of tan color) for local Michigan Saudi-Arabia and Yemen heritages, to popular mediums, all the way to very dark roasts.  In this post, we’ll look at the differences so you can tell what you’re savoring with the next sip.  Some people may find it easier to envision the four roasts, light, medium, medium-dark, and dark, similar to steaks with rare, medium, medium well, and well-done.

Roasting the green beans brings out flavor and aroma within.  Since taste is relative to the individual, there is no ‘perfect roast’, or ‘under-roasted’, or ‘over-roasted’.  Personal preference rules the day.

Light RoastFairly new to the world of specialty coffee, beans are taken to what is called the ‘first crack’, or just beyond.  This can bring out sweetness and acids inherent in fine coffee.

Medium Roast – Preferred in the US.  Has a medium brown color partially due to caramelizing the sugars.  Often can not only tame the brightness of a light roast, but enhance some of the intrinsic character of the bean.

Medium-Dark Roast – It has a dark, rich color with some oil on the surface.  Produces a dark flavor.

Dark Roast – This roasting method creates shiny, oily black beans that deliver robust very dark, distinctive flavor.  Preferred by many coffee drinkers.

This entry was posted in Coffee.

What It Takes To Serve a Cup of Decaf Coffee

Decaf Coffee | Michigan

For specialty roasters, sales of decaf coffee in Michigan can account for approximately 15 to 20 percent of their sales, a significant enough portion to warrant a closer look. The reason a buyer will choose decaf coffee is as individual as their taste.

How we get to decaf depends on the method, but here are two popular ways roasters turn that jolt into something with a little less kick.

European Process

The European process uses methylene chloride, which is a highly selective solvent for caffeine. This patented method retains many of the coffee components responsible for aroma and taste. Green beans are bathed in hot water and then circulated in the chemical-rich environment drawing out the caffeine. The chemical is extremely volatile which means it dissipates at room temperature, all the more so at elevated roasting temperatures. The caffeine is extracted, and the beans are then dried to the original moisture content, ready for roasting. Once roasted there is no trace of the chemical compound.

Swiss Water Process

Swiss water decaf coffee is created using solubility and osmosis. First, raw beans are soaked in hot water to dissolve the caffeine. The water is then passed through an activated charcoal filter sized to capture only the larger caffeine molecules. This process allows smaller molecules to pass through, preserving the flavor but not the caffeine.

If high-quality specialty beans are used to decaffeinate, the result is a delightful cup of coffee with little difference from its caffeinated version. Whether you like decaf coffee or need a little boost to start your day, a specialty roasting company is sure to have the right blend for you.

This entry was posted in Coffee.

Things You Should Know About Fresh Roasted Coffee in Michigan

roasted coffee michigan

Coffee culture has permanently secured a foothold in our daily lives. But how fresh should your coffee be to take advantage of its peak potential? Although sealed packaging preserves freshness, the general rule is the fresher, the better. Take the time to discover the wonders of fresh roasted coffee in Michigan.

Hitting the High Notes

Just like any organic product, coffee breaks down over time and retains its most vibrant taste two to three weeks after the roast. This window of opportunity allows plenty of time to enjoy the aroma and flavor of a delicious brew.

Timing is Everything

Coffee experiences oxidization. Wholesale coffee distributors go to great lengths to keep their roasted beans fresh. Preventing oxygen exposure increases the bean’s stability, and sealed packaging can help keep the vibrant high notes intact for a longer period.

The Fresher the Better

A cup brewed from freshly roasted whole beans immediately ground before brewing is considered a premier coffee experience. If you’re a coffee lover and have never tasted a freshly roasted cup, now is the time.

Taste Characteristics of Coffee Growing Regions

As a coffee lover, you might want to know what a new variety would taste like – for example, maybe you’d like to try Papua New Guinea – but are worried you won’t like it. There are many taste profiles from the different coffee growing regions around the globe.  A broad description of these would be:

  • Africa: Bright and Fragrant
  • Central and South America: Mild and Smooth
  • Indonesia: Full Bodied and Bold

First, you’ll need to figure out if you want to try a medium roasted or a dark roasted coffee. I know that sounds elementary, but you’d be surprised how many people will ask for a variety that brews a robust cup of coffee when a lot of the time what they really want is a dark roasted coffee.

Each specialty coffee requires different degrees of heat and roasting time to achieve its optimum flavor. What this means is that a Sumatran will require more heat (and need to be darker roasted) than say, a Colombian would, to get the most flavor out of it. If a coffee is under-roasted it will tend to be a little bitter, but if it’s over-roasted, some of the flavor will be roasted out, and it will taste a bit flat (and probably burnt).

African coffees are usually acidic in flavor, and “winey” is a term often used for their dry, bright taste. Kenyan, Tanzanian and Zimbabwean are good examples of coffees with these characteristics. Ethiopian coffees from Harrar can have floral, fruity tastes, while those from Yrgacheffe are known for their chocolaty tones.

The coffees from the Americas are usually smooth, crisp and clean with bright aftertastes. Examples of these are Costa Rican, Guatemalan, Mexican and Colombian. Personally, I feel that Colombian coffees are some of the most consistent tasting from year to year. Some of these coffees, like those from Brazil & Nicaragua, have a nutty, or buttery smooth taste. And Hawaiian Kona has a sweetness to it that makes it a truly special cup of coffee, indeed.

Indonesian coffees have good body, similar to a bold red in the wine world. Some people mistakenly call this taste “strong”, but strong coffee is just brewed strongly – with extra coffee. Coffees from this region include Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi and Indian among others.

Another useful tip to consider when tasting coffees is they should be sampled hot, warm and at room temperature. Coffees that are just brewed can have their tastes masked by the high heat. These flavors will become more pronounced as the cup cools. You should enjoy the flavor of a cooler cup as much as you did when it was hot. Be aware though that, conversely, taste and aroma characteristics can appear fleetingly just after brewing.

The Current State of Specialty Coffee

We are now roasting new crop Central American coffees, and they taste fantastic. Some of these are used in our House and House Full City blends, which translates to a lot of of fabulous flavors for you to try. Scott is partial to the milder coffees, so new crop Costa Rican or House Blend is what he’d brew if given a choice. Walt is enjoying the fresh crop Centrals, and organic French Roast (for his espressos) – which also has new crop in it.

We always brew the coffees right after roasting and again the next day, but the flavors continue to develop three or four more days. Roasting changes the chemical makeup of the beans. The heat burns the sugars that are inside, and brings the oils that carry much of the flavor to the surface. On close inspection of a roasted bean, you will notice – especially in a dark roast – a speck of oil emerging. That speck will continue to spread, covering the whole bean, and subtly changing the flavor as it goes.

How do cantaloup, hibiscus, or soy sauce grab you as tasting notes in coffee? There is an updated coffee tasting flavor wheel that has some interesting descriptive terms. Though some of the identifiers are a bit outside the pale, we at Coffee Express have picked up and recognized many of these taste notes. See what you think for yourself Coffee Tasters Flavor Wheel.

We hope you enjoy these excellent new crop coffees, and that you’ll have some fun picking up some of the flavors from the wheel!

When to Replace Your Old Machine

Anytime you want to stop in and buy a new machine is a good time for me! Seriously though, there comes a time when repairing a well-used machine is going to cost more than it’s worth.

Our records show that most commercial espresso machines will be replaced after six to eight years, although a few will last for well over a decade with proper care. Heavy use can wear moving parts and perishable gaskets more quickly. Poor maintenance procedures can also shorten the life of your equipment.

As with any restaurant equipment that uses water, softening the water will give your machine the opportunity to last as long as it should. Hard, untreated, water will plug up the boiler and pipes. This will cause brew head temperature to drop below 190 Fahrenheit, and will prevent your machine from pouring a good tasting shot.

Cleaning out the boiler and pipes can easily cost $1,000 or more. A computer replacement can also cost over $1,000. These high dollar repairs can exceed the resale value of a 6 year old machine, and may tip the scales in favor of new equipment.

If you’ve been wondering if your espresso machine is ready to be retired, give us a call and we can help you make an informed decision.


The standard lot of coffee is around 250 bags, or 37,500 lbs. This is also a truckload, or an ocean container full. There are partial lots of more exotic types, but let’s zero in on what are known as microlots. 

You might ask, “What is your favorite coffee?” or, “Which country has the best coffee?” Tough questions with a simple answer. All coffee producing countries can have exquisite growths.

We’ve mentioned in previous posts that using the language of estates and farms is fuzzy business when talking coffee origins. Generally though, a microlot implies a very limited coffee from a single farm. Perhaps they have produced a few thousand pounds -25 bags let’s say- of a coffee they know produces a luxurious cup. On the other hand, maybe it’s from a larger farm, but they have singled out a particularly great bean. Either way, voila , a microlot!

While Coffee Express has always brought in coffees such as Wallenford Estate Jamaican, small-farm Hawaiian Konas, and microlot Cup of Excellence® winners, we have recently decided to expand our offerings. Besides our standard coffees, we keep on hand three to four additional choices. They can represent just about every producing region of the world. Prices vary based on availability, reputation, and other arbitrary influences. We will provide details about the production of the coffee, the farm, farmer, and cup qualities.

What we have on hand changes. If you fall in love with one, you will eventually have to go on to the next! Rest assured though, these are the most special coffees of the specialty coffee industry, and there will always be an exceptional selection from which to choose.

How We Choose Our Coffees

Folks who make coffee their profession understand – there are many steps to a great cup. It starts with green beans, and involves roasting, brewing and serving. The green beans alone require a certain depth of knowledge, including genetics, growing regions, processing techniques, sorting, and shipping. Let’s take a look at how we choose our coffees.

Some of the criteria we use to purchase green coffees are cup quality, seasonal growing cycle, price, and availability. Since we began roasting in 1982, we’ve looked the world over for the best beans each producing country offers. We’ve always maintained a large variety of types from the majority of coffee growers.

It’s important to represent many specialty coffees. When you are asked what the best coffee is, the answer is not set in stone, but comes when you’re able to choose from among the many terrific growths available at any given time.

Each roaster uses various, personalized criteria to buy and evaluate their green purchases. At Coffee Express, we use a number of trusted importers, based on both the east and west coast. We look for a combination of coffees we need, and those that are available for a limited time.

Cup quality is never always 10, on a scale of 1-10. After all, if everything were a 10, you wouldn’t need a scale! So, you try to shoot for that elusive 10 at all times, but you choose from what’s available. I believe everyone has a slightly different bar, and we’ve kept ours very high for going on thirty years. We reject coffee below that bar, no matter how much it’s needed.

Today, our process for choosing coffees has led to nearly three decades of – we hope – some of the best tasting coffee you can find.

We hope you enjoy drinking our coffee as much as we enjoy roasting it for you!

Two Important Influences on Coffee’s Taste

Two important influences on coffee’s taste are geography and price. I’d like to take just a moment to discuss each of these a bit.

The wine industry has used the term terrior to describe the effects of soil, sun, rain, and elevation on grapes and the resulting wine. While the attempts to link aspects of coffee and wine often go too far, this similarity has merit. In large part terrior is what makes bright the notes of a Costa Rican differ from earthy Indonesian coffees, half a world away.

Two Costa Ricans can taste much different as well, the distance here measured in a few miles. Weather and soil vary even at close range. Of course other factors influence taste, and will provide future topics of conversation for us.

The old adage says that price and quality go hand-in-hand. Coffee is no exception. For starters, let’s break the bean into two categories “commercial” and “specialty”. While the line between these two general types can blur, fancy – or specialty – brings with it the understanding that the additional care goes into the cultivar, elevation, the position on a hillside; the picking, processing, roasting, and ultimately, the brewing. Understandably, this extra attention costs more.

A price variance that is harder to nail down is what can be made of the difference between, for example, an $8.00 a pound Panama and one that is $16.00. You may even see ratings on coffees: numbers on a scale given for taste qualities: nose, brightness, body, balance, etc. Because taste is subjective, the more “cuppers” participating will generally give a more accurate assessment. So, two Panamanians can have vastly different scores.

Packaging and marketing also influence the $16.00 coffee. Consumers appreciate a story that personalizes where the coffee comes from. If the name of a town or farm or family can be linked to the coffee, all the better. Possibly the farm uses methods that are more kind to the environment, or is circumspect in how it makes economic decisions. The promotion of these features is another factor that helps drive up the price.

Taste, which should be what the coffee drinker really enjoys, sometimes gets lost in the promotion. Coffee Express Co. works to procure the highest grades and the best-tasting lots from all over every country whose coffees we carry, including organics, Fair Trade, and decafs. We’ve kept our eye on the ball for quality over the years, fashioning our production, packaging, and delivery methods to ensure that we supply our retailers with the best coffee available, delivered fresh from the roaster, at affordable prices. You don’t have to overpay for taste.