Roadhouse Joe from the Coffee Company

A beautiful blend that’s the bomb for everyday brewing!

by Ari Weinzweig

A bag of Roadhouse Joe beans.

 Hard to believe—it’s been sixteen years since we were first trying out various blends for what would become the Roadhouse Joe from the Coffee Company. Here we are, all these years later and, I think it’s worked out—the Roadhouse Joe is one of the most persistently popular coffees we’ve got on the ZCoB block! It’s got one of those all around, accessible yet interesting, big but not overwhelming, flavors. Something that you can drink for breakfast, midday, with dinner, or after dinner too.

What’s in the blend? Right now, it’s made up of Papua New Guinea, Costa Rica, Brazil Peaberry, and Indian—representative of the major growing regions of the world. But it hasn’t always been that way. The point of a blend—as opposed to the many single origins we do—is that we can adjust it a bit regularly to keep the flavor profile consistent. Less variation from “vintage to vintage.” And so we’re always working to make it a bit tastier and a snippet smoother. That sort of pushing towards—though, of course, never really reaching—perfection, is a lot of what drives most of us here in the ZCoB. Which is likely why I feel like the Roadhouse Joe is tasting better than ever!

Last week I referenced Natural Law #8 on the list of “Twelve Natural Laws of Business,” which says that “To get to greatness you’ve got to keep getting better. All the time!” It’s in play here as well. Managing partner Steve Mangigian (just back from visiting the fantastic farm at Daterra in Brazil, from whence we get our Espresso Blend #1, Brazil Sweet Yellow, Full Bloom, and more), shares that, “My approach in the last several years has been to continually make the Roadhouse Joe better. For example, this year we swapped out Guatemala beans for Costa Rica. It makes the blend more of a ’relationship coffee’—we like working with farms that turn into longstanding partnerships. The Indian Mysore (we were using a Monsoon Malabar) perks up the pepper/spice notes in the coffee and makes it a touch more complex.”

Any way you drink it, the Roadhouse Joe is likely to appeal. Smooth, just subtly sweet, a bit nutty. I like it best in a pourover out at the Coffee Company, but of course, I’ve consumed a lot of cups at the Roadhouse where it’s our all day, seven days a week, three meals a day, coffee of choice!

Check out the rest of our favorite drinks we make in house with Zingerman’s Coffee and Espresso.