A Word On Who We Are
To properly tell the story about our roasting in Plymouth, Michigan, we have to go back more than 50 years to 1971. Tom Isaia purchased his first espresso machine - a Faema E-61 - and opened the Blind Pig Café in Ann Arbor. In 1975, he founded Coffee Express Co., and began importing, selling, and servicing Rancilio brand espresso machines. As we grew, we quickly became the preferred choice among coffee houses and retailers in the area.
In 1982 we started roasting operations on South Main St. in Ann Arbor, MI. We became the leading roaster of specialty & organic coffee in Michigan. We focused exclusively on specialty coffee beans (most coffee roasters in those days provided general, institutional blends).
Finally, in 1997, our roasting operations expanded, and we moved to Plymouth, where we are located today.
Specialty Coffee in the Modern World
Today, the world of specialty coffees is much the same as it was in 1982. While there are many more independent roasters than there were back then, the types of coffees are familiar: Colombia Supremo, Kenya AA, Yemen Mocha, Italian Roast, etc. Broken down by region, you could find a Guatemala Antigua, Sumatra Mandheling, and Costa Rica Tarrazu.
With the explosion of baristas as a skilled profession and the increasing number of coffee roasters around the world, the market continues to grow larger and more discerning. Not only that, but the industry has become even more specialized through interaction with small farms, exploring new varietals, identifying processing methods, experimenting with roasting styles, and testing percentages of solids in a brewed cup. The amount of knowledge and interest is remarkable.