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Roastery Tour at Crimson Cup Coffee

Walker Evans Walker Evans Roastery Tour at Crimson Cup Coffee
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Located in a nondescript building on Alum Creek Drive just outside of Bexley, Crimson Cup Coffee is roasting nearly a thousand pounds of coffee everyday. This local coffee supply business was founded by Greg Ubert and provides products and services to over 450 coffee shops, restaurants, universities and other customers across 28 states, helping to cement Columbus as an important coffee city on the national map.

“We’re a unique model in that we’re not a franchise system,” said Melissa Rogner, Marketing Director at Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea. “So our customers are usually ones who are looking to have the structure without the franchise royalties or commitment.”

On a recent tour of Crimson Cup’s roasting facility, we were able to see first hand how the business operates. Four roasters that vary in size are operated to produce different batches and blends. One machine that has been dubbed “Godzilla” produces a total of 260 pounds of coffee per roast.

“We’re not ever going make certain specialty coffees at that high of volume, so those will remain our smaller custom roasts,” explained Operations Director (and former Roastmaster) Dave Eldridge. “Godzilla produces our staples that we really count on like our Armando’s Blend and other high volume coffees.”

Post-roasting, the coffees are bagged for cafes or for retail with a large automated Fres-Co packaging machine and then shelved temporarily for shipping. Eldridge explained that their workflow ensures that all coffee leaves the building within two days of receiving the beans.

“If someone puts in an order today, it’s Fed-Ex’ed out tomorrow,” he said. “We pack and ship daily because a lot of the shops we work with don’t have a lot of storage space, so they need a quick response time.”

In addition to roasting, packaging and shipping, Crimson Cup’s building is home to their administrative offices, a fully functional test cafe, and a stark white cupping room where coffees are sampled and catalogued. Customer Growth Consultant Brandon Bir walked us through the cupping process and explained the types of flavor profiles they search for in their coffees.

Despite their successful growth as a company, the team at Crimson Cup strives to reiterate that their values and products remain true to then the business was first founded.

“I think there’s a misconception about producing larger batches of coffee, but the truth is that the same level of attention and detail goes into it as would with a smaller batch,” says Rogner. “We’ve got the range to do it all.”

For more information, visit www.crimsoncup.com.

Photos by Walker Evans.

From March 17th to March 23rd, Columbus Underground is celebrating Coffee Week! Throughout the week, we’ll be taking a look at various coffee shops, roasters, brands, businesses and the people that contribute to this rapidly growing local movement. Coffee Week 2013 is sponsored by Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea, providing handcrafted coffee to Columbus, OH since 1991. Follow them on Facebook or Twitter for more information.

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