It has been a couple weeks since I sat in front of Scott Weigand , owner and sole roast master of Brave Coffee & Tea Company, but I can still remember the lovely scent of his fresh brew as well as I can remember the smell of the cup of Brave coffee I had this morning...
It was cold outside, and as the dim rays of the setting winter sun filled the space of the MOCO building, a small group of us sat close to his display table and soaked in the tantalizing aromas of his coffees.
Scott got the first notches on his coffee belt slinging brews in NYC while pursuing a career in theater management. The odd hours of rehearsals and auditions graciously lent to working in coffee shops for extra income. As both professions blossomed, as did his relationship with his now wife, a Vermont native. With the decision to raise a family in Vermont rather than in The City, Scott transitioned to working for Green Mountain Coffee in Waterbury for several years. As corporate culture finally tightened its grasp on Keurig/Green Mountain, he decided to leave began working for Brave Coffee and in a move worthy of the name, Scott ended up buying the company in 2014 and becoming his own boss.
Most of the beans are certified organic and sourced from single estates on several continents. Scott intends to move to procuring solely organic beans in the near future. Brave Coffee & Tea distributes only within Vermont, but there are some loyal customers out of state that enjoy a monthly subscription.
Scott's main focus is meticulous care in roasting in order to bring out the best qualities from the different beans. His dedication and skill was demonstrated to us as he prepared several different roasts and allowed us to focus on the delicious nuances of each cup. He discussed with us the “first crack” when the beans begin to turn color and start releasing their oils and aromas and he highlighted the importance of timing after that first crack so as to achieve peak flavor. Beans vary not only in origin, but also in character, and Scott’s enjoyment in his job is matching the roasting time with the beans and letting their unique flavors do the talking.
Each roast had distinct qualities and aromas that you will find etched in a few words at the bottom of each of his bags. These descriptions not only help the consumer match their personal preferences with his roasts; they also add an olfactory search image, which can help improve the consumer’s drinking experience. At least it did for me. Scott ended the evening with exciting news of his intention to hire as second employee to help meet the growing demand for his hand roasted beans. We are fortunate to have such a skilled roaster in our community, and you don’t have to be brave to try his coffee, I assure you it is a safe bet.
(all photos generously provided by Scott Weigand of Brave Coffee Roasters!)