For Roasters & Retailers

Graham coffee roaster is in it to win at N.C. State Fair

Alamance Kaffee Works of Graham will compete Friday, Oct. 13, in the N.C. Coffee Competition at the N.C. State Fair in Raleigh, during the second-annual “Battle of the Roasters” competition.

The business opened in May and is owned by Daniel Krenzer and Daniel Jordan. Its coffee will be judged on aroma, flavor, aftertaste, acidity, body, balance and overall quality.

“We both roast and work the business equally,” Krenzer said. “We do have our own strengths, but work together well. We became friends and started the business. We traveled to coffee-producing countries such as El Salvador, Costa Rica and Thailand. We strive to make the best coffees we can to recreate the coffee experience we had during our visits.”

He calls the roastery “small but nimble.”

“We roast to order depending on the taste profile you prefer, taking into account the natural flavors of the different coffees,” he said. “We work to roast our coffees to a profile that limits bitterness while emphasizing the original flavor and smooth qualities of the bean. We roast in small batches with surgical care for quality and consistency. What sets our company apart is that we offer most of our coffees in a full 16-ounce bag. Most specialty coffees have transitioned to a 10- or 12-ounce bag, but we find value in giving people a full pound of coffee.”

Both he and Jordan have other full-time jobs and also help schools and charities raise money.

“We prepare a blend for the organization, and a large portion of each bag sold returns to that organization,” Krenzer said. “One of our company values is purpose over profit.”

Kezner said that he and Jordan are excited to see how their coffee holds up to the best and biggest coffee companies in the state.

“The most exciting part is that we are submitting our typical coffees that anybody can purchase,” he said. “We want to test our regular coffees rather than submit a unique hard-to-find coffee from a remote coffee farm that might be hard to get large quantities of coffee from in the future.”

The competition is 3 — 5 p.m. The business will go up against Aromatic Roasters of Pittsboro, Five Star Coffee Roaster of Holly Springs, Friday Coffee Roasters of Belmont, Joe Van Gogh Coffee of Hillsborough, Larry’s Coffee of Raleigh, Mellelo Coffee Roasters of Davidson, Pine State Coffee of Raleigh, Raleigh Coffee Co. of Raleigh, Sospeso Coffee Roasters of Waxhaw, and Well-Bean Coffee Co. of Wake Forest.

The competition was co-founded and is sponsored by Stockton Graham &Co., the parent company of Dilworth Coffee in Charlotte, in 2016. It’s the only statewide coffee competition on the East Coast. The competition will be held in the Special Cooking Contest Area in the Education Building at the fair.

Reporter Bill Cresenzo can be reached at or 336-506-3041. Follow him on Twitter at @BillCresenzoTN.

By Bill Cresenzo, Times-News, Burlington, N.C.



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