In the roaster, coffee beans rise and fall. Consider it as a heated bouncy house transforming beans into the brown, roasted nuggets that magically transform hot water into a dark, smooth wake-up juice.
Berres Brothers Coffee Roasters’ most frequently bouncing around in the air roaster are beans from Mexico, chosen for their smooth, low acidity, and medium body. It is ideal for absorbing any of the over 40 flavours that are added after roasting.
“We like to have it where you can taste the coffee but also have an aftertaste of flavour,” said Pete Berres, founder of Berres Brothers Coffee Roasters.
Each year, Berres Brothers roasts approximately 700,000 pounds of coffee beans. After roasting but before being ground and hand-packed into bags, approximately 85 percent of those beans receive a splash of liquid flavouring. Highlander Grogg contributes more than a third of total sales.
Highlander Grogg accounts for approximately 35% of Berres Brothers Coffee Roasters’ sales.
Though they are never “burnt charcoal” dark, even when roasting dark Sumatra beans.
That is ideal in Pete’s opinion. Allow coffee connoisseurs to sip bitter coffee. Berres continues to entice Wisconsin coffee enthusiasts with flavours such as banana nut, French caramel cream, and Highlander Grogg.
Although the flavours are the foundation of the business, which employs approximately 35 people and is one of the state’s largest coffee roasters, Berres Brothers has seen its share of ups and downs since Pete and his brother Jeff transformed their father’s coffee service and vending business into a coffee roaster.
‘We have never attempted to resemble Starbucks — ever.’
Marvin Berres, the brothers’ father, founded Coffee Host Inc. in 1970 as a coffee delivery service for offices and restaurants within a 60-mile radius of Watertown. Marvin expanded the business in 1978 to include soda and snack vending.