Our Roastery

We roast our coffee in order to serve our customers the best, and freshest cup of coffee possible. Our Diedrich roaster is "fired up" several times each week to roast the finest quality arabica beans. Our beans are obtained only through the most reliable coffee brokers.

Why do we roast our coffee so often? After it's roasted, coffee begins a slow deterioration caused by contact with air and moisture. This is why coffee is best when purchased as you need it and stored in a cool, dry place.

When coffee beans are roasted they undergo a chemical change that brings out distinct characteristics that every coffee has. As beans are roasted the level of acidity (that "zing" specific to many good coffees) and body emerge. The longer the roast, the more oils come to the surface, displaying a dark and shinier bean. Just look at the difference between a Full City Roast and a batch of beans roasted to a French Roast.

COFFEE ROASTER: Christopher Pyatak 

General Coffee Information:

Shade grown coffee is grown using a canopy of trees and vegetation. Modern agri-technology methods have reduced the need for coffee trees to be grown under shade while increasing yield. It is popularly accepted that coffee grown using canopy shade provides a better cupping coffee. Not all "shade-grown" coffee is organic.

Coffee designated as "bird-friendly" relies on shade trees to provide a natural habitat for many varieties of birds. Habitat lost by cutting down trees to plant sun-resistant varieties of coffee threatens the existence of these birds.

Capitol Grounds is a Fair Trade Certified coffee roaster licensed by Transfair, USA. With the unstable market of coffee trading, "fair trade" coffees are purchased to ensure that the farmers get a better and fair price for their labor, which in turn means better healthcare and education for their families, among other things. Many Fair Trade coffees are organic and many are shade-grown and bird-friendly as well.
Learn more at www.transfairusa.org

We are certified organic through
Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont


A light roasted coffee that leaves no trace of oil on the bean, low body and light acidity. (This roast not used at Capitol Grounds)

The beans are roasted to a medium-dark brown and may have spots of oil appearing on the surface. Displaying potent body, this is our most popular roast.

Roasted beyond "Full City" but not to the stage of "French Roast", the beans exhibit splotches of oil although not fully covering the bean.

These beans are roasted to a dark brown and have a sheen of oil covering nearly the entire bean. (In some regions of the country this is a darker roast than the "Italian")

Our darkest roast displaying a coat of oil on the entire bean surface. Used for our Espresso as well as our popular Senate Blend.


Brewing Coffee

Purchase beans that are freshly roasted. DO NOT store in the fridge, as coffee will pick up odors from items stored there: have you ever tasted onion coffee?. Freeze only if you have a large amount, and once opened make sure to store the beans as suggested: in a cool, dry place.

"A clean machine is a good machine" - Keeping your machine clean is important because a build-up of oil can cause a bitter or rancid flavor.

Since coffee is mostly water, quality H2O means a better cup of coffee. Optimum temperature for brewing is between 195° to 205° Fahrenheit.

Just as fresh-roasted coffee is important, fresh-ground coffee is key. The time the water is in contact with the grounds dictates the grind. For an espresso machine, a finer grind is used; for a French press a courser grind is appropriate. Bitter coffee may be a result of over-extraction (i.e., the grind is too fine) and can be easily corrected for the next pot.

For every 6 ounces of water, use 1-2 tablespoons of ground coffee. The ratio can be adjusted according to your personal taste. Remember that some water is lost through evaporation depending on the method of brewing. After the coffee is brewed, do not let it sit on a burner for more than a few minutes. The continued heating can give the coffee a burnt taste.

Source: The National Coffee Association


Coffee growing within a
diverse forest ecosystem
under the shade canopy

Picking Coffee Cherries
in Costa Rica