- Griffin Swartzell
Taylor Love says it was his wife, Kristin, who pushed him to start Roasted! (roastedcolorado.com), the ultra-small-batch, single-person coffee roastery he runs from his detached garage. The Love family moved to the Springs in 2013, him leaving behind an unsatisfying finance career and her taking a job in the Colorado College advancement office. Taylor enjoyed being a stay-at-home dad for a while, but he grew increasingly bored until Kristin suggested he take up a hobby. They invested in a toaster oven-sized roaster, letting him further explore his love of coffee. Taylor started sharing his beans with friends, then on his wife's suggestion, he set up a tent at the Farm and Art Market at its former location at the Ivywild School, in summer 2014.
"It was amazing to me," he says. "Here I am, spending a week in the garage roasting this stuff, and people are paying money for it."
Producing the amount of coffee he needed became a huge time-suck, so they invested in a much larger Diedrich roaster, built in Ponderay, Idaho, and capable of roasting up to a kilogram of coffee per batch. Through the farmer's market, he made connections to a few local markets and eateries. His beans can now be found at the Willamette Market & Deli in Shook's Run, Lu Style Goods in Manitou and Mountain Mama on the Westside, as well as on the Roasted! website. The Gold Star Pies food truck also uses his beans for their coffee.
Taylor uses a few direct-trade coffee importers to get his beans, naming Berkeley, California's Red Fox Coffee Merchants as an example. He also has some trade ties of his own.
"I try hard to buy directly from farmers in Colombia," he says. "I've been able to go down there, meet [coffee farmers] and visit some farms."
In terms of roasting philosophy, Taylor prefers a medium-light roast, slightly darker than the brightest and most fruit-forward coffees in town, but still light enough that those fruitier flavors read. He does offer a few dark roasts as well.
"Typically, I let the coffee tell me what it wants to do and then fine-tune it from there," he says, adding that most of his beans are roasted to order.