Based out of Sherwood Park, Alberta, Roasti Coffee Co. is a micro-roaster started by former hockey goaltender Andrew Hayes and his father, Gerry Hayes, in January 2017. Gerry had roasted coffee for years in their garage, but passed the torch onto Andrew once his hockey career ended. We chatted with Andrew and their Production Roaster, Tara Huizinga, to learn more about the roastery.

- What made you decide to start a coffee company?

Hayes: When we first started this, I was struggling pretty heavily with post-concussion syndrome. Every day, I would be dealing with different migraines, dizziness, nausea, etc. I needed to find some sense of what I could do on my own time and without a timeline of a boss.

Then, it just happened in that timeframe. We had met Henrique Cambraia, a Brazilian fourth-generation coffee grower, and his team, so it just seemed like both worlds collided at the right time. That’s when we ended up ordering a little five-kilo roaster out of Montréal, hooked it up in my garage and just started to try to learn as fast as we could. I had seen my father tinkering around when I was a little bit younger. I didn’t really understand why he wanted to do that until I started to learn a little more about the differences and different kinds of coffees and how beautiful they can be. I really got into it, and I was like, “Yeah, this could be a pretty interesting and fun way to live my life.”

- What is your ethos when it comes to green sourcing?

Huizinga: Right now, we are working on making sure we can have transparency with our sourcing and pricing. We are trying to make sure we source really good coffee that is approachable for everyone; Andrew is probably one of the most amicable and welcoming people, and we want Roasti to be like that.

- What is your philosophy when it comes to roasting?

Huizinga: We are trying to make sure that we represent a coffee in the way the producer would want it to be represented. I think that roasting is a super important stage, and we have a lot of control over the end profile of the cup, but we get a lot of notes from the importers we work with from the farmers about the coffee and what they expect from it, and we try to work towards that

October 04, 2023 — Zara Snitman

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