Roaster of the Month: Lost Sock Roasters

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Lost Sock Roasters cupping at Colony Club

We have been hearing about Lost Sock Coffee around town, and I finally met the duo behind the buzz at a cupping at Colony Club a few months back. Jeff, Nico and I got to chatting, and their drive and passion was inspiring. Take a look at how this community minded pair is bringing their coffee to your door.

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Local supporting Local – Lost Sock Roasters cupping at Colony Club

Like many coffee enthusiasts’ stories, it was the clarity and fruitiness of a washed Ethiopian coffee that first caught Jeff’s attention after being brought up on Dunkin Donuts coffee in Boston. Instantly drawn to learning about how coffee could taste so different, he started exploring.

“When you begin finding the answers to these questions, you open your eyes to an entire world system of countless origins, people, processes and methods. With coffee, you never stop learning – there’s always more to it.”

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At Lost Sock they are about more than just coffee; there is an awareness about the lengths at which coffee goes through to reach your cup that they want to share. In fact, Lost Sock was borne out of a community-oriented project they and three other friends thought up around the time Nico and Jeff were students at American University.

“The concept had been coined ‘The Lemonade Stand’- this community-oriented collaborative space would function as a small bar, coffeehouse, art gallery, and live performance venue. We all sensed this growing DIY creative community that was taking root in DC, and we wanted to be part of it, foster it, and contribute.”

Although the original plan didn’t take root, Nico and Jeff kept after the idea and eventually started roasting green coffee in their apartment.

“It was a lot of trial and error, but drinking a cup of coffee that you had personally roasted provided unparalleled gratification. We now had a certain level of control in flavor development, and we became obsessed. We then began taking roasting classes through the SCAA at the Academy of Coffee Excellence at Williamsburg Coffee.”

They have learned how difficult the roasting process is, found the craft in it, and are passionate about bringing that to the masses.

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Coffee offerings at the Timber Pizza Co. pop up
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Lost Sock’s branded gear at Timber Pizza Co.

Jeff and Nico aim to bring you a cup of coffee as satisfying in the morning as finding that lost sock you’ve been after. Their design was created by Gem Mateo, whom they met through a mutual friend and who works for Levi’s in San Francisco. The name and design are simple yet thought provoking, and a testament to their fervent passion of the brand.

I recently caught up with them at Timber Pizza Co. in Petworth where they have been hosting a pop-up since the beginning of December. Originally slated to run one month, they’ve extended through January as the restaurant and community have relished their presence. Other than their single origin coffee offerings, I also had the pleasure of trying Cascara tea, a type of tea made from the skin and pulp of the coffee cherry (gently caffeinating its recipient at 1/4 the intensity of coffee). They also serve hot cocoa made from Undone Chocolate (a DC award winning chocolatier) and their homemade vanilla syrup. Timber makes their wood fired bagels (first boiled in New York – what they say about the water is true) and breakfast empañadas.

Future plans include suiting up a VW van to be a mobile espresso/coffee bar, popping up throughout town.

“Our main goal, however, is to establish ourselves as a respected specialty coffee roaster and increase our presence throughout the city.”

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Lost Sock’s pop up at Timber Pizza Co.

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Keep your roaster radar tuned for upcoming pop-ups featuring Lost Sock Coffee!

The Stats:

Roaster manufacturer: Mill City Roaster
Calibration Program/software: Artisan
Capacity: 6 kilo
How many batches per hour: 4
Lbs per week/month: approx 300lbs
Bean sourcing (direct trade/importers): Collaborate with a small number of importers as well as a couple direct trade collectives.
Cuppings frequency: Weekly
Packaging: Hand stamped fully recyclable brown kraft bags.
Wholesale/Retail: Online : delivery within the District and ships nationwide. In stores/pop-ups at Peach Market, Odd Provisions, Small Chop, and From The Farmer. More to come!
BONUS:
Personal favorite region: Lately the Kenyans but will always have a soft spot for really fruity, floral, and bright Ethiopians.
Recommendation that’s on the shelf now: The Nicaraguan Lovo! Also some very exciting new offerings coming very soon including a Kenyan and a Rwandan.

Stay Grounded,

Daniëlle

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