Even with a dizzying number of farmers markets on our home turf, Dillon Miskiewicz epitomizes why produce and pantry road trips are so gratifying. His Centri Coffee stand is tucked near the end of a winding maze of produce and sundries at the Sunday Ojai Farmers Market. There, you will find bags of coffee beans roasted in small batches the day before -- buy them online, and he roasts your beans to order.
Miskiewicz says the satisfaction he gets from roasting is similar to our craving for farmers market diversity. "As a coffee consumer, you tend to stick with what you like," says the 24-year-old UCSB student. "But when you're on the roasting end, you are forced to taste more. The more I roasted, the more I wanted to try different blends -- that's really what drew me to being a roaster."
Miskiewicz began roasting beans at home several years ago but only began selling them online earlier this year. He describes his roasting philosophy as "working from the bean's essence and building out from there." Like many roasters, he tends to prefer medium-roasts so the flavors "show better" and filtered brewing techniques for a "cleaner acidity."
Should you use another brewing method, Miskiewicz is happy to offer compatible bean choices from the dozen or so he has on hand. For French press sorts, he recommends his dark French roast or a medium roast like the La Florida, a blend of organic, fair trade Peruvian beans. (Next day tasting note: Excellent.)
His current personal favorite is the rainforest-friendly Honduras blend. "It has a sweet, green apple-like acidity that almost makes your mouth water, like when you bite into a green apple," explains Miskiewicz. A handy excuse to brew a pot of coffee, pull out the rolling pin and bake an apple pie.
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