Looking for an artisanal, small-batch coffee roaster? Meet Brother Beans Coffee Roasting Co., which offers free shipping or delivery to java lovers in Sussex County, N.J., and Orange County, N.Y.
Brothers Alex and Tyler Correll started their business in Vernon, N.J., around a year ago – roasting, bottling and bagging their own unique blends from coffee beans grown all over the world. They rent a warehouse and sell wholesale through businesses and directly to customers on their website, brotherbeanscoffee.com. Alex says they’re often asked if Brother Beans is a café, but they’re not accepting walk-ins at this time.
The smell of fresh roasted coffee greets customers as they enter the Brother Beans facility. A big banner logo hangs behind the coffee machines and grinders. Coffee beans from countries around the equator wait to be roasted in their American-made, hand-crafted Diedrich roaster from Idaho.
The Corrells picked Vernon because they like the town and all the outdoor activities it has to offer, and thought it would be a good fit. They both grew up in West Milford, N.J.
Locals can buy one-pound bags of freshly roasted coffee, whole or ground, or cups of brewed coffee in area businesses like Pennings Farm Market in Warwick, N.Y.; Smokey’s Brick Oven Tavern and Heaven Hill Farm, both in Vernon, N.J.; and The Jolly Onion in Pine Island, N.Y. Or they can become members through the Brother Beans website and receive one-pound bags twice a month. The coffee is sent out to members right after it’s roasted, Alex says.
The brothers recently started bottling their Cold Brew, Alex’s favorite, which delivers a smooth and flavorful energy kick. They roast three different kinds of beans, grind them, and immediately steep the ground beans for 18 hours before filling 12-ounce glass bottles for sale. Their bottled Cold Brew can be found at Tracks Deli in Vernon, Lakewanda Store in Highland Lakes, N.J., Heaven Hill Farm, The Rusty Goat in Warwick, N.Y., and Orange County Distillery in New Hampton, N.Y. The New American Deli, which will be opening in Vernon, may also be carrying the brew.
Smokey’s Brick Oven Tavern has a “kegerator,” a mini-fridge that stores kegs of Cold Brew and serves both Cold Brew and Nitro Coffee out of taps, the way beer is served. Nitro is a new “trending coffee thing,” said Alex. Tyler called it a “New York City thing.”
Nitro comes out of the tap with a foam layer, similar to a Guinness. The Nitro served at Smokey’s is smooth, cool, refreshing, flavorful, and frothy, with a sweet foam. Tyler said most people do not put sugar or cream in their Nitro, which “kind of takes the place of sugar,” with its smoother taste.
Roasting coffee in Vernon
The brothers order 65-pound boxes of raw coffee beans, which are about the size of a pea, hard as a rock, greenish, and with a grassy fragrance.
Their roaster handles five pounds at a time. The raw beans go through a funnel into the computer-run roaster, which duplicates favorite roasts automatically. After that, the beans drop down in a spinning agitator for cooling. Next comes the grinding, bagging or brewing.
Different regions have unique flavor notes, depending on the soils the beans are grown in. Alex said they look to bring out each bean’s perfect flavor by trying a few different roasts -- light, medium, or dark. One of Alex’s favorites is Nicaraguan, a medium, dark roast recently added to their offerings. One of Tyler’s favorites is the Tanzanian roast, which uses a fruity bean. African coffees typically have a fruitier flavor. Their Ethiopian coffee has a strong lemon flavor and with floral notes. Tyler said the coffee Americans typically drink comes from Columbia, which has a chocolaty note in the soil.
The brothers’ partnership is a long-held dream. After college, Tyler worked as a barista and also supplied companies with coffee supplies. Alex was in real estate. They wanted to start a small business together. After Tyler took a class on coffee roasting in Vermont, they bought the roaster and started their business.
“The rest is history,” Tyler said.