Stumbeano's Coffee Roasters. 210 Broadway N Fargo, ND.
Greg is one of the most knowledgable coffee aficionados I've ever met. I've learned more about coffee in the past hour than I have watching any number of coffee documentaries or podcasts. Greg Stumbo owes his coffee roasting to a "Roast your own coffee pop-up ad on PBS". He bought a $150 roaster and $50 worth of green beans. He began giving samples to friends and eventually upgraded to a 5lb roaster from a retired roasters garage. He roasts out of Fergus Falls, MN and has a Cafe in Fargo, ND. His initial slogan was, "Roasting while you sleep.", because he was roasting 80lbs of coffee at a time with a 5lb roaster.
He's been roasting since 2002, and he opened the Fargo cafe 2 years ago after focusing on whole-sale beans for a number of years.
He brought me behind the bar to teach me about his espresso process. He first separated the initial espresso from the crema that followed. He had me taste both and describe the differences. He then poured them together and had me re-taste to see how the parts complement each other.
Next, I had one of the best espresso's I've ever had. I like acidic shots. One's with a tangy sweetness at first taste. He pulled a shot then poured it into an aeropress. My previous perception was that the crema on an espresso made the acidity and was mellowed out by the rest, but I was entirely wrong.
The aeropress forced the best part of the espresso into my cup and left the crema behind. He had me then taste the crema, and it was extremely bitter - in the worst way. He explained that crema was all about the show, and it doesn't actually bring any exceptional taste to the espresso. He said it doesn't have a name that he knows of, but he calls it espresso neat. When I returned to my photography studio, I immediately made myself one with some Costa Rica beans. So good.
Be sure to subscribe below. I'll be heading to his roastery tomorrow to observe his roasting process. I probably had 8-10 cups of coffee today, and I'm assuming tomorrow will be similar. Stay tuned. Also check below for information on getting Stumbeano's beans or visiting the shop.