• Chris OBrien

Bean to Brew – Journey of Your Favorite Cup O’ Joe

Every coffee bean has a different journey, its own story to tell. From its origin in the coffee belt, to the farm for harvest, to the local roaster – the world’s favorite morning beverage is as diverse as the people who enjoy it. Regardless of what odyssey a bean takes, it always ends up where it belongs: filling our collective cups with the smooth brew of happiness.

Veteran Roasters’ journey began no different than the coffee bean. In a simple place, with a simple purpose and the potential to make a difference for those it reached.

The mission was this: provide job opportunities and skill development to homeless and at-risk military veterans. Our personal love of coffee became our professional passion. It would serve as the vehicle to change lives, create jobs, and spread the knowledge of coffee’s integral part of our nation’s military history.

Cup O’ Joe was born!

The name (Cup O' Joe) hails from 1914 when then Secretary of Defense, Josephus Daniels, issued an order that drinking alcohol would no longer be permitted aboard United States Navy vessels. The order didn’t go over well with the sailors and they nicknamed the next best thing, their caffeinated beverage, Cup O’ Joe in a spiteful reference to the Secretary.

Coffee has long served as a comfort for sailors, soldiers, airman and Marines in helping them face the harsh challenges encountered through the years. As a young, veteran-owned company, we honor the bond coffee shares with our nation’s protectors in our most popular roast, “Cup O’ Joe.” We don’t know where our story will take us, but we can tell you where our Cup O’ Joe begins… from beans to brew.

Cup O’ Joe from Veteran Roasters begins its journey in the Sirgi Estates, a family run farm in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The farm is no stranger to producing coffee beans as they’ve been in business for more than 20 years. To further refine our knowledge and appreciation for the source of our product, we sent one of our own, Pedro, over to PNG this past spring for relationship building and immersion into the growing and harvesting process.

Pedro quickly learned that coffee was a way of life for the locals and was educated on the history of coffee in the region. The area has been farmed for centuries but in the 1930’s, beans from the Caribbean were brought to the region and the commercial coffee industry took off.

Once Pedro had an appreciation for the history of our Cup O’ Joe bean, he participated in the process of gathering and transporting our delicious beans to Chicago. It begins with harvesting the coffee cherry, which turns a deep red when ripe.

Once the cherries are harvested, the pulp from the cherry is removed through a wetting process and then the beans are dried. The dried beans are known as green coffee and are what arrive to our warehouse.

In keeping with the fine naval traditions of those who gave its name, Cup O’ Joe (in green bean form) makes the long trek across the ocean, to port and finally, to our roaster in Chicago, IL.

Sirgi Estates produces and ships an estimated 1.05M to 1.22M lbs. of green coffee each year while Veteran Roasters scoops about 35,000 lbs of the good stuff annually.

Upon arrival, the green beans are then roasted to perfection by our professional crew of veterans. Veteran Roasters coffee is roasted in small batches, less than 30 pounds in a batch, ensuring premium quality in the process.

We roast to order, so when an order comes in our veteran work staff roasts, packages and ships the beans to arrive as fresh as possible. Whole bean coffee, when stored correctly, generally maintains its quality for at least 3 months. Papua New Guinea coffees are known for being smooth and well-balanced with a subtle fruity aroma.

The beans can be enjoyed in whatever way you prefer but due to the natural oils of the bean, a French press can further enhance the coffee experience.

However you enjoy your Cup O’ Joe, we at Veteran Roasters know you will not find a better cup of coffee that supports a better cause anywhere in the world, so bring us along on your daily journey.

About Veteran Roasters

Veteran Roasters Coffee was established to end homelessness and chronic unemployment in the veteran community by providing growth, skill-sets, and opportunities in the emerging coffee industry. Veteran Roasters teamed up with Passion House Coffee Roasters to roast great coffee and hire, train, and pay a living wage to support veteran employees with housing, child care and daily living expenses. Partnerships with companies, such as Passion House, allows Veteran Roasters to find and roast some of the best coffee beans from all around the world while hiring more veterans in need of an opportunity.

Every bag and cup of coffee sold, as well as cans of cold brew, helps Veteran Roasters hire more homeless and at-risk veterans in Chicago. To learn more about Veteran Roasters visit www.veteranroasters.com or follow on Instagram or Facebook.

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