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Ozark’s Coffee Black Velvet blend is a winner

My buddy Sean Hunziker, who owns the Coffee Rush drive thru stand on Highway 14 in Nixa, is quickly moving into fulltime coffee roasting under the name Ozark’s Coffee Co. You can track him on Twitter as OzarksCoffee. Sean has been moving into roasting in the past few years, and he has really jumped into commercial roasting with both feet. He plans to shut down the drive thru Coffee Rush soon (or sell it to someone) so he can focus his efforts. He is a true coffee geek who loves brewing and roasting and everything that goes along with it. He and I can sit and chat about coffee for a long time, and I’m sad he won’t be a captive in that little red hut in Nixa so I can sample his roasts whenever I’m in the mood.

Sean from Ozarks Coffee Co. at the farmers market on the Ozark square

Sean from Ozarks Coffee Co. at the farmers market on the Ozark square

You can currently buy his fresh roasted coffee at the farmers market on the Ozark city square every Thursday evening. I visited the farmers market a couple of weeks ago just to see his setup, and I also needed some coffee to take to a family reunion and had not homeroasted anything of my own.

Sean has a pourover drip coffee setup right there on site with preground coffee ready for sampling. I found his setup ingenious because it spread the aroma of coffee around the farmers market, plus it allows for realtime samples of the coffee before you buy. I tried the Ethiopian blend and the Black Velvet blend. The Black Velvet is a blend of dark roast Indonesian coffee and lighter roast Kenyan beans designed to capture the thickness and body of Sumatra while adding in the high, bright notes the Kenya’s coffee is known for. I bought a pound of the Black Velvet for $8 to share at the family reunion. Although I’m a fan of lighter roasts and Ethiopian coffee and was really tempted on that blend, I figured that something with a darker feel to it would be more of a crowd pleaser for those who drink Starbucks. It can be hard to change people’s tastes too quickly.

Ozarks Coffee Co farmers market pourover drip setup

Ozarks Coffee Co farmers market pourover drip setup

We were camping at the family union, so I packed a 30 ounce JavaPress camping French press, a camping kettle for heating up water, bottled water (which we were taking anyway for general use), and my Zassenhaus hand grinder. Thanks to my friends at The Coffee Ethic, I weigh my beans instead of measuring with tablespoons, so I used my gram scale at home to weigh out the beans, premeasuring the proper dosage for the 30 ounce press and then sealing the beans in Ziplocs for the trip.  I calculated my dosage using a 6-ounce cup with 7 grams of coffee per cup, and thus measured 35 grams of beans for the press.

Brewing the coffee on site at the family reunion was fun.  I ground my coffee beans by hand (which always catches someone’s attention), heated the water on the gas camping grill, and then brewed and pressed.    The 30 ounce press allowed me to fill up my thermal mug plus share a cup with my brother-in-law.  The Black Velvet is a great blend, too.  It has a rich dark flavor with full mouth feel up front with just the right amount of bright notes to make it a very balanced coffee.   It’s the kind of blend that Starbucks should have used when making their Pike Place Blend.  I made it at the campground, and it was so good, I also used the JavaPress at home as well to make it again.

On Monday, we brewed the Black Velvet in a French press at The Coffee Ethic, and Tom dosed it using a 5-ounce cup instead of the 6-ounce cup like I did all weekend, and it wasn’t as balanced using the 5-ounce cup, leading into my argument that the coffee world needs to settle on a uniform “cup” measurement — my preference is 8 ounces — so we can have a standardized brew measurement that works across the board without having to predefine “cup” every time we brew.

I like the Black Velvet very much, although I tend to be a light roast drinker.  I’m not a big fan of Kenyan coffee because it is so simple — just alot of bright high notes — but it works out perfectly as the coffee to match with the Indonesian to create a balanced blend.  In my opinion, the Black Velvet is a good blend to please a broad mix of coffee drinkers when you’re serving to a crowd.

Visit Sean at the Ozark square farmers market on Thursday evenings to buy his coffees.  When his website goes online, I will post the link here so you can also buy online.