Coffee has always been at the center of Jon and Hannah Binninger’s relationship—a small drive-through coffeehouse owned by Jon called Java Detour is where it all began. In 1995 Hannah worked for the Peregrine Fund in Boise, rearing young falcons, and would spend early mornings transporting birds to the airport to be shipped off to release sites. Drives like that at such an early hour could only be alleviated by hot beverages from a friendly place on her route.
In 1998 Jon and Hannah moved to Sandpoint, ID. The area is home to Diedrich Roasters, manufacturers of some of the best roasting equipment on the market—so they bought their first roaster and started roasting their own beans. After a series of moves to McCall and then Salmon—all with their roaster in tow—they settled in Troy in 2003 and have been roasting coffee in their shop there ever since.
From the sourcing of their beans, to the ways they include their children, Flora (10) and Clem (7), to the customer service approach they take, it’s clear that personal connection is at the heart of Landgrove Coffee. Jon is most proud to say that in the 17 years they’ve been in business they have never lost a customer. And when it was time for them to bring in an employee to help with the day-to-day tasks of roasting, packaging, and delivering beans, they knew that Chris Malberg was the right person for the job. Chris, a former Moscow Food Co-op employee, is not only knowledgeable about coffee, he’s passionate too. Both Hannah and Jon believe that adding Chris not only balanced their workloads, it expanded their family.
Roasting coffee is an art form
Landgrove Coffee was born out of a love and appreciation for the daily ritual that is coffee drinking. Hannah says, “The thing that I like most about it is the connection with everyone—just making people aware that a good cup of coffee means something.”
Jon explains that the flavor you taste when brewing their coffee is a product of the beans’ origin, seasonality, and roasting time. At Landgrove they’ve discovered how to bring out the best flavors in coffee from Peru, Ethiopia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Indonesia. “We deserve a little credit, but the credit belongs to the producers as far as I’m concerned,” says Jon. All the coffee that Landgrove roasts is handpicked around the globe. Hannah says, “It takes a lot of work to get the beans to your cup. It’s kind of humbling to think of where it all comes from. And they’re all touched by people all over the world.”
The beans Landgrove provides to the Co-op are certified fair trade and can be traced back to cooperatives—traits important to both our business and theirs. Jon says, “Co-ops help farmers get better prices and invest back into the growers.” Because of this model, sustainable and cooperatively produced beans mean more stable prices.
You can find Landgrove’s beans in the Co-op’s Bulk Department and brewed to perfection in the Deli on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Brewing the perfect cup
Jon and Hannah both acknowledge that approaching coffee as a beginner can be intimidating. The descriptions can be flowery and there is an abundance of options. Jon explains that the description of the flavor notes are just to give you an idea of whether or not the coffee is floral, fruity, or full-bodied. Here are Jon’s tips for brewing the best cup of coffee at home:
1. Determine which kind of beans you like from a certain area of the world. If you like one company’s Ethiopian beans, chances are you’ll like another company’s.
2. Do some taste-testing to figure out how dark a roast you like. Keep in mind that the darkness of the roast does not necessarily determine how strong the finished product will be. You can brew a medium roast into a really strong cup of coffee by increasing the amount of grounds you use.
3. Grind your beans fresh each time. He recommends keeping whole beans in the freezer to preserve their freshness.
4. Use water that is just shy of boiling.
5. Find which brewing method you like best. Jon is partial to pour over, but also likes the French press.
6. Still have questions? Call your roaster and talk to them. Jon says, “Call us! We love to talk to people.”