Ever since I arrived in Saarbrucken, I was in search for an excellent coffee roasting business. You know, I have become quite spoiled since I have been roasting YOMO for several years now. The grocery stores have the ‘famous’ Germany brands, several shops serving Illy, the local Starbucks. It also seems that every street corner coffee shop has a big buck super automatic serving espresso.
I was getting to the point of desperation. Then, one day, I was walking through the City Center area of Saarbrucken, Germany. I came across a small shop at the corner of Bahnhofstrasse and Dudweilerstrasse. The storefront windows are decorated with a gold ribbon announcing ’60 Jahren’ The name of the store is ‘Die Kaffeebohne’. Don’t know how I missed it earlier, but I did.
The Good Lord answered my prayers! A coffee roaster just a few blocks away from my place.
He speaks just enough English so we can have a conversation. I introduce myself. And we begin what will turn into a 45 minute conversation.
Meet Herr (Mr) Menn. The specialty coffee roaster of Saarbrucken. Menn has been in the coffee business, as the ribbon says, for over 60 years.
Menn has sold coffee in the very same location with the very same roaster for 60 years 8 months. I did a little figuring and told him he was probably 82 years old. He replied, 83.
He has more than 15 choices of fresh roast coffee to choose from. All are roasted personally by Herr Menn. In addition, Mr Menn sells tea, sweets and other assorted goodies.
So far my favorite has been Arabisch Mokka, an Ethiopian bean lightly roasted to perfection.
He opened the shop with his cousin shortly after graduating from college. He and his cousin had support and encouragement from their fathers, who just happened to be brothers. They worked the coffee business together until his cousin’s death at the age of 40.
The old roaster is quite the machine. No electronics, just old fashion artisan style roasting.
It has a shiny chrome exterior and it sits in the shop window on display when it is not running. Menn needs to move several things around in his little shop before he starts roasting. It is so silent; you need to see the belts turning the pulley on the drum. Just the pleasant aroma when he drops the freshly roasted beans into the cooling tray.
When I buy, I get a 250g bag. I do so for two excellent reasons. First, that is about a week’s worth of coffee beans. Second reason, I get to talk to him more often.
The first time, Herr Menn insists upon giving me a bag. I graciously accept. It tasted very good. It’s roasted a little lighter than I am accustomed to. But he explained to me that he has roasted this way all his life and he wasn’t about to change.
Menn gave me some Espresso, which was his darkest roast. I liked the Ethiopian better and that’ typically what I have been drinking up till now.
Every city deserves a coffee roasting business offering fresh roasted coffee. If you happen to be in Shanghai, take a moment to check out YOMO Artisan Roast Coffee.