Flagship Coffee Roasters
There’s a lot of great coffee in Gainesville, but none of it is quite like Flagship Coffee Roasters. These beans are roasted twice a week right here in Gainesville. “We’re very focused on freshness,” said owner Andrew Ali Hamm. “We put roast dates on all our bags.” So why is it so important that Flagship Coffee is fresh-roasted? The flavor profile changes over time, and the original flavors of the coffee disappear. The coffee becomes more and more bitter as it becomes stale. And how do you keep your coffee freshest? Buy coffee to last you two to four weeks, and seal it in an airtight glass container.
Not only that, but all the beans roasted at Flagship are Fair Trade and organic. Andrew imports coffee directly from some of his growers, and also orders from specialty importers, who send fair trade or organic certification documents with every shipment of beans. “Coffee has a long history of abuse because of commodity markets and brokering,” Andrew said. “The middlemen get gigantic sums of money and the farmers are barely getting by.”
Flagship Coffee offers a wide variety of beans from all around the world, as well as a variety of roast levels. “I’ve always loved coffee as a taste,” Andrew said. “It’s almost like wine in the details of the flavors.” With so many options of how to drink coffee, making a coffee decision can be difficult. “My perfect cup of coffee depends on my mood. I love our Dark and Stormy Night, and our Ethiopian Sidamo,” Andrew said. “And I love cold brew coffee, unless it’s wicked cold outside.”
Cold brew coffee is just coffee grounds mixed with water and left to sit for 24 hours. Andrew suggests mixing one tablespoon of coffee grinds with 4 oz water in a French press with the metal plunger removed (it changes the taste). Then, just press it in the morning and pour it over ice. Make some more cold brew to sit on your counter till you’re ready to drink it tomorrow. “But I want you to enjoy coffee how you enjoy it-- in a French press, percolator, drip coffee-- you enjoy it how you like it,” Andrew said.