New Coffee Concept Makes Roasting Obsolete

2011 September 8
by Joe Johnston

Aloof Coffee


Aloof Coffee is the logical fourth wave in coffee. For too long, we have continued down the path of roasting coffee, even if in third wave it is barely roasted. Roasting coffee, no matter how light, dramatically modifies green coffee in ways that destroy terroir (distinct characteristics of the growing area). At Aloof, we never roast coffee – we let green coffee speak for itself with its grassy, herbaceous notes. This convergence of the burgeoning Raw Food Movement with specialty coffee is truly the fourth wave.


The Aloof Experience


At the Aloof Coffee Bar, we value customer service. The most important thing we can do for a customer is to educate them. Therefore, we have trained our baristas to read facial language and upon any hint of puzzlement or mirth, they tell a condensed 5 minute story of Aloof’s principles of coffee:

  1. Roasting is a crime against the farmer. Who are we to cook the goodness out of their product, bending it into a different product?
  2. Roasting destroys terroir. How can we truly taste the original product with all of its indigenous notes if we have roasted them out, replacing them with foreign notes?
  3. Roasting wastes energy. The roasting process burns fossil fuels, particularly the afterburner used to clean up the roaster exhaust.
  4. Roasting takes away nutrients. The vitamins and enzymes found in green coffee are destroyed by heating.

While this may embarrass some customers, we feel that shame and guilt are powerful motivators for change. Once educated, they can appreciate or, at least partake of our unique coffee beverages. Furthermore, we have designed the store to appeal to the psycho-demographic group known as “hipsters” and our approach is hipster approved.


Aloof Beverages


Green coffee is very different from roasted coffee. The notes created by harmful roasting include unnatural notes like berries, stone fruits, citrus, and chocolate. Green coffee has lovely notes of grass, alfalfa, and spirulina. We buy micro-lots from farmers, so that one can taste the nuances, such as milk thistle, oregano, and lamb’s ear.

Since heating destroys enzymes, we do not use heat in excess of 140F. Instead of V60 brewing cones and hot water, we use a Vita-Mix to blend green coffee with fresh spring water and the strain it through the V60. French presses are also available. We serve the coffee in wine glasses to showcase the emerald hue and to help people realize that coffee is like wine in its complexity. (Note: We do not offer Kopi Luwak, due to our sub-pasteurization temperatures and the threat of e. coli)

We do not use an espresso machine for obvious reasons. However, we do make drinks in the espresso bar style. We use two kinds of milk. Goat milk is our favorite as its barnyard notes meld well with the pasture-like notes of green coffee (we also like how the discovery of coffee was with Ethiopian goats nibbling on raw coffee cherries). We also offer soy milk as it is sort of a sister product to how we “brew” our coffee. The milk can be frothed using a mechanical frother, rather using harmful steam. We do not offer sugar, as it does not enhance the flavor of grassy drinks. Of course we do not offer decaf and have a separate 5 minute story we tell customers who ask for it.

In the spirit of sharing, we have even prepared a test beverage for Starbucks, which is our take on a green coffee Frappuccino. It is our hope that they will adopt our approach one day.

[Disclaimer: This is NOT a real concept. I am fully devoted to roasting! Just a thought provoking bit of humor.]

18 Responses
  1. September 8, 2011


  2. September 8, 2011

    So does this mean I can order an iced green coffee wheatgrass goat milk latte? If so, I’m sold!

  3. kiersten traina permalink
    September 8, 2011

    Will you be offering skim goat’s milk?

    • September 9, 2011

      Sadly, Aloof Coffee will not be offering skim goat’s milk. We do offer house-made tinctures that complement the green coffee. These include sassafras, clove, compost tea, and celery.

  4. September 8, 2011

    You got me going to the point that i was feeling kind of evil for the whole selling roasters thing. I have drinked the damm thing and is not pleasant at all.

    • September 9, 2011

      Ron, I think you should run with the Aloof Coffee concept. It is quite a winner, don’t you think?

  5. Susan permalink
    September 8, 2011

    Fifth wave: everyone moves to a coffee plantation and partakes only of the beans they pluck themselves. Let’s get back to the land.

    • September 9, 2011

      Actually, I think the sixth wave is partaking of terroir directly. I propose that we import farm soil from coffee growing regions and make a flavorful beverage from that. Sad that it would not contain caffeine, but I am sure it would supply needed minerals.

      • Susan permalink
        September 10, 2011

        You’re so right. Getting back to the land isn’t authentic enough. Plus getting back to the *dirt* cuts out the middle plant, which lays around in the sun all day living off the efforts of others.

  6. September 9, 2011

    I expect to see this concept featured in Season Two of “Portlandia.” Seriously, it sounds like something straight out of that show.

    • September 9, 2011

      I love Portlandia. I was going to actually show the packaging for Aloof Coffee’s green coffee. Of course I would “put a bird on it”!

  7. September 9, 2011

    Lol, I was reading this and thinking “this cant be real”…and for that I’m sharing this with my coffee lovin friends who’d totally freak out at the idea of unroasted coffee 🙂

  8. Lawrence Jarvey permalink
    September 11, 2011

    You had me at hello! And Ron you know your working on perfecting that frap recipe!

  9. Darrell permalink
    January 8, 2012

    Good one, had me making a sour face.

    • January 20, 2012

      I think that the Aloof Coffee line of reasoning is similar enough to current reasoning to create some semblance of reality.

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