About Thomas & Fisk, LTD

About

I was raised in the Arabian peninsula, where coffee consumption is elevated to a cultural icon. Just google “Arab coffee pot statues” and see how many of them there are!

In what is now the UAE, I used to watch bedouins roast fresh coffee (guhwa) beans over an open fire, add cardamom (hal), and then mash them to a fine powder using a brass mortar and pestle (tabla wuh matraqa). That coffee powder was then added to water in a brass coffee pot (dallah), which was then placed on the embers to a near boil. Served in demitasse cups (finjan), the smell and flavor were intoxiting to me at an early age.

It wasn’t until far more recently (during the Pandemic lock-down) that I finally had the time to devote to learning the finer points of coffee roasting. I started with a cast iron skillet, roasting beans on my stovetop. I burned out more than one heating element in subsequent home roasters, but despite those setbacks, the more I learned, the more I was committed to turning my newfound hobby into a trade.

Just as the “bedouia” roasted in small batches, we are dedicated to the craft of artisan small-batch roasting.

We focus on roasting a small variety of only the very best coffee beans to ensure peak quality with every batch. We carefully select specific varieties based on their individual complex profiles. The selections are chosen by micro-region, climate, elevation, and soil as well as bean type, cultivation, harvesting and milling process.

We offer your preferred roast for the best-tasting coffee, in sustainable packaging. Our coffee beans are available in 6- and 12-ounce packaging, allowing you to explore the breadth of offerings in sips, not gulps. We pass on a portion of what we earn to benefit the Community Liver Alliance.

Visit our online store to see the beans we’re featuring right now!

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Thomas & Fisk, LTD

Mission

Our mission is to make a small selection of the world’s best coffees available in small artisan-roasted batches to demonstrate how good coffee can be, to raise awareness of liver health and health disparities, and to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) by donating a portion of all proceeds to the Community Liver Alliance.

We want to elevate the coffee experience for coffee consumers everywhere. We want to be the source for the best coffee and for answers and coffee knowledge. Our goal is to always be generous, patient, helpful, and kind.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

  • What is "Blind" roasting?

    Blind roasting refers to relying on the roastmaster’s senses of sound and smell rather than sight to determine the outcome of a roast batch. It also, by definition, excludes the use of a computer program.

    While we use computers to record roast details, we never use computer programming to create a roast batch.

  • What is "Artisan" roasting?

    There are a few definitions of “Artisan” in the coffee world.

    Artisan roasting (artisanal roasters) refers to a craft approach to roasting that includes carefully selecting the beans, experimenting with various blends, roasting in small batches, and paying particular attention to the batches as they roast with a specific desired profile in mind.

    “Artisan” is also a coffee roasting software package which helps small-batch roasters like us monitor and improve roasts over time, improving the likelihood of maintaining consistency.

    The term “Artisan” also refers to a direct relationship with specific farmers, and a reliance on farmers using micro-mills to divide their crops into lots with distinctive characteristics.

    All three definitions converge when it comes to monitoring the distinct phases of the roast from the drying phase to the Maillard phase, to the finishing phase.

  • What is "Small Batch" roasting?

    Small Batch roasting generally refers to roasting operations that roast less than 50 lbs of coffee beans at a time, and denotes an operation that is more manual than automated.

  • What is "Cupping"?

    You might think of cupping as a coffee industry term for a tasting.

    From the Barista Institute website:

    “According to the cupping protocol, hot water is poured onto freshly roasted and ground beans directly into the cup and allowed to steep for 3–5 minutes. The infusion is then mixed and the foamy head removed.

    “The coffee will need to cool before tasting in order to avoid burning your tongue and to allow the flavours to emerge. Two spoons are used, one going in the cup and the other in the mouth. Touri tastes 200–300 cups of coffee during a workday, so spitting out is a must.

    “In addition to being a quality control method, cupping is an excellent way to increase your knowledge about coffee. Tasting helps you learn how to identify differences between cultivars and countries of origin.”

    For more information, the Paulig Barista Institute has a page dedicated to cupping here: https://www.baristainstitute.com/inspiration/what-coffee-cupping

  • What are "quakers"?

    After a batch of beans is removed from the roaster, under-roasted* beans (quakers) and over-roasted (burnt) beans are removed and discarded.

    *Technically, quakers are not under-roasted, per se. They are just immature beans that lack the sugars necessary to caramelize during the roasting process.

  • What is a "blend"?

    A blend is when coffee beans from two or more different regions are mixed together to achieve a flavor profile and balance that a single-origin bean would not achieve. “Pre-blend” coffees are mixed before the roasting process, while “post-blend” coffee refers to single-origin beans that were roasted separately, and then mixed afterward.

    One would think that the terms would be “pre-roast blend” and “post-roast blend”, but what do I know – I just work here.

  • Do you sell decaffeinated coffee?

    No. In the future? Maybe.

  • Do you sell flavored coffee?

    No. There are several good reasons for this, but there are also plenty of suitable alternatives to flavored coffee beans. In the future? Probably not.

  • Do you sell other consumables besides coffee?

    Not currently. Possibly in the future. Let us know what you’d like to see us add to our inventory!

  • What is and is not compostable in your packaging?

    If you received your coffee in a brown kraft bag, every part of the packaging, including the degassing valve, is compostable except for the tin tie.

    If your coffee comes in a glass jar with a degassing valve lid, none of it is compostable, but 100% of it is reusable.

  • How long does it take for a compostable bag to break down?

    Compostable bags will break down faster if they are shredded. The reason for this is that by shredding, more surface area is able to be exposed to the elements that degrade the paper. It typically takes about 6 to 8 weeks to decompose.

    If the bag ends up in the middle of a compost pile and lacks exposure to oxygen, it could take up to a year to break down.