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Sherman Man Brings Freshly Roasted Fair Trade, Organic Coffee To Town

Sherman resident John Rich, owner of Sacred Grounds Coffee Roasters, poses in front of his coffee roaster Monday
Sherman resident John Rich, owner of Sacred Grounds Coffee Roasters, poses in front of his coffee roaster Monday Photo Credit: Jay Polansky
Sacred Grounds Coffee Roasters offers fair trade and organic coffee in the heart of Sherman.
Sacred Grounds Coffee Roasters offers fair trade and organic coffee in the heart of Sherman. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky
Sacred Grounds Coffee Roasters offers fair trade and organic coffee in the heart of Sherman.
Sacred Grounds Coffee Roasters offers fair trade and organic coffee in the heart of Sherman. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky

SHERMAN, Conn. — Sherman has its share of rolling hills and farms. And, now, the town has a coffee roaster to add to its agricultural mix.

Sacred Grounds Coffee Roasters opened recently in the center of town. Started by Sherman resident John Rich, a graduate of Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, the company offers fair trade and organic coffees from around the world.

Inside Rich’s quaint space on Route 37, customers can find coffee beans from coffee-producing countries ranging from Ethiopia to Peru. Each country produces a different flavor of coffee. “They all taste different,” he said.

Coffee beans from Indonesia tends to be earthy. But beans from Columbia tend to be sweeter, for example.

Wherever they are from, the beans arrive at the company in heavy burlap sacks that weigh more than 100 pounds. Rich then roasts the beans in “micro-batches” to ensure freshness and consistency.

He pours the beans into the hopper, which feeds into a drum. The beans are roasted there for 12 to 15 minutes.

Rich samples the beans periodically. When the batch tastes ready, he puts them in a cooling tray.

The results are satisfying. Rich said freshly roasted coffee is not as bitter as the pre-packaged coffee, so customers often find the coffee doesn’t need creamer or milk.

Rich will happily grind the coffee for customers, but he said it’s best if people grind it themselves.

“It’s the way of guaranteeing that they have the freshest coffee they can possibly get,” Rich said.

Rich said the company has been well received in town. And, surprisingly, he is seeing a great demand for decaf coffee blends.

His product is currently in a few stores. By the end of the year, he hopes to have his product in 50 supermarkets.

Ultimately, he wants to bring fresh, flavorful coffee to the masses. Many enjoy coffee with added hazelnuts or pumpkin spice flavors, he said, but coffee beans have their own taste profile.

“Coffee doesn’t need flavoring,” Rich said, adding that the sacred bean can simply be enjoyed on its own.

To learn more about Rich’s company, visit his website here . To read a profile on Rich's coffee career, click here .

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