During a time when everything seems to be about being global and viral, or attracting the attention of absolutely everybody for a quick 10 seconds of fame, it is incredibly refreshing and revitalizing to come across someone running a business not for hoping to turn it into an empire but to imbue others with a great appreciation for what it means to have a profound experience in savoring a piece of life. Such is the case with Kellie Capritta of Catoctin Coffee Company. Listening to her talk about her clearly passionate love affair with freshly roasted coffee is like getting the chance to spend time with a master painter talking about what truly inspires her to capture the essence of a scene of life in one of her works of art.
Kellie, the Chief Roaster and a self-confessed “talker,” thoroughly enjoys sharing her passion for freshly roasted coffee with anybody who has a few minutes to spare. Her obsession began back in 2003, on her trip to a Puerto Rican plantation, where she experienced first hand the marvels of roasting hand-picked coffee beans in an old copper drum cranked by hand over an open fire. Since then, her focus has been on bringing that “ultimate coffee experience” to her customers. To create that truly amazing cup of coffee, she uses only fresh, premium beans from the world’s finest coffee-producing regions, including Brazil, Columbia, East Africa, Guatemala, and Peru. Kellie also takes great care in where her beans are sourced, from fairly traded, rainforest certified to organically grown whenever possible. She has joined efforts like the Cafe Femenino Foundation, empowering female farmers and enhancing the lives of women and their families in coffee communities around the world. In addition, she makes much of her supplies by hand, from the wooden crates to her coffee bags, keeping it real!
It’s definitely worth making the time to stop and smell the coffee and chat with Kellie, as she will help you extract every bit of aromatic, flavorful bliss from her fresh, rich beans. With her focus being on “the ultimate coffee experience,” she makes sure everybody has the most freshly roasted coffee by hand roasting it in small batches every week just before she sells it. Using her small 4 pound roaster, she is attuned to the smells and crackling sounds emanating from the beans as they turn from their original green to the various luscious shades of brown unique to each roast. Relying only on her senses, her bean checker and the little window into the world of the roaster, she carefully waits for the precise moment to dispense and cool the steaming beans for the intended roast. The process is truly amazing to see and the aroma made us crave what only fresh roasting could provide!
Just like the experience of biting into a truly vine-ripened, fresh tomato is a crushing wave of luscious refreshment, sipping a cup of Catoctin Coffee is a soothing ride on the aromatic waves of premium beans. Kellie brings out beautiful, natural flavor without any bitterness, balancing body with acidity. Really savoring a cup (or more) of coffee brewed from freshly ground and roasted Catoctin Coffee beans will ensure that your next cup of coffee from a national chain will taste stale and flat and will make you want to make coffee from your local roaster the center of your all your social gatherings.
Her super-fresh roasted premium coffee can be found year-round every Saturday at the Leesburg Farmers Market from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., where she also serves a scrumptious iced coffee. Coffee is available by the pound or half-pound, whole bean or ground depending on your brewing preference. Her coffee blends include a wide variety of medium and dark roasts, from her Sumatra Medium Roast to her Kenya Dark Roast and Expresso Blend. Our favorites are her Expresso Blend and her Malawi, a Full City Roast. For those wanting a decaf blend, her Columbian Swiss Water Processed Decaf is a much better choice than the conventional chemically decaffeinated method. Her coffee is also sold at local restaurants, including Market Table Bistro, Patowmack Farm and Andy’s of Lovettsville.