A family owned and operated company, Zeke's Coffee started with a man and a one-pound coffee roaster. Thomas Rhodes sold his first pound of coffee at the Baltimore Farmers' Market in 2005, and opened a retail and roasting space shortly thereafter.
Fresh-roasting each pound with a small fluid bed roaster, and using only the finest available beans, Zeke's boasts high quality, locally roasted coffee. And because their roasting facility is so small, the coffee is always fresh -- most leaving the shelves within a day or two.
"At Zeke’s, we use a fluid bed coffee roaster. Invented by Mike Sivetz, a physicist from Oregon in the 1970’s, fluid bed coffee roasters use hot air to create a fountain of coffee beans.
This technique roasts more quickly and uniformly than a conventional drum roaster. We roast to temperature, giving us a more consistent product. Chaff escapes the roast chamber easily, leading to cleaner tasting coffee with more distinct regional flavors.
We roast in small batches. It guarantees freshness. It keeps us honest. Our roaster holds 30 pounds of coffee, compared to the 150 pounds that a standard roaster holds. Because of this, we put more time, more labor, and a little more of ourselves into each bean. You can taste the difference.
Even as we expand out of Baltimore, we stay committed to roasting in small batches. Our roastery in Washington DC and Pittsburgh use 12 pound roasters."
To learn more about Zeke's roasting process, check out this video!