CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop)–The city of Chattanooga is not without its fair share of well-established coffee roasters, many of whom have their own coffee shops with which to promote their brand.
However, there’s a new kid on the block, one who’s been around the Chattanooga coffee scene for quite some time, but who recently decided to branch out and form his own roasting company, simply called Velo Coffee Roasters, located at 509 East Main St.
Velo Coffee Roasters, owned and operated by Andrew Gage since April 2010, is unique in that Gage delivers all of his coffee by bicycle.
Currently, Velo Coffee Roasters’ beans can be found at Greenlife, Niedlov’s Breadworks, and the various farmers’ markets at Finley Stadium, Main Street, and in Brainerd. Gage also hopes to be able to offer space in his shop to accommodate guests for tours, tastings, and also to sell his product
Gage stresses the importance of being able to offer his customers the freshest coffee possible, from regions such as:
- El Salvador
While he tries to change his selections every couple of months, according to the seasonality and availability of the selections from his distributor, he admits that his Ugandan bean has been the most popular. “People dig it, I’ve carried it the longest,” Gage added. He describes it as a medium roast having a heavy body but with a lower acidity level, which, he feels, caters to a broader population.
Gage began his career in the coffee business when he took on the position as one of the baristas for Rembrandt’s Coffee House. While at Rembrandt’s, he assisted in roasting the shop’s various beans, knowing that roasting was in his future.
Gage later left Rembrandt’s to be one of the baristas at both Greyfriar’s Coffee House, on Broad Street, and Pasha Coffee and Tea, in St. Elmo.
After working as a barista for nearly two more years, Gage was given the opportunity to roast full-time for Greyfriar’s, and it was at Greyfriar’s that Gage was able to hone his roasting skills.
By establishing a strong local following, Gage hopes to create a buzz within the downtown neighboring areas. “One of my goals is to get people to start talking about the coffee, to try and create a coffee community,” Gage said.
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