Bloom Coffee Roasters to open cafe in Old Town
Vickki Dozier , Lansing State JournalPublished 4:05 p.m. ET June 24, 2016 | Updated 9:34 a.m. ET June 27, 2016
(Photo: Dave Wasinger/Lansing State Journal)
LANSING - Jared Field logged on to his computer to start job hunting on the Monday after he graduated from Western Michigan University. One of the big headlines that day was the Chicago Tribune laying off 300 employees. Field's degree was in journalism.
"I thought I'd better start applying basically anywhere," he said.
The job he got was at a coffee shop in Kalamazoo called Water Street Coffee Joint, and it set his career on a different trajectory.
Two years later, Field and business partner Cameron Russell launched Bloom Coffee Roasters in REO Town in Lansing.
Now they are preparing to open a cafe in Old Town.
Field didn't plan to fall in love with coffee roasting. He planned to be a barista for a while.
Coffee beans are called after roasting at Bloom Roasters new cafe Monday, June 20, 2016 in Old Town Lansing. (Photo: Dave Wasinger/Lansing State Journal)
But Water Street Coffee Joint has a roasting operation, and Field was hired in.
He worked for a week or so, packaging and learning the ropes, then left to go on vacation. When he returned, the roastmaster had been fired. The production roaster moved up to roastmaster and they needed someone to move up to production roaster.
Field got the job. And, he says, he fell in love with it.
"Everything they taught me from that first batch was kind of an art and a science to me," Field said. "It was just something I could really relate to. Being a journalist and I was a musician growing up too, it was something that I really felt fit my personality."
That was in 2012. Two years later, Field's father moved to Okemos, and Fields decided he'd learned all he could at Water Street. He wanted to be his own boss. He also wanted to be closer to his father.
"I wanted to be in a community where they needed some level of coffee education, but they also had some, that we could kind of be a part of. It seemed like the third wave of coffee was pretty new to Lansing at that time and that people really wanted it to be here."
Jared Field, owner of Bloom Roasters, stands outside the new cafe Monday, June 20, 2016 in Old Town Lansing. He plans of opening the pour-over cafe on July 5, with limited hours on July 1 during Arts Night Out. He said he was drawn to Old Town because it's an artsy community, and he considers roasting his art form. (Photo: Dave Wasinger/Lansing State Journal)
Field and his father drove through Old Town one day, and he knew it was the spot he wanted to be in.
There was no space available, though, so Field and Russell signed a lease in REO Town and began the business of roasting in a 2,200-square foot warehouse.
Through serendipity, Field says, they found a space in Old Town within a few months. The partners started making plans to open a sit-down coffee shop.
"Old Town is such an artistic community, and we view coffee roasting as our artistic expression," Field said. "I've always been really into the fine arts, drawing and painting, playing music, playing the drums. And writing. It just seemed like it was the community in Lansing to be in, to sort of be a catalyst for all those types of art. We want our space here to be a place where local artists can hang their art."
The 1,000-square-foot building had been used only for roasting, but will soon be serving up freshly roasted coffee, lattes, cappuccinos, mochas. And pour overs, a single-serving style of brewing coffee meant to allow for the full extraction of the flavors. Field hopes pour overs will prove to be their main drink.
“I’m really stoked for Bloom to open, and I’m thrilled that the Lansing coffee scene is growing," said Cara Nader, owner of Strange Matter Coffee Co. on East Michigan Avenue. "I’ve heard there is another shop working on opening in REO Town. I think it’s great there is so much excitement for coffee.
"I look forward to the day when we can have local latte art throwdowns and other events together," she added. "Building a solid coffee community is really important to me."
Groovy Donuts in Williamston and Glory Bee Sweet Treats in Mason will provide that touch of sweetness to go along with the beverages at Bloom.
"The donuts will change up quite a bit and rotate," Field said. "Glory Bee's Sweet Treats will be peanut butter cookies, orange cranberry muffins and blueberry muffins."
Field says his vision is to help educate the Lansing area about what coffee goes through from seed to cup.
"I think a lot of people just enjoy the drink but they don’t really know the hard work that goes into it from the farm, to get it here, and then for us to roast it specifically to bring out specific flavors and characteristics that are appealing to people," Field said.
Assistant roaster Doug Mains, left, Jared Field, owner, and Andrea Sherman, cafe manager, prepare for opening day at Bloom Roasters new cafe Monday, June 20, 2016 in Old Town Lansing. The pour-over cafe will open on July 5, with limited hours on July 1 during Arts Night Out. He said he was drawn to Old Town because it's an artsy community, and he considers roasting his art form. (Photo: Dave Wasinger/Lansing State Journal)
The coffee beans are sourced through two companies - Café Imports in Minneapolis and Bodhi Leaf out of Oakland, California - chosen for their transparency.
"We usually get a lot of stories behind the farms and what lots they come from, specific flavors," Field said. "It's a really easy way for us to track where our beans are coming from. Eventually we'd like to get into the direct trade where we go to the farm ourselves and bring back beans."
They use a Victory roaster, and the roasting process takes no more than 15 minutes for a batch. Depending on the roaster, or who you talk to, that range might be wider, he says. But for all of Bloom Coffee Roasters' beans, everything is between 11 and 15 minutes.
"We do what's called 'charging a batch', that’s with no beans in it, we let it get to about 510 degrees, then all of our beans kind of vary between 400 and 420 degrees at their end temperature," Field explained.
Andrea Sherman, cafe manager, talks on the phone as she tries to get the espresso machine working properly at Bloom Roasters new cafe Monday, June 20, 2016 in Old Town Lansing. The cafe will open on July 5. (Photo: Dave Wasinger/Lansing State Journal)
They can roast a maximum of four pounds and a time, and he estimates they roast about 200 pounds each week. To start, they will offer six single origin coffees, three blends and one decaf.
"On a personal note, I feel like we are still far from a saturated market when it comes to “third wave coffee” in the area," Nader said, "but I’m thrilled I can get a decent cappuccino now and not take up space at my overcrowded bar on the weekend."
The cafe will be closed on Mondays, so they can get their bearings with roasting and production, Field explained, making sure they have the freshest coffee available for the cafe and for their wholesale customers.
"Eventually we'd like to use those Mondays as sort of community training sessions," Field said. "We'd like to have community education sessions where people can come in and get a roaster walk through, do coffee pairings with food, those types of things.
"We want people who are coffee beginners, or who are just interested in having a better cup, to come here and enjoy it, ask questions and see the roasting operation. We hope that builds sort of a coffee culture community."
Bloom Coffee Roasters
Opens July 5 at 1236 Turner St., Lansing, MI
Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday
Coffees available at Whole Foods in East Lansing, Foods For Living in East Lansing, Old Town General Store and Monticello's Market in Haslett. Bloom Coffee is served at Black Cat Bistro in East Lansing.