Food & Drink

Los Osos coffee roaster brews up tasty java

Roasted coffee beans are blended at Central Coast Coffee Roasting Co. in Los Osos.
Roasted coffee beans are blended at Central Coast Coffee Roasting Co. in Los Osos.

Central Coast Coffee Roasting Co. has just entered its fourth decade of serving the needs of local java lovers.

However, most people won’t even recognize that name. The roaster’s public personas are the popular SLO Roasted Coffee and Baywood Exotics brands.

Norman and Gail Galloway established the company in Baywood Park in 1984, starting with about 10 different coffees. These days, a second generation is at the helm – the brother-and-sister team of Chris and Julie Galloway.

It’s usually easy to tell when you’re getting close to Central Coast Coffee Roasting Co.’s Los Osos facility thanks to the alluring aroma of roasting beans wafting through the air. (An estimated five tons of beans are roasted every six to eight weeks.) The building houses a small retail area, but most of it is dedicated to production: from roasting to packaging to shipping.

The green coffee beans are sourced from the same Bay Area broker that the family has always used.

After arriving in Los Osos and going through the roasting process, they’ll end up in any one of about 100 coffee products — regular or decaf, whole bean or ground, by the bag or by the pound, in portion packs or in K-Cups.

The latter are small pods of coffee originally developed by Keurig Green Mountain Co. for its single-serving brewing system, and are among the most popular items in the coffee world. However, K-Cups have come under fire for wasteful packaging, an issue which the Galloways wanted to address before they launched their version of the product.

“Ours are 100 percent recyclable,” Julie Galloway said. “The outer box is made from all recycled materials, the cup and lid are recyclable and the filter is biodegradable.”

Another hot trend is cold-brewed coffee such as that made with a Toddy system; it’s just one of several java-related products such as presses, grinders and coffeemakers that Central Coast Coffee Roasting Co. sells.

To cold brew, let coffee grounds steep in water for 16 to 18 hours. After filtering, you’ll end up with a smooth, lower acid concentrate that lasts in the refrigerator for two to three weeks and can be used for either iced or hot coffee.

Eco-friendly business practices are another trend followed by Central Coast Coffee Roasting Co., where green doesn’t just refer to unroasted coffee beans. “Two-thirds of everything that leaves here is recycled,” Chris Galloway said. “Only about a third is trash.”

That includes the chaff — the papery skins of the coffee beans that are separated out and left over after roasting. Chaff is a great soil amendment, so it’s given to local farmers and/or backyard gardeners.

In addition, any coffee that’s returned from retail outlets because it hasn’t sold by the recommended date is donated to a wide range of community organizations such as churches, food banks and senior centers. Even the burlap bags that the green beans are shipped in are given away to everyone from landscapers to fishermen to beekeepers.

The Central Coast Coffee Roasting Co. facility is in the midst of an energy efficiency overhaul. Among the steps being taken are retrofitting all the lighting to more efficient LED (light emitting diode) lights.

The ultimate goal is to get LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification.

“We’re always working on lowering our carbon footprint,” Chris Galloway said. “That’s very important to us.”

Central Coast Coffee Roasting Company, Inc.

Producer of SLO Roasted Coffee and Baywood Exotics

1172 Los Olivos Avenue, Los Osos | 528-7317 |

Hours: Monday-Friday 6 a.m.-5 p.m. The company will ship to residential addresses, and distributes to retail stores, restaurants and businesses.

Try a cold coffee drink

Just because summer’s here doesn’t mean you have to give up your java. Iced coffee is always an option, especially with ice cubes made from leftover coffee. You can also make cold coffee drinks, such as the one that Chris Galloway calls the Berliner.

Place a big scoop of chocolate ice cream in a tall glass, fill with full-bodied, chilled SLO Roasted coffee and top with whipped cream and grated chocolate. His sister Julie Galloway noted that this drink would be good with any of the flavored Baywood Exotics coffees as well.

If cold coffee isn’t your cuppa, you might perk up when you hear about a popular dessert trend — affogato. (The name means “drowned” in Italian.) The dish consists of a scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato with a shot of hot espresso poured over it.