Writer / Matt Keating
Photographer / Krystal Dailey
Leonard Winneroski, owner and founder of Mad Scientist Coffee, has taken his love for coffee and his background as a scientist, and combined his two passions into some delicious coffee.“I got interested in coffee roasting in 2014 and bought a small roaster, and started roasting green coffee beans from around the world,” he says. “It started out as a hobby in my basement.”
One of Winneroski’s goals was to find a way to get rid of the bitter taste some coffees have.
“I fell in love with the art and science of coffee, and noticed that many people, including myself, don’t like the bitterness of coffee, so we add creamer and sugar to compensate for the bitterness,” he says.
Winneroski’s background as a scientist and medicinal chemist helped him discover a more delicious taste.
“I have been a research scientist for 34 years, and when I learned that the bitter taste of coffee is caused by the organic acids that are extracted during the brewing process, I wondered if I could reduce the acidity and bitterness,” he says. “I did this by formulating freshly roasted ground coffee with safe, food-grade minerals.”
Winneroski’s hypothesis led to the discovery of Mad Scientist Silk Coffee, and the name of the business, Mad Scientist Coffee.
“This coffee is truly less acidic and bitter than regular coffee, and we offer it in regular, decaf, and a higher-caffeine blend called Polonium Silk coffee,” he says. “It was named polonium to honor Madame [Marie] Curie, who won a Nobel Prize for her discovery of the elements polonium and radium.”
Winneroski adds that Silk Coffee was invented to also reproduce the taste of cold brew coffee, in a faster and more convenient way than traditional methods.
Winneroski says he has a lot of repeat customers and many of them have their favorite coffees.
“We also offer several whole-bean coffees, but our low-acid Silk coffees are the most popular,” he says. “There is nothing else on the market like it. We are also now offering our Silk coffees in convenient pods too.”
Winneroski has his own personal favorite coffee. “My wife, Ann, and I drink the regular Silk coffee every day,” he says.
Winneroski also enjoys sharing his passion for coffee, science, people and God with the coffee world.
“I put the Bible verse Romans 1:20 on every bag or box of coffee, because science has reinforced my belief that there is a creator, and this Bible verse speaks of this,” he says. “The more I learn about science, the more I see that life is a miracle. I don’t see a conflict between faith and science because I see the fingerprints of God all around us in DNA, proteins, photosynthesis and even coffee.”
Winneroski loves what he’s doing. “I’m very blessed,” he says. “I’m combining all of my passions and working with something I really enjoy.”