It is estimated that 83% of American adults drink coffee. Mary and Nathan Bradley, the owners of Rabbit Coffee Roasting Co. are helping fill cups locally with their locally roasted products.
Rabbit Coffee’s location at 10 S. Main Street in Knox, offers locally-roasted and freshly ground coffee for sale by the pound. But it is also open six days a week to provide the coffee shop experience to their community.
“We have a full coffee shop,” Bradley says. “We can make almost any coffee drink and we have bagels, muffins, cookies and built protein bars to munch on.”
Rabbit Coffee was purchased by the couple in 2019. Bradley says the name is derived from the book Watership Down, with a little Peter Rabbit and Alice in Wonderland mixed in. Rabbit Coffee is a recent development in the Bradleys’ coffee enterprises.
“We started roasting in our house with a one pound roaster back in 2013 and then we started our business, Serving Grounds, in 2014 just wholesaling to other businesses,” Bradley says. “We just opened our coffee shop in October 2019.”
The Bradleys’ coffee reflects a global marketplace, with coffees from Kenya, Ethiopia and Guatemala, among others. According to the National Coffee Association, coffee is grown in 50 countries globally, including North America, Central and South America, Africa, on the Arabian Peninsula and in Asia. The variations in taste come from factors such as the plant species, the soil, the weather including the amount of rainfall and sunshine. Even the altitude at which the plants grow can lend a unique flavor to the beans.
“Every coffee country has its own flavor and every roaster roasts differently,” Bradley says. “I typically go for the nutty, earthy and chocolate notes which you’d find from coffees grown in Guatemala, Columbia and Brazil, for example.”
Rabbit Coffee Roasting Company is growing its business by being present in the community. A presence at community markets, such as the European Market in Chesterton and now with the visibility provided at the downtown Know coffee shop, people are finding out about the coffee and supporting the business, he says.
Bradley’s passion for coffee can be traced back to his mother.
“My mom always had a pot of coffee on in our house and I started drinking coffee in high school,” he says. “One day I realized that someone was making coffee and my mom was buying it. When I looked up coffee, I found that coffee needed to be roasted and it sounded intriguing.”
The roasting of the coffee is not something that many people see. It is a process that prepares the green coffee beans into the rich fragrant through the chemical changes that occur when the beans are roasted.
“Roasting coffee has everything to do with time, temperature, airflow, and the coffee bean,” he says. “Fresh roasted coffee is usually better than one sitting on the shelf.
“We roast twice a week to ensure our coffee is always fresh,” Bradley adds. “I am really in love with our Guatemalan bean right now. We get it directly from the farm and the grower’s son ships it straight to us. It has hints of chocolate and is very smooth.
Once the roasting is completed, the green beans are now the recognizable brown beans that are then ground to be brewed into the coffee that so many people enjoy, Bradley included.
“Coffee has a nice pick-me-up quality and you can do so many things with it,” he says. “I love the taste and could and do drink it all day.”
Rabbit Coffee offers online sales, but the coffee shop is also stocked with coffee by the pound. A partnership with other shops also keeps promoting the special blends of coffee the Bradleys produce.
“We have talked about opening others but for now we’re going to continue growing our shop and helping other coffee shops grow,” he says.
Rabbit Coffee is open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday at 10 S. Main Street in Knox. The shop is closed on Sunday. For more information, visit their Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/rabbitcoffeeroasting or call 219-508-5779.