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Product Feature: Third Wave Coffee

The Egypt Valley culinary team values the strong, long-lasting relationships they’ve built with local farmers and producers in the area.

For Executive Chef, Ben Stinson, there’s nothing like a great cup of coffee in the morning (and sometimes another in the afternoon). When he stopped into Third Wave Coffee in Belding, Michigan, one afternoon, that’s exactly what he experienced. In that moment, Chef Ben decided he had to bring a bag of coffee beans back to the Club for members to enjoy. Since then, Third Wave Coffee has been the only coffee served in the dining room at Egypt Valley.

Owned and operated by Pete McGowan and his wife Megan, Third Wave Coffee roasts their coffee in-house and sources their beans through direct, ethical relationships with farmers in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, and Tanzania. Pete says that “Third Wave Coffee” is a fitting name because it expresses that he is a part of every step in the process from the coffee bean to the cup in the customer’s hand.

After being disappointed with the bitterness and high acidity in every cup of coffee he drank, Pete decided to take things into his own hands and learn how to create a great tasting cup of coffee. His goal was to maintain the flavor profiles and notes that are unique to the region where the coffee beans are grown, as well as reduce the level of acidity in each cup.

For his first attempt at roasting coffee beans, Pete created a makeshift coffee roaster using a gas grill and rotisserie drum. To his surprise, the beans began to burn and the entire grill caught fire! Since then, Pete has learned that roasting coffee beans involves a chemical reaction which requires a delicate balance of heat and air pressure. After a long trial and error process, he found the right balance (and invested in the right equipment) and is proud to provide great coffee for Egypt Valley members to enjoy.

Pete chooses direct trade and in-house roasting because it allows him to ensure first-hand the quality and equity of the product. This also ensures that he maintains strong, long-lasting relationships with the coffee farmers he sources from.

“Direct trade makes a difference in the lives of the farmers we work with,” Pete said. “What makes us unique is that when you enjoy a cup of coffee at Egypt Valley and in our shop, that coffee is fresh because those beans have been roasted within the last few days. The coffee you purchase from the grocery store can sit on the shelf for several months before you drink it, which is why you likely won’t see a roasting date written on the packaging.”

Pete has also started in-house production of compostable K-Cups for Keurig coffee makers after learning those coffee grounds are likely to be stored for up to a year before brewing.

Next time you’re in the dining room, enjoy a fresh cup of Third Wave coffee!