Coffee - From Rot Gut to Refined

by Christopher F on October 18, 2011

Coffee has come along way since I was child.  I am old enough to remember the end of the percolator coffee maker to when my father got his first drip coffee maker.  As a child, the coffee I was introduced to was normally Folgers, and on a rare occasion, Hills Brothers Coffee.  Our neighbor was a Folgers salesmen so we always had free coffee. 

Rot Gut

For many years, Robusto beans that make up the non-premium brands was what most of us thought of as coffee.   Robusto beans yield more coffee beans then the better quality Aribica beans as well as generally more caffeine as well.  It is also, not as good a tasting coffee.  My father called it Rot Gut. It is why my mother moved from coffee to tea and still has a hard time understanding that not all coffees are that way.

Starbucks Years

In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, Starbucks introduced us to quality Aribica Beans, and a variety of “specialty” brews including Latte’s, cappuccinos and other drinks that never existed, or we could only get at a high end restaurant.  Howard Schultz, wanted to bring Italian coffee to the US.  Howard Schultz has frankly, done a tremendous job elevating coffee to a premium product it is today.  While Tea is predominately drank around the world, in the US, coffee is king.


While Starbucks still does tremendous business, coffee has transitioned once again, and its where Starbucks is going to have a hard time competing with their current business model.  People have discovered, that coffee shares many characteristics with fine wine.  Top quality coffees, like wine, take on the characteristics of the Terroir in which it is grown, just like wine.  Quality roasters and freshness can bring out the characteristics of the coffee unlike a generic blend.

People want to know, like wine, where their coffee is coming from.  Is there a specific region or even farm?  How can a medium roast versus dark change the characteristics?  This is what elevates coffee drinking and makes it fun.  Even home roasting is becoming popular.

Don’t settle for a generic blend, try a coffee from a specific region that allows you to taste the characteristics.  Here at Toy Dog Coffee we deal in farm specific coffees, and roast them to order.  Most of our coffees, our Roast Master has determined the optimal roast to bring out the characteristics of the coffee.  If you need help picking a coffee, please send us an email and we will help you out as best you can!


Living in Hawaii, we have some fantastic coffee, and not just from the famous Kona region.  I hear many people remark, that coffee is to much money here in Hawaii.  It is true, coffee runs $25 - $40 a pound, but I also tell people, you will spend $30 on a bottle of wine that will last you one night, why not try a pound of fresh roasted coffee that will last you several weeks.  You will be surprised at the difference it makes.  If Hawaiian coffee is not for you, we have coffees from all over the world but I would be lying if I didn't tell you our daily coffee was a local Hawaiian varietal.


Food is one of those things that sustain us and bring pleasure.  You have breakfast in the morning, and a cup of coffee.  You meet a potential client for a cup of joe.  You finish a wonderful meal with desert and a nicely pulled espresso.  A regular cup of coffee at your local chain costs you $2.  Over 10 days, that is $20.  Now imagine a better quality coffee for the same price and you have Toy Dog Coffee.  We welcome you to enjoy!