DYK? A banyan is a type of ficus tree native to Florida, India, the Carribean and elsewhere. When you think of Tomb Raider or Baton Rouge, you probably picture these twisted-trunk trees with vines hanging from the branches and historically spiritual roots (see what I did there).
With symbolic Floridian pride, Josh and Abbey Schmitt of Bradenton, FL decided to name their coffee venture after the iconic tree, and in 2018, Banyan Coffee was born.
“Banyan trees grow so unique and are considered one of, if not the largest, trees in terms of coverage,” said the husband/wife founder duo. “I guess it's how we wanted our business model to be -- we wanted to offer something unique in Bradenton.”
Josh and Abbey had been roasting for their own personal coffee needs for almost a decade before deciding to make a living from it!” We started in our garage with a single popcorn popper and eventually ended up with about 20 in our garage. We began sharing our coffee with others and then it took off and... we realized that roasting out of several popcorn poppers wasn't going to meet demand.”
They emphasize freshness as key to their methodology. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention their adorable mobile coffee cart! Locals can rent it out for parties/weddings/corporate events, etc. and it’s part of how they deliver the freshest-roasted coffee in the Bradenton/Sarasota area.
Banyan was kind enough to gift me a variety of coffees to taste and review, and it’s a good thing, because I had to pace myself to keep from binging …
I’ll start by mentioning they only roast and sell single-origin coffees, which I’m all about. I unabashedly started with Ethiopia, tasting notes of blueberry and strawberry -- and I get a decent amount of cherry and pomegranate. This coffee had a medium amount of acidity that started out bright and ended with a smooth mouthfeel. Definitely my favorite! Aeropress, pour over, French press -- always turned out delicious.
This was a beautifully clean coffee, with tasting notes of sweet strawberry and jam. It reminds me of an African coffee, or an African/Central American blend, with both bright cherry and nutmeg/light cocoa notes. It really surprised me how much I liked it.
This Kenyan has tasting notes of fruity, berry and juicy. I didn’t get a very juicy taste from this one, much more mild and light bodied, which may partially have to do with the processing method (this is the only “washed” coffee, and the Honduran and Ethiopian are a “natural” process. I also got light notes of floral/lemon zest, keeping the acidity high.
If you want to try Banyan coffees, they supply a few local Bradenton coffee shops and are planning to supply more shops soon. Otherwise, they are available through Roasters Marketplace, a veteran-owned coffee subscription company, and of course, their website (plus their own subscription).
They’re looking to expand their partnerships with other 3rd party subscription services, as they know how the industry is booming. “It's crazy -- they are just popping up everywhere. There was a huge demand before COVID and now it's even bigger.”
I highly recommend you keep an eye out for their coffees on Roasters Marketplace and other subscription boxes, or support this small business directly at the source. 😉
Stay healthy, curious + caffeinated! ☕
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