Tucan Coffee in Palisade has one goal for its customers — to sell the freshest, highest quality product for an affordable price.
Owner Avril Millensted took over the family business when her father, Chris Millensted, passed away suddenly in a car accident while traveling in Honduras in 2007. Chris began roasting coffee in 2001. Before then, he grew coffee in Honduras. Before his passing, Chris also operated Tucan Coffee House in Palisade.
Since her father’s death, Avril — along with Tucan Coffee manager, Jan Thompson — has continued his legacy by roasting coffee on Tucan Coffee’s estate (located at 3563 E 1/2 Road).
“The best way to start the day is with a fresh cup of coffee,” Avril added.
“The better quality of coffee, the less you have to use and the better tasting.”
Tucan Coffee orders and receives fresh coffee beans from Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Colombia every two weeks, totaling between 1,400-2,000 pounds per shipment. The team then works to find the perfect combination of heat and time to roast the “green” coffee beans, which are used to create straight roasted beans or grounds, along with three blends and a flavored mix.
“When you get coffee from us, it’s fresh,” Thompson said.
Tucan Coffee, like many other coffee roasters in land-locked United States, cannot grow beans locally due to climate.
Thus, beans imported to Colorado’s Grand Valley from Honduras are 100-percent Arabica beans, which means they are cultivated at a higher elevation — 4,000 feet and above. The elevation adds a smooth flavor and aroma to the beans.
According to Tucan Coffee, coffee beans are roasted five gallons at a time by an “air roaster.” The roaster pumps air into a chamber where the beans are lifted and tossed. The heat then roasts the coffee to the commonly seen dark brown. The tossing of the beans not only ensures the whole bean is roasted evenly, but it also separates the coffee bean and the chaff. There is a suction vent above the chamber as well, which removes the chaff (skin from the bean) into a separate container. Water is next pumped between the chamber walls and the outside walls of the chamber (not touching the beans) to cool the product. The beans are finally released into a container to cool from another air vent.
The hot air circulated in the roaster (depending on roast) operates at approximately 400 degrees and above, Tucan Coffee explained. The whole process takes about 15-20 minutes to complete, and Tucan Coffee reuses the chaff for gardening and mulch.
Once the roasting process is complete, beans are bagged, processed and shipped.
For more information, visit www.tucancoffee.com. Tucan Coffee is available at shops including Family Food Town (112 W. Third St., Palisade), Daylight Donuts (230 E. Lynwood St., Grand Junction), and Sam’s Club, (1040 Independent Ave., Grand Junction) Colorado.
Options include Colombian Supremo, Colombian Decaf, Costa Rica, Fresh Roast, Honduras (organic), Guatemala blend, Early Bird Breakfast Blend, Espresso Sexy Seven blend, and Jamaican Me Crazy (flavored).