The magical, dark brown elixir that jump-starts our day in practically every time zone is a ritual well entrenched in our daily lives. So, if you’re going to meet someone for coffee, you should rendezvous at The Coffee Barn and Bakery, an independently operated coffee shop in Brooksville that offers hand-roasted coffee and delicious bakes.
Daniel Pritz, 24, who co-owns The Coffee Barn and Bakery with his wife, Darby, is dedicated to serving that perfectly brewed cup of joe.
"We use top-of-the-line coffee espresso machines and a cold brew tower that drips over coffee grounds for at least 5 hours,” Pritz said. "It’s devoted entirely for our iced coffee which is very popular."
Pritz has had a love affair with coffee since he was young. He knew one day he would have his own coffee shop and that opportunity came when he bought into the ownership of The Coffee Barn a few years back. Now he and his wife are sole owners of the business.
"But," said Pritz, "we don’t just serve any old coffee. Our coffee is freshly roasted from imported green coffee beans every day right here on the premises," he said.
Second only to oil, coffee is a very valuable commodity worldwide and Pritz knows where to buy the very best coffee beans.
"Green beans are raw, unroasted coffee beans and we get ours mostly from Central and South America, Africa and Indonesia," he said. "Coffee only grows in certain regions close to the equator," he said.
Pritz’s pride and joy is a big old coffee roaster in the back of the coffee shop where he roasts the green coffee beans until they turn rich, golden brown.
The green beans are shipped from all over the world in 150 pound burlap bags and Pritz roasts small batches every day ensuring totally fresh coffee.
“I’ve done a lot of research on roasting coffee in order to offer my customers the very best brew,” he said. “We offer pour-overs, syphon coffee and espresso drinks.”
“The degree and precision at which the coffee beans are roasted is a very important factor that determines the taste of the coffee in the cup,” said Pritz. “Each origin has unique properties and flavors, and reacts to how long you roast and at what temperature,’ he said.
Pritz knows a great deal about coffee and is a trained barista.
“I would say I am a coffee aficionado,” said Pritz. I’m not a coffee snob, and not at all pretentious.”
The Coffee Barn offers a laid-back atmosphere where customers can relax and while away some time. It’s the kind of place where customers can study, read or write any time of the day. There’s a table at the entrance loaded with books and magazines for customers and burlap bags decorate the walls. The burlap bags are also for sale at $10 each.
Entertainment includes an open mic night every last Friday of the month.
A regular customer at The Coffee Barn is Jim Ford, 29 who lives in Brooksville.
“I come here most every day,” he said. “I love the ambiance and the architecture and just enjoy being here. It’s cozy and inviting and the bakery offers homemade bread,” he said.
Menu items at The Coffee Barn include homemade bread, bagels, cinnamon rolls and freshly made sandwiches.
Baker Kim Arthur, 30, bakes everything from scratch daily.
“My cinnamon rolls are huge, moist, and delicious,” she said. “I also bake a variety of pastries and desserts like scones, banana bread and brownies,” Arthur said.
Pritz not only roasts coffee in their shop but he and his wife also market their coffee online under the name of Mountaineer Coffee.
“We called it Mountaineer coffee,” Pritz said, “because my grandfather opened up a antique store many years ago in Brooksville and it was called “Mountaineer Antiques.”
Pritz said when he and Darby receive samples from coffee growers, we have a “cupping” session.
“Cupping is similar to wine tasting and that’s how we choose our coffees,” he said. “Our most popular beans are single origin and each bag of roasted coffee tells which country the beans came from and at what elevation they were grown.”
Mountaineer Coffee is roasted to order and shipped the next day to guarantee freshness.
Pritz said the craft coffee scene is growing and is right behind where craft beer is. “We’re actually the only coffee roaster around here and unique in Brooksville,” he said.
“In the future, we hope to have the drum roaster as a focal part of the coffee shop so customers can view the roasting process for themselves.”
Pritz says he also hopes to develop marketing his roasted coffee to local restaurants and grocery stores. He also plans to introduce Coffee 101 classes and tasting sessions soon.
IF YOU GO
The Coffee Barn
1147 S Broad St., Brooksville.
Phone: (352) 247-7633
Email: [email protected]
Hours: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 6 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. Closed Sunday.
Menu: Specialty coffee drinks, sandwiches, soup and desserts, baked daily on the premises.
Buy Mountaineer Coffee online @ www.mountaineercoffee.com.
If you would like to see your business featured in The Hernando Sun contact Sue Quigley at 727.808.9587 or via email at [email protected]