For me, coffee is a romance. From selecting the raw beans, to assigning a roast profile, and brewing it, there isn't a single thing that I can think of that I find more fulfilling than creating coffee for others to enjoy.
I realized early on that I wanted to spend my life working with coffee and people. I decided that I was going to make a difference in the world by doing what I love; I was going to make "Coffee For Humanity®". In October of 2007 Raus Coffee Company was born.
My mission is simple. I want to change the way people drink coffee, creating a sense of excitement around their daily cup, while also having it serve as a reminder to reconnect not only with those around you, but with yourselves.
I consider myself to be one of the luckiest people alive. I found my passion and get to live it every day. Thank you for letting me into your homes and allowing me to share my passion with you.
Donny Raus, Founder
One of the most exciting aspects of what I do is selecting which coffees will bear the "Raus" name. It all starts with choosing the right bean. The selection process starts when coffee samples from all around the world are received, sample roasted, and blind cupped, a quality assessment tool used to evaluate a coffee based on its own merits.
In the cupping phase, I look for coffees that are both sweet and clean (free from defects). Once qualified, I then look for coffees that excite and bring a smile to my face. When that happens, I know I've got the right one.
Before selling a single bag, each coffee must first undergo a series of roast tests to determine the right "roast profile". Like an artist staring at a blank canvas, I get clear about what I want out of a particular coffee and continue to modify the roast, cupping each subsequent roast against the next, until I've achieved the desired flavor profile. Only when I've found the right roast will I release it to the public.
Year to year, farm to farm, no two crops will ever be the same or are guaranteed to come around again. Once finished, the quest begins again...
CHANGE FOR COFFEE
I started Raus Coffee because I wanted to make a difference by doing what I love.
“Coffee For Humanity” is more than just tagline, embedded in every interaction, and in every cup. It refers to our purchasing practices for sourcing coffee, our social initiatives, each interaction we have with our extended family (customers), and taking the time to really enjoy and be in the moment.
“Coffee For Humanity” is based on the core belief that change doesn’t have to be grand to be great. It is about doing the small day-to-day tasks with great love. I believe that each of us has the ability to change the world through the person-to-person interactions we have with one another on a daily basis. It can be as simple as a genuinely warm smile and greeting with the handing off of a cup of coffee.
Coffee For Humanity guides our interactions and "Change For Coffee" is our social initiative, starting first in our homes and in our communities. From the purchasing of responsible coffees to organizing clothing drives and handing out bagged meals to the homeless on our streets, these are just some of the ways we reach out to those in need. As we continue to grow, so will our commitment and responsibility to our communities.
Donny Raus has been active in the coffee community for 14+ years. Having worked in various capacities, from barista to an educator and roaster, one thing has always rung true, coffee and people have always been his passions.
In college he worked for Starbucks and was selected to become one of the company’s first certified coffee specialist with the title "Coffee Master".
After college he took a job in corporate accounting and brought his coffee with him, literally. Armed with an espresso maker, drip coffee pot, and a half a dozen single origin coffees, his office became the meeting spot for company executives to get a great cup of coffee.
While still at Starbucks he started the “Free Pour Mailing List”, the company's first comprehensive mailing list to include new product highlights, coffee tastings and pairing notes, equipment reviews, and subscriber Q&A. He also spent his time traveling the region presenting “Coffee Talk”, an educational series on coffee and was commended by the company’s President.
In 2005 he left Starbucks, as well as, the corporate world and in 2007 he founded the Connecticut Coffee Society, educating all who wanted to learn about the magic beverage through cupping. That same year he was elected President of the Northeast Regional Roasters Group, in charge of organizing the group's annual roasters retreat, where he served a term of 3-years.
Deciding there wasn’t anything he’d rather do, in October 2007 took a leap of faith and started Raus Coffee Company, where he aims to make a difference by doing what he loves, coffee.
We represent a different roasting philosophy. Contrary light roast trend in specialty coffee today, we believe that a full city roast, without overdoing it, strikes the perfect balance between a smooth, fullness in body and richness in taste, while also preserving those characteristics intrinsic to the bean, The result, a more satisfying cup of coffee.
All of our coffees are roasted on a customized sold drum roaster, equipped with variable speed motors, allowing us to control every aspect of the roast. This means that we're able to fully develop our coffees, bring out and highlighting the nuances we want, while also taming acidity. These is just one of the aspects that makes our coffees truly unique.
The Story of Cold Roman
In 2010, the first year I stepped out, I was invited to friend's daughter's birthday, but rather than bring a gift, I asked to make something for her guest to enjoy.
Inspired by my frequent trips to Italy, I sought to make a special espresso granita, infused with flavors I experienced during my travels. That day I arrived to the party early to start the freezing process. Hours later the espresso still hadn't froze. Ready to discard it, her husband suggested enjoying it as an iced espresso. Topped with a little half & half, the party guest went crazy for it!
Encouraged by this, I decided to try it out at one of the local farmer's markets, but there was a problem... I never wrote down the recipe. After 3 weeks of testing, bringing samples to the people who tried it first, I finally nailed it and introduced it to the Westport Farmer's Market. It was an instant hit!
With lines of people at my booth, eager to get their hands on a Cold Roman, a woman came by with an empty bottle, asking that I fill it up so that she could enjoy it all week. Onlookers quickly caught on and week after week, more and more people brought empty bottles to fill. It was at that point that I realized I had something special. Shortly after I started bottling my special espresso for all to enjoy...
One of the things I admire most about the Italian people and their coffee ritual, is their willingness to press pause on life, taking the time, even if only for a few seconds, to connect with their friends, before zipping down their espresso and going on their way.In the rushed, fast pace world we live in, Cold Roman was made to inspire those moments, because sometimes we need a little reminder to slow down and enjoy the simples pleasure of life.