If you’ve ever wondered where the name “Batch Nine” came from, thank you for thinking of us :). Here’s our origin story, as best as I can tell it, and why it still matters today.
In Spring 2016, a few of us thought it would be a great idea to learn how to roast coffee. From the beginning, we had aspirations of morphing this idea into a business. So, we bought a little Hottop Tabletop roaster and got to work - soon realizing that roasting coffee well is a nuanced balance of art and science.
We roasted batch after batch of coffee expecting the next one to be the right one, only to be let down by a mediocre, bland tasting cup of coffee each time. Disheartened, we couldn’t quite figure out what the problem was - we’d done our homework! But the thought of a bright future as coffee roasters started to get a little more dim. However, we knew the problem was solvable, and we didn’t need to waste any more coffee until we had figured out why our roasted coffee sucked.
So we went back to the drawing board (by “drawing board”, I mean Google!). We spent several hours on Google, gobbling up as much information as we could about the roasting process and how it affects the chemical makeup of coffee. We began to learn that, though roasting coffee is “simply” a manipulation of heat and airflow over time, it’s anything but simple.
The pieces started to fall together, and the light bulb went off in our heads. After our study session, we felt like we better understood how to manipulate heat and air to get the results we wanted. We went back to our little tabletop roaster, and the next roast we produced tasted really, really good. That was our ninth batch.
By no means had we become professional roasters in those wee hours, and I believe the coffee we produce has gotten consistently better over the last 4 years. Our name, logo, and most of our brand messaging pays homage to the resilience it takes to become better than “good enough.”
We believe that you, the coffee drinker, shouldn’t settle for drinking mediocre coffee in the same way that we refuse to settle for being mediocre coffee roasters. In the beginning, being “good enough” wasn’t enough. We wanted to nail it. We wanted to make outstanding coffee. Being “good enough” still isn’t enough. We still work to get better.
Why all of this? For too long, coffee has been commoditized, mass-produced and treated as if it has nothing unique to offer. Coffee is more than a simple commodity, though, and has more to offer than a generic “light” or “dark” roast. It’s such a unique crop, grown by unique people around the world, and has so many interesting inherent flavors depending on where in the world it’s grown and who processes it. It really is a special thing. If we treat it that way, as roasters, then you get to enjoy coffee for all that it truly has to offer.
And that makes for incredibly excellent mornings.