Meet your roaster!

Mills Coffee Roasting Co., one of the nation’s oldest roasters, was founded by Thomas Mills, who emigrated from Scotland around 1860. Thomas originally called the company Mills Tea and Butter Company, only extending into coffee in the late 1800s / early 1900s. Thomas ran the company with the help of his sons — after pulling a morning shift as roasters, they would saddle up their horse to deliver bags of freshly roasted beans throughout Rhode Island and Connecticut. Eventually Thomas’ son, Fredrick, purchased the plant from him. Fredrick’s son, Kenny,  followed-in line, purchasing the plant and expanding beyond Mills’ signature roast to introduce a decaf version. Today the legacy continues with the next generation, Susan and her brother David (Kenny’s kids). Susan, known widely as The Qween Bean, was the inspiration behind thequeenbean.com.  Susan’s son, David, currently works at the plant as an all-around go-to man — simultaneously stepping in as roaster, sales partner, delivery man, and graphics assistant.

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Kenny Mills getting ready for his daily deliveries.

Mills is a gourmet roaster that exclusively deals with shade-grown, high-grown, Arabica coffees. Mills works closely with smaller, family-owned farms in Central and South America to ensure their customers receive only the highest quality coffees grown in sustainable, eco-friendly, socially-conscious environments.

Now we’d like to give you a picture tour of Mills, our (and your) roaster!

After the beans are picked, cleaned, processed, and exported, they arrive at Mills in 200 lb. burlap bags.

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Within in a few days, the beans are thrown into the roaster to become an extraordinary single origin roast or to be blended into one of our many varietal blends. Typically, we roast ~2,000 lbs. at a time, which takes anywhere from 7-15 minutes, depending on the roast shade.

 

Mills Coffee Pictures from Ryan DeVoll Photograhy
Beans roasting! Photograph curtesy of @RyanDeVoll Photography.
After the beans are roasted they need to degas, which essentially allows CO2 and excess oils to release from the bean. While some roaster allow the degassing process to happen in the final bag, we prefer to use specialized degassing holding bins.
HoldingBin
Once the beans are degassed, the are immediately placed in air-tight, light-blocked containers to preserve maximum freshness.
To learn more about your roaster,  check out these videos:

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