Friday, March 23, 2018

Roaster of the Week: Dessert Oasis and Nathan Hamood

Mar. 23, 2018

Roaster and Co-Owner Nathan Hamood
"Dessert Oasis" has got to be one of the best names for a cafe I've ever heard. Who wouldn't love to go to a "dessert oasis"?! So we are thrilled to send our roaster shout-out this week to Nathan Hamood and his crew at Dessert Oasis in downtown Rochester, Michigan this week! The company is family-owned. Nathan's parents ran the business before he "came of age" and started moving the coffee menu towards its current firm footing in the specialty arena. Nathan is the roaster and director of coffee for their two locations, one in Rochester and one in Detroit (1220 Griswold, near Capital Park) and a soon-to-be third location in Royal Oak! He carefully curates the coffees, looking for single-origin coffees with brightness and complexity that is striking and pleasant. From the tables filled with happy customers mid-day, it was my impression that he has many people appreciating his tasting and roasting skills!

In short, they live up to their mission:
We strive to deliver an unrivaled coffee, dessert, and entertainment experience through close attention to detail, an unbelievable knack for quality, and intense love for our communities.

The namesake dessert case - mouth-watering!
One example of the Dessert Oasis offering is the Rwanda Ejo Heza from Artisan Coffee Imports. While there, I also got to taste the Kenya AA Karimikui, Gichugu, Kirinyaga county. Nathan says he has no problem filling half his menu with East African coffees if they are good coffees. He doesn't try to balance the number of S. American, Asian and African origins as some roasters do. This kind of purist dedication to single-origin taste promotes great conversations between the baristas and customers who want to know more.

Nathan roasts on a US Roaster, 3 kilo machine, carefully monitoring computer read-outs of his profile. He said he gives the Rwanda Ejo Heza a light roast, being sure to monitor it carefully after the first crack with very low heat.

The Dessert Oasis company has a wonderful team, including baristas Tyler and Olya, whom I got to meet the day I was there. They all seemed skilled at latte art, which shouldn't be surprising since the company also regularly hosts latte art throw-downs. A recent throw-down was "very successful" in Nathan's words, drawing 60 contestants and 200 attendees.

The business maintains an emphasis on live and local music with frequent concerts on its mini-music stage, an offering of CDs from local artists and music-themed decor.

Hats off again to Dessert Oasis for creating a great place for coffee, dessert and music. Thank you for offering your customers Rwanda Ejo Heza!

Nathan (L) and barista Tyler (R)

Live music is a theme at Dessert Oasis - helps create community!



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