Brookside coffee drinkers will have a new choice for their morning cup starting next month when the Meta Coffee Roasting Co. makes it debut at the Brookside Farmers Market. We chatted with Meta founder Zach Tarhini to find out more about his roasting operation and plans for the Saturday market.
What led you to launch Meta? After graduating from college I moved to Kansas City and started working for a coffee roasting company where I got my feet wet in the coffee industry. I moved on a little while after but my love for coffee continued. I knew long term I either wanted to be a professional soccer player or start a coffee company, and Sporting KC never called, so here I am.
I have always loved coffee but I really began to appreciate the craft of roasting over the last few of years. I knew I wanted to have a coffee shop at some point, but there is something appealing about taking a raw product and skillfully creating something others can enjoy. Once I came to the conclusion that this is what I wanted to do, I bought a roaster and began learning as much as I could about coffee roasting.
Where and what do you roast on? In the basement of my home in Prairie Village on a 1 kg North [Coffee Equipment Co.] drum roaster.
Where do you source your beans? I use importers with warehouses located in Kansas City. This allows me to establish an actual relationship with them beyond email. I plan to move more towards direct trade as we grow; however, as we are new, we will have to work to develop these relationships with farmers.
Do you have a roast preference? Every bean is different. I try to roast each batch to bring out the innate qualities of that particular bean without adding additional “roast qualities.” This typically results in a lighter roast.
How do you see Meta fitting into the current KC coffee landscape? The coffee and food scene in Kansas City has really developed over the last few years, so I think it’s a great time to become a part of it. There are a lot of roasters doing some really cool things and producing great coffee. I am a big fan of many of the local roasters like Oddly Correct, PT’s, Thou Mayest, and Broadway. Fortunately there is always room for good coffee, and we hope our focus on organic specialty coffee carves out a unique niche for us.
What are you bringing to the market? Our first day at the market will be Saturday, June 13, and we will be there every Saturday after that for the rest of the season. We will be selling whole bean coffee in addition to cold brew iced coffee.[Images via Meta]