Placing coffee in your hands and in your homes is our passion. When we began our journey serving coffee at our original cafe on DeMun, we couldn’t imagine how far your love for our coffee would carry us. From that humble beginning which saw us bringing in coffee on Greyhound buses, to today’s modern roasting facility just off Vandeventer, that passion has carried us as we source, roast, and serve you some of the best coffees in the world.
This summer, to commemorate the hard work that first brings coffee to us and then to you, TopCoatSignCo graced our home with a mural. Depicting some of the steps coffee takes in its journey to your cup, our mural celebrates the coffee producers abroad and the coffee professionals here in Saint Louis that make each sip possible.
Here, we'll use a few sections from the mural to help spotlight the amazing journey coffee to your cup.
All around the world, coffee begins its journey as a sapling, grown at altitude, often in small villages perched on mountainsides. Elevations from 900 to 1,800 meters are generally the ideal height from sea level for coffee. Here, TopCoatSignCo took inspiration from our longest standing coffee buying relationship, the village of Monserrate, which sits between 1,500 and 1,700 meters high.
Learn more about our relationship with Colombia Monserrate:
Most coffee is still picked by hand, as skilled farmers try to select coffee cherries at peak ripeness so your cup has maximum flavor. Machines are also difficult to operate on steep hillsides, as well as being quite expensive, and so are largely relegated to huge, commercial coffee farms in Brazil. We don’t purchase coffee from such farms, instead taking real pleasure from shaking the hands of the farmers who picked our coffees themselves. If you're interested in learning more, check out our Coffee Sourcing page.
Coffee’s processing is complex and often performed at village cooperatives, but it’s still common to see hand-cranked mills beside farmer’s houses around the world as well as at those cooperatives, as they mill coffee cherries to strip the fruit from around the coffee bean.
After coffee is depulped, the seeds (beans) need to be dried. Here, our mural shows a drying bed, full in the sun, being raked by a farmer to ensure even drying.
Colorful, burlap bags are often the mark of proud farmers, processing stations, and exporters. The coffee itself is sealed in grainpro bags to ensure freshness and minimal moisture loss, but the traditional burlap is often features an ornate design, or in special cases, hand painted artwork.
Roxie, our vintage, cast-iron Probat 1937 coffee roaster is shown in all her industrial glory. When most roasts end around 400 degrees, there’s always a little smoke!
Learn more about our own roasting in our blog, "The Vintage Coffee Roaster Behind Your Beans".
Your coffee is transformed by every hand in the mural’s process. When it arrives at our home, Saint Louis, we apply all our expertise to preserving and presenting those hands’ labors in the best possible way. Whether you stop for a sip at DeMun before the Forest Park Balloon glow, inhale the delicious aroma of fresh-roasted coffee far from the confluence of our three rivers, or are on your way to work with a mug in your car’s cup holder as you pass by us on 40, we hope you love this tribute to the world of coffee production.
We love our mural’s daily reminder to remember all the hard work that goes into our coffee, long before we roast or serve it. We hope have the chance to drive by soon, or schedule a tour of our roasting facility to get an up-close view of the mural!