The Summerland Review is running a series featuring profiles of business people in the community.
This week, we met with Rochelle Fair of Lone Tree Coffee.
Rochelle and Darin Fair of Lone Tree Coffee are on an ongoing quest for the best possible cup of coffee.
The Summerland-based artisan coffee roaster already has a reputation for producing high-quality blends of coffee, but some of their customers are asking them to delve deeper into the world of coffee.
One customer, a retiree from the Similkameen Valley has called the coffee roaster on numerous occasions, asking about the countries of origin and the specific regions off the coffee beans used in certain blends of coffee.
“Our customers keep us on our toes,” Rochelle Fair said, adding that because of the calls, she has been inquiring about various bean varieties to use for roasting.
Another customer, from New York, regularly orders Lone Tree’s Smooth Sailin’ blend of coffee, a medium-dark blend of coffee beans from Guatemala, Costa Rica and Brazil.
The Fairs enjoy their coffee and in 1996 they opened The Beanery Coffee Company at the corner of Main Street and Victoria Road in Summerland.
Rochelle Fair had grown up in Summerland and the move back from the Lower Mainland was a journey back home.
Coming to Summerland also allowed the couple to raise their children in a community they loved.
At the time, there were few coffee shops in the area and none in Summerland.
By 2000, they had purchased a refurbished Deidrich coffee roaster which was set up at the front of the coffee shop.
In the late evenings, Darin Fair would be at the store to roast the beans for the shop’s blends.
In 2008, they sold the coffee shop to a couple from the Netherlands and chose to concentrate on roasting coffee beans and creating the unique blends instead.
Later, Rochelle Fair was working at the Beanery once again and the Fair children also worked at the coffee shop
The name was changed to Lone Tree Coffee in 2013 and the artisan coffee is now sold locally, around the Okanagan Valley and internationally.
They now have a larger roaster, coupled with an oxidizer, to produce their coffee blends.
In Summerland, The Beanery, Nesters Market and Summerland IGA all carry Lone Tree’s coffee. Elsewhere, coffee shops in Penticton, Kelowna and Vernon and area fruit stands are among the places which carry the coffee.
It is also available through the company’s online store.
The couple’s four children have also spent plenty of time around the coffee shop while growing up.
“We’re a family of coffee drinkers,” Rochelle Fair said. “We enjoy the beverage.”
Because they care about good quality coffee, they also have some suggestions for those seeking to brew the idea cup of coffee in the morning.
Rochelle Fair recommends starting with freshly roasted coffee beans and grinding the beans just before brewing.
She also suggests using good water. Her family prefers using filtered water to make coffee.
The grind size will affect the taste of the coffee.
Too coarse a grind will not extract enough flavour from the coffee beans, while too fine a grind can result in an overpowering and unpleasant taste.
Although they have had success and acclaim for the coffee blends they produce, the Fairs are continuing their quest for the best possible cup of coffee and are continuing to seek out the best beans to create the best possible blends.
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