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Ennis Daily News

A hill of beans

Jess and Brenda Haupt open gourmet coffee business
Ennis is famous for its Czech kolache, but Brenda and Jess Haupt are hoping it will also become known for something else delicious – freshly roasted, gourmet coffee.
“We want people to experience really fresh coffee, and our coffee will be as fresh as possible,” Haupt said.
Jess and his wife Brenda have opened Buna Bean Coffee, a specialty coffee roasting company located on Oak Grove Road. The company’s name has its origins in Ethiopia, coffee’s birthplace. Buna means coffee in Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia and Buna Bean imports coffee beans from that country as well as Kenya, Sumatra, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Panama and Mexico. As a specialty coffee company, they use only the top 10 percent of Arabica beans.
Visitors to the newly constructed building will notice the care and detail that went into the facility, from the gleaming green and chrome coffee roaster right down to the polished concrete floor which is stained a rich, coffee brown. And of course, the aroma of freshly roasted coffee is an ever-present part of the décor.
Jess and Brenda have operated Globe Products in Ennis since 1999 and the company remains a leading manufacturer of metal ferrules and eyelets. When the couple decided to branch out in a new direction and start another business Buna Bean was born.
Brenda has been involved from the beginning, helping to navigate the company from idea to reality.
She has been instrumental in getting the facts correct, setting up the accounting, and making sure everything is “first class.”
“I couldn’t have done it without her,” Jess said.
The building was constructed by Tim Hendrix of DC Metal Construction and the couple said several other people have played a major role in getting the new business up and running.
Jess credits Andy Moya for designing the company’s logo and other graphics work and they also relied heavily on Elaine Kasowski for her help with bookkeeping and paper work.
They’re happy that all the pieces are now in place and the real fun can begin.
“Now we can really concentrate on the roasting,” Jess said.
Located within walking distance of Globe Products, Buna Bean grew out of Jess’s love of cooking, wine tasting and even home-brewing his own beer.
He bought his first coffee roaster – a small tabletop model – about five years ago and used it for the first time in his office at Globe. It was a learning experience.
“I had to open the door and windows to let the smoke out,” Jess said. “I’m sure people were wondering what I was doing in there.”
What a difference five years makes. The roaster at Buna Bean Coffee is a 12-kilo commercial model that uses the latest technology – including a computerized touch pad – to ensure a perfect roast. But it’s still a very hands-on endeavor for the couple.
Each variety of coffee bean requires a delicate blend of time and temperature to get the most out of its flavor. The company produces three espresso blends – Smooth Jazz, High Road/Low Road, and West Coast Blend – along with three drip blends, which include Bluebonnet Blend, Polka Java and Day & Night.
“We’re still learning and tweaking,” Jess said.
“We will probably never stop learning.”
Typical roasting times are from 12 to 15 minutes, with precise temperature adjustments made throughout the process. Jess records every adjustment on each roast and when he gets the results he’s looking for, the roasting “profile” can be saved in the roaster’s computer memory. Finding that right combination is what makes coffee roasting an art.
“It’s trial and error,” he said. “You adjust the heat and air based on the color, aroma and even the sound.” As moisture leaves the beans, they swell and make a distinct cracking sound.
Fifteen minutes may not seem like a long time, but patience is required to get the best results. “You don’t want to rush through it. You don’t want to be a speedboat going through the roasting process. You want to be a cruise ship … steady,” Haupt said.
Once the coffee beans are roasted to perfection, they’re allowed to rest for a day or two before being bagged for customers.
The Haupts plan on selling Buna Bean Coffee to restaurants and businesses here in Ennis, as well as Dallas and surrounding areas. Individuals will also be able to pick up their own one-pound bags for around $11 each.
The company’s website will go live soon and through it customers around the world will be able to order Ennis’ unique offering to the coffee community. Personalized blends will be available and the Haupts also plan to offer customized labels for customers.
Closer to home, Jess said locals can look forward to attending roasting demonstrations and coffee tastings at the business, which may open to the public on some mornings for folks anxious to buy their favorite blends.
In the meantime, area residents interested in getting their hands on Ennis’ newest hot commodity can contact Buna Bean Coffee at 972-872-2862.

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Posted by on Feb 26 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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