By Jessica Dyer [email protected] Albuquerque Journal, N.M.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) An Albuquerque couple who were running a coffee-roasting business from their home are opening a brick and mortar location. We have a feeling things will be "Perking Up" real soon!
Albuquerque Journal, N.M.
Psst. Have you heard about Whispering Bean? Owners Angie and David Weigand have been running the coffee-roasting business from their Rio Rancho home for the past three years. Fitting it in between his engineering job and her career in the dental field, they roasted in the garage, bagged in a spare bedroom and sold through the internet, averaging about 12 bags a month.
Whispering Bean was, you might say, a pretty quiet operation.
But not so much anymore.
Last month, the couple expanded by opening a new cafe and roastery next to Sprouts in the Corrales Shopping Center.
"For us to grow bigger, we decided we have to open a coffee shop because people want to taste it," Angie says.
Whispering Bean customers can now have a barista whip up a cappuccino or mocha. They can order a pour-over cup, cold brew, or the popular butter-and-MCToil coffee blend known at Whispering Bean as "Trail Blazing Coffee."
Those in a hurry can use the cafe's grab-and-go station, pouring themselves a cup and dropping $2 in a jar.
The cafe also sells 12-ounce bags of roasted beans ($13.65), which come from Brazil, Peru, Guatemala, Egypt and Cameroon via California importers. Whispering Bean offers single-source bags and also some blends.
The bags have already emerged as the shop's top seller, something Angie says reflects the lack of major local roasting options on the West Side.
"People want their beans fresh," she says.
Whispering Bean -- even in its previous, home-based iteration -- is the somewhat unexpected result of a birthday gift. Angie says David presented her with an espresso machine a few years ago and then suggested they roast their own beans. They purchased what she calls "one of those little popcorn pop home roasters," and soon graduated to a more advanced version and roasted for others. They eventually invested in a small commercial roaster and were selling coffee online.
But they thought growth depended on exposing more people to the product, hence the cafe.
"People want to see it or taste it," Angie says. "And once they can taste the coffee, it's a whole different experience."
Whispering Bean now roasts just feet away from its cafe, using a separate space behind the shop. While Angie has left the dental field to run the cafe full-time, David continues to work around his day job, coming in evenings to roast. He remains solely responsible for that side of the business, having honed his skills through research and experimentation.
"David being an engineer and into the technical (stuff) ... he's written down every single roast he's ever done," Angie says, noting that he documents how variables such as temperature and duration affect taste.
Whispering Bean will formally celebrate its grand opening on Saturday, Aug. 6.
The shop -- which also serves some New Mexico Pie Co. baked goods and savory snacks like quiche -- is open from 6 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays and 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays.
The address is 10701 Coors NW at Alameda. The phone number is 697-9919.