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Stories Behind the Beans

"Why Do All the Coffees Have Weird Names?" and Other, Perfectly Valid, Questions

Yes, perfectly valid, as a question. People are curious and that is natural. So this page is to answer all your curiosities about the coffees you love.

First of all, rest assured, there is no highly paid marketing team, working with focus groups to figure out the best names for coffees.

RoosRoast is a real life art/food project that turned legit. So the names of the coffees come from real life- the real life of John Roos.

So to learn the story of the coffees, you need to start with his real life.

John Roos, citizen, promoter and coffee seller, was born in Ann Arbor sometime when hash bash was still cool. Speaking of which, people often think he’s stoned, because he’ll actually listen to people and still rides a skateboard. His dad had a barbershop on Main St and his mom worked in a bank. Deep local.

As a reformed ski bum, poet, artist, consultant chef, and Subaru salesman, Roos learned how to relate through many languages, bohemian subcultures and seriously hyped work ethics. In the kitchen, he developed a chef's palate which is probably why his coffee tastes so good.

Roos is a self-taught artist with a journal by his side at all times. Though he never achieved his dad’s dream of celebrity-chef stardom, since 2005 he’s used his skills to develop RoosRoast into a giant love bucket of coffee and art that goes beyond his singular personhood.

RoosRoast is bigger than a single person right now. But, if you want to know why and how anyone could name a coffee "Lobster Butter Love", the answer lies with John Roos himself.


The Story Behind the Beans



Lobster Butter Love

The name, but why? Yeah it’s a weird name for a coffee. This coffee does not have lobsters in it. Butter? No. So why? Here's one story which may or may not be true: John Roos came up with the name while biking along Huron River Drive. Searching for the most delectable and delicious thing he could think of, he began chanting "Lobster, Lobster, Lobster, Butter, Love" while he pedaled, madly. The name stuck and so did the red LBL logo that he sketched out while on a surf trip in Maine. Or Bermuda. Or somewhere where they have a lot of lobsters, no one’s quite sure.

About the beans: A highly-addictive, Sumatra-based blend that has a smooth, creamy body with low acidity and nutty aftertones. It’s super drinkable and by far, our most popular coffee. If you’re new to RoosRoast, start here.


Rich French Neighbor 

John has had many lifetimes as a chef. He lived in Miami, Hawaii, Hong Kong, New York, San Diego. For a while, he even owned a creperie in the south of France. One weekend, he and his girlfriend went away to the St. Cézaire mountains, up the road from a small village called Fox De Perole, where she owned a small rustic cabin with dirt floors. It was a crisp, beautiful morning and the coffee was tasting fine. His girlfriend agreed but added, "Probably not as good as... that guy's," nodding to the giant mansion nestled in the hills above. This is THAT rich french neighbor's coffee, the REALLY good stuff.

About the beans: This is our version of a french roast - chocolatey, rich and full bodied.


A-A Cowboy 

People think the AA stands for Ann Arbor but that’s aspirational in regards to Ann Arbor’s cowboy culture. On the other hand there are lots of cowboys living in Wyoming where John lived for awhile while cooking at a high-end dude ranch called A-Bar-A. He developed this coffee for the ranch when he first started roasting.

About the beans: Notes of buttermilk, caramel and a crisp finish, for modern cowboys and people of all sorts.  Has a little bit of acidity to it. It’s our lightest blend.




Roos Machine Blend

RoosRoast was built on journals, poetry and creativity. We love a good old typewriter, don’t you?

About the beans: Complexity. Paradox. A hint of sweet orange. Good for espresso shots and a whole lot more. The blend is designed for a complex and intense espresso shot but is also amazing as regular brew!






Mother Pheasant Plucker

Actually this name was invented by former RR roaster, Brian Barch who is a tracker, birder and naturalist. Repeating the name frequently and correctly is a test used by police to test alcohol levels in drivers. (Well, if this isn’t true, it should be!)

About the beans: Buttermilk biscuits and apricot jam. Very caramel and just a little darker than Cowboy. It’s a great offering for medium roast lovers and a staff favorite.




Bad Ass Women Blend

The name refers to the ladies at the former Bona Sera Supper Club in Ypsilanti – bad ass women who asked John to come up with a special blend for their new restaurant. The logo came from a painting series John did called “Girls With Guns” when he was living in Wyoming where lots of young women out there practiced skeet shooting. The guns have been edited out of the picture so as not to freak people out. Come to RoosRoast HQ to see the original painting.

About the beans: Perfect medium dark loveliness with a hint of dark chocolate cherry. Similar roast profile to Lobster Butter Love, but carries some unique fruity undertones.


Portland in the 90s

John actually lived in Portland in the 90s and this is when his (adult) passion for coffee began. (He started drinking Folgers early, practically at his mother’s teat.) Coffee culture has since evolved but sometimes, heck, you just wanted a friggin’ deep dark cup of coffee that makes you know you’re alive. The dream of the 90s is alive, in Ann Arbor and at RoosRoast.

About the beans: This is a truly dark-ass roast with just the right amount of roasty toasty marshmallow before it blows up like a burning asteroid at your kid-friendly bbq party. If you're looking for more of an Italian roast, this is your game. Not for the faint of heart.


Lobster Butter Decaf 

Not to be confused with the Lobster Butter Love! Listen to your family when they tell you you’ve had enough coffee and switch to decaf.

About the beans: There is no shame in decaf, especially when it tastes this good. Medium dark, just like Lobster Butter Love. FTO and Swiss Water Processed. 






Dream Police

One of two of our much loved and delicious decaf coffees. This is a Fair Trade Organic and Swiss water processed decaf. A little bit lighter than the other decaf, Dream Police is more of a medium roast coffee.

About the beans: We go to great lengths to source AMAZING and satisfying decaf coffee that won’t get you all jacked up and weird.