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The Story of RoosRoast

John Roos


To learn the story of RoosRoast you need to start with John Roos.

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

roast meter drawing


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? 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 by far, our most popular coffee. If you’re new to RoosRoast, start here.


Rich French Neighbor 


John had many lifetimes as a chef. He lived in Miami, Hawaii, Hong Kong, New York, San Deigo. For awhile, 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, smokey and full bodied.


A-A Cowboy


AA Cowboy LogoPeople 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: Honduran origin with notes of buttermilk, caramel and a crisp finish. Has a little bit of acidity to it. It’s our lightest blend.


Espresso Blend


espresso blend logoNot much of a story except that “beaucoup de mousse” is a reference both to the deep crema of the espresso shot and John’s time in France where he tried to run a business with only remedial French.

About the beans: We’re always tweaking this roast, depending on what’s in season. 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. (Did you know “jk” is short for “just kidding” when you’re texting?)

About the beans: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

badass women logoThe name refers to the ladies at 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 girls 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: About the beans: Similar roast profile to Lobster Butter Love, but carries some unique fruity undertones.


Portland in the 90s


Portland in the 90's Logo

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, 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.