Our Roastery

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Welcome to Late For The Train!  Thanks for taking some time to check us out.

The guy in the picture to the right is me.  I’m Dave.  I started Late For The Train back in 1993.  Back then Flagstaff had 32,000 residents and my espresso machine was the third in town.  Now there are over 65,000 people here and over 45 espresso machines in various cafes, hotels, and bars.  And my mustache is gray.  Needless to say, it’s been a lot of fun and hard work.  Isn’t that true for everyone?   I still feel fortunate to have picked specialty coffee & tea as my craft.  I am still very involved in the business of running the business and can occasionally be found in one of our espresso bars or roasting coffee on our small-batch roaster at our Hwy 180 cafe.       

Again, welcome.  You have just landed at our new website.  It’s our first update since 2006.  Beyond improving the look & feel, making e-commerce easy was our goal. From easy scrolling to quick order processing and really slick shipping & tracking options, we started from scratch to ensure nobody had an itch for easier, faster, or better.   We are looking forward to our new customer review feature under each coffee selection.  Over time we believe other’s opionions will be helpful.  

And by all means, we encourage you to add yours!

For general comments, questions, or concerns we are checking our Contact info and responding asap.

Coffee is Our Craft  

It’s what we do.  We drink it.  We read about it.  We think about it.  And sometimes we even dream about it.     When we wake up in the morning, we start out just like you; sometimes we’re celebrating and sometimes we’re struggling. No two days seem to start out the same.  That’s why we roast and blend up a full range of taste experiences. Sometimes we prefer something exciting, sometimes we just want quiet and comfortable.  Whatever it is that brings you to your mug in the morning, we feel confident that we have a coffee for you.  

We are known for roasting in the classic Second Wave west-coast Peet’s tradition – dark, oily and aromatic.  That’s to be somewhat expected since our founder/owner, David, got his initial inspiration for roasting coffee while working for Alfred Peet in the early 80’s.  Our coffees usually surf the second wave into the second crack where body, brightness, and flavor become balanced and roast notes become more pronounced.   Several of our more notable offerings such as North Rim, SmokeJumper, and Rez Dawg go beyond the beginning of the 2C, and slow down, simmering into the smokies until we quickly drop them into the cooling bin.  We think it’s a sweet spot.  In fact,  roasting at 7,000 feet actually has some advantages.  It’s similar to baking; adjustments need to be made due to atmospheric pressure decreasing with altitude increasing.  Comparing our roast notes with sea level we can roast at lower temperatures, more slowly which eliminates scorched or baked flavors.   

Another advantage of high altitude roasting allows us to not hurry the process. slowly letting the sugars and carbohydrates in the beans caramelize into deep, rich, well-rounded profiles completely devoid of bitterness, even in our darkest roasts.  So if you want to experience the results of a long chain of naturally occurring chemical reactions interacting and creating smoky tones and tastes evocative of leather, sweet tobacco, and cocoa; look no further- try one of our dark roasts.   Be ready, though.  They taste great.  We don’t just toss anything into our roaster and make them dark.  We carefully select coffees for roasting dark by altitude, varietal, soil and processing techniques.  After all,  we’re roasting up firepits of flavor!  Smoky.  Intense.  Smooth!  Our customers love em!  And we do too.  In fact, we like our Low ‘n Slow high altitude roast technique so much we gave it a name: Mountain Fresh Roast.  

We began roasting on a Diedrich IR-24 in 1995 with the buildout of our second cafe, where it is still in operation.  Cosmetically it shows signs of wear and tear but we recently installed Cropster, a roasting software, and data bridge.   Cropster helps us compare our cupping notes to actual roast profiles so we can bring you an even better cup than before.  When wholesale orders come in we go to our larger roasting facility and fire up our newer, larger, fully automated Diedrich CR-50.  It has computer profiling technology and awesome mechanical controls to bring our roasts in right where we want them to be.  To ensure our roasts are spot on we put samples through our Agtron roast analyzer for a quantitative measurement of roast. 

Our Roast Schedule

To keep things fresh we roast for online orders Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday…sometimes Monday if our cafe roast schedule is on track.  We don’t have coffee sitting around getting unfresh.  Sometimes it takes a day or so before we can roast up a fresh batch.  But once your order is roasted it is shipped the same day.  We think the freshness is worth it.  Get us your order by 9:00 AM from Monday through Thursday your coffee will be roasted and headed for your doorstep that day or next.  The day your coffee gets roasted depends on the time of day it is received.  

Thanks for entrusting us with your order.  We strive to serve you a better, fresher cup of coffee.