Snake River Roasting
// By Samantha Simma
This summer, after 15 years of selling its blends of locally roasted coffee and espresso beans to valley cafés including Picnic and at local markets including Smith’s, Albertsons, and Pearl Street Market, Snake River Roasting is opening its own café. General manager Cait Brooks says the café is, “a platform for us to share what we love best…brewing excellent coffee and building relationships with all coffee lovers alike.”
The couple who founded the roastery in 2007, Ruth Ann Petroff and Mark Barron, sold the company to local businessman Mekki Jaidi this past winter, but they remain coffee connoisseurs, happy to share their opinions, including: “There’s no right or wrong way to drink coffee,” says Petroff. If you can’t make it to the café (145 E. Broadway Ave.), find Snake River Roasting beans at Smith’s, Albertsons, Whole Foods Market, Aspens Market, and Pearl Street Market. The price for 11 ounces of whole beans starts at $15.89.
Sleeping Indian is a decaf coffee that stands up to the full-bodied flavors of its caffeinated companions. Suitable for coffee purists looking to cut out caffeine, the blend utilizes a diffusion process that decaffeinates the coffee without chemicals while preserving its flavors of cream, milk chocolate, and white pepper.
The espresso blend White Spider is Snake River Roasting’s most award-winning coffee. Named for the winter bootpack trail on Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s Headwall, it has won a total of six bronze medals in Golden Bean and America’s Best Espresso events, including for Espresso, Organic Espresso, and Milk-based Espresso. Roasted to maximize the blend’s caramelization for a deep chocolate flavor and creamy mouthfeel, “its heavy body allows the flavor to linger on your tongue,” Petroff says.
“We fell in love with the story, then fell in love with the coffee,” Petroff says of Guatemala Asproguate, which represents small producers from the Acatenango, San Martin Jilotepque, Coban, and Atitlan regions of Guatemala, where the majority of coffee farms are women-owned. Honey, orange, and caramel are artfully combined in this light, bright roast.
“Lithium is a smooth, medium-bodied coffee with a kiss of brightness from its Guatemala base,” says Petroff. “The base of a blend is the most prominent, with additions made to achieve the components you desire.” Here the secondary tastes include honeyed orange zest, dark cocoa, cedar,
hazelnut, and cherry.
Crafted in honor of friend of Snake River Roasting and iconic Jackson Hole ski patroller, Kirby Williams, the full-bodied Kirby’s First Tram dark roast is for the traditional coffee drinker. “Although we would like to think it’s the coffee, we are well aware that affection and admiration for Kirby are what’s driven Kirby’s First Tram to be one of our top coffees year after year,” Petroff says.
Named for a classic fishing fly and best paired with contemplative mornings on the Snake River, Petroff considers G’s Supafly Stone Dry to be a fresh take on a classic medium roast. “As you roast, the sugars in coffee are caramelized,” she says. “The deeper you roast, the more caramels and chocolates you get.” In this case, the blend is roasted just enough to accentuate notes of hazelnut, cinnamon,
Petroff says the Roam blend “reminds us of everything wild and unique that Wyoming has to offer,” and its tasting notes are a nod to exactly that. Berry and orange zest ooze fruitiness from naturally processed Ethiopian beans, while heavy-bodied Indonesian beans temper those flavors. A touch of naturally processed beans from Brazil brings a slight chocolate finish.
Skip the morning pastry and drink the Wild Iris blend instead. Naturally processed Ethiopian beans evoke fruity, berrylike characteristics, which are balanced with Sumatran and Brazilian beans for added body and chocolate flavors. The end result is reminiscent of a warm blueberry muffin.
Described as being “crafted for that person who just needs a smoky, dark brew,” the Gros Ventre French roast is Snake River Roasting’s darkest blend. The result is “black as night and as smooth as the moonrise in the Wyoming sky,” says Petroff, with notes of black cherry and brown sugar. JH