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Hobby turns into busy profession for owner Latassa at Java D'oro Gourmet Coffee Roasters

April 12, 2019
By KATIE EGAN (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

In 1998, Tony Latassa started roasting coffee as a hobby. Fast forward 21 years later and his part-time pastime has turned into a successful full-time coffee roasting company.

And now, Java D'oro Gourmet Coffee Roasters, which is based in Cape Coral, is open to the public.

Latassa roasts about a million pounds of coffee a year.

Article Photos

When he first started, he bought coffee that was already roasted, but it didn't take long for him to buy a roaster and learn how to do it himself. Now, Latassa, who is from Calabria, Italy, says he roasts 20 to 100 pounds of coffee a day.

Opening a business gives Latassa a chance to sell directly to the community. People can come in and ask questions and appreciate Java D'oro's coffee after it's been freshly roasted.

"Coffee is only good when it's fresh," Latassa said. "After 24 to 48 hours, that's the peak of aroma and taste."

Fact Box

To go:

What: Java D'oro Gourmet Coffee Roasters

Where: 905 SE 14th Place, Cape Coral

Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday

Information: Visit www.javadoro.com

or call 239-772-1212

After that, Latassa said oxygen finds its way to the coffee and oxidizes it and makes it stale.

"We roast coffee every day and it's all fresh and most of the time its just 24 hours old," he said. "We have a lot of customers already and once they come in, they keep on coming back."

Latassa said you can come in and buy products, buy them online or call ahead of time.

"Whatever coffees they want to buy," he said. "We have all kinds from just about every origin in the world."

Java D'oro has a variety of flavored and organic coffees. According to Latassa, his shop is the only certified organic roaster in the region.

Customers can come in and try the different kinds of coffee and either buy it whole bean or already ground.

Some flavors include caramel, snicker doodle, almond and hazelnut. Latassa also has decaf coffee, k-cups, certified organic roasts and coffees from practically every region in the world.

In the beginning, Latassa began with a small roaster. He went from a 15-kilo batch machine to a 30-kilo batch roaster to its 120-kilo counterpart.

Latassa said his passion for roasting the beverage came from being an avid consumer.

"A lot of people think coffee is bad," he said. "But it's very, very good for you. It makes you alert."

There are thousands of chemicals in coffee, Latassa said, compared to wine, which has hundreds.

An interesting fact about caffeine is that a lot of people don't know espresso has less of it than a cup of coffee.

"Since caffeine is water-soluble, the more water you run through coffee, the more caffeine drops in the cup," Latassa said.

A 16-ounce cup of coffee has 120 milligrams of caffeine, compared to 70-80 milligrams in one-ounce of espresso.

Latassa does everything in house, including roasting, packaging and grinding.

He also recently started making k-cups.

It was so successful, Latassa had to get a bigger machine to meet consumers' needs.

"Now we can make about 12,000 cups an hour," he said. "Any flavor, decaf, dark roast, medium."

Latassa used to sell directly to area hotels and restaurants, but since Java D'oro grew so much, he now only sells to distributers.

Some places where you can find his coffee in Naples include Second Cup at the Mercato and Alberto's on Fifth. In Cape Coral, you can find Java D'oro at Point 57 Kitchen & Cocktails and The French Press in Cape Harbour.

Latassa said the House Blends are his best seller followed by Espresso Supremo, if you're an espresso fan.

His favorite is the Kenya blend.

"It's rated No. 1 in the world, really," he said.

Latassa is also a fan of Costa Rican coffee.

"It has a high acidity and it's balanced. It has a very clean and crisp taste."

Latassa also sells a lot of Sumatra. It's popular because it's not as acidic as other options.

"It's very bold with a low acidity," he said. "Kind of the opposite of Kenya, which has a very high acidity. It's got a good body, but it's not as heavy as Sumatra."

Few people come in and know exactly what they want, but Latassa is there to answer questions and help customers decide on the perfect roast.

"A lot of people say I want coffee that has a low acidity," he said. "Coffee that has a very bold body, like the dark roast."

"If you really want to taste the coffee, you taste a light-to-medium roast so you can taste the property of the coffee."

Once you dark roast a coffee, Latassa said it's easier to hide its imperfections.

"If you have a cheap coffee, you can dark roast it and then sometimes you do that to hide the flaws of the coffee."

If Java D'oro doesn't have the roast you're looking for, Latassa says he can make anything.

"We make specific blends for people, too," he said.

For example, some people ask to blend one-pound of regular coffee and four pounds of decaf.

"A lot of people can't handle caffeine and want only a little bit," he said.

Some people ask for their own blends.

But whatever your coffee dream is, Java D'oro Gourmet Coffee Roasters can make it a reality. Or help you find the ideal roast for your unique palette.

 
 
 

 

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