Actual Coffee Blog

Kickstarter Dashboard February 18, 2013 13:01 1 Comment

If you're looking for a quick way to track our Kickstarter, look no further.


Actual Coffee: A Toledo Coffee Roaster -- Kicktraq Mini



Lastly, thanks to everyone who's pledged and/or promoted our campaign. We still need a lot of help though, so keep it up!

Kickstarter January 08, 2013 13:08

2013 will be a dramatic year for Actual Coffee. Starting February 1st, I will be launching a campaign to raise $15,000 in pledges with a tool called Kickstarter.

Kickstarter is a funding tool for creative projects. It gives me a platform to tell the story of Actual Coffee and share its goal of buying a bigger roaster with the community around me. Most importantly, it provides an effective means of raising financial support and rewarding backers in return. For example, if someone pledges $50 to the cause, they’ll receive a half-pound of fresh roasted coffee and the Actual Coffee T-shirt. It’s just a simple, tangible way of thanking the people who helped make this dream a reality.

I only have 30 days to reach the full amount of $15,000, otherwise I don’t receive any funding at all, and I'm unable to continue roasting. For that reason, it’s incredibly important for supporters of Actual Coffee to make a pledge and spread the word about this campaign.

When the time comes, I’ll post the link to my Kickstarter on Facebook, Twitter, and here on the Actual Coffee website. I’ll be posting more frequent updates to the blog during that time to let supporters know how the funding is going.

In the background, there’s lots going on with me personally that makes this Kickstarter really important.

Starting a company is a difficult task. It doesn’t earn me any money and takes lots of time. These are certainly typical complaints for young entrepreneurs. To account for that, I just got a part-time job with Apple. I’ll be working in a technical support/customer service position from the comfort of my own home. This flexibility will allow me to continue roasting coffee, but I’ll have a difficult time keeping up due to the size of my roaster. A bigger coffee roaster will allow me to continue building the business, while also being able to scrape a living.

There’s lots more to share, but I’ll do so in more bite-sized posts. If you have any questions about the upcoming Kickstarter, feel free to email me at or just leave a comment below.

You stay classy, Toledo.

Actual Coffee Newsletter - July Edition July 31, 2012 11:38 1 Comment

There’s lots of exciting things to share at Actual Coffee, so it’s time to write a newsletter!

Bleak House Coffee is now serving Actual Coffee! They’re a new coffee shop located in the heart of downtown Toledo. I think this place has great potential to be one of the best coffee shops in NW Ohio simply because they’re using higher quality coffee than what most people are familiar with. They also feature manual brewing methods, such as pour-over, aeropress, and french pressed coffee – all things that really help draw out the true flavor of good coffee. If you find yourself downtown, or craving a great coffee or espresso, check them out. For directions and other details, check out their Facebook Page or visit their website at

I’m currently roasting coffee from the Yirga Cheffe region of Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee. This coffee is exquisite. It’s delicate, floral, sweet, and has some strong fruit notes as the cup cools. It’s one of the best coffees I’ve ever roasted and I would encourage everyone to try it. I’ve written more about this coffee here. You can order online and pick up your coffee at Bleak House too!

Last but not least, I’ve got a new coffee roaster picked out that will allow me to roast more coffee and offer better pricing to businesses and retail customers alike. This roaster is hand-crafted in Nevada and is made entirely of American parts. Specialty coffee roasters across the nation use San Franciscan roasters because they’re well built and allow the roaster increased control of the roaster, all resulting in a better cup of coffee.

That's all I have for now! If you'd like to be updated more frequently, follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

-Lance Roper, Actual Coffee Roaster

Some thoughts on Tumba Cocatu May 02, 2012 13:50

 I've received some interesting reactions when I tell people about my coffee from Rwanda. It seems like at least 60% of the people didn't even know where Rwanda was until I mentioned its continent. "Ohhhh, Africa! Aren't they looking for Joseph Kony there?" To which I must reply, "You're thinking Uganda, and no, they didn't film Blood Diamond there either.

4 Tips for Making Good Coffee March 24, 2012 10:17

For many people, making coffee is an important part of their morning routine. And for many people, pouring that coffee down the hatch isn't always an enjoyable experience. I'd like to share some basic tips that will help make your coffee taste better.

  1. Use filtered water. Tap water has all kinds of things in it that can ruin a good cup of coffee, namely chlorine. Chlorine in coffee is usually the culprit behind a bitter aftertaste. If your refrigerator dispenses filtered water, make sure that you've replaced the filter at some point in the last six months, otherwise it isn't doing anything. Brita pitchers are cheap, easy to use, and do a great job. Unless your house is equipped with an advanced water filtration system that is routinely serviced, I'd recommend using one of these for best results.

  2. Rinse your filters. If you use paper filters in your coffee maker, try rinsing them with water before you make your coffee. This keeps the tiny paper particles out of your coffee, helping to eliminate the "paper-taste" that no one enjoys.

  3. Grind right before brewing. Ground coffee goes stale faster than a bag of open potato chips and there's nothing you can do about it. Believe me. If you start grinding your coffee right before you brew, you'll never go back to buying pre-ground coffee. The taste difference is incredible. If you don't have a grinder and you'd like to get one, email me and I'll send you an affordable recommendation based on your brewing method.

  4. Buy fresh roasted coffee beans. I'm sure you saw this one coming, but it's true. Coffee beans don't have an eternal shelf life, even if the bag is sealed. If you buy your coffee off the shelf at a grocery store, it's probably been sitting there for weeks. By this time, the beans have become stale, resulting in dull and muted flavors. Fresh, properly roasted coffee should posses a natural sweetness and potential fruity flavors depending on which part of the world the beans are from. Actual Coffee ships the day after roasting so you can finally taste what fresh coffee is like.

For me, these are four basic and non-negotiable steps for making coffee. If these things are missing from your routine, try implementing them one by one and notice the differences in taste. 

Have any comments or questions? Leave them in the comment box below or send an email to

Coffee: Café Pulcal February 28, 2012 08:39

When I first realized where coffee came from and what it looked like, I was shocked. I had no idea that coffee wasn't actually a bean! Here's a photo of what coffee actually looks like.
Café Pulcal Cultivar Branch
The little cherries in the photo are all picked by hand. Inside each cherry are usually two large and symmetrical seeds that face each other. That is what we somehow turn into a drink.

But long before it reaches the cup, there's a long process that each little coffee "bean" must go through. 

This blog will serve as many things in the future, but most importantly, I'd like to visually show people where our coffee comes from, who produces it and how we get it into our cups every day.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more.