I was greeted by Donny Raus of RAUS Coffee at his home in Stamford, CT with a freshly brewed (French Press) cup of coffee waiting for me. This coffee, roasted in his own roaster, was so good it needed neither milk nor sugar. (I usually take both.) As I sipped my hot, smooth and bold cup of coffee I learned about the young man, his passion, and I scored some great tips for getting the best possible cup of coffee in your house (Check out Coffee 101 Tips below).
Donny Raus is charismatic, passionate and charming. His love of life, coffee and doing good for others has all blended perfectly to create Raus Coffee. A graduate of The University of Connecticut, with a degree in Finance, Donny tried his hand in the corporate world but realized that it was not for him. Coffee was his passion and so he left the security of his financial job to pursue his dream. He did not make this decision blindly. While in the banking industry Donny worked as a Barista for Starbucks on the weekends. There he learned a great deal about coffee and the industry and garnered the respect of his peers and his superiors. He wrote product reviews and created mailing lists for loyal customers. He also conducted coffee tastings and seminars.
Raus Coffee is people focused. He really enjoys bringing people together so that they can be educated about coffee as well as enjoy it. “People need to slow down,” and coffee is the perfect medium to bring people together to connect and slow down, Raus explains.
Donny still holds coffee tasting seminars. He formed a coffee group, The Connecticut Coffee Society, for those who love and want to learn more about coffee. He teaches people how to “cup” coffee. Coffee cupping is much like wine tasting. One learns how to properly smell coffee and how coffee affects various taste buds. This helps coffee drinkers to enjoy all the flavors and aromas of a single cup of coffee while educating their taste buds.
His coffee cupping group, featured on WABC in New York, now has about 230 members in the Metro New York Area. Coffee cupping also enables him to select only the very best coffee for his customers. Not all coffees are alike. Different batches of the same bean can vary considerably.
It is important to Donny that his coffee is socially sustainable. It is equally important that coffees are enjoyed responsibly. His coffees are all fair trade so that the farmers can benefit directly from the purchase. Many of his coffees are organic as well.
He told me that the motto of his company is “Coffee for Humanity.” Donny Raus is not just on a mission to offer you the best cup of coffee you have ever had, but also to help people. He cited Mother Theresa as we talked. Raus Coffee gives back to the community. Ten percent of his sales go to Juvenile Diabetes research. He also supports Cup for Education which benefits those poor families who live in coffee farming communities by supplying materials to teachers to better educate the children of these farmers to help keep their communities profitable.
Donny also shared a few coffee tips with me to ensure you get the best possible cup of coffee.
Always store your coffee in air tight container in cupboard at room temp for up to 2 weeks.
Never freeze coffee unless for long term storage.
Do not repeatedly remove and replace coffee from freezer. This breaks down the CO2 and compromises the flavor and the integrity of the coffee.
Never store your coffee in the fridge. Coffee absorbs odors and you don’t want your morning coffee to taste like last night’s Lobster Bisque!
When making coffee use bottled or filtered water. There are actually certain chemicals in the water that add body to the coffee. Likewise, chlorine in unfiltered water will kill the flavor* Always buy fresh coffee. Do not buy it from your local grocery store or supermarket
If possible, grind as you go. This helps to ensure the flavor and integrity of the bean.
Burr grinders are much more effective than blade grinders as they grind the beans more evenly.
If you cannot grind your own coffee, specify which kind of machine you own. For example a French coffee press requires a different grind than a drip machine does.Donny sells his coffee at the Farmer’s Market in Westport on Thursdays. When you say hello to him, be sure to ask for a “Cold Roman,” a cold espresso based drink with a secret ingredient that resulted from a mistake but has people going wild!
You can also find his whole bean coffee at Arogya Tea, located at 131 Post Road East, Westport CT. Or you can email Donny Raus directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.