All our coffee is carefully hand-roasted onsite in small batches by our “roastmaster-extraordinaire” Tonja Peterson and her faithful SF25 drum roaster “Roxy,” built in the USA by The San Franciscan Roaster Co. Every roast profile has been refined and calibrated to bring out the best flavors of each bean that we roast, and we continuously taste and monitor every batch to ensure quality and consistency. We are passionate about coffee here at GCR, and you can taste that passion in every cup!
Meet Tonja, our Roastmaster!
A true “Jill of All Trades,” Tonja has been a professional whitewater guide, a founder and managing partner of a highly successful local outdoor adventure retail company, a tour guide for a local food and wine touring company, a musician and singer with multiple bands and ensembles, and a sales ambassador for a local artisan winery, before finding her way to Gold Country Roasters in 2013 to become our head coffee roaster.
Tonja has studied under some of the top experts in the roasting industry including Boot Coffee in Marin County, CA, and the master coffee roasters and roasting machine builders at The San Franciscan Roaster Co. Driven by a passionate desire to understand every facet of the roast creation process, from sourcing the best green beans, to the nuances of bean biochemistry throughout the roast, to achieving the optimum roast profile for each varietal, Tonja’s roasting style succeeds in cultivating a powerhouse fusion between traditional and modern sensibilities tailored to each beans unique characteristics and taste. Tonja’s deep love for artistic expression and excellence infuses each batch of beans into every cup of coffee that GCR offers.
When she is not roasting coffee for GCR, you will find Tonja serving up beer for the local craft beer taproom, singing with the local band “Magnolia Rhythm Trio,” riding her beloved motorcycle “Freedom” through Sierra Nevada mountain passes, camping in the woods or kayaking on clear mountain lakes, or clearing brush on her 40 acre ranch outside Murphy’s. Blink, and you might miss her as she zips by on her way to her next adventure!
Meet Roxy (our Roasting Machine)!
Our beautiful San Franciscan SF25 roaster was manufactured by Coffee PER (now The San Franciscan Roaster Co.) in 1992. It was purchased new by its previous owner, who roasted on it for over 20 years before trading it in for a new, larger capacity San Franciscan model. We were fortunate to be “in the right place at the right time” when we were in the market for a new roaster, and were able to obtain Roxy used, but completely factory-refurbished and repainted to our specifications from The San Franciscan Roaster Co. in 2012. Roxy came over the Sierra Nevada to us from Nevada in pieces on a flat-bed truck only days before we opened on June 1, 2012, but we were able to get her up and running in time to make our opening. She has been serving us faithfully and reliably ever since.
Interested in seeing Tonja and Roxy in action? Stop by the shop in person to watch the roast (call ahead to confirm our roasting schedule, usually 2-3 days per week), or check out this video!