"Although the trend leans toward lightly roasted beans, Scott McMartin unapologetically roasts darker, in the tradition of Starbucks, where he spent nearly 20 years. The results are deeply flavorful and familiar - the Humbucker Blend, in particular, makes a solid morning French Press - but a notch above what you'll find at bigger specialty coffee chains. Know, too, that these beans are sourced well; McMartin's previous job of buying and blending for Starbucks has taken him all over the world in his quest for the perfect cup. Stop by Fundamental's cavernous SoDo warehouse space (very much not a cafe, but a roasting facility) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Fridays to sample coffee and buy beans. $13 to $19 for 12 ounces. SoDo 4660 Ohio Ave. S; funcoffeeco.com"
"...Scott McMartin has seen the largest- and smallest-scale roasting productions you can imagine. While learning from famed coffee pioneer Alfred Peet in the early ’90s, he was moving up the corporate ladder at Starbucks, where at his career peak he was in charge of roasting and coordinating the purchase of 470 million pounds of coffee annually.
Now McMartin runs Fundamental Coffee Co. in SoDo, which produces small-batch roasts focusing on robust blends. He’s a self-proclaimed “dark roast guy” whose roasts focus on flavor development, savory sweetness, and richness. When I ask why he’s bucking the current roasting trend in Seattle, he explains, “The pendulum has swung so far to lighter roasts, and there’s this extremism that I believe has gone too far. There is a bit of a lost art in blending. My darkest roast is done at 355 degrees, and the result in the cup is a smoky, complex coffee with a lot of depth. It’s a blend I describe as a ‘huge beast of a coffee’ —and people want it.”
He adds, “We want people to enjoy coffee and not have to be a connoisseur. It doesn’t have to be so complicated that it alienates people.”
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