A culinary online center dedicated to promoting the importance and the joy of American home cooking with an emphasis on local products and talent, celebrating the unique spirit and energy of the new food world ethos, especially in Vermont.

amuse bouche

I love quotes that add meaning to my life. Here are a few to live by:

Americans who have been to France and come home craving a reminder of their magical European experience, love Vermont cheeses.
—Allison Hooper, founder, VT Butter & Cheese Creamery

Practice not cleaning your plate: it will help you eat less in short term and develop self-control in the long term.
—Michael Pollan

Sweet taste buds develop before all others, that’s why small children love sweets.
—Bronwyn Dunne

Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of milk.
—Michael Pollan

My rule of thumb is, when in doubt, cook more than you think you may need.
—Marian Cunningham, from Learning to Cook


Food Entrepreneurs Part V: Brio Coffeeworks

When Natalie and I walked into Brio for our interview, I had no idea that I’d be talking to two former international development people who started a business with the intent to help small farmers. And, I also didn’t expect to learn something about roasting and brewing coffee that I didn’t know. Flavor is not just a matter of additives or the choice of milk or cream, but the way the beans are roasted and the way it is brewed. Coffee is as diverse and various as the dozens of countries it is grown in. Like tea, it has a thousand personalities. Who knew?!
À Bientôt,
bronwyn-signature1

JEXZeCJSxxCpfeh5Fuo1MmqakOPxjatC8K3bHSuAi2Q
Specialty Coffee Comes to Vermont
Being from the San Francisco Bay Area, I am lucky to be surrounded by specialty coffee shops whose mission is to provide ultimate transparency to their customers, giving them a sense of how coffee differs from region to region. Like wine, there is a terroir with coffee. The coffee industry is moving away from Starbucks’ highly sweetened “coffee drinks” to a new “wave” of coffee, called the third wave. This wave has altered the standards in making espresso, from new approaches to roasting to marketing focused on specificity. In Vermont, this movement has just taken off, but it is gaining speed rapidly.

Brio Coffeeworks, located in the “new” South End neighborhood of Burlington (behind So-Yo and adjacent to Zero Gravity), is pioneering Vermont’s specialty coffee movement. From the moment the owners, Nate and Magda Van Dusen, brought us a cup of their Mexican Chiapas, Bronwyn and I knew this place differed from many of the coffee shops around town.

From Hobby to Full-Time Job
Both Nate and Magda previously worked for organizations focused on international community development in Washington DC. This has allowed them to have an added awareness for the value of sourcing coffee responsibility. Café patrons and home roasters themselves, their love for coffee evolved from a hobby into a full-time job when they decided to move to Burlington to start Brio.

XLy9_pKKp8O5UOjqJW9VQEgzHWgALvMaX61ogXhieIs

Spreading Awareness & Appreciation
The husband-and-wife team’s goal is to spread awareness and appreciation for this type of coffee. Nate explains that coffee is very similar to chocolate—both are essentially roasted beans whose flavors are, unfortunately, often masked with cream and sugar. In addition, chocolate and coffee have been known to be “race to the bottom” commodities, meaning that countries try to compete with one another by cutting wages and moving production to where the workers have the fewest rights and lowest standards of living. However, Brio is part of this new group of roasters that are working to reverse this. By demanding transparency of the origin of their beans, they have the ability to only purchase from those who are treating their workers with dignity and respect. Brio wants to shine light on the farmers whose livelihoods depend on growing these beans. Many producers like to think of themselves as doing all of the magic; however, Magda emphasizes, “all of the magic really happens at the farm”.

Bringing Out The Unique Flavors 
In addition to a lack of understanding around coffee production, many individuals feel that all coffee tastes more or less the same. This is mainly due to the fact that they are drinking dark roast coffee. Nate explains that too much roasting–what is commonly understood as “dark roast”, minimizes the the unique flavor of the coffee. It is only through lighter roasts that the flavor of the individual coffee bean can come alive. Another tip they recommended is to bring water to a boil, then wait a minute or two before pouring it over ground beans. Boiling water can “kill” the flavor. When coffee is properly prepared, you can taste the fruity flavors of some coffees and the chocolatey, nutty undertones of others.

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 4.41.40 PM

A Balancing Act
Nate, who sources all of the beans that Brio roasts, states that his goal is to balance exceptional coffee flavors with price and sustainability. He must also take into account which coffees are most in season. Nate states that he has to work with buyers to understand that some coffees are not available year round.

A Vision
Brio wants to act as a resource for anyone in Vermont who wants to pursue this style of coffee. They not only provide the highest quality and most unique coffee, but also provide a space to educate customers on the varied flavors of coffee through workshops and cuppings. Nate also has a longterm vision for the coffee industry in Vermont–one that I would also love to see. Nate’s dream is to reimagine Vermont’s general stores, so that each of shop has an espresso bar, making these quality beans available in all small communities across Vermont. I love this idea because coffee brings people together. By providing a place that draws individuals out of their home and gets them to sit down and enjoy a coffee together, a community can be created.

58O_BV4by6501dw4SddceMnFZLPlXMXP7AYQfRfqWpA-1

Eager To Push The Edge
Their goal is to make Vermont as much a leader in coffee roasting as it is now in beer brewing and artisan cheese making. Magda and Nate feel coffee is a perfect compliment to the “excitement” of the burgeoning food world here in the Northwest corner of the state. They are eager to push the edge just as the beer companies have done as well as other food entrepreneurs who have found a home in Burlington.

Collaborations With Other Crafters
Magda and Nate are currently collaborating with other Burlington crafters, such as Zero Gravity’s Brewmaster to incorporate coffee into beer and Hen of the Wood’s bartender to incorporate coffee into cocktails.

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 4.47.13 PM

Although Brio does not sell coffee buy the cup at their shop, they do offer cuppings every Friday at noon. Individuals can also purchase coffee beans at the shop and watch the roasting in action. Stop by the shop Monday – Friday 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM and Saturday 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM at 696 Pine Street, and look out for their beans at Bluebird Coffee Stop, Healthy Living, City Market, August First, and Magnolia Bistro.

Posted: 11-1-2015

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When Natalie and I walked into Brio for our interview, I had no idea that I’d be talking to two former international development people who started a business with the intent to help small farmers. And, I also didn’t expect to learn something about roasting and brewing coffee that I didn’t know. Flavor is not just a matter of additives or the choice of milk or cream, but the way the beans are roasted and the way it is brewed. Coffee is as diverse and various as the dozens of countries it is grown in. Like tea, it has a thousand personalities. Who knew?!
À Bientôt, bronwyn-signature1
JEXZeCJSxxCpfeh5Fuo1MmqakOPxjatC8K3bHSuAi2Q Specialty Coffee Comes to Vermont Being from the San Francisco Bay Area, I am lucky to be surrounded by specialty coffee shops whose mission is to provide ultimate transparency to their customers, giving them a sense of how coffee differs from region to region. Like wine, there is a terroir with coffee. The coffee industry is moving away from Starbucks’ highly sweetened “coffee drinks” to a new “wave” of coffee, called the third wave. This wave has altered the standards in making espresso, from new approaches to roasting to marketing focused on specificity. In Vermont, this movement has just taken off, but it is gaining speed rapidly. Brio Coffeeworks, located in the "new" South End neighborhood of Burlington (behind So-Yo and adjacent to Zero Gravity), is pioneering Vermont’s specialty coffee movement. From the moment the owners, Nate and Magda Van Dusen, brought us a cup of their Mexican Chiapas, Bronwyn and I knew this place differed from many of the coffee shops around town. From Hobby to Full-Time Job Both Nate and Magda previously worked for organizations focused on international community development in Washington DC. This has allowed them to have an added awareness for the value of sourcing coffee responsibility. Café patrons and home roasters themselves, their love for coffee evolved from a hobby into a full-time job when they decided to move to Burlington to start Brio. XLy9_pKKp8O5UOjqJW9VQEgzHWgALvMaX61ogXhieIs Spreading Awareness & Appreciation The husband-and-wife team’s goal is to spread awareness and appreciation for this type of coffee. Nate explains that coffee is very similar to chocolate—both are essentially roasted beans whose flavors are, unfortunately, often masked with cream and sugar. In addition, chocolate and coffee have been known to be "race to the bottom" commodities, meaning that countries try to compete with one another by cutting wages and moving production to where the workers have the fewest rights and lowest standards of living. However, Brio is part of this new group of roasters that are working to reverse this. By demanding transparency of the origin of their beans, they have the ability to only purchase from those who are treating their workers with dignity and respect. Brio wants to shine light on the farmers whose livelihoods depend on growing these beans. Many producers like to think of themselves as doing all of the magic; however, Magda emphasizes, “all of the magic really happens at the farm”. Bringing Out The Unique Flavors  In addition to a lack of understanding around coffee production, many individuals feel that all coffee tastes more or less the same. This is mainly due to the fact that they are drinking dark roast coffee. Nate explains that too much roasting--what is commonly understood as “dark roast”, minimizes the the unique flavor of the coffee. It is only through lighter roasts that the flavor of the individual coffee bean can come alive. Another tip they recommended is to bring water to a boil, then wait a minute or two before pouring it over ground beans. Boiling water can “kill” the flavor. When coffee is properly prepared, you can taste the fruity flavors of some coffees and the chocolatey, nutty undertones of others. Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 4.41.40 PM A Balancing Act Nate, who sources all of the beans that Brio roasts, states that his goal is to balance exceptional coffee flavors with price and sustainability. He must also take into account which coffees are most in season. Nate states that he has to work with buyers to understand that some coffees are not available year round. A Vision Brio wants to act as a resource for anyone in Vermont who wants to pursue this style of coffee. They not only provide the highest quality and most unique coffee, but also provide a space to educate customers on the varied flavors of coffee through workshops and cuppings. Nate also has a longterm vision for the coffee industry in Vermont--one that I would also love to see. Nate’s dream is to reimagine Vermont’s general stores, so that each of shop has an espresso bar, making these quality beans available in all small communities across Vermont. I love this idea because coffee brings people together. By providing a place that draws individuals out of their home and gets them to sit down and enjoy a coffee together, a community can be created. 58O_BV4by6501dw4SddceMnFZLPlXMXP7AYQfRfqWpA-1 Eager To Push The Edge Their goal is to make Vermont as much a leader in coffee roasting as it is now in beer brewing and artisan cheese making. Magda and Nate feel coffee is a perfect compliment to the “excitement” of the burgeoning food world here in the Northwest corner of the state. They are eager to push the edge just as the beer companies have done as well as other food entrepreneurs who have found a home in Burlington. Collaborations With Other Crafters Magda and Nate are currently collaborating with other Burlington crafters, such as Zero Gravity’s Brewmaster to incorporate coffee into beer and Hen of the Wood’s bartender to incorporate coffee into cocktails. Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 4.47.13 PM Although Brio does not sell coffee buy the cup at their shop, they do offer cuppings every Friday at noon. Individuals can also purchase coffee beans at the shop and watch the roasting in action. Stop by the shop Monday - Friday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM and Saturday 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM at 696 Pine Street, and look out for their beans at Bluebird Coffee Stop, Healthy Living, City Market, August First, and Magnolia Bistro." 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When Natalie and I walked into Brio for our interview, I had no idea that I’d be talking to two former international development people who started a business with the intent to help small farmers. And, I also didn’t expect to learn something about roasting and brewing coffee that I didn’t know. Flavor is not just a matter of additives or the choice of milk or cream, but the way the beans are roasted and the way it is brewed. Coffee is as diverse and various as the dozens of countries it is grown in. Like tea, it has a thousand personalities. Who knew?!
À Bientôt, bronwyn-signature1
JEXZeCJSxxCpfeh5Fuo1MmqakOPxjatC8K3bHSuAi2Q Specialty Coffee Comes to Vermont Being from the San Francisco Bay Area, I am lucky to be surrounded by specialty coffee shops whose mission is to provide ultimate transparency to their customers, giving them a sense of how coffee differs from region to region. Like wine, there is a terroir with coffee. The coffee industry is moving away from Starbucks’ highly sweetened “coffee drinks” to a new “wave” of coffee, called the third wave. This wave has altered the standards in making espresso, from new approaches to roasting to marketing focused on specificity. In Vermont, this movement has just taken off, but it is gaining speed rapidly. Brio Coffeeworks, located in the "new" South End neighborhood of Burlington (behind So-Yo and adjacent to Zero Gravity), is pioneering Vermont’s specialty coffee movement. From the moment the owners, Nate and Magda Van Dusen, brought us a cup of their Mexican Chiapas, Bronwyn and I knew this place differed from many of the coffee shops around town. From Hobby to Full-Time Job Both Nate and Magda previously worked for organizations focused on international community development in Washington DC. This has allowed them to have an added awareness for the value of sourcing coffee responsibility. Café patrons and home roasters themselves, their love for coffee evolved from a hobby into a full-time job when they decided to move to Burlington to start Brio. XLy9_pKKp8O5UOjqJW9VQEgzHWgALvMaX61ogXhieIs Spreading Awareness & Appreciation The husband-and-wife team’s goal is to spread awareness and appreciation for this type of coffee. Nate explains that coffee is very similar to chocolate—both are essentially roasted beans whose flavors are, unfortunately, often masked with cream and sugar. In addition, chocolate and coffee have been known to be "race to the bottom" commodities, meaning that countries try to compete with one another by cutting wages and moving production to where the workers have the fewest rights and lowest standards of living. However, Brio is part of this new group of roasters that are working to reverse this. By demanding transparency of the origin of their beans, they have the ability to only purchase from those who are treating their workers with dignity and respect. Brio wants to shine light on the farmers whose livelihoods depend on growing these beans. Many producers like to think of themselves as doing all of the magic; however, Magda emphasizes, “all of the magic really happens at the farm”. Bringing Out The Unique Flavors  In addition to a lack of understanding around coffee production, many individuals feel that all coffee tastes more or less the same. This is mainly due to the fact that they are drinking dark roast coffee. Nate explains that too much roasting--what is commonly understood as “dark roast”, minimizes the the unique flavor of the coffee. It is only through lighter roasts that the flavor of the individual coffee bean can come alive. Another tip they recommended is to bring water to a boil, then wait a minute or two before pouring it over ground beans. Boiling water can “kill” the flavor. When coffee is properly prepared, you can taste the fruity flavors of some coffees and the chocolatey, nutty undertones of others. Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 4.41.40 PM A Balancing Act Nate, who sources all of the beans that Brio roasts, states that his goal is to balance exceptional coffee flavors with price and sustainability. He must also take into account which coffees are most in season. Nate states that he has to work with buyers to understand that some coffees are not available year round. A Vision Brio wants to act as a resource for anyone in Vermont who wants to pursue this style of coffee. They not only provide the highest quality and most unique coffee, but also provide a space to educate customers on the varied flavors of coffee through workshops and cuppings. Nate also has a longterm vision for the coffee industry in Vermont--one that I would also love to see. Nate’s dream is to reimagine Vermont’s general stores, so that each of shop has an espresso bar, making these quality beans available in all small communities across Vermont. I love this idea because coffee brings people together. By providing a place that draws individuals out of their home and gets them to sit down and enjoy a coffee together, a community can be created. 58O_BV4by6501dw4SddceMnFZLPlXMXP7AYQfRfqWpA-1 Eager To Push The Edge Their goal is to make Vermont as much a leader in coffee roasting as it is now in beer brewing and artisan cheese making. Magda and Nate feel coffee is a perfect compliment to the “excitement” of the burgeoning food world here in the Northwest corner of the state. They are eager to push the edge just as the beer companies have done as well as other food entrepreneurs who have found a home in Burlington. Collaborations With Other Crafters Magda and Nate are currently collaborating with other Burlington crafters, such as Zero Gravity’s Brewmaster to incorporate coffee into beer and Hen of the Wood’s bartender to incorporate coffee into cocktails. Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 4.47.13 PM Although Brio does not sell coffee buy the cup at their shop, they do offer cuppings every Friday at noon. Individuals can also purchase coffee beans at the shop and watch the roasting in action. Stop by the shop Monday - Friday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM and Saturday 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM at 696 Pine Street, and look out for their beans at Bluebird Coffee Stop, Healthy Living, City Market, August First, and Magnolia Bistro." 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When Natalie and I walked into Brio for our interview, I had no idea that I’d be talking to two former international development people who started a business with the intent to help small farmers. And, I also didn’t expect to learn something about roasting and brewing coffee that I didn’t know. Flavor is not just a matter of additives or the choice of milk or cream, but the way the beans are roasted and the way it is brewed. Coffee is as diverse and various as the dozens of countries it is grown in. Like tea, it has a thousand personalities. Who knew?!
À Bientôt, bronwyn-signature1
JEXZeCJSxxCpfeh5Fuo1MmqakOPxjatC8K3bHSuAi2Q Specialty Coffee Comes to Vermont Being from the San Francisco Bay Area, I am lucky to be surrounded by specialty coffee shops whose mission is to provide ultimate transparency to their customers, giving them a sense of how coffee differs from region to region. Like wine, there is a terroir with coffee. The coffee industry is moving away from Starbucks’ highly sweetened “coffee drinks” to a new “wave” of coffee, called the third wave. This wave has altered the standards in making espresso, from new approaches to roasting to marketing focused on specificity. In Vermont, this movement has just taken off, but it is gaining speed rapidly. Brio Coffeeworks, located in the "new" South End neighborhood of Burlington (behind So-Yo and adjacent to Zero Gravity), is pioneering Vermont’s specialty coffee movement. From the moment the owners, Nate and Magda Van Dusen, brought us a cup of their Mexican Chiapas, Bronwyn and I knew this place differed from many of the coffee shops around town. From Hobby to Full-Time Job Both Nate and Magda previously worked for organizations focused on international community development in Washington DC. This has allowed them to have an added awareness for the value of sourcing coffee responsibility. Café patrons and home roasters themselves, their love for coffee evolved from a hobby into a full-time job when they decided to move to Burlington to start Brio. XLy9_pKKp8O5UOjqJW9VQEgzHWgALvMaX61ogXhieIs Spreading Awareness & Appreciation The husband-and-wife team’s goal is to spread awareness and appreciation for this type of coffee. Nate explains that coffee is very similar to chocolate—both are essentially roasted beans whose flavors are, unfortunately, often masked with cream and sugar. In addition, chocolate and coffee have been known to be "race to the bottom" commodities, meaning that countries try to compete with one another by cutting wages and moving production to where the workers have the fewest rights and lowest standards of living. However, Brio is part of this new group of roasters that are working to reverse this. By demanding transparency of the origin of their beans, they have the ability to only purchase from those who are treating their workers with dignity and respect. Brio wants to shine light on the farmers whose livelihoods depend on growing these beans. Many producers like to think of themselves as doing all of the magic; however, Magda emphasizes, “all of the magic really happens at the farm”. Bringing Out The Unique Flavors  In addition to a lack of understanding around coffee production, many individuals feel that all coffee tastes more or less the same. This is mainly due to the fact that they are drinking dark roast coffee. Nate explains that too much roasting--what is commonly understood as “dark roast”, minimizes the the unique flavor of the coffee. It is only through lighter roasts that the flavor of the individual coffee bean can come alive. Another tip they recommended is to bring water to a boil, then wait a minute or two before pouring it over ground beans. Boiling water can “kill” the flavor. When coffee is properly prepared, you can taste the fruity flavors of some coffees and the chocolatey, nutty undertones of others. Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 4.41.40 PM A Balancing Act Nate, who sources all of the beans that Brio roasts, states that his goal is to balance exceptional coffee flavors with price and sustainability. He must also take into account which coffees are most in season. Nate states that he has to work with buyers to understand that some coffees are not available year round. A Vision Brio wants to act as a resource for anyone in Vermont who wants to pursue this style of coffee. They not only provide the highest quality and most unique coffee, but also provide a space to educate customers on the varied flavors of coffee through workshops and cuppings. Nate also has a longterm vision for the coffee industry in Vermont--one that I would also love to see. Nate’s dream is to reimagine Vermont’s general stores, so that each of shop has an espresso bar, making these quality beans available in all small communities across Vermont. I love this idea because coffee brings people together. By providing a place that draws individuals out of their home and gets them to sit down and enjoy a coffee together, a community can be created. 58O_BV4by6501dw4SddceMnFZLPlXMXP7AYQfRfqWpA-1 Eager To Push The Edge Their goal is to make Vermont as much a leader in coffee roasting as it is now in beer brewing and artisan cheese making. Magda and Nate feel coffee is a perfect compliment to the “excitement” of the burgeoning food world here in the Northwest corner of the state. They are eager to push the edge just as the beer companies have done as well as other food entrepreneurs who have found a home in Burlington. Collaborations With Other Crafters Magda and Nate are currently collaborating with other Burlington crafters, such as Zero Gravity’s Brewmaster to incorporate coffee into beer and Hen of the Wood’s bartender to incorporate coffee into cocktails. Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 4.47.13 PM Although Brio does not sell coffee buy the cup at their shop, they do offer cuppings every Friday at noon. Individuals can also purchase coffee beans at the shop and watch the roasting in action. Stop by the shop Monday - Friday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM and Saturday 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM at 696 Pine Street, and look out for their beans at Bluebird Coffee Stop, Healthy Living, City Market, August First, and Magnolia Bistro." 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2 Responses to “Food Entrepreneurs Part V: Brio Coffeeworks”

  1. Great to know that the South End is really reinventing itself as a go-to place for great coffee and food!
    Christine F.

  2. Bronwyn Dunne says:

    Thanks, Christine…I call Burlington, “The New Brooklyn”!

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