My Labor Day weekend was spent in Houston taking in a baseball game and drinking some great coffee. As laid out in my plan for my sabbatical, I toured the Katz Coffee Roasting Facility on the North Side of town. It appears Katz started in one warehouse and grew along their center room by room as their business took off. Our tour guide told us they would be moving to a new facility soon. Hopefully they take their burlap bag couch!
We started in the “Green Room”, which was a loading dock garage-like area with warehouse shelving as well as pallets in the middle of the room with stacks of burlap bags of coffee. Katz is obviously doing very well in the coffee business.
We traced the coffee through the production process, from the “Green Room” to the roasting area. They had two large roasters going at once. Obviously the guys in the roasting room love their jobs :-)
From here we went to the packing room, where coffee is bagged, tagged, and sorted for shipment. Katz had three large tables where bags are set up and fllled by either men or machine depending on the orders they have for wholesale.
Next to the packing room and across from the roasting room lies the flavor room, also known as my least favorite room. This room with shelves full of syrups is far from the roasting room because a little hazelnut goes a long way, and has the potential to spoil coffee that isn’t meant to be flavored.
From here we made our way into the quick pack room, which was basically a huge machine surrounded by boxes full of ground coffee packs. Primarily, these packets were for The Kolache Factory. The machine that grinds and packs the coffee (spraying it with optional flavoring) is completely automated from start to finish. They fill a funnel at the top and it spits out bags to pack into boxes for shipping.
Finally, we made it into a tasting room! The tasting room has pretty much every coffee device I’ve ever seen or heard of, with a few I haven’t heard of. We were given a cup of nitrogen cold brew from a tap, a bag of free coffee and that was it! All in all a great experience if you’re into coffee - go check it out if you’re ever in Houston.