Adam Randall is passionate about coffee and he wants you to be, too.
“Coffee’s best the way you like it,” he says. “If you want to put milk and sugar in it, go ahead. It’s not brain surgery; it should be fun.”
Randall’s low-key take on the beverage is generating a lot of buzz on the North Side, where his company, Press House Coffee, is headquartered.
Randall launched the company in 2015 as Green Dragon Coffee (named after the tavern where patriots planned the Boston Tea Party), but rebranded last year to focus less on American history and more on producing a great cup of joe.
The tasting room at 922 Western Avenue has been remodeled and construction is underway on a Broad Street storefront in Sewickley, which will open in February.
In addition to French press coffee, the shops will offer a variety of pressed sandwiches and fresh juices. Customers will be able to taste different coffees, a service that is now available at the Western Avenue site by appointment only.
You can replicate the experience at home by building your own bundle made up of four four-ounce samplers of any Press House signature blend or single-origin coffees. An instruction booklet comes with each order. The roastery also offers the Daily Grind package — 10 pouches of any coffee, freshly ground, perfectly portioned, sealed and delivered to your door.
“People are spending more time at home experimenting with coffee,” Randall says. “They’re not just hitting a button on a Keurig.”
Press House sources beans from all over the world, including Nepal, six African countries and Hawaii. They are roasted at a facility in Ohio Township on a Diedrich IR-12 machine by head roaster Paul Hendershot.
Every two weeks, Randall and Hendershot roast 15 to 20 different samples and try to draw out the unique flavors in every bean.
“We’re looking for good value, good processing and good flavors,” Randall says. “We roast to order in small batches five days a week.”
Over the summer, Press House teamed up with Pittsburgh Brewing Company and Millvale-based Top Hat (the marketing agency that orchestrated Press House’s rebranding) to release Iron City Bean Nine to Five Blend, a medium-dark roast touted as “the best damn diner coffee you’ve ever had.”
More recently, Press House supplied the caffeine for Fresh Grounds Coffee Porter, a collaboration beer from Deutschtown’s Allegheny City Brewing and Necromancer Brewing Co., which is opening soon in the North Hills.
“We used a malt bill of Golden Promise, caramel and chocolate malts producing a dark, robust porter with notes of bread, caramel and chocolate that goes great with the smokey roastiness of the coffee blend,” says Lauren Hughes, Necromancer’s head brewer. “We then added some flaked barley for body, resulting in a rich, creamy brew all balanced with some piney hops.”
Clocking in at 5.7 percent alcohol by volume, the beer will be released on Dec. 23.
Randall wants everybody to enjoy his coffee, whether it’s served piping hot in a mug or in a chilled pint glass.
“Coffee,” he says, “needs to be a more personalized thing.”