In the spirit of #CoffeeTogether, we’re featuring some of our favorite coffee roasters so you know where to get exceptional coffee while you’re staying safe at home. Buy direct and consider leaving a virtual tip to help furloughed employees. Know a roaster we should feature? Shoot us a message on Facebook or Instagram!
Meet Ceremony Coffee - Annapolis, MD
When Vincent Iatesta returned from France and Italy as an international marketing student in the 1990s, he couldn’t shake the feeling he needed to bring coffee culture to the U.S. He taught himself to roast coffee and pull espresso shots in his basement for a couple of years before opening Ceremony Coffee’s first location in 2002.
Ceremony has been a pillar of coffee quality ever since, with baristas and roasted beans frequently winning titles in national competitions. Vincent went on to open six more locations—totaling seven now—with the newest location opening soon in Bethesda, MD.
If you’re a coffee lover in the Annapolis or Baltimore areas, Ceremony Coffee is a must-visit.
A Micro-Interview With Sheila Laderberg Tarasiuk, Chief of Staff
Kaley Gann is not only the retail manager at Ceremony Coffee, but after winning the 2019 Brewers Cup Championship, she helped us design our new BLOOM Pour Over Coffee Brewer. We wanted to see how things were going at Ceremony, so we reached out with a few questions. We were thrilled to have the chance to speak with their chief of staff, Sheila.
You have seven locations now and are known around the continent - how have you made such a big name for yourself?
We’ve grown slowly and carefully over the years. In August, Ceremony turned 18 years old, but we really only started expanding our retail footprint in the past six years.
In all aspects of our business, we just focus on making coffee special one step at a time. We’ve kept our customers at the heart of our growth strategy, and we’ve been fortunate to have been received well in new areas around the region. We have an amazing team of café managers and staff, and we have a small corporate support team.
We like to say that we have seven kids now, so our hands are pretty full.
What's your #1 tip for people making coffee at home?
Always use good quality water! I find that it is the most important factor in making coffee in any way at home. I like to use filtered tap water (filtered by a Brita pitcher). This will also help keep your equipment clean.
How have you stayed afloat during COVID-19?
Personally, I make sure to take time for physical activity and relaxation (wine also helps). Professionally, I remain organized and make sure that I am always there for my staff. These times are hard on everybody and each person has his/her own struggles regardless of how COVID-19 has personally affected them. I try to keep an open line of communication with my staff and support them in any way I can—encouragement is key.
Is there any special way people can support you?
Ceremony has launched a new coffee blend called Healthcare Heroes, and for each $15 bag sold we donate $10 worth of freshly roasted coffee to a local hospital so healthcare workers can have some delicious coffee during this time.
That is an easy way of both supporting Ceremony and healthcare workers while getting yourself some beans!
What We’re Brewing
This natural-process Ethiopian coffee is ripe with tropical fruit and floral notes. It’s like the fine champagne of coffee—we taste tea roses, hibiscus, and sweet pomegranates.
We love an exceptional Indonesian coffee, and this one doesn’t disappoint. With exotic sweet tart and herbaceous notes like key lime and sage, it’s a complex and unexpected delight to the adventurous palate.
Ways To Connect With Ceremony Coffee
Ceremony Coffee is roasting at full-speed from their Annapolis headquarters, and online orders are shipping out regularly. Try Ceremony’s “Taste by Color” shop here.
If you live near any of the company’s Maryland locations in Annapolis or Baltimore, all locations are open for pickup and home delivery.