Good things come in small packages – a saying as true for the town of LaPlata, Maryland, as it is for each individual seed now roasted on-site at Wee Bean Roasters.
A substantial increase in size of Wee Bean’s initial mobile coffee cart, the 1,200 square foot Wee Bean coffee roast and retail cafe opened earlier this spring, a short day’s drive away. south of Washington DC
âRoasting in the new space has been a game-changer in controlling the variables we once faced in our garage,â Erich Herrmann, owner of Wee Bean Coffee Roasters, told DCN. âPeople are interested in the roaster and I get a lot of questions about it. I love to discuss our coffee and what sets us apart from other cafes in the area. Because we are a farming community, and with the changes in the culinary world, people are curious about where their food is coming from and the journey from culture to consumption.
The production center also serves as both an educational landmark and a visual centerpiece in an interior design inspired by Hermann’s travels across Europe, as well as the city’s railway and agricultural roots.
Together with entrepreneur John Hall, Hermann and the Wee team remodeled the space, which previously housed an iconic 1950s local burger restaurant, Tastee Freez, and creperie.
A wooden bar surrounds the perimeter of the shopping area, while a patio provides additional space. A barn door salvaged from a local farm separates the roasting area from production, and an open bar counter encourages patrons to witness the beverage making process.
A 2-gang Slayer Steam X in red and walnut anchors the espresso station with a fleet of various MahlkÃ¶nig grinders. Water manually poured from the Fellow Stagg black kettles lands in the Chemex and Hario V60 brewers for the pour program. The shop also offers cold beers and locally made baked goods.
Wee Bean also held an art competition during the pandemic with the goal of keeping people connected and actively sharing art via the internet. The result is a coffee-themed mural by Rachel Proctor, an elementary school art teacher, featuring bright red coffee cherries.
Hermann said: “I am fortunate to have a talented community around me.”
Wee Bean Coffee Roastery is now open at 6580 Crain Highway in LaPlata, Maryland.
Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.