Quality in our corner


Every time we work with a new customer we have to prove ourselves again.

By the nature of our business, we work with people who deal in excellence, and high expectations. Among the bakers, baristas and restaurateurs who we serve, the businesses are eclectic and varied, but the theme that ties them all together is quality.  Quality can be an elusive state, hard to define, but it’s clear enough when you experience it. For our Dark Hollow customers, we know that quality sourcing isn’t just a corporate guideline, it’s a personal standard.

And we love that.

Roasting coffee is our passion, but it is to you, our customers, that we owe our heartfelt thanks. We love what we do, but some of the best things about Dark Hollow are the friends we’ve made, and the interactions with the community of amazing people that surrounds us. As we continue this adventure, our mission is to continue providing the finest, freshest coffee anywhere.  It’s our honor, and our pleasure, to continue working with all of you in our Dark Hollow family.

John Cason (roasterjohn)
Dark Hollow Micro Roasters

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Pour over

11 thoughts on “Quality in our corner

  1. New to the coffee and getting ready to make my first purchase soon!! So very excited, as well! Helen endorses the product like its second nature… Any suggestions on the first flavors/roasts I should pick? Also , any suggestions on how much to put in the refillable k cups for kuerig?

    • Hi Maria,

      Thanks for checking us out! Helen drinks a lot of our coffee and she’s pretty passionate about it.

      As for what to do first, just make sure that you have a grinder for your beans. It can be a little blade job (about $20 usually) or anything, but grinding your beans just before you brew will greatly enhance the flavor of your coffee. As to a first selection suggestion, I think I would go with some of the classic single bean varietals like the Costa, Guatemalan, or Peruvian. These are all fantastic Latin American coffee beans that share some very nice qualities, yet have pleasing taste variations between them. Since anything you get from us will have been roasted in the last 48 hours, it all really will be good. After you get accustomed to the western hemisphere coffees you will appreciate the nuances between one origin and another. Then later, switch hemispheres completely and get the Sumatran Mandheling, an incredibly good coffee, which is processed differently, grown in different soil with different nutrients, and in a different growing climate. The immediate taste of that, after the nice Latin American varieties, will blow your socks off, and you will immediately understand how coffee can be so good, but so different, all at the same time.

      In your Kuerig, I would fill your container as full as I could with finely ground coffee (the consistency of fine sand, but not flour) and see what it does. The complaint I’ve read about most often with a refillable is that it isn’t strong enough, so I would max it out at least to start. If it’s too strong you can always back down on quantity.

      For single serving coffee I will always recommend a “pour over” cup. The coffee that this method produces is extraordinary, and if you’re paying about $14 a pound for coffee, costs about 35 cents a cup.

      So, the steps to become a level 3 coffee ninja:

      1. Get a grinder
      2. Become accustomed to an origin or two of extremely fresh coffee beans, then switch to a completely different origin for comparison.
      3. Try a pour over brew.

      I’d love to hear what your impressions are as you explore!

      Thanks and best regards,


  2. Amazing coffee! Just tried a cup from Blackbird Bakery and frankly am in awe of your accomplishment. So many different flavors and each and every note a melody to make my tastebuds sing. Thank you!

  3. I had coffee from Dark Hollow Roasters for the first time while biking the Virginia Creeper Trial and loved it. I returned to bike the trail the following year and went in search of more Dark Hollow Coffee and found it at the same Artisan center. I was a little slow on the uptake and at the second purchase realized I could mail order!! I have been a customer every since. There is something there for every coffee lover. Never any bitterness, staleness, or chemical tastes. Because I love coffee I like to have a cup in the evening after supper but can’t have the caffeine that late in the evening if I want to get a good sleep so also purchase the Classic Decaf which is chemical free and has every bit as much flavor. Thank you Dark Hollow Roasters for making this Pittsburgh coffee lover happy, happy, happy!!

    • Hi Joyce,
      Thank you so much for your kind feedback! It warms our hearts to know that we are hitting the mark in spreading our our own little bit of goodness! This makes us happy, happy, happy too!

      Roaster John

  4. Hi, we enjoyed the BEST cups of coffee ever last evening in Abingdon VA. At 128 Pecan. We would like to purchase your Guatamalian coffe. Please send us details.
    Thank you
    Kathleen and David L

  5. I live in Hampton , Tennessee and I wish you sold your coffee in Johnson City. Earth Fare would be a good place. I have to go to Bristol or Abington to get this coffee. It is amazingly good. I think I’ve tried just about every flavor. Then I went to the health store in Abington and bought some “Cowboy Up”. Haven’t tried that yet. I’m told it is pretty popular but I can’t tell if it’s a dark roast or a medium roast. Anyway, I’m looking forward to tasting it.

    • Hi Gayle, thanks for the great feedback on our coffee! It does our hearts good to know that our roasts are being enjoyed by our customers. The shop in Abingdon where you bought your coffee was probably Blue Hills Market on Pecan street. They usually keep a fresh supply on hand and are really nice people. We have a few customers closer to you that serve our coffee, but as far as coffee by the bag, that’s probably the closest place to you to buy it. Although we always encourage people to buy our coffee from folks like Blue Hills, we do fill some subscription orders ourselves, and have a tiny online store, so we’d be happy to ship coffee to you if you’d like. It’s two day shipping to Kingsport and of course the coffee would be extremely fresh.
      I think you will like the Cowboy Up. The roast level is a medium Vienna, aka Full City roast, with just a hair toward the dark side – but not much. We really don’t do super dark roasts, because we think you pass a coffee’s natural sweet spot by over roasting, but we love a good Full City! The beans for Cowboy Up are one of our favorite Central / South American blends, roasted separately and then combined to maintain the individual flavor profiles of each in the blend.
      So I hope you enjoy. That’s the main thing!

      Thanks and cheers,

  6. I tried the Cowboy Up, at Mockingbird’s bakery in Christiansburg Va, and it was AWESOME!!!!! Had to purchase the whole bean bag to have my new favorite coffee! Used a “Magic Bullet” to grind it, worked great! Not sure the exact measure to use without causing bitterness though.
    Absolutely the best coffee I have tried!!!

    • Hi Beth,
      We’re so happy you liked our coffee, and the Mockingbird Bakery is a great spot to drink it in! For your home brew, try a 16 to 1 ratio of water to coffee, and grind with your Bullet, aiming for the consistency of sugar. Then brew, however your chosen method is, but don’t brew longer than 3 to 4 minutes. This should yield a really nice robust cup with all the flavors present. If you like it even stronger, just up the amount of coffee. And if it’s ever too strong, or on the edge of bitterness you can always take that out by adding a little hot water right to your cup. Coffee is 98% water anyway, so it’s a-ok.

      Thanks again for your nice remarks, and happy brewing!
      Roaster John

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