Single Origin Coffee Roaster in Bishop, CA
Eastern Sierra, CA—Not all coffee served up comes with an intimate quality assurance, or understanding of the exact farms, farmers, workers, staff, or roasting process involved in bringing a brand of coffee from land to cup. But, Peter Schultz, owner and barista at Black Sheep Coffee on Bishop’s Main Street, does “put quality ahead of everything else,” and he adds, he serves “coffee, with a personal relationship.”
For the past several years, Schultz has ventured to the farms in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala to see for himself, what coffees will be served up back in his homegrown coffee shop. Keeping it small in the Eastern Sierra, with his business model, and celebrating a decade of preserving his personalized take on coffee roasting (he started roasting with a corn popper above a bookstore on Bishop’s Main Street), Schultz sees the “direct trade” direction of his coffee products as a natural progression between land, farmers, workers, and the generational specialty coffees sold daily in the small town of Bishop.
With the “time in my life again,” Schultz set out to discover what makes the perfect cup of coffee on several multi-generational farms in Central America, and with a firm grasp of Spanish, he makes annual trips to high-altitude coffee farms. He enjoys his trips as much for the cultural experiences, geography lessons, and people watching, as he does for the satisfaction of knowing where his specialty coffees actually come from. “All coffee is grown in the highlands,” Schultz explains, and frequently near volcanoes. The higher coffee is grown, the more sugars the berries produce, he adds. The large El Salvador farm of the Dumont family, a fourth generation business, supplies a high quality coffee bean, with a “cherry” of “sweetness,” and color bordering on purple. Schultz notes, as the coffee cherry ripens, it goes from colors of green to yellow, and then to red, and deep purple.