New shop brings the art of coffee roasting to Newark


Olivia Brinton held out a bucketful of what appeared to be green pebbles, and poured them into a shiny silver vat.

“Those were raw green coffee beans,” she says.

Brinton, along with Joseph and Elisabeth Lins, runs Little Goat Coffee Roasting Co. On Saturday, the coffee shop opened up its first location on 16 Haines Street.

Brinton had spent time working for a coffee roaster in North Carolina before moving to Delaware and teaming up with university alum Joseph Lins, who was roasting recreationally, to start Little Goat Coffee Roasting, where they take raw green coffee beans and roast them until they turn recognizably brown.

Courtesy of Katherine Nails.
Little Goat roasts their coffee beans until they turn from green to brown.

Before the shop opened its doors, however, Little Goat Coffee Roasting was a staple at farmers markets in the area. There they sold bags of their roasted beans, and customers could opt to buy bags of fresh beans or pick from a variety of already-made coffee and tea drinks.

Newark resident Michele Torrence and her family have seen the progression of the company.

“We’ve been buying coffee from Joe for about a year,” she says. “The coffee is excellent, the roasting is good. We’ve actually learned a lot through Joe.”

It is rare that a coffee shop roasts their own beans, and the learning that comes with this self- roasting is what Brinton believes sets Little Goat apart.

“There’s a level of educating the consumer that’s different from just coming in and getting a mocha,” she says.

The name of the store itself is a lesson on how humans first discovered coffee.

“Coffee was discovered by an Ethiopian goat herder who was watching his flock one day, and they were eating these little red cherries,” Brinton says. “After they would eat these little red cherries, they would just jump around with this limitless energy, and the goat herder decided to try those cherries. That was the coffee berry — the seed is what we think of as the coffee bean.”

When a customer enters the shop, a glassless window allows them to see Brinton and Lins at work with the coffee roaster. The owners will walk anybody who is interested through the process of roasting coffee beans.

Courtesy of Katherine Nails.
Customers enjoy the experience at Little Goat.

“I enjoy the artwork of roasting,” Joseph Lins says. “We try to pinpoint the exact wavelength to get ideal notes out of [the coffee].”

According to Lins, it takes about two minutes to roast a pound of coffee if done properly — a process he will perform by request if a customer has very specific tastes, or cannot find their favorite roast amongst what he already has.

In addition to roasting their own beans, Little Goat also works with a micro-lot coffee importer. This importer visits the farms and hand picks the lots from which the coffee comes from to make sure the beans that are used are, what Joseph Lins says, “at minimum fair trade. It ensures a better world for us and a nicer coffee.”


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