On Monday last week, I caught Amtrak’s Downeaster from Portland to Saco to visit Time & Tide Coffee, a lovely coffee shop just across the river in Biddeford. While there, I met Jon, who, together with his wife Briana, founded Time & Tide in November 2018 when they relocated from Brooklyn to Biddeford. Jon was kind enough to invite me to Time & Tide’s roasting facility, just across the road in one of Biddeford’s many old mill buildings, which is the subject of today’s Meet the Roaster. The coffee shop, meanwhile, features in its own Coffee Spot.
Time & Tide produces three blends, The Commodore, designed for espresso, Year One Anniversary Blend, which is roasted for batch brew filter, and Clambake, which is intended for cold brew. All of these are served in the coffee shop, along with Time & Tide’s Twilight Decaf. In addition, there are typically three to five seasonal single-origins, which are offered for sale in retail bags, online and wholesale. This is all backed up by Steeped Coffee for those who want speciality coffee in a more convenient form, with Time & Tide offering bags of either The Commodore or Twilight Decaf pre-ground for immersion brewing.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Time & Tide Coffee’s motto “Better Coffee. For Everyone.” aims to make great coffee accessible to anyone who wants it. Jon has spent over 20 years in the business, from barista to café manager and coffee roaster to green coffee buyer. Before coming to Biddeford, he was director of speciality coffee for a Brooklyn-based roaster. These days, Time & Tide has five employees (in addition to Jon and Briana), including a dedicated roaster, leaving Jon free to focus on his real passion, sourcing excellent and interesting coffees.
Briana, meanwhile, has brought her skills as an award-winning digital & social media strategist and brand planner to bear on the branding and overall look-and-feel of Time & Tide. This includes coffee shop, roastery and packaging, right down to the 12 kg San Franciscan SF25 roaster, which is decked out in Time & Tide’s striking pink colours.
The roastery, which is normally not open to the public, is a modest affair, combining the San Franciscan roaster itself with a green bean store, obligatory sacks of green beans waiting to be roasted. There’s also a production area where roasted beans are weighed, bagged and labelled, ready to head across the road to the coffee shop or to be dispatched to Time & Tide’s growing wholesale customers, as well as direct to coffee drinks, either through one-off website purchases or via Time & Tide’s subscription service.
A mainstay of speciality coffee is building relationships with coffee farmers. In this respect, Jon is no different, having visited many farms around the world during his career. For example, Time & Tide will soon have a honey-processed coffee from Costa Rica, the third year in a row working with the same farmer and mill, while Time & Tide’s Guatemalan single-origin comes from a farm and exporter than Jon knows personally.
However, there’s a limit to what one person can do, so Jon was keen to stress the importance of coffee importers. Time & Time works with big, national importers, to small operations dealing with a handful of farms. One of these works directly with farms in Rwanda, while another specialises in coffee from Burundi. Jon explained that the relationship with importers goes both ways, returning samples of roasted coffee to the importers so that they understand what Time & Tide is looking for (and getting out of) each coffee. That way, the importer can target the what they send to Time & Tide, reducing the number of green bean samples that Jon and the team have to roast and cup.
An example of Time & Tide’s commitment to better coffee for everyone is Steeped Coffee, bags of The Commodore or Twilight Decaf designed for immersion brewing. Simply boil the kettle, put the bag in a mug, pour in the hot water and, five minutes later, your coffee is ready. It appeals to those who like their speciality coffee but who don’t have the time or inclination to deal with grinders, scales and various brew methods!
At the other end of the scale, Time & Tide has a monthly micro-lot, typically a 10 kg box of green coffee, sold in 6/8 oz bags (175/225 gram) for under $20. Last month was a honey-processed Gesha from Colombia, while this month will be an organic coffee from Peru. Available via subscription and on a first-come, first-served basis on the shop, they often sell out over a weekend!
I left with a gift of Steeped Coffee, four bags each of The Commodore and Twilight Decaf, which I’ve been using whenever I’m in a hurry or don’t have my kit to hand. While I’m not giving up my Travelling Coffee Kit or range of coffee gadgets any time soon, the Steeped Coffee’s come in handy on a few occasions!
Please note that the details below are for the coffee shop. The Time & Tide roastery is not open to the public.
|35 MAIN STREET • SUITE 102 • BIDDEFORD • ME 04005 • USA|
|www.timeandtidecoffee.com||+1 207 571 9627|
|Monday||07:00 – 15:00||Roaster||Time & Tide (espresso + batch brew)|
|Tuesday||07:00 – 15:00||Seating||Tables, Window-bar|
|Wednesday||07:00 – 15:00||Food||Toast, Cake|
|Thursday||07:00 – 15:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||07:00 – 15:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||07:00 – 15:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||07:00 – 15:00||Power||Limited|
|Chain||No||Visits||25th April 2022|
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