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Corberosa Coffee at SLO Downtown Farmer's Market

Updated: Jul 5

By Tony Gudkov

Crates filled with ripe fruit, mounds of greens, and corn on the cob seasoned beyond recognition. 

Over the years, these treats have become staples of San Luis Obispo’s nationally sought Farmer's Market. They remain popular, but the culture at Farmer’s is changing. Functionally, Farmer’s is a collection of grocers and artisans that feeds San Luis Obispo every weekend. But truthfully, Farmer’s is a social spectacle that draws flocks of locals, Cal Poly students, and first dates (we can tell) to Higuera every Thursday evening. Some folks run in, grab groceries, and run out. The majority, however, come weekly to get out of the house, to mingle, and most importantly, to find something interesting. The reality is that Farmer’s needs to become a performance: it needs to entertain every sense. SLO coffee-roaster Corberosa has recognized this need. 

Since October of 2023, Corberosa Coffee has brought a new product and a new experience to the market. Situated just off Garden Street, you can spot Corberosa a number of ways: their neon pink sign, the rich smell of Sumatra beans roasting (even more recognizable than the neon sign), or the crackling sound that flows softly out of their air-roaster. Air-roasting is their key: a technology used by ~5% of coffee roasters around the world. Instead of roasting in a large, rolling metal drum, they roast premium, arabica beans in a machine that resembles a popcorn popper. This machine tosses small, 10lb batches into the open air and roasts them at high temperatures without any external contact. By eliminating contact with hot metal, air-roasting reduces much of the burn and carcinogens associated with mass-produced coffee, and that is only the health benefit. By avoiding contact, this technique conserves the flavor profile of the bean and ensures that what you’re tasting each morning stays true to the soil and tree of choice. Instead of noticing the char of a drum-roast, you will notice the blueberries of Ethiopia, the raspberries and flowers of Costa Rica, or the earthy walnuts of Mexico. 

Corberosa Coffee isn’t just here to sell you a cup of joe or a bag of beans. While you browse through their selection of single-origins (Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Honduras, Sumatra, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Uganda) and blends, you can learn about air-roasting, pinpoint your favorite single-origin on the blackboard world map, and watch and smell the air-roaster magically tumble beans around. Through a unique product and multisensory experience, they have created an environment that represents the future of San Luis Obispo’s Farmer’s Market. 


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