There’s nothing quite like a freshly brewed cup of coffee. Nobody knows this better than designer turned coffee connoisseur, Jesse Mohler, of KAMPFIRE Coffee Roasters, LLC.
At Kampfire, Jesse hand roasts a premium selection of single-origin coffee beans sourced from all over the world. Check out his incredible journey here!
Told Over A Kampfire: Jesse’s Story & More
Alright Jesse, we’re curious! What’s your story? How did Kampfire come about? What inspired you?
KCR: I’m Jesse Mohler. I’m 31 years old and work a full-time job as a graphic designer and large format digital printer. I moved into my home just outside of Columbus, Ohio while finishing up my degree in Graphic Design at Columbus State Community College and didn’t have internet at my house yet.
So, I used to go to a nearby family owned German-themed coffee shop and use their wi-fi to complete some of my projects for online classes. I liked the atmosphere and the idea of a small family owned shop versus the big name corporate franchises. I started talking with an old coworker about how fun it would be to one day own my own coffee roasting business and eventually a brick and mortar shop.
I attended a local coffee festival in Columbus and asked some of the attending roasters how they got started and learned a bit about the process and how to keep things simple. So, after switching my career and working less hours during the day, I found the time in the evening to pursue the hobby of coffee roasting. After about 3 months of roasting I decided to go ahead and create a logo and name for a potential business.
I settled on “KAMPFIRE” since my original plan was to continue roasting coffee by hand over an open fire and I grew up in a rural area of Ohio’s Hocking Hills region where I spent plenty of time camping as a kid and young adult.
It’s like what started off as a coffeeshop dream while you were still in school grew into a reality! I love it. Now, why hand-roasting? And how did you start? What did that process look like?
KCR: I wanted to prove to the craft coffee industry that I was capable of producing some amazing coffee while keeping the process as simple and streamlined as possible.
I started roasting in a cast iron skillet with a wooden spoon to turn the beans, then moved operations indoors into my kitchen using a popcorn maker to roast the coffee beans over a stovetop. I now use a small nut roaster that allows me to still hand roast the beans and monitor them during the roasting process. While labor intensive, it produces a great hand-tailored end product. Eventually I may have to upgrade to a larger roaster to keep up with the demands, but I will continue to do as much by hand as I possibly can.
Every batch is hand roasted, hand packaged, and hand labeled using the PLA lined kraft paper bags to keep with the simple, hand-crafted, eco-friendly theme of KAMPFIRE.
How Paper Mart Helps
As somebody who also has a love for specialty coffee, I appreciate the care that you take into making sure that each batch is roasted to perfection.
Now, there are a lot of ways to package coffee, but which items should you use?
KCR: I use the PLA lined 1lb coffee bags to sell my coffee and also use the smaller zip sealed pouches for small 1 oz samples. They work great for single-serve brewers or those wishing to prepare a small French press or pour over coffee.
Shop Jesse’s Favorites & Must Haves:
These incredible images are courtesy of KAMPFIRE Roasters, LLC. If you want to follow along the Kampfire journey or order yourself some specialty roasted coffee beans, check out their website and follow them on social media (Instagram, Facebook)!