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Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters to Compete for Best Cold Brew Title in Nashville

By Diane Bedard Posted on March 9, 2017

If you are a coffee connoisseur, you need to know about Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters, Citrus county’s first and only coffee roasters. They have state-of-the-art home brewing kits, on-site roasting of over 30 varieties, delicious breakfast, lunch and bakery treats and are soon on their way to Nashville to compete in the Coffee Fest Cold Brew Competition.

Here’s the History:

Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters was started by a gentleman named Stephen Dorst, in 2008 who was passionate about providing Citrus County with a great cup of fresh roasted coffee. Stephen built the original counters and cabinets in Hernando store, including the store’s focal point – the coffee bean bar. He came up with the name and logo (which is Stephen’s dog, Barney) for the business. After successfully opening the business, Stephen tragically passed away two days later from a blood clot.

James and Heather opened Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters in 2009 to fulfill Stephen Dorst’s vision of bringing great coffee to Citrus County.

One month later, James and Heather Cook found the store and a great business potential. James Cook, a graduate of Johnson & Wales University’s culinary program, grew up in the restaurant business in Crescent City, CA.  He and Heather began experimental roasting from home with a popcorn popper!

Following in Stephen’s footsteps to understand his journey and prove to the family they would be the perfect fit to take on Stephen’s dream while building theirs, James and Heather reopened Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters February 23, 2009.

James and Heather take their coffee seriously. They travel to other coffee shops, attend trade shows and read several trade magazines about the coffee, tea, and restaurant businesses.

The Coffee Bar has more than 20 varieties of beans from around the world.

Providing the Finest Coffee Anywhere

Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters strives to serve the best fresh roasted coffee, a progressive and eclectic menu and high end loose leaf teas. Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters is the perfect place “where friends come to meet”.

As true connoisseurs, the Cooks have added Nitrogen-infused (“Nitro”) cold brew on tap at the Hernando store. Now you can try “coffee flights,” which are similar to craft beer flights, but a lot easier on the driving record.

A Coffee Flight serves espresso four ways: hot with whipped cream, cold brew, espresso with expresso ice cubes, and Nitro which is nitrogen infused expresso that makes the caffeine go right to the head. Lots of fun – and delicious!

James roasts the coffee nightly so it will always be fresh. He roasts each type at night so the store doesn’t get too hot. Their roaster is called, “Betsy,” and she always takes good care of the customers beans.

With the largest selection of fresh roasted coffee on property, including single origin from more than 20 countries, flavored (over 30 flavors), decafs, and blends, Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters is unique in Florida’s Nature Coast.  They package ALL of their beans in K-cups on location, which allows you to choose your favorite bean and have it prepared for single brew, drip, and French press with one call.

Taking the Cold Brew National

In March, 2017, Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters will be competing on the national coffee level with their amazing Cold Brew at Coffee Fest in Nashville, Tennessee. Coffee Fest is a trade show featuring everything coffee and tea you want to know about. Classes and competitions and exhibits are all part of Coffee Fest.

One of two coffeehouses in Florida selected to compete, Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters is taking its smooth Cold Brew to Coffee Fest in Nashville to try and win the title of “America’s Best Cold Brew!”

Florida has over 70 coffee roasters and well over 200 independent coffee shops. As one of only two coffee roasters selected from the State of Florida, James will be brewing and competing with roasters from around the U.S. for the title of America’s Best Cold Brew!

James pours a Nitro espresso. Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters Florida’s Nature Coast is the only location in where you can try the bubbly, fizzy caffeine rush.

To qualify for America’s Best Cold Brew Competition, each competitor’s “Cold Brew” must be manufactured using only coffee and water. Head-to-head matches will be judged by Coffee Fest attendees alongside a controlled group of blind judges and he samples will be judged entirely on taste preference, considering flavor complexity, balance, mouth feel, body and aftertaste.

The Food is Fresh, Simple and Delicious

As a graduate of Johnson and Wales University and a lifelong restaurateur, James Cook strives for simple, delicious and fresh in the Cattle Dog menu.

Delicious, nutritious and simple menu items await diners.

The pastries and bread is baked on site (with a few exceptions). Sandwiches and salads are prepared to order. The menu changes with the seasons.

The Future Looks Bright

James shows us one of the stacks of green coffee beans that he will soon roast to perfection.

With eight years of testing and refining, while growing and improving, Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters will be adding at least one, and probably two stores in 2017.

“Our next location will be four times the size of this one and we are working on a location in Dunnellon. We are looking at having a tasting room where people could hold parties. We are offering wholesale, with our first customer being in Tampa. In the next few months, we are going to Africa where we will enjoy the safari experience as well as sourcing for direct trade beans,” James shared, “Right now we are just super-excited to be going to Nashville to represent the Nature Coast at Coffee Fest!”

They are also working with Citrus Memorial Hospital in Inverness to open a shop on-site. As true professionals with a passion for excellent coffee and the willingness to invest in top of the line equipment, education and staff, they stand out in the Nature Coast coffee world. Make a visit there today and try a coffee flight or a Nitro. Take home a growler of cold brew and some k-cups to hold you over until your return… it will happen.

You can keep up-to-date with Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters on their Facebook page and follow them on social media or order your favorite coffee from their website. In my opinion, the best thing you can do is take a short trip to Hernando and experience the Coffee Flight for yourself.

Update: Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters was edged out by Copper Horse Coffee Roasters at the Nashville CoffeeFest competition, but James says they plan to come back next year and win! Let’s cheer them on all year!


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