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Roaster to Watch

You’ve spent half a paycheck on an Italian espresso machine, splurged on expensive beans and even tried to grow an ironic barista mustache. And yet, the Americano at your local coffee shop always outshines your home brew. The issue? It’s your beans. “If you start with really great beans, the hardest part of the battle is won,” says Tony Konecny, who has roasted beans for high-end shops such as Victrola in Seattle and national chain Intelligentsia. Konecny recently founded Tonx, an LA-based company dedicated to providing high-quality beans to caffeine fiends at home. “Coffee has a short shelf life after it’s roasted,” Konecny explains. “Usually, that first two to three weeks is when you’re going to get that flavor, and then it falls off really fast. The coffee at grocery stores sometimes sits for weeks, months or longer. It’s not a very good value.”

Tonx follows the harvest cycles of the coffee growing world, hunting down sustainably produced coffees from top producers. After carefully selecting beans—ethical farming as well as freshness play a role here—Tonx roasts them at its LA headquarters. Within 24 hours, fresh beans are shipped to subscribers, twice a month. “Great coffee is delicate, ephemeral and very of the moment,” says Konecny. “Our model embraces this.” Subscriptions start at $24 a month, but you can sign up for a free taste at tonx.org and start brewing barista-caliber coffee, no mustache needed. —Molly Mogren


Photo by Vanessa Stump


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