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RANKING HIGH

Warrior Roasters handcrafts local coffee and give back to veterans.

WRITTEN BY ANNIE FLANZRAICH
PHOTO BY SHAUN HUNTER

Warrior Roasters Coffee 6
Andy Van Nostrand holds his Warrior Roasters coffee beans inside his garage roasting area

There is one quality warriors and a satisfying cup of coffee have in common — they’re both strong. And local business Warrior Roasters was created as a way to honor both.

Founder Andy Van Nostrand comes from a long line of public servants. His grandfather was a World War II veteran and U.S. Marine Corps drill instructor, his father was a California Highway Patrol policeman, and his mother was in the U.S. Air Force. Van Nostrand served as a quartermaster in the U.S. Coast Guard.

“I guess you could say that service is in my blood,” Van Nostrand says.

As for roasting coffee, well, Van Nostrand stumbled on that hobby-turned-side-gig when a friend asked him if he wanted to go to a coffee cupping.

“I said OK,” Van Nostrand says. “Sounds kind of dirty, but I’ll try anything once, right?”

Revelatory experience

“It’s wild, it’s totally unexpected,” he says. “I always just drank coffee, and I like coffee. But I had no clue, no idea about specialty coffee.”

After the cupping, Van Nostrand, a beverage aficionado who had also brewed his own beer, decided to make his own coffee. He read an article on DIY coffee roasting and bought a Whirley Pop Popcorn Popper. But instead of toasting kernels, he roasted beans. Then he started bringing the beans to work and brewing coffee in a French press.

“Everybody just started going, ‘Oh, my God, that smells great, what is that?’” he says. “People started asking to buy it.”

Now Van Nostrand hand roasts four varieties of coffee beans using a fluid-bed roasting method that results in a smooth flavor. He sells the coffee online, at three stores in Nevada, and seasonally at farmers’ markets.

To stay true to the Warrior part of the company’s name and his own heritage, Van Nostrand also regularly donates coffee to the Veterans Guest House in Reno.

“I’ve always been a big supporter of veterans, so I thought if I’m going to start a company, I want to give something back to the people who have served our country,” he says.

Annie Flanzraich is a Reno-based writer and editor who drinks coffee … because what writer doesn’t?

Where to buy Warrior Roasters coffee

Buy Nevada First Gift Shop at the Nevada Marketplace
4001 S. Virginia St., Reno
775-384-3153 • Buynevadafirst.com

 

Tinderbox Reno
Redfield Promenade
4991 S. Virginia St., Reno
775-826-2680 • Tinderboxreno.com

 

Sawtooth Station
24810 Hwy. 95, Orovada
775-272-7151

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