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A Passion for Coffee in Gig Harbor

More Than a Beverage it’s a Hobby Turned Small Business

Location: Gig Harbor Washington USA

Zach Tanner loves coffee. That may not seem that unusual, especially in the Pacific Northwest where coffee is a cultural phenom. But Zach doesn’t just love to drink coffee. Oh no. Coffee is so much more; an inspiration; a fascination; a hobby turned small business. Zach has a passion for coffee in Gig Harbor.

Milkman Coffee
Zach Tanner proud coffee roaster

As many of you know I am a coffee-lover. In fact when I travel, tasting coffee around the world is one of the highlights for me; exploring the big wide and diverse world of rich dark coffee. Check out the blog I wrote last year My Favorite Coffee Around the World to learn more.

So when I heard about Zach and his passion for coffee in Gig Harbor I was intrigued. Then I tasted it and I was amazed.

After graduating from Montana State University Zach Tanner spent a number of years living the California film industry dream. But eventually Zach and his wife made their way back to the Pacific Northwest to start a family, settling in a private oasis rural home in Gig Harbor. While working at the Gig Harbor YMCA and being a dad, Zach found time on the side to have a tiny little coffee roaster and play with roasting and observation of beans and flavors.

Green coffee beans
The Green Beans are organic

Then came Covid. Zach lost his job and turned his focus to home-schooling his kids. And roasting coffee. A bigger roaster, more research, a computer program, lots of experimentation, trial and error, more evaluation, a brainstorm session for a business name and boom. Milkman Coffee was born in Zach’s garage.

Milkman Coffee
The name came from the delivery bottles he used in the beginning.

Zach gets the “green” beans from four different vendors, only organic non-pesticide beans. How the beans are sourced is really important to this coffee aficionado, and when possible his passion extends to women-run coffee bean co-ops in places like Ethiopia. Zach uses beans from many parts of the world including Uganda, Guatemala, Columbia, and Ethiopia.

Milkman Coffee
The roaster, each batch roasts for ten minutes

Usually Zach’s roasts are single origin, but he will blend beans from multiple sources to get just the right flavor profile he is looking for. Don’t misunderstand though…these aren’t flavored coffees. But Zach approaches the taste and aroma of the beans and the final cup of coffee similar to a wine connoisseur; pointing out natural flavor notes in each batch such as vanilla, tobacco, fruit and mineral. Each bag of Milkman lists Zach’s flavor notes.

Milkman Coffee
The roasting is controlled by computer and information on each batch is saved for future reference

While Zach continues to put his dad duties first, he hopes to expand Milkman Coffee. Short term goals include a website and social media presence. Long range goals include getting into small markets and farmers markets. But right now this one-man operation hand-delivers the beans to customers in the Gig Harbor area who sign up for regular delivery. Roasted beans are $15 a pound or $20 for a pound and a half.

Milkman Coffee

A passion for coffee in Gig Harbor. Hand-made, delivered fresh and full of flavor. That’s what Zach Tanner is all about with his small coffee roasting business Milkman Coffee. Want to support small business and drink some incredible, organic coffee? Shoot Zach an email at zlt13@icloud.com.

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Want to learn more about the history of coffee? See it here.

See last week’s post It’s Time to Rediscover Ballard Washington here.

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4 Comments

  • Reply Laura

    Delicious coffee!

    June 4, 2021 at 7:45 am
  • Reply MaryBeth

    Wonderful Coffee! Very interesting info on bean sourcing.

    June 9, 2021 at 2:19 pm
  • Reply Bree

    I could smell the coffee as I read this post.

    June 11, 2021 at 10:30 pm
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