The 3RD Degree - Interview with Redhouse Roaster’s Founder, Richard Seindenberg

Redhouse Roaster’s Founder, Richard Seindenberg, Talks Business and the Art of Making the Perfect Cup of Coffee

Interview by Kenneth Miles

How did you get into the coffee roasting business? 

My wife and I started roasting in our home in the kitchen on the stove top. We were living in Weehawken at the time in 2005 and there really wasn’t a place for us to get good coffee in New York City or in New Jersey, shockingly. So after experimenting with roasting in our own kitchen we decided to go into business for ourselves. My wife and I both studied food science at Rutgers University. You really have to check yourself, your passion level when it comes to running your own business. If you don’t have strong motivation as a leader the obstacles can make you discouraged. Your passion should be so strong that it will get you through obstacles. That’s a key contributor as an entrepreneur for me. The money of course is important, but it goes way beyond money for me. I would pretty much do this for free. 

So, what is the secret to making a good cup of coffee? 

There is so much to it, but it starts at the farm with the coffee beans. Speciality coffee is graded just like wines. Nothing comes into this building that doesn’t score 80 and above. Just like you have sommelier who sip and spit the wine, we do the same thing with the coffee. We line the coffee up on our cupping table and constantly sip, spit and score. Most coffee is commercial grade, which is below 80 like Dunkin’ and  Starbucks. Good coffee doesn’t have additives. No salt, no butter. If you can avoid it, no milk. A lot of coffee has chocolate notes to it, so when you add that milk to it brings out a milk chocolate attribute. Once the coffee comes Redhouse we delicately roast it to make sure that we bring out the best in the coffee. Using filtered water is also helpful to making a good cup of coffee, because tap water these days is not what it used to be.

Redhouse Roasters has been in business in Newark for over a year. What would you say are some of the benefits of doing business in Newark?

The overall movement and the logistics of being in the City is awesome for us. We are on the outskirts of Newark, we’re closer to Beville, Route 21 is right here, we can jump on Route 80 in a heartbeat. We can get anywhere. We have tons of parking. It’s industrious around here so we don’t get a lot of fighting over parking spots. We’re looking to participate in the renaissance that is going on in Newark, we just need to get the funding together to expand. 

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