Its Lit Coffee roastery and bakeshop opens on Third Street in Bethlehem The Brown and White

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“Matt Hengeveld believes a great cup of coffee is like a great steak.
u201cWhen you have a really good cut of meat you donu2019t want to serve it well done because all youu2019re tasting is the char, not the meat,u201d he said. u201cIf you roast coffee too dark, all youu2019re tasting is the burned parts, not the integral flavors of the coffee.u201d
Lit Coffee Roastery and Bakeshop, which opened March 3 at 26 E. Third St. and is co-owned by Hengeveld and his friends Dan Taylor and Melanie Lino, operates with this idea at the core of its production.
Hengeveld started roasting his own coffee as a hobby when he couldnu2019t find what he was looking for in a Lehigh Valley cup of joe. He felt chain shops didnu2019t put enough care into preserving the integrity of a coffee beanu2019s natural flavors, so he learned how to do it himself. He began spending time at The Wise Bean on the North Side where he was first initiated into the world of roasting coffee.
He experimented with coffees from different areas of the world and enjoyed being in control of deciding which coffees he wanted to roast. His first roaster was a whirley-pop, a stovetop roaster also used to make popcorn. As he refined his skills, his machines became more advanced.
With every temperature fluctuation of his small, two kilogram roaster he learned to distinguish between light, medium and dark roasts, acknowledging the natural flavors of different beans.
u201cEveryone who handled it before you had an idea of what this coffee is supposed to be like,u201d he said. u201cAnd to over roast it is to say, u2018None of that mattered.’u201d
His hobby became a business when Taylor, who had been roasting coffee at Square One Coffee in Lancaster, Pe
sylvania, called him spontaneously to ask if heu2019d want to start a coffee-roasting business. He had no idea Hengeveld was already roasting, he just knew he could count on his old friend who u201cwas always one to have weird ideas and just do something.u201d
Within three months, their first company, Monocacy Coffee Co., was born.
The duo began selling its product on the side at small events and eventually sold to Moravianu2019s seminary and Jumbaru2019s on the North Side. They regularly sold at the Rodale organic farmers market in Allentown where they met the owner of Made by Lino, Melanie Lino, a spunky Dominican baker who specialized in French macarons of any flavor, from cookie butter to creme brulee.
The duo soon became a trio in the summer of 2015. They went out to eat together and sold their products at the same local farmers markets.
One day after sitting around complaining about their real jobs, Lino joked they should just quit and open a coffee shop. Ever the opportunist, Hengeveld needed no more than a confirmation from Taylor to start the business. They began meeting every Sunday at Wegmans, and their small weekly stands quickly turned into a full-blown business.”

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