Roaster Story


  “Do you believe in coffee?  Because I believe in coffee.”

Michael LeDonna asked his wife this question while changing a flat tire on the highway many years ago.

Michael’s interest in coffee came early in his life, while working in a restaurant he opened with a home improvement loan in NYC. Serving the best coffee he could find was what pleased him most. Back then he bought beans in Brooklyn from an Italian grocer who roasted fresh coffee for his neighborhood customers out of a peanut roaster. Michael smelled the coffee roasting on his way to work one day and asked to buy beans to serve in his restaurant.

His dedication to coffee only grew. With his wife, who loved to travel, they opened cafes in Vermont and Rhode Island; he still ordered his beans from the guy in Brooklyn and had them shipped. Word spread and people lined up for his coffee around the block.

When they left the East for they West Coast, they fell in love with a Diedrich coffee roaster they had found at a Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. Michael began roasting his own beans in California and has been perfecting his craft ever since. Today, having settled in the progressive community of Port Townsend, he roasts his coffee in his backyard shed.

Severals days during the week he rises early to bake whole grain artisanal pastries and donuts which he serves at his cafe Better Living Through Coffee in downtown Port Townsend. During the evenings he roasts the fresh organic coffee beans. On Tuesdays when his kitchen is closed, he often travels to Seattle to sip coffee in some of the many fine cafes.

Many of you who drink his coffee have tasted his lifelong commitment to providing the freshest, best tasting Fair Trade organic beans. He believes that life is better when people come together to support one another and the land and the community, and that nothing brings people together quite like coffee.



The freshness of coffee can actually be lost before or during the bagging process. Michael is very particular about this and therefore uses special bags that he has chosen to preserve the freshness of the beans.

The clear plastic bags we use have a built in one-way valve which allows us to package our beans within minutes of roasting. Oxygen, which stales coffee, can’t get in, and the natural CO2 given off by the beans surrounds and protects them inside the package. These bags cost twice as much as paper bags and are environmentally friendly. We know it’s the only way to keep our coffee beans at their maximum freshness from roasting to opening. We believe the integrity and intensity of our coffee is worth preserving at all cost.

We hope that you will keep the bags wrapped securely (rubber bands work well).

Because we believe in fresher coffee.



4 responses to “Roaster Story

  1. Green coffee diet

    June 9, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Thanks designed for sharing such a nice idea, post is pleasant, thats why i have read
    it completely

  2. Marti

    June 15, 2013 at 12:18 am

    This is the best coffee I have ever had. I bought a bag of coffee to give my husband while on a visit to Port Townsend. We went back for a visit together and bought more coffee… the best ever and thank you for your passion in coffee..

  3. Anonymous

    September 7, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    The Americano absolutely is the best I have ever had! Looking forward to a Latte or cappuccino next time we’re in PT.

  4. Shelly Dax

    September 19, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    Making a great decaf, so you hardly miss the caffeine, is a serious art form. BLTC has nailed it. Became a believer when my son (Joe) worked at the cafe about 5 years ago…BEST decaf ever. And now I must have it shipped to me in Eugene. Thanks so much. Shelly D


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