A Colorado Company Creates Coffee Using the Sun

Fill up your thermos with some hot joe and hit the slopes before ski season ends. Better yet, fill it with a local, certified-organic, solar-roasted coffee: Solar Roast Coffee. The Pueblo-based company sells blends, single-origin and decaf coffee, as well as tea, and it produces them from the power of the sun.

Solar Roast Coffee is the brainchild of Mike and David Harktop who, in 2004, created a solar-powered coffee roaster with a satellite dish, 100 plastic mirrors and a broccoli strainer. Dubbed the Helios I, the prototype could roast a pound of coffee at a time. Over the years, the Harktop brothers built the Helios II and III and then the IV, which produced 30 pounds of coffee at a time. In 2012, the Helios V was born and put in production using a grid-tied photovoltaic array that was built atop the Harktop retail coffee shop.

Today, the Harktop brothers sell coffee at their coffee shop, online and at grocery stores throughout Colorado and beyond. One-pound bags of coffee start at $13 and tea sells for $12 for an 8-ounce bag. For more information, call 719-544-2008 or visit solarroast.com.