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Roasterie enters the Twilight zone with new coffee blends

Eva, left, and Mary Kay Rauma take a break with Volturi Italian Roast, one of the “Twilight Series” coffee blends the Roasterie has just released. - Amelia Heagerty/staff photo
Eva, left, and Mary Kay Rauma take a break with Volturi Italian Roast, one of the “Twilight Series” coffee blends the Roasterie has just released.
— image credit: Amelia Heagerty/staff photo

Coffee just got spookier.

A mysterious new beverage was recently launched on Vashon, and those who drink it may find themselves transformed.

The Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie released four new blends of coffee last month — addicting elixirs that can cause unusual urges, keep drinkers up all night and cause people to cavort with other nocturnal creatures, said Mary Kay Rauma, the director of sales and marketing at the Roasterie.

“It might just open up a whole new side of their personality,” she said.

The “Twilight Series” coffee blends are inspired by the international best-selling Twilight series of books, gripping novels that detail the lives of humans and vampires in Forks, Wash., the rainiest place in the country. Twilight has become so popular that a feature film about the first book was released last year, and the second film, “New Moon,” will be in theaters in November.

The Roasterie’s alluring blends — from New Moon Rising to Bella’s Blend, named for Twilight’s protagonist — are made from heirloom coffee beans from all over the world and are rich, dark and “Northwesty,” said Roasterie owner Eva, who doesn’t use her last name. She agreed that the concoctions’ effects could be many.

“I think you should drink it at twilight and see what happens,” she said.

The beans are available on the Island, in Forks and online. And they mark a new achievement for the Roasterie — it’s the first time the Island business is launching a line of coffee that staff anticipate will do very brisk business worldwide over the Internet.

“This is really our first big, big deal,” Eva said. “It appeals to a broad audience.”

From preteens to retired grandmothers, the Twilight books have picked up a ravenous fan base that thirsts for all things Twilight. Forks has experienced a revival of its local economy, as Twilighters flock to the small logging town in the northwestern corner of Washington to see the places the books are based upon.

“This is really a huge phenomenon that is this whole underworld,” Rauma said. “It’s opening us up to this whole new world.”

From town tours to comic books and coffee, the Twilighters’ insatiable appetite for memorabilia associated with the megaseries seems unquenchable — and Eva is hoping “Twilight Series” Coffee will slake their thirst.

On a trip to sell Roasterie coffee to the Thriftway in Forks, Rauma observed firsthand the Twilight craze that was sweeping the town and realized the Roasterie could bring to the table an entirely new Twilight product — high-end, fair-trade coffee that’s accessible to Twilighters in Forks and worldwide.

“Let’s face it, it’s silly and fun, but the bottom line is it’s really good coffee, and it’s an excellent opportunity for us to be introduced to the whole world,” Rauma said.

The beans are sold for $9.95 for 12 ounces at the Roasterie and Vashon Thriftway, and coffee and espresso drinks made with the vampirish blends are available at the Roasterie.

Eva plans to donate a percentage of proceeds from sales of the coffee to a vampirish cause, which will be decided upon later this month. Perhaps “Twilight Series” coffee will help fund research about a blood disease, or Eva could send a percentage of sales to the Native American tribes that live near Forks.

She said donating a portion of proceeds makes sense, since it follows the Roasterie’s philosophy about doing business in the coffee industry. Beyond fair trade, Eva said the Roasterie’s beans are the result of the business’s “honorable trade.”

Since the Roasterie’s inception five years ago, the business at the intersection of Vashon Highway and Cemetery Road has worked with the Vashon Island Coffee Foundation — founded by Stewart Brothers Coffee pioneer Jim Stewart — to give back to the small communities that provide the beanery with its coffee.

The Roasterie buys most of its beans from small farming communities, such as Vashon’s sister city, Santiago Atitlan in Guatemala, directly supporting the local economies.

So even as Eva and Rauma hope “Twilight Series” coffee makes a big splash on the local and international coffee market, they said they’re proud it will also benefit a Twilightish cause.

“It’ll be something creative,” Eva said. “We will decide for ourselves what rings true for us concerning the ethics and trade of the coffee.”

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