“I had a friend of mine tell me I needed to start a business out of my basement,” says Bryan Weaver, coffee roaster extraordinaire turned co-founder of Fourth Dimension Coffee, “I don’t think he was aiming at this.” Brad Petrinec, the duo’s other half laughs, “But turns out dreams do come true.”
Fourth Dimension Coffee is a “meticulous craft coffee roaster” based out of Pontiac that opened in January. It’s co-owned and operated by Weaver, 40, and Petrinec, 38, business partners and metro Detroit natives who met at a punk rock show 15 years ago. Over time, they realized their troubled pasts — Weaver and Petrinec are recovering alcoholics — and their mutual love for coffee made way for a constructive future. “The fourth dimension is in the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous,” Petrinec says. “The rocket in our logo refers to rocketing to the fourth dimension,” Weaver adds. “We think our coffee is so good it takes you to the next level of consciousness.” Everything about Fourth Dimension is conscientious. From the cerulean blue packaging that represents the serenity Petrinec feels when drinking their coffee, to the fastidious, almost meditative approach Weaver takes to roasting.
At a given moment, Fourth Dimension offers five types of coffee from countries such as Ethiopia, Colombia, and Burundi — all year-round staples. The Gujji Mane, from Ethiopia (its name inspired by trap artist Gucci Mane), contains notes of milk chocolate, strawberry,
and watermelon. The Grand Galope, from Colombia, is sweet and syrupy with touches of caramel, brown sugar, and basil. While the Booster Blend, a multiregional combination, offers a milder flavor profile. The pair sources these beans from similarly small farmers across the world. “They do a lot of the processing,” Petrinec says, which includes the harvesting, washing, and drying of the beans. Then, they come to Weaver and he works his magic on the roaster.
Weaver roasts all of the beans himself with a small-batch machine he picked up in Minneapolis, and even journals the process. Coffee beans, he explains, lose 20 percent of their moisture through the roasting process. However, heat is what allows the beans to release their natural flavors. “It’s like driving a car where you have half a tank of gas, but you need three fourths of a gallon to keep going. You give them heat to start and lessen it as they get their own,” he says.
In the larger landscape of coffee roasting, Weaver and Petrinec lie in an uncharted space. First wave coffee manufacturers include corporate giants like Folger’s and Maxwell House. Second wavers are places like Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks. Third wave is where the term “craft” comes into play. In metro Detroit, that includes spots like Birmingham Roast and Dessert Oasis. And the fourth wave — very small, very personal, very craft roasters like the Fourth Dimension — is in a storefront in downtown Pontiac where you can grab a bag of Gujji Mane.
Fourth Dimension Coffee Co., 7 N. Saginaw St. 1C, Pontiac; 248-467-9802;