by Angela Perez
This morning, I made an exciting discovery: the town of Garner, NC now has a coffee roaster, The Muse Coffee Company & Roastery. Brian Wynn, founder & master coffee roaster, recently expanded the coffee house operation from its home base in Lynchburg, VA. While honing his roasting skills at the renowned Durham-based Counter Culture Coffee, Wynn realized he wanted to strike out on his own and dedicate his life to creating community around high-quality beans sourced from around the world. The beans make their way from Brazil, Peru, Bali, and Ethiopia to little ole’ Garner, where the coffee is roasted on-site in back of a modern yet cozy coffee shop. Local art work adorns the walls (and is sometimes for sale). Wynn and his lead roaster develop their own flavor profiles and serve the coffee in-house as well as ship it commercially across the U.S.
In addition to single roasts, blends, and cold brews, the shop offers unique blended drinks like “Christmas in a Cup,” with caramel, toffee nut, cinnamon, espresso, and milk, and the “Ketten Tea Latte,” with Earl Grey, steamed milk, peppermint, and coconut. The Muse also serves food, including a scrumptious panini-pressed breakfast burrito. Breakfast is served all day (the NY bagels are brought in from NY). I reveled in the burrito for lunch because, well, any time is a good time for a breakfast burrito.
Not so long ago, Garner was a sleepy, rural suburb of Raleigh but is fast becoming a bustling multicultural food destination. Wynn says he is excited about becoming a part of Garner’s booming growth. “Small-batch, artisanally roasted coffee is our passion,” says Wynn. “With that said, it’s only a tool to bring about community. We love people loving people at our shop. Our customers have a wide range of taste buds and life stories, and we value everyone that steps foot into our doors. This is why we offer a variety of coffees, be it an Ethiopian with a nuance of blueberry or the dark roasted earthy goodness of our Mocha Java blend. We have coffee to fit everyone’s taste buds.”
I’ve already decided that I am partial to The Muse’s single origin Kayon Mountain Shakiso beans from East Guji, Oromia, Ethiopia. I brought a bag home, ground the beans, and brewed a cup. I already know that this coffee is going to be an addiction for me – the notes of ripe blueberry, toffee, and rich chocolate are TOO enticing. I’m going to have to learn to drink this in moderation.
The Muse is located next to the iconic country cooking restaurant, Big Ed’s – where I do love the collard greens. But a woman cannot live on collard greens alone. When I want lighter fare with a perfect cup of coffee brewed with care and expertise, well, I’ll make my way over to see Brian.
Location: Timber Crossings Shopping Center, 225 Timber Dr., Garner, NC 27529
The parking situation: Excellent – plenty of parking in a gloriously spacious lot
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday – 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Check The Muse’s Facebook page for any updates.