Coffee, music, food and writing are my most beloved passions.  When a friend that shares my interests treated me to lunch at Whole Foods recently, I knew we were in for a creative good time.

I’d met Peter Cohen several months ago at Lone Wolf Coffee Company (now known as The Wolf Public House) in Ballwin. A banking industry expert by day, Peter is better known in the blues community as “Cornbread,” the bass player and former music reviewer. We struck up a friendship and have enjoyed rapping about our artistic endeavors ever since. Photo by Cheryl Hughey

His newest adventure is ‘Stringbeans: Guitar Strings & Coffee Beans,’  a boutique coffee-roasting and guitar sales venture. Peter says it is his goal to combine his love of music with insanely freshly roasted coffee.

“… we are all about the art of roasting coffee and unique musical instruments. I have a deep passion for playing and collecting guitars and basses. I have an equal passion for a rockin’ cupp’a Joe,” Peter on the front page of his Stringbeans website.

Peter gave me a small sample of his Pete’s Redeye Roast, “a bold espresso blend.” I couldn’t wait to sample it but Peter suggested I wait to engage the high octane flavor and a caffeine kick as a morning brew.

I promptly ground the beloved beans the next morning and was greeted by the most intense coffee smell I’d experienced in a long time. Peter had said that he wanted everyone to use his coffee fresh and within two weeks. The sample he’d given me had been roasted the day before I used it. There was a definite difference between the smell of my lighter roasts that had been stored for a while and the intensity of this much fresher dark roast.

Immediately after brewing, I poured a small amount of the coffee into an oriental tea cup.  Having attended a cupping years ago for a St. Louis-based food publication, I wanted to try and recreate a similar experience. The smell of Pete’s Redeye Roast in my tea cup was pleasant and the color was a lovely caramel. The flavor was intense but not too overpowering (I’d purposefully cut back the amount of ground Pete’s Redeye Roast when brewing, as I normally roast “older” and lighter beans).

After smelling and evaluating the brew, I then poured another serving into a regular coffee cup and added milk. Although I realize most coffee connoisseurs frown upon adding milk to coffee, it’s my favorite way to drink it. Although the plain coffee was too intense for my husband, Pete’s Redeye Roast passed my milk test. I actually ended up drinking and pouring at least one more additional cup for myself.

If you enjoy coffee that will kick you in the pants every morning, the Pete’s Redeye Roast is for you.  Stringbeans also sells a Single Origin Peru, which Peter proclaims, “This roast is smoother than silk underwear (and you won’t get wedgies…).” For lovers of decaf, there is the Single Origin Decaf. All varieties can be ordered at the Stringbeans website. For those serious about the freshness of their coffee, Peter also sales storage containters on the website. Music lovers will enjoy the selection of limited edition and other guitars for sale on the site as well.

Supporting local businesses is the key to keeping our neighborhoods viable. If you get a chance, check out the Stringbeans website to order or find out when Peter will be selling coffee at an event near you.


Cheryl Hughey is a Ballwin resident, St. Louis-based freelance writer and author of Beyond Bacon Grease, a farm-inspired cookbook for the low-fat  generation. She has been published in  Natural Muscle, Ms. Fitness,  Concierge Magazine, West End Word, Sauce,  Intermission Magazine and  more. A candidate for a black belt in  taekwondo later this year, Cheryl  often finds often finds inspiration by  working in her garden.


Originally posted August 30, 2011 in The Ballwin Ellisville Patch