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Roasted with honor

Veteran's business based on quality

De Espresso Liber offers coffee roasted on order to ensure freshness. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

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Editor's Note:  For security reasons, only the first name of the interviewee is used.

The roasting of coffee beans is for one Special Forces veteran a blend of art and science situated in history and lived with remembrance and honor.

"From the Devil's Brigade and other guerilla units in World War II to the present special operations units, our coffee honors their sacrifices," Alex explained.

It is on this foundation that De Espresso Liber began roasting high-quality, small-batch coffee.

The business' name is a play on the Special Forces motto of De Oppresso Liber. Located in the South Puget Sound area, the business stresses the Special Forces truth that "Quality is Better Than Quantity."

"I believe that," said Alex, De Espresso Liber owner. "I produce a number of roasted blends in small batches knowing that fresher is better" with the goal to "provide you with the same coffee experience I discovered overseas at the coffee's point of origin."

During missions in Southeast Asia, he and his teammates discovered a coffee bean plantation nearby. Ingenuity took hold, and Alex soon discovered that coffee roasted at the source was better than any cup he had previously.

After securing a source of good beans, he attempted to replicate the brew he had tasted while overseas.

His first efforts began in 2013, and they involved a steel bowl, a heat gun and a wooden spoon. "It was trial and error at first," Alex continued with a smile, "but the results were promising."

Promise led to success, and today, De Espresso Liber carefully micro-roasts 100 percent Arabica, single-origin coffee selected from farms around the world.

The farms employ traditional farming and processing methods, resulting in a superior bean.

"We guarantee the flavor, freshness and quality you deserve in your coffee," Alex explained. "Our green coffee is only roasted on order to ensure it is days fresh, not months old."

De Espresso Liber's roasting levels are light, medium, medium dark and dark.

At De Espresso Liber's online store, customers can purchase the historically based Black Devil's Brew, Molon Labe Blend, the Original's Blend and the Warrior Angels Foundation Holistic Blend.

Adding to the ranks of blends are Gold Star Memorial Blends created to honor his fallen brothers. A family living in DuPont helped to develop a special blend for a loved one who was killed in Iraq.

"It's a memory they will have every morning when making their coffee," Alex said.

A portion of the proceeds from the memorial blends goes to a designated cause or nonprofit organization.

De Espresso Liber also sells American-made handcrafted clay mugs as well as smaller steel mugs.

"By purchasing from these companies, we know that we are giving our customers the best products available," Alex said, "along with supporting American businesses and feeding American families."

In looking to give a unique Christmas gift roasted with an eye toward quality over quantity and an understanding of history, visit

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