Momento Coffee Co. is in the newspaper this morning. Coffee processing goes high tech in Tempe Betty Beard The Arizona Republic Jul. 26, 2007 Now even coffee processing has gone high tech. Momentto Coffee Co., a small Tempe specialty coffee processor, is producing 17 coffee products in a plant that is so automated and computerized that every bean is controlled. The automation ensures that beans are blended according to exact instructions, roasted at the right temperature and for the right amount of time, filtered several times and then, within three days of roasting, packaged and sealed. The plant can process 600 pounds an hour with two employees. Petar Vukovic, president, doesn’t think there is another plant like it in the country because the system was custom-built. The company even uses vacuum-sealed cargo containers to bring beans over the oceans. “Our competitors do the blending with shovels,” he said. “We know how to process and preserve coffee. You can burn coffee in a microsecond.” Momentto uses a traditional Italian method of roasting beans. Vukovic is a third-generation coffee producer from the Montenegro part of the former Yugoslavia and learned about roasting in southern Italy. The company also has two other owners. Vukovic caters to a variety of ethnic groups, as well as Americans who tend to like their coffee more watery than many other countries. The company claims to be the only company in the country that roasts and packages a Turkish and Greek blend called Minas Blend Coffee. The company works in international circles. For example, it imports beans from Colombia and then ships them to Germany because Vukovic considers that the best place to get decaffeinated coffee roasted without losing flavor. Momentto uses mostly Arabica coffees, a species grown mainly in Ethiopia and very popular in Arab countries. It also uses milder Arabicas grown in South America. Its products are not sold in Phoenix area stores, just online at www.momenttocaffe.com and at the company’s plant, 520 S. Price Road, Suite 104. Vukovic said he is negotiating with Bashas’ to try to get the coffees into its stores. Momentto started out making espresso machines for restaurants and selling prepackaged, pre-measured coffee capsules for the machines. But it was taking too long to get the coffee from overseas and by the time it got here, it was no longer fresh, he said. So the owners invested in processing equipment. They still sell espresso machines and are improving them. Another reason the company has diversified and shifted to producing its own coffees is because of the 2002 strike by longshoremen in Los Angeles ports that left the company vulnerable. It had $90,000 worth of supplies sitting for three months at a shipyard. Now the company uses Houston ports.