Java and Joints: Cannabis-Infused Coffee a Hit at Centralia’s Beans and Bongs
Coffee and marijuana wouldn’t seem at first glance like a natural pairing. After all, one is meant to perk the user up while the other is supposed to calm them down.
Remove the mood-altering THC and CBD compounds from the equation though, and you get what’s inside the metallic bags that grace the shelves inside 710 Beans and Bongs appropriately located at 710 W. Main St. in Centralia.
Coffee beans roasted by Santa Lucia Coffee Coffee Roasters are mixed with the terpenes and hemp seed oils that give retail strains of weed flavor profiles such as Pineapple Express and Girl Scout Cookies. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “pot of coffee.”
“It tastes the same, but with that coffee flavor added,” said Jennifer Thomas, co-owner and manager of Beans and Bongs. “It smells and tastes very similar. I haven’t seen it a lot, though we’re not the first to come up with it.”
Thomas and Wyatt Teitzel opened the store nearly three years ago as a place where local art could be showcased alongside glassware ranging from small handheld pieces to towering, intricate bongware.
Adding a partnership with a local coffee roaster seemed like another good niche to add to the store, Thomas said. They sell other bags of coffee, mugs made by local artists and coffee presses alongside their roach-flavored roasts.
People often come in to buy a piece of glass and wind up walking out with a bag of coffee as well. A single bag retails for $20. Like the beans, the glassware, mugs, and art on the walls are all locally sourced.
The most often purchased flavor of coffee is Girl Scout Cookies. Beans and Bongs rotates a number of flavors on its shelves based on what oils and flavorings they have available for roasting. Producing and selling coffee with the more potent components of pot has never been a serious option for them, because they’d be too close to Centralia College to get the necessary licenses and permits even if it were legal to sell marijuana within city limits.
“We’re just trying to be different instead of trying to be someone else,” Thomas said. “Art, atmosphere, coffee, every bong shop has their own niche, and these are ours.”
Thomas and Teitzel hope to expand their offerings in the near future to include sales of their bud-flavored beverage in its final form — brewed hot and ready for consumption. The process has been slow, but they’re confident it will come to fruition.
The pair are in the process of obtaining the necessary permits and installing the plumbing system needed for food service. It’s already clear that the interest level is high for what they have to supply.
Until then, you’ll have to brew your own java joint.
By Will Rubin