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Barbed Wire

This small city, sixty miles west of Chicago, was located at the edge of the prairie, that vast treeless expanse where the need for fencing was most acute. In 1873 Joseph Glidden, Jacob Haish and Isaac Ellwood Visited the DeKalb County Fair. Here they Viewed an exhibit for a "wooden Strip with metallic points" His device was nothing more then a strip of wood armed with nail like spikes meant to be attached to a plain wire fence. 

Glidden, Haish and Ellwood soon began to think about improvements to Rose's crude invention and within two years each of the men had obtained his own patent. Joseph Glidden made his first barbed wire in the kitchen of his farmhouse, using a coffee mill to twist the barbs into shape. Working in his barn he then utilized a grindstone to twist two strands of wire together after placing the handmade barbs on one strand of the wire. After making several hundred feet of wire in this manner, he fenced his wife's vegetable garden to keep stray animals out.


Glidden applied for a patent in October 1873; however, it was not granted until November 24, 1874. Ellwood quickly recognized the superiority of Glidden's concept, and in July 1874 he purchased a one-half interest in Glidden's yet-to-be issued patent for $265.

DeKalb Folklore has it that it was Mrs 

Ellwood who saw the promise of Glidden's Wire.

Glidden and Ellwood soon formed a partnership called the Barb Fence Company and began the manufacture of barbed wire in DeKalb. In the year of 1874 only 10,000 lbs of barbed wire were produced, largely by hand. The following year the company built its first factory with a steam engine and machines to mechanize the barbing of the wire. Output rose dramatically and in 1875 more than 600,000 lbs were manufactured. In 1876 Glidden sold the remaining interest in his patent to Washburn & Moen Co., the largest U.S. wire manufacturer, for $60,000 plus royalty rights. Backed by ample capital, the barbed wire business soon began to assume gigantic proportions.

According to the DeKalb County Manufacturer, 2,840,000 lbs of barbed wire were produced in 1876, 12,863,00 lbs. in 1877, 26,655,00 lbs in 1878 and 50,337,000 lbs in 1879. To preserve their monopoly, Washburn, Moen, Isacc Ellwood & Company purchased the rights to many prior and subsequent patents related to barbed wire. Years of litigation followed between the holders of the Glidden patent and other patents over priority in the invention of the first practical barbed wire. In 1892, the United States Supreme Court awarded precedence to Joseph Glidden because of his original claim that the twisting of the two strands of wire holds the barbs in place. The Court declared: " In the law of patent, it is the last step that wins."



           JACOB HAISH 

           ISAAC ELLWOOD


 In 1894, Joseph Glidden made a fortune inventing barbed wire in his kitchen by twisting two pieces of wire together with a coffee mill.

What will you come up with?

Great Ideas Take Time

The idea for Barb City Roasters came from one fantastic cup of coffee. When founder Jack Cress was traveling in Tanzania, Africa he was given a cup of coffee, freshly brewed from beans harvested that very day and roasted just minutes before. It was the best cup of coffee he had ever had. Once he had tasted a cup that good, he couldn't settle for anything less. So he bought 10 pounds of green coffee beans, and bought his first coffee roaster. 

Named after nickname for DeKalb, IL. the town where barbed wire was invented, Barb City Roasters is a small town company through and through. Beginning with founder Jack Cress's first roast in the garage of his home.   

The Company is growing and becoming known to this day! Barb City Roasters is a company with a mission, a ministry, kind, loving & a giving mission. Barb City Roasters loves the community and is excited to see where God takes the company. Just like Joseph Glidden and his dream, Barb City Roasters mission is to keep giving back and to share Gods word and love. Joseph Glidden used a coffee grinder to create the first barbed wire; Barb City Roasters is using coffee to bring people together from around the world and to give back to those most in need. 



Join us around DeKalb County IL for live coffee experiences!   

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About Us


Dedicated to Quality

 Barb City Roasters – Our coffees are estate grown, carefully chosen from the top 1% quality beans in the world, and roasted in micro-batches with love and care to ensure the highest quality product available. We take pride in maintaining a meticulously consistent product, both in quality of roast and quality of bean. 


Fresh Ground or Whole Bean

Whole bean coffee is the preferred style for purchase for most coffee drinkers.  Whole beans allow you to grind as needed, and experience the taste of fresh coffee every time you brew.  Whole bean also offers a longer shelf-life than ground coffee.  Ground coffee is the best purchase option if you plan to brew it soon after it arrives, want to purchase small amounts for gifts, or if you do not own a coffee grinder. 


Coffee with a mission

 Coffee is a conduit Barb City Roasters uses to bring people together from around the world.  Our coffee is delicious, but also has a mission: to serve those most in need.  100% of Barb City Roasters profits are donated to support people in need of housing, clean water, and food around the world.  We are passionate about our coffee and compassionate about helping others.  


The Real Voyage Of Discovering Coffee

Coffee Is Not Just A Bean

Coffee is not just a bean that grows on a plant, it is so much more!  From seed to plant to fruit to bean to roast to cup; coffee is an experience. Coffee is a fruit with a variety of layers with the resemblance of a small grape. The coffee bean is a mystical fruit that grows all over the world in some of the most exotic locations across the globe!

Coffee plants have so many layers and unique personalities. Coffee plants look like small Christmas trees that have leaves that grow in pairs. The leaves on a Coffee tree can vary in color with the most popular color being green, but there are yellow and even purple leaved trees. The coffee cherry grows alongside the trees branches and after a year of thriving, a beautiful white blossom blooms with an elegant scent that smells much like Jasmine. These Flowers only live for 2-3 days, so it is a pleasure to be able to see and smell them!

If your interest is piqued, please read further to understand more about each part of a coffee tree & the processes involved in providing the drink many know and love that we call “coffee”.  The saying “hard work pays off” is true for the coffee process. 

First off the coffee plants are grown in warm tropical and subtropical climates by farmers all around the world; each plant takes 4 to 5 years to start producing small green cherries that hold two coffee seeds. The coffee seeds are protected by 3 layers of skin: the first layer consist of a tough red outer coat, under this layer is a fleshy pulp surrounding a layer of protective parchment and silver skin that encloses two round and or oval seeds.  Each of the coffee cherries described are picked by hand. Consider this : according to the latest coffee statistics from the International Coffee Organization (ICO), we pour about 1.4 billion cups of coffee a day worldwide. That's a lot of coffee, and about 45 percent of it (400 million cups a day!) is drunk in the United States.

Farmers are picking enormous amounts of beans to satisfy the coffee demands worldwide! Once the farmers pick the coffee they have a choice to either replant the bean as a seed or use the bean to be processed to produce green coffee beans (coffee beans are green with a hay scent before they even make it to the roaster).

There are 8 processes a coffee bean endures before reaching your cup.

The First Process: Depulping. Depulping is a process of separating the coffee seeds from the 3 outer layers of flesh. After the bean has been handpicked, is to be depulped within 24 hours of picking the seed. If the seeds are not depuled within 24 hours of being picked they will produce an overly fruity  and possibly rotten flavor that will ruin the quality of the coffee. 

This is a “high touch” manual process as the beans have to be depulped in a manual depulping machine. A hand depulper is a machine with a small rotating burr that separates the outer layer and the two coffee beans. 


The Second Process: Fermentation.  In order to ferment the depulped coffee beans the farmers have to deposit the beans into large clean tanks that are made of cement, wood, and sometimes even plastic water collection receptacles. When the beans are fermenting, the mucilage that is left on the bean after the depulping process is transformed from natural sugars to liquid. The time it takes to ferment the beans depends on the country, altitude, and humidity of a particular area. It could take four hours or three days to finish this stage of the coffee bean. 

The Third Process: “Wet processing”. This process washes the coffee beans in a series of concrete or wood channels with clean water. Water processing ensures that the fermentation process has stopped.

The Fourth Process: Drying. The drying process of the coffee bean is very important and can take three to fourteen days; depending on the weather. The farmers have to make sure they turn the drying coffee many times each day, and that it does not come into contact with any water after the washing process is over.

The Fifth Process: Sorting. Once the drying process is over the beans are sent to be sorted in the warehouses to prepare for export. The green coffee beans are sorted by hand, removing all of the defects at individual and group tables.

The Sixth Process: Export/Import. The beans are then shipped from farms to the roasters (us) and brokers around the world. 

The Seventh Process: Roasting. : The roasting process seems fairly simple: the roaster sets, monitors, and adjusts heat, time, and airflow to get the desired results from each bean.  However, creating recipes/profiles for each bean can be complex, an art if you will.  Our roasters masters have carefully selected beans from all over the world, and have done the hard work to create recipes/profiles to bring out the best characteristics in each batch of coffee we roast.  We are always learning, taking feedback from our raving fans, and never stop experimenting to raise the bar on what it means to make a great cup of coffee. 

The Eight Process: Brewing. Brewing the coffee is just as important as where the plants are grown. There are so many ways to enjoy your coffee: the most common way to enjoy the bean is by placing your fresh ground coffee into a coffee pot and letting the water drip through; but for a more robust coffee, connoisseurs prefer a French press or pour over, There is also cold brew and espresso shots.



Coffee is not just a bean; it is an experience from farm to cup!

We encourage you to learn more about the beans you purchase and the way you love them brewed! Once you find your favorite beans, and the way to brew them, you will enjoy that cup of Joe 100% more! 

I hope that your questions were answered, and that you feel more confident when you purchase one of our premium coffees. 

Picked with care, 

Roasted with Passion & Brewed with Love.

Barb City Roasters 

Contact Us

Call or Email us today

Interested in purchasing Barb City Roasters Coffee for your café or business ? Email or call us today!

Ask for Abby Myers.

Do not be surprised if we answer as Dun-rite Tool and Machine! Barb City Roasters is a  subsidiary of  Dun-Rite Tool and Machine.

Barb City Roasters

55 W. Lincoln Hwy, Cortland, IL 60112, US



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