Black Medicine Brew Is The Perk You Need

Author: C.L. Harmon
Category: Food | Business
Date Published: April 25, 2022
Featured Image for Makasape Coffee Beans

Its ori­gins are a bit mys­te­ri­ous. How­ev­er, one leg­end has it that a goat herder named Kal­di stum­bled upon it in the forests of the Ethiopi­an plateau. It turns out his goats found renewed ener­gy after eat­ing some strange berries. Those berries would even­tu­al­ly become the foun­da­tion for the drink dubbed “mud”, “brew”, ”rock­et fuel” and even “jit­ter juice”. As its dis­cov­ery moved through dif­fer­ent parts of the world, human­i­ty found a bet­ter way to wake up and greet the morning. 

And what­ev­er clever name those through­out his­to­ry have used to describe this nat­ur­al elixir of ener­gy and taste, this won­der­ment of nature, wide­ly known as cof­fee, has found its way into almost every cul­ture on the plan­et. And why would­n’t it? After all, led or unled, this elixir of seduc­tion has the taste to charm our pal­lets and per­suades us to pur­chase 10.4 mil­lion tons of it each year. One might even say that it’s the med­i­cine of the ages.

This seem­ing­ly end­less desire for this rich, robust taste grows with cof­fee shops spring­ing up every­where and every new gen­er­a­tion dis­cov­er­ing the var­i­ous cap­ti­vat­ing fla­vors. And this leads some of those dis­cov­er­ers of fla­vor to push even fur­ther than the spe­cial­ty cof­fee sin­gle cups or main­stream bagged com­mer­cial cof­fees packed on gro­cery shelves. 

These con­nois­seurs of cof­fee chase the bean, much the same way a craft beer brew­er seeks out the per­fect hops and grain to pro­duce the best tast­ing ale, lager, or stout. An Okla­homa res­i­dent and Osage trib­al mem­ber, Ryan Arm­strong, is one such per­son chas­ing the fla­vor. In his search, he has found the newest med­i­cine of the age. And it is called pre­cise­ly that in the Osage lan­guage, Ma^kasape (the name of his com­pa­ny), mean­ing “black medicine.”

5 cups with Makasape Coffee
Pic­tures pro­vid­ed by Makasape

Iron­i­cal­ly and by his admis­sion, Arm­strong admits that his first expe­ri­ence with cof­fee was less than enjoy­able, although mem­o­rable for sure.

“I did­n’t even real­ly enjoy cof­fee grow­ing up. Cof­fee was syn­ony­mous with Fol­gers and just some­thing my grand­pa drank. Cof­fee was a black mud-like sub­stance, and I thought it was gross,” Arm­strong said. But while in col­lege, he began to tol­er­ate it due to its ener­gy-boost­ing effects and a lit­tle bit of fit­ting in with his peers. 

Since that’s what his friends were doing, he admits it had to have an exces­sive amount of sug­ar and cream to make it tol­er­a­ble. And then some­thing hap­pened, some­thing that would change his life. He had his first taste of cof­fee made from a French press. It was black, bold, beau­ti­ful, and unlike any­thing he had ever had. From that moment for­ward, he would no longer tol­er­ate watered-down coffee.

“I remem­ber that moment. It was like a life-defin­ing moment. It was the moment I had a real­ly good cup of cof­fee,” Arm­strong said. He was 19 years of age, and his sens­es had been awak­ened. Good cof­fee had become a pri­or­i­ty. Even with costs above the main­stream gro­cery store brands, he would spend the mon­ey. How­ev­er, in 2018, mar­ried and with expens­es tight, he was no longer able to enjoy the “good stuff” with the fre­quen­cy and quan­ti­ty he wanted. 

Refus­ing to give up the black elixir he loves, he sought anoth­er way; brew­ing from home. And even though his first batch burned on the home whirly pot con­trap­tion he had pur­chased, it still tast­ed bet­ter than any­thing main­stream he had expe­ri­enced. For­tu­nate­ly, the next batch was bet­ter and the next even bet­ter. With his tech­nique and the tastes he was pro­duc­ing, he knew he had a prod­uct that would sell. Ma^kasape) Roast­ing Com­pa­ny was born soon after.

An ini­tial hob­by of roast­ing and grind­ing cof­fee beans for his enjoy­ment had become a grow­ing busi­ness. Arm­strong says he is not cam­paign­ing to reach mega busi­ness sta­tus. He does, how­ev­er, seem to share the same com­mit­ment as the founders of oth­er com­pa­nies such as Pep­si Cola and Bama Pies, which both were also born out of hum­ble begin­nings and a desire to cre­ate the best prod­uct pos­si­ble. And like those ear­ly cus­tomers of Pep­si Cola and Bama Pies who began pur­chas­ing what they thought to be a supe­ri­or prod­uct at the time, mod­ern con­sumers are fol­low­ing suit and plac­ing orders for Arm­strong’sArm­strong’s coffee. 

store display of Makasape Coffee Beans
Pic­tures pro­vid­ed by Makasape

In May of last year, he received his busi­ness license and offi­cial­ly became the Ma^kasape Roast­ing Com­pa­ny. A com­mer­cial roast­er pur­chase that can roast 7.5 pounds of beans at one time and oth­er need­ed items soon followed.

“Busi­ness has been great. I have roast­ed and sold approx­i­mate­ly 1200 pounds of cof­fee in just under one year, if I had to guess. I will prob­a­bly hit 1400 pounds by my one-year anniver­sary,” Arm­strong said. He cur­rent­ly sup­plies cof­fee to one cof­fee shop and has online order­ing for individuals. 

Those orders can be picked up at two dif­fer­ent loca­tions, Bird Creek Nutri­tion in Pawhus­ka or Dripz & Dreamz Cof­fee and Ice Cream in Cleve­land, at no cost. He also ships out to cus­tomers but adds ship­ping costs for those orders. He cur­rent­ly has 50 reg­u­lar cus­tomers and the cof­fee shop pur­chas­es from him. He says it is quite an accom­plish­ment con­sid­er­ing he has only been offi­cial­ly in busi­ness for less than one year and is doing it alone and work­ing a full-time job to boot.

And the best part is that he keeps his cof­fee at much more rea­son­able prices than oth­er spe­cial­ty roast­ing com­pa­nies, which sell a 12-ounce bag from $14–25. Ma^kasape keeps it $9–12. He keeps his prices the same as one would pur­chase a con­ven­tion­al grade qual­i­ty from a gro­cery store. 

To put it into per­spec­tive, cost and qual­i­ty-wise, a com­par­i­son would be Arm­strong’s cof­fee vs. tra­di­tion­al cof­fee of grade being the equiv­a­lent of Bud­weis­er or Miller Lite to a spe­cial­ty craft beer from a local brew­ery. So, keep­ing his prices low allows cus­tomers to get high­er qual­i­ty at the same price they are used to pay­ing for the con­ven­tion­al grade. He hopes to con­tin­ue this com­pet­i­tive pric­ing as the com­pa­ny grows by keep­ing to his small busi­ness principles.

It’s inspir­ing to see the spir­it of com­merce still brew­ing in Okla­homa through the efforts of those like Arm­strong; he has joined with those peo­ple through­out his­to­ry who added a bit of fla­vor to life through their love of the Earth and appre­ci­a­tion of the val­ue it can produce. 

Arm­strong is con­tin­u­ing the tra­di­tions of all those in search of what is bet­ter with his ver­sions of Earth­’s fla­vor­ful boun­ty brewed right here in the Native lands of this state. He allows us to expe­ri­ence a dose of this local “black med­i­cine,” which may not cure all our ails but will sure­ly perk us up no mat­ter how we are feeling.

To con­nect with Ma^kasape Roast­ing Com­pa­ny, vis­it their Face­book Page or call 918–358-6860.

The com­pa­ny offers K‑Cups and var­i­ous sizes of bagged cof­fee for pur­chase and roast­ed beans for those who wish to grind their own.

Below are some descrip­tions of some of the cof­fees offered by Arm­strong.

owner displaying Makasape Coffee Beans at an event
Pic­tures pro­vid­ed by Makasape

Latin Amer­i­can Blend

The Latin Amer­i­can Blend is suit­able for folks look­ing for “clas­sic” cof­fee fla­vors. Clas­sic is not to be mis­un­der­stood with that cheap burnt and bit­ter stuff that needs cream and sug­ar, but that rich, sub­tle choco­latey, nut­ty, earthy, semi-sweet, and smooth cup you had at that love­ly cof­fee shop. It won’t be over­ly cit­rusy or fruity and will gen­er­al­ly have a medi­um body.

 The blend will gen­er­al­ly con­sist of Brazil­ian and Columbian beans and some Cen­tral Amer­i­can Ori­gins such as El Sal­vador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.

Ethiopi­an Yirgacheffe

Ethiopi­an cof­fees are often some of my favorite cof­fees, right­ly so since it is the moth­er­land of cof­fee. If you’ve nev­er tried an Ethiopi­an, you are in for a treat. You often get fla­vors that might be described as more “exot­ic” as the clas­sic fla­vors are eclipsed by flo­ral, spicy, and fruity sub­tle sweet­ness. The cur­rent offer­ing has a strong blue­ber­ry fla­vor with mild flo­ral sweetness. 

Columbian Decaf

This blend is a Sug­ar­cane Process Decaf that stays away from the chem­i­cals used by size­able com­mer­cial Cof­fee Com­pa­nies. A rich, mild­ly sweet cof­fee that one can­not tell is a decaf.

DR Con­go

I had nev­er tried a cof­fee from the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Repub­lic of Con­go until it was fresh from my roast­er. I was in for a pleas­ant sur­prise. It has a medi­um body with fla­vor notes of green tea and hon­ey with flo­ral sweet­ness. It is now one of my favorite ori­gins. Gen­er­al­ly, peo­ple try this and are reluc­tant to try any­thing else.


Unique­la­homa | Facebook

Unique­la­homa | Twitter

Unique­la­homa | Instagram

C.L. Harmon

C.L. Harmon

C.L. is an award-winning journalist who spent many years in the newspaper and freelance fields. In addition to holding reporting and editing positions throughout his career, he also owned and operated a newspaper for several years. He was born, raised, and continues to reside in Oklahoma.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.


What is Uniquelahoma?

Perhaps to start, defining what we are not is the best way to describe us. We are not a news source to find the latest local and world events or a magazine to...

Unique Quote

The basic definition of Socialism is equal disbursement of wealth. So if any person of wealth and power is in favor of Socialism and has not already evenly distributed their wealth and power to others, that’s a pretty good indicator they only want to disperse yours and not theirs. - C.L. Harmon
%d bloggers like this: