Founded in 2019, Three Keys is a craft coffee roastery based out of Houston, TX. The name is inspired by the valves of the trumpet, which has been the instrument of choice for some of the most influential jazz musicians and composers. Similarly, Three Keys Coffee speaks a language that’s sophisticated yet accessible to everyone who’s willing to slow down and share a cup.
Tio Fallen, Co-Founder / Head Roaster
Preferred Brew: Long Black or Central American Single-Origin Drip
Favorite Jazz Song: It Never Entered My Mind by Miles Davis
What does Mechanical Engineering have to do with coffee roasting? Turns out--everything. A series of calculations and adjustments involving heat transfer, airflow, humidity, barometric pressure, and ambient temperature all work together to kickstart a Maillard reaction required to take grassy raw coffee beans to their palatable roasted goodness. Is your head spinning yet? Coffee roasting is both an art AND a science. With our head roaster being a musician and engineer, he's got you covered on everything from Thelonius to Thermodynamics.
Kenzel Fallen, Co-Founder
Preferred Brew: Iced Oat Milk Latte or East African Single-Origin Pourover
Favorite Jazz Song: In a Sentimental Mood by Duke Ellington & John Coltrane
Kenzel's affinity for coffee grew in lockstep with the number of stamps on her passport. Having traveled to 28 countries, including 6 coffee-producing regions (and yes she drank Luwak in Bali!), her love of a good local brew is overshadowed only by her wanderlust. When she's not mitigating corporate banking risk or chasing after the couple's two young sons, Zane and Kai, she's tending to the logistical needs of their other baby, Three Keys of course.
How We Roast
True to the artisan nature that typifies Three Keys, our roaster machine, is hand-built, reliable, and innovative.
Made of solid cast iron and steel, the Giesen W6 is often used in roasting competitions thanks to the sturdy design and control settings, allowing for a better end-product. Three Keys utilizes Giesen's proprietary profiling technology to produce unique, high-quality, consistently flavorful coffees.
Click the image to see a current lineup of coffees roasted on our Giesen.
Alisher Kamalov, Assistant Roaster
Preferred Brew: Cortado or East African Single Origin Pourover
Favorite Jazz Song: La Mer by Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli
Alisher comes to us from far-off Kazakhstan, by way of HTX, and brings a shared philosophy of coffee as a medium for self-expression. Whether it is through music, the spoken word, visual arts, or any other creative outlet, he believes that coffee can be both a catalyst and a common ground (pun intended) for communicating those ideas. With his multi-cultural roots, nerdy passion for coffee, and admiration of music, he brings both a unique and shared perspective to our Three Keys family. If you don't see him behind the Giesen roaster or labelling and bagging coffee, you'll find him serving up drinks at some local cafes and playing tabletop games.
Aphtan Mellado, Operations Manager
Preferred brew: Americano or Drip
Favorite Jazz song: I’ll Look Around by Billie Holiday
Aphtan is a Houston native, calling it her home since birth. Though her introduction to coffee was Nescafé by way of her grandparents (a drink she still enjoys to this day), she has since gained knowledge via FOH and BOH operations (you may recognize her from behind the bar at The Tipping Point or through her time hustling at the roastery of Greenway Coffee). Hospitality is her passion and she believes that coffee can be enjoyed by all and with freedom from judgement. When not immersed in the industry, she enjoys designing, stop motion animation, and searching for mid century modern pieces (as we all do).
Bethany H Letoto, Head of Sales and Marketing
Preferred Brew: Filter coffee from Ecuador or a bangin' espresso from anywhere
Favorite Jazz Song: Astral Traveling by Pharoah Sanders
Bethany started making coffee at the tender age of 18 and (kinda) never stopped. After working her way through various roles in the industry, from barista and lead trainer to roaster (and everything in between,) she took some time to learn more about the wine and food side of the service industry after placing 5th in the finals of the 2017 United States Barista Competition. Now she’s back in coffee and brings along an extensive network and a love for connecting people with each other. You can find her pulling shots in Honolulu or on her patio making pottery with her daughter and her dog (pictured here.)
Explore Our Coffee via Sound, Sight, and Taste
It’s no coincidence that we describe both food and music with “notes”.
Vibe with us on Social Media: #ThreeKeysCoffee