ROCKFORD, Ill., U.S. — Veteran-owned Fire Department Coffee recently introduced its newest coffee roast, Shellback Espresso, paying tribute to one of the Navy’s most time-honored traditions and shining a light on the deep connections between the Navy and the fire service.
In a centuries-old seafaring tradition, upon crossing the equator for the first time, a sailor sheds their lowly “Pollywog” status and becomes a “Shellback.” The occasion is marked by an elaborate ceremony that incorporates the mythology of King Neptune and Davy Jones.
Shellback Espresso features a blend of Brazilian, Indonesian and Colombian coffee beans, harvested along the equator.
Fire Department Coffee founder Luke Schneider served in the U.S. Navy from 2004 to 2008, receiving an honorable discharge as a Damage Controlman 2nd Class Petty Officer. He also obtained the Shellback status, reserved for sailors who have crossed the equator.
“The Shellback Espresso honors those who serve and have served in our U.S. Navy,” said Schneider, who is a full-time firefighter and paramedic in Rockford, Illinois. “Every sailor is trained as a firefighter so there’s a natural connection between shipboard firefighters and civilian firefighters. Both know that coffee is essential for working long hours on little sleep.”
To order new Shellback Espresso and Shellback gear, visit FireDeptCoffee.com.