How I Became a “Coffee Snob”


Not that long ago I would sit on my deck enjoying a cup of fresh hot coffee. The weather was beautiful, the air smelled cleaner – everything was always better with a cup of Joe. My husband, Jude, came home and advised me of an idea he had been working on for a while. He announced that he wanted to start a coffee roasting business. I was taken back. I thought of cans of coffee on shelves in the store and couldn’t even fathom the thought of doing it as a business. In that moment I knew my husband had clearly lost his mind.
As he looked at me and saw all those thoughts I was having flash over my face, he declared that he was not crazy. He pulled up a chair next to me and gave me my first lesson in coffee. He explained it to me that coffee was like wine. Reminded me how I didn’t like wine until we went on a wine tasting tour. It wasn’t that I didn’t like wine, I just didn’t know that there were different types, more than just red or white. Coffee was a whole lot more than just regular or decaf. There are different types, regions, roasts and ways to brew it. As he explained the bean belt to me and how it was actually discovered by a goat (that in itself is a blog for another day), I felt lost. This man truly did his research and understood coffee. I was so intrigued about this coffee world that I never knew existed. My cup of Joe and I were besties, when I wanted “exotic” coffee I went to Starbucks. Sometimes I would stop by my friends at DD and 7-eleven, because that was my place and those cups were my peeps! I couldn’t comprehend anything to replace them with. So Jude took me by the hand and drove me in my confused state to the nearest coffee house.
Upon entering I could not help but be taken in by this mysterious atmosphere. The sights and the smells… oh my the smells were wonderfully indescribable! I wanted to just curl up in the corner comfy chair with my kindle and live here forever. Jude pointed out the magical roasting machine and explained to me how it all worked. Then he lured me toward the origin board. I needed a lesson in what the dates meant. I was used to looking at the best used by 2040 date on my cans of coffee. This freshly roasted business was fascinating and overwhelming at the same time. I couldn’t wait to order, but what in the world was I going to order?
Jude ordered (thank goodness) a few samples of what they had brewed. My first sip was incredible. I loved how smooth the coffee was. I had never understood what fresh coffee was until that moment. There is such a distinctive difference. All other coffee I had ever tasted I could only describe in one word now…stale. My second cup to try I didn’t care for so much, however it was just like a certain wine you don’t like. It was incredibly fresh and smooth only I didn’t like the taste of this one but it was still more amazing then anything my favorite mug ever held. Oh but the third one was the charm…I fell in love with coffee all over again. A beautifully dark roast all the way from Indonesia caressed my palate and they called her Sumatra. This ‘Sue’ coffee was better than any coffee I could ever imagined in my life. Now if I just had my kindle, life would be complete.
My coffee connoisseur was still chatting on about roast profiles, roast levels, French presses, Chemex and pour overs. I was trying to focus as ‘Sue’ and I became better acquainted. I left the coffee house that day with a pound of Sumatra and a determination to learn everything coffee had to offer me. I set my sights on this roasting road. I became familiar with many other origins and freshly roasted blends. I discovered a new world and jumped at the first chance I got to attend a coffee expo complete with cupping classes. I joined my coffee mate and set sail on this roasting adventure and haven’t looked back. My goal is not only to continue learning but master the craft and have you take this journey with me.
I think about that coffee in a can I thought was fresh and chuckle. I don’t miss my cup of Joe because I found Sue and we are soul sisters!
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