Sunday, January 24, 2010

How It All Started

One winter night a few years ago I was relaxing and reading Time Magazine.  I read an article about the increasing popularity of home coffee roasting.  I had never heard of this and it caught my interest.  The article listed Home Roasting websites and mentioned using an air popcorn popper as a roaster.  I sat down at the computer and started checking out the websites, and reading about coffee roasting.  Before the evening was over I had purchased a popper/roaster on ebay for $12, and ordered several types of green coffee beans.   Over the next few days while waiting for my coffee to arrive I continued learning everything I could about coffee roasting. 

Finally my "roaster" and green beans were there and it was time to roast, butI had a problem.  The timer on my stove didn't work and my watch battery was dead so I needed a timer.  I called my girlfriend (now my wife) and asked her to do the timing for me.  She was happy to help so I measured the beans, plugged in the popper and started roasting.  One of the warnings that was stressed everywhere that talked about roasting at home was to have good ventilation.  I decided cracking a window should work (first mistake), and happily watched as the beans began to slowly change color and give off a wonderful smokey fragrance.  Very soon the fragrant aroma became stronger and smokier and smoke alarms began to go off.  This didn't make my dog happy.  He started running around barking and whining, but I didn't dare leave the coffee.  Finally the time was up and I dumped the coffee and started the cooling process.  I was thrilled and immediately took pictures of the coffee and emailed them to everyone I thought might be interested in seeing them. 

It was a great night for all except the dog.  For the rest of Sport's life he ran and hid every time he saw a popcorn popper or smelled coffee smoke.  The next day I realized I had found found a true passion.  When I tasted the coffee I knew I had discovered something amazing.  The taste of the fresh coffee could not compare with any coffee I had ever tasted.  I began roasting a few times a week and  buying many different coffees from many different countries.  I began to learn about the wonderful and different flavors and aromas that were hiding in the coffee beans.  Eventually I had a closet full of my green coffees and roasting stuff.  A lot of people thought I was crazy and they were right. 
A little over a year ago I retired from my job with New York State and became a happy coffee business owner.  I still love roasting and trying different coffees, roasts, and blends.  I also enjoy meeting people who share my love of coffee and talking about my coffees.
Life is good!

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