Tony, Roasting Team:
I was lucky enough to grow up in my grandparents household, so on Mother's Day and Father's Day I always think of them. My grandfather grew up in the Great Depression and never wasted anything, including coffee. He would brew a pot on Sunday morning and then continually reheat that pot of coffee all week until it was gone or moldy.
I'll never forget the first cup of coffee we shared. I was in high school and had a hard time getting up early. He made me a cup one morning and handed it to me. It was pitch black, with a layer of oil coating the top. "Here, drink this, it will put hair on your chest! Someday you will thank me when it's the only hair you have left..." That is his pleasant brand of humor, but there was nothing pleasant about that cup. It tasted like burnt wood, grease and some kind of funk.
All these years later, I've never had the chance to brew him a quality cup of coffee. But my grandfather's ethics and morals have been ingrained in me to help make an excellent cup of coffee. I honestly see it everyday. Hearing how his family struggled with little in their pockets drove me to work in the coffee industry for a company that empowers struggling farmers, giving them more opportunities to succeed. I learned from my grandfather to never waste and appreciate quality when you have it. This is the outlook I have everyday at work while roasting. Lastly, watching him strive for perfection in everything he did has embedded that same quality in me. I want to find, roast and drink flawlessness in a cup (even if that may be a never ending quest).
I will never be able to thank him enough for being such a positive role model for me. On this Father's Day I'll be drinking a delicious cup of coffee at home and thinking of him. I will be knowing that he helped me make this coffee taste as good as it does even if we are a thousand miles apart. Everytime I roast a batch of coffee I will think the same thing, and hopefully now you will too.
My first memory of tasting coffee was at age 14 or 15 with my Dad & Uncle in my Uncle's cabin in the Upper Peninsula (Michigan). I think it was Folger's. I thought it smelled great, but when I tasted it I had to add milk & sugar.
As a Father myself, on Saturday morning my 2 boys love grinding the coffee and then watching me brew it in the chemex and they both love smelling the bloom! I'm sure neither of them are actually are smelling it, but it's still fun watching them pretending.
The smell of brewed coffee is something I remember from very early on when I was a child. My dad was always drinking coffee and I have fond memories of the red folgers tin can from which this incredible aroma came. I remember being confused and disappointed when the flavor was so disgusting, I wanted to be like the rest of the adults as a kid drinking coffee in the morning and after a good meal with dessert.
Last year I bought my Dad a coffee grinder and I brewed our coffee with him for the first time. I remember him enjoying it but not nearly as much as I did. Despite my pleading, he still puts cream and hazelnut syrup in it. Baby steps, but now we both enjoy drinking it, together.
I can't pinpoint my first taste of coffee, but I know I was young. Coffee was always available at our house in the mornings. My Mom never touched it, but Dad always made a pot when he got up. One of my favorite memories of living at home was waking up and hearing my Dad turn the pages of the newspaper and instantly smelling the coffee that he had made. When I began drinking coffee regularly in college, and would come home for the weekends or for holiday breaks, he had to start making enough coffee to share with me! Most mornings that happened, we would sip our coffee while he read the paper and I looked at the ads. I loved it! Since then, coffee has gotten me through a lot - exams, early morning internships and jobs, long drives, and much more. I look forward to drinking coffee every single morning - just like my Dad. Happy Father's Day!