Tuesday, September 29, 2015

National Coffee Day (aka Second Christmas - without the tree)

I cannot function without coffee.

I know that some would say that it's psychological, that I've conditioned myself to believe I need coffee in order to wake up and get going in the morning; that if I would just learn to ween myself from the effects of caffeine I would be a much better person.

No.  I would not be fine.  I.  Need.  Coffee.

Usually I just make a pot of go-coffee for my morning commute.  If I have time, I'll swing through a drive through under the great green awnings for a half-caf.  But today - in honor of National Coffee Day, I thought it would be a fun to try something a little different and go visit a coffee roaster for my morning cup o' joe.  

Not just a small coffee shop, mind you, but an actual roaster.  And sure enough, we walked in and the first thing I saw was a guy in the back standing over this cool looking device and the heavenly, intoxicating smell of fresh coffee.  Turns out we were just in time to watch a batch of coffee beans get roasted up by the owner, Wade Windsor.  

Now, I've never actually watched coffee being roasted before, so once I was able to get past the awesomeness of the smell, I was completely fascinated.  You go into a brewery and there are vats and kegs and machinery everywhere.  Here, there was just the simplicity of one machine in the back, a little bit of background noise, and bags of unroasted beans.  But the best part, and what held my attention the longest is this tiny little window on the front of the machine where you can watch the beans tumble and turn colors as they begin to roast up.

I will admit that I am one of those people who can be fascinated by watching my laundry tumble in the dryer.  I'm a simple people.  But despite the similarities, somehow this was much more fantastic. 

We watched as Wade kept careful eye over the roasting process; making adjustments here and there, looking, smelling, watching and waiting.

You can tell there's a skilled and experienced science to doing this, and there are probably a million questions I should have asked about the process, but I got so caught up in watching the magic beans turn, my mind went blank.  I was absolutely entranced.

About 20 minutes later, the beans were dumped out of the roaster

And into this basin for cooling.

More spinning!  Can you see why I was so fascinated by this piece of equipment?

Sorry...lost focus.

Then the beans are stored and wait to be hand packaged:

And then the bags are sent off to local businesses for brewing, or they're sitting there just waiting for someone like me to come in and order up a cup.

This is Conrad.  He has AWESOME taste in coffee and does a mean pour-over

And the taste?

Absolutely exquisite.  Flavorful and exotic.  It was coffee you actually sipped and enjoyed.  I didn't just chug down for the quick pick-me-up like I usually would.  

So even though I'm a still a fan of the national chain coffee shops for the day-to-day jolt, for National Coffee Day do yourself a great favor and take a break from the drive-thru.  Find a nice little neighborhood coffee shop and curl up with a cup.

Maybe experiment with a different flavor that you haven't tried before...

Either way the result will probably be the same....

Can I have some more, please?