I have to say that I cannot be happier that we are roasting coffee. We started in March ’04–so we are about a year and a half into it.
I guess I am reflecting today because I just roasted the largest order we have had yet–350 pounds of coffee!!
My desire to roast coffee started in 1995 when I worked at my first coffeehouse, Cup-A-Joe on Hillsborough St. in Raleigh, NC. They roasted coffee in store and I just couldn’t get over how incredible it was to be exposed to that smell and intense energy that comes from roasting coffee.
I have worked at several other coffeehouses since then (even a corporate store–but not Starbucks) but was never given the opportunity to roast. I did work for a true lover of coffee who only increased my passion to learn about coffee, Bruce Howell of Coffee Works, Charlotte, NC. Bruce roasted off site in a warehouse (I did get two training sessions there, back in 2001) but he had a passion for coffee that has resulted in many of his employees/friends getting into the business.
As I prepare to roast, I get so excited. I am a part of a global process. I am the first one to touch beans that are fresh in from Indonesia, Africa, South America, etc. I am eager to see the way the coffee reacts to heat. Just as in life when put under intense heat we are often shaped into better more complete people; so the coffee reacts similarly. When put under intense heat, aroma-less/tasteless beans become flavorful and aromatic. I am passionate about finding each coffee’s best taste. I cannot wait to see the colors, hear the sounds, smell the smells!!!!
I can’t wait for the next roasting session…