Friday, November 21, 2014

The Story Behind the Coffee


Standing in the hot sun sweating, waiting for the doors to open to Coffee Con, I thought about all the awesome coffee I would get to try. I was excited. I was becoming less excited by the minute though, as they opened the doors 20 minutes late. By then we were all so hot that everyone was just looking for ice coffee. I, having a baby in tow, took my time and started at the first table. It was a SteamPunk brewer managed by men in beards and leather aprons. I didn’t get to try the coffee because they were still dialing in the machine.


So I went to the next table, Temple Coffee. The coffee was pretty good. The rep I was talking too was down playing manual brewing in comparison to their super top of the line automatic brewer. Fine. Whatever. I asked him to walk me through a tasting of his coffee and right off the bat he burned his mouth. I joked about it, because I do that all the time. I think I embarrassed him though. He rattled off a memorized description then kind of disengaged. What a shame. I had high hopes for his presentation with a name like Temple Coffee.

My buddy was pushing me to make it to the next table because there was a coffee he wanted me to try. I settled the wife and baby into a couch and made my way to the table. It was Proyecto Diaz Coffee. I picked up a cup of the Oaxaca, Mexico coffee. It was fantastic. He had his Yirgacheffe, because everyone had to have a Yirgacheffe, and then another South American. The other coffees were good, but didn’t stand out. The Oaxacan coffee was unique among all the coffees I drank.

I was lucky because the table kind of cleared out so I got to spend some time listening to Fernando. There was something that made me want to listen to him. His passion went past just good coffee; it was the love of his family that came through. He told me about how his grandfather still owns a small Coffee Farm in Oaxaca and how it is his labor of love. His coffee business is a connection to his family’s roots.


What I drank was not just a delicious cup of coffee, it was a story. We hear all the time about coffees that “help the farmers.” This was someone with a direct family line to the farmer who lives in poverty and is trying to help his grandfather. Did it make the coffee taste better? Maybe, but I liked it before the story. I loved it after the story.