I used to be a little intimidated by “coffee people.” What with their scales, grinders, chemistry beakers, thermometers, and what-not. Then, slowly, I became one of them. Because of my history here, though, I have compassion for people who feel a bit overwhelmed by all that goes into good coffee. I get that it can seem like it’s only for the elite. I get that the coffee world can sometimes exude an air of superiority. The truth is, though, that anyone can learn to appreciate great coffee. Certainly coffee can be complex and mysterious. But it should not be intimidating.
It is just a seed, processed from a plant, roasted with heat, cooled, ground up, and put in a device with water, which is then filtered so that you can drink it. That is all. In its essence, this is not overly complicated or intimidating. There are many fine details, to be sure, but anybody can understand the basics of coffee. If you feel intimidated about coffee, someone is doing it wrong.
Of course, we do think coffee is cool. We love exploring as much as anyone the intricacies of coffee and the latest devices, methods, and fads that surround it. Because we think coffee is that special. But those of us who roast and brew coffee are really not that special. Coffee doesn’t need us. It can stand on its own. And what better place for coffee minus intimidation than in the heartland of America?