What else are you bringing to the table?
There’s an art to being consistent since coffee is a seasonal product and it changes all the time. For people to take blends and make it taste the same year after year is really impressive for me. For me, I’m more interested in how coffee changes and the seasonality of it.
So single origin varietals?
Yea, but I think it’s time for blends to make a comeback. People in the third wave love single origin coffees and I do too. They’re so diverse and you can get such an awesome coffee, totally weird and different.
I think there should be a return to blends because they can offer something that is consistent but also interesting. That’s kind of difficult to get in single origins sometimes. You can think about it like music and you’re mixing it, and you can set how you want the bass to be, the mid-tones and the high notes or treble, the brightness to be. With a single origin, you’re stuck to what that bean has to offer and sometimes that’s great.
What kind of coffees are you most excited about right now?
Natural coffees. Not necessarily from one specific origin, but it has to do with how they’re processed. You can also call it dry process. Usually it just has a crazy bright, fruity, fermenty flavor to it. Kind of these tea like qualities. When you hand somebody a natural coffee, they get kind of wide eyed if they’ve never tried it before. They can be tough to roast on a large scale since they’re tough to process.
Due to variations in consistency?
Exactly. There can be a lot of bad beans so you really have to be careful selecting them. But it’s cool for someone like me because I really love them and I want to showcase them more. Cuppings are kind of my life right now. For the past 2-3 months I’ve been sampling 5 coffees a day. Roast the coffees to different levels, note time, temperature and the roasting arc and then check them, within a 4-5 day range, every day—of course taking breaks during the day and stepping away and coming back to it.
For me, if it comes naturally—a certain flavor—l get it. But how long did it take to go from a huge coffee fan to using the Ouija board with your taste buds
[Laughs] It’s pretty subtle. You just keep going and going and going until you realize this is starting to make sense and I’m not just full of shit.