So, yeah, I bought another coffee roaster. I have finally accepted the fact that I’m not any more likely to go through the remainder of my life without roasting coffee than I am to go without riding motorcycles. It’s like Newton’s law of universal gravitation: on one side you’ve got coffee, on the other side my brain. Those two forces are highly attracted to one another to the point that neither logic, rationalization nor reality can keep them apart any longer.
Now, to be clear, I’m not really going back into business (disclaimer: always subject to change!), although I have had a few proposals come my direction lately. This is just a small roaster, only 1 kilo. That’s 2.2 pounds to you. I would need a machine 5 to 10 times larger than that to be in the wholesale roasting business. So, why did I buy it? Aside from the fact that I just can’t seem to be happy buying other people’s coffee rather than creating my own, there are a some simple reasons.
The way things look right now, I should be able to retire in 4.5 years at the most. If I’m lucky, maybe sooner. Whenever that magic time comes I don’t plan to just sit around on the couch binge watching Netflix (maybe once in a while). Obviously I plan to ride and travel the US on my bike. But even a diehard lover of bikes like myself realizes that you can’t travel all the time. It is too expensive and I have family that I love and want to be with. Not only that, I’ve got 5 years on my wife and she really enjoys her job, so who knows how long it will be before she decides to join me in retirement. Gotta do something with all that time.
I could be a WalMart greeter, but I don’t really like people that well. Working at a motorcycle shop is a possibility, but most people I know who work at bike shops don’t get to ride as much as I do…because they have to work at the bike shop. I could be a barista at a coffee shop…but hey, I’ve had a boss telling me what, when and where for nearly 40 years, I’m done with all that. I’m rapidly approaching that older adult stage where I tell all you young, back stabbing corporate types to “kiss my ass!”
Roasting coffee, on the other hand, yeah, I could get into that. Coffee roasting is much more complex than say, running a press at the factory. There are a lot of variables and intuition often overrules the cold, hard facts of gauges and computers. Iv’e been doing it off an on for about 14 years now and I feel very much like a novice; “always learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” By getting this new roaster, I am giving myself the opportunity to experiment, to grow, to get better at the craft, because I have no interest in roasting “good” coffee. I want to knock your socks off! I want to produce coffee so good that every time you walk the coffee isle of the local grocery, the very sight of Folger and Maxwell House make you ill!
The machine won’t show to April, so I’ve got until then to figure out exactly what I’m going to do with it. I have ideas…I always have ideas! In the mean time, point your nose up in the air and take a whiff. Smell that? That’s killer coffee headed our way!
“ Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”