Coffee is his art. The science, wonder, and quest for the perfect cup is his drive to excellence.
The Bald Guy feels an intense obligation to the farmer to ensure that their hard work is honored by roasting the coffee right. He's done his job when a sip of his coffee causes the imagination to travel the world while sitting at the kitchen table.
Every coffee has a unique, historical finger print. Don explains, "My job as a roaster is to recapture the essence of what makes that coffee special by roasting it such a way that we experience that historical profile." Dirt matters. This is what we call "terrior." No, not a dog.
Terroir (sounds like “tare WAHr”) is how a particular region's climate, soil, and terrain affect the taste of the coffee. These factors play into the development of the cup and, most importantly, how and when the coffee should be harvested. It's like all the moving parts of a Super Bowl half-time show. A limited amount of time. Lots of equipment that needs to be in place. Lots of people doing lots of things to support the star performer.
This is why great coffee starts at origin.
It starts with walking dirt with farmers, tapping into this amazing world and learning the story of the farmer's parents -- grandparents, even -- working on this very land. "This is a huge motivator to make sure I do my homework and understand what I'm shooting for in the roast," Don says. A lot of roasters roast everything the same way. That's like taking wheat, pumpernickel, rye, and white bread and toasting them all to the same dark color. You'll have four pieces of toast, but you won't be able to tell which is which.
Roasting coffee is an art, a science, an expression of creativity.
It's the quest for the perfect roast. It's recapturing in the roast the substance that made that particular coffee amazing and unique to begin with.
"The seed to the cup" is more than traceability, it's connectivity.
Lots of hands touch coffee. Lots of hours go into making just a pound. The least I can do is honor the men, women, and children who grow coffee for a living by roasting it right.