company - education - coffee

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Gardening and coffee

I am out of Cambridge right now in Eastern TN to be exact. Not exactly on a coffee related mission right now therefore the lack of noise. What I have been doing involves a lot of painting, repairs, decking, flooring, and gardening.

Mother's garden

Gardening doesn't have much to do with coffee but there is something of an analogy I was thinking about this morning while driving through the Heights. Every house had neatly trimmed shrubs and hedges, boxwood and spruce, all green and neatly cut green grass. Every house was different but every yard the same... from a distance. Hedges, decorative grasses, and the occasional Impatiens or Petunias by the mailbox. Yard after yard, the same, all green and tightly kept. Immaculately homogeneous.

Nothing wrong with that until I pulled up and looked over the garden project we had worked on earlier. Color, lots of color, heirloom Lilies and Gladiola's. In a way, that really summarizes how I often feel in coffee.

Some are focused on the trimmed hedges while I adore the blooming varietals.

Sunburst orange lily

To me, the best coffees have great descriptors or rather they are worthy of great description. The boring generic ones are not worthy of much beyond a generic description. I find that good coffees have a ledger full of adjectives and this is what makes it hard to relate to most regular coffees drinkers.

I get the luxury of knowing where to get good coffees and have been honored to sample a large variety of grades from many different roasters. Sometimes I get lucky and find great ones but I also spend a lot of time bemoaning the lack of access to the greatest ones.

On this trip I have only been able to taste a few home roasts so let me first apologize to all the coffees we wronged in learning how to roast. It took some time to get where we want to be but now there's a lot less bad and a lot more good. Locally for coffee, there is nothing readily available except for bottomless pots and fast food chains. I have been spared as I have been drinking a lot of tea and luckily Ben sent just enough home roast for a few vac pot brews.