Times that changed my life…. or should I say coffees

I’ve spent the past 2 weeks thinking about blog posts. 5 years of blogging, and, the only thing I can say is, the well has run dry. I’ve lost my inspiration and I’ve lost who and why I’m blogging.

It happens to most people (and its not the first time its happened to me), But most people give up there blog and step away. But the times its happened before I think, I go into my inner place and try and come up with a topic. In the past they have come very easily, but this time it became much much harder.

So after much thinking I have decided to pull out the blog post thats been sitting inside me for a very long time. The whole reason I find myself in coffee today and the whole reason I want to be involved in coffee tomorrow. Some times in life there are coffees tastes and experiences that change the direction of your life. I’m going to in a series of posts talk about thew coffees that changed my life. So lets start at the beginning. Lets start where my coffee journey really began.

Brazil Fazenda Cachoeria

The time was 2003 and I had recently started roasting coffee. There had been coffees before this that had excited me and had pleased me, but I can not really remember them. I guess like when your growing up, you have been around for years before you have your first memory. Well coffee was no different for me, lots had happened but that event that formed me hadn’t quite happened.

When we first stared roasting we had some very generic coffees brazil santos colombia excelso you get the picture. I was tasting but not really understanding, not knowing at the time but not getting it. I look back at a time where my enthusiasm exceed my knowledge many fold. Not much has changed but luckily the more I learned the more my enthusiasm has grown.

A contact, Phil a home roaster, home enthusiast had started to talk to me, initially about we should stock certain things, then as a customer, then as a friend. He sent me a sample and insisted that I try it. Being the knowledgeable chap I was I was never listening to a “home roaster”. This was one of the first very valuable lessons valuable lesson I learnt from Phil.

Home roasters have time to play, experiment and really push the boundaries of what coffee can and should be. From the moment I tasted cachoeria I learnt the a valuable life lesson that you should listen to what everyone says. You don’t have to take any of the advice / knowledge given but you should at least give it a chance. The home user / roaster can give you more valuable information that any “industry professional”. Thinking out side the box, and pushing boundaries is the territory of the home user, which is as open as the person wants it to be. I am envious of the home baristas, and the lack of commercial boundaries.

So to the tasting of this coffee. I call it a tasting because in 2003 cupping was not what I did. In fact I didn’t really know how to do it. But I brewed it as a filter coffee and the moment happened. Everything became clear what specialty coffee should be. Was it the best coffee I had ever tasted? No I can say there have been better afterwards, many better, but few that hit the buttons so exactly right. Still to this day its my bench mark coffee.

The cup was sweet, rich rounded. Not as much as today as I believe its kept up with the world of specialty and has improved with it. But it was full of caramel and full of chocolate and one of my most amazing coffees in my mind.

So I made the call to the importers based in London, who insisted I came down and cupped it with them. We were so tiny at the time but they held my hand. They have become the most important link in the chain of specialty coffee for us. They have helped nurture and develop my passion for specialty coffee. This in turn taught me a valuable lesson. Look after everyone that asks for help, one day they can grow and become bigger than you expect.

So a big coffee, I know lots will have seen it before but a video below I recoded on cachoeria catching a lot of the sentiment here.

Final Diary Post from

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  3. Hi Steve,

    very inspiring video. Thx for sharing and try to make the “well” work again 🙂 Hope to maybe catch up in London at the WBC.
    Cheers from Germany

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