Tag Archives: principles

Taking Things Too Far

Since everybody and their dog was “caught up” in talk of The Rapture yesterday, I’ve decided to chime in, completely unauthoritatively.  But first, here’s a handy link to Wikipedia’s Rapture entry  [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapture ] and an instructive graphic for you to study (while avoiding real work or the outdoors).


Of course, only people who think Hazelnut is an origin that shares a border with, say, French Vanilla actually expected to be snatched up into the sky last night, but the amount of public attention the prediction got made me stop and  think.  About coffee.  And the crazy things people say about it with a straight face. (It also reminded me of the word “chiliastic, which has a nice sound to it and which you may like reading about here… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennialism).


I thought about how impressionable people are about things they can’t quite actually see and how they can get “carried away” or  “swept up” by momentary hype or “expert opinion.”  Who on earth can really claim to be an expert on God?  Or coffee?  The nature of God is, according to my friend Steve, at least in part that He or She is beyond comprehension.  And coffee, it seems to me, is just about as elusive and impossible to pin down. Let’s be honest, when it comes to taste, one man’s slightly citrusy might be another’s mildly nutty.  Likewise, the poobahs who insist that espresso must be served no sooner than X and no later than Y days  may be as full of baloney as you or me speaking on the subject (especially if recent blind taste tests are to be trusted).  The conventional wisdom about flavors and taste (eg. “you taste sweetness on the tip of your tongue”) or brewing methodology (isn’t the newfangled Hario a lot like your old Melitta?) may be more convention than wisdom.  We make things up when there’s room to, when there’s a commercial opportunity to exploit or mantle of expertise to assume.


Don’t get me wrong, there is undoubtedly subtlety and expertise to be appreciated in the realm of coffee. Grind, extraction time, temperature, origin character all make noticeable differences. But ultimately tasting coffee is highly subjective. There’s a point past which people’s impressions are bound to vary. Lemony? Sure. A hint of elderberry? Gimme a break.


Coffee is popular partly because it has a place in our lives that is comfortable, unassuming, accessible. By taking a passion for it too far, a person can appear a little silly. Like an emperor with no clothes.


Why Wikipedia Rocks, yet again

Submit Your Coffee Related Photography!

The Brooklyn Roasting Company is committed to offering New Yorkers best quality Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance and Organic certified coffees.  We buy mostly third party certified coffees because we think that’s the best way to ensure that farmers (and by that we don’t just mean people who own farms) receive fair payment for the crops they grow and harvest.  To guarantee truly superb cup quality, we rigorously taste all of our coffees before deciding whether or not to buy them, and again before they ship whenever possible.  We roast  the beans we purchase in small batches in our Loring Kestrel 1/2 bag roaster –the most advanced small-scale commercial roaster available — to “dial in” the perfect roast and most ideal cup profile.  We taste the coffee again.   We know that what we package for sale to our customers is delicious because we’ve built a quality control system that our own tastebuds tell us works.  We’re certainly not the only coffee company offering delicious coffees, there are plenty by now.  But we’re also pretty hardcore about green thinking, recycled materials and refurbished equipment use, clean-powered distribution (bicycle and bio-deisel van), and old-fashioned friendliness.  We’re really not coffee snobs, we’re just very dedicated coffee lovers.


So….To have a little fun in the midst of all this serious coffee business, we want to invite YOU–our fellow coffee lovers–to celebrate all things coffee with us.  Our PHOG (photography blog) page on this website  will regularly feature pictures taken by our staff and/or submitted by YOU (phog@brooklynroasting.com) including or inspired in some way by great coffee (hopefully made from beans roasted by us!).   These may include a picture of your morning cup, your favorite barista at work in a cafe, a funny bit of latte art or something completely out there.  Our goal is to encourage a sense of community and creativity to balance out the “fun” we have hauling 150 pound bags of green coffee, delivering coffee in NYC traffic or fixing a really disgusting espresso machine. Go photo-crazy for coffee!  If you see your photo appear, call us–we’ll treat you to a free coffee or espresso drink at our cafe when it opens later this month. For our hours of operation or any other info, click on the Contact link above.