Coffee has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My earliest memories include my mom drinking a cup every morning. I don't know exactly what she drank, probably Folgers or something easy, but I remember the fresh ground smell being there whenever I woke up.
I remember on cold winter days she would bring her mug with her in the van as she drove us to school. It was shaped almost like an hourglass but wider on the bottom with a sticky pad. This allowed her to put it on the dash without the fear of it slipping around while turning.
But it was in high school where I first remember experiencing coffee for myself. I started slowly as it was an acquired taste. A small coffee shop near us called Red Shoes was where I would slowly work my way up the coffee ladder starting with Italian Ice. I know, I know, its closer to a 7-11 Slushie than coffee, but I had to start somewhere.
From there I was introduced to artisan coffee and an "authentic" coffee shop experience by one of my best friends WT. He took me downtown to a place called Stellas. It was a renovated house that had couches, chairs, bookshelves, and lamps. I know that seems trite now, but I had never seen or hung out in anything like that. It was so relaxing and to a high school kid hanging out with friends it couldn't have been a better atmosphere.
I slowly learned to love, lattes, mochas, and eventually black coffee. To this day I'll never live down trying to be sophisticated at my senior prom when I asked our waiter for "coffee...black." But I said more like James Bond would say "Shaken...not stirred."
Fast forward to 5 years ago when I starting working on staff at Willow Creek Baptist Church. Every other guy there was crazy about coffee. And when I say crazy, not only did they hand-brew their coffee, but they roasted their own beans! I quickly assimilated and learned just how good single-origin coffee could be. Within a few months, I had purchased a Hario V60 dripper, scale, and everything else I needed to make my own handcrafted pour-overs.
I still don't roast my own beans but my morning ritual of making a great cup of coffee still lives on and is one of my most relaxing parts of the day.
If you're looking to get into hand-brewing, it's really pretty easy. And I've made it even easier with my handy dandy Pour Over Brew Guide. Feel free to download and share far and wide.
If you want to buy a print, you can do that here:
You can also purchase a great starter kit on Amazon: