My first memories of coffee as I grew up in the midwest, was of my mom dunking cinnamon rolls in a cup of white milk turned brown from coffee. The coffee came in very large cans and when the cans were empty they were turned into a myriad of storage containers from nails to nightcrawlers. Our percolator would sit on the counter bubbling away and was a permanent fixture in the kitchen. Coffee was the centerpiece of our family’s social life, whether it was the coffee klatch of farmers gathered around the local café debating grain prices and weather, to evening card games, when the neighbors would come over and drink coffee all night catching up on the local gossip.
This experience carried with me into college. Coffee was the beverage of choice when cramming for finals, or taking the chill off those brisk winter days in Missouri. But it was when I moved to Washington DC, living in a small ethnic neighborhood, that my true appreciation for coffee and coffee growing regions blossomed. I would shop at a small roaster run by a quiet Yemeni gentleman who patiently taught me about the different beans and the roasting process. I experimented with different brewing techniques and later, when travels took me to Central America, Europe and Asia, I sought out the local favorite coffee, bringing samples home with me to savor.
Fast forward to today, where I live on Vashon Island, just outside of Seattle, running my own coffee roaster. I invite you to try my custom roast coffee which I roast in small batches on a Diedrich roaster. I look for beans from Africa and Asia and cooperatives in central america. My accomplice and only partner is my imagination livened by the smells of the roasted beans from the countries that produce them as it takes me back to the kitchens and card parties of the cherished farming world I grew up in.
My inspiration comes from my heritage – pioneer settlers who immigrated from England and Germany to make a living as farmers in the midwest. Fiercely independent and proud people who worked hard, nurtured the land and strived to be the best at what they did. My inspiration comes from my parents who instilled in me at an early age that farming is a noble profession and while it's a hard life can be satisfying beyond belief. So it was only natural as a young girl to want to pursue a life in agriculture.
I love to grow things and nothing makes me happier than to be digging in the dirt in the garden or tending to my chickens. I also love food and wine and of course coffee, and savoring not only the flavors but the source of these products and what went into producing them. I therefore value the work that went into growing the coffee beans which then drives me to roast them to the degree that brings out their best.
I am also a proud member of the Specialty Coffee Association of America Roaster’s Guild and that I regularly participate in educational seminars and coffee roasting classes. I am also a supporter of Grounds for Health, an international non-profit organization that is dedicated to eradicating cervical cancer in women in coffee growing regions of the world.