I’ve been waiting for the right time to get this blog started, but realized that there really is no magical right time. So, here we go…
I started drinking coffee at a very young age. My mother had a home business and with that came a coffee pot that was always on. This was the late seventies, so the technology was crude and the coffee came pre ground in a tin can. I remember Hills Bros. being my favorite. Yes, I had a favorite coffee when I was 8 years old. It also involved a good amount of sugar and powdered creamer. My other coffee source was my paternal grandmother. She was from Puerto Rico and made stovetop espresso that she boiled with plenty of condensed milk and suger, then strained through a cheesecloth. I wasn’t a daily drinker, but it seemed like it would always be a part of my life.
Fast forward to 1994. I lived in the Bay Area. Northern California. I got a barista job in a mall at a large chain shop called Gloria Jeans Coffee Bean. The espresso machine was a mammoth Gaggia that had a large brass dome with an eagle on top. A few years later, I worked at a Starbucks in San Francisco. While I loved it, I didn’t know it would become a career. In 2008, I became a barista at Gimme! Coffee in Ithaca, New York. I applied to be a roaster, but started as a barista. It was only about two years before I worked my way into the roasting room under the instruction of Colleen Anunu. In the next few years we received medals from the Good Food Awards three years in a row and won the honor of Roast Magazine’s Roaster of the Year in 2013. In 2018, I left the position of Head Roaster to concentrate on Oak and Crow. It started as a side project to work with touring bands, but took on a life of it’s own.
So, here we are.