-Beth Johnson, Instagram @noodoodoodle
I’ve been roasting coffee for over 10 years. Yeah, a decade. Near 40 hrs/week (if not above) standing next to a coffee roaster for a quarter of my life. Patiently. Proactively. With focus. In anticipation. Fulfilled.
How did this happen? When did it happen? Well, it was intentional so I guess those are silly questions to pose. A better question, and what I’m building up to, is this: would I be a Coffee Roaster if I hadn’t developed my own coffee aesthetic? You know, a Coffee Roaster rather than someone who roasts coffee.
The first few years (yeah, years) of roasting coffee was learning. What do I like about coffee? What coffee-producing origins am I most drawn to? Do bean variety and processing really make an impact? Really? (they do and they don’t) What happens when I adjust the burners here or the airflow there? Will my decisions result in coffee that I like to drink? I eventually found comfort and I’m happy with my coffee aesthetic.
Put simply, I accept that coffee is a roasted product. I don’t try to hide the roast yet I don’t want to feature the roast. I choose to roast for balance and everyday drinkability. I also accept that, by nature, coffee is bitter. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be pleasant; just that it’s disposition is a bitter one. My goal (through bean selection, roasting, and brewing) is to balance the bitterness with sweetness, acidity, complexity, floral aromatics, body. To put the bitterness into context.
It’s a moving target; an ever-evolving dance; a never-ending story; a life’s work. The life of a Coffee Roaster.
Working in coffee shops for over 13 years, I've learned the days revolve around people and the stories that make up their lives.
Toothpick is a collection of the stories of Roundtable. (Mostly my own; the store isn't bugged or anything like that). Some true, some fiction. Stories personal to Roundtable, stories from our circle of customers and friends. Moments of courage, moments of cowardice. Points of pride, points of shame. Mostly enjoyable and oftentimes educational. 😉
Not always about coffee, Toothpick may take the form of a blogpost, a podcast, or even a comic strip. It might be a video short or a coffee meet-up IRL. Who knows! The point is that the stories collectively form the TRUTH of Roundtable.