Do you remember that first moment when you looked deep into your coffee and thought “I love you”? The Grouch team take us back to those heady moments when coffee first won their heart.
It was a cold and rainy winter day when 9-year-old Andy got in his mum’s car shivering cold and wet after a hard hockey game. Seeing that Andy was in dire need of a heart-warming brew, she immediately handed him her hot coffee. This was Andy’s first moment with coffee, sipping slowly and warming his hands as they listened to Keiran Perkins winning gold at the Atlanta Olympics. By age 12, Andy was drinking cappuccinos regularly (albeit with marshmallows and extra froth, but we won’t talk about that). The coffee rush kept him coming back for more, and by age 19 Andy got his first job in the specialty coffee industry. Nowadays, Andy’s worked his way through every brew, roast, cup size, flavour profile, extraction process, that you could think of, and he’s settled on sipping down long blacks as his favourite coffee serve. Andy + coffee = love you long time.
Coffee seduced me slowly. Years ago, unaware that there was good coffee in the world, I drank coffee rarely and with copious amounts of milk and chocolate. I was searching purely for a caffeine hit, little did I know… It wasn’t until I began working with specialty coffee at age 26, that I started to open my eyes to the glorious possibilities of the roasted coffee bean. Now, I still feel like a newly-wed and I’m enjoying my coffee honeymoon; excitedly exploring new coffee profiles and brewing techniques, wanting to find out everything about my new love over countless coffee dates. I am constantly delighted and never bored. Working with specialty coffee is like getting paid to date your boyfriend. Delicate cold brew has been serenading me in recent days. Yes, it’s coffee, and it’s love!
It was in the snowy northern land of Canada that 22-year-old Kitty first met coffee. Searching for the curative powers of caffeine, Kitty first concealed the coffee taste with chocolate in the classic non-committal mocha. However, it was a very fast progression to cappuccinos. And within 3 months Kitty was sipping on Americanos, alongside any self-respecting coffee discerner. You could say that once they met, Kitty and coffee quickly fell in love. Life brought Kitty back to Australia, and her love of coffee held her by the hand as she walked down the path to becoming a specialty coffee barista. Nowadays, Kitty plays (works) with the best coffee money can buy, and her love is as steady as ever. Enjoying one cup a day, Kitty opts for long macchiatos or piccolos; anything that has a strong coffee:milk ratio. Kitty and coffee are going steady, an inspiration to us all!
A life-long love has never been more true than Renata and coffee. Since she was a baby, Renata knew the smell of brewing coffee to mean home; her nanna home-roasted the blackest coffee, and her father brewed a mean, hearty brew. It was the 80s and Ren was 3 years old, meeting her extended family for the first time in Croatia. Ren watched, wide-eyed, as the family gathered for coffee. The shouted chats, the movement of many bodies in a small room, the smell of rich foods, and tobacco, and of course…coffee. It was when she was 20 and living in Spain that Ren realised she could actually be paid to spend time with coffee, her love, by working in the coffee industry. Genius! Fast forward years later, and Ren is the CEO of her own specialty coffee roasting company and still relishes every daily cup.
Our head roaster, Greg, is a mystery to most…even to those of us who work at Grouch. There are whispers on the wind that Greg first fell in love with coffee whilst traversing through Turkey. It was years ago and it’s an exotic tale, full of remote landscapes and dark coffee brews in smoky rooms with strangers. But no straight story has appeared, and maybe it’s best that way. When Greg was asked why did he want to roast specialty coffee, his guttural reply was “because I was sick of drinking shit coffee.” Perhaps that answer in itself paints a picture of Greg’s coffee love story. Maybe he’s a man who loves coffee and just wants to taste the perfection that he knows it should be. Maybe he’s just a problem solver and shit coffee really annoys him…maybe we’ll never know. If you see Greg roasting one day, you’re welcome to ask him. And if you strike gold and he divulges, then you must tell us immediately! What, exactly, is Greg’s love story with coffee? The mystery remains…
That’s all our stories for now, what’s yours??
So show some love, drink a coffee today and whisper “I love you”. We know our coffee loves you back 😉 *kiss* *kiss*