The Story of Experience Coffee!


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Sep 23, 2011
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The Story of Experience Coffee!: The Ritual That Is Coffee.
chapt. 1

I didn't always like coffee. I believed coffee was that peculiar drink that my dad had to have to complete his meal. He'd add a rounded teaspoon of sugar and then add another teaspoon tip more. A few cup chime stirs and then he'd add evaporated milk. Yulk! I never liked coffee with that stuff in it. A few more cup chimes and the spoon was set on a napkin, upside down. Why? No idea! As the cup touched his lips, you'd hear the slurp of caution as he took it's temperature. "Mmmmmm!"

It wasn't until I had moved to the Bay area that I started my own "Ritual of the Bean." I lived a mile away from the Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Co. in Los Gatos, CA. Getting there early enough to get your own table, required a sacrifice: risen' with the sun. Ah, but the rewards. During the summer, entrance to the 'house was thru a wooden framed screen door that had a spring that creaked in resistance and pulled it closed with a revengeful slap. Upon entering, the first thing I'd do was something #42 wouldn't do: inhale. I can think of only a few aromas that inspire that level of pleasure. I'd grab a cup of their brew, a paper and scam a table near the door and in the front window. I never could read a whole article, people watching, don't you know. But I felt some level of importance having one of the best tables in the place as mine. Ah the Experience!

My Ritual then extended into my humble abode. It's sevenish on a Saturday morning as I pour water into the kettle. Only 3 minutes to go. I equip my favorite mug with a Melitta style brewer, which kin'a looks like a supercharger. In goes a natural paper coffee filter, not because I'm a wacko environmentalist, the coffee just tastes better that way. I grind my own beans using one of those whirling blade coffee mills. I finally figured out that they work best when held upside down, while I pretended to be a bartender who thinks the mill is a single Maraca. La Cucaracha, la Cucaracha. Exactly 15 seconds later, not 16, not 14 they're done. Sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff. Mmmmmm! By the way, did I mention that I only ground enough beans for one cup? Does that qualify as Anal? Oh well. The <wistle.wav> was my signal: water's ready. Only 30 seconds to go. Sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff. Mmmmmm! Time to disconnect the supercharger, but don't waste a drop of the juice of life. A rounded teaspoon plus a teaspoon tip more (just like my dad, hmmmm?) of sugar, a few cup chimes and just the right amount of milk. I'd grab my paper and head for the patio and start my day, my second favorite way!


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The Story of Experience Coffee!: The Idea!

When the idea came upon me, I was sitting in the LosGatos Coffee Roasting Co. in Los Gatos, California, along with my wife and another couple. This place was the very vision I had of what a Bay area coffee house should be. Old, worn wooden floors, brick walls, high unfinished ceilings, antique bar-as-counter with lots of glass, large glass apothecary jars filled with shiny brown coffee beans and unique background music. And the smell. It evoked very pleasant memories. It was an inviting place to not only go to but to linger in as exampled by the crowds that flocked there. A great place to meet people, make plans and enjoy anticipating. It had all the elements of my vision for my coffee house. As I sat there, I thought to myself, “This would be a fun business to run.” To me, coffee houses were places frequented by people who posses a tinge of anarchist and enough intelligence to support their cause. Just my type o'folk. The conversation was stimulating, the aroma was soothing, and the ambiance gave hope to the jobless, stimulated the memories of the retired and made the employed envious. Basically, it was a place where people came to be happy. But how does one go about making the decision to start a business like this?

I had just received a PC-XT computer as a work bonus and was looking for something to use it for. Back then ('84) very little software was available for it, but the spreadsheet program Lotus 1-2-3, in which I was fluent, was. I realized I could setup worksheets playing “What if...” with the variables that make up the coffee house business. I just needed to know what I needed to know. And so the research began.View attachment 241View attachment 242