Zero to expert in six months?


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Oct 13, 2004
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Hello, everyone.

I'm new to the forum and new to coffee. I know next to nothing and for all intents and purposes was born two weeks ago. So I'm hoping for a little guidance from the veterans.

With the exception of college when I used to mix equal parts water and freeze-dried coffee crystals in order to wake up, I have zero coffee experience. I aspire, however, to be the Barack Obama of coffee by April.

Two weeks ago, I started drinking coffee. Last week, I started grinding it. Now I am about to give roasting a try.

I have two points on which I'm hoping you guys can give me some feedback ...

Point 1 - What do you think of this approach? ... I have very little frame of reference by which to discern a good taste, brew, grind or roast. But rather than developing a distinguished palatte before learning how to brew, then becoming a master brewer before beginning to grind, etc., I think it makes sense to familiarize myself with all parts of the process right up front. This way I can learn not only the subtle nuances of a particular taste but also how that nuance correlates to the brewing/grinding/roasting processes. I'm reading as much as I can get my hands on. What do you guys think? Stupid? Too obvious to have mentioned? Be mean if necessary.

Point 2 - For $12, I bought a castiron stovetop roaster. After reading through the threads in the roaster forum, I imagine that my "roaster" deserves very little respect. Am I wasting my time with this thing, or is it a good place to start?

Any advice you could give me or resources you could point me toward would be very much appreciated. It's good to be a part of your forums.


... :shock:

... :shock: :shock: :shock:

can you .... kinda make you avatar a bit smaller, please? :shock:

now as for your questions here is an analogy.

"the majority of a battle is just getting to the battlefield."

You sound well on your way as long as you pursue your interest in coffee, and learn from every experience.
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Sorry about that. I guess I just wanted to emphasize my combover and let everyone know how cool I was.

Avatar made a bit smaller.

Obama in 6 months. Interesting. Obama took his lifetime to date to become the Obama we've seen. Over six billion people have the same lifetime, but they are not Obama. Clearly there is more to 'becoming' than time.

You must walk the Path from Tree to Cup. I recommend you begin at the beginning.

Go to where coffee is grown. Spend time among the people. Pick a bushel of coffee. Get bitten by coffee fleas. Push a rake on the drying patio. You have to grok that coffee is a product of the people as much as it is a product of the land. Without that, much of what coffee is will not make intuitive sense.

Is it really that important? Can't someone just read about it? There is reading about Obama, and there is being Obama.

Walk the Path.
And I'm sure my fellow caffeinator would agree that really to appreciate your car you need to start work in an iron ore mine, then on a drill rig, then...then...then...

Just drink and enjoy it. Grokking is optional.
Going back to the iron? If you ate your car, you might want to do that.

Here is a thing about appreciating cars. The detroit idea of luxury was/is to insulate the driver from the driving experience. The german idea is to put the driver in control of the driving experience.

Until I knew that, I just thought that detroit were confused boat builders. But in fact, they were expressing a specific idea about luxury.

Coffee is not just the expression of a design. it is a product of the soil and of the people. The soil and the people have an effect on the taste of the coffee, just as different ideas about cars come through what is on the showroom floor.
work it, drik it, learn about it, live it, wake thinking about it, go to as many info sources as possible, get espresso 101,roast,pull shots, sniff you shots, drink your shots, watch watch ur shots, time your shots, join scca, read ROAST, ask alot of questions, and you just then begin to know that you know so very little......