For Chad Estes home roasting is a multisensory necessity, inspired by a welcoming heart, with the perfect roast lying in-between one-hundred twenty seconds.
Roasting green coffee beans from Central and South America, Chad Estes says with enthusiasm like a child on their birthday with a gift they always wanted to share with their friends, “Did you know the beans pop, yeah you have to pay attention to two pops, there’s an early pop and two minutes later a second pop.” With eyebrows raised and short head nods of cluelessness Chad acknowledged the ignorance on my face, “Those two pops are the difference between light and dark roasting.”
Thinking about the years it takes a farmer to grow a coffee bean plant and the time it takes to harvest and dry and pack and ship the beans around the world, I asked with amazement, “Just two minutes is the window between a light roast and dark roast?”
He continued with a straightforward tone, “Lot’s of roasters just go to dark roast to maintain consistency with that kind of flavor for a mass consumer.” Sharing the phrase I learned from other roasters, “Burnt coffee,” Chad shook his head with approval and leaning into the table he said with a smile, “I think the real flavors of the coffee bean lie in between those two minutes.” Sharing with passionate clarity about a roaster’s tasks, “You know how you can see the beans and smell the beans, and you’ve got to listen to the beans as well.” He buys his own beans and keeps them fresh for roasting, only roasting a pound at a time, and he’s got his own espresso machine for creating steamed Americanos.
Chad shared that he likes to roast a few beans from the same crop at the light roasting of the two-minute period, pull them out and then roast another batch of the same crop toward the darker side of the two minutes and then grind the two batches together creating a full spectrum of taste. Chad is a ‘seeking purist’ when it comes to roasting and other precious things in his life.
Sharing about his home as a child he asked, “Remember when our parents used to flavor their own coffee?” I flashed back to a scene in our kitchen when adding broken cinnamon sticks to the coffee grounds was avant-garde. He continued with hand motions air measuring this part of the story played out from childhood, “A dash of cocoa, a little bit of powdered milk, a little bit of sugar,” and then he said with a distinct surprise, “That was the first café mocha!” He remembers his folks always having coffee ready for guests at any time of the day. Chad rarely goes to a coffee shop except as the perfect meeting place for clients and interviewers to begin building a relationship.
We also spoke about hospitality. Table fellowship at a coffee shop and at his home is an important part of what he does and who he is. Like his parents he always keeps his home blends ready to be shared at anytime. He said with joy, “People come by our house all the time on their way to work or on their way to someplace and they swing by and help themselves to a cup of coffee.” He added with enthusiasm, “And sometimes I’m not there!” Hospitality with only a guest speaks volumes about an open door of trust.
There are three hundred, two minute sets, in a ten-hour day. What happens if we focused on 10 opportunities each day to apply this simple and profound wisdom of seeking purity in the people before us: understanding the other’s otherness? What can happen with any given social connection from face to face, to tweeting, to Facebooking or texting, that engages this remarkable two-minute exercise where we can listen for the purist moment of the other person’s needs, values, hopes, dreams, or desires? What happens when we choose to take two minutes out of a meeting to focus on the person before us with the intent of asking and listening for those ‘pops’ of genuineness about who the they are, what they want to accomplish, or what genuinely inspires them? Try ten two-minute ‘purist interviews’ of people at work or at home today asking about what inspires them, who they are, what their dreams are and listen, listen, listen to what they say. You will be amazed at what this does for your heart and their life.
Let me know what happens after a day or week of seeking purity with others. You can send your stories through the contact page. Will enjoy hearing from you. Thank you.
For more about Chad Estes’ visionary work with Starry Night Media and story telling and photography for breast cancer survivors, life, and faith, please click on the highlighted words above. For more about Chad's inspirationary writing click here.
Dr. Tom Lobaugh