Sitting at the Estes family kitchen table near a propped open window is where the small electric home roaster fits perfectly. He plugged it in. He opened the roaster and removed the drum to show me how it looks and operates. Chad reached for an old hand made wooden napkin holder, knocked it on its side, removed the napkins gently stacking them, and placed a small black fan that looks like a mini torpedo on top of the felled stand directing the air to usher the roasting smoke and odors outdoors.
Chad is methodical and follows an experienced plan to get the beans where he wants them. In order to roast these beans to their maximum flavor, Chad works with the machine’s timer so he can get the utmost time allowed for the temperature he needs and thereby giving him more creative freedom.
Chad opened a brand new bag of green coffee beans he just received from Papua New Guinea. The beans smelled sweet. He carefully measured 14oz, placed them in the drum, and closed them in the roaster. He called out to his family with joy and a serious tone, “Hey everyone, Daddy’s roasting.” There was an echo from the rest of his family, “Daddy’s roasting.” Noticing the question mark on my face wondering why the need for the announcement, Chad said, “The house was built in the 40’s and the electrical cannot handle all of this amperage and we’ll blow a fuse. It’s frustrating to be in the middle of a roast and have the machine shut off.” When that happens the machine has to cool down before it can be reheated.” Remembering hair dryer incidents and toaster ovens and televisions and microwaves in our past, I chuckled. It was a gracious and hospitable interruption to the Estes family’s morning to offer a roasting seminar and twenty minutes later the microwave and dryer were being run according to family schedule and the lights went dim and Chad made the announcement again. Many of the family confirmed the announcement again with a fun forgetfulness in their tone.
An hour and twenty minutes later Chad had roasted two pounds of the Papua New Guinea beans. Allowing me the opportunity to take in the full roaster’s experience, he poured the cooling beans into an old Tupperware mixing pitcher, stirred the two different batches together, and said encouragingly, “Go ahead feel them, take in the aroma. Do you see the difference between the two roasts?” Some of the beans were slightly lighter then the others. This is Starry Night Coffee’s unique blend.
The logo is designed by Chad’s father and inspired by Van Gogh’s remarkable painting and a book called, The Divine Commodity (Skye Jethani, Zondervan 2009). Chad’s greatest hope as a home roaster and one of his life’s visions gaining clarity at table with others is to create culture. “Isn’t that what all coffee shops should be like,” he asked with enthusiasm and purpose. Chad continued about life, vocation, congregations, and our coffee fellowship time, “We should all catch the vision of being culture creators.”