WOOD-FIRE ROASTED COFFEE COMPANY
In my quest to live a RUSTIC LIFESTYLE, I am searching the world for others that follow the same basic ideas that I do. Doing things the old fashioned way, stop to smell what’s cooking and going back to basics. In my search, I have found Tim Curry of WOOD-FIRE ROASTED COFFEE COMPANY as one of them. I just recently did an interview, brewing demonstration and coffee tasting with Tim at his roasting facility in Reno, Nevada. The information he gave was educational but his passion for coffee was very inspiring and refreshing! It is rare to find people who have molded everything that they do because of their passion. It is also rare to talk with people who truly love what they do and want to just share that with the world; because they believe it makes it a better place.
Tim has always loved coffee; there isn’t any particular one thing about it that stands out as far as a fondest memory. When asked why was coffee his passion, he said he did not seek out coffee as a passion, it chose him. Tim did do a little research on roasting but the art was from within him, not from a formal education. After being a lifer in the restaurant business, one day an idea sparked…that day was when he pursued his voice within and ordered a batch of beans off the internet (this was in March of 2001). It was entertaining to hear the story of him receiving the beans and he then roasted the next chapter of his life in a small saucepan on an electric stove in his kitchen. At the moment he tasted the first batch of coffee he roasted, he knew his life would never be the same; he had to make this all work! Thus WOOD-FIRE ROASTED COFFEE COMPANY was born and he officially opened for business in July 2001.
Tim is one of 8 artisan roasters in the United States that practice the age-old process of wood-fire roasting of coffee. He says although it is rare in the USA, it is still very common in Europe. The reason Tim has chosen to use a wood-fire system is because he is a traditional person and likes old world things. Because he is so traditional, Tim only sees possibly expanding his sales just a tiny bit. He says that if the demand for his coffee gets too large for the 1 roaster that he has, he does not plan to jump to the next big level. He feels that once a roaster gets so big that it loses sight of the passion and just looks at the profits, all is lost.
The top note that Tim stressed was that coffee should be treated as a gourmet food and savored. It is offensive to think that people do not treat coffee as a ritual; they just turn on the automatic machine, instantly pour in a travel mug and whisk off about their day. During our demonstration, Tim showed me how to properly brew coffee and cup the coffee so that we may sit and enjoy it while we chatted about his passion. (Check out my article on brewing coffee CUP O JOE). The MOST important point was to “GIVE IT A MINUTE”, so that the flavors you are supposed to taste can fully develop. If you do not “give it a minute”, then you are not allowing the brewed coffee to show its full potential.
The coffee that we enjoyed was cupped two ways, in a small coffee cup and in a white wine glass. Both ways highlighted certain notes, but I think the wine glass was the most intense in both aroma and flavor. This was the first time I have formally tasted coffee, it was quite interesting. Just like wine, you can taste different notes on different parts of your tongue and mouth. I do agree with Tim that even though he and I really just enjoy coffee: drinking it from a wine glass is probably not something we should practice in public (it looks snooty, but I love it).
After talking with Tim, I think I understand why coffee has been around for many centuries. Tim pointed out coffee is one of the commonalities of every culture in the world, next to music and math. Just recently (past 20 or so years), with the boom of espresso-drive-thru-retail-stores, the “RITUAL” has been lost here with your average American. Except for myself, and now Tim, I know of no one that just hangs out and drinks coffee because we just can. Apparently-the other parts of the world still socialize with coffee; here it’s an order a tall latte and run. There is a reason people like Tim have harnessed the art of roasting and continue to uphold the tradition of old world ways. Sometimes we do need to sit back, savor the riches, and “GIVE IT A MINUTE”.
Visit Tim’s website below for more information and to purchase his products.