This is a guest post from Jono Moehlig. Jono is the manager of Land of 1000 Hills Coffee Shop in Roswell, GA. He competes in barista competitions, is a certified coffee nerd, and desires for true justice. Welcome him kindly.
Coffee has changed lives. The ones who dedicate their lives to it, the ones who drink it on a daily basis and especially the ones who grow the delicious product. It can sometimes be hard for me to admit this, but coffee has completely changed my life. It’s hard because I never thought something that seems so simple could do that for me. I never thought that a beverage could have that effect; I never thought a tree could impact my life in the way that it has.
There is a wave of craftsmanship that is captivating people across the world. Hand crafting food and drinks is not just for professionals anymore. There is an elemental love of watching each particle extract from coffee that is fascinating to me. This combined with unlimited ways of making coffee taste different and I start to sound like a tremendous nerd. But what I’ve discovered is that I am definitely not the only nerd out there. Coffee is much like other things people can become passionate about and that passion can turn into great knowledge. In my life there are several ways I make what some consider a simple cup of coffee. Pictured here are a V60 pour over, an Aeropress, a Clever dripper and the most fascinating and frustrating: espresso. People looking to get more out of their morning ritual can look to methods like these to slow down for a bit and enjoy the process. The fun part is, it’s really not that hard.
There are certainly minor differences the sensitive palate will detect but I’ve experienced not only my taste buds rejoicing with manually brewed coffee, but my soul as well. First you have to start with ethically sourced, excellently processed, freshly roasted, high quality coffee. Next I like to decide what type of mood I’m in, often in the morning I’m looking for a hearty cup but still smooth so I go with a Clever, other times in the evening I’m in need of a really smooth cup with some oils still left in it so I use an Aeropress. No matter what mood you find yourself in, there is great satisfaction in creating your own coffee rather than allowing a machine to do it. It does take a bit more attention to detail but when you pour a cup of a Moka Pot, or sip on a Chemex life just seems richer.
For a lot of people coffee might not mean this much, you might not care where the coffee comes from or how it’s made as long as it’s hot and has caffeine. You might have no idea what an extraction percentage is or even what TDS means. But there is care in your coffee, not just to prepare it properly but to take a produce that is as delicate as coffee and create something life changing. Coffee addicts meticulously combine the science and precision of gram scales, thermocouples, and particle size with the creativity that was evident in the lives of Picasso, Robert Frost, and Walt Disney. Then, these coffee purveyors create something mind-blowing all in the name of perfection that is entirely subjective and probably impossible. Me, I’m going to keep trying and I’m not the only one. For you out there that might think what you do doesn’t matter, you’re wrong. You hold up high the torch for quality in all things even in preparing a customer’s coffee. You are the cultivators of culture ready to remind the world what love is like, in the form of beautiful liquid in a cup. Coffee will continue to change lives and when we give of ourselves to our customers in the perfect pour, in a smile, when we give of ourselves to the farmers we sometimes take for granted, this world is a better place. This world doesn’t need more mediocre. Don’t settle for allowing the waves of perfection to stop, this world needs you. Thank you for allowing me to join this journey with you. Now let’s make some coffee.
By Jono Moehlig