Up until the moment that I received a box of freshly roasted coffee beans from Terry and Rebecca Patano of Doma Coffee Roasting Company in Coeur d'Alene Idaho, I thought that the best thing about blogging was reading and mulling over the comments made by my readers. But now I'm not so sure. I'm joshing, of course, but I'm not sure I've ever had any coffee that was any better than this.
Terry sent me four types to try, Guatemala Trapichtos, Papua New Guinea Organic, El Salavador Altimira and Carmela's Espresso and with the exception of the espresso they are all, alas, gone. As a matter of fact these coffees were so good that my wife and I used them up while letting a previously opened bag of another brand of bean go stale.
I am what might be called an avocational coffee drinker, and do not have a nuanced vocabulary up to the task of describing the various veins of aromatic information that differentiate these coffees from each other. But it is pretty obvious to me that the Patano's have a serious talent for choosing and blending beans. And Terry, DOMA's rotisseur, really knows how to coax those beans to reveal their essential nature.
Guys like Terry and their work always remind me of a sonnet by Michelangelo Buonarotti (yes The Michelangelo) wherein he describes how art comes to be. Big M wrote (in Italian, he did not know english)
The artist hath no thought to show what the stone in it's superfluous shell doth not include; to break the marble spell is all the hand that serves the brain can doNow I'm not trying to stir up the pot or embarrass Terry by calling coffee-roasting art. (Not today anyway.) But it seems to me that people like Terry do something very similar to what a sculptor does when he chooses a section of outcrop, quarries out the stone then cuts it to become what he thinks it should be.
I'm still not sure why the Patanos sent this coffee to me. They did not ask me to write about it, did not ask for feedback or any business contact information. They didn't ask for anything really, so I'm humbled by this gift and the opportunity it gave me to experience the work of a fine craftsman. Gotta love it!