the craft of craft


Last week at our market, I chatted with Micah of Bootstrap Coffee about the science behind his roast and brew. The word “science” is fitting; the equipment in his Chemex system is not surprisingly similar to what I used in college chemistry lab. Clearly someone who has the process down to the second, gram, ounce, and degree is not just making coffee.

The word “process” may be more fitting than “science” when it comes to craft. I’ve had a thousand cups of coffee, most of which send me off with only a slight caffeine buzz. Despite my self-proclaimed coffee snob status, I’ll admit my French press amounts to boiled coffee. Micah reminds us that the craft of coffee begins far before boiling water. It begins with sourcing the right beans. Roasting them to perfection. Hand-selecting the right roast for the season and setting. And, most importantly, being in control of every step of the process.

When it comes to taste, there is too much mediocrity at the table. We reach for the coffee pot every day, and that’s good enough. The craft of craft takes more energy than most of us can handle, and that’s why we seek it at places like Linden Hills Farmers’ Market. Sure, you might say our market is just a market. But for the rest of us, it’s a chance to become the snob we want to be. It’s a chance to enjoy our favorites through the eyes of an expert who takes the time to handpick what we won’t. The people who find their passion in the details.

I may never be that person, but thank god they exist. Craft is not about seeking perfection. It’s about finding the details that connect us to an entire narrative of preparation. The details that bring us into conversation to the barista, chef, and farmer. Let those details do the talking.

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