Faversham & Felixstowe, Oh My!
When I was hired by Coffee Bean International in 1982, my first job was as a brand manager for ‘Jericho America’, our line of imported coffee and tea equipment – both commercial (we directly imported and distributed commercial coffee grinders) and household (similarly, we directly imported and distributed container-loads of French presses, airpots, filter-papers, brew cones, and so forth). As a small Pacific Northwest specialty roaster in those very early years, we were chronically rich in great ideas but short of money, so I wound up learning to do most of the complicated work of running an import business on the fly, and on a shoestring – I think I could have written ‘Managing Letters of Credit, CIF Price Quotes, Freight Consolidators, and Customs Brokers for Dummies’!
Bishops’ Hats and Scally Caps
For over twenty years, I’ve longed to get my hands on a Whitmee coffee roaster. Due to their extreme scarcity and cost - whenever one did come onto the market in the UK, it carried a price beyond my means - the dream eluded me. I contented myself instead by diligently researching and collecting heavy-duty ‘Monitor’ roasters built here in the U.S. and amazing open-drum and open-flame ‘Uno’ roasters manufactured in England.
Why Whitmee? Read more »
Salvation of a Steampunk Roaster
I’m the first to admit that I’m passionate about coffee – and in particular, coffee roasters. That probably explains why I decided years ago to collect coffee roasters, and now find myself owning seven of them (not counting my three sample roasters, of course…they’re so petite!) in sizes ranging from a husky half-bagger all the way down to a diminutive three-pound countertop beauty.
Some guys collect cars. I round-up roasters. Same disease, different symptoms. Read more »