For me, this coffee hobby that I have gotten into is a learning experience. I suppose that on a hobby like this, no matter how long you are at it, you will always be still learning. You will learn new roasting techniques. You will try new coffee beans for the first time. You will keep learning as long as you are willing to learn, no matter how much you already know.
For me, though, I am just a baby in this hobby. I mean, I’ve been doing this since around the beginning of March 2009, so that is only about 3 to 3 1/2 months at this time. I basically know virtually nothing. But, I enjoy it.
So, how do you learn about it? Well, number one is to be in contact with others in the hobby. For me, that number one contact is Bobby Timonera, my close friend and coffee mentor. We are basically in contact with each other nearly every day by e-mail or text message. Usually talking about coffee! But, I have other ways of learning too.
First, one of my favorite ways of learning is just doing it! I mean, buying green coffee beans, roasting them, and then drinking the coffee. Every time I drink a cup of coffee or roast some beans I learn a little more, and I enjoy it. Not only do I realize how much I’ve learned, but I also get to enjoy the great coffees. How can you go wrong?
Finally, another jackpot of information is from participating in online forums. There are two forums that I participate in daily, either by just reading what is new there, or sometimes by posting comments or questions.
The first forum that I got started on was the Green Coffee Buying Club, or GCBC. GCBC is not only a forum where you can learn information, it is also a club of coffee lovers who share green beans. People there buy large lots (large for me… ) of green coffee beans, and then split up the bags and offer the beans for sale. Mostly, these beans are sold within the club at or near cost. It is an economical way of buying coffee beans, and a great way to sample a variety of beans. I highly recommend this forum.
A new forum where I have begun to hang out is the Sweet Maria’s Forum. Sweet Maria’s (SM) is an online business where they sell coffee beans. SM has green beans from all over the world, and they seem to be a friendly bunch of people. The SM forum is just a month or so old now, and I have only been a member for a few days, but I am enjoying it, and finding it educational too.
I hope to see you on the forum! One of them, anyway.