Doma Coffee

How I Met Your Coffee Maker

*Kids, back in 2013 when your mom and I moved to Rochester, I had to immediately address a problem of epic proportions. So big, in fact, that the word “epic” is indeed applicable, but not entirely accurate. Rather, let’s use a better word. Let’s call it “legendary.”

The problem, kids, was the how the hell I would make my morning coffee.

See, we got rid of everything when we moved—everything that wouldn’t fit in the car. And in a blind rage of yard sales and give aways, my french press was lost and forgotten in the hubbub. As we drove across the continent, stopping at gas stations for dollar “coffee,” I prayed for a brighter future. A bolder future. An acidic future. One that involved coffee.

You know, the one.

Season 1

But I’m getting ahead of myself. It all started in Idaho when I was in my early twenties. I worked at a Natural Foods store in Coeur d’Alene where local roasters would come to teach—as monks enlighten—and they would also come to replenish their store bins. It was through these vendors (Doma, Evans Bros, and Equal Exchange) that I learned to sip, spit, and smell my coffee.

And coffee became more than just a warm liquidated caffeine which instigated BMs. Coffee became everything. I had learned the secrets of the bean. I began to taste subtle notes. I researched and learned growing and roasting techniques. My lips began to automatically scowl at shelves with Folgers and hands holding Starbucks.

I preached about Fair Trade and just wages (annoying everyone I talked to).

Before long, I couldn’t depend on work coffee. I had to make the “plunge” and buy a home maker, something my coffee monk friends would approve of. The french press, of course. It was a single cup beauty, and she served it hot, gritty, and frighteningly strong. (more…)

Taking a Local Day

How formulaic do our lives become? It’s both good and bad, I suppose. We take vacations from the norm, only to get sick of the vacation and return to our norm.

I heard this statistic the other night and I can’t get it out of my brain:

96% of all Americans spend, on average, their whole lives indoors.

Upon hearing this, I wanted to run outside and skip through a field of daisies; I don’t even like daisies. I wanted to dig a garden, walk to work, and ride a hot air balloon around the country with a monkey named Charlie.

I decided that I needed to prove this statistic wrong.

So the next day, I went on vacation in my own town.

Extraordinarily, I was free from work and school. After an invitation, I made my way down to Doma Coffee and partook in my first ever “cupping.” The perplexities of smelling, breathing, and tasting coffee for hours on end was unusually delightful. For the first time in my life, being a “sipper” actually came in handy.

I learned how to pick fragrances out of coffee like apples, leather, chocolate, and “corn flakes.” I got to know the Doma guys a little better too. We talked about current coffee markets, espresso machines, and good beer. It was great.

After overstaying my welcome, I traveled back downtown to The Long Ear, a local record store (yes kids, those still exist). I traded some CDs in hopes of stocking up store credit for the upcoming Record Store Day. While there, I searched through the vinyl bin and “smoozed” a bit with the staff.

I was reminded me of the hours I’d kill at Boo Boo Record’s in Grover Beach, CA (RIP), where I’d search endlessly through the used CD bin and sticker bucket. Oh the days of my youth…

After The Long Ear, I went back home, recorded some music, waited for my wife to get home and then did a little shopping at my work, Pilgrims Market.

As the day grew late, I reflected upon my day. It was unique and more than usual. There were two things that made it different:

*I made time for myself

*Every business I entered was locally owned

So take from that what you will. Do you feel that you need a break from the norm? Take a local day for yourself and discover what your town has to offer.

Stay out of Albertsons, keep away from Wal-Mart, and for God sakes avoid McDonalds. Corporations and franchises exist only to capitalize off of consumer’s fear of the unknown. It’s funny, but the more I stay out of these businesses, the more I seem to enjoy the area I live in.

Try supporting only local shops for an entire day; take a walk and get outside. Maybe, you wont even need a vacation after all.

My goal this spring and summer is to get outside more, shop locally, and continue to discover my town. Why else would I live here?