The Coffee Wisdom


Staying in and the light at the end of the tunnel

Gracious!  The news is overwhelming, and the buzz words of the day are something like, “social distancing”, “flattening the curve” and “quarantine”. 

Staying in?  Current events are keeping most of us tucked away within the confines and safety of our homes.  Daily routines interrupted, simple pleasures and social engagement have been turned on its ear.  It makes one wonder about the simple things – the small gesture of a stranger holding the door open.  Perhaps it’s the daily stop at your favorite coffee house where your morning cup is crafted by a human being, someone whose hand brushes against yours, accompanied by a smile.    

Times like these may have some feeling a wee lonely, somewhat isolated and maybe even a little bit bored. 

Daily prayers have each of you in my thoughts, wishing you all peace and good health as we journey through this together.  Together, yet apart – we’re practicing “social distancing” as they say, trying to minimize the risk of spreading the virus, all the while keeping ourselves busy, productive with the work we are here to do.  Each of us on a singular journey, yes, but together we support and lift one another up as we all press on. 

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”  Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

How do we lift each other up?  Here are 5 things you can do right now – but first…

… How about a cup of coffee?

  1. Call someone who IS alone.  We can’t visit assisted living homes at the moment, but how about a call to someone who’s needing some encouragement?  Welfare checks are free yet valuable.
  2. Read a book.  You know all those “good reads” you’ve been meaning to make the time to consume but have found your drowsiness prevails at bedtime?  Grab a story, cozy up, sip up and read.
  3. Play a game.  The little ones are home from school.  No one is going out to play.  How about a game of chess, checkers or Twister?  Hide & Seek is doable indoors and so is T-ball (as long as the ball is connected to a string, or it’s made out of spongey material!
  4. Cook something delicious for your family.  Look inside the pantry, what can you make with some rice, chickpeas and all those beautiful herbs and spices?  Lacking some ingredients?  That’s ok – be creative.  Food made with love is nourishing.  It not only provides sustenance but can really satisfy the soul.
  5. Share.  That’s right, share.  Whether it’s an encouraging word by phone, via email or on social media – share something positive like a home-cooked meal or order you’ve placed online and shipped to a friend – share.  Remember, we are all in this together.

Blessings to you and yours – until next time.

Father Michael

Personal Thoughts about Today

I want to thank each of you for your support in our business and as long as God allows I will diligently keep roasting coffee and getting it out to you.

I pinched myself on St Patrick’s Day not because I was not wearing green but to see if I would wake up from a dream of all the trouble that’s going on. It is no dream! It’s real and it’s here in full force as you well know.

Panic and fear are the fruit of having your hope in things that are temporary, short-lived and fleeting. If we measure ourselves by the car we drive, the house we own or the money we have and then that is threatened, then pandemonium breaks out. Now is the time to reconsider where you have placed your treasure, your heart’s desire.  It is a time to be sober minded, and introspective and I believe it is also a time of great opportunity to change some of those things you have let consume and distract you from what is good and necessary.

Here is my list:

To be thankful each day for all God has given us. We have so much, maybe too much.

To be wise in the use of those many things we have been given and not just a consumer of them to no end.

To slow down and be kind to all those who cross my path, greet them and give aid without judging.

To get to know your family. Not just their name and age.

To not go to bed angry but resolve any conflict at that moment by saying “I’m sorry it’s my fault”. You’d be surprised how quick a conflict can end. Wish those in charge would do the same. Why would they if we don’t.

Thank you again for your support. May God protect you.

Fr Michael

Coffee: Bringing friends together

Throughout History

Father Michael's Roastery

What better way to meet a friend or just get together with a group than over a cup of coffee? There is none! Well maybe-but coffee is a favorite method for me. As many of you know, coffee has the amazing ability, spur conversation, get the mind buzzing with creativity, and ultimately allow for a good opportunity to be with a friend. After all, how are we going to get along with one another if we don’t just break it down, one to one and have a chat once in a while?

Friend 1: “Hey, let’s go get a coffee.”

Friend 2: “Yes let’s do!”

See how easy that is?

You never know what you’re down for when people gather over coffee; it has the uncanny ability and undeniable power to make “it” happen. It?  Whatever it is that happens when folks sit together, sip together and connect.  I say, a good cup of coffee can bring us together for the good in each of us.

We have all the tools but maybe we just need an excuse to hang out and even when we look back to history, we can see that coffee did this very thing: BROUGHT PEOPLE TOGETHER.

HERE’S THE STORY

From the earliest of domesticated coffee plants -said to have been from Harar, and the native population is thought to be derived from Ethiopia with distinct nearby populations in Sudan and Kenya -coffee was primarily consumed in the Eastern world. Coffee eventually made its’ way to the New World by the British in the mid-17th century.  Coffeehouses were popular, but it wasn’t until the Boston Tea Party in 1773 that America’s coffee culture was changed forever: the revolt against King George III generated a mass switch from tea to coffee amongst the colonists.

Introduced in 1892 by wholesale grocer Joel Owsley Cheek, it was named in honor of the now-defunct Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, which was its first major customer. For nearly 100 years, until the late 1980s, it was “good to the last drop” and the highest-selling coffee in the United States.

The 19th century brought us coffee klatches, which refers to a group of friends getting together over a cup of coffee, usually at someone’s house. The word “klatsch” has turned into “klatch” or even “clatch” over the years, and both are considered acceptable to use. Coffee klatches.

What is it they say? There’s nothing really, new under the sun.  Now jump.  Fast forward to 2020….and coffee is still bringing us together. Think about the variety of coffee houses out there –people gathering for chit chats over drip, dark, and richly roasted καφές!

Find your nearest café, call a friend, make date.  Enjoy the wonders of coffee, be creative, drink up.

Coffee is a Beautiful, Worldly Thing!

Of course, we’re talking about the deliciousness of coffee – the rich, silky smooth taste of our favorite morning pleasure!  The WORLD loves their coffee and every culture presents their luscious little cup many delightful ways.  Here are some of our favorites in no particular order:

Italian Espresso
One of the most common and quick ways to get a quick pick-me-up is with a shot of espresso! NOTE the pronunciation is eˈspresō – NOT EXPRESSO!  Knowing this little detail will most likely make your Barista happy and will result in the best quality timed shot.  Literally meaning ‘pressed out’, espresso is when a small amount of hot temp water is pressed through a fine grind of strong coffee.

Irish Coffee

Care for a little brunch treat with friends or an after-dinner drink?  Try adding a bit of whiskey, sugar, and cream!  This is a cocktail with hot coffee, Irish whiskey, and sugar, stirred, and topped with cream.   Super for the winter season.

French Press

This method is one that truly allows ALL the essential oils to make their way into your cup.  Also with no filter used, there is zero waste and a simple process!  However, make sure your grind is a bit more on

the coarse side.  Remember, each method of serving coffee has a slight difference.  

Turkish Coffee

This is a special and rich method!  This cup is prepared with very finely ground beans and boiled overheat, set, then repeated a few times until you get that beautiful little cup of comfort.  Unfiltered, the entire contents are poured into a small espresso like cup.  

Greek Coffee is similar to Turkish coffee (with or without sugar).  Brewed in a Briki, this cup is served hot with a cold glass of water for when you have finished your cup.  

What is your favorite method to enjoy your coffee?  There are so many ways and varieties which make serving coffee an endless exploration with satisfaction.  Please tell us your favorite method!  We specialize in our wonderful cold brew.  A method which takes over 24 hours.  Now that is dedication! Or is it obsession?  Ha!  We invite you to share how you have your coffee with us.  Please let us know!

Here are a few of my favorite things.

The thing about coffee is it has a spectrum of flavors that can pair well with so many wonderful snacks.  It doesn’t always have to be for breakfast.

Do you like salty snacks with your bold cup?  Almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts are a great energy booster for a midday snack without being too filling or ruining your dinner appetite.  If you like to mix these flavors, try adding dried fruit such as cranberries, orange slices or even cherries to the mix!

Decadent chocolate
Such Decadence!

How about some crunch?  There is absolutely NOTHING like coffee with fresh biscotti! Dip it, soak it, and enjoy.  This can lead to the dessert side of coffee.  Coffee is perfect with any type of buttery sweets such as shortbreads, waffles, cornbread, and cookies.  Even for a small sweet treat I like to unwrap a few peanut butter cups!  

Looking for something rich?  How about an espresso poured on your favorite ice cream? This is something really special and especially with our espresso.  Just give it a try!  Is there something you really enjoy with your coffee?  Sweets are good but enjoying coffee with a friend can make all the difference.  After all, coffee is a social and universal good.  Coffee is a wonderful way to start a conversation which is crucial for a long-lasting friendship.  Enjoy coffee and each other!

If you want to try something unique – take a peek at our new offering:  Axios – A monthly subscription to the world’s finest, exclusive line of special small batch roasts that are available on a limited basis. That’s why we’re making “Axios!” available as a specialty coffee, hand-selected and roasted by me!

Axios!” (Greek ἄξιος, “worthy of”, “deserving of”, “suitable”) is an acclamation adopted by the Eastern Orthodox Church and confirmed by the faithful at the ordination of Bishops, Priests and Deacons.

TASTE IT!

The Flavor? Because these batches are so small, we have even more time to roast them even closer to perfection.  I’m so pleased and excited to share these coffees with you in the coming month.  It is as we say, WORTHY.

Axios

YOU ARE WORTHY

“Axios!” (Greek ἄξιος, “worthy of”, “deserving of”, “suitable”) is an acclamation adopted by the Eastern Orthodox Church and confirmed by the faithful at the ordination of Bishops, Priests and Deacons.

Indeed, it is humbling to be declared worthy. To be deemed “worthy” does not belong to these who are ordained as though they’ve earned it but to God who gives it. I don’t think I’m particularly special; no more than anyone else. I am humbled to serve others whether I am hearing their troubles or pouring them a fine cup of coffee.

 That being said, a fine cup of coffee can also be called worthy, of course in a different way. We choose various micro lot coffees that stand out above the rest and roast them for you to experience. We also understand that you too are worthy by virtue of where you come from. So let the worthy experience the worthy, “Axios.”

“Axios!” is our exclusive line of special small batch roasts that are available on a limited basis. That’s why we’re making “Axios!” available as a specialty coffee, hand-selected and roasted by me!

TASTE IT!

The Flavor? Because these batches are so small, we have even more time to roast them even closer to perfection.

I’m so pleased and excited to share these coffees with you in the coming month.  It is as we say, WORTHY.

COMING SOON!

 “Axios!”, will also be known as Father’s Choice in our online store. In the coming month our first offering will be available in a 10 oz bag. With it, you’ll receive a little coffee wisdom from me. In the form of a handwritten card I’ll share with you its tasting notes, the origin as well as the best possible way for you to brew it to its full potential.

A LOVELY BLESSING IN EVERY CUP

 “Axios!” will from month-to-month, perhaps even week by week. When you order “Axios!” it’s like receiving a tasty blessing from above. These micro-lots are my absolute favorite and they only reach their deserving potential when I can share them with all of you.

In the coming month I’m traveling to Kentucky.  Looking to get back to my roots a bit, enjoy a needed respite, and savor some beautiful coffee.  Won’t you join me for a cup?

From My Hand to Your Cup

A story of a man and his passion for coffee.

If you’ve stumbled upon our website or seen our coffee while out and about in Washington, you may be wondering, why the name Father Michael’s? The answer is quite simple, Father Michael is indeed a Greek Orthodox Priest. And why coffee, you ask? Because he has a deep passion for crafting the perfect cup of coffee. Father Michael sees his passion and knowledge of coffee as a gift, and with all things in life, gifts should be shared. To him, life is a great blessing, and he wants to pass that blessing on to others, from his hand to your cup.

Father Michael's Roastery
“From my hand to your cup.” Father Michael

Who doesn’t need a little blessing now and then?

Nestled in the wooded Simcoe Mountains of Washington, Father Michael thoughtfully roasts coffee beans in the quiet of his wilderness shop. Father Michael is committed to roasting only the world’s finest flavorful coffee beans, which he carefully sources and serves only at the peak of their season. He takes great pride and care in providing consistently fresh and flavorful coffee to his customers. Father Michael imparts love into each cup with the intention that it will revive you, warming you up, and help you start the day.

His journey to crafting coffee was circuitous to say the least. Father Micheal tells his life story in one colorful rhythmic statement that sounds more like a song or rhyme than a biography, “Made in Texas, sprung from a Kentucky holler, reared in Alaska, landed in Washington, tucked in the mountains, roasting coffee just this side of paradise.” His coffee is a rich and diverse as his life story, and his menu of 14+ blends, cold brews, and single origin beans is ever evolving, ebbing and flowing as he curates a selection of only the finest coffee for his customers.

Father Micheal offers a carefully curated selection of coffee, which you can explore in detail here. He has sourced the finest beans from around the world, including Indonesia, South America, and Africa. Additionally, he has thoughtfully crafted a variety of blends that offer delightful combinations of notes. His best seller is his signature, Father’s Blend, a heavy to medium melange roast crafted with beans from Indonesia and Central America that is well balanced and creamy to taste.

Specialty coffee crafted by a Greek Orthodox Priest. You’ll be hard pressed to find it anywhere else in the world. Get to know Father Michael and his love of hand crafted coffee by exploring his website, following him on social media, or sampling his product at a local farmer’s market in Washington.

Brewing the Perfect Cup

“Stand at the brink of despair, and when you cannot bear it anymore,

draw back a little, and have a cup of tea”(coffee for those on this side of the pond)

Sophrony of Essex …Brew that a bit.

On the lighter side:  A cup of coffee can be wrecked a 100 different ways. I know, I’ve done it. Here are my tips to getting it right.

  1. Select a small batch artisan roaster to purchase your coffee from.
  2. Buy only what you will consume in 2-3 weeks, and buy whole bean.
  3. Keep your jelly filled donuts in the Fridge and your coffee in its own air tight container out of the fridge.
  4. Each coffee whether a single origin or blend has its own nuances and those unique qualities will only come to life with proper brewing methods. Some coffee demand a french press while others are developed perfectly with a pour over and of course the espresso is total experience of pure bliss but not all coffees will survive under its pressure. Look for the symbols ( pictures) next to each coffee directing you to the best method of brewing. (link to brewing methods)
  5. Weigh your coffee. Sounds a little geeky I know, but what you get by weighing is a consistent cup each time. Did you know that darker roast are generally larger and weigh less and lighter roast and smaller and heavier. So take out that little weight watchers scale and put it to some good use. (Link to weighing)
  6. Grind your coffee when you are ready to brew it. When grinding your coffee the proper granular size is everything. In a pour over  the grind size effects the extration time thus effecting the taste.  I like the number 4 minutes for extraction time on French press and pour over coffees. Espresso is a different brewing / grinding beast all together. Link to Grinding
  7. Water (picture of a blue droplet). Nothing like the smell of chlorine in the morning eh. Fix: Move out to the wilderness and drill a well. If moving is out of the question then simply try to filter your water. Water Temperature is crucial in brewing coffee. Boiling water poured over grounds will scorch the coffee so use these temperatures:  199-201 degrees for a french press and 205 degrees for a pour over.
  8. Notice that when coffee begins to cool down in the cup even more flavor notes come alive.