Blind Coffee Roasters' ambition to do great things

3:34 PM

Sip & Melt is very pleased to have Blind Coffee Roasters on board as our featured July roaster. We asked owner and head roaster, Tim Howard, to speak about his experience in the coffee world, and his thoughts on how it really boils down to doing great things for the world...

It's all about the taste and smell.
I started blind Coffee Roasters as a reason to stay positive under adverse circumstances. I had just had my second eye surgery, and was terrified of losing my sight. It became very obvious that fear could direct me to not do anything. However, I've never been that type of person. And I certainly wasn't going to be that type of person then or now. It started with an idea, that I could use my smell and taste to develop a great cup of coffee. Coffee has always been in my DNA. I started roasting in 1982, I was a barista between 1984 and 1993. I moved to Portland in 1995, became a barista in Portland, and did that for two more years.

The entire time during my adult life that I have been able to buy good coffee, I have. The reasons are simple, coffee brings people together. I say the chocolate does the same. The idea of pairing the two is simple and natural. This is why mocha is so popular. Coffee and chocolate are extremely similar in taste profiles. What I mean by that is they have similarities when they hit your tongue. Sweetness, cocoa, roasted nuts, all of these are normal parts of our taste profiles in coffee and taste profiles in chocolate. In addition, they are grown under very similar circumstances. Generally speaking, both substances can also do great things for people in need.

I choose my coffee to represent the places and flavors that are my favorite. I also choose to buy coffee as close to the source as possible. The closer you can get to the farmer in purchasing wholesale coffee the closer the money goes to the people who probably most deserve it. Many of my coffee come from single origin representation. In other words, they come from The Growers, or cooperatives of Growers, that are actually responsible directly for the quality of the coffee and the people most deserving of the money spent to buy green coffee. My Guatemalan coffee highlights female-owned farms. My Vietnamese coffee comes directly from a single farm owned by women. Several of my coffees from South America come from female cooperatives; my Brazil and my Columbia, especially. It is always been my focus to do the right thing not only for my customers, but for the rest of the world.

["Sprite"-- my beloved roaster]
As I roast coffee, I'm looking for visceral types of experiences. The sound, the smell, the taste when tasting and testing coffees. All of these things lead me to choose to coffee that I want to carry. The best part of all that is, finding something that is truly amazing. This is why I wanted to team up with SIP and melt. The representation of the people in need, the interest in pairing delicious flavors together, the ability to improve people's day-to-day life (the farmers, growers, importers) was so instrumental in my interest in teaming up with you [Sip & Melt], it seemed a natural fit.

-Tim Howard

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