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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Best Cup of Coffee I've Ever Had

Last week, I had the incredible opportunity to sit down with the owner of Colorado Coffee Merchants, located here in Colorado Springs, drink a cup of his coffee and chat about coffee for a while.

My education about coffee is extensively limited to Folgers, Starbucks and whatever anyone else serves. I can't even make a good cup myself. I always rely on others for that. I don't know the first thing about what goes into a light and dark roasted bean and why they taste different. I just drink the stuff for two reasons. It's social and it keeps me awake when I'm tired.

The highest quality cup of coffee I've ever had is at Starbucks, though I'm told by "experts" that Starbucks, while popular, isn't really that high of quality. So, while I'd heard there is such a difference in fresh roasted and 2 week old beans, I had no idea what could make all this difference until I sat down and sipped my first sip of coffee that had just been roasted. There really is a difference. The flavor was strong, but not bitter and while I normally drink about half a cup, I drank most of this cup and enjoyed it all. Truly the best cup I've ever had!

While I sat and talked to Eric, the owner of Colorado Coffee Merchants we talked over the sound of the roaster in the corner, the espresso machine hissing beside us and the other people in the room conversing and I had a feeling that I was drinking coffee with what could be the next Howard Schultz. Eric has a great product, a commitment for quality and excellence and a passion for what he does. But, what I admired the most was his obvious care of his customer. He shook hands with them, greeted them by name and truly cared about their lives. I think I could have taken a picture of him in action and used him as the poster boy for entrepreneurial customer care.

If you want to experience what I did, stop in for a cup. If you just want the flavor, Eric ships internationally so order away.