Free shipping on orders of $30 or more!

For the Love of the Game

For the Love of the Game

I stand in the kitchen of the MIC, watching the popcorn popper, ensuring nothing out of the ordinary transpires. An hour in, I hear it. The first crack. 10 minutes later, I dump it. 11 ounces of coffee, freshly roasted.

Six months later, I stand in the kitchen of the MIC, watching the chicken rotisserie roaster, ensuring nothing out of the ordinary transpires. An hour in, I hear it. The first crack. 10 minutes later, I pull it out. 7 pounds of coffee, freshly roasted.

A year and a half later, I stand in the basement of our roasting facility, watching the coffee roaster, ensuring nothing out of the ordinary transpires. 12 minutes in, I hear it. The first crack. A minute later, I dump it. 20 pounds of coffee, freshly roasted.


No matter the method, the goal is the same. To honor our farmers and to ensure we are properly roasting the beans they have worked so hard to produce.


We don’t blend to mask imperfections, we don’t mix roasts to hide humidity - we put a face behind every cup and we allow each farmer to stand alone.

The first time I stepped foot on a farmer’s plantation, the plantation of Carlos Ochoa, was the first time I encountered true pride. Pride that stems from hard work and sacrifice. A pride that money cannot buy.  


We walked all around the plantation, up and down the steep slope of the Andes. Carlos showed us his different varieties: red and yellow caturra, sarchimor, and typica. He showed us his processing area, where he and his wife use the hand crank pulp remover, the washing buckets, and drying beds. I marveled, not at the coffee or machines themselves, but at the way Carlos spoke about his plantation - his pride.


Later that day, we visited another plantation. It was the same - the same pride, commitment, and passion.

A year later, I returned to the place it had started, at the plantation of Carlos Ochoa. Arturo and I purchased the first 400lbs of coffee, which would become part of the first 4,000lb batch.

....

Today, as I stand in the basement of our roasting facility, watching the coffee roaster, I think back to those times. The passion with which Carlos spoke - the attention to detail Milton taught - the focus Alfredo had. I try my best to give each and every roast its due justice, not just for Z Beans’ sake, but for theirs.


While I plan to buy coffee from Carlos, Milton, and Alfredo for as long as I can, I’ll never be able to repay them for what they have done for me. For showing me what it means to sacrifice, for showing me what it means to be courageous, for showing me what it means to persevere. But most importantly, for showing me what I could never figure out for the first 20 years - how to play for the love of the game.  

Search our shop