~ An interview with someone I know or want to know. ~
~ Or am related to. ~
This time: Randy
His blog: SnobCoffery
His non-coffee mug:
1. How did you get interested in coffee?
Coffee has always been sort of a staple in our house growing up. I guess, like a lot of people, my intake increased in college. But it wasn’t until later that I found the so-called “specialty” coffee world. (I don’t much like that term, but that is a lecture for another day…) I stumbled upon a great coffee shop out in Princeton, New Jersey, called Small World Coffee. Since then it’s been a steady increase in interest. A lot of it had to do with my brief stint with unemployment. Being home all day, I strived to find a higher-quality by-the-cup brewing method so I didn’t have to reheat stale coffee throughout the day. If you want the long, boring version you can read it here.
2. Can you recommend a coffee or two that is better than the rest?
I’ve been lucky enough to drink a few fantastic coffees in the last year. Here are just a couple of highlights.
- Small World Coffee: A local NJ roaster and shop that is very into their community. They also provide beans to plenty of local stores and retailers. My favorite is the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.
- Stumptown: They are one of the largest “specialty” (argh!) coffee producers nationwide — or at least one of the most well-known. They provide for lots of great shops from coast to coast, and their coffees are generally very good, and of course very high quality. I like the Kenya Ngunguru, and just the other day I tried their Peru Cecovasa that was delicious.
- Kuma Coffee: A much smaller roaster based out of Seattle, Washinton (a shocking amount of good coffee comes out of the West Coast and Northwest). They don’t provide to many (if any) shops as far as I know, but their coffee quality is great and the flavors are unique and delicious. The Gacokwe Burundi is great, or the Concepcion Chuito if you’re into espresso. It actually makes a great iced coffee, too.
3. What else besides coffee?
Outside the coffee world, my wife and I have some great plans for renovations around the house as well as fun places to visit.
I’m also some kind of amateur photographer.
And I play drums in a band with my brother. We’re called Balance. We play metal, but our influences are many and varied. I hope that comes through in what you hear, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t. If you’re interested, find us here or here.
4. Who are you a fan of?
My dad, obviously. He’s a genuinely warm-hearted guy and (generally) pleasant to be around. I’ve always found it kind of remarkable that he’s worked in a particular field for so many years and still still does it every day with no more than the average complaining. His spirit is high and his mood is positive. It’s a respectable, admirable trait. It says a lot about his work ethic, enjoyment of his field and commitment to his family.
Also — my high school physics teacher. His passion for his career, the subject and educating young people left a lasting impression on me. I think I’m naturally an analytic and inquisitive person, but Mr. Goodman took it to a whole new level. He played a huge part in my eventual decision to earn my B.S. in Applied Physics (Rutgers). While it’s not something I am currently practicing, it’s still a big part of who I am. I ask a lot of questions of the world around me and I just can’t stop looking for answers.
5. Why did you get rid of your kilt?
I didn’t get rid of it. It went missing somewhere after moving out of my parent’s house, into my brother-in-law’s house, and finally into me and my wife’s house. It’s a shame because those things are seriously comfortable.