I met Tom at CoffeeCon Chicago 2015. He impressed me first with the coffee, then with his sense of humor. Finally, one day over a cup of coffee at his North Shore Hansa Coffee Libertyville location, he mentioned that he doesn’t brew using any gauges or scales. I saw his roaster. No Agtron roast meter. Now he’d piqued my curiosity.
Hansa is also unusual in that it actively supports a post-traumatic stress effort for military veterans and has a mascot dog to send coffee to US troops overseas.
Tom’s an adherent of natural process coffees. I can’t know for certain if he’s right, but he sure thinks he is. What impressed me most about him is his willingness to go his own direction. In my opinion, there’s a lot of me-too collectivism in coffee that can lead to too much group think and not enough individual thought. This is not a problem for Tom, nor his business partner and Hansa’s c0-owner, Kevin Kane.
This is a long podcast. You may want to take a break midway, but Tom was very willing to share his views on many subjects and I know you’ll come away more knowledgeable from hearing from him.