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.
Since written word began the word has been a powerful catalyst in developing any culinary art. Just as Julia Child helped spawn a new era in home cooking, writers like wine’s Robert W Parker and coffee’s Kenneth Davids helped foster our quest for knowledge and appreciation of their respective beverages.
I’m interested in discovering who today is going to lead our next movement in coffee and Joseph is definitely one of those figures. His Coffee Lovers Magazine is bravely aimed at consumers. I say bravely because most of the press coffee gets is unapologetic in its pursuit of trade dollars, a by far easier chase but one with limited vision. I blame the industry more than the publishers, for this lack of collective vision, but it slows the growth of one of the most interesting of all culinary arts. My interview here is long. It is a true conversation so I won’t apologize for my talking as much as my guest. But, I hope you listen as Joseph is on a mission, and for this reason he’s a prophet.
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