by Kris Woll | 2016
Image by The Imagery | 2015
A coffee break with Geoff, co-founder and co-owner of River Moon Coffee Roasting Company.
K: Geoff, what memories does coffee bring to your mind?
G: My first memory of coffee was the smell of it – the aroma as a child. I can remember being up in the north woods of Minnesota close to Superior National Forest. We would go with another family up and would be in a small cabin, and I remember being really struck by the pleasant smell of those aromatics. This was before I drank coffee of course. So I just remember the scent of renewal wafting through the cabin in the morning.
K: Tell us about your very first cup of coffee.
G: I was probably still in high school. I remember maybe having a cup of coffee in the morning. This was before I was introduced to good coffee, and I remember not liking the taste too much. My perception was that you drank it more as a tool to stay awake. Then I didn’t really drink it as something to enjoy. This was before there was much of an awareness of artisan coffee.
K: Right. So much has changed. So tell me now about your best cup of coffee.
G: What I look for as a roaster is to drink coffee that has a lot of nice body to it but is also sweet – a balance between a richness and an earthiness. I also like to sense that there are a lot of subtle flavors going on.
K: And how do you drink your coffee now?
G: I drink it black. I don’t put anything in it. No sweetener, no cream, nothing to mask the flavors.
K: Do you have any coffee rituals?
G: I definitely like coffee in the morning and I like to have it first thing when I wake up. I like to drink it out of a nice ceramic mug. That’s a most enjoyable thing – a nice piece of pottery, something singular and unique.
K: And can you describe your ideal setting for a cup of coffee?
G: I’m sitting in front of a fire first thing in the morning, comfortable in my slippers and in my robe, watching the sun come up over the meadow where we live, and there’s a mist in the meadow, and it’s really quiet. I can be in a state of tranquility and reflectiveness, and can just be still, and can drink the coffee to awaken my mind and start the creative process for the day.
K: That sounds pretty nice. Is this something you get to do from time to time?
G: I get to do this several mornings each week. It’s my morning ritual at this stage of my life and I’m pretty lucky to be here. It’s pretty simple. And I feel fortunate. It aligns with how I make my living.
K: I love that your ideal is actually a part of your daily life. That’s pretty amazing.
G: There’s a real gift in being able to just be, and to take pleasure in the simplest things. Your day is off to a good start. There are other places that I would like to go, but I like where I am, too.